Jimoco Cafe and PastaPosted: 02/19/2012
Jimoco is a pasta place on Austin Ave. in Coquitlam, across from this Safeway that seriously needs a renovation. (They don’t have any self-checkout or customer service counter…what??) It’s a pretty small restaurant (maybe narrow is a better word), with booth seating as well as tables. The one thing I find odd about Jimoco is that the chef is Korean, much of the clintele is Korean, and yet the owner only hires Caucasian servers…I’m not sure if he did this to avoid the stereotype that Asian servers are rude. To be honest, I find the service here rather brusque and unprofessional…maybe it’s simply because this restaurant is ALWAYS busy. My most recent visit was on a random Thursday afternoon, around 2pm, and we had to wait for a table.
The real attraction of Jimoco is the prices. They have this “Grand Opening Special” (they’ve been open for a couple of years now, I think) where you can get two pastas for the price of one! Their pastas are priced around $15 or so, so technically a meal for two will cost around $20 including tax and tip! Not a bad deal at all. Well, on to the food…
Like a lot of pasta places, the meal starts off with complimentary bread. I’d rather get more than two slices of bread, but at these prices I guess you can’t complain. The bread is not baked in-house, but bought (as you can tell from the photo). It’s basically just two slices of bread toasted with garlic butter. It was toasted nicely, but really nothing special. I went with my dad this time and he wanted to save his slice of bread to eat with his pasta, but by then the bread was stone cold….
On this trip, my dad had the Linguini Soul. The picture’s a little blurry, I got too excited about the food…anyways. This is linguini in a rather spicy tomato sauce, with seafood (mussels, clams, squid, shrimp, baby scallops, etc.), served in a hot bowl. I believe this is one of the most popular dishes here. Well, for one thing, my parents have this every single time we come, and I’ve seen many other customers order it as well. It caters to the Korean customers–my parents often compare it to the Jambong at Korean-Chinese restaurants. This dish is definitely worth your money, considering how much seafood is included. The noodles were cooked al dente.
I had the Penne Alla Bombay. As the name suggests, this is penne served in a curry sauce, with bite-size pieces of chicken and diced tomatoes. I’ve had this a couple of times and always enjoy it. For one thing, the chicken is moist and flavourful, and not too dry. The pasta itself was cooked al dente, again. The serving size might look small, but I actually was unable to finish it myself (my dad ate the rest). I don’t think this is one of their most popular dishes, but it’s my personal favourite! I would have liked some fresh ground pepper though…
On a separate, earlier trip, my brother had the Risotto al Frutti di Mare. (We also had calamari on that visit–you can see it in the background, but I didn’t bother taking a photo of it. Pretty much an average and forgettable calamari). In any case, this is also one of the most popular dishes here, consisting of risotto cooked in a choice of tomato, cream, or saffron sauce (shown here in the cream) with mussels and other seafood. I believe the ingredients are the same as the Linguini Soul, not exactly sure…this also arrives in the hot bowl. It’s quite rich and creamy, and can get to be a bit too much once you’re about halfway through. Personally I love cream sauce so I don’t really mind, though, I guess it all depends on personal preferences! But once again, I really feel like fresh ground pepper would help, no idea why we weren’t offered any…
So to summarize. Jimoco is a bit out of your way unless you live in the area like I do, and the service leaves much to be desired. Still, the prices are too good to pass up–a decent and filling meal for two people for a round $20. Definitely worth a visit!
Jimoco Cafe & Pasta
1046A Austin Ave