I’ve always been intrigued by this place on an uphill corner not far from the Belleville Métro stop. Something about the design of the place has always made me think of Chinese restaurants in L.A. in the forties – or at least the way they’re portrayed in film noir. The fact that they’re open until 1:30 am only reinforces this perception.
The effect is certainly more pronounced late at night, when the neon trim is lit up and you can just imagine the Private Eyes rendez-vous-ing inside. I know this because I’ve walked past here dozens of times, en route to and from Restaurant Raviolis. I admit that’s where we were headed last Saturday for lunch before doing some banana leaf hunting at Paris Store. This being August, though, our regular haunt was closed for vacation, and so, on the strength of a recommendation from Sophie, we found ourselves perusing the dim sum menu at Le Pacifique.
You can learn a lot about an unfamiliar restaurant by observing the other diners. I don’t mean you should be staring, but do check out what’s on their plates, discreetly. I learned this way that Le Pacifique serves pitchers! of iced! tea! Of course it was printed on the menu as well, but now I knew to look for it. And at 4 euros a pitcher, it’s a hell of a bargain, especially when compared to the price of a single glass of iced tea at, say, Le Loir Dans La Théière. Iced tea seems to be something of a rarity outside the United States, but it’s something I like very much, so it’s always exciting to see it outside my apartment.
And it was good, too – not skunky at all, the way iced tea can get when it’s been sitting around too long – flavorful but not overbrewed, nicely chilled and not watered down by the ice.
Enough about the tea, though. What of the food?