1) Bann: Today SIV hits K-Town to sample the wares of newcomer Bann Restaurant & Lounge where "the food is a mix of traditional dishes and artfully presented contemporary fare that attempts to bring some of the elements of trendy Asian fusion restaurants to Koreatown with mixed success...the highlight of the menu is the array of cold and warm small plates that can be ordered separately or in groups of three." Sher enjoys the mini mung bean pancakes and the "delicious" lettuce packets stuffed with chicken gizzards, but pot stickers are "just ok." She writes, Bann "may be the splashiest place in Koreatown" with its "mix of traditional and contemporary Korean elements" and smokeless grills, one and a half stars later Bann "sets itself apart with a menu of moderately innovative Korean food and a stylish setting where you can have a leisurely dinner in pleasant surroundings...that said, if you're hoping for a thrilling take on Korean cooking like at, say, David Chang's at Momofuku or Ssam Bar in New York, this isn't it. Bann is more sedate and much less bold in its cooking, but it still takes one step forward in giving us something more than the same-old, same-old." [LAT]
2) The Yard: The Goldster treks west to file thinkage on Santa Monica's The Yard. Right off the bat it seems like he digs the place, but then he writes, "the first time I visited, the meal couldn't have been more of a disaster." Luckily, six months later, "the kitchen seems to have settled down, and the cooking is for the most part simple and accurate." Think, "local dishes elevated with great local produce, carefully prepared, and made slightly strange with the introduction of a semi-exotic cut of meat, such as beef cheek, or an unusual touch like harissa, balsamic-marinated grapes or smoked almonds...The Yard is a casual place to stop in after a late movie in the Promenade...or to drag yourself out of bed for Sunday brunch. The Yard wants to be your friend." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find hits SGV for Green Zone, East Side Food Bites marvels over Elf Cafe, OCR tries newbie Rustica, Diana Takes A Bite at Test Kitchen, A Hamburger Today hits Santa Barbara for a burger at The Boathouse, Eat: LA samples Four Cafe, and ShopEatSleep does street food with Manila Machine.