Pasadena Star-News

Relaxing at Red

By Maritza Velazquez, Staff Writer

THE PLACE: Red, an upscale restaurant and bar located atop the Pacific Palms Resort in Industry, offers stunning views of the San Gabriel Valley and a venue for those looking for something outside of the Los Angeles nightlife scene.

The outdoor dining area is a refreshing change of pace. My personal favorite part of this unique hot spot is the huge stone fire pit, adjacent to the resort’s Celebration Lake. This fierce addition provides a great area to enjoy some drinks with friends.

While the fire is roaring, customers can take a load off in the comfy wicker seats that surround the circular pit. The water, the views, the fire, the cool breeze on a warm summer night – altogether, it makes you feel as if you’re on vacation.

Cocktail waitresses come around often to take drink and appetizer orders.Inside, bartenders sport professional uniforms – long-sleeved white collared shirts and deep red ties. Most are outgoing and if they’re not too busy, are willing to strike up some good conversation.

Two flat screen televisions behind the bar usually feature sporting events. The beautiful pool table in the bar area also makes for some great entertainment.

THE PRICE: For such a sleek venue, prices are surprisingly moderate. The signature cocktails, the Red Martini and Redgarita (their own versions of the martini and margarita), are each $12 and come with a unique twist. Bartenders stick a small slab of dry ice at the bottom of the glass to create a cool smoking and bubbling effect. My favorite was the Redgarita, made with just the right amount of alcohol. Add the salt around the rim, and it was absolutely delicious.

Bartenders also give you the cocktail shaker so you can top off your drink when you’re done. It’s pretty much the same as getting two drinks for the price of one.

And with no cover charge to get into this brand new establishment, which opened in May, there’s more money left for some appetizers.

THE FOOD: Since I’m a seafood lover, I tried the Fried Calamari and Kumomoto Oysters. The Fried Calamari was nothing to write home about, although I did enjoy one of the three sauces that accompanied this dish – the chili ketchup, which tastes just like sweet and sour sauce.

The oysters, however, were out of this world. They were fresh and came with a red wine dipping sauce. At $18 for six, they’re a little pricey, but then again, what oysters aren’t?

If seafood isn’t your first choice, the bar menu includes an offering of nachos (with choice of steak or chicken for $10), wings (Teriyaki, Sweet Chili, Orange or Szechwan BBQ for $9), or Mac & Cheese Balls with fontino cheese and pomodoro sauce for $7.

THE SOUND: If you’re looking for belting tunes and a loud crowd, you won’t find it here. The music, which consists of a mix of jazz, and some merengue and salsa, provides background to the otherwise quiet bar area. Outside, the volume’s up a bit louder. For live music, come by Thursday nights from 7 to 10 to hear the jazz trio.

THE VIBE: Although the atmosphere is friendly, I wouldn’t recommend Red for those looking to meet new people. Most people keep to themselves; they play pool in pairs or sit around the fire pit chatting.

During one of my visits to Red, a couple of friends and I were making our way to some seats around the pit when a woman quickly trudged past us, clearly trying to beat us to the only three open seats placed next to each other. I guess she didn’t know that the seating here is casual – you may move the seats as you please, even up closer to the fire on a cooler night. We just grabbed a couple of open chairs and pushed them together.

The bathrooms at Red are pristine, unlike a lot of local bars. Not one paper towel was out of place, and each stall features a full-sized door for an entirely enclosed space. There’s even a couple of flat screen TVs over the two over-sized mirrors, ensuring customers are never bored, even when they’re just washing their hands. Even the soap smells great, just like pina colada!

AGE GROUP: The nightlife scene at Red features a mix of customers in their late 20s and older.

GO:

Red Restaurant & Bar

One Industry Hills Parkway

Industry.

(626) 854-2509.

Bar hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

MY RATING: Overall, I’ve had great experiences at Red. The staff is friendly and professional. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a couple drinks after work or a destination spot for a Friday or Saturday night. I give it a 3 for low-key, but it is upscale, sleek and modern, providing an alternative closer to home than downtown. It’s definitely a place I’ll visit again.

maritza.velazquez@sgvn.com

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2303

RATINGS:

5: Really, really hot; 4: Hot; 3: Fun, loose, low pressure; 2: Cool; 1: Just OK.

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