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Jun 27, 2006 01:07 AM

Is Tommy Tang's Still Relevant?

I've never been, and for some reason, I thought Tommy Tang was just some 80s chef that passed his prime. No? Is it outdated? Is it worth checking out? If so, what are your menu suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. I think this place was actually more of the '70's. I could be wrong, but I thought it closed many, many years ago.

    1 Reply
    1. It actually relocated down the street, yet lost its relevance in the process, as well as by the development of Thai town in Hollywood, the Thai restaurant row on Sherman Way in North Hollywood, and several individual Thai restaurants in various outposts like Norwalk, Garden Grove, etc., including Thai Nakorn, the subject of a post within a few of this one.

      4 Replies
      1. re: carter

        Ah, so is he credited with bringing Thai food to the masses here? So intrigued. Must try.

        1. re: diningdivala

          I think "bringing Thai food to the trendy" might be closer. Once his Melrose location was reduced to hosting drag karioke nights to bring new customers in, I suspected his days were numbered...

          1. re: diningdivala

            Well, you could say he did that, much like El Coyote did to Mexican food, with similar results.

            1. re: diningdivala

              I think that statement, bringing Thai food to the masses, is not inaccurate. And I'm pretty sure it was the '80s.

              I remember eating Thai food in college, before Tommy Tang's opened, but not too many people were interested. The amount of publicity that place got was incredible. It wasn't about the food from day one, though; it was about creating a market and they had a good, long run at it.

          2. Yep, you were right. The restaurant is indeed closed (I think that website was last updated in 2002). On Citysearch, it says closed but doesn't says when. On, it's bylined as a Gayot review, but says there is one on Colorado in Pasadena, which I know for a fact that isn't true. I've seen Tommy Tang listed as a caterer, however; maybe that's what he's up to now. Thanks everyone!

            2 Replies
            1. re: diningdivala

              Hi... I saw Tommy Tang at a booth at Thai Town's Water Festival this spring, autographing books (presumably, cookbooks). I avoided eye contact, as he seemed to be counting on 'celebrity' recognition to draw passersby nearer, which for some reason disturbed me. I'm sure he's a decent guy, but it all seemed a bit sad... I also saw him sometime in 2005 at Baby Blues BBQ, holding court at a table of friends and making merry. I wish him well...

              1. re: diningdivala

                Actually, it IS true. There was a Tommy Tang's location on Colorado, when Old Town Pasadena was just starting to become popular. It was there as recent as 1998. I don't know when it closed down. The location is somewhere around the present Kabuki restaurant.