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Two Stars for Varuni Napoli; First Look at Makan

Over at Creative Loafing, Jennifer Zyman reviews Varuni Napoli and gives the pizzeria two out of five stars. While the food is good and the hospitality shines, Zyman says the restaurant would do well to go with a less-Americanized approach:

Varuni has a lot of heart and treats his customers well. When he entertains children by showing them the pizza ovens, it allows parents to eat a slice and take a breath or a much-needed sip of wine. He's a smart restaurateur, but his pizzas feel Americanized instead of true to his Naples roots. Varuni may be catering to his customers a little too much. Some simplifying, coupled with his brand of hospitality, should continue to reward him with the adoration it takes others a lifetime to build. Such changes could make this restaurant the modern European eatery it aspires to be.

Behind a paywall, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's John Kessler pays a first visit to Makan, which recently opened in Decatur. Kessler believes the menu still needs some work, but finds some real highlights:

Boneless fried chicken chunks with five-spice are perfectly acceptable as nouvelle nuggets but have zero oomph. ... A bowl of ramyun (i.e., Korean-style ramen) has a more in-your-face flavor. Its overnight pork and chicken broth, rich and salty, gets further pumps of flavor from kimchi and poached garlic. The very good noodles (from Sun, the nation's top ramen noodle company) will keep you reaching your chopsticks again and again into the bowl.

THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Atlanta Restaurant Blog enjoys a few offerings at Zinburger. ATL Food Snob finds tasty tacos at Red Pepper Taqueria. Marie, Let's Eat! plans on returning to Chef La's Fish Fry. Friday Date Night enjoys Colombian-Mexican fare at La Carreta. Bella Vivere is a huge fan of Bambu Desserts & Drinks in Norcross. Burgers, Barbecue and Everything Else wouldn't make a special trip to Oz Pizza in Fairburn.

Taiyo Ramen

130 Clairemont Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 996-6504 Visit Website

Varuni Napoli

1540 Monroe Drive Northeast, , GA 30324 (404) 709-2690 Visit Website

Red Pepper Taqueria

3135 Piedmont Road Northeast, , GA 30305 (404) 869-2773 Visit Website

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