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Pasadena’s burgeoning dining scene continues to heat up with the opening of renowned Los Angeles Chef Mark Peel’s second iteration of his seafood concept, Prawn, on November 13. Located at One Pasadena (16 Miller Alley), Prawn Pasadena will showcase a modern, and accessible menu of seafood options in a fast-casual restaurant environment.
Chef Peel has left his indelible mark on places such as Ma Maison, Michael’s, Chez Panisse, and Spago co-founded La Brea Bakery and his award-winning restaurant, Campanile, a staple Los Angeles culinary destination for more than two decades. In a bold departure from his fine dining legacy, Chef Peel opened his first Prawn location in the historic Grand Central Market (GCM). Like Prawn at GCM, Prawn Pasadena will feature California’s most pristine, locally-sourced seafood and Chef Peel will continue to leverage his seasoned expertise to offer unique dishes that highlight the bounty of the ocean.
“I’ve always loved experimenting with seafood and finding ways to reimagine flavors in a way that speaks to the modern palate,” says Chef Mark Peel, a Pasadena native. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to expand what we have started in Downtown LA and bring it to my hometown of Pasadena where there is so much excitement around the expanding dining scene.”
Elevating their original fast-casual approach, Chef Peel and business partner John Shin will deliver an unpretentious yet delicious menu that celebrates a diverse array of flavors, appealing to a wide range of palates. Utilizing centuries-old pressure cooking technology to capture and steep the flavors, Chef Peel crafts dimensional dishes that are both ingredient- and flavor-forward. Extracting deep flavor, Chef Peel then finishes his dishes in tilting steam kettles, in an evolutionary cooking process that expedites the simmering process and ultimately renders a richer taste and more complex flavors.
The distinctive, seafood-forward menu will include Prawn staple items such as the Thai Lobster Roll, with chunks of Maine lobster stewed in lobster broth with roasted onion, potatoes, and spicy coleslaw and bacon rouille in a soft roll; the Clam Chowder with Kabocha Squash, and the famous Seattle Fish Stew with fresh shrimp, squid, clams, mussels and fresh fish in a house-made lobster broth with spicy rouille served over rice. Prawn Pasadena will also feature several unique menu items such as the Caldo Picante (Spicy Broth) with shrimp and chicken in a spicy shrimp broth with black beans, roasted yams, roasted onions, mustard greens, tomato and okra; the Spicy Scallop with spicy shrimp broth with chili paste, toasted peanuts, roasted onions, kabocha squash and potatoes, served over rice; and the Chilled Shrimp and Crab Soba Noodle Salad with soba noodles, napa cabbage, mustard greens, scallions, toasted peanuts, shiitake mushrooms, kombu and roe with peanut dressing. Rounding out the menu will also be several options for vegetarians and vegans, including a Custom Grain Bowl option where guests can choose from four veggie toppings, with additions at $1 each (Turmeric roasted cauliflower, kabocha squash, roasted broccolini, spiced almonds, stewed chickpeas, roasted shitake mushrooms) served on barley and quinoa tossed in a sorell pesto and garnished with pickled sweet peppers, and a choice of protein at an additional cost (fried egg $1.50, tofu $2.00, spicy chicken breast $2.00, spicy shrimp $2.50). In addition to the signature menu, Prawn Pasadena will also feature a bountiful raw bar with fresh seafood curated by Chef Peel.
Conceptualized in partnership with branding and design agency, The Imagists, the 1,500-square foot restaurant brings together a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere with a simple yet highly recognizable coastal vibe. Central to the design of the space is jade green and white tile work aimed to represent fish scales, while walnut wood tables and countertops provide a warm and contemporary feel. In addition to indoor seating, outdoor dining will also be available on the front and side patio. Walnut covered modular bar seating will highlight the patio and a cozy community courtyard is available for guests who take out.