Craft Hill Pasadena - Craft is in the Name and in the Menu

Craft food and craft cocktails are on the menu of the aptly named Craft Hill restaurant, which is quickly becoming the preeminent name in dining when it comes to all things craft in Pasadena. Freshness and unique flavors are the epicenter of this menu, and you can taste it in each bite and each drink of everything that is created from these craftmasters.

Veal Bone Marrow

The west coast has become something of a celebrity chef driven dining experience, but simply because you don't know the name of the chef before you walk through the door doesn't mean they can't cook. The craft in Craft Hill begins in the kitchen with Chef Gilda Giddens-Sanchez. Chef Gilda has been honing her craft right in Los Angeles, and despite the fact that she may not have traveled the world herself, she has been learning from chefs who are from and have been all over the world. She brings that diverse cooking experience to Craft Hill. Chef Gilda takes advantage of the freshest locally sourced ingredients and incorporates them in the best possible way by crafting everything in her own kitchen, including the handmade pasta.

Deviled Avocado

The appetizer menu goes well beyond the typical items that you might usually start your meal with. The veal bone marrow is one of the most flavorful dishes you will find anywhere. The bone marrow is filled with in-house-made salsa Verde, and it makes for a dynamic pairing. Bone marrow is a true delicacy, combining richness and a slight fattiness in a velvety texture to create a very powerful flavor profile. If you have not tried bone marrow before, don’t be intimidated by the name; this dish, combined with the fresh salsa Verde, could be the highlight of any meal. Another winner is the blackberry pork belly, where the flavors are once again paired beautifully. The heaviness and fatty flavors of the tender pork belly are offset nicely by the sweetness of the pork belly – and I would recommend this dish be paired with an IPA from the vast beer selection from Craft Hill, as the bitterness from this type of beer will really bring all of the flavors together. You might not make it to the main course with this many good appetizers, but you can't leave Craft Hill without trying the deviled avocado. This is a completely unique taste combination: you have a simple avocado, overflowing with Peruvian ceviche, and then, using fresh, crisp plantain chips, you scoop the flavors together, crafting together flavor and texture.

Baby Artichokes

Craft Hill also has created a salad that epitomizes the California flavor with the Bloomsdale. At first glance this salad looks heavy on dressing, but it has an extremely light poppy seed dressing and the fresh ingredients of spinach, strawberries and orange really shine through, creating a light and refreshing experience.

Bloomsdale Salad

There is no need to go to an Italian restaurant if you are in the mood for pasta. Craft Hill’s egg yolk pappardelle is as good as you will find anywhere. These thick and hearty noodles are so fresh you really can enjoy the egg flavor and delicacy that can only come from a pasta that was made moments before being served to you. The pasta makes a perfect companion to the locally foraged and lightly sautéed mushrooms. Craft Hill always has a unique fresh market fish of the day, which they also feature in their fisherman's stew. The stew showcases a wonderful saffron tomato broth that is then loaded with mussels and clams to give you an all-encompassing seafood experience.

Egg yolk pappardelle

While the rest of the menu is so enticing you might be inclined to gloss over the pizza, don't. Craft Hill has a classic pizza oven, and with their fresh dough, they are able to produce some masterpieces, including their spicy sausage pizza. The pizza has a light, doughy texture and is topped with house made sausage and then covered with beautiful, slightly edgy, spicy Calabria peppers. Sharing a pizza among the table is a great way to give this a try.

Spicy Sausage Pizza

From pizza to steak and soft crab, or a build your own burger from everyday ingredients, all the way up to bison, you are going to have to study this menu a long time to make decisions on what to eat with all of these choices.

Peruvian ceviche

The craft and creativity is not limited to the food: the cocktail menu is loaded with fresh ingredients, unique beers and one of the best mixology programs around. The uniqueness of the cocktail program has to begin with a cocktail that is actually over 150 years old, the "Sucker Punch." This is a take on the English Punch Milk that was named by Esquire Magazine as the cocktail of the year in 2014. In 2015 Jason Yu decided it wasn't quite perfect, so he did his own take on the classic cocktail, and hence the "Sucker Punch" was born. This cocktail takes three days of love to craft, and what you wind up with is quite simply one of the smoothest and flavorful cocktails you will ever taste, as you get the richness of the rum and cognac with the slight creaminess of the milky concoction that takes 72 hours to create. Just be a little careful, this cocktail goes down so easy you might forget what a wallop it packs. While the cocktail list is full of many tasty creations, the best part of Craft Hill might be that the bartenders are so talented you simply need to give them a flavor profile and they can whip up a unique and tasty cocktail on the spot.

Sucker Punch

In addition to Pasadena, you can find Craft Hill in Monrovia and West Covina, and all three locations feature a variety of gluten free and vegetarian dishes. If you need something more than just amazing food, Craft Hill also has a great night of karaoke, and delivers some terrific live and local bands, making this a must visit for so many reasons.

Regardless of what your palate is drawn to, after one visit you are likely going to add Craft Hill to your list of must go to restaurants. Craft Hill gives you so many reasons to visit and so many flavors to try, and it is just one of those places that, while the food and drinks are spectacular, they have crafted a setting and experience that is just as good as the food and drinks themselves.

For more information visit: Craft Hill

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