I know, I know...you're thinking, "Thaitalian? WTF kind of cuisine is that?" But before you turn away in confusion, consider this: There is a Thai Italian Chamber of Commerce, an Italian-Thai development company, and a Muay Thai Italian Championship. So really, the concept is really not as weird as you think it is.
My friends spent last Friday evening at Thaitalian Cooking Duet in Old Town Pasadena. I've passed this place several times in recent months, and it always stirs thoughts of two kids playing with food with one saying, "Hey, you got your thai noodles in my Italian pasta!" and the other replying, "No, you got YOUR Italian pasta in my Thai noodles!" then some narrator gregariously announcing, "Thaitalian - Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together!"
Surprisingly enough, the announcer guy would actually be right. We started off with some cocktails, which were really very good. Tawny had the Lava Guava, a tall drink of wonderful made with Absolut Vanilla, Peach Schnapps,Maibu, Midori, guava juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, grenadine, sweet and sour. Steve had his usual martini, with a twist, which he proclaimed was excellent. I had a glass of a good pinot noir.
We decided to split a few things, since thaitalian's overwhelmingly large menu left all of us a little stressed on what to choose. Everything sounded good. We shared the chicken satay, which was tender, moist and came with a tasty peanut sauce, as well as the thaitalian cups. The filo cups were filled with shrimp, chicken and various spices and served with a crunchy cucumber salad. Very tasty.
Next up was the Spicy Thai Beef Salad, a standard on many Thai restaurant menus. The only difference was that this version contained about 12-15 corkscrew pasta pieces. It didn't really add or take anything away from the salad, which was excellent. The beef was perfectly cooked, and the dressing was spicy and not too heavy.
Finally, we split the Yellow Curry Chicken Pizza. Yes, there is a little bit of mozzarella on this, but it really goes well with the mild curry. The chicken chunks were moist and juicy and they did not overdo the cheese or curry - it really was just right.
All in all, not a profound dining experience, but a very good meal and decent service in a nice atmosphere for a reasonable price. The three of us ate until we were full, and each had two drinks. The total, including a generous tip, was $40 per person. I will definitely go back here again.