1) Around Town: Today SIV waxes poetic on the upside of Sunday suppers: "It's a good deal all around. With the menu already set (with, at most, a couple of choices), it's easier for guests to focus on the company and the conversation. For that one night, waiters' jobs are less stressful because everybody at the table is basically eating the same thing and sharing the same experience. And by cooking just one menu, the kitchen has only to concentrate on executing a few dishes perfectly. Bliss." She recommends Lucques, Eva, Ammo, Noir Food & Wine, and Dominick's. [LAT]
2) Sherman Oaks: Off to Smoke City Market , a "shiny and spit-polished" bbq shop "furnished with Coca-Cola coolers that are slightly too shiny, and serving things like smoked turkey, mac 'n' cheese and black-eyed peas that belong to a completely different kind of restaurant...The baby back ribs — the baby back ribs kind of suck, which is probably a sign of authenticity. No Texan has ever gotten pork ribs right. There are a couple of barbecue sauces on the table — one fairly standard; the other thin, vinegary and mean — but you probably won't get around to trying them, unless you order the chicken, which is dry enough to need them.
The soupy chili; the bland mac 'n' cheese; the sweet yet compelling German potato salad? Whatever...But if you hit the place on the right day, you may even find a decent slab of pastrami...And when you belly up to the counter, and your order is dumped onto a cafeteria tray as a naked mountain of meat, you know Smoke City understands. This is Texas barbecue and nothing but Texas barbecue: thick slices of brisket, salty and fatty, cooked long and slow with the heat from smoldering oak, then sliced and served au naturel. These are crackly, peppery, coarse-ground sausages smoked in hanging loops, hot guts that look like hot guts. These are beef ribs thick as Bibles and black as sin, a solid pound apiece. What Smoke City needs to get right, it does." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find picks Afghan at Chili Chutney, Eastside Food Bites enjoys Osteria Mama, The Minty dines at Chaya Brasserie, Diana Takes A Bite at The Village Bakery, Food Je T'Aime tries Wolvesmouth, and Kund Food Panda hits Saddle Peak Lodge.