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Pacific East is a place I've passed many times, but kept walking to nearby Paladar. It's funny, I don't know what it is but Japanese is something I have to mentally prepare for. Since I've been reading “The Sushi Economy” by Sasha Issenberg I've been Jonesin' for Aisian pursuasion.
When Regina asked where I wanted to go for dinner, her jaw dropped when I told her Pacific East. We drove out to the one at Eton Collection (sandwiched between Stone Oven and Paladar).
We got there kind of early for dinner so we could have been seated anywhere. Since we weren't going to be ordering big time sushi/sashimi we decided to leave the bar seats alone and sat at a table.
I ordered the Soba noodles with Tempura battered Shrimp and Vegetables. The tempura was good. As far as the soba noodles are concerned, it was the first time I've ever tried them. My initial reaction is that I don't particularly care for the buckwheat noodles. Had I liked them I would have been more than happy with the huge serving PE offers.
Regina ordered the Spider Roll, which consists of soft shell crab tempura, cucumber, avocado, fish roe & eel sauce. These were quite nice and actually reminded me of those at Parallax. She also ordered a mango roll that I didn't see on the PE website. Although I was skeptical at first this probably the biggest surprise of the night.
As with most Asian restaurants, with Sun Luck Garden being the exception, the dessert offerings were less than desirable. We weren't totally bummed since we walked away stuffed.
Overall we thought the food was a good value. It's actually a good alternative to a pricier kind of place like Shuhei. I'd go back, but I think we'd try the one in Coventry. The menu seems like it's a little larger at that location. Overall, the bill was around $60 including tip. Not a bad night out considering we ordered more food than we could ever possibly eat.
Pacific East (Eton)
28601 Chagrin Blvd
Woodmere, OH 44122
Update: November 12, 2010
This time we went to the Cleveland Heights location. While I think the Eton store does a good business, the PE in Cleveland Heights is the place to go. The selection of offerings is much larger than its Eton brethren.
We ordered the Pork Gyoza for appetizer - not much else to report. Tasted good.
I decided to change it up a bit and try the Malaysian Chicken Curry Clay Pot. Served in a, well, clay pot - the dish comes with a mixture of vegetables, mushrooms, and thinly sliced chicken. While the menu says it's spicy, I didn't find it even remote "hot". What's the difference? Well, for me the easy route is to simply supercharge the dish with a bunch of hot peppers and flame the shit out of the customers mouth. The second, and more subtle way, is to add layers of spice so that they harmonize making a rich flavor profile. I think a good curry makes your nose run, but doesn't cause physical pain. This is a well done curry.
The shrimp tempura roll had cucumber, fish roe & avocado, with a bit of eel sauce on the plate and drizzled over top. It's flavors were good but the roll was so wide that each piece was hard to eat in one bite (unless you have a big mouth). The tempura batter was light and crunchy, but next time I think I'll try one of the many items that caught my eye on the Malaysian portion of their menu.
Pacific East Japanese
1763 Coventry Rd
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118