Breaking Basque: Jonathan Gold Raves About Ración’s Pintxos

Pasadena's Racion
Pasadena's Racion Photo: Racion

Pasadena restaurant critic Jonathan Gold susses out San Sebastian-style pintxos in a “revelation” of a Basque restaurant on Green Street. Waving away the family-style glories of Bakersfield’s Basque scene, he squeals in delight to find three Txakolinas on the wine menu at Loretta Peng’s Ración, alongside chef Teresa Montaño’s forward menu of Basque-inspired tapas like lamb meatballs, sliced tongue with pickled scallions, cured duck, and “gooey” croquetas, as well as other regional dishes like beer-braised pulpo, kinda meh paella with “mushy” prawns, and a “rather good” fideua. He compares the owner-chef team’s outsider obsessions with Basque cooking to Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel’s embrace of Italy and The Too Hot Tamales’ adoration of Mexico, claiming, “Ración is not yet at that level, nor may it ever be,” while promising, “But it seemed real.” [LAT]