We returned after a 2 yr absence and were happy to find the food under new ExecChef Uong as good or better than ever. The fried chicken has come up a notch and we now consider it superior to Casa Orinda/Orinda. Both mac'n'cheeses are very good, but let them sit so the thin white sauce underneath has a chance to thicken up. Cornbread is still very good although not as tall/tender as it used to be.
Jambalaya had wonderful flavor but was more risotto like, without andouille or tomatoes. Spouse didn't care for the chicken wings, which are traditional but the whole flabby-skin thing was a turnoff. Desserts were an attempt to update classics that didn't quite work, too sweet and heavy. Coffee was good.
Pican's biggest flaw is the service. The owner and mgr are both attentive but the waiters run around without really looking at the tables as they pass. Once you catch their eye they're attentive, but you shouldn't need to do that all evening. Our first waiter failed to tell us of the specials, only indicating the tasting menu, which was a huge mistake. There was a dish on special that night we would have ordered had we known about it, but we didn't see the signboard until we were leaving (it wasn't put out right away; we entered just as they opened). Still, Pican is consistently very good to excellent, and you don't feel as if you've eaten a ton of grease and salt as you would at most soul food places.
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