Let's play a game.
I'll say a word, and you say the first word that pops into your mind.
Bonnie . . .
Romeo . . .
Cheech . . .
If you said Clyde, Juliet and Chong, then you're battin' a thousand.
Now let's try it with food.
Soup and . . .
Chips and . . .
Milk and . . .
Did you say sandwich, dip and cookies? You're brilliant.
Now let's move on to champagne. This one's a little tougher. Caviar? Truffles? Mac 'n' cheese? (Don't knock that last one 'til you've tried it.)
If you didn't think of dessert, then you need to join me at POP, the new champagne and dessert bar in Pasadena. It's a pairing so perfect that it makes chips and dips seem like ice cream and pickles.
I attended Pasadena Magazine's "40 Under 40" event at POP last night and loved the chic San Francisco vibe, the loft meets old money look and the free flowing bubbly and sweets. Each miniature dessert, from the macarons to the macaroons, was one perfect bite.
Desserts on the regular menu, full-size and made in-house, are out of the ordinary - chilled strawberry and rosemary consomme or roasted lavender strawberries with creme fraiche. These sound lovely, but I'm always a sucker for a good souffle.
I'm also a push over for a good deal, and POP has that during their Wednesday through Sunday happy hour from 5 to 7 pm. Bellinis, mimosas and draft beer are $4.00 and appetizers are 20% off. On Wednesdays, the Veuve (my current favorite) is $10 a glass all night long.
In spite of the name, POP also serves up simple savories - appetizers, soups or salads, and daily chef specials - for lunch or dinner.
The most enticing item on the menu falls under dinner appetizers. The "Room Service for Mr. Lewis" (plucked from a scene from "Pretty Woman") offers two glasses of Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir sparkling wine and local organic strawberries for $19.
Sounds like a perfect pairing for a perfect pair.
(What's your perfect pair?)
POP Champagne and Dessert Bar
33. E. Union St.
Pasadena, CA (between Raymond and Fair Oaks)
Update 1: If you go for Happy Hour, a note of caution about the 20% off on appetizers. Only four items qualify for the discount. Other appetizer-like foods, such as cheese or pate plates or miniature flatbread pizzas, don't make the cut.
Update 2: I just read in Pasadena NOW that Emily Earhart is the pastry chef at POP. Emily was in my Sunday School class ages ago. Her brother, Matt, is a partner in the business.