Jonathan Gold pays a visit to new Spanish addition Ración in Pasadena, and while some dishes aren't entirely authentic Basque, he's still more than content with the plates put forth:
I was expecting a menu of abstracted tapas — the usual parade of sausages, vegetables and paprika-caked squid served in superheated clay dishes. I was not anticipating crisp, gooey chicken croquettes; lamb meatballs glazed with caramelized tomato sauce; or pintxos (bruschetta, more or less) of crab salad accented with anchovy, squid griddled with lemon and onions or sliced tongue with pickled scallions...The restaurant featured neither cod throat, which seems to be on every menu in Basque Spain, nor pil pil, nor spider crabs. But it seemed real.
...it's a pretty informal place dedicated to tapas. And while some of the dishes cleave fairly closely to the originals, much of the food is inspired by — rather than exactly duplicating — Basque cooking.Gold concedes, "there are probably a few too many non-Basque dishes," and his advice is to stick with the most authentic plates because the restaurant is "best where it is closest to one of those pintxos bars in San Sebastian." [LAT]
[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]
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