Ah, Old Town Pasadena. Colorado Boulevard is one of those streets that is constantly changing, but somehow manages to keep its charm and allure. With restaurants lining the street, there’s hardly a cuisine that hasn’t been addressed, from fondue to sushi to tapas, like those served at Jack Huang’s Bar Celona.

The menu combination of tapas, pastas and full entrees is approachable, though at times not quite traditional. But this detail doesn’t necessarily hurt, as even the décor is a bit eclectic. The dark crimson walls adorned with paintings of matadors and bulls serve as the backdrop to plush velvet booths and chairs. The restaurant has two sides: one is a lounge area with a space for a DJ, the other a traditional restaurant setup.

Once seated by the cheerful greeter, a plate of pitted green olives is brought to you to nosh while you peruse the drink menu. Bar Celona offers red and white sangrias, both served over ice garnished with fruit. Be sure to ask your server to scoop out the fruit, otherwise it’s not sangria at all. At first I thought it was odd that the selection of wine was not large, but the choices are succinct and compliment each item.

The charcuterie is a nice opener, offering the Chef’s choice of cheeses, meats and assorted jams. Also of note is the sweet and vinegary shrimp ceviche served on a bed of cooked lentils, and the hard to find at restaurants: fideo (Spanish for “noodle”).

For dessert, choose from ice cream, or take your chances with the molten lava cake. Make sure you ask for molten hot “lava” chocolate. Be prepared as this decadent dessert takes about 15 minutes to prepare.

Bar Celona is a great place to take a date or to meet up at for a drink after class or work.

For more information, call (626) 405-1000 or visit barcelonapasadena.com.