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John Kessler Awards Two Stars To Raku Tonkatsu + Ramen

<a href="http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2011/07/14/raku-restaurant-review-duluth/?cxntfid=blogs_food_and_more"></a>
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John Kessler, of The Atlanta Journal Constitution, reviews Raku Ramen + Tonkatsu - the new endeavor from the folks behind Honey Pig - and awards it two stars. Kessler, who spent quite some time teaching English in Japan, calls the menu "a nicely curated list of all the easygoing, snacky items and set meals that everyone in Japan, and everyone who visits Japan, learns to love." As for the more unorthodox Korean versions of Japanese classics, such as the takoyaki (squid balls), Kessler says: "Go with it."

Bill Addison of Atlanta Magazine travels to Duluth to review Shami Kabab, one of Atlanta's only Afghani restaurants and awards it one star, but seems enraptured with the food despite the relatively low rating.

You do come to relish the singular specialties. One of the sincere Afghan servers will quickly steer you toward the aushak. Abdul Nabi couldn’t find the native leafy green traditional to the dish, so she fills her dumplings with a combination of leeks, spinach, and fresh cilantro as a close approximation. You fish them out, coated in the swirl of sauces. The slippery dumplings and tomatoey meat sauce comfort the same way spaghetti and meatballs do, but the additions of gently spiced yellow split peas cooked to melting softness, garlicky yogurt, and dusky dried mint all add exotic frisson. Aushak's sibling is mantoo, in which the meat becomes filling for the dumplings. Both of these dishes can be ordered in appetizer or entree portions. Really, if I enticed you to experience only this soul-satisfying duo, my work would be done.

THE ELSEWHERE:
Creative Loafing's Cliff Bostock take a look at the newly opened The Wrecking Bar. Also in Creative Loafing, new "Cheap Eats" columnist Brad Kaplan, reviews The Good Food Truck and calls the the exotic hoe cake "a moment of brilliance." Jenny Turknett, of The Atlanta Journal Constitution, reviews Jenny Levinson's newest spot Cafe Jonah and the Magical Attic and awards it two stars.

THE BLOGS:
Food Buddha reviews Lana's Express, a Korean-run Russian food stand and Carniceria Ramirez Taqueria.

2550 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth

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