Spicy ahi tuna tartar tacos, $8

Spicy ahi tuna tartar tacos, $8

That sleepy west end stretch of Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena just got woken up by a sleek three-month-old called 168 Restaurant & Lounge.

Located in the spot formally occupied by Villa Sorriso, 168 will entice you with a beautiful al fresco dining room and make you return for their spectacular service and exceptionally fresh ingredients. While they describe themselves as “Asian fusion,” it’s more pan-Asian with Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean options all under one roof.

The Eastsider: emulsified mint, cucumber & vodka

The Eastsider: emulsified mint, cucumber & vodka

I started with their aptly named custom cocktail, The Eastsider. With fresh emulsified cucumber, mint and vodka it looks like a drink that should have a little sugary kick, but alas, I had to settle for fresh. Booze never tasted so healthy!

Next, we sampled the very tasty Spicy Ahi Tuna Tacos. This is perhaps one of the few genuinely “Asian fusion” items on their pan-Asian menu. Consisting of a deep fried wonton shell, a dollop of flavorful guacamole and a generous helping of sufficiently spicy tuna, this was a steal for $8. We could have easily peeled off 2 orders.

Spicy tuna roll, $6

Spicy tuna roll, $6

Now to the main event: the Miso Glazed Alaskan Cod. It was 6 oz. of absolute perfection that was pan seared for a crispy glaze and oven-finished. Moist, delectable and flaky, I savored every morsel and forgot about the rice, roasted turnip and picked cucumber fixins’.

Miso glazed Alaskan black cod, $22.50

Miso glazed Alaskan black cod, $22.50

Speaking of fixins’, entrees are paired with a salsa sampler consisting of ginger/scallion, diced kimchi and what tasted like Vietnamese garlic/chili. Mixed together, it made our somewhat lacking sides of rice into pretty mouth-watering Bibimbap clone–for FREE!

168 Restaurant & Lounge, 168 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 91105

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