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Two Stars for Elements Kitchen, Mexican Sandwiches at Pal Cabron

1) Elements Kitchen: Today SIV ventures out to Pasadena to check in with relative newbie Elements Kitchen which earns a two star review: "Other restaurants have foundered at this address, but somehow I think this one is going to make it. For one thing, the space looks better than it ever has. It's more comfortable too. And the food is not only fresh and delicious, it's something different for the neighborhood." SIV explains that the menu is "a bit confusing at first" because dishes are listed by element or ingredient, and while she enjoys much of what she eats, "dishes with more self-conscious chef-y touches can be hit or miss." However, she describes service as "excellent," wine service as "very good," and "cheeses are not just the same ones you see everywhere." Overall, if the chef would "just leave the self-conscious chefly tricks behind and trust his instincts for cooking delicious, soulful food, Elements Kitchen could inch up on the best restaurants in town." [LAT]

2) Pal Cabron: It's back to the traditional eats this week as The Goldster uncovers the king of Mexican sandwiches known as the cemita poblana: "Over the last year or so, the cemitas cult in Los Angeles has probably centered around Cemitas y Clayudas Pal Cabron in Huntington Park, not necessarily because the restaurant serves the very best cemitas in town...but because Pal Cabron celebrates the sandwich with such passion...I like the cemitas stuffed with lamb barbacoa, chipotle, a handful of acrid papalo leaves and an extra dose of quesillo. And a michelada, of course, if not two. Who couldn't use a little extra worm in his diet?" [LAW]

The Elsewhere: The Find discovers Korean classics at Mapo, LAmag drops by 9021Pho, Kung Food Panda takes a turn at Ludobites 4.0, Gastronomy eats sushi plus more at Tiger, Exile Kiss choses Ethiopian at Rahel Ethiopian Cuisine, Potatomato revisits Canele, and Midtown Lunch hits up Cart for a Cause.

Elements Kitchen

37 S El Molino Ave Pasadena, CA 91101

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