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Choice Chinese at Chu's Taiwan Kitchen and Bar; Atchana's East West Grill's Almost There

Chu's Taiwan Kitchen and Bar, Lee Klein says, offers "more emphasis on [chef O.A. Chu's] native Taiwanese cooking. The resultant fare is fresher and better than thaat at almost any local Chinese restaurant not situated in an expensive hotel." Though the three dozen dim sum items aren't rolled out on a trolley, "that doesn't mean the flavors don't have wheels." Though he didn't love the chow fun's "overcooked" noodles, the "other main courses we tried were exemplary, and none was better than chicken cooked in a hot clay pot." Service "is attentive enough to perhaps warrant a slight uptick in the average check, but the atmosphere is not upscale." Bottom line: "this restaurant is really best for chowing down in dim sum, duck, and other tasty Taiwanese cuisine from the familiar Mr. Chu." [MNT]

Down in the Grove, Victoria Pesce Elliott takes on tiny Thai spot Atchana's East West Grill in the Mutiny Hotel. Although the owner's "ambitions are limited by the tiny kitchen and the fact that she is turning out three meals a day plus room service," VPE says "it's a start" and a "super spot for breakfast, too." For now, however, "the sweet and surprising Atchana's is taking it slow, but give it time and perhaps the whole cadre of Thai chefs will be back in the kitchen turning out more (and more authentic dishes)." Don't expect sushi, though. “Maybe Indian with Thai I could see, but not Japanese,” owner Atchana Capellini told VPE. “People always ask. But I am not doing it. At least not for now.” In the meantime, VPE had a huge list of likes, including rice paper spring rolls, Pad Thai, yelow curry, green curry and more. Bottom line: two and a half stars. []

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