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Top Chef’s Bruce Kalman Departs From Union in Pasadena After Four Years

Plus Roy Choi’s last go-round in Koreatown, and Yelp’s newest feature

Union Restaurant dining room in Pasadena.
Union Pasadena
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Pasadena changes

Chef Bruce Kalman is no longer involved with Union in Pasadena. The rustic Italian restaurant in Old Pasadena helped to make Kalman into a star, and launch him on a run into last season’s Top Chef contention. Now he’s pulling out completely after four years as executive chef and co-owner, and says he plans to focus on his family and some new 2019 projects. Most recently he’s been consulting at spots around town, and is also looking to launch a retail pickle line, which he’s had in the past. Marie Petulla stays on as owner at Union, and the two will both retain control of Knead inside Grand Central Market.

Yelp to help

Yelp has started to roll out a new feature for restaurants, showing off an eatery’s health department grade right on their page, says Gizmodo. The new detail is available in several states, including New York and California.

The big smash

Michael’s in Santa Monica has a new happy hour starting soon, with a menu that includes the aptly-named Big Mike Smash. It’s a confit chicken patty that’s been stuffed with cheddar cheese and then fried with a panko crust. Sounds wild.

Skid Row for good

Skid Row Coffee, the mobile coffee cart for good, is expanding its Downtown presence to include a brick and mortar location inside the Main Library. That’s according to LA Magazine, who say the company should be ready to serve by late August or early September.

Appropriation in new ways

Mel Magazine has an interesting story out on cultural appropriation, pointing specifically to the Native American-themed Uncle Yu’s restaurant in San Gabriel, which is owned by a Chinese family and carries a Chinese menu.

Lemonade on the run

Downtown’s Lemonade location is growing its takeaway business, adding a new grab and go section for its Flower Street location. Look for more than a dozen new salads and wraps and sandwiches to take on the fly, plus pressed juices and more.

Pot ‘til the end

Roy Choi is set to say goodbye to his family of restaurants inside the Line Hotel at months’ end, which means one more big blowout meal at lobby restaurant Pot. To celebrate, Choi and Co. are turning on the burners for all the classic dishes, including the kimchi fried rice and vegetable pancake. Available family-style for $60 a head, Friday through Sunday.