Providence Cicero's neighbors cart her 20 miles to their favorite Chinese restaurant, Redmond's Spicy Talk Bistro. And now, says Cicero, it's her favorite too. Chef Cheng Biao Yang and wife Hoang Ngo "blazed a trail for Szechuan pepper-azzi to follow" (grooooaaaaaan) at past restaurants Seven Stars Pepper and Szechuan Chef. Their current venue is more bistro than typical Chinese restaurant, she says, and fresh, spicy dishes include "popcorn-sized, fried-chicken nuggets," hand-shaved dan dan noodles and various "wok-tossed riots of meat and vegetables." The pork wontons "are as good as — maybe better than — the ones at Din Tai Fung."
Cicero gives her new favorite Chinese restaurant 2.5 stars, which is also apparently the going rate for tepidly praised Mexican restaurants and finer-dining establishments that she straight up doesn't like very much. Sigh. We give up. [Seattle Times]
Hanna Raskin's review of her review of Afghan Cuisine and Banquet Hall is short, sweet and bereft of any shocking dietary confessions. La Raskin was "befuddled by the bread"and its large size, but she consults some pros and finds this thicker version is an "acceptable variation" of naan. [Seattle Weekly]