Pasadena Night: Elements Kitchen & Japon Bistro

I’ve been to the Elements Cafe before and liked it well enough but when the menu for the new Elements Kitchen popped up online, I thought it was my kind of place. I couldn’t wait to try it.

bar menu

I swung by with Carina from UncouthGourmands and decided to order the oxtail foie gras burger, duck confit eggrolls and oyster and mussels chowder. Unfortunately, perhaps because the restaurant has only been open for a few weeks, service wasn’t great. Sure, the hosts were very nice but even though the bar was somewhat busy with the nearby Pasadena Playhouse crowd, our bartender/server just wasn’t on top of it.

oxtail and foie gras burger

Our food arrived lukewarm. This wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I didn’t see the chef delivering food himself to apparent VIPs next to us. He looked anxious whenever they took a bite. I wish someone cared enough to hear my opinion! Sheesh. I would have told him the burger needed thinly sliced cheese, not these thick slabs that wouldn’t melt on the warmish burger. And the duck confit eggroll? Please note the lack of the plural form of eggroll. Yeah, we got one eggroll…for $9! That’s pretty outrageous.

oyster and mussels chowder

At least the chowder was good even though it wasn’t hot either.

Read the UncouthGourmands’ take on the night. I have to congratulate them for going back which I have yet to do.

In any case, when our third arrived, we decided to go up the street to Japon Bistro where Carina took Josie for her birthday.

spicy yellowtail carpaccio

There we had an array of appetizers including spicy yellowtail carpaccio (though these were sliced more thickly, like sashimi), shrimp shu mai and blue crab cakes. We also had the seafood udon, shishito peppers, mushrooms and scallops.

shrimp shu mai

These weren’t my fave as they were too mushy for me but I loved the blue crab cakes.

blue crab cakes

Overall, I liked Japon and wouldn’t mind going back for just sushi. However, I wasn’t really prepared for an impromptu food crawl that night and later felt way too full. Oh well, that’s what we food ballers do!