Friday, February 18, 2011

Bar Celona

If Bar Celona is any indication, Pasadena's bars are a tad more upscale than the "Coldest Beer in Town!" joints I used to frequent in my days of...frequenting.

My very cool, multi-talented, recently-acquired (long story) cousin Richard Burchard was in town this week. We had one evening. We wanted food and drink. I had passed by Bar Celona a million times and never gone in. We figured, why not?

The ambiance is sophisticated without being snobby. The music is not too loud (high on my list). The restaurant looks intimate but when you start to explore you'll find more rooms, including two bars and a TV the size of a movie screen. If you don't like crowds, I recommend 7:30pm on a Wednesday.

The tapas were probably fattening--tasty and substantial. Three of us were satisfied sharing seven of them. And the beer was indeed very cold.

20 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

My chicken salad for dinner will be probably non-fattening, but those tapas sound mighty fine! And your recently-acquired {yes, I'm curious to know the story, of course!} cousin's bio is wonderful. With talents like yours and his, quite clearly you paddle in the same gene pool.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Yes, this is an establishment far removed from from the "joints" of times past. The tapas sound like a special treat and worth the calories...

Have a great weekend, mon amie!
G

Steven said...

Looks like a very civilized bar/pub. Im guessing there was no pickled gizzards, pigs feet or hard-boiled eggs to be found in huge jars sitting on the bar. Tapas are such an improvement over that fare.

JF said...

We went in because they weren't busy on a night where everywhere else was busy, received atrocious service, and left. They had their one chance with us and they blew it. I'm sticking with Lucky Baldwin's, Pasadena Pub, or Barney's.

Petrea said...

Shell, the story may be too long for the comments. Suffice it to say we met on the internet, it's likely we're related and we feel like family so we decided to be cousins.

Merci, Genie!

Steven, I didn't even see peanuts.

Hi JF, and welcome. (Slick cars on your blog.)
It's their loss. You prove my philosophy that no matter your business, every customer counts. Every audience member at the play paid their money. Every diner at the restaurant expects their food on time. Every person at the dry cleaner's expects their clothes to come back undamaged or they're never coming back and they will spread the word!

Plus, you never know when it's someone's special night. It should always be treated as such.

Trish said...

...frequenting...now, that brings back memories...or well, sometimes, not so much! ;-)

lol on the newly acquired cousin. I've got several like that or that I'm learning about with genealogy. Happy, happy union!

JF---I sympathize---we've had similar experiences lately with businesses. Nevermind what the economy is, one would think you don't want to offend any potential customer--esp in these days of Twitter and FB. My sister just ranted about a wine-tasting she & her friends endured at a place in Long Beach---30 min to get the waitress over to begin the process and it went downhill from there.

TheChieftess said...

The Chief has known the owner of Bar Celona for about 15 years...when he started out with Wok n Roll across the street from Bar Celona...Jack is an excellent restaurateur and knows how to make his restaurants successful...his restaurants typically have great food and great service, and we generally love the food at Bar Celona....JF... all establishments are bound to have a bad day/night once in awhile, you might just want to give it another try! All of his restaurants have a club atmosphere after about 8:30 or 9, so as Petrea mentioned, early is good if you like a quiet, intimate dining experience...I love the food at Bar Celona...it is continually evolving and getting better and better each time we go...Villa Sorriso at Pasadena and Colorado is another of Jack's restaurants and was originally where Bar Celona is now...and is one of my favorites!!!

dbdubya said...

JF - The Chieftess is right. Jack Huang owns Bar-Celona, Villa Sorriso, and IxTapa. He's a very conscientious restauranteur who is in his places every day and is very conscientious about service. You should go back and ask for Jack and describe your previous experience. He'll take care of you. Or you can e-mail him at jackh@kaosmg.com. Tell him Uncle Dan referred you.

Petrea said...

Trish, you're right--word travels fast these days. A business has got to be good or folks will know.

JF, you cannot have a better recommendation than that of Uncle Dan and the Chieftess. I suggest you try it and see what kind of butt-kissing it gets you, and that's all I'm saying. :)

Margaret said...

Fattening is what I always look for in tapas.

maria said...

wow - this place sounds great. i may have to give them a try, however i am not as forgiving as most when it comes to bad service. believe it or not, i can forgive mediocre food more than i can forgive bad service. unfortunately owners don't have control 24/7 of their staff, however it is the bad review that one should pay attention too. people work hard for their money and food is such a personal experience so i can understand JF dissapointment. in any case, i will have to swing by sometime.
bon weekend!

Petrea said...

We did have good service. Funny how one person represents the entire business. Bon weekend, Maria!

Margaret, you will like Bar Celona. But no pie.

Bellis said...

Your photo is to die for, such jewel-like colors, such symmetry, such a large TV screen. But I can tell it's not a real Spanish tapas bar - there would be legs of Serrano ham hanging from the ceiling and it's de rigueur to drink your espresso at the bar and throw the sugar wrappers on the floor.

(I confess I had to look up how to spell de rig,er, whatever.)

TheChieftess said...

There would also be flamenco dancers and a guitarist on a tiny little floor...with no tv and no fancy upscale lights!!!

Petrea said...

I haven't been to Spain. Rub it in.

Bellis said...

This is what the bars are really like in Spain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cds7lSHawAw

Illegal to show this before 9 pm in the US.

Susan Campisi said...

Bellis, hilarious video! I'm crying from laughing so hard. Oh, I needed that. Thank you.

I haven't been to Bar Celona but I'd be willing to check it out based on the good word of the Chief and Chieftess. And I recently met someone who raved about Villa Sorriso so I've already added that to my list. But my current favorite for Pasadena bar food is the Vertical Wine Bistro. Their food is soooo yummy.

TheChieftess said...

But where are the flamenco dancers Bellis???

Steve Scauzillo said...

I like Bar-Celona a lot...I like the bar and tapas more than I do the dining room and eating off the main menu.

Petrea said...

Bellis, that is wrong on so many levels.