Southeast Asian/Thai off the beaten path in Downtown Pasadena.
The tastes of Southeast Asia are ones that remain unfamiliar to me. Yet, the more and more I try them, the more I love them, and more I come to realize, I need to explore.
Might as well get in some good practice while I have the chance.
We have an incredibly vibrant Thai community here in Los Angeles. It’s right there in Hollywood. You will not lack for Thai options when you come here. Finding good ones is another matter.
What then of Saladang Song (song, meaning “Two” in this case). The first, original Saladang sits across the parking lot from the one I went to. I’m going to have to check it out at some point. In the meantimes, we focus on Saladang Song.
It’s a serene space, I have to tell you. Now, they could be holding Heavy Metal Concerts here for all I know, but…
I don’t know where they got it, or how they designed it. But it’s a lovely space. It’s very modern, yet…ancient all at once. Must be all those beautiful shadows. Saladang Song must also be one of the first spaces I’ve been into that has a near equal balance of indoor and outdoor tables.
There wasn’t much in the way of problems or resistance at this place. You saunter in, you sit down, you get going. At it’s heart, it’s a neighborhood joint, a locals only joint. The people in town know about it, but because it’s off the beat and path…far, far, far way from the busy bustle of Colorado Blvd. But since you’re real there for the food, that’s not going to matter so much.
The dishes all have that very particular punch of Southeast Asia, where your tongue is happily assaulted from all angles: sweet, sour, savory all in varying degrees and combinations. I don’t know if it’s the best Southeast Asian I’ve had…ever, but it’s got a seriousness and dedication to craft that’ll keep it in the conversation.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Yeah, I went all kinds of porky at Saladang Song.
By way of appetizers the Moo-Ping, which is a grilled marinated pork skewer got my attention first. Lovely, tasty. Fantastic. Just the right thing to get my motor going. For the main course, I went for the…okay, are you ready for this? I got the Ka-nom-jeen-goong, which is a Rice Noodle bowl with…guess what…grilled marinated pork. Both of them were lovely, tasty, and…yes, made me want to go back.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Saladang Song, as well as Saladang itself are not the most obvious looking restaurants. Literally you can drive right past and miss it if you blink. The signage isn’t big, bold or ostentatious…so be really, really careful. You can absolutely miss it.
Also, keep in mind the hours. Saladang Song is open at 7am, so they do breakfast.
PARKING: Pretty good to fair. Saladang Song sits on the opposite side of a long Parking Lot that stretches in between it and the original Saladang. It’s usually decently crowded with like one or two available spaces at any given time. So, my gut tells me if you go, you will get a Parking space. The lot may look full, but try anyway. Failing that, you can try parking on the street. But the lot should be your first and second option.
383 S. Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
Tel: (626) 793-5200
Daily: 7:00 am-10:00 pm.