What it’s about
The politics and personalities in the kitchen of an upscale Italian restaurant in Seoul, with special emphasis on the forbidden love between the hardworking kitchen assistant and her prickly new chef.
Light and breezy. Dare I say...love at first bite? More please!
If you’ll pardon the doubtlessly overused metaphor, this well-executed dish definitely deserves a passing grade—it’s made with a near-perfect recipe and uses only the finest of ingredients.
More of a lighthearted workplace drama than a traditional romantic comedy, Pasta may not have much of a central plot, but its underdog-makes-good storyline and episodic structure manage to stay fresh and interesting to the very end. (The middle does get a bit doldrumy, especially when the narrative starts to focus on the devious machinations of the show’s least likable character.) With its grown-up vibe and well-considered characterizations, Pasta is a laid-back, feel-good delight to watch. Its greatest charm, though, is the sweetly goofy relationship between its romantic leads: Coffee Prince’s sex-voiced Lee Sun Gyun and Greatest Love’s Gong Hyo Jin, she of the world’s most earnestly beleaguered expression.
Pasta also accomplished a rare feat: When I finish watching a Kdrama, I’m generally ready to move on to the next one, but this show’s final episode actually made me sad to say goodbye.
• Pasta’s female lead is like the anti-Ha Ji Won: always engaging, always charming, and always someone I’d like to see more of.
• There may not be a lot of heat in this OTP, but boy are they ever cute together. They even seem like they’re having fun, a shockingly rare commodity in Kdrama romances, where love tends to be a supremely serious matter.
• For such a food-porny show, most of the dishes served at La Sfera are a bit nouvelle cuisine for my tastes. (On the other hand, I would have gladly cleaned up all the extra servings lying around the set.) It’s amazing that everyone managed to stay so thin throughout this show, when practically every scene requires them to consume carbohydrates.
• Episode 2.
Consider moving to America! Here, you could sue this creep for gender discrimination.
• Episode 8. You know what else would be bad for business, Chef? If somebody died in the walk-in freezer, thereby necessitating legal intervention and probably shutting the place down altogether for the foreseeable future.
• Episode 17. Screaming doesn’t seem to be the most effective of teaching methods, does it? Maybe you should try something new, Chef. Say...telling the person why you’re rejecting their dish instead of making them redo it again and again without feedback. But then again, your student should probably be looking for a day job anyway—she grew up in a restaurant family, went to culinary school, and worked for three years as a kitchen assistant and still can’t grill a scallop? (Frankly, this makes me feel better for being totally inept in the kitchen. Of course I suck, if someone with those credentials can barely manage to feed herself.)