Crossings, known for hyperlocal American fare, has unveiled a new menu that hones in on spring and summer. Newly hired Executive Chef Kevin Malone has hit the ground running, bringing dramatic attention to detail and a special eye for exotic ingredients built up from his time at Mattei’s Tavern [Los Olivos] and Gargantua, an enchanting Santa Monica pop-up.
Both quaint and dynamic, Crossings allows guests to savor modern flavor in a century-old setting, with brick-and-mortar walls that date back to the building’s construction in 1913. In addition to an intimate dining room, cozy bar, and outdoor patio is the beautiful wine cellar, with a broad list that includes Angeleno Wine Company, LA’s first winery in more than 100 years.
Chef Malone’s range covers flavors from across the globe, with a special focus on locally-sourced ingredients. His heirloom tomato salad sources produce from the nearby farmers market, with creamy burrata, basil and pickled mustard seed. The spot prawn is drawn from the Santa Barbara coast, with Latin-inspired elote corn and queso fresco.
The menu continues its traverse with the Alaksan halibut, utilizing sous vide preparation to retain ridiculous moisture. The al pastor employs sous vide as well—cooking 36 hours undoubtedly releases excellent results, complemented further with amazing roti bread. BTW did you know al pastor is actually Lebanese?
Dessert gets the same seasonal treatment, highlighted by a homemade strawberry rhubarb pie with a buttery crust that’ll knock your socks off. Chef Malone adds fun plays with a white chocolate pot de crème and upscale elephant’s ears.
Crossings is located at Crossings Restaurant, 1010 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030. Open 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Mon – Thu, 5:30 – 10 p.m. Fri – Sat, 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. Sun. For more information call (626) 799-7001 or visit Crossings-Restaurant.com
Master’s of Taste saw it’s third successful year on May 6, when it brought together some of the city’s top restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries and all-things-sweet-eries on the field of Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl Stadium. More than 75 booths circled the turf, allowing guests the rare opportunity to not only walk along the infield, but to do so in gourmet style.
Eateries of all types took the opportunity to shine, churning out limitless tastings of house favorites. Prime rib and wasabi mashed potatoes from Alexander’s Steakhouse, melt-in-your mouth brisket and cornbread from Gus’s Barbecue, and handmade pasta with imported Italian sausage from Nerano were just a few of the eclectic flavors to be found. Pez Cantina’s seafood tostadas and Maestro’s carnitas tacos duked it out for South of the Border deliciousness while Poppy + Rose and Maple battled over who served the best fried chicken.
Live cooking demonstrations held a stronger presence this year, with The Bellwether’s Ted Hopson and Ardour Hospitality’s Michael Hung putting on excellent shows for intimate crowds.
On the drinks side, wineries gave up their usual lion’s share of the spotlight to breweries, distilleries and alternative beverages…not that there was any shortage of wine, though. Angel City Brewery, Indie Brewing Company and MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. were just a few purveyors of refreshing sips for the warm day, accompanied by wineries such as Navarro Vineyards, Rutherford Wine Company and Larimar Wainery. Dulce Vida Organic Tequila and American Born Moonshine crafted some killer cocktails, and rounding out the lineup were excellent nonalcoholic selections such as Humm Kombucha and Groundwork Coffee.
And what would a spectacular food festival be without dessert? ‘Sweet Masters’ are their own category at Master’s of Taste, and rightfully so with characters like Zooie’s Goodies and Sidecar offering up birthday cake and panda cookies and huckleberry donut holes. Pink chocolate fountains and unicorn poop meringue cookies were just a few more of the day’s decadent staples.
All proceeds from Master’s of Taste went to Union Station Homeless Services, a non-profit organization committed to helping homeless individuals and families rebuild their lives. The event continues to grow as one of LA’s premiere food festivals, and the foodie community is already anticipating what’s in store for year number four.
For more information, visit MastersOfTasteLA.com
Slater’s 50/50 is everything you could wish for in a burger bar. Unreal burger concoctions, compilations and custom combinations. Dozens of craft beers on tap. TV’s everywhere and a festive, upbeat crowd that gives the place just enough of a sportsbar vibe to stray away from snobby gastropub, but not so much that you’d rather be at one. Oh, and yeah…bacon!
It’s important to know that bacon is so sacred to Slater’s 50/50 that it’s in their title. The restaurant’s signature patties are half ground beef, half ground bacon. And while that may be the end game at other institutions, Slater’s 50/50 prides itself on stellar ingredients used in imaginative ways across the board, providing something for anyone who walks through their doors.
The custom burger experience is second to none here. Burgers range from ‘true quarter’ [read: weight after cooking] to a full pound, patties made from turkey to bison, and dozens of toppings from house made beer cheese to Guinness bacon chili. Healthy eaters will have more than their fair share of choices, with veggie patties, fresh vegetables and salad options readily available.
Slater’s 50/50 definitely walks on the wild side when it comes to their house favorites, which can be embodied no better than the peanut butter and jealousy burger. You guessed it—Angus beef, thick-cut bacon, and a generous slathering of creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly. But wait, it doesn’t stop there: his burger is best served a la mode. A yolo moment in a honey wheat bun…this is a ‘you’ve gotta try it’ kind of experience, and yes it is awesome.
The list goes on with more impeccable burger combinations, as well as an equally enticing list of hot dogs and ‘non-burger’ sandwiches. While the one complaint is that burgers are served a la carte, it’s imperative to note that the fries and onion rings her are spot on and totally worth it.
If you’re not already stuffed to the gills with burgers and beer, the milkshakes at Slater’s 50/50 are another home run. The maple bacon milkshake isn’t just a trendy-sounding novelty here, it’s executed with a harmonious balance of sweet and salty, and a overwhelming sense of sweet and rich that milkshakes lovers embrace worldwide.
This is the kind of place that’s tough to visit just once. Food this fun at a price point that embarrasses the snobby gastropub warrants many trips ahead.
Slater’s 50/50 has locations across Southern California and Texas. Hours vary. Average out-the-door price for burger, fries and 1 – 2 drinks is ~$42/person. For more information visit Slater’s 50/50 online.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.