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Bistro K vs Bistro 45

For a special occasion dinner. I've eaten at 45 once before and it was one of the best meals of my life (very romantic in addition to the amazing food). I hear that K is remarkable and the byob policy is a huge plus. Comments?

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  1. Haven't tried Bistro K but have been to Bistro 45 -- only been there once years ago but remember everything to be total PERFECTION. I agree that it's a romantic place too.

    1. Been to both.
      BISTRO K by a mile...............

        1. re: Mother Hubbard

          Bistro 45 is in Pasadena, Bistro K is in South Pas.

          1. What is the Bistro K atmosphere like? Russkar in particular - comparisons?

            3 Replies
            1. re: macrogal

              Limited Atmosphere at K but much more interesting food.
              See my last B"K" TM menu below.

              1.Smoked Scottish Haddock w/Chorizo & Poached Quail Egg
              2.Crab w/white Corn & Soy Emulsion
              3.Scrambled Egg , Vodka Creme, covered in Servuga Caviar (awesome)
              4.Seared Foie Gras w/EEL ,Caramelized Apple ,Xeres Vinegar
              5.Monkfish, Smoked Duck, Fennel & Guajillo Infusion
              6.Sea Urchin, Green Tea Sabayon, Panna Cotta, Fig Chutney
              7.WoodPigeon w/Tonka, Figs & Parsnips
              8.Scottish Hare(bunny), Cabbage & Chanterelles, Huckleberries
              9.Assorted ARTISIAN Cheeses w/sweet corn tamale
              10.Chocolate Truffle & Avocado Mousse, Red wine Tulle
              11.Andagi Chocolate & Jasmine Cake

              4hours , 80- ea (a bargain) , Service was very good!

              1. re: russkar

                Did they ever get their liquor license? or is it still BYOB w/ free corkage??

              1. I've been to Bistro 45 a while back, and I liked -- haven't been to Bistro K yet but from the chow boards & food blogging scene it's been getting a lot more rave attention.


                1. How is the bistro K tasting menu? How many courses? Does it compare well to providence?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Diana

                    You can finding pricing & courses on Bistro K's website here:


                    Compared to Providence, I'd say less emphasis on seafoods, a bit cheaper, and much more creative/riskier -- depending on your standpoint.


                    1. re: Diana

                      Oveall,I enjoyed the food and service better at providence. They have more creative sides at bistro K,but the quality of seafood is much better at providence. We had the five course tasting at bistro K and 3 items were seafood.

                    2. Never been to Bistro K, but love Bistro 45. Was there for my birthday this year. Very romantic. GREAT wine list, thatspart of what make sthis restuarant so special is the wine list.


                      1. Bistro 45 seems stuck in the Miami Vice 80s. Nothing very creative or exciting. Correct food but somewhat sterile. Very good wine list though, with a heavy emphasis on CA wines.

                        Bistro K is daring, slow paced, brilliant and an increadible value. The ability to bring in great wines with no corkage seals the deal. In all honesty, I'd go even if they charged corkage.

                        1. I think both places are pretty good.

                          If you go to Bistro K just be warned that the food tends to be more daring and inventive -- not in an off-putting Sona-esqu way. Rather, it's just not the typical stuff you'd expect to find at most places. And the service can be s-l-o-w.

                          Bistro 45 is more mainstream, not as cutting-edge or dynamic. Good, but doesn't really strive to be different and challenging lilke Bistro K.

                          1. I agree with what most people have said about Bistro 45... been there twice. Once about 5 years ago - was not that impressed with their food for the $$$ that you pay. But i kept hearing all these great reviews about it and gave it another shot a few months ago...not impressed yet again. Don't get me wrong, the food is good, but for the price, there's many BETTER options out there. If anyone is really food for good French food, i hands down recommend Tradition by Pascal in Newport Beach. They serve some of the best French food I have ever had (especially the French onion soup and duck confit)! But if Newport is too far, Maison Akira by far surpasses Bistro 45 and it's only a few blocks away. However, I recommend sticking to the seafood dishes as Maison Akira, as their steaks there are only mediocre.

                            I will be going to Bistro K tomorrow evening~ can't wait!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: javabean116

                              let me know how "new" bistro k is. i hear that food is nothing like before :(

                              1. re: rickym13

                                Ya, new chef. This board has not seemed to like it so far.

                              2. re: javabean116

                                Be aware that as rickym13 above stated, Bistro K was sold and there is a new owner who has a different chef, so the previous postings do not represent any current experiences. Will be interested to hear of your experience. Please post one. Recent posts here on chowhound have not been overly kind, yet ymmv!!!

                                1. re: carter

                                  I dined at Bistro K once over a year ago and it was not a very appetizing experience. This was in the days when I still chowed on foie gras. This delicacy usually is seared to the point of caramelizing on the outside, and the inside is still tender but not raw. At Bistro K, I was served with almost raw foie gras and there was no caramelizing on the outside of it. There is no way they can achieve that caramelizing state since it was never cook on high enough heat. It was vile! I did not come back. Just one note on the dining room, it is extremely small, so it is very noisy. It definitely does not have any ambiance. Like I said, it was over a year ago, so I don't know if they made any improvement.

                              3. Bistro K is wonderful for its creativity and depth, but watch out IT IS OUT THERE. I love rabbit and hare, and the roulade I had there recently was so gamey I could not even eat it. No slight against the chef, its just that be prepared for another level of cuisine. Just hope you aren't afraid of heights.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: tohokuhoya

                                  maybe nobody is listening.

                                  BISTRO K: same name, totally different chef and ownership.

                                  it's like going to a completely different restaurant. i hear laurent is going to open downtown in the future.

                                  1. re: revets2

                                    Any more info on the Downtown possibility? Passed by the old 7th St. Bistro site of Laurent's (1984-92) yesterday and experienced a major pang of nostalgia - and hunger.

                                    1. re: Griller141

                                      ditto. word is late '07 to early '08. he may cook at VERMONT again soon.