Pasadena: Checking out The Vol. 94
It started with as simple picture. Congee. Uni. Boom. The Vol. 94 stayed on my brain until I got to it. That happens sometimes. I didn’t care what else we ordered but I knew I had to try that abalone quinoa porridge with uni.
And it was delicious.
Filled with bits of abalone, seaweed and uni, we mixed it up like we would bibimbap and scooped up the congee.
This recap could end with that but I was then a bit surprised that every dish I tried that night was perfect and to my taste.
I was with my wine-loving, tapas-loving, valet-loving friend. I was slightly worried about her going to a restaurant without valet but we figured it out. It’s really not that hard to park in Pasadena. But also, Vol. 94 has a small lot that is apparently free in the evenings.
She latched onto the dduk hunt with has scallops, her favorite. I said sure and noticed it was named “dduk” after the Korean rice noodles. The sauce was fantastic, the scallops were perfect and it came with fried pig ears. This was one of the hits of the evening.
But my favorite in addition to that uni was the grilled sword squid with papaya salad. I suppose I imagined some squid on papaya salad but we got little “rolls” of squid stuffed with the delicately spicy papaya salad. I say delicate because it was quite sneaky. I didn’t think it was that spicy until I hit a bit that sent me reaching for more water. The texture of the squid had the right amount of snap.
Then my friend wanted the chicken and waffles. Although I liked the juicy chicken, I felt we should have at least gotten a full waffle. Maybe two waffles. There was a lot of chicken to be divided between two people on half a small waffle.
The 60s dish consisted of mushrooms and greens on popcorn grits. It was a nice side dish. If we had a few more people, I would have also liked to have tried the purple cauliflower, the “crouching veggie hidden dragon” (broccolini, long beans) and the kale salad. Because you have to get kale everywhere, right?
We ended with the dark chocolate panna cotta which a nice way to end a great meal. Vol. 94 was definitely one of my favorite meals this year. I can’t wait to go back to try more of the seafood dishes as well as the Korean-influenced “S[e]oul” dishes including the bone marrow bo ssam.
And get more of that abalone congee with uni. Of course.(626) 356-9494
© The Minty 2013