Restaurant Critic Roundup: 'Bells Ring' At Washington, D.C. Restaurant Beau Thai

This week in restaurant reviews, critic Pete Wells gives a 2-star rating to Manhattan's Hanjan. He does state, however, that "Hanjan's chef, Hooni Kim, had accomplished the most delicious kind of engineering feat, minimizing the layer of rice starch that makes up the bulk of a traditional pajeon and maximizing not just the crisp fried bits but also the flavor of scallions and wonderfully fresh squid," that "held on to the essential taste of Korean cuisine" at the same time. 

In Los Angeles, critic Jonathan Gold ventures into Muddy Leek, in "an odd location" and "an awkwardly proportioned space." Of the restaurant in general, Gold says, "Muddy Leek feels less like an edgy pop-up than like a comfortable place to drop in for a cocktail and a snack on a Tuesday night." 

"Bells ring as I slip into my seat at the latest Thai restaurant to pop up in the District," says critic Tom Sietsema of Beau Thai No. 2, a revamped version of its predecessor, with 80 seats, and a private party room." "What was once a public library is now a source of chicken satay, massaman curry and crab fried rice," he says. 

As always, the ratings range from stars to bells to beans, but every review offers specialized insight into the food, atmosphere, and service of eateries in each city's dining scene and the critics eating at them.

Restaurant Critic Roundup: 4/3/2013

Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Katie Johnston Boston Globe Barcelona Wine Bar 3 stars
Pete Wells The New York Times Hanjan 2 stars
Jonathan Gold Los Angeles Times Muddy Leek  
Brad A. Johnson Orange County Register Bruno's Trattatoria 2 stars
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle Belcampo 2.5 stars
Tom Sietsema Washington Post Beau Thai  
Robert Moss Charleston City Paper Rutledge Cab Co.  
William Porter Denver Post Bastien's 2 stars


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Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @atylersullivan