In the past week, the city's restaurant critics have reviewed Capitol Hill's Gnocchi Bar, Bellevue's La Bu La, and Queen Anne's Bounty Kitchen. Here's a roundup of what they're saying:
Lisa Nakamura's classical training and experience shows in the lovely Gnocchi Bar, reports Jessica Yadegaran: "One key to crowd-pleasing gnocchi, Nakamura says, is keeping the hot potatoes as dry as possible, so she favors roasting instead of the more common boiling method. I think it is one reason why Nakamura's aforementioned stuffed gnocchi ($13) is so uniform and toothsome. The gnocchi are golf-ball size and packed with Bleu d'Auvergne cheese, caramelized onions and dried plums. The addition of bacon crumbles and rich mustard cream sauce made my eyes roll back in my head."
Whether or not you like it spicy, Providence Cicero says that Bellevue's Sichuan restaurant La Bu La (formerly Bamboo Garden) has a lot to offer: "The lamb was a crowd-pleaser, and so was tilapia, a whole fish, big enough to feed several. Swimming against a fragrant tide of chile and spice, with a fruity undercurrent of black beans, the tilapia tasted as luxurious as black cod." 2.5 stars.
Nicole Sprinkle was pleasantly surprised to find that new Bounty Kitchen manages to be healthy and delicious: "[Bounty Kitchen is not] home to the tiny, precious single-ingredient presentations that proliferate at trendy, overpriced restaurants. Instead, think of a heaping bowl of lemongrass + basil salad ($12) with red cabbage, romaine, savoy frisée, carrots, bean sprouts, bell pepper, cilantro, mint, lemongrass, green onion, cucumber, and pea sprouts—all these fresh ingredients popping on their own yet commingling in vegetarian harmony—dressed in a peanut vinaigrette, a far cry from the too-sweet peanut dressings that dominate the salad and Thai-food universe."