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Restaurants & Bars

Presidents 2 - Thai in Pasadena

Suvro | Jan 24, 200501:51 PM

Went for dinner on Saturday night - place was not full, so we got seated right away.

1) We had wanted to order the chicken coconut milk soup (Tom Kha Kai), but ordered the wrong one - the chicken sour soup (Tom Yum Gai). The quantity was huge (they charge $1 extra for the hotpot that can serve more people), but the flavor was quite off putting. There was a distinct sweetness to this soup, which at most other places is absent, and this made it taste somewhat strange. The plentiful chicken pieces were also somewhat odd flavored - like they had not been cooked enough. Plenty of mushrooms also.

2) We ordered the salad with fried fish. I remembered people here mentioning it was called fried catfish salad, and it was not on the menu - but the waitress said it was just the fried fish salad. We ordered everything 5 on a scale of 1-10, where they said 3 was a medium. 5 was a tad hot for us - should have stuck to 3. This was really good. Pillowy whitefish in a light batter, plentifully served on top of a bed of lettuce that was woken up with slivers of ginger, chile, lemongrass and bathed in a delicious sour lime sauce.

3) We love the Thai flat noodle dishes, so we ordered the Pad Kee Mow with chicken - these were quite good and fulfilling (the portions are huge).

4) The last dish we ordered was the beans with chicken. They first brought out ginger chicken, and when we pointed out that it was not the dish we had ordered, they took it back and returned with the correct dish promptly. This was quite dry and spicy, and I liked it quite a bit, while my daughter felt that the chicken pieces were a little oddly flavored. I think it was the generous use of fish sauce, which I like, but can be an acquired taste.

Overall, a favorable impression - specially since the service was better than my last outing there for lunch (when we were served a burnt duck noodle dish).

Parking is a problem, because it is near the busy intersection of Lake and Colorado, but we got the last empty spot on the 2nd floor parking right behind this second floor mini-mall (New Delhi Palace - looked dark and forlorn; Indochine - few customers; and a pizza place with all empty tables share this floor of the minimall).

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