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No Va's Food Disappoints; Gus's 'Awesome' Fried Chicken

No Va.
No Va.
Photo: Patrick Michels/EATX

Statesman critic Matthew Odam finds the design strong but the food lacking at Brad Sorenson's new restaurant No Va. On brunch:

We were denied the broken yolk sandwich with bacon ($14) because they were out of bacon. What they were actually out of was strips of bacon. They had plenty of salty lardon bits. They came studded in our mac and cheese ($7), despite the fact that we ordered sausage. It was hard to tell which ruined the dish, the salty bread crumb blanket atop the mornay-like sauce, or the incredibly salty lardons. We were told the sweet potato hash ($13) would come with a poached egg, but there was no glowing sunshine spilling forth from this dish. It resembled an inside-out omelet.
Odam rates No Va a 6 out of 10 concludes "No Va features a sleek, modern space, though its comfort dishes require a similar refinement."

The Chronicle's Claudia Alarcón finds a lot to like at the new downtown outpost of Gus's, though the sides are a bit uneven. On the fried chicken:

The chicken is truly unbelievable: perfectly crisp and golden outside, while still incredibly moist and juicy all the way to the bone. Be warned: It's spicy; it will set your lips tingling and slowly tease your tongue to keep eating more. We're not exactly sure what makes it spicy, since we didn't see traces of red sauce or specks of cayenne in the coating. Could it be a bath in pickled jalapeño brine? Whatever the secret, it makes for seriously addictive chicken.
Alarcón's other disappointment is the styrofoam plates; she hopes they upgrade soon so "I don't get a dose of environmental guilt with my awesome chicken."
· The Sophistication of No Va's Design Doesn't Always Translate to the Plate [Statesman]
· Gus or Bust [Chronicle]

No Va

87 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701

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