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ThaiTalian in Pasadena closes...

Kevitivity May 27, 2008 04:19 PM

Well, I noticed that Thaitalian in Pasadena's old town is closed. It's really too bad because as gimmicky as the name and sign made it appear, this place actually had some tasty and unique dishes.

Let's hope something interesting replaces it - not another sushi or fro-yo place.

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  1. c
    chowchow12345678 RE: Kevitivity May 28, 2008 11:47 AM

    I have to say that I'm glad it's gone, I found the combination of Italian pasta with Thai seasonings to taste kind of weird, it didn't really work for me. I hope something better takes over that really nice space -- it seems that no restaurant has lasted long there.

    1. Will Owen RE: Kevitivity May 28, 2008 12:32 PM

      It was of course inevitable - whenever we went there, we could always walk in and get a table at any time. We thought it was good for the most part, just really not good enough to be that far away from easy parking, nor quite good enough to be a frequent destination. The staff were always polite and friendly, the food well prepared, the prices reasonable. We enjoyed the occasional mingling of flavors - those didn't really happen all that often - and Mrs. O, who has a deep fondness for weird cocktails of some unnatural color or another, always enjoyed her explorations of the drinks menu. I, on the other hand, frequently found myself discovering that the wine I was drinking had come from a bottle opened some time ago. I wish I could say that it will be missed, but then that's why it closed: we all kept missing it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen
        cfylong RE: Will Owen May 29, 2008 12:56 PM

        I second that. The nice thing I liked about it was being able to come with my baby in tow because it was often empty. We thought the food was well-prepared and interesting. It's really too bad indie places like this isn't supported.

      2. Will Owen RE: Kevitivity May 28, 2008 12:44 PM

        I just had my posting here fall off, so let's try again:

        We liked Thaitalian, for the most part; the food was well prepared, the staff friendly and willing if not always sharp, the room sleekly elegant, and the prices reasonable. But there were plentiful signs it wasn't long for this world, beginning with the wide availability of tables anytime we walked in, and the frequency with which I found myself drinking wine that had been opened longer ago than I'd have wished. We enjoyed whatever mingling of flavors we encountered, though that wasn't too common. It just was not quite good enough to stay afloat at the ragged edge of its district, that far away from easy parking and the bulk of the foot traffic. I hate to say this, but I wish Cheesecake Factory or something equally and undeservedly popular would move in there, and re-align Old Town's center of gravity a bit.

        1. notmartha RE: Kevitivity May 28, 2008 08:56 PM

          Never tried it as the concept just doesn't appeal. Indie restaurants at Old Town seems to keep open and close like revolving doors.

          2 Replies
          1. re: notmartha
            Kla6 RE: notmartha May 30, 2008 02:38 PM

            aww man. I've always wanted to try this place. Every time I tried going here it was either way too late or I couldn't find good parking. Too bad.


            1. re: Kla6
              panellapea RE: Kla6 Jul 1, 2008 11:56 PM

              i'm with you there--the concept seemed so strange that I wanted to at least try it out, but it didn't appeal to my husband so we never got around to it. Ah well.

          2. SauceSupreme RE: Kevitivity May 30, 2008 07:36 PM

            The lines out the door for other restaurants on Colorado Blvd indicate that there's money to be made from hungry diners if someone can just come up with a money-making concept, and hopefully also chow-worthy.

            1. d
              DeeBeeAye RE: Kevitivity Jun 1, 2008 10:21 AM

              I was extremely disappointed to find out that Thaitalian closed its doors, especially since I had driven a great distance to dine there. I was looking forward to enjoying a lemongrass martini along with their 'volcano', a thin crust pizza topped with grilled shrimp, spicy sausage, and fresh veggies. Sure, there usually was not a wait (during the times I went), but I do not equate table availability to an unsuccessful restaurant. Thaitalian had unique offerings and I am sad to see it go.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DeeBeeAye
                SauceSupreme RE: DeeBeeAye Jun 1, 2008 04:34 PM

                Well, table availability *might* be a sign of not enough customers, which absolutely equates to an unsuccessful restaurant.

                Perhaps management will re-open in a different part of town with lower rents than Old Pas.

              2. trolley RE: Kevitivity Jun 1, 2008 06:46 PM

                i believe it's being replaced by some sort of rice restaurant. or at least it had "rice" in the name. who knows. i always had mixed feelings about that place. i had trouble with thai and italian b/c i feel they are both very strong in taste and flavors assuming the "italian" is the american italian version and not northern italian. some dishes worked very well like the seafood eggrolls and their seafood pasta. the latter was a good marriage. i ordered a disastrous dish of spicy eggplant and spaghetti marinara. the pasta was over cooked and the marinara and the spicy from the eggplant were both so strong it was practically inedible. no balance. they did have fun cocktails. hope the new place is a bit more accessible to all concept wise.

                1. Foodieaholic RE: Kevitivity Jun 30, 2008 10:59 PM

                  In Old Town it's the high rents and competition that kills many of these restaurants. Plus, indie rests aren't as experienced managerially as the franchises. Higher & higher energy & food costs can be a death sentence today. When they plan these restaurants they fall in love with their idea and often 4get restaurants are a business where you need to make money by giving your customers what they want.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Foodieaholic
                    LuigiOrtega RE: Foodieaholic Jul 2, 2008 06:27 AM

                    Part of the problem is as your saying. But, mostly people are creatures of Habit. Lines out the door as a previous poster has added are unfortunately reserved for the "chains" and Sushi restaurants which haven't developed a successful chain. I love when I go into an "Upscale" mall that tries to have "unique" and interesting independant restaurants in the food court, and inevitably the line 6 times as long at Burger King or Panda express. Fred's is an exetremely successful restaurant chain in San Diego with the managerial experience out the wazoo, yet they have yet to develope a following in Old Town, because no one here has heard of them.

                    1. re: LuigiOrtega
                      carter RE: LuigiOrtega Jul 2, 2008 08:06 AM

                      Well, they used to operate Moose McGillicuddy in that space, yet the landlord REALLY raised the rent, and so they had to get to a concept that had higher margins, and just changed the concept to Fred's, probably without letting the world know about it.
                      Why don't you do a post specifically about them in Pasadena, or their Huntington Beach location (cannot do San Diego on the LA Message Board). I had never heard of them until your post above.

                      1. re: LuigiOrtega
                        Foodieaholic RE: LuigiOrtega Jul 6, 2008 05:18 PM

                        Well, good mgmt exeperience recognizes that what works for one location may not do it for another. And, marketing (being found out) is a fundamental. You don't take anything for granted--you only want to know that you tried to do the right things and if it fails, then that sometimes happens.
                        In locations like 4 this Thaitalitian, I would advise the investors in the planning stage the poor history of prior businesses there. Try to contact the previous businesses & see what were their problems. That's just for starters.
                        But, owning a restaurant sound so much nicer than the reality of OPERATING a restaurant.

                    2. c
                      chowchow12345678 RE: Kevitivity Jul 1, 2008 12:01 PM

                      I just passed by it the other day and it's called Rice Zen. I went in to get a to-go menu -- the space is still really nice and slick (cuz that's how it already was) but the menu is like fast food Asian such as chow mein, yakisoba noodles, etc. and the prices are good, around $7. I'll probably try it sometime anyway but it'll be interesting to see if they flourish since their menu is nothing unusual. I don't know why no restaurant in that space has been able to be as successful as the other ones nearby. Anyone remember Breadcrumbs in that space? The food was pretty good but it sure didn't last either.

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