One of my ultimate fantasies was recently brought to life. I was in a restaurant completely surrounded by meat. All kinds of meat, served in all kinds of ways. Ribs, burgers, steaks, charcuterie even a divine work of art called a meat hook! It was crazy! Pork, beef, chicken, even tuna! You name the meat, it was on the menu. Meat District Co. in downtown Pasadena was an answered prayer (one of them anyway)! The slogan reads "Meat District Co. Ribs Burgers Beer" but I can tell you it so, so much more!
The evening started with a few appetizers
- Five Spice Chicken Wings with BBQ sauce
- Grilled Melon: Grilled seasonal melon, arugula, reduced balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper & goat cheese
- Crispy Jalepeño Peppers: Corn, cilantro, onion, buffalo mozzarella & yogurt
- Tuna Tataki: Seared tuna, black & white sesame, wasabi crust & aioli
- Cured Meat Platter: A selection of premium cured meats, olives & pickles
My favorites were the chicken wings, tuna tataki, and the meat platter! The wings were tender and flavorful, and seasoned well - the spice was not overpowering, but enjoyable. The tuna was well crusted with the sesame seeds, which offered a nice balance to the clean fish and wasabi heat. The cured meats were nicely selected and tasted as they should, salty and meaty. Delicious!
Moving on to the main meal, I was torn between the pork ribs and the burger. You all know I'm a burger girl, but I also love ribs! I hadn't had ribs for awhile and figured I would rather judge a meat-specialty joint on its ribs over a burger. If your ribs don't pass my test, I sure wouldn't bother with your burger! My order was placed, the jumbo pork ribs with a side of fries. Oh yeah.
Other Menu Highlights
- The Meat Hook: 10oz of succulent chunks of natural ‘Never Ever’ prime dry aged NY sirloin, rib eye & fillet with peppers, onions & corn with creamy pepper sauce
- Southwestern Burger: 1/2 lb with potato rosti, avocado, jalapeños, cilantro, sour cream & arugula
- New York 11oz Aged Coulloute
- Crispy Quinoa Salad: Almonds, carrot ribbons, beetroot, arugula, pumpkin seeds, crumbled feta cheese & citrus vinaigrette
No word other than "jumbo" could describe these ribs. The glistening bbq'd slab was larger than my face. I asked for a side of housemade bbq sauce to give a proper rating. Chef Alfonso Galan happily brought some over. I picked up my first rib and sucked the meat off the bone in one smooth motion. No complaints. The pork melted in my mouth as it should. The sauce was smokey and spicy with a slight dose of sweetness, which I liked because the meat itself had a hint of sweetness.
Meat District Co. confidently calls its menu "paddock to the plate" and all meat served is "never ever" raised with hormones, steroids or antibiotics.
Before I left I got a tour of the glass meat locker which is in full view of diners. I can't decide if this is a good or bad touch. It is proof that you are getting the freshest cut of meat there is!
If you are a hardcore meat-lover, you have no reason not to check this place out!
There is a rumor that Meat District Co. will be coming to West Hollywood, which I would greatly appreciate...I still need to taste the burger!
For more info please visit www.meatdistrictco.com