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Culinary Innovation Ignites the Flames at Bone Kettle in Pasadena

Bone Kettle Pasadena
Photo Credits: Alen Lin – Dylan & Jeni – Courtesy of Bone Kettle

The bold flavors of Southeast Asia have found a home in the heart of Old Town Pasadena as Bone Kettle transforms beloved Indonesian dishes into a delectable modern dining experience with an all new Summer Dining Menu!

Bone Kettle is the product of a transformative journey of self-discovery and the revisiting of enriching flavors from one’s youth. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, Co-Owner and Executive Chef Erwin Tjahyadi began his professional career with an apprenticeship under the prolific Wolfgang Puck. Chef Tjahyadi subsequently studied closely with Chef Trey Foshee at San Diego’s prestigious George’s at the Cove before completing a stint as lead cook at Hotel Bel-Air.

During the height of the recession, Chef Tjahyadi co-created and launched the acclaimed, Komodo, a mobile food concept that turned into a rising empire by delivering gourmet cuisine to consumers on the go. Craving a new medium through which to express his culinary prowess, Chef Tjahyadi realized that in order to continue moving towards a successful future, he had to familiarize himself with his past. After a twenty-year absence, Chef Tjahyadi returned to Southeast Asia, undertaking a quest to replenish his palate and soul. “We are creating an authentic, artistic interpretation of what Erwin fell in love with in Indonesia,” says Bone Kettle Co-Owner and Operating Manager Eric Tjahyadi. “The food is his artwork; Bone Kettle is his canvas.”

Bone Kettle Pasadena
Photo Credits: Alen Lin – Dylan & Jeni – Courtesy of Bone Kettle

Chef Tjahyadi’s sabbatical transported him to fond childhood memories, reconnecting him to the initial spark that ignited his life-long love of cooking. Joined by his father in their native Indonesia, Chef Tjahyadi meticulously explored the vibrant flavors and aromas that constitute East Java’s dynamic cuisine. Invigorated, he returned to the United States fueled by a newfound zest for creating innovative cuisine and thus Bone Kettle was born as the vehicle through which to bring his love of unique flavors to the people of Los Angeles.

Adapting heirloom recipes from his mother and grandmother, Chef Tjahyadi infuses the old with the new. Bone Kettle’s all new Summer Dining Menu combines bright, local California ingredients with classical Asian cooking techniques.

“I want our guests to step out of their comfort zone and be transported to Southeast Asia so they can experience an authentically new version of comfort food,” says Chef Tjahyadi.

The focal point of Bone Kettle’s kitchen is undoubtedly the Bone Broth. Well-balanced, the signature Bone Broth is created by using time-honored cooking techniques and fresh ingredients reflective of Southeast Asian traditions. Consisting of typically undervalued parts of the cow, filtered water, onions, garlic, ginger, and an exclusive Bone Kettle mix of dried spices, the broth cooks for 36 hours. The result? Wholesome perfection.

“Consuming bone broth in Indonesia was a profoundly cathartic experience,” says Chef Tjahyadi. “It spoke to me, and I knew straight away bone broth was going to be the foundation of Bone Kettle.”

Deemed the ultimate superfood, Bone Broth has been praised for its restorative properties, chief among them, collagen, which promotes radiant skin, shiny hair, and strong nails. Studies have also shown that glycine, an essential amino acid found in Bone Broth, improves sleep and memory, while chondroitin sulfate, found in beef cartilage, prevents osteoarthritis and protects joints.


Gelatin from the cow’s joints help to seal up holes in intestines, while phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium extracted during the boiling process are the essential building blocks for healthy bones. Complex in flavor and nutrients, the signature Bone Kettle Bone Broth is incorporated in many of its dishes, but most successfully showcased in Noodles& Broth, where each bowl is served with artisanal ramen noodles, heirloom carrots, red onions, Thai basil, and cilantro. Protein choices include Prime Top Sirloin, Prime Fatty Brisket, St. Helen’s Braised Oxtails and Ginger Seared Chicken. Alternatively, vegans and guests desiring to minimize their meat intake can savor the Crispy Tempeh with shiitake mushrooms and seasonal vegetables, served with a vegan broth.

The bonds of love and friendship will be tested after just one bite from the array of dishes offered as Shareable Plates. Guests may find themselves reluctant to divide dishes like the Spicy Papaya Salad, comprised of green papaya, mangoes, tomatoes, chili, cilantro, green beans, peanuts, bay scallops and garlic chips.

For meat lovers there is the Steak Tartare featuring St. Helen’s Ranch hanger steak, chili vinaigrette, lemongrass, mint, and basil krupuk, while the vegetarian tofu tempeh salad, the Gado Gado, balances out the palate with green beans, cabbage, bean sprouts, tomatoes, apples, quail eggs, rice cake, crumbled garlic chips and peanut sauce. Beloved in Southeast Asia, the Char Kway Teow is a stir-fried dish featuring rice noodles, sweet sausage, prawns, bean sprouts, egg, fried shallots, and chives.

The new and perfectly snackable, Mapo Tofu Fries, are made with twice-fried Kennebec potatoes, ground beef, tofu and chives, while the toothsomeOxtail Dumplings retain their cult-status as a guest favorite, comprised of oxtail, seasonal mushrooms, leeks, sesame seeds and San Bai Su. Beautiful and bold, the traditional Javanese salad, thePecel, features water spinach, bean sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, tofu, tempeh, rice cake, shrimp krupuk and a peanut tamarind dressing, while the succulent, Bone Marrow, has been reimagined for summertime with scallion confit, grilled baguettes, red endives, baby frisse, mizuna, apples and rhubarb dressing

Hearty Entrées expand perceptions and delight the taste buds, starting with the Garlic Steak Nasi Goreng that includes St Helen’s hanger steak fried rice, eggs, green onions, chicharron gremolata and Nam Pla: and for carnivores wanting more, the Beef Ribs definitely hit the spot while served with bone marrow jus, fried onions and herbs.

