So many elements are firmly in place at Pacific Rim: the kitchen’s visual artistry; the excellent pacing of meals; and the service, with longtime waiters who know the menu inside and out and help steer food and wine choices. If I were going to fault Tang on any single point, I’d wish he would mix it up a little on his menu—and I may get my wish. When I talked to him after I finished my meals here, I learned that big changes are in store.
In mid-September, Pacific Rim discontinued lunch service. Tang says that “at best we were breaking even” at lunch—and he and his staff needed the time to focus on an upcoming expansion of the restaurant. They’re about to break through the west wall to add a bar, overflow seating, and a private dining room in the old Ehnis & Sons space. And they will finally have an ADA-compliant loo (currently the restrooms are downstairs). The restaurant will remain open during the renovations, which Tang hopes to complete by mid-December.
Pacific Rim is a sleek and stylish exemplar of restaurant design. With its understated lighting, deep warm colors on the walls, and beautifully crafted wooden accents, it’s one of the most visually soothing eating places in Ann Arbor. Tang is very sensitive about maintaining that ambience. Though the expansion will add about forty seats to the current fifty-five, he promises to preserve Pacific Rim’s look and feel.