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Dining review: Pasadena's StillRoom Seafood

February 24, 2012|By Lisa Dupuy
  • The grilled swordfish cuban style dish is served with rice and beans at The StillRoom Seafood Restaurant & Lounge in Pasadena. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
The grilled swordfish cuban style dish is served with…

The StillRoom gets its name from the so-called area in grand homes of yore where liquors, medicines, oils and the like were distilled, infused and brewed. It is a fitting name for this charming new addition to the Pasadena fine dining scene not only because it serves cocktails bordering on alchemy and foods that honor nature, but because it's a peaceful spot to be still and escape the world outside.

Tucked in the corner of a mini-mall at Glenarm and Marengo, the StillRoom beckons diners with a stylish shingle and surprises those that enter with a warm, romantic ambience. Vintage lamps, furniture and objets d'art create a living room feel. A red leather couch sits smack dab in the middle of bustling tables so that those waiting to be seated feel like their dining experience has already begun, especially with a drink in hand from their impressive wood and marble bar. They offer twists on the classics at the bar. The Stilltini ($14) is a vodka martini with Lillet and Chase Elderflower liqueur added. Kick it up a notch and try it “hot & dirty” style with fresh jalapeños and olive juice. The L.A. Thymes ($14) is a refreshing take on a Manhattan with cucumber, ginger syrup and fresh thyme.

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The food at the StillRoom is fish-forward but with a few meat and vegetarian options. Highly recommended are their raw seafood selections. We were presented with a dazzling display of raw and chilled clams, oysters, mussels, crab legs and crayfish. The house-made horseradish added a nose-cleansing punch to the super fresh shellfish. This was a special item offered on their Valentine's Day prix-fixe menu, but normally they offer Little Neck and Cherry Stone Clams as well as a daily selection of oysters. The trio of baked oysters my sweetheart chose off the Valentine's prix-fixe menu warmed the cockles of our hearts.

The salads were unique and full of natural flavor, one with edible flowers and grilled asparagus, the other with arugula, grilled artichoke and hearts of palm. Normally they serve an arugula and raw fennel salad with local honey vinaigrette ($9), which I'm guessing is equally divine.

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