we've been going to union cattle company in pasadena since they opened - at least 3 or 4 years ago, i think. it's right across the street from where we had our local wedding reception, on delacey avenue in old town. numerous birthdays, various celebrations, and random evenings have been spent there - usually in the big booth right up front behind the hostess, or, when we've got enough people, in the private "johnny cash room" in the back, behind the mechanical bull.
yup, a mechanical bull.
it's a homey, comfy, casual place where we'd often end up when we couldn't think of anywhere else to go (or when we were trying to get in at the last minute and couldn't get a table elsewhere). yummy steaks, salads, and they make a great barbecued shrimp appetizer that's really scrumptious. oh, and did i mention the s'mores?
mmmm. they bring you a platter of graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows on skewers, with a little tabletop "campfire" to roast them on. it's my favorite part of eating here and i've never even tried any of their other desserts, i love it so much.
and last night was no different. we were celebrating BIL's completion of culinary school and decided to hit it up - it's one of his favorite places to go, so we've come to associate BIL's celebrations with a trip to UCC.
when we arrived, the place was packed. but after telling the hostess that no, we didn't have a reservation, but we had a party of 7 plus a baby, she said "i don't have any tables available, but would it be okay if i put you in the johnny cash room?"
um, duh. our own space, away from all the peons? no-brainer, lady.
the only downside this time was that there were a LOT of people back there, around the bull, drinking and carryin' on. so it was loud. the bean had trouble getting settled and unfortunately, she'd skipped a long nap during the day, so she was tired. oops. at least we were with the perfect group for giving her attention - i usually have to pry her away from the ILs whenever they're visiting (not in a bad way - it's actually really sweet). heh. her little ruffled butt got passed from one set of arms to another throughout the course of the meal.
we ordered toasted asparagus rolls - fresh asparagus wrapped in a light dough and served with blue cheese sauce - plus some of that yummy barbecued shrimp, and a rib sampler. it was all good.
for my entree, i had the medallions - two small filets wrapped in bacon (oh, yeah) and topped with two barbecued shrimp and crumbled blue cheese. seriously, how can you possibly go wrong? all it was missing was gravy for it to be perfect. i had some creamed corn and gorgonzola mac & cheese as my sides, and i was quite the happy camper.
until i cut into it and noticed that it was a bit overdone and dry. boo. and we all found out why, when BIL asked our waitress for some steak sauce and her response was:
"i'm really sorry, but we're all out of steak sauce. tonight's our last night here."
our favorite place was CLOSING?? that is wack, yo.
but then we started talking about all the other times we'd been there and realized that it was doomed from the start. all those times we rejoiced in snagging a great table with no wait on a friday night? the very bad location way off of colorado boulevard? and, lastly, the rather poor quality of everyone's entrees. obviously, the cooks didn't give a shit anymore. it was their last night and they were going to be jobless come the next day.
sadness. but there is another location in hermosa beach that's more popular, and when BIL asked if any of the framed johnny cash photos in the room were for sale, she said that everything was going into storage until the owners could find another (hopefully better) spot to re-open.
thanks for the memories, union cattle company. we sure did love ya.