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Lauren Chapin - Kansas City Star Restaurant Critic


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Having had lots of Korean food in Ann Arbor

Reading that review made me long for the Kosmo Deli - my favorite "Korean Restaurant" in A2. :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Having had lots of Korean food in Ann Arbor

Reading that review made me long for the Kosmo Deli - my favorite "Korean Restaurant" in A2. :wink:

LOL!! Well, we won't tell Lauren, she won't know the difference. :wink:

Seriously, though, Chapin's descriptions of the food were textbook... just not much passion either way about it.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Having had lots of Korean food in Ann Arbor

Reading that review made me long for the Kosmo Deli - my favorite "Korean Restaurant" in A2. :wink:

LOL!! Well, we won't tell Lauren, she won't know the difference. :wink:

Seriously, though, Chapin's descriptions of the food were textbook... just not much passion either way about it.

I just today drove past Royal Korean on Shawnee Mission Parkway just West of Metcalf. There was a Japanese restaurant and a Chinese grocery store in the same strip mall so I plan on heading back soon to check it all out. So there must be two in town.

I ate at Choga once, my one and only time for Korean. I was by myself and the service was not very good. I got their version of a bento box with some stir fried beef in one hole, rice and veggies in others. I asked if they could make it extra spicy for me and was told "it's already spicy". Well it wasn't. I asked someone familiar with the cuisine if it is hot. they indicated not all of it. My response was "some if it is. isn't it?" Hey UE likes ice cream and stinky cheese, I like hot. Back to Choga, I got the feeling that the meat was pre-cooked and warmed when ordered. Nothing I had was really very good. I see raves about Korean all the time and would like to try some good, and hot, Korean. Maybe a trip to Royal Korean is in my near future.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Thanks for reminding me, chileheadmike!! I almost forgot about Royal Korean. I've been there too. The food I had at Royal Korean was a little better than at Choga, as I recall, but we only got the Bulgolgi, which was grilled table-side, and freshly grilled meat really can't be that bad... I'll be curious to hear what you think about Royal Korean.

What I need to do is a side-by-side comparison of their respective Dolsot Bibimbaps, my default Korean dish. Comfort food in a stone pot. Oh yum.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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We had a Sunday lunch at Choga just a couple of weeks ago. I agree with UE, it was good, fine and tasty, but I won't have the burn to go back. The bibimbap was better than what I had at Royal Korean, it was very good. As good as any I've had in Los Angeles. We liked the corn tea, as well. We also had a beef dumpling and rice cake soup whose name escapes me. It was very good. We didn't do any table top grilling.

Our condiments were, how shall I say?...curiuous. We had: Kimchee, good, standard issue. Great garlic broccoli dish. Tofu was wonderful. Chile daikon was just too tough. A strange, oddly enjoyable potato and apple salad type of thing. Sesame soybean sprouts with chiles, carrots and zucchini, wonderful! A dish of Korean chile paste that Lauren Chapin described as "hoisin like." I think it tastes quite different and is addictive.

We enjoyed the food, the service was odd and the dining room itself was non- descript. But, we were the only non Koreans there that day, the place was full and lots of little kids were having fun grilling their own bulbogi.

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I visited this Shawnee Mission strip mall shortly after moving in. The restaurant name, according to the business card, is Korea Royal China Restaurant. It shares a card, address and phone number (at least according to the business card) with Sapporo Japanese Restaurant.

It's funny, I stopped in to see if they had hot, fried chicken wings, common to a lot of Korean-Chinese places. Now I can't remember if they do or not. I think precisely what I was seeking got a little lost in translation.

Korea Royal China certainly is more open about its Korean-ness than a lot of Korean-Chinese places. The market in that strip mall is also Korean, rather than Chinese, although my guess is that there is a bit of Pan-Asian to most ethnic Asian markets around town.

I was recently in a pretty much abandoned shopping center at 95th and Nall, and stopped in the Asian Market there (yes, actually called Asian Market, as far as I could tell). It appeared to be Korean too. On my way out I noticed a Korean Methodist church on the NW corner of 95th and Nall. Anyway, there's a restaurant in said shopping center, ostensibly Chinese, but circumstantial evidence leads me to believe you might be able to get some of your Korean fix there as well.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Korean food, but I'm willing to keep trying. My wife is even less so, which somewhat limits my opportunities.

Edit: Oh, by the way, Korea Royal China was in The Pitch recently.

