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Downtown LA’s Pez Cantina Swims Into Pasadena With Dry-Aged Fish and More

The upcoming Pez Modern Coastal Kitchen will open this summer in Old Pasadena

Pez Cantina, Brett Thompson’s Mexican Seafood Emporium in Downtown
Pez Cantina in Downtown.
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.

Downtown’s Pez Cantina team is reaching into Pasadena next, switching things up with a new coastal restaurant that will rely on seafood, California produce, and plenty of fun projects like housemade dry-aged fish. The upcoming Pez Modern Coastal Kitchen will take a prime location at the corner of Union and Raymond in the heart of Old Pasadena, with plans to open by summer 2023.

Pez Modern Coastal Kitchen is the work of Pez Cantina’s own Bret and Lucy Thompson, who have spent years drawing in a dedicated audience on Grand Avenue in Downtown with lunch, brunch, and dinner menus that lean into California Mexican dishes like duck carnitas and a surf and turf molcajete with filet mignon, grilled shrimp, and nopales. The Pasadena outpost will push more heavily (but not exclusively) into seafood, and will offer cured and smoked meats as well as dry-aged seafood — all the rage in LA at the moment.

What’s more, the new restaurant will offer a much more bright and inviting design element missing from the previous burger and sports bar tenant. Expect lots of colorful tones and touches from the sea, as well as a full bar and wide array of specialty beer and wine.

Pez Modern Coastal Kitchen lands this summer at 61 N. Raymond Avenue, right at the corner of what may be Pasadena’s busiest restaurant block with Union, Perle, Tacos 1986, and Maestro all just steps away. Nearby are staple spots like Bone Kettle and Osawa, though Agnes and the more recent Bar Chelou are both in the vicinity as well. It all adds up to make Pasadena one of the more surprising restaurant success stories of the past two years, with even more names like Woon coming very soon.