Gaucho Grill — the longstanding Argentine restaurant that emerged with new ownership and a new course in 2018 — is still expanding. In addition to opening an 11,500 square-foot location in Buena Park a year ago, the owners signed a lease in the former Paul Martin’s American Grill in Pasadena, with plans to begin service just after Thanksgiving. The team has another location up their sleeve as well,, and they’re also looking to open a casual waterfront eatery in Long Beach next summer.
Partners Adrian Amosa and Kirk Cartozian are presently putting the finishing touches on the new Pasadena restaurant at 455 S. Lake Avenue, complete with whitewashed brick walls and signature gaucho mural. Thankfully the previous tenant, which closed as a result of the ongoing global pandemic, left the place in relatively good shape, so slotting in along one of Pasadena’s busiest restaurant stretches should be no problem for the growing group.
As for the Argentinian menu, expect the usual: meat, and lots of it. Choosing a cut for the fire is an easy task, from New York strips, porterhouses, pollo a la brasa, wagyu ribeye, and wood-fired prime rib that’s slowly cooked for six hours. There are plenty of empanadas, shared plate options, a solid wine list, and cocktails on offer as well.
Cartozian tells Eater LA that Gaucho Grill is doing well since reopening all three locations in February, with sales that rival 2019 numbers. That early promise made the group push initially to open the Pasadena location in mid-2020, but supply chain issues have delayed the final push until now, with plans to softly open next week before a formal grand opening on November 29. “We are ready to open but waiting on silverware, glassware, and plates that might be on a barge, or might even be on a truck by the restaurant,” says the resigned but upbeat Cartozian.
Regarding the Long Beach venture, Cartozian says the group won a city bid below the Downtown Long Beach Convention Center to open a waterside space. That’s no easy feat, considering that Gaucho Beach beat several other significant bidders (Gladstone’s and the Water Grill, for example) to operate the forthcoming concessions space. Save any delays, the restaurant should be operational in summer 2022, says LongBeachize.
The pre-2018 presence of Gaucho Grill saw locations throughout the Southland, with a history that spanned back several decades. More modern market changes and evolving consumer taste made it difficult for these operations to stay in business, causing the Brentwood location to close in March 2018. The previous owner eventually passed Gaucho Grill into Amosa’s hands, who then partnered with real estate broker Cartozian to navigate the restaurant’s current direction.
When Gaucho Grill Pasadena opens, it will be the fourth Southern California location outside of Downey, West Covina, and Buena Park. Gaucho Grill Pasadena will be operating at a very limited 50 percent capacity until January, as the team gets their bearings. Hours will be Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and later if there’s demand.