Exploring the other valley
Contrary to what many think, the San Gabriel Valley has a lot to offer to the Los Angeles Metropolitan area when it comes to food. It’s not up to the folks in Hollywood or to both Hiltons (Paris and Perez) to establish what’s hot and what’s not. Pasadena is one of the cities in the SGV that has a rich variety when it comes to food and entertainment, the pros to this: it’s all quite good and high quality, the cons: it can be a hell of a drive. If you’re willing to look past the driving, make a date out of this and venture into Pasadena. The oriental food scene is quite diverse, but unquestionably one of the most popular places to have some good Thai is Saladang, which is located right in front of its sister restaurant (a pricier and fancier place) Saladang Song, which you should totally reserve for special occasions. Regardless of its status next to the fancy sister, the limelight is always shining on Saladang.
Saladang is an urban chic restaurant made out of concrete, which also includes an exposed ceiling (perfect for Cali weather), modern light fixtures and other things that also make out of this place a cool hang out place. Not only that but it’s a place where you can be with friends and a place where you can go out on a date thanks to the abundance of pleasingly sensual overtones- orchids everywhere, textile tablecloths, and very attractive food placement.
Not only that, but the service is pretty good, a bit slow, which is acceptable due to the fact that the place is always packed, but if you don’t mind waiting for a bit, it should be a delightful experience.
If your one those people that take choosing meals as seriously as choosing a life partner, you’ll be in there for a while. You’ll be tempted to try a little bit of everything since it all sounds so appealing, don’t. Truth is the consistency with the food is dubious. As we were waiting for our food to arrive, my companion and I overheard a couple of customers complain about the food, one of them actually called the waitress, it seems like there was a hair in their soup. Things like this happen all the time, so we didn’t let something like this gross us out, after waiting for a while our food arrived. Our server had recommended the popular “lunch express combo”: choice of one entrée (mixed veggies/ cashew beef/ curry chicken) with rice (white, brown or fried), egg rolls and house salad. We decided to go with the cashew beef, brown rice and veggie egg rolls. The food was actually good, above average, however, there was still something missing, we both fell complete once the salad arrived. The Saladang house salad is not your typical lettuce salad, it has so many other ingredients that complement each other so well giving the Saladang Thai food experience a much needed boost.
Overall, it’s a cool place to try out, go for the experience, and stay for the food.
383 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105-2524