Restaurant Review Extravaganza (Week of February 15th)

Here are some of this week's most noteworthy restaurant reviews from across the country:

Broward-Palm Beach

Wild Olives by Todd English

The worst service I've ever encountered came while eating at the famed Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine. The waitress, who looked like a Latin version of Joan Rivers, was an absolute trip. I remember asking her how a particular fillet of snapper was prepared, to which she responded, "Are you a lawyer?" More >>

Dallas

Otaru Nippon Collection Japanese Restaurant and Lounge

Late one Friday we were seated for dinner in the central dining area of what seemed like a relatively quiet spot, Otaru Nippon Collection Japanese Restaurant and Lounge, located just off the Tollway. Coats off, drinks ordered, we settled in. Shortly after, we noticed the staff was not just tidying but removing tables around us, and we began to fear that we'd be the lone table in the middle of the floor. More >>

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Sara Kerens
"On weekend nights, you may find laser lights dancing across your bento box."

Denver

Panzano

The woman whooshed through the doors and out into the snow, the words tumbling out of her mouth faster than a Ferrari flying down a stretch of straight asphalt. She was from San Francisco, a tourist, the perfect display of a catwalk model -- faultless makeup, Pilates calves and a Barbie-doll waistline -- and she had just spent the last few hours lunching with a friend at Panzano, the restaurant attached to the Hotel Monaco. More >>

Houston

Rustika Café & Bakery

The gefilte fish appetizer at Rustika Café & Bakery consisted of two of the white fish lumps covered with sautéed tomato and roasted green pepper strips. In the years that I was married to a Jewish woman, I ate quite a few of these, usually at Passover Seders. More >>

Kansas City

Blue Fin Asian Fusion

Fusion -- the culinary kind, not nuclear -- is exploding in Leawood these days. The bustling stretch of 135th Street between Roe and Metcalf has a Bo Lings and a Tannahs, both of which serve a variety of dishes inspired by Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and other culinary traditions. And since November, chef-owner Jason Pi's Blue Fin Asian Fusion has joined the competition, serving a style of cooking that could best be described as a crazy quilt of cultures. More >>

Miami

Fish Shack & Market

Restaurants that focus on serving fresh, well-prepared seafood are surprisingly scarce in these parts, which makes the recent arrival of Fish Shack & Market more exciting than it should be. More >>

Minneapolis

Chimborazo / Cocina Latina

Relatively speaking, there's not a lot of South American food being served in the Twin Cities, and much of what Minnesotans do know of Andean cuisine tends to involve hang-ups about eating guinea pig. But for a less culturally conflicting--and far tastier--dining experience, Chimborazo and Cocina Latina showcase the culinary traditions of the state's burgeoning Ecuadorian population. More >>

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Alma Guzman
"An Andean adventure: Chimborazo's roast pork with llapingachos (potato pancakes) and hominy."