Not many chefs have managed to use Pasadena as a launching pad, but Bruce Kalman made a big enough bang with his seasonal Italian cooking at Union that he now appears regularly on TV and cooks at multi-chef dinners alongside industry leaders. Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, his latest venture with Marie Petulla, recently landed at downtown’s red-hot Grand Central Market. The space features a sleek red-on-black logo, twin wood counters, and a display case by the register that spotlights the star ingredients: fresh pasta.
Knead prepares three categories of pasta to enjoy on-site or to-go: Corta (Cut), Ripieno (Stuffed), and Al Forno (Oven Baked). Within each category, you’ll find several varieties. So far, my favorite dish features Spelt Cavatelli ($16) with spicy fennel sausage, Koda Farms chickpeas, and rapini. I understand the tiny, chewy tubes are the key, but crumbled sausage takes this dish to another level, with well-spiced pork juices beautifully coating the pasta.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.