Is It Any Good?

A “Gastropub” in Old Town Pasadena with iffy Air Conditioning.

King's Row Gastropub on Urbanspoon
King's Row on Foodio54

I am about to shred a restaurant.

Yes, shred.

I know. I don’t do it often enough, but some things pass the point of tolerability.

Before I do, let me repeat something I said my…well…my last shredding of Zankou Chicken. Accidents happen in a Restaurant…all too frequently. People moving to and fro, speed being a primary consideration. Stuff happens. A restaurant shouldn’t be penalized for an accident or a mistake.

When a Restaurant does something by design, with intention? Oh, let her rip.

So, let me tell you about my visit to King’s Row in Pasadena, and what they did…by design.

King’s Row is a Gastropub. What does Gastropub mean? It is a place that serves a lot of craft beers and a lot of Burgers and Fries and seem all artisanal and Foodie. That is not a bad thing mind you there a place in the world for people who serve food like that.

…and that’s so not that King’s Row got wrong the night I visited there.

King’s Row is really split into three parts. An outdoor patio, a Game Room-slash-Bar, and the main room.

The Main Room…did not have air conditioning going…for whatever reason.

So now you’re saying…but Is It Any Good, their Air Conditioning was on the Fritz, why is that a reason to shred this otherwise fine establishment?

Oh, let me tell you why.

For some reason, you cannot have a seat at King’s Row, and have someone come up and take your order. You have to go to the Bar...

…the bar…in the Main Room

…the Main Room…with no Air Conditioning

Forget the fact that the Game Room (A room where the Air Conditioning was perfectly functional, with a bar…that no one is working at), forget the fact that going outside at the end of August Heat is a better option than standing in the Main Room.

You have…to go to the Main Room to order food or drink.


And what’s worse? What’s making me absolutely rise to an apocalyptic level of agony?

The Cashier…chatting it up with everybody…as stand there miserable as all get out?

No, I don’t want to watch you give a detailed explanation of the items on the Chalkboard. I don’t want you to tell every single person in line how great everything is. This isn’t the time for a booster club meeting of the all “King’s Row” fan club. It’s the ninth circle of hell and some of us want to leave!

They really, really needed to make an adjustment if this is what happens when the AC goes on the fritz.  That’s all I’m asking.

I don’t even need a profuse apology from the Management, though…those are always welcome.

Just…acknowledge your customer’s agony, and don’t pretend everything’s sunny and rosy.

But if I find out that the AC was not on the Fritz, and that this was somehow the normal state of Operations for this place, then @#$% this. Never again. Never ever again.

Yet, there are people sitting in that Main Room right now, in the stifling heat. The Game Room is mostly unoccupied and, the AC is blowing.

In fact, the AC is blowing so well that they’ve let the door open to the Game Room to let some of the AC into the Main Room.

Why, I don’t do know. If the patrons are that stupid to sit out on in the heat, that’s on them.

And let’s not forget the fact that they’re letting out our precious AC to help the stupid people.

Yeah, can’t recommend. Too many brain dead things happening here for me to recommend. I am sitting here, writing the review live, genuinely pissed off.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: One of those cooling towels? An Environmental Suit with built in air conditioning?

Okay…fine. We’ll talk about the food.

The food was…fine. Nothing to write home about. Nothing to turn your nose up at, either.  It’s fine. I got the Pulled Pork Sandwich and Fries. It’s a perfectly nice, and nicely sized sandwich on a Brioche Bun. The sauce was more Kansas City style, but…as much as I hate Kansas City Barbecue, I’m not going to shred them for this. It was a nice Pulled Pork Sandwich. Pretty much on a par with what they serve at the Golden Road Brewery now. (Though nowhere near as good as the old one, smothered in ground mustard).

The Fries, also fine. Cooked to perfection. Nice and crispy, and soft on the inside. Like I said, perfectly done.

The beer I had was good too, but…damn thing got warm the longer I sat in there. Maybe serving it in an inferno is not the way to go.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Haven’t you been paying attention? (See above).


PARKING: You know how, whenever I’m in Pasadena, I’m always recommending the Schoolhouse Parking Structure? Well, that picture I took of the restaurant was taken from the third floor of guess where? That’s right, the Schoolhouse Parking Structure.

But if you think you can do better (or worse, if the Schoolhouse is full up…which can happen), you can consult our Old Pasadena Parking Guide.


King’s Row
20 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Tel: (626) 793-3010

Monday-Thursday: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am
Friday: 4:00 pm – 2:00 am
Saturday: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Sunday: 11:00 am – 12:00 am