Editor’s note: Dine LA Week has returned to Pasadena. The tasty event takes place twice a year highlighting the diversity of culinary experiences the area has to offer. There are special lunch and dinner menus at scores of local restaurants throughout Pasadena. During this Fall 2023 event, dine-in restaurants are being featured only. So grab a seat.
Dine out at a participating restaurant, ask for the Dine LA Restaurant Week menu and enjoy.
We’ll be highlighting as many participating restaurants as we can through the “week,” which runs through October 20.
One of the first things we loved when we first visited Bone Kettle just after its opening a few years back, were the edible flowers served with many of the courses. This year on our Dine LA Week visit, the only flowers sat atop the dessert.
But we’ll get to that.
On this quiet Monday night, Bone Kettle was buzzing, with a large birthday party service going on in the back of the restaurant, and a wait for the next table. Even the outside tables were filling fast.
Owner Eric Tahjki credited it to the fact that many restaurants in Old Pasadena weren’t open, but he was modest. Even on a slow night, people come out and choose their favorite spots for a reason.
The Southeast Asian fusion restaurant has only grown in popularity since its original opening, and it’s easy to see why, between the unique and high quality dishes, and the friendly, attentive service.
Its $55 Prix Fixe Dine LA Week menu offers a host of interesting choices, and we would have been happy with any of them.
For starters, there is a Kabocha Squash Bisque with croutons, a hearty and creamy concoction. The second course is a choice of Garlic Prawns, Chicken Sausages, or Mushroom Dumplings.
The entree choices are a Braised Oxtail Nasi Goreng with Indonesian Fried Rice with egg; a Fatty Brisket bone broth soup with noodles, and crispy Noodles with Fall Vegetables and Ginger Mushroom Gravy.
Dessert is either a Pandan Crinkle Cookie with Ube Ice Cream; Kue Nastar, which are mini pineapple tarts, or a Lychee Coconut Panna Cotta.
Imagine our dilemma.
We opted to start with the Kabocha Squash Bisque,usually prepared with Butternut Squash, coconut milk and oil, and perhaps ginger. This version was rich and flavorful and soothing, like every soup should be.
Next we chose the very crispy Garlic Prawns, topped with red peppers. Imagine Prawn potato chips. It was kinda like that, in the very best way.
Our main course was the Fatty Brisket bone broth soup with noodles, which arrived solo, followed quickly by a server delivering the steaming broth, bringing everything quickly to life, as poured it over the ramen noodles. The soup was chock full of the flavorful chunks of beef brisket, perfect for a surprisingly chilly evening.
Dessert was the Lychee Nut Panna Cotta, a tropical version of the popular Italian dish. Finely chopped fruit sat atop the sweet panna cotta base for a refreshing and sweet end to the meal.
Bone Kettle is a finely curated selection of meats and vegetable dishes from a Southeast Asian sensibility, gathered together with flavors from a range of cultures and cuisines. You might come for the Dine LA Week, but you will return for everything else.
And the flowers.
Bone Kettle is at 67 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA. (626) 765-3788. www.bonekettle.com.