Captained by executive chef Sean Poplar, Barbarella’s kitchen dishes out a seasonal menu of highly sophisticated, eclectic cuisine. When possible, dishes contain local, organic, and hormone-free ingredients sure to please carnivores, herbivores, and their hybrid omnivore offspring. Start off a supper with a rich burrata bruschetta loaded with prosciutto and sun-dried tomato pesto ($11) or a satisfyingly savory hummus with teriyaki mushrooms and hot loaves of pita ($11). Protein-packed platters, such as a braised short rib with crispy polenta and brussels sprout chips ($15) or Pacific salmon with rice cake, shitake mushrooms, and ponzu ($15), stifle deafening belly roars, and veggie dishes such as the mushroom risotto with shaved scallions and truffle oil ($8) lightly tickle the appetite into a blissful slumber. An assortment of pizzas, including a delicious discus topped with chicken sausage and parmesan reggiano ($16), are created using egg-free dough whipped up by Barbarella’s cooks in-house, not in the car on the way to the restaurant.
Situated in the basement of the Union Savings Bank Building, the oldest standing building in Old Town Pasadena, Old Town Haunt reopens the building's spooky catacombs for tours steeped in haunted history. The underground maze delivers hair-raising thrills with a cast of creepy characters, closed-quarters darkness, and grandpas holding flashlights under their chins. Adrenaline junkies can leave their autos at nearby park-and-walk garages with up to 90 minutes of free parking before cars become possessed by wayward spirits.
What was once the personal collection of Pasadena residents Bob and Arlene Oltman is now a three-story institution with more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space. The Pasadena Museum of California Art features art, architecture, and design from all over the state and aims to explore cultural issues that are unique to California.
At the helm of Equilibrium Fitness' studio is Annabelle Rosemurgy, an equestrian and former Olympic athlete whose performances required enough core strength to pull off a handstand atop her horse during competitions. In her studio, she helms a team of certified instructors that leads a host of amped up Pilates routines and RealRyder indoor cycling classes.
Fifty five-minute SPX Pilates classes initiate novices into the intense practice, designed to keep on incinerating calories hours after the sessions end. The studio’s bread and butter, however, are the SPX and Systeme Dynamique classes—variations on the Pilates method—that use circuit training to target extra weight in the hips and thighs and isolate muscle groups all over the body to sculpt, tone, burn fat, and increase flexibility. Even the studio's indoor cycling sessions target core muscles, strengthen the upper body, and torch calories, getting legs pumping on RealRyder bikes that allow riders to steer and lean, simulating the real cycling experience of avoiding potholes and the maneating Sarlaccs that live inside them.
Teeming with curios and game-changing treasures, The Folk Tree specializes in the one-of-a-kind work of artisans and craftspeople from Mexico and cultures around the world. Dress up desks, end tables, and museum-quality cinder blocks with wooden carvings, clay figurines, pottery, and other objects d'art made with expert craftsmanship and high-level sorcery. Memorialize beloved armadillos of your childhood with an elaborately painted carving from the family of Pedro Ramirez ($68.50 and up), or make conversations with your walls seem normal by decorating them with coconut masks ($16.50). Shadow boxes ($26.50 and up) integrate three-dimensional tableaus and written text to satirical effect, and black-clay lanterns (starting at $9.50) combine an alluring sheen with tamed fire. T-shirts are also available to help keep customers as artfully ornamented as their décor.
Payke Gymnastics Academy's teachers foster human motion from the basics of childhood coordination to the aerial athletic feats performed on rings, mats, and springboards. One-hour classes gather aspiring acrobats once a week to train and sweat beneath the space's vast, vaulted ceiling. Tots and tot-wranglers tumble through trust exercises on the padded floors during Parent and Me courses, and ripening youngsters in KinderGym acquire basic skills for using competitive equipment, building strength, and dishing acceptable Olympic smack talk.