Crispy California Cheese Curds
Vanessa Tilaka and husband Thomas Kalb have turned their multifaceted Outdated Pasadena enterprise right into a vacation spot for the whole lot from impeccably sourced cheese to house-baked breads, sandwiches and a dinner menu that deftly melds Italy, the Midwest and California. Their “snackadoos” are small, share-friendly plates. Crispy California cheese curds ($12) spotlight this class at lunch and draw on Kalb’s childhood recollections of scoring “squeaky cheese” from an Iowa creamery. At Agnes, they craft crunchy golden nuggets utilizing curds they supply from Wm. Cofield in Petaluma, California. Some chunks are spherical, oval, others rectangular and ruptured, all scrumptious, served with a beguiling, savory sauce. Blue cheese and Caesar dressing mix with spicy seasoning salt made with dehydrated, lacto-fermented Fresno chilies, punchy bread and butter pickled celery, and recent dill.