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The Spice Table Takes Two; Gold on Umami's Modernism

1) Downtown: Today, the Spice Table nabs the twospot for "weav[ing] elements of cuisines from all over Southeast Asia through the menu like bright threads of silk...and the Spice Table gets just about everything right...The dining room, adorned with antique iron bird cages, is dark and atmospheric by night, cheerful by day. Service from a staff that's genuinely jazzed about the food is warm and professional. And the food — made with top-notch ingredients, cooked with care and redolent of the flavors of Vietnam and Singapore — puts Southeast Asia right on your plate...It's exciting to see a young chef take on the challenge of creating a contemporary take on the cuisines of Vietnam and Singapore, bringing everything he learned working in high-end kitchens to the task. But the Spice Kitchen works not just because of Ng's technical expertise but because of his emotional connection to the food he grew up with." [LAT]

2) Around Town: Nothing new for The Goldster this week as he discusses LA chainlet, Umami, "probably the first restaurant to employ modernist techniques at that kind of volume" (five locations). On burgers: "The burgers are compact beasts nestled into hand-size, gently toasted buns. The crust of the meat is crisp, sweet, well-browned; the juicy, dripping patties are perhaps juicier, more loosely compacted than one might expect from meat with a developed crust, but not significantly so. The interesting thing was that the meat dripped like a rare burger, but had the pinky-gray color of a burger cooked to medium. It was a good hamburger." Surprisingly, JG's favorite burger falls to "the turkey burger with green goddess dressing, avocado and sprouts. It tasted very, very green." [LAW]

The Elsewhere: The Find hits Kabab Grill , Darin Dines at KCET Uncorked @ Bouchon, Eat: LA picks Donut Man, Eating LA checks out Broome St. General Store, Gastronomy tries MB Post, kevinEats at Nobu, and Thirsty in LA checks out Black Market.

Umami Burger

852 South Broadway, , CA 90014 (213) 413-8626 Visit Website

Spice Table

114 S Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 620-1840 Visit Website

The Spice Table

114 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA