After almost four years away, two-decade-old Akbar from Pasadena is coming home. The former Akbar Cuisine of India restaurant stood for 20 years at 44 N. Fair Oaks Avenue as a mainstay of the Indian culinary scene in the San Gabriel Valley, before changing its name and menu slightly as part of a move to the outskirts of Chinatown in 2018. Now it’s coming back.
Akbar’s property has reached out to notify Eater of the planned return, which will place the restaurant at 404 S. Arroyo Parkway, inside former Galanga Thai and almost directly across from Whole Foods. The group also announced the restaurant’s return on social media, although more specific details on the reopening are yet to come.
Since 2018 Akbar co-owner Avinash Kapoor has run Kapoor’s Akbar at 701 W. Cesar Chavez, taking the restaurant from Pasadena to Chinatown while revamping the menu a bit. As DTLA News noted earlier this year, some of the staples have remained even as Kapoor embraced street food and a faster, more casual dining model during the ongoing pandemic. Another Akbar affiliate site also exists in Marina del Rey.
Akbar’s return isn’t just good news for diners keen to see a local favorite return to Pasadena, it’s a good sign for long-standing and local small businesses that have continually struggled during the ongoing pandemic. . Much like Hollywood and Beverly Hills, Pasadena has been rich in new restaurant openings over the past year, and Akbar’s arrival at Arroyo Parkway puts them right next to everyone from Lucky Boy to Houston to. Howlin ‘Ray’s and the barbecue specialist Slab. Expect Akbar’s likely return in mid-2022.