713 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91101
A friend is moving to Boston and I wanted to take her to lunch one last time before she leaves. So, I asked her to pick a restaurant and she told me that Maison Akira is a French restaurant with a Japanese flair and only serves lunch once a week, Fridays. So we met at Maison Akira and I enjoyed one of the best meals I've ever had and got to spend time with a friend, before her move!!
I got the Special Bento Box, $22.50- Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass and Mixed Vegetables with Sautéed Scallop, with Wasabi Potato Mousseline, Tuna Tartare, Dungeness Crab Cake, a Cup of Soup du Jour or Miso Soup & Shrimp Chawanmushi.
The soup was butter nut squash and I loved it. Nice and creamy with a good balanced flavor.
Now onto the other part of the bento box. The sauteed scallops had a perfect sear, was fresh, and well seasoned. The chef could give seafood restaurants lessons on how to sauteed scallops. The wasabi potato mousseline was like a more creamy, finer mashed potatoes. It was perfect complement to the perfectly seared scallops.
The dungeness crab cake was really a crab mousse. But, a very good crab mousse with good flavors and good amount of crab.
Tuna tartar was very fresh, with a nice flavor and texture.
But, now onto the best part of the meal, the miso marinated Chilean sea bass!! WOW, this was so good!! It was cooked perfectly and just so buttery and melted in my mouth. Yes, Chilean sea bass is a very good fish, but a poor chef can quickly turn this into a bad tasting dish. But, a great chef can make this the best fish dish I have ever had. I will be back here for dinner soon and of course I'm will order the Chilean sea bass.
Service for lunch was below average. Our server was just going through the motions and wasn't friendly or helpful at all. She came to our table and just asked if we were ready to order. Hello, nothing about what the bento box of the day was? Nothing about what we wanted to drink? She was barely came around and when she was around, she wasn't that helpful.
Besides the service, I have no problems going back to Maison Akira.
Update June 24, 2013
Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass, $35.
So, I finally make it back to Maison Akira for the full order of the Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass. What a treat!! Melt in your mouth goodness. The quinoa was perfectly cooked, but the other sides left a lot to be desired.
Service was better, but I hate servers asking loaded questions; Everything is good, right? WTF is that. How is everything? is a much better answer.