Agnes – Pasadena – Los Angeles


Rising up in the course of nowhere within the Midwest, my childhood consisted of corn subject walks, seasonal poison ivy flares, and birthday events the place the primary attraction was a creek. It was fairly idyllic, and but within the years since I left I’ve forgotten the fun of the agricultural simplicity of the Midwest. After dinner with Agnes every thing got here again in a rush.

This meat- and cheese-heavy place in Pasadena is the place the nostalgia of Midwestern childhood meets superb eating. Dinner right here is as calming as it’s thrilling – irrespective of the place you grew up.

As you stroll by Agnes’ big barn doorways on Inexperienced St., do not be alarmed if a wave of idyllic happiness struck you. There is a full market and cheese dairy up entrance, an open hearth pit with scorching meat, and large picket rafters that float above the eating room and again patio. The constructing was as soon as an actual horse steady, which makes the country inside look extra like an upscale supper membership in central Iowa than lunch and dinner in downtown Pasadena. Nonetheless, as soon as the meals hits the desk, you can find that that is removed from something you’d ever discover in an area fry.

Look, it is no secret that the Midwest does not have the very best repute in the case of nice meals. Most individuals brazenly make enjoyable of it. There are culinary pockets wealthy (Chicago, Minneapolis, Dearborn, to call just a few), however I have been fed too many mushroom cream casseroles to argue towards the performed out stereotype. If two persons are capable of change notion – at the very least in LA – it could possibly be the co-owners, Iowa-born chef Thomas Kalb and LA-born cheese service provider Vanessa Tilaka.

Agnes is not the primary new LA restaurant to dive into Midwestern nostalgia, nevertheless it’s the one one which goes all-in. For Midwestern locals, the sight of issues like buttermilk ranch cheese curd and pet meals on the menu might encourage a textual content to a highschool good friend, “I am at a restaurant in Pasadena that serves rattling pet meals.” Biting into dishes like cornbread eclairs with silky rooster liver mousse and stuffed baked potato dumplings, which style similar to a loaded baked potato, could cause visceral flashbacks. In case you did not develop up within the Midwest, or cannot even level it out for certain on a map, who cares? You’ll nonetheless get extremely scrumptious meals – it doesn’t matter what your private relationship with cornfields and roaring hearth pits is.

Meat and cheese board

There is a cause “Cheesery” is related to Agnes’ official title and since cheese is critical enterprise right here. Decide them up and order a board at first or on the finish of your meal. Vanessa Tilaka’s good curation makes consuming cheese right here what it ought to at all times be – enjoyable. It also needs to be famous that purchasing cheese on the way in which out of a Midwestern restaurant is a typical apply – be it from a Wisconsin cheese chalet or an area household meal. The truth that you are able to do this at Agnes makes for an unabashedly genuine Midwestern expertise.

Cornbread Eclair

There’s rooster liver mousse throughout LA, however just one that is served on a thick cornbread eclair, and that is Agnes’s. Order it. It is candy and buttery and a great begin to your nostalgic journey.

Chicory & stone fruit

Uncooked chicory will be an awesome factor in any dish, however due to the earthy sweetness of nectarines, toasted almonds, goat cheese, and a Dijon French dressing, the extraordinary bitterness is completely balanced

Saffron Cavatelli

All of Agnes’ pastas are distinctive, however our favourite proper now’s the saffron cavatelli with braised lamb. The cavatelli themselves are gentle and barely chewy, nevertheless it’s the wealthy butteriness of the lamb fats gremolata and aged sheep’s cheese that take this dish to a different stage.


Once you step into Agnes, see the scorching range of scorching meat, and do not order a steak, you might have a stage of mind-body management that we are going to by no means obtain. Bathed in an herbaceous garlic butter, that is only a easy, stunning piece of meat and one that you simply undoubtedly cannot break down by yourself.

Tender serve & pet chow

We have already got Agnes’ gentle serve on ours [best ice cream in LA] Directions, in order that speaks for itself. However in the case of toppings choice, pet meals is non-negotiable. Possibly you referred to as it monkey munch or muddy buddies, or possibly you haven’t any thought what we’re speaking about. Both approach, order this chocolate-dusted rice chex snack from the gods.