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  • CROSSINGS 20140606_165147_resized

    You have heard the whispers…  Well, it is time to make your reservations at Crossings before the impending roar.  This new South Pasadena restaurant is about to become a destination.

    Crossings, located at 1010 Mission Street in South Pasadena, will not remain a whisper much longer.  Proprietor Patrick Kirchen, Chef Lalo Sanchez and General Manager Matthew Coleman have created an excuse to stay local when looking for a quality dining experience.  In fact, they have created such a quality dining experience, it is sure to attract patrons from all over Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley.  Crossings is located adjacent to the Mission Street Gold Line Station, but that should not stop the local residents from claiming this gem as their own.

    Patrick Kirchen lives locally.  After a successful career working for some of the areas finest restaurants (The Arroyo Chop House and La Grande Orange to name just a couple) he felt the timing was right to finally fulfill his own dream.  While Patrick was working at The Chop House and Lalo was at The Parkway Grill, they had the opportunity to discuss different menus,  wine pairings and operational standards over several years   If ever afforded the opportunity, they had developed a solid vision as the framework.

    That opportunity presented itself after Patrick and his wife were walking down Mission Street last year.  They happened upon a for lease sign in the window of 1010 Mission Street.  Anyone familiar with that building prior to the opening of Crossings would be hard pressed to realize its potential.  But, Patrick had a vision.  To say the property needed work is an understatement.  A load bearing wall would have to be removed.  The second floor would have to be raised to accommodate the wine cellar that would be required.  After long hours and buckets of debris, Crossings started to take shape.  As the general layout was formed, Patrick called upon the artistic assistance of Tamara Kaye-Honey, with House of Honey to complete the look.

    When you enter Crossings. you immediately realize that you are in store for a special evening.  Downstairs there is an open kitchen, a quaint bar and spacious seating inside and in the rear patio.  Crossing does not force as many seats as possible in any one area and you can feel the open space around.  A staircase leads you upstairs, past quirky collections of trinkets, to another bar and more comfortable seating with a view.  The ambiance changes from downstairs, to the patio and again upstairs,  each creating another reason to come back again for a different experience.

    The décor and open kitchen will make your mouth water upon your entrance.  Once you sit down to your table, your evening is really about to begin.  Patrick, Lalo and Matthew’s time spent going over menus, wines and operations becomes strikingly apparent and makes for a memorable evening. The staff is well trained and professional.  They know Lalo’s menu intimately and are ready to help you pair the proper wine with any entrée.

    When speaking with Lalo, you can feel his passion for the philosophy surrounding the food he serves.  Crossings may concentrates on seafood, but any palate will be pleased.  The menu was developed around only the freshest seasonal and sustainable offerings available.  In fact, Crossings also was quick to capitalize on the weekly Farmers Market located just steps away each Thursday.  Inspired by the Farmers Market, Lalo has presents a Market Salad totally based upon selections from the Farmers Market.

    As an example, I was fortunate to be offered an appetizer I might not normally choose.  Since peaches were in season, Lalo brought me his Peaches and Burrata Salad.  He slightly grilled the fresh peaches and paired them with a divine creamy burrata (similar to a mozzarella), prosciutto, arrugula and perfectly dressed with a balsamic dressing.  The combination of the sweet, savory and peppery arrugula was heavenly.

    I wanted to try both a seafood offering and something that meat lovers might enjoy.  Lalo first brought me out one of his specialties, the Striped Bass.  The generous portion of precisely cooked bass was served over a white bean and zucchini ragout that seemed to marry together perfectly.  The addition of the charred tomatoes and pesto only made for a meal I would like to return for and try another seating area only to see if the change in ambiance could possibly make it better.  I was next introduced to the Kurabuta Pork Chop.  This thick cut pork chop, served over dumplings, perfectly prepared endives and a Szechwan reduction was simply amazing.  The reduction works so well with the pork chop, I ate every bite even after my previous entrée.

    While the servers are intimately aware of pairing wines from their extensive wine collection (which focuses of California selections but branches out to Argentina, Chile and beyond), I decided to accept an offer from the Bartender.  Damian uses his knowledge of spirits and patience to create unique cocktail offerings.  With the addition of age old recipes and 30 days in a seasoned oak barrel, he creates various cocktails as another option for your dining experience.  I was introduced to The Aviation.  Upon entering I should have expected this little surprise twist, but it was definitely one of the many reasons that will bring me back again.

    Patrick is often asked what inspired the name Crossings.  He is often quick to say the simple answer lies in their proximity to the Mission Street Gold Line Station.  He is more than aware that people will associate the name and even take advantage of the stop.  But, as you might expect, a vision developed over years has a more philosophical and inspirational meaning.  As Patrick told me, Crossings is more about “crossing our lives, our food and the people that come to eat here.  The train just happens to be there.”  So, it is time to make your crossing to Crossings before the whisper you have heard becomes a roar.  This restaurant is sure to become a destination.

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        • Simple BBQ Ribs

          “Country-style ribs are cut from the loin, one of the leanest areas of pork. These ribs are seasoned, boiled until tender, then baked with your favorite barbeque sauce. That’s it! Back to simplicity, back to the country life. Sigh.”

          Ingredients

          Original recipe makes 4 servingsChange Servings
          2 1/2 pounds country style pork ribs
          1 tablespoon garlic powder
          1 teaspoon ground black pepper
          2 tablespoons salt
          1 cup barbeque sauce

          Directions

          Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Season with garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Bring water to a boil, and cook ribs until tender.
          Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
          Remove ribs from pot, and place them in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour barbeque sauce over ribs. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature of pork has reached 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).