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Thaitalian in Pasadena - first visit review


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Thaitalian in Pasadena - first visit review

Will Owen | Oct 9, 2006 09:20 PM

Just one 'Hound responded to my query about this place, so I figured some kind of review was called for. Mrs. O and I took her young cousin there Saturday night as a birthday outing, along with another friend of ours. The place was busy enough at 8 o'clock, but not packed, and we got a good table immediately. Very attractive room, maybe a tad contrived but pleasant. Tables are quite close together in a side-by-side arrangement with a continuous settee along the wall and two chairs per table facing it. Luckily none of our adjacent diners was overly noisy or ill-behaved...

The menu is an interesting mix of Thai and Italian, as the name suggests, and some of the offerings seem to be reaching a bit for credibility, though nothing looked unappetizing. All of the drinks are grouped on a separate menu, which would work better if they'd hand out more than one per table! Service was very cordial and accommodating, but bog slow; perhaps it will become more brisk, but I'd figure on at least an hour and a half if you're going to catch a movie or something.

The two grown-up women ordered goofy cocktails - a tall blue thing and some pale greenish-white concoction in a martini glass, both apparently satisfactory. As a reviewer on another website noted, the wine list is pretty poor - I got a pinot grigio to start, and a domestic pinot noir for my meal, neither of which were in any way outstanding, but cheap enough at $7 and $6 respectively. The birthday girl stuck with water, as it was just her 18th, and none of the soft-drink offerings appealed. As for openers, we stuck with the bowlful of peppery pappadums we'd been given immediately, along with a very nice dipping dish of some kind of vegetation in oil.

Mrs. O ordered the Tom Ka spaghetti with chicken, which was simply a big bowl of pasta in a mildly spicy coconut broth with chicken breast, mushrooms and a bit of lemon grass. The cousin got the half-chicken roasted in a mild red curry, which came with a huge mound of red-sauced spaghetti and a small pile of steamed vegetables. I asked if the curry-sauced tenderloin came with any vegetables, was told "Not really," and so ordered a house salad (with peanut dressing) on the side, expecting the usual small dish
of it, and got a platter of sliced meat in sauce, a good-sized mound of rice, the same steamed veggies, AND a bowl of salad that would be almost a meal unto itself. Our friend opted for the appetizer-sized bowl of Tom Ka Gai soup, plus a dish of four cups of some interesting edible substance filled with corn, chopped peppers and other tasty things, also from the appetizer menu.

As you might gather, the portions here are more than adequate; Mrs. O was the only one who didn't need a container for leftovers. Said containers took about fifteen more minutes to be asked for and filled, and then the delivery of our bill was hastened only by the owner, a very personable youngish man who stopped by (as he had several times) to ask how things were going. Aside from that we had no complaints whatsoever: all of our food was good enough to merit repeat visits; though my tenderloin was very much overcooked, it had more flavor than that cut usually has, and the sauce was delicious, and everything else I tasted was good too. The table's pre-tip total was right at $95, including the weird drinks - not bad at all. Maybe next time I'll remember the damn camera...

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