Pasadena’s “Pop” Falls Flat


Being that I had the day off, Carina and I worked on some business at school for about 4 or 5 hours. Like the relentless party goers that we are, we headed into the night and frequented a few local hotspots.

We started off at Burbank Bar and Grille, where a co-worker of mine was having her going away party. We talked some witty banter while we dined. Carina had a tuna melt, which I suspect she was un-impressed by because she made no note of it. Carina is quite the expert when it comes to tuna melts; she orders it every opportunity she gets. I had the honey chicken brie burger, which was far from stellar, but hey it was a mere 10 bucks. We also came to a couple of conclusions that night when I happened to be wearing an “Army” shirt while she was wearing a tie-dye one (I swear it wasn’t planned). In reality, she is the BlackBerry and I am the iPhone. She is also onion rings while I am the french fries and yet we still feed one another.


We proceeded into Pasadena where we picked up our lively and busty friend, Morgan, and went on into the Pasadena night. We thought we’d try a new place I had never been to before, Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar. Carina had tried it once but wasn’t thrilled about it, while she liked the Happy Hour Bellinis was not impressed the poor quality prosciutto. However, in uncouth gourmands style we thought we’d give it a second shot. When we got there the place was about half full, the music not too loud, backdrop was nice, and the rows and rows of glowing champagne flutes sparkled with bubbly pop. We were further convinced of the joint when we encountered a very attentive bartender who despite the busy night spent a good amount of time educating us on the (sparkling) wine selection. Carina even nominated him for our “Pasadena Fav Bartender” award which was left oh so vacant by Brian, of Lucky Baldwins, when he moved to Atlanta. (note: fear not he’ll be back in July!) At any rate, we were having a good time. We then started handing out our famous napkins to several recipients.



So was Pop good? Not quite. I had a bellini which was sweet but just alright. And the flight of pinks I had were cheap and awful. The prices? Not very recessionary. About an hour or so into the visit, the manager/owner, Kristin, came up to Morgan and said “Can you tell your friend to stop soliciting our customers?” Morgan responded, “Are you serious?” While holding back her smirk she said, “Yes”. What a nasty lady! I wasn’t so angry as I was let down that this cool space was soured by one person – and the person in charge no less. We got our stuff together and paid our bill, over $80 for 3 flights, and 4 bellinis. As we were leaving I handed Kristin our napkin which read:

“We may write about you. Thanks for the ambiance”

So Kristin, here we are! Or better yet, here you are. The center of Pasadena’s food blogging paradise. I hope that given this economy and your un-recessionary prices you start treating everyone with the same amount of respect as you do your “regulars” which you so kindly engaged with while we were there. Also perhaps you should also take a look at the open email that was sent to you on Yelp by Tim E. that I read this morning.

Bottom line: Thumbs down! I’d think long and hard before ever coming back. I think an apology should be in order. The reason you were speaking to Morgan was because strangers were coming up to Carina talking about restaurants in San Gabriel and there was a whole group on their iPhones looking up the site and asking me questions about the content. If you own a bar, you should be used to people interacting and pick your battles. You turned what could have been very positive cross promotion into negative press, not smart.

We headed to Barney’s for last call and a better presence of people. Barney’s never disappoints. Plus, we ran into the king of Pasadena Nightlife, The Captain. One thing is for certain he will remain a Pasadena presence for far longer than Pop.


Lastly, I’d like to address the “funny guy” whom I suspect was at Pop and while ogling over our breasts decided to write a VERY distasteful comment here on Uncouth Gourmands. I’m not going to approve it because while he is absolutely entitled to his opinion, this is OUR space and I don’t appreciate the disrespect to undermine our intelligence and bust size. I tried to write to the email address you listed, however, I see you chose the cowardly route and the e-mail was undeliverable. A small note to you and your smallness:

The blog is a launchpad to something bigger, of which I cannot disclose due to legal reasons. Contrary to what you may think, we ARE cool and you will see more of us, unlike the untactful halfway decent likes of you. Thanks again and sorry you were UNABLE to enjoy the blog, let alone understand the name it bears. The Los Angeles Times and EatingLA seem to think we’re noteworthy.

Best regards,




  1. Josie is correct, I do love tuna melts but sometimes I just order them because I know she is allergic to seafood and won’t be able to steal any of my sandwich when she tricks me into looking the other direction.

    Currently my favorite tuna sandwich in LA is the one at Home

  2. […] during DineLA week, so may talk the wife (aka Josie) into revisiting there. We recommend skipping Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar, our last visit left us with a very bad […]

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