My first trip to this lovely bungalow restaurant was earlier in the year, things have changed a bit, but the vibe is still fun and frivolous. The customers next to me said, this place has the best drinks in all of Pasadena, and boy were they right.
Here’s what I tried:
Walter’s Last Sip, 100-proof bonded apple brandy, spiced green apple shrub, bitters. Served frozen-cold in a flask with a side of pecans. This is the most fun cocktail ever!! For me it was way too strong to drink, but it is such a great premise. It is served in a paper bag in an old whiskey bottle type flask, with an ashtray full of candied pecans. So Walter was the original owner and he died broke so this is a take on a bum drinking alcohol out of a paper bag, how do you say hysterical!!!
Ay Papi, Plata tequila, mescal, honey, lime, and homemade tamarind syrup. Shaken and served on a large rock with chile salt. Ok Jennifer Lopez or not, I loved this drink. It’s sweet; it’s sassy, but mostly very drinkable.
Lebowski Achiever, A re-engineered White Russian, with vodka, Galliano Ristretto, stout, and topped with a layer of cream. I guess I am not that open minded, because I could not stomach the stout flavor that permeated the whole cocktail, no thanks.
Indian Summer, Plata tequila, lime, agave, fresh watermelon juice, cilantro, and jalapeno. Shaken and served down on a rock with chile-salted watermelon chunks. This cocktail was equally fantastic, kind of like the Ay Papi, but with lovely watermelon juice. This one is very quenching, a true winner.
Viognier, Cambria, Santa Maria Valley, CA. This wine is very light and fruity; it paired great with the sticky potato.
Sauvignon Blanc, Atalon, Napa, CA. I especially liked his wine with the oysters; it just went great with the brine and saltiness of the oysters.
Pinot Noir, Byron, Santa Maria Valley, CA. I would drink this with the duck; it has a great full body, and would add so much to the great flavors in the duck.
Pinot Noir, A Cote, Central Coast, CA. This one as well is a good pairing with the duck.
Cabernet, Los Vascos, Domaines Barons de Rothschild, CL. What a great pair with the short ribs, it hits all the right notes.
Cabernet, Monument Ridge Stonestreet, Alexander Valley, CA. Got to do this with with the short ribs as well.
Small Farm Massachusetts Oyster, Habanero-Horseradish Oyster Sauce. These are very fresh and light; the heat from the habanero adds another element.
Sticky Potato, Sesame, Korean red chili, scallion, cilantro. These are so sticky and gooey; the potatoes are the perfect pairing with the sauce.
Steamed Blue Mussels, Angry lady sauce, Chinese sausage, Thai chili, toasted bread. These are the bomb, just take my advice and order them!!
Fijan Albacore Tataki, Meyer lemon, marinated fennel, charred green chili, togarashi. The albacore is very flavorful, and fresh. The accompaniments make it very different.
Roasted Scallops, Black olive paint, orange, cultured cream, grape, and fennel salad. A very lovely rendition of a great scallops dish.
Short Rib-72hr braise, Liquefied potato, haricot vert, radish-onion-carrot slaw. They are tender and moist and just the best short ribs your going to find on earth.
Roasted Duck, Haricot vert, smoked onion, hazelnut, “Flavors of the Forest”. This is a very hearty, mellow dish, with lots of woodsy flavors. It is different, but very delicious!
Strawberries n’ Cream, Rose scented vanilla custard, glazed strawberries, almond meringue & crème fraiche ice cream. This is truly an amazing accomplishment, wow. The strawberries are so sweet and juicy. The meringues are light and fluffy, this desert is just so amazing.
This restaurant is very quaint; it’s just the best place for a romantic dinner. Or in my case I watched the World Series from the bar and listened to all of the hooting and hollering from The Raymond’s baseball fans. Which ever is your pleasure; The Raymond will make you very happy. The next time you’re in Pasadena, or a doing a staycation make The Raymond part of your repertoire.
The Raymond 1886
1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105