From the lovely CarrieKravetz
(We couldn't copy her nice pics, but we have linked to the original post for your dining enjoyement...)
ix tapa Cantina Opening in Pasadena
December 2, 2009
Last night, I attended the opening of Jack Huang’s newest restaurant-Ix tapa Cantina. The new Mexican eatery found it’s home at 119 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena (Arroyo Parkway and Colorado Blvd). Huang owns two other restaurants in Old Town Pasadena; Bar Celona and Villa Sorriso (perhaps most well known as the Italian restaurant that hosted Michael Jackson’s burial reception).
“With ix-tapa Cantina, as with everything he does, Huang has taken a hands-on approach, including choosing the name of the restaurant and hand picking lighting fixtures with architect and designer Sat Gard.”*
Apparently Huang wanted ix tapa Cantina to feel like a real beach joint in Mexico.
“I always want to have that fun factor, and this restaurant feels like a beach resort, which fits into the theme we wanted to carry out,” Huang said in an interview with Pasadena Magazine. I think he did a good job, considering the space is 7500 sq feet, much larger than most Mexican beach restaurants I’ve come across. But, the heavy use of neon, and 90s decor elements definitely helped achieve the look.
How about the food? The buffet style line was already super long by the time I got there. It moved pretty quickly, and the staff was was constantly refilling the food in the chafing dishes. The buffet offered a few items off the menu, like; rice and chorizo beans, chicken mole, beef birria, cheese enchiladas and tacos. I don’t eat red meat, and I rarely eat pork, but I just had to try one of the tacos. I thought the pork taco was amazing–almost as good as the chicken tacos I get from my favorite local taco truck.
I’ve gone to quite a few store and restaurant openings in my day as an entertainment reporter. I thought this opening was super fun. Dan Cox, did a wonderful job with the PR. His use of twitter, was a great way to publicize the restaurant via word of mouth. And the press/bloggers received a special treat from Dan Cox: 3 drink coupons to be used at Bar Celona, or Villa SORRISO, after the opening at ix tapa cantina.
I walked about a block to Bar Celona, where my favorite mixologist, and owner of Neve Luxury Ice Company, Michel Dozois was bartending.
I used my drink tickets to try some fabulous drink concotion. I don’t quite remember what I had, but it had tequila, syrup, bitters and Michel’s ice. Maybe it’s me, but Michel’s ice makes drinks taste better.
Between the welcoming hosts, good food, yummy drinks, I’d say it was pretty fun night. The only thing that could make my impression of ix tapa cantina any better, is if I win that trip to Ix Tapa, Mexico they’re giving away.