A Little Baja in Old Pasadena

New Pez Coastal Kitchen owners offer up a sneak peek
Published on Feb 10, 2024

The new owners of Pez Coastal Kitchen, married couple Bret Thompson and Lucy Ramirez Thompson, eased open the doors of their new Old Pasadena eatery for selected well-wishers on Friday to say hello to the neighborhood and offer a few tantalizing bites from the menu.

Their new “seafood house” restaurant, as Bret refers to it, took over the former Slater’s 50/50 burger location on the northwest corner of Raymond Avenue and Union Street and after nearly a year of permitting and construction, is completely unlike its predecessor.  

“So we felt the vibe of the restaurant before, was just very dark, black everywhere,” said Bret, amidst the party going on. “So we’re going to brighten up the space. We have had lots of inspirations for the space, this gorgeous tile wall here,” he noted of the back tile wall, which is oh so very Baja.

“So we are big lovers of Los Santos and Cabo San Lucas,” said Bret. “We surfed down there and stuff, and there’s this hotel down there called Hotel San, and they had a wall similar to this. And I actually flew down there just to go surfing and to go look at the hotel, and I said, “We’re going to just do our own version of that. So we did that and everything else came along, and we wanted it to be very comfortable and warm and low lights, but snazzy. 

“I don’t want to intimidate people into not coming here, if it feels too fancy, but we do want to impress.”

As for the menu, Bret noted, “So it’s like a seafood house. There are so many steakhouses in Pasadena. This is going to be really ‘the seafood house.’ 

The menu will be seasonal, he said, with as many local sources as possible. 

“I’ve got a friend who grows Kampachi (also known as yellowtail or amberjack) down in Baja, “said Bret. “We have a friend who raises trout up in Mount Lassen. We’re  big fishermen. I’m a diver. I’m a fisherman. We love all that.” 

“We’ll do shellfish towers like you see in the restaurants of Paris,” he continued, “but also prime ribeye, and prime meats.”

There is a smoker and a curing program, he added, so guests will see risottos and pastas, (“but from scratch”), along with the steaks and the seafood.

Watch for a full feature review of Pez Coastal Kitchen in Pasadena Now in the coming weeks. https://www.pezpasadena.com/

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