Having made my reservation several weeks in advance, I was pretty pumped for dinner at Pacific Rim this past week. This is a restaurant about which I have heard many positive remarks, and have been wanting to try for quite some time. The steep prices and lack of special occasions calling for that level of splurge (most entrees range from $25-$30), have been the primary reasons I had not tried out Pacific Rim out yet.
It is rather dim inside Pacific Rim, yet the lighting and colors are very warm and cozy. A variety of different textures cover the walls and ceiling, including geometric patterns, wood, orange and red shades, lustrous golden accent walls, and, behind the bar, a ridged slate-colored wall brought to life by water cascading down the tiers
I could not resist trying one of the (pricy!) specialty cocktails at Pacific Rim. Feeding my recent margarita obsession, I ordered this:
Corazon Reposado tequila | Cointreau orange liqueur | fresh lemon juice | pomegranate juice | pomegranate molasses | served on the rocks with a salt rim
Delicious, with a rich ‘bite’ of pomegranate. The price was steep on this cocktail but look how big it is! I mean, it probably had the alcohol quantity-equivalent of two $6 drinks. Plus the ingredients were of high quality.
For restaurant week, a three course meal was served for $25 per diner. I know Ann Arbor Restaurant Week may not offer the “full, true” experience of a restaurant, but I still think it’s a nice opportunity for a fun meal and chance to try a new restaurant in downtown.
For the first course, I selected:
Saigon Spring Rolls
”Crispy spring rolls filled with tiger shrimp, taro and vegetables, with our Vietnamese-style chili-lime dipping sauce.”
Everything about these spring rolls was amazing; and the presentation? Beautiful! Served piping hot, with a crispy exterior, flavorful filling, and stuffed with an abundance of shrimp bites, I loved everything about these babies. Definitely the best spring rolls I’ve had to date.
For my second course, diners may choose between a soup or a salad, and I chose the Spring Salad, featuring lots of ingredients I found in my CSA boxes last year (like turnips, radishes, and greens) along with beets and fresh mozzarella, tossed in a lovely ginger soy vinaigrette and topped with my favorite ingredient – crunchy spiced pecans (garam masala? curry?).
The huz’s first two courses were the Pork Belly and Coconut Curry Soup.
Tom was originally going to order the beef entrée, but after a neighboring diner ordered the pork, he changed his mind and ordered the pork as well!:
Pan-Roasted Pork Loin Chop
”Lean and tender pork loin chops crusted with panko and togarashi, with sautéed Asian greens, lentils and a shallot soy-mustard sauce.”
I am not a big pork eater, but I had a bite and this was really quite delicious. The crust was on point.
For my entrée, I ordered:
Thin slices of grilled Certified Angus ribeye, with sesame crispy rice, sautéed julienned vegetables, quail egg and Korean chili sauce.”
This was really good, and had a nice variety of colors, textures, and flavors, but it wasn’t mind-blowing-ly good. I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed dinner, but I just had really high expectations, and I think this Restaurant Week entrée fell just a tad short. Basically the dish was just lacking umami. I expected a bigger punch of flavor than the dish delivered. But like I said, this was still tasty and I polished off the plate.
All in all, my favorite course was the first course – the Saigon Spring Rolls with shrimp. They were awesome. Everything else I ate was just good – but not spectacular. Like I touched on earlier, it’s difficult to judge a restaurant based on their Restaurant Week experience (but I’m going to do it anyway, with the disclaimer that yes, it is Restaurant Week). The service we experienced was what I would call Satisfactory. It did not go above and beyond, and was not especially warm and welcoming. It was just, well, fine. I’m really intrigued by some of the non-Restaurant Week offerings (such as the quinoa-crusted scallops and the five-spice duck), and hope I have an opportunity to try them in the future.