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“Off day for the kitchen?”
Review of Racion

Racion
Ranked #91 of 705 Restaurants in Pasadena
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Tapas and Spanish Cuisine
Los Angeles
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Off day for the kitchen?”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Was it an off day for the kitchen, or was it perfect execution of a cuisine we didn't care for?

We had come to Racion with visions of yummy, flavorful, succulent Spanish tapas in all their variety, and found nothing more interesting than the cheese plate that came first - tiny nibbles of four cheeses at four dollars a pop, plus a few peanuts.

The oft-mentioned salt cod fritters that followed were not worth mentioning, the prawns in the prawns-on-a-rice-cake "bouillaisse" were mushy as if they'd been re-frozen at least once, and our scallops came with a sauce that didn't interest my taste buds at all. Even the sangria was unusual - I think vermouth was listed as the second ingredient, and made its presence known.

Service was good, the room is kind of basic, and at 10 PM Friday they welcomed a walk-in couple without a wait. (The room was fairly full at that hour, something of an accomplishment for sleepy Pasadena.)

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank poorjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Basque tapas in Old Pasadena”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We dined at Racion on a weekend trip to Pasadena & LA & really enjoyed our experience. The ambiance in the room was friendly, intimate, with excellent service and close enough to chat with a lovely couple who suggested several tapas we may not have ordered on our own.
Food was different and delicious: codfish fritters with a subtle lemon cream sauce, octopus which was delicious, barbecued shrimp in shells & an artichoke tapas. I wish we lived closer as we'd be a frequent visitor. Highly recommend a trip to Racion.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Travelingnurse055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Worth a try.”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

I had 3 dishes here. The artichoke salad which I thought was very good. The artichokes were firm and fresh. Not quite like the ones I have had in italy which are so tender and young that you eat them raw. Yes, raw. These were cooked in a way that was different than the usual boiled to high heaven mushy artichoke hearts that you usually eat. They were firm and fresh. I liked them. The second dish I had was the octopus. It was described as "Braised" but It definitely was a little dry and overcooked. Strange. Aside from the octopus itself, I liked the other elements on the place a lot. It was my least favorite dish. The best dish I had was the pork jowl with mushrooms. That was fantastic.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank FroggyBumBum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Tapas to share”
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Racion is a welcome addition to Pasadena's restaurant collection. The tapas are inventive and fun to share. Both the chicken croquettes and salt cod fritters are airy delights, the caramelized calamari on sourdough is filling and delicious, the roast baby vegetables a rainbow of tastes. For the larger plates, the seared lamb chops were spiced just right and the seafood stew a wonderful variant of bouillabaisse. The restaurant has been open nigh a year, and we have dined there several times. Glad they have recently begun to serve lunch. The surprise taste for lunch was the albondigas soup, the best we've had anywhere, including Spain. The service is mostly very good (varies somewhat by server), and the atmosphere informal and cheerful. We will continue to return to this small, delicious local gem.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Crowncitycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A Delicious Surpise”
Reviewed February 28, 2013 via mobile

On a whim we headed over to Racion the other night for our first meal there. It's only two days later and I already want to go back. Some of the brightest most inventive food I have had for a while, especially in Pasadena which tends to favor the more tried and true.
Each plate is a delight to the palate from the simplicity of white anchovies, to the more complex duck sausage stuffed squid served with a duo of sauces.
These are exciting few flavors prepared by a chef who's passion is evident in the food, served by a knowledgable and prompt staff.

Helpful?
1 Thank Life-is-a-Banquet-JM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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