Last night (only a few hours ago), we went to a new wine bar called Vertical in Old Town Pasadena — it is where the Burning Leaf used to be, upstairs on Raymond, just north of Union on the east side of the street. The interior is very nicely done — a mix of couches, leather seats, tables, and the bar with a big screen TV mounted on the wall. The dining area is separated from the lounge, and looked like it was laid out well also.
There is no shortage of wine there — over 400, including 20 flights, and numerous glasses available for your choosing. I had the Australian Shiraz, the Cotes-du-Rhone, and the Spanish Tempranillo as my flights for the evening. We also sampled some of the food, which was excellent — the pulled pork (recommend), grilled salmon, and the charcuterie (salami, sopressata, and lomo). I’m looking forward to trying some other items next time that looked good — beef brisket, braised pork ribs, fried risotto, etc.
Afterwards, we walked over to the new Barney’s Beanery, where Classic Q’s used to be. I’ve been to the one in W Hollywood many years ago, but never to this one. It was actually quite nice inside — large bar and seating area, 2 small pool tables, a foosball table, and some arcade games were on the first floor. I don’t know what they have upstairs or downstairs, since it was closed, but imagine more of the same. They have a huge alcohol menu — many bottled beer from around the world, not to mention the usual hard liquor selection. I had the Windhoek, which I don’t recall having since I had one in S Africa several years ago.
After playing pool, having some Patron, and engaging in stimulating conversation, we closed down the place — don’t remember the last time I did that, especially on a Thursday night.