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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Casual restaurant

Daily 11:30am–3:00pm
Daily 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Delivery, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Upper Chapel Area
1180 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT
(203) 865-5033
Indochine Pavilion
If you’re looking for cheap pan-Southeast-Asian food, you’ve found your place...but good it is not

Indochine Pavilion is yet another way-too-pan-Asian restaurant that serves up Westernized versions of dishes from all over the continent. Our guess is that this place’s relative popularity has more than a little to do with the low prices. Many come for the incredibly cheap all-you-can-eat lunch buffet, offered daily for rock-bottom prices. The menu is humorously overstretched, with Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Thai all elbowing their way into print (though it doesn’t quite equal the fusion follies of Thai Pan Asian half a block away).

The interior manages to be quite pleasant. It’s above average for the strip, a cozy little room decorated in shades of brown that create a more careful atmosphere than some of the Chapel Street competition. We’ve always been a bit befuddled by the sign boldly advertising that the place got “three stars from the New York Times.” We have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but you have to respect, on some twisted level, that a bargain-basement pan-Asian joint on a New Haven street corner would be brazen enough to claim that they were on par with Babbo.

Let’s start with the good news. We particularly like the larb gai (a cold, marinated, minced chicken salad with onions and a wonderful limey tang), which might be the best choice of all. The vegetarian selection is also admirable. But go beyond this and it’s just your standard roll call of Asian-American slop. Red and green curries. Rolls. Sweet, sloppy sauces. You know the drill.

Service is attentive and friendly, they do a healthy take-out business, and they even deliver. If you elect to dine in, you’ll be sharing space with a Yale-heavy crowd that’s clued in on the same value proposition that you are. Just don’t expect fireworks.

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