Magnolia House Ups the Cocktail Game in Pasadena

By Lesley Balla  |  October 21, 2014

Pasadena isn't necessarily known for its cocktail game, especially on the chain-riddled South Lake Avenue district. But the Magnolia House is about to change that. Completely overhauled by brothers Chris and John Bicos, who also own Gus's BBQ in South Pasadena and The Original Tops in East Pasadena, the indoor-outdoor space is a perfect bungalow setting for sipping unique cocktails and snacking on globally inspired eats like Korean chicken wings and loukoumades, Greek honey-drenched donuts. Like the Craftsman homes around it, the courtyard is shaded by a huge leafy tree, while inside the dining room is a mishmash of benches and chairs, comfy sofas, a little bit of brass, and a nice big bar in the back. Bar bites come courtesy chef Kyu Yi, who works with the other Bicos' concepts, and cocktails come from Evan Zimmerman, most recently at Portland's The Woodsman and Laurelhurst Market. Zimmerman is pulling out the big guns for this spot, creating drinks like the Smoking Dragon with Genever, Cherry Herring, lapsang souchong tea and bitters, or the Lumberjack's Breakfast, a very autumnal sipper with scotch, Applejack, cardamom and maple syrup. This place could almost double as your own living room...just with better drinks and food. 

492 S. Lake Ave.; 626-584-1126