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How is Pasha now?

Reviews for this place (Arlington) seem very mixed, especially with service issues when they first opened, but also on the general quality of the food. I just saw that it can be unpleasant in winter as there is a waft of cold air entering every time the door opens. Just wondering if anyone has been there lately and what your take is?

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  1. I went for lunch one time shortly after they opened and thought it was just okay. There were only a few other people in the place but the service was pleasant and efficient and the food was good but not remarkable in any way . If I am in the Arlington area my default place to go is always Toraya which is just a bit further up Mass Ave from Pasha. Toraya is a wonderful little Japanese place that does a variety of traditional dishes very well. It always reminds me of the countless little restaurants that are in every city in Japan.

    1. I was there yesterday and had a generally decent experience. Slightly slow but friendly service. My "appetizer" of a Beef Pastry was the size of a football, insanely large. Entree of iskender kebab was really excellent, one of the best versions of the dish I've had. Deserts were mediocre and had obviously just come out of the back of the fridge. Turkish coffee (served in lovely little silver cups with lids) came in regular, decaf, hazelnut, chocolate, or mastic flavors; my waiter recommended the mastic, which tasted like old furniture.

      1. We went last night after not having been in many months. We were both really disappointed. The food is very different from when it first opened. Hummus tasted different - not nearly as creamy and mild - it was more acidic and lacked the nice smokey flavor it had when they first opened. The bastyea crust was soggy and the meat was dense - just not good. The table next to us ordered the meat ravioli dish, which we've had a couple of times in the past. It looked nothing like what it used to look like, and they didn't seem to enjoy it at all.

        Even the baklava tasted different. Sort of soggy - almost a store-bought taste. Last time we had it everyone at the table of 6 had pronounced it the BEST baklava we'd ever had. Not any more.

        I don't know what changed in the kitchen, but it is a major disappointment. We won't be back.

        1. This was my week for Turkish food. Three if us had lunch at Pasha and were delighted with both food and service, besides finding it a very comfortable and welcoming space. We shared a mixed app plate with 6 apps: hummus, eggplant spread, mixed spicy veg spread, "Turkish tabbouli", grapeleaves and haydari. It was beautifully and generously plated and really fun to share. We also got an order of mucver (delicious) and falafel (dry and not that great, would not order these again). The mucver and falafel were also beautifully plated with shredded red cabbage that was sort of a Turkish cole slaw and also a romaine salad. The bread here was the best of all the Turkish restaurants around town, we thought. Overall, a ton of food, with great, fresh flavors that just popped (other than the falafel) and all for $32 for 3. Another place I look forward to returning to. (Thinking about the 3 identical things I had at Pasha and Cafe Istanbul-lu within 3 days of each other, Pasha's bread was clearly better, Istanbul-lu's haydari was way better and Pasha's mucvers edged out Istanbul-lu's slightly. I feel exceedingly lucky that both are convenient to me!)

          1. Bumping this- wondering about updates as when I went to the restaurant's website, it says the menu is under construction and call for updated menu info. Anyone been lately or have another recommendation for somewhere interesting in Arlington that we might not have tried? (So, not Thai Moon, Sweet Chili, Tango, Not Your Average Joe's, or Za. And nowhere too fancy as we have a baby. And no sushi as our friend is pregnant.)

            Sweet Chili
            470 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

            Thai Moon
            663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

            3 Replies
            1. re: Parsnipity

              Haven't been to Pasha in ages but Little Q is fun. Toraya. Kathmandu Spice.

              Toraya Restaurant
              890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

              Kathmandu Spice
              166 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

              1. re: Aromatherapy

                Parsnipity, how about Zocalo for laid-back Mexican? It's kid-friendly. Service can be spotty (they practically force you to order guac), but I find it makes a nice family meal out. So too does Tom Yong Koong, an excellent Thai place in the Heights. Lovely service, delicious food. I've had fever dreams about their avocado curry. I'm also a big fan of La Buena Vita, which is next to Mi Da Mi in Arlington Center. A homey Southern Italian spot run by people who care.

                203 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

                1. re: Swankalicious

                  Is Tom Yong Koong open again? It closed due to a fire several months ago. You could try Buona Vita which is right in the same area. We really enjoy it there, and should be fine with a baby.

            2. Pasha's changed their menu in the past few months, not dramatically, but more of a streamlining. They removed their Beef Pastry appetizer, which is sad, because it was pretty excellent. The iskender kebab is still great, deserts are decent, etc. I still enjoy Pasha but I'd love to find another Turkish place in the area.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Boston_Otter

                If the area goes as far as Brookline, Family Restaurant has been consistently good. I would not get fish there, but everything else I have tried has been worth it. It is the best Turkish I have had in Boston, admittedly not a high bar.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  I wrote Pasha up positively after we had 2 good meals 1-2 yrs ago. but subsequently we decided that it just didn't have enough flavor variety in the dishes, as good as they were, and we haven't returned.

                  Istanbulluu is a 15 min drive from arl. center- in teale sq somerville. :

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/709644 it has many fans.

                    1. re: Taralli

                      I can't seem to get a proper view of the Phoenix website lately - does it say anywhere in that review where Bosphorus is located?

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        BOSPHORUS CAMBRIDGE

                        1164 Cambridge St

                        Cambridge MA 0213


                        1164 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          Glad it wasn't only me, I went crazy looking for an address in that review.

                    2. Bumping this thread after a summer dinner at Pasha. It was a mixed experience, some high points and a few "wouldn't try this again." In the former category, the vegetable moussaka was really nice - good seasoning, with a great tomato sauce. We also liked the bread, which was served with a tray of three small dips - oil, a spicy veg mixture and olive. The service was prompt and polite, and the Turkish wines were also tasty. It was nice to have Turkish coffee. In the "not again" the pide (like lahmejun) was excessively salty, and the baklava also seemed salty. Weird. The boureks/sigars were eggroll size and I was expecting something thinner. They tasted ok, just were too big. Overall, we liked it, but not sure when we will go back.