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Jan 11, 2010 09:13 PM

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.