Edited by Aaron Deacon (log)
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  • 5 weeks later...

So, as an unnamed acquaintence of mine calls her, "her royal mediocreness" visited the Plaza location of Fiorella's Jack Stack and gave it 3 1/2 stars.

While I don't agree with the rating, I will say that at least the review and the score jived. She loved everything and gave it 3 1/2 stars. This makes sense.

Personally, I agree with member A Patric, who said (over here), "...it takes more than the taste of cheese and corn to draw me to a restaurant."

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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So, as an unnamed acquaintence of mine calls her, "her royal mediocreness" visited the Plaza location of Fiorella's Jack Stack and gave it 3 1/2 stars.

While I don't agree with the rating, I will say that at least the review and the score jived.  She loved everything and gave it 3 1/2 stars.  This makes sense. 

Personally, I agree with member A Patric, who said (over here), "...it takes more than the taste of cheese and corn to draw me to a restaurant."

I'm not a huge fan of Jack's Stack. Just not a lot of good smoke BBQ flavor. It seems that every time its mentioned, the cheesy corn bake gets raved about. I can open a couple cans of corn and throw in some cheese. I agree, why go to a BBQ place for sides? Nice onion rings though. I like OK Joe's, and I know I'm not the only fan of Gate's because they are always packed, (yeah I know, so is Applebees) but I do like their beef on a bun and I think they have the best fries in town (sides again). I like their burnt ends as well, nothing wrong with a little fat on the brisket.

Back to making this on topic, her review and points did seem to match up better. I just don't agree with either this time.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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  • 3 weeks later...

From Lauren Chapin's review of Trezo Mare from today's edition of the Kansas City Star.

A few thoughts:

1. She's start reviewing other diners' meals? I know the Star's under a financial crunch, but goodness...

The couple celebrating her birthday plowed through their chilled platter of lobster, king crab, shrimp, oysters and caviar. I ordered the pumpkin crème brûlée with candied pumpkin seeds and caramelized sugar, a dessert that needed no electricity to finish.

2. Sous vides is so much the rage with New York chefs that it's illegal - I wonder if she knows this???

The buttery black cod with fingerling potatoes and baby carrots was steamed in a plastic bag, a European cooking technique that has been all the rage with New York chefs.

3. "Accouter..." who?

The entrees are served sans accouterments [sic]...
"Accouterment" is technically correct... but why bother when you're using other schmancy French terms like "coup de grace?"

4. How many times can she talk about one dish?

The fruit de mer tagine and bowl of ...

A few paragraphs later...

The coup de grace is the Tagine for the Table section, flaming clay pots of seafood meant to be shared by two or three.

A few paragraphs later...

The best deal for two or more diners was the fruit de mer tagine.

Now, for the black cod sous vide:

...hamachi with preserved lemon and capers to the black cod sous vide..
A few paragraphs later...
The buttery black cod with fingerling potatoes and baby carrots was steamed in a plastic bag...
A few paragraphs later...
several items, including the black cod and the tomato bisque

But, I guess when you visit only how many times?? I think not more than two... I suppose, there's not much to talk about...

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

While reading Ms. Chapins descriptions of Room 39 in todays paper, I almost missed this because it was below all the ratings stuff.

several lovely selections were still available, including the fabulous Broadley Pinot Noir. As thick and dusky as an English fog, the Broadley was as aromatic as truffles and as rich as dried cherries.

I also enjoyed the Domaine de la Solitude, a hearty Rhone with a bit of polish, like Eliza Doolittle after finishing school.

Is she taking lessions from the Dan Rather School of Exemplary Descriptives?

how is a wine as dusky as an English fog? When did a Rhone with a bit of polish remind one of Eliza Doolittle?

She just cracks me up.

I have no idea of what she is describing or she means.

Edited by joiei (log)

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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While reading Ms. Chapins descriptions of Room 39 in todays paper, I almost missed this because it was below all the ratings stuff.
several lovely selections were still available, including the fabulous Broadley Pinot Noir. As thick and dusky as an English fog, the Broadley was as aromatic as truffles and as rich as dried cherries.

I also enjoyed the Domaine de la Solitude, a hearty Rhone with a bit of polish, like Eliza Doolittle after finishing school.

Is she taking lessions from the Dan Rather School of Exemplary Descriptives?

how is a wine as dusky as an English fog? When did a Rhone with a bit of polish remind one of Eliza Doolittle?

