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One Star for Stellar Service at Craig's, Vietnamese Noodles at Nha Trang

1) West Hollywood: SIV can't decide if newbie Craig's deserves half a star or one full star. She describes the service as "crisp and professional...where everybody is made to feel welcome and special," however the down side is that the food "is mostly mediocre." Anyway, Sher decides to appoint one full star to Craig's, which she also decides is "better than Dan Tana's...but that's not saying much...At Craig's, [owner Craig] Susser is all about the guests. And he's one of the last of the old school maitre d's in town. He knows exactly where guests fit in the pecking order, who should not be seated next to whom, which behind-the-scenes powerbroker has taken a new wife, which of the ladies who lunch needs her martini just so, who's in and who's out...Craig's is more about conviviality than dining. For a certain set, it's somewhere to go, an ongoing party where the host doesn't stick everyone over 30 in the back room and where — this is important — the noise doesn't come from a pounding rock track but from the honest, happy sounds of people talking and laughing, enjoying a night on the town." [LAT]

Elizabeth Daniels 12/10

2) SGV: Oodles of noodles, yet another San Gabriel Valley noodle discovery for The Goldster at Nha Trang. The restaurant serves "the noodles of Central Vietnam...a serious noodle shop...the kitchen makes only as much as it thinks it's going to need that day, and if you show up late, there may be no bun bo hue for you...There is also mi quang, like thick fettuccine tinted with turmeric, which comes with peanuts, sesame-studded rice crackers and a handful of herbs, in about three times the volume of broth you usually see with this preparation and pure, clean pho ga, chicken noodle soup, whose yellow broth wouldn't be out of place at Canter's...But you're going to want that bun bo hue, fresh-chile-hot and lemongrass-tart, which is a cleaner version than I've ever tasted, spiked with plenty of slippery pig's knuckle meat, with neither that meat's barnyard aroma nor its thick broth, with plenty of pig's blood (if you ask for it), and without the muddy flavor or the funk." [LAW]

The Elsewhere: The Find dines at Curry House CoCo Ichibanya, Gastronomy picks Rustic Canyon, kevinEats at Raphael, Potatomato hits Noodle Boy, OCR talks Tita's.

Craig's

8826 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA

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