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August 4, 2010

Tatu coming to Power Plant Live

Pomegranate martiniA new, 120-seat restaurant is due to open in Power Plant Live! at the end of this month. It's called Tatu, and it will offer Asian food in a setting that owner Jody Pennette paints as just a toe-tap away from a nightclub.

"There is a DJ," said Pennette, of Greenwich, Conn.-based cb5 Restaurant Group. "It's for toe-tapping and bouncing your head, not putting your fork down and dancing. ... The moment you want to dance, there's a great selection of clubs [outside the restaurant]. We're sort of the primer for that." 

Pennette already owns a restaurant by the name of Tatu, at the Seminole Paradise casino in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., developed by Baltimore's Cordish Co. Cordish made Pennette aware of the opportunity to move into a 5,500-square-foot space in the Power Plant. It was previously occupied by Blue Sea Grill, which closed a year ago after five years in business.

There will be three components to the menu, as is the case in Fort Lauderdale: Traditional Chinese, Pan-Asian and Japanese. Here's a link to Tatu's menu.

"Really great, local, greenmarket, heirloom" ingredients will set the food apart from more run-of-the-mill renditions of those cuisines, Pennette said. The Chinese, in particular, will be "a bright, fresh departure from some of the gummy stuff," he said.

Because the Florida Tatu is part of a casino complex, Pennette said, it is "a big shimmering box, 30-foot ceilings, crushed black granite walls. It's a very powerful, dramatic space."

That wasn't going to work in the brick Power Pant, so they opted for a different style. He described it as "a rather provocative Shanghai Deco '30s feel. The interior is plush, almost a bordello, over the top. Very sexy. ... It's intoxicating." 

(Bordello? Why do I suddenly feel like I'm back at yesterday's Top Ten? Oh, never mind.)

A pomegranate martini of the sort used to wash down upscale Asian fare at Tatu. Sun file photo

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 5:26 AM | | Comments (28)


The following message is brought to you by Grumpytime Tea - When I'm up before 6, it's time for Grumpytime.

I had to check twice to make sure I wasn't on Midnight Sun when I saw the headline. I immediately thought of Tatu the banal teenage faux-lesbian Russian dance-pop concoction, famous for awful generic music and awkwardly making out on stage.

Traditional Chinese, Pan-Asian and Japanese.

Doesn't pan-Asian cover everything? Trad Chinese? Trad American Chinese or, oh wait, ... "bordello"? Never mind.

Just what we need, a quality farm-to-brothel techno-trough. The Seminole menu looks quite unappealing. Super-high priced versions of very ordinary Chinese stuff. $18 for a fried calamari "salad"? Ding Wow. Pan-Asian? Looks more like Pan-American lounge-nosh. (Come fry the friendly skies.)

"Tender greens" salad - $11. With prices like that, I want it served by a topless tatu'd pan-Asian girl in a thong. Just kidding, oh wait, there she is on the front of the menu.

Captain, ah kinna stop me foot from tappin'. An there's a wee tinglin' in tha netherlands...

It's okay, Scotty, we've entered Pan-Asian space. Set your chopsticks to Deep Fried Erotica.


Moo shu pork ya later ($23).

One of the great things about Tatu at the Power Plant is that you will be able to arrive by car, water taxi or ze plane...ze plane!

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try a pomegranate martini and tip your bartender.

You Mister Meat are a folish micreent. t.A.T.u. (why cant you not spell writes????) is top number one performance in world wide. Is global extravagans. Get with yourself and be free with yur mined. It's good time sexxy party for the ears and eyes. Liek the Madonna but doubel and with out the Gollum arms like jiggley turky neck.

I bet you guys think you are so funny. You exist for our amusement. .................................
we are NOT amused!
God I miss Elizabeth!

Things happen in cycles. Before Blue Sea grill, there was Cafe Asia back in 2000.

Cafe Asia started off great until they started charging a cover charge and then it went down hill, so they brought in a PR firm and changed it to Red Coral and then it just died within 12 months.

Best of luck Tatu!

See, that's better. Now THIS is like Old Times. OMG, RoCK... just thanks, guys.

We might not be amused, but I sure am.

"They're not gonna get us, they're not gonna get us..."

I second that, sean.

Glad to hear from OMG and RoCK. There's been a sense-of-humor deficit around here.

Glad you're feeling better, Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee, I thought I asked you to stay in the kitchen!

Back in the kitchen, nephew!

Can anyone name every concept that at one time occupied Power Plant Live?

Better question: Can you name a concept that hasn't been tried at PPL? That's the problem with PPL - too much concept, not enough substance.

Here goes, Chris. Ahem...

"Overpriced flash-in-the-pan-trendy"


if only sean were as funny and clever as he thinks he is.

If only. Oh well.

Tough room, sean. It's amazing how the dull-witted have become aggressive in outing themselves.

So out that they remain anonymous.

The mini golf course upstairs was a winner.

I'm just glad he landed on his feet after Fantasy Island isn't getting anymore air play.

I just remembered that I've actually been to Tatu at Fort Lauderdale.

I don't recall too much about the food, but I did get some kind of a cocktail served in a fishbowl...flaming nonetheless. I'm pretty sure it was a strong drink because after dinner I went to an REO Speedwagon concert.

A gawd...another boring tourist venue that'll survive as long as tourists still think this is cool.

I'd imagine that anyone reading this blog isn't in the target audience. Let the sheeple and the Timoni-moms get their thrills and spend your own time seeking out real food.

Now quit bitchin', get off of your collective foodie behinds, and go check out the new best pizza place in the city: Two Boots Pizza. Real freakin' pizza served by non-pretentious people in a just-casual-enough atmosphere that doesn't reek of Zoolander-style hubris.

And yes: perfect captcha. "Conjoined Roosters" I take it as a sign.

If a dining blog is designed to discuss and explore new ideas wouldn't it be helpful to be less cynical and judgmental before a place even opens?

We all know it makes for more colorful writing when slamming a new restaurant but maybe.... just maybe we should actually eat there first.

Just a notion to keep this type media useful for all.

if you dont like the idea, just don't go. No one is forcing you to go. There are so many restaurants in Bmore to choose from. But, most of you commentators probably find something to criticize about every single one, even restaurants that haven't opened yet.
I'm with Fabiana! Eat first, then be nasty.

Hi Fabiana and David! Big kisses to you guys!!!

I totally totally agree with my boos. Changing an empty space in our city into a habitat for potential is a magical undertaking. Imagine some human beings and spirits bringing their life energy to nothing and creating something out of the sorrowful void, that lonely silent emptiness. And all just for us.

Think of how wonderful that is. What a blessed gift. And all we have to do ifs be here and someone tries to add another color to out city's rainbow!

Just being brings us gifts from strangers who may become friends. Just living on the same plane although far away in space.

We are all One and this new venture seeks to feed and entertain us. And just because we are here. Doesn't that tell you how special each and every one of us is? All part of of the lovely rich tapestry of life we weave.

So let's not judge harshly or at all, but let this new gift flow over us like a sparkly waterfall. Let their love and food and music flow over you like dewy angel kisses.

Live, love, dance, eat!!!

holly, that was some funny shizzle!!

i loved it. we need to chill and partay

"Eat, Pray, Love." Peace....


I think cult of personality is what you're looking for here. Remain calm unless you see any more Kim Jong Il-like behavior besides putting their name on everything. You know, like erecting statues or enriching uranium.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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