Food Porn Friday | The Vol. 94 | Pasadena

Friday, August 10, 2012


I roll with so many peeps that group dining almost always steers us in the direction of tapas.
Love the idea of sharing every dish between bottomless glasses of wine; Small bites of something savory followed by a mouthful of something sweet. Or vice versa depending on how you swing. That way you’re able to get an overall idea of what the establishment has to offer without sacrificing multiple dining trips just to do so. The Vol 94 in downtown Pasadena not only satiated the range of palettes we brought in with 16 ravenous mouths, Joon Kim, owner/operator was even on hand to shower us with personalized attention as we ate our way through his concept of a Korean/French feast. Innovative dishes served in such a swanky intimate setting, if I lived nearby, the Vol 94 would definitely TOP my list of rotating faves. Here’s what’s on the menu today y’all: 

Assorted cheeses and charcuterie with a side of duck fat nuts. A bit of sheep/cow/and goat always hits the spot…and cashews slow roasted in duck fat? So simple, so smart, why didn’t I think of that?


Simmerin’ shrimp: Black tiger prawns, hot links, red bliss potatoes, with peppered lemon aioli. Totally reminds me of something Boiling Crab would cook up...very salty, but perfect for dipping with bread! 


Early Summer Corn: Spring corn, lime, shishito, salsify puree with added beef tongue. Seasonal, organic eats is really what SoCal dining’s all about. The young, sweet corn tasted like it was just plucked from a neighboring field, crisp and seasoned to perfection. You can barely make out the beef tongue so order without it to savor the grain’s true flavor. 


Purple Cauliflower: Sultanas puree, Vadouvan spiced purple cauliflower/Romanesco, and Garam Masala Marcona almonds. So delish and pretty to boot! Love it when my food’s just as colorful as I am ;D 


The 60’s [‘Shrooms and Weed]: Hen of the Wood Mushrooms, dandelion greens, popcorn grits, tonburi, and sliced porcini mushrooms. What my college days would look like if it were plated on a dish. Hahahahha TMI much Julie??…Eh who cares! Brilliant pairing made even more superb by the use of modern day techniques. Clean and refreshing, one of the most memorable dishes of the night! 


Chicken ‘n Waffles: Oven roasted chicken, chicken jus, bacon-chive waffle, and vanilla-maple butter. Sooooo dang delish! The chicken-to-waffle ratio was a bit disappointing since there wasn’t enough waffle to go around, but one bite into that honkin’ piece of chicken and your mouth is literally oozing in luscious fat and fragrant butter. Amazingly goooood! 


“SGV” Duck: Royal Anise-Chili Sauce, Japanese Eggplant, Chinese Long Beans, and Yu Choy. Lots of familiar Asian flavoring so this dish didn’t quite capture me as the others did. A bit more refined than what you’d find at your neighborhood rotisserie joint, but just as good with extra fixin's. 


Albacore Tataki: Jalapeno Ponzu, Soba 2x, Oroshi Wasabi, and cucumber. Tastes just like it looks: clean and simple. The soba noodle 2 ways was pretty ingenious; I can see this trend surpassing the plate and right into your own kitchen. Definitely something to upgrade just another traditional sashimi dish. 


X.O. Risotto in X.O. Sauce with crawfish and lop cheung sausage. BOMB.DOT.DIGGITY.COM y’all! When risotto’s on the menu I ALWAYS order it. Loves me some slow cooked carbs in a spicy creamy broth. Their risotto’s not quite as dense as the French version but what they lack in texture, they make up for in flavor. Kinda a cross between traditional risotto and Korean bibimbap. A MUST EAT! 


Korean Pizza: Kimchi pancake, chicken confit, bacon, and pickled ginger. By the time the pizza left the kitchen, crossed the dining area, and arrived on our table it was a perfectly seasoned pile of mush. Albeit very tasty mush, but soggy nonetheless. If the chef was able to perfect a thin-crust, crispy dough, this dish would be the *ish. 


Drunkin’ Softshell Crab: Soju marinated softshell crab, spiced Korean jam, Korean pear, oro blanco gastrique. Summer on a plate! The rich and robust flavor of the Korean jam was relieved by the pairing of the crunchy sliced pear. Such a perfect combination of hard and soft, spicy and refreshing. I’m not a crab fan by any means, but this dish made me believe that YES, it should NEVER be about the batter. 

239 East Colorado Blvd. 
Pasadena, CA 91101 
(626) 356-9494 

*Insider's tip: Yelp users get an extra 15% off their food bill (minus alcohol) when they check-in. The discount actually shaved off a good portion of the meal so if you're not on already, sign up with Yelp HERE for crazy cool savings!* 


The verdict?
The Vol. 94 has shot wayyyyy up my list of FAVE wine bistros in SoCal for the mere fact that everything came together as the best meals should. As we were celebrating 3 different occasions (hotel opening, birthday, and new job), we were even gifted with 3 wine bottles to take home from the owner himself! If that’s not top-notch service with a smile, I dunno what is! Thank you to Chef Phil Lee and owner Joon Kim for an unforgettable experience!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!
Thanks for reading!

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12 comments

  1. It really is the ultimate way to eat with a big group, yum!

    ladybear.me

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is definitely a great way to dine out with a big group of people! Everything looks wonderful!
    the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. looks soooo good!

    www.petiteandhungry.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Every dishes look really amazing. It must be an amazing place to enjoy food.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks delicious!


    xAnna
    fairytalefrocks.blogspot.com

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  6. Omg that food looks so amazing, I wish I was there!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amazing post!!!

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    xoxo

    ReplyDelete

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