This week the Chronicle reviews Shawn Cirkiel's Chavez at the Radisson Hotel. Reviewer Claudia Alarcon had high hopes, but ultimately concludes that "this is not [Cirkiel's] finest outing." While she enjoyed happy hour at the bar, a subsequent dinner visit left her disappointed:
I was leaning towards the striped bass with hoja santa ($23), but we'd already had a lot of seafood and our server spoke highly of the grilled hen ($16), served with cauliflower purée and roasted florets, pickled red onions, and salsa verde. We thought the combination odd, but the hen was juicy; still, the dish lacked any real wow factor. Even more disappointing was the lamb in mole poblano ($22). I should have known better – lamb is not traditionally paired with this style of mole. A bright and vibrant mole verde, or a lighter mole colorado or pasilla sauce would have been a better pairing. But even so, the chavez mole was way off, bearing no resemblance to authentic mole poblano.
The Chronicle also took an early look at Kin & Comfort. The newest project from Ek Timrerk is "so tidily away in a nondescript shopping center in north Austin that you wouldn't know it was there unless you knew it was there," but reviewer Melanie Haupt says she'd "put money on Kin & Comfort being at the forefront of Austin's next generation of 'It' restaurants":
... Son-in-law eggs, a popular Thai street food consisting of deep-fried boiled eggs seasoned with tamarind, are transformed into church picnic-worthy deviled eggs topped with wisps of fennel ($3 for 3). Cabbage is elevated from run-of-the-mill coleslaw to a heaping tangle of coconut-dressed crucifers, the raw crunch of the cabbage punctuated by an oily umami pop from fried brussels sprouts and earthy cubes of chilled steamed beets ($5) ... You might notice a reference to East Side King with the catfish fries ($8), which is deeply reminiscent of that joint's chicken karaage, only lighter and more refreshing.