Pump Up The Vol. 94

December 3, 2011

in dessert, dinner, restaurant

As mentioned in my last post, there was a blackout in our house Friday night…

…surprisingly, there was still power in Pasadena, where the windstorm epicenter was!

Vol. 94 is celebrating its Grand Opening Weekend…

…so they had a live jazz band…

…and special giveaways!

We didn’t win any raffles, but definitely scored the prize of the year! Executive Chef Phil Lee is a fan of my blog, so he invited Abe and I for a special tasting of their eclectic, gourmet (but still affordable) menu.

Basically, we sat back and the food kept coming out! I tried to pace myself and stuck to half portions, which was difficult because every single thing was delicious.

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella - fresh buratta, basil pistou, pine nuts, & balsamic

Kanpachi - avocado puree, pickled ginger glee, puffed forbidden rice

Pan-Seared Diver Scallop - Cauliflower Two Ways and Roasted Pine Nuts

Roasted Asparagus - Brown Butter, and Poached Egg

Gnocchi - Crispy, with English Peas and Forest Mushrooms

Cauliflower - Sultanas Puree, Vadouvan, Garam Masala and Marcona

Those were served in a small Le Creuset, as were these Brussels Sprouts with cheese

Everyone should eat directly from an itty bitty pot at least once in their life.

The following were our favorites – wound up polishing off the whole portions!

Faux-ngole - Littleneck Clams served over Spaghetti Squash

Faux-Sagna - Rutabega, Turnip, Truffles

I only had a bite and let Abe enjoy it, especially since I ate this entire bowl by myself!

Chef's Risotto - Chinese Sausage, shrimp, fried shrimp cracker

By this point we were both STUFFED. But the food kept coming out – we even had to send some back Smiley

I had juuuuuust a taste of the rest.

Mussels - Coconut Green Curry, Sun Dried Tomato, Onion Soubise, Thai Basil

Eggplant Fritters (very good, but not on the menu so you'll have to ask for it)

Mushroom Flan - Forest Mushrooms, Dashi Broth

Grilled Octopus - Saffron Aioli, Piquillo Puree, and Baby Spinach

This one surprised me – I went back for another tentacle!

Pork Belly - Duchesse Lacquered, Apple-Celeriac Puree, Papaya Slaw

Roasted Farmer's Market Veggies - olive oil, Mole Blanco, Vincotto

We were fuller than we were on Thanksgiving

…but managed to find some room for dessert Smiley

Chocolate Panna Cotta

Two heaping spoonfuls.

What. A. Night.

Back home we still didn’t have any lights, but it was already bedtime anyway – the meal lasted about 2.5 hours!

We were both very impressed with the food, service, and ambiance of Vol. 94 and so pleased that they offered so many vegetarian (and vegan) options. And since it’s their opening weekend, they’re only going to get better with time! I also loved that it’s the type of place you could go for a casual dinner, a celebration with a large group of friends, or a special, romantic night for two (like ours).

Thanks so much, Chef Lee – for an amazing culinary experience – and for reading “The Actor’s Diet” too!!!

Vol. 94 on Urbanspoon


1 rachael December 3, 2011 at 2:14 pm

That sounds amazing! Foodie heaven!

2 Lea @ Healthy Coconut December 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm

From the background in the pictures, looks like a place I would hangout at, love the ambience.

I would love to try the mushroom flan, I’ve never had a savory type of flan.

3 The Healthy Apple December 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

This looks amazing! Wow; I love the Brussels sprouts and purple cauliflower…such a wonderful meal. Love it!

4 Cindy December 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Wow!! I love octopus, but pretty much everything looked amazingly delicious.

I think you could have had two others with you and everyone would still have been stuffed. That was a lot of amazing grub and very reasonably priced. Wow!!

5 topangagurl December 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm

J’Beatiful…YOU and the food – sorry Hand Model…Our Banker is having a Tapas night, and I think that I need to adapt something in my brain that includes fried gnocchi dipped in pomodoro – yes? yeeeeessss….
Love the pictures…I was drooling and wanting to sip vino and eat! You should check out a BBC mini series called “The Trip”…I think you and the HM would Louvre…
Happy Sat – as Rob and I sit at our dining room table – he with a eggnog martini – and me with a dirty 4 olive martini…<3 ya.

6 Teresapalooza!! December 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Wow, it looks like they brought you everything on the menu! I’ve never had crispy gnocchi – will have to try this place. :)

7 erin December 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Man, everything from your meal looks amazing! I drooled over the octopus – when cooked so it’s soft and almost melt-in-your-mouth creamy, it’s absolutely irresistible. Nothing like the tough, rubbery stuff that unfortunately seems to be ubiquitous :-/ It’s great that they have lots of tasty vegetarian & vegan options too; it seems so hard to find more upscale restaurants that cater to both omnivores and vege-vores. I’m going to be looking for an excuse to check this place out next time I’m back in SoCal…

8 Lynn at The Actors Diet December 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Yes I was shocked how soft and tender it was! Usually I only eat it deep fried.

Acting: http://www.lynnchen.com Food: http://www.theactorsdiet.com Body image: http://www.thickdumplingskin.com

9 hippierunner December 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Ooh all the veg food sounds so good! Glad to see some of Pasadena has power again! It was nice to get power back yesterday here in Eagle Rock.

10 annie December 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

i am sooooo jealous!!

11 Living, Learning, Eating December 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Roasted brussel sprouts look so good! Though I can’t say that I’ve ever tried panna cotta…it sounds like a paint shade to me! :P

12 recipesofourbrains December 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm


13 Vien @ We Dare Food December 4, 2011 at 7:39 am

Just popping by to say hi! I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and I absolutely love your posts! :D
Your eats always gets me hungry and wishing that I’m in US!

14 Lynn at The Actors Diet December 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

thanks so much! what a beautiful blog you have.

15 Annie G. December 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Holy cow that was the most amazing food porn I’ve seen in a while! It looks amazing. And props to the chef for using Chinese sausage! It’s such a childhood fave for me… :)

16 Lynn at The Actors Diet December 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

it’s funny – i never liked chinese sausage as a kid but this was definitely my favorite dish!

17 katecooks December 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

wow…what an amazing meal! food looks delicious. i thought the asparagus was topped with burrata, but poached egg sounds nice too!

18 Lynn at The Actors Diet December 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

It was amazing! The yolk combined w a mustard sauce. So silky.

Acting: http://www.lynnchen.com Food: http://www.theactorsdiet.com Body image: http://www.thickdumplingskin.com

19 brokencookiesdontcount December 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm

The food looks incredible, but where the utensils really as huge as they look or are you just that tiny! Amazing!

20 Deb December 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Wow, What a feast. I loVE octopus- I get it any time it appears on a menu!

21 Deb December 7, 2011 at 8:16 pm

PS went over to your brownie/potato chip guest post- yum- and I remember when you stored your pots and pans in the oven- how times have changed lol!

22 Lynn at The Actors Diet December 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

ha, yes – times have definitely changed. how we evolve :)

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