Almost every neighborhood in California holds an undiscovered gem, a place that only locals know about and keep close to their heart. One can discover such a place in Old Tow Pasadena. Like many old towns, Pasadena is a tight, colorful maze with small boutiques, designer stores and family owned restaurants.


Almost every neighborhood in California holds an undiscovered gem, a place that only locals know about and keep close to their heart. One can discover such a place in Old Tow Pasadena. Like many old towns, Pasadena is a tight, colorful maze with small boutiques, designer stores and family owned restaurants. When strolling on the passageways behind Colorado Boulevard, one can stumble upon special treats.

Look no further than the corner of Raymond Avenue and Green Street. There rests Red White + Bluezz, Pasadena’s hottest local venue for jazz, wine and fine dining.

“It is a wine bar, but different. The music and the food works together, they complement each other,” said executive chef, Bryan Hankins. He mastered Le Cordon Bleu, the distinctively French style of cooking at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, only a few blocks away from PCC.

Eight Le Cordon Blue graduates work at Red White + Bluezz. They are all youngsters, ranging in ages from 19 to 26. “We are all ambitious and we are all young, with a collective understanding of the specific standards cuisine is measured by,” Hankins said.

Hankins created a menu featuring some of the most innovative American food, such as a Vanilla-Lime Drizzled Watermelon Salad, a Grafton Cheddar-smothered Snake River Farms Kobe Beef Burger, and Paprika Crusted Colorado Venison Tenderloin.

“The presentation of the food is creative and extraordinary, while the taste is spectacular and imaginative. For sure we will be back,” agreed Cindy Corcione and Aracely Cedelstein from Culver City. It was their first dining experience at the “high energy,” according to them, restaurant. The girls wandered around Pasadena’s streets on a Friday night when stumbled upon Red White + Bluezz.

Katrina Alameda, a PCC pre-law student from San Diego, has waited tables at Red White + Bluezz ever since she moved to Los Angeles. She talks passionately about the atmosphere of the place and the people frequenting.

“Some of the best-known jazz musicians come here to jam. This place is always packed. Our clients are old and young, business executives, students, house wives; with one thing in common. They all have the appreciation for good things in life,” Alameda explained.

Aside from the award-winning meals, Red White + Bluezz offers several special experiences.

The exclusive “Jazz Club” features Jazz performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays with no cover charge. Sunday through Wednesday evenings, the live music continues in the front “Grill” dining room, capping a rare offering of live jazz every night.

“Brunch and All that Jazz” on Sundays bring together live Jazz, vintage champagnes, signature cocktails and a cutting edge menu.

Another unique feature of the restaurant’s activities are the “Flight School” gatherings. Sommelier Russ Meek leads regionally focused pairings of food and wine tasting.

“Meek is an exceedingly pleasant and knowledgeable person who is in constant contact with every patron to ensure their complete satisfaction with their experience,” said Joaquin Santos, long time Red, White and Bluezz guest and wine enthusiast.

Wednesday night experiences rotate weekly between hosting non-profit charity events to assist the area’s local causes, “Taste of the World” teamed tasting dinners with international flavors, and wine tasting classes.

Red White and Bluezz is more than a restaurant. It is a place where the Pasadena community gets together to appreciate fine things in life: food, vine and music.

Cheese sampler plate offered at Red White + Bluezz. The eatery doubles as a wine bar and a local jazz destination. (Christina Demirchyan)

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