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Pangea portions global tastes

Pangea brands itself as a new taste of multi-cultured food. And, when its chef returned from a stint of schooling and fine dining experiences in San Francisco, a new Fig Garden restaurant brought together global flavors from around the world.

When first entering Pangea, the dining area is hidden behind a glass wine case, which reaches the ceiling. My party of three followed our friendly hostess as she walked us around the wine case and we were awestruck to see a large room decorated with a European?Asian fusion style of bamboo tables, a massive bar and a view of the luscious garden patio through glass windows.

While many of her fine ideas for this restaurant were born in San Francisco, executive chef, Fluro Bugnosen, who was originally born and raised in Fresno, wanted to combine a friendly family-style restaurant with the small-plate, fine dinning experience of the big city.

As we were seated, we could not help but look around rich, rust-colored walls and the abstract paintings. The atmosphere was warm, patrons seemed upbeat and I was excited to settle in to one of Fresno’s newest “hot spots”.

As I looked over the lunch menu, nothing really caught my eyes, so I asked our waiter to recommend his favorite dishes. He suggested the signature dish called Pangea vegetable samosas with a cool mint yogurt sauce and spiced fruit chutney ($8).

However, I settled for his second favorite dishes: Mexican spicy tuna roll topped with chipotle citrus aioli and Ahi tuna sashimi served Hawaiian Poke style with avocado-wasabi cream ($10), cabbage salad and house root chips ($12).

The tuna roll was very spicy for my taste, so I had to pass on trying that dish. My brave friends tried it and loved it. It came out on a shiny white plate with 6 pieces of sushi, dressed with a dab of ginger and wasabi. The rice roll of sushi had tuna and onion fillings with diced pita chips sprinkled on top and a drop of aeoli sauce in the center.

The next dish came out on a clear square plate. In the middle was a tower of cubed Ahi tuna laying on top of cabbage and shaved raw onions, with four house root chips leaning against the tower and a white sauce on the circle of the tower. It looked pretty interesting because it combined two different styles of Asian cuisine, Japanese and Hawaiian, but the taste was light and refreshing.

The waiter explained how Pangea tried to combine cultured flavors from California, Latin America, the Mediterranean, the Pacific Rim, and Italy. I found they blended together well, making a well-rounded experience.

Pangea opened four months ago at 752 West Shaw Ave. in Fig Garden Village on the corner of Palm and Shaw. Dinner entrees range $30 and under, reasonable for such quality food. Lunch is more reasonable prices from $8-$15. Our bill came out about $20 for two dishes.

I would recommend this restaurant for dating, friends or adult social gatherings. This restaurant brings exquisite meals to Fresno at affordable prices.

Private parties may be held at Pangea in the Terra room, which can divide itself into three sections called Una, Dua and Tria; in Latin, they stand for one, two and three small banquet rooms. You may choose to walk in or if hosting a large party, make reservations.

Lunch is from 11 A.M.-2 P.M. on Mon.-Sat., dinner daily 5-10 P.M. and Sunday brunch 11 A.M-2 P.M. A limited menu is served daily from 2-5 P.M.

For more information, contact Pangea at (559) 225-3800. Their website is currently under construction, but its address will be

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