33 E Union St
Pasadena, CA 91103
Parking: Colorado Blvd-adjacent lots and meters (we found $10 all-day parking)
Drink Deals: $4-6 specialty champagne cocktails, $5 house white, red, & sparkling wines, $3-6 beer selections
Food deals: Food bites from $3.20-8
A couple years back, one of my oldest pals, TeePee, took me to a fantastic champagne bar on a cold night in the Windy City. We had a great time catching up on life and enjoying Framboise Lambic (I know, not champagne, but kinda bubbly!). I wondered where LA’s fun champagne bars were and recently found my answer… Pop Champagne & Dessert Bar in Pasadena!!
I think Pops in Chicago has Pop in Pasadena beat on lounge-style coziness since Pop in Pasadena is set up more like a typical restaurant with a bar area, but mostly seated tables, but Pop is still worth a stop in Pasadena!
Nicandrew and I had already hit NeoMeze, the Cheesecake Factory, and Ixtapa when we realized we had one hour left for Happy Hour. Naturally, we liked the sound of a night-ending champagne and dessert bar and so headed slightly north to find Pop on Union. Like my trip in Chicago, Pop offered a cozy respite from a chilly evening. Nicandrew & I found a table and set forth perusing the fun Happy Hour champagne options.
For my first round, I ordered the Almond Joy ($6), which sounded like it would either be really awesome or really not-so-good with its mix of Amaretto, sparkling wine, and Moscato d’Asti. Luckily it was more the former – a really different blend with a definite almond undertone and light bite! Nic and I also tried the can’t-go-wrong mimosa ($4) & bellini ($4) and Nic also enjoyed the sparkling Margarita ($6) made with Agave, wine, triple sec, sparkling wine and sour mix. I typically tend to drink pretty fast and so was a little concerned that I’d finish my drinks too quickly – but the drinks really were sippers with their unique flavors and in the fluted glasses.
We were still pretty stuffed from our Happy Hour Tour, but had enough room left for Nicandrew to try the $8 prosciutto-wrapped shrimp while I went for the Brie Toast with Chardonnay-soaked raisins for $4.80. My toast took a little longer to prepare than one might expect, but it was very, very tasty. The sweet chardonnay-raisin blend was perfect with the crostini and brie, but the raisins were a bit much for my tastes, so I just enjoyed the sauce and left my raisins in a pile on the plate :).
The bar’s vibe was very upscale, chill & classy; this would be a great date spot for a guy to show his sensitive good-listener side or for a gal-pal catch-up session. Also of note, we hear that their Speakeasy Sunday night is a good one – come in after 8pm with a special password posted on Twitter and Facebook and you get to sample mystery champagnes for $5! Who doesn’t love a tasty mystery?!
Rating: 4 Martinis