Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Raymond's First New Menu in 35 Years (Pasadena, CA)

Chef Tim Guiltinan has been helming the kitchen at Pasadena's The Raymond for a few years now (since 2008), but it isn't until this summer - following the kitchen's renovation - that he's completed taking over the menu and making into something he's proud to launch as his. The Raymond thus announced a whole new dinner menu, a first in 35 years.

I've often been told that Pasadena diners are less adventurous, but Chef Guiltinan didn't let that stop him. On the Starters section, you'll find things like Bonito cured beef tataki, fried garlic, jalapeno salsa ($16)

Curing the beef in bonito gave it a markedly unique flavor than the usual beef carpaccio.

Wild Northwestern organic mushroom, "forest soil", salsify, "hay", smoked vinegar ($16)
An earthy dish with presentation that mimics the forest one might forage in. Seems like Chef Guiltinan is also becoming bolder with his presentation.

Octopus and bone marrow bruschetta, radish, carrot, tomato, toasted bread ($16)
We loved this one - spreading the bone marrow on toast combined with dipping it in the seafood broth. The two things bread is best for!
The cocktails I had that night was from the old early summer, video game-themed menu, which has now switched over to the new menu. Whichever menu you are on, you already know that 1886 is my favorite bar in Pasadena.
Yoshi's Island
We had a special treat that night, as well: Whisper Farms Mozambique Tilapia served with Nam Jim, Korean ponzu, various pickles and lettuce cups.
First, I've never had fish served vertically like this before! This was one of the most memorable dishes we had since it was a lot of fun to eat; peeling off the fish meat from the stand and wrapping it in lettuce. The crispy skin was delightful.

From the entree section we tried the Broken Arrow venison, maple turnips, American lardo, nasturtium, classic mashed potato ($39)

Our desserts spanned the range from decadent to light and fruity.
There's the Louisiana Bourbon Butter Cake, Dark Chocolate Ganache Sorbet, Candied Pecans, Bourbon Caramel
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta, Steamed Yuzu Cheesecake, Citrus Granite, Milk Tea Ice Cream
It's hard to decide which one I liked better since they're so wildly different.

I've had Tim Guiltinan's food on my previous visits to The Raymond and 1886 Bar, so I knew the new menu would be good, with the Spanish. With the renovated kitchen, he's finally comfortable expanding the menu and firing up more adventurous stuff.

The Raymond
1250 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 441-3136
The Raymond on Urbanspoon


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