Historic Filipinotown restaurant Woon is on the move, adding another location along the Pasadena/Altadena border soon. The second Woon will land at 1392 E. Washington Boulevard, just west of Hill Avenue and across the street from Millie’s Cafe and Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar. Word is out already about the coming second space, in part because of a recently-filed Alcoholic Beverage Control license filed in the name of Woon owner Keegan Fong.
The larger second location on Washington Boulevard should allow Woon to grow its menu and its customer base. Currently, the corner shop in Historic Filipinotown is just about at maximum capacity, turning out wok-charred homestyle chewy noodles, scallion pancakes, large plates of fried rice, pork belly bar, and more. The menu is a Shanghaiese and Cantonese ode to Keegan Fong’s mother, and began life as a pop-up around town at places like ETA in Highland Park before opening as a brick-and-mortar operation in 2019.
“The idea of Woon has always been to share our story beyond just this location,” says Fong. “It makes sense for us to have [a new restaurant] in Pasadena because that’s where I really grew up, and where Woon essentially started — with my mom having an open-door policy in our house with my friends. It’s nice, it’s like a homecoming.“
The much larger sophomore space comes with a “gigantic” kitchen, which should allow Fong and the team to produce more dumplings, breads, and more. “Woon has always been about keeping things simple, minimal, and manageable at the end of the day,” says Fong, who long ago maxed out the kitchen space at the first location. “It’s always been trimmed down in terms of options. We’ll replicate what we have now, and also include some things the kitchen allows us to do now.”
Fong says that he’s seen the neighborhood change a lot since his early days as a child, and he welcomes the chance to cater to a new, slightly older, family-friendly crowd with natural wine and homestyle Chinese food. Pinkies Up will continue to run the restaurant’s beverage programming, and Woon Pasadena will open for lunch and dinner. Woon also does a robust takeout business, and frequently hosts collaborations, pop-ups, and one-off nights with other chefs and brands, so expect expansions on that front as well.
Altadena and northern Pasadena continue to see an influx of new restaurant and hospitality names, including the recent arrival of Sticky Rice owner David Tewasart’s already-busy new Thai restaurant Miya. Side Pie further north has become a staple for pizza and vibes, while HomeState and Amara Kitchen work for the morning crowds. Don’t forget about the longtime locals up that way, either, though, including hippie vegan paradise Oh Happy Days, which has been in operation in the Altadena foothills since 1977. As for Woon Pasadena, expect an opening this spring.