Pump Up The Vol. 94

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

28 thoughts on “Pump Up The Vol. 94

  1. Cindy

    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!!

  2. topangagurl

    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.

  3. erin

    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…

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  5. Annie G.

    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… 🙂

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  8. Deb

    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!

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