She just cracks me up.

I have no idea of what she is describing or she means.

She just returned from a wine writers' workshop. With any luck it will wear off over time.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I love the winese/whinese where poeticism is more important than describing the wine. I had a friend who worked for the Coppola vineyards who, at the least provocation, would go into the most inane winese descriptions:

"The ____ pinot, although delicate, has the rounded firmness and sweet cherry finish similar to the breasts of the women of the Swedish gymnastics team."

or...

"The _____ chianti starts with a surge to the back of the palate then continues with the staying power of a three Viagra Sat. nite."

And although I know no members of the Swedish gymnastics team, nor do I have any knowledge of a three viagra Sat nite; the imagery does seem to work. And it is far more interesting than: "Good juice/Bad juice".

"the only thing we knew for sure about henry porter was that his name wasn't henry porter" : bob

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I predict that tomorrow, March 8, the restaurant review in the Star Preview will have at least one paragraph devoted to the sauce of butter chicken. No Indian restaurant review by Lauren is without much prose about the joys of butter chicken sauce and how one can eat just the sauce because it is so fabulous. I do hope Lauren talks about other dishes. Every Indian restaurant review she does revolves around butter chicken. All of her Indian restaurant reviews are the same. Butter Chicken is the standard. Too bad, there is so much more to Indian food than that one dish.

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  • 1 year later...

Anyone up for some more Lauren bashing? This time for her article on locally produced sausage. She lists some great places here but forgets the best place in the city for the things, Krizman's (sp) House of Sausage in the 'Dotte.

http://www.kansascity.com/living/food/story/657214.html

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Fritz's near Gates in Watt's Mill is good.

Has anyone been to Werner's on Johnson Drive?

I heard Nate Appleman, April Bloomfield and a whole cast of other characters will be in town this weekend to check out the KC food scene. Anyone else hear that?

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I don't know Krizman's. I like Werner's as a shop, though his sausages don't do that much for me.

Re: Chapin, I'm getting really frustrated with how many of her meals are eaten with two teenagers who don't like anything. How can this go on? I find that extremely puzzling.

Between her and Ferruzza, I know way more about the critics' dining companions than the critics themselves.

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I don't know Krizman's.  I like Werner's as a shop, though his sausages don't do that much for me.

Re: Chapin, I'm getting really frustrated with how many of her meals are eaten with two teenagers who don't like anything.  How can this go on?  I find that extremely puzzling.

I like how she got them to taste alligator tail at Bass Pro Shop. There's a restaurant that needed reviewing.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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I heard Nate Appleman, April Bloomfield and a whole cast of other characters will be in town this weekend to check out the KC food scene. Anyone else hear that?
Yes, I heard that; David Chang too.

What??? Can anyone confirm or deny this?

One of my best friends is a Spotted Pig sous chef who's from KC, and she doesn't know anything about it. She's off today so she wouldn't have seen April anyway, but she was surprised when I asked her about this. I'd love to meet April, and I trailed D Chang a couple days when he was working garde manger at Craft back in '02. I'd love to see him - he's certainly come a long way since then.

Anybody know any details of this trip?

"As far as cuisine is concerned one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain, in the end, just a little bit!"

F. Point

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If I may highjack this from the star-chef-spotting for a brief moment and return to the topic . . . :wink:

I was at a neighborhood birthday party and there were several people there discussing the sausage listings and the glaring omission of Krizman's and Fritz's. And these aren't even food-obsessed people. It's pretty bad when even casual eaters are picking your writing apart, and not for style but for substance (or lack thereof).

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Between her and Ferruzza, I know way more about the critics' dining companions than the critics themselves.

At least his friends are interesting. :laugh:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I heard Nate Appleman, April Bloomfield and a whole cast of other characters will be in town this weekend to check out the KC food scene. Anyone else hear that?
Yes, I heard that; David Chang too.

What??? Can anyone confirm or deny this?

One of my best friends is a Spotted Pig sous chef who's from KC, and she doesn't know anything about it. She's off today so she wouldn't have seen April anyway, but she was surprised when I asked her about this. I'd love to meet April, and I trailed D Chang a couple days when he was working garde manger at Craft back in '02. I'd love to see him - he's certainly come a long way since then.

Anybody know any details of this trip?

Check the Justus Drugstore thread for the 4-1-1.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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