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Some will remember Pacific Rim’s early incarnation as Kana, a small, family-owned Korean restaurant that opened near the University of Michigan Hospital in 1982. After 12 years of success, Mr. and Mrs. Ko outgrew that location and in 1995 moved their restaurant to its current location in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor.

In 2000, Y.B. Ko took over his parents’ restaurant and decided to expand the menu to include other Asian cuisines. He partnered with graduate school friend Duc Tang to create Pacific Rim by Kana. Duc came with no job experience in a restaurant kitchen and Y.B. had little business management experience. But together they possessed a vision for what they wanted to create (see philosophy). While Y.B. solicited the help of many friends to renovate the hall, Duc started experimenting in the kitchen to create a new menu.

Slowly the menu evolved from the traditional Korean cuisine of Mrs. Ko to a more contemporary pan-Asian cuisine that draws from the best of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food. And Pacific Rim evolved from a traditional Asian restaurant serving noodles and stir-fries to an upscale fine-dining establishment serving Duc’s own creations that are firmly rooted in his Asian-American heritage.

Pacific Rim turned a new chapter in 2007 with Y.B.’s departure to Hawaii. Now as sole proprietor, Duc forges ahead in continually striving to make Pacific Rim a place of genuine hospitality and great food.

March 23, 2010
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