Thank goodness for intermarriage.
Without it, we wouldn’t have Clamato. Or Keanu Reeves. Or Peranakan food.
You heard us: Peranakan.
Never heard of it? Neither had we, until a recent visit to Nonya in Pasadena. It’s one of only a handful of restaurants in the country serving the Chinese-Malaysian culinary crossbreed, and the rarity makes it a great option for first dates, in-laws, or — heck! — anyone you want to impress. (Though we’re still trying to figure out how they got the word “Peranakan.”) The flavors will thrill any Asian-food enthusiast, particularly the sweet-and-crunchy whole-prawn spring rolls and the gingered sea bass in shallot-soy and vegetables.
Roll the credits, please. London restaurateur Simon Tong is the man behind the curtain. The starring chef is Tony Pat. The designer who dressed the space in dark woods, earthy textures, and greenery rising from gargantuan ceramic pots is Dodd Mitchell of Sushi Roku, Balboa, and Katana.
Talk about a winning — and rare — combination.
Nonya, 61 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena (626-583-8398); or online at nonyarestaurant.com.