Red, White and Blues Pasadena?
I went to Red White + Bluezz last night. The menu online looked amazing. My friend was particularly interested in the fried mac & cheese and I loved the idea of the fromaggio risotto. Pecorino and parmasean were mentioned. And since pecorino is my favorite cheese, I was eager to try this. I was happy to find the short ribs served with the risotto and since it's my mission to try short ribs whenever I find it on the menu, I thought it was a match made in heaven. I was wrong.
The short ribs were inconsistent in tenderness. The waitress even had to bring out steak knives for us since some pieces were so tough. The Montepulciano veal reduction was surprisingly sweet which overpowered the risotto and garlic-y. That garlic snuck up on us hours later.
The risotto was way undercooked. The rice was not throughly cooked and the cheese flavor could have been any cheese. I did like the bits of portabello but otherwise, I was unsure why it was called "risotto" when the rice was definitely not creamy. The three baby carrots were fine.
I did enjoy my Caesar salad though our waitress was a little weird about cracking pepper only on one spot. I had to cut off the lettuce and rub it around the entire head of romaine. She joked it was really dark in the restaurant. The lonely little piece of anchovy made me laugh as it was hiding under a large Parmasean crisp. I didn't eat the "artistic" croutons. But they did make a nice presentation. The oven-roasted Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes were cold but good. The homemade dressing was chock full of anchovy which made it very worthy but not the best Caesar I've ever had.
The fried mac & cheese balls were lacking in flavor. They were nicely fried but it needed a little salt to bring out the cheese. This is surpringly to us since the cheese alone should have been salty enough. My friend liked the red pepper sauce that went with the balls.
The waitress seemed shocked at how busy they were on a Wednesday night. We never got our bread basket and my iced tea took a while because she had to brew it which was fine, I liked the freshly brewed tea. She forgot my friend's "sophisticated lady" wine flight and had to be reminded. When the waitress asked if we would like dessert, we replied no and she enthusiastically said, "good!" Hmm, I was eyeing the ricotta cheesecake or molten chocolate cake but never mind then.
Overall, I think the food needs a lot of work. I like the idea of the wine and cheese flights but I would not return for the food.
GOOD stuff!!!! there are 2 parts to it. one is just the restaurant, and the other is more dining area, patio, and the band playing in the midst of it all. be ready for a tight space though. gets kinda crowded. i know some people who love it. ask for russ to talk to you about wines, i assure you you wont be disappointed. he's a wine FREAK!!