Last night, Michelle Minch of Moving Designs and I had a fun evening tasting the DineLA menu at Maison Akira in Pasadena. This was my first time at Maison Akira located on Green Street in the Arcade Lane center. I was really looking forward to this evening since the reviews of this restaurant have always been stellar.
With expectations high, I parked at the Arcade Lane parking lot (one hour is validated by the restaurant and then it’s $1.80 for each additional hour) and walked into the cozy restaurant divided into small, private rooms. The decor was a bit overbearing for my taste, but the staff was welcoming and the food was absolutely spectacular.
There is definitely a reason why Chef Akira was voted Chef of the Year by the Southern California French Chef Association and had one of the most successful French restaurants in Japan. After studying with the renowned Chef Joel Robuchon and working at Maxim’s in Paris, Chef Akira is using his culinary and presentation skills to make the food sing.
Each plate was meticulously and perfectly presented by the staff, who by the way, were very attentive.
The starter was not part of the DineLA menu, but was brought out compliments of the chef – Tofu Patty with Pesto Sauce. Now… I can eat this type of tofu any day. It tasted like a very delicate crab cake filled with mushrooms and edamame with some greens on top. A great combination of flavors!
Both Michelle and I chose the Sautéed Hokkaido Scallops with Shimeji Mushrooms in a Yuzu Kosho Jus. Scallops were perfectly grilled and melted in my mouth – served on a piping hot plate. The sauce was a surprise… a hint of unexpected spiciness.
For the main course, I had the Maple Leaf Duck Breast Rôti with Sauce à L’Orange and Daikon Pot au Feu with Shiitake Mushrooms. Loved, loved, loved the duck. It had just the right skin crispness, salted to perfection and I finished every last bite. The orange sauce was not overwhelming and absolutely delish. I’m ready for another night of duck! Just remembering it is making me hungry.
Michelle ordered Angus Beef Château Steak in a Cabernet & Béarnaise Sauce with Gratin of Potato & Oyster Mushroom Sympatic. Delish!
For dessert, Michelle had the crepes with baked bananas that magically disappeared from her plate in minutes along with a side of caramel ice cream. I tried the Vanilla Yuzu Cream Brûlée which honestly was my only disappointment. It was a overpoweringly lemony for me. However, probably a good thing since I really did not need any more calories after the all the gourmet offerings I had.
Overall review an A+! Highly recommend going to Maison Akira especially to celebrate a special occasion. And, this wraps up Day 266 of 365 Things To Do In Pasadena.
713 E Green St
Pasadena, California 91101
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