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Earth + Ocean's Menu Needs Focus; More

Earth + Ocean
Earth + Ocean
Photo: Steve Hardy

Earth + Ocean's expansive menu is too large to execute properly and produces "head-shaking miscues," according to Phil Vettel. Ricotta-spinach dumplings are a "gummy mess" that are "so texturally awful" they're beyond salvageable; pork loin is overcooked and served atop cream corn grits that have the "texture of polenta;" and scallops over sunchoke puree are "so heavily smoked that they will test even a smoke-lover's limits." It's not all bad though as there are several highlights—jumbo prawns are "definitely a keeper;" roast duck and daikon hash with frisee greens and a slow poached egg is a "nice take on salade lyonnaise;" and the Hamachi and escolar roll is "worth your attention." To end, the red velvet molten-chocolate cake is a "cute mashup of two classic desserts." [Tribune]

Mike Sula stops by Rainbow Cuisine to have a taste of the special Thai menu. The naem khao tod is a "masterful blend of textures" of rice with red curry paste, chiles, fish sauce and more that's worthy of being a "movie-theater snack;" the khao kluk ka pi, a deconstructed shrimp paste fried-rice dish, is "deep and soulful;" and the spicy pickled bamboo shoot salad is "powerfully funky." Likewise, kluay khaek kluay tod is a "terrific sweet" while the more familiar kai tod is "more tender than most versions around town." It might not be the best Thai joint in town, but Sula thinks the cooking "recalls the glory days of Spoon, when it all seemed brand-new." [Reader]

Skip Duran European Sandwiches and get your sandwich fix elsewhere. Ari Theroux writes that the bread has an "unappealing sturdiness" and the sandwiches have a "lack of personality." With the exception of one that "had life" with "perky" sardines and salty anchovies, the rest "cried out for seasoning." On the bright side, the imported pastries from La Fournette have "perfectly piped creams and golden-brown crusts" so it's not a complete waste. [TOC]