Pashion Restaurant & Lounge, now open in the former Hollywood East space in the Price Avenue strip mall, turns out to be two completely separate spaces. To get to the lounge, you walk down a short, undecorated, wood-paneled hall, turn right…and enter the set of a Woody Allen movie. Actually that’s not fair. The space is a futuristic swirl of neon backlighting, televisions, groovy music, and everywhere white: chairs, walls, tables, floor, white white white. They’re going for the Bed Supperclub vibe, and they appear to have hit it. What plays in Bangkok, however, may not play in Wheaton; it will be an interesting experiment.
Other than poking our head in, we didn’t spend time in the lounge, just not our scene. We instead tried the restaurant, down the hall to the left; the restaurant is clearly an afterthought and really shouldn’t be open yet, but I expect they were itching to open the lounge and decided to (or maybe had to, due to some MoCo law?) open both sides at once. The lounge is both the hot and cool side of the Pashion McDLT, and the restaurant side is, alas, nothing but the styrofoam box. The same Hollywood East-era wood paneling still adorns the walls. Tables and chairs have some style, and we liked our friendly and attentive server, but that’s it for good stuff. My menu still had the retail barcode sticker on the back. All the menus say “Passion” on them, not Pashion like everything else — the menu way is preferable if you ask me, but the lack of consistency is a red flag.
Other alarming details, for a restaurant that intends to be upscale: wine glasses were plastic — not metaphorically! Literally plastic. Which was sort of okay, because they didn’t have any wine in stock yet. They also didn’t have the right ingredients to make their alleged house specialty, the “pepper soup.” Simply not ready for prime time, or opening time. Or any time.
They may have a “pashion” for neon and white, but I wish they were more passionate about the food, which actually wasn’t terrible, although one friend objected to unidentifiable “hard objects” in her chicken wrap. Still, our meal was average at best: the chicken and beef wraps were nothing special, the burger was decent (and the bun nicely toasted) but overcooked, and the cheese sauce on the tortellini was suspiciously Kraft-like (I don’t think it was Kraft sauce, it tasted a little better and was thicker than that, but it sure had that artificial orange color, at least it seemed that way under the too-dim lighting), though the deft sprinkling of pine nuts and parmesan on top was nice. Prices aren’t horribly high, but are too high for mediocre quality. There wasn’t much effort at plating/presentation either, certainly not in the same ballpark as the photo on their website.
Pashion has been open only a week or two and they deserve a chance to work out some kinks, so I won’t say I’ll never be back. I’m sure the Gazette will review them soon enough, which should be interesting. The restaurant side needs a whole lot of improvement. The lounge side looks pretty cool if that’s your thing. Is that your thing, Wheaton?