1) Church & State: Now that Walter Manzke has departed the kitchen at Church & State, SIV pops back in to try the offerings of newish chef Joshua Smith. For the most part she's a fan, although the restaurant does lose a full star in translation, dropping down from three big ones to a two star takedown: "many of the dishes weren't as good, especially the charcuterie, which now tasted bland and boring...After giving the new chef some time to settle in, I went back several times and each visit as Smith introduced more and more of his own dishes, the food got better and better...Smith's got a tough act to follow. He's not Manzke, and some of Manzke's fans are never going to get over it. They should, because Smith's cooking his heart out, and bringing a slightly different angle on French bistro food to this still charming place." SIV is thrilled to report (because we all know she loves her vino) that the wine list has improves with C&S's new sommelier and "more well-heeled women with major bags" are coming in over the starving artist types. Note to self. And in finality, this downtown haunt is changing, Sher's words of wisdom? "Don't fight it; embrace it." [LAT]
2) Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun: K-town it is today as Goldz swoons over Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun's cold beef noodle soup known as naengmyon: "...drifts of strong broth, so cold that they rise from the bowl in airy snowdrifts of beefiness, as tart and sweet and chilled as a properly made cocktail...The noodles, made from the ground roots of the same kudzu vine that is the bane of gardeners in the American South, are wire-thin, impossibly stretchy and of a tarry blackness, at least when wetted, that is intense enough to suck light out of the air...there is a halved boiled egg, a few slivers of pickled daikon, and a slice or two of cold boiled beef...sightings of great restaurant naengmyon have been floating around Koreatown for decades...yet it is at Yu Chun, which has all the aesthetics of an army mess hall, where the flavors are most compelling...Yu Chun's mool naengmyon is cold enough to give you an ice cream headache...Yu Chun's naengmyon is cold enough to eat for lunch today." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find travels to Westminster for French-Vietnamese at Uyen Thy Bistro, Diana Takes A Bite hits up Bastide, Eating LA visits Brent's Deli, Kevin Eats also checks out Bastide, Gastronomy eats Vietnamese at Ph? Nguy?n Hoàng, LA and OC Foodventures digs the chocolate box at Providence, and Midtown Lunch lunches at Ma Dang Gook Soo.