Bone Kettle 4For guests seeking a unique indulgence, theSingaporean Chili Lobster is delectable gold that combines confit tomatoes, sweet and spicy egg sauce, fried onions and herbs. Lookout for Weekly Chef Specials, a rotating menu of Chef Tjahyadi’s favorites with summer selections like the Ube Gnocchi dressed with heirloom zucchini, English peas, fava beans, spinach and kale.

“The ube gnocchi is a convergence of my two worlds of classic western training and Southeast Asian flavors united in one dish. The ube is such a nice canvas that can play well with so many vibrant ingredients and flavors.” Luxurious to the last bite, theTomahawk Bone-In Ribeye is a feast for the table with roasted potatoes, fava beans, turmeric cauliflower and a lime sweet soy chili sauce. If you are not prepared for such a culinary undertaking, the Rendang Rice Fritters are equally delicious, comprised of braised short rib, garlic aioli, mizuna greens and red endive.

Naturally, you saved room for Dessert, so satisfy that sweet-tooth with the silky and creamy Pandan, Southeast Asia’s take on a classic crème brûlée, or the Cassava Cake with Ube Ice Cream, awarm baked cassava with powdered sugar. Rounding off these tempting choices are the Black Rice Pudding featuring black rice, sweet corn, and coconut, as well as the Seasonal Ice Cream, a rotating selection of homemade Southeast Asian flavored ice creams.

Consulting Wine Director Alexander Goldfisher was brought on to develop an impeccably curated Beer, Wine & Sake Menu. Working with many boutique vendors to diversify and fill the needs of the menu, Goldfisher ensures these libations are not only complimentary to Chef Tjahyadi’s cuisine, but also approachable for guests.

Rotating as the season or menu dictates, the new Summer Dining Menu inspires light-bodied Whites, two of which has Goldfisher especially excited, starting with the Schloss Lieser Riesling. “Riesling is the perfect wine for our menu, deftly maneuvering between starters and the bone broth with ease.

The flavors are full of refreshing fresh stone fruits while possessing mouth-watering acidity.” Donned as “A regal form of Chardonnay” by Goldfisher, the Domaine des Hâtes Chablis is crisp weight on the palate, loaded with orchard fruits, lime and crushed rocks. Never mind the summer heat, any time of the year is ideal for unabashed lovers ofReds, with two California varietals starting with the Paso Robles Chroma Cabernet Sauvignon or the Bedrock Pagani Ranch Red from Sonoma Valley. For the ride or die Rosé fans, there is the dazzlingly delicate La Closerie des lys, and for those seeking a tickle of effervescence the Domaine Brazilier Sparkling Rosé is the perfect summer sip.

Bone Kettle Pasadena
Photo Credits: Alen Lin – Dylan & Jeni – Courtesy of Bone Kettle

Bone Kettle is especially proud to present an array of Cold Sake for guests to enjoy. “Sake is replete with a range of styles and flavors that make it a perfectly suitable pairing for Chef Erwin’s menu,” says Goldfisher. The choices begin with the Akitabare Spring Snow Honjozo, which boasts a tight and creamy mouth, and long, taut finish, and next continue onward with the unfiltered and undiluted Kamoizumi Summer Snow Nigori, only mildly sweet and ideally paired with spicier foods. Floral and soft on the tongue, the Dewazakura Cherry Bouquet Ginjo pairs beautifully with seafood, while the refined and wild Tedorigawa Gold Blossom Daiginjo comes with a personal recommendation from Goldfisher who sings its praises, “This unparalleled sake is vibrant and a little tart, but it is elegant and unique with a creamy texture.”

Alternatively, Bone Kettle offers six Craft Beers on tap to cool down with this summer, beginning with the hop forward MIkkeller Windy Hill IPA and the Brewery Ommegang Hennepin Saison. On the lighter end of the palate, there is the Mumford Brewing Jeff’s Brother Hefeweizen, and Modern Times Ice Pilsner. Middle of the road aficionados will enjoy the Smog City Sabre-Toothed Squirrel Amber Ale or the Mumford Cold Beer Served Lager. Additional beverages include the fruity and bubbly Guava Prosecco, a divine sip for summer, while the non-alcoholic Lychee Dragonfruit Lemonade gives guests all the desired flavor without the buzz.

Ideally situated in Pasadena, a city within a city celebrated for its close-knit community and thriving dining scene, Bone Kettle is just off the main thoroughfare, centered on Raymond Avenue. Warmly embraced by their neighbors, Bone Kettle already boasts a clientele that includes many regulars, and they are fast becoming an integral part of the Pasadena community for celebratory moments and casual meals amongst friends and families alike.

A neighborhood gem that seamlessly bridges the past and the present, along with the East and the West, Bone Kettle is the perfect embodiment of refined comfort food to nourish the mind, body, and soul!

Bone Kettle is open daily for Lunch from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, for Dinner every Monday through Sunday from 5:00 to 9:00 pm, and for Weekend Brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Bone Kettle also offers Happy Hour from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. For more information or reservations, please visit www.BoneKettle.com or call Bone Kettle directly at 626.795.5702.

Elizabeth Delphin
Elizabeth Delphin loves a good time! A fun concert, a good dinner out with friends, those weird artsy-fartsy festivals. If she's not at the office or at home, she's likely walking her dog Milo at Runyon Canyon (seriously, sometimes she goes 2-3 times a day).
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