May 19, 2015

IMG_1309Nondescript. Easy to miss because of the corner El Pollo Loco and Subway chains garishly grabbing one’s attention. Look to the right side of the parking lot, toward a flock of umbrellas. Beyond the “wall” of potted trees is an outdoor eating area that leads into the small, slightly dated, but very clean interior of Patakan Thai Restaurant in South Pasadena.

Sunday evening came upon us quickly, one of our crew trying to erase the image of the L.A. Clippers losing a game seven in the NBA playoffs after leading the series against Houston Rockets 3 games to one. A desire to enter the kitchen and whip up dinner was nonexistent. Luckily, a less deflated member of our crew had recently eaten at Patakan and within a half hour we were opening cartons and containers and settling in to watch a bunch of Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix, hoping to laugh and improve our mood.


Pad Thai Noodle, $8.95

Pad Thai Noodle, $8.95


The food, for the most part, also improved our mood. Patakan’s traditional Pad Thai hit the mark. Could’ve used a bit more chicken and shrimp, but the flavor was exactly what we were expecting. Chicken satay was also standard, what one expects, but doesn’t always get, so we were happy with that as well.


Chicken Sa-Tay, $7.95

Chicken Sa-Tay, $7.95


Two items that did not live up to our hopes were the crab cake roll (photo, top right), which is described as “a blend of crab meat, chicken, and shrimp in a bean curd sheet, fried to a crisp, served with plum sauce.” Perhaps it’s made in a roll, but before it is fried, the roll is cut up into small bites then fried. We’re not sure if the frying drowned out the flavors, but these “poppers” were too chewy and oddly bland for our liking. The next dish, typhoon chicken, was not bad per se, but though the chicken was marinated “Thai-style” is was simply pieces of chicken, bone in, placed in a container and to taste was quite dry. If we’d cut off the meat, mixed in some rice, and poured some type of sauce over it, it may have been okay, but as is, it was unexciting.


Typhoon Chicken, $8.50

Typhoon Chicken, $8.50


We are a lover of pot stickers, pan-fried. The Patakan pot stickers are chicken and offered as grilled or fried. We requested grilled, but they didn’t appear so when we opened the container. Though we love pot stickers, we understand it can be hit or miss; we want them so badly, yet preparing ourselves for disappointment. We were not disappointed this time, despite the lack of grilling. The wonton wrapping was a tender and not too thick, the filling a mix of chicken and veggies that tasted wonderful on its own and even better dipped into a tangy, only slightly sweet, and with a smidgen of a pop of heat sauce.


The personnel on the phone and when picking up spoke slowly, confirmed the order, and were very friendly. For lovers of authentic, spicy Thai food, this may not be the place to go, but for us, this standard Thai fare on an evening when we desired food of comfort, Patakan filled that need.


Patakan Thai Restaurant, 711 Fair Oaks Ave., #M, South Pasadena 91030. Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Tel.: 1.626.441.2489.








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