This week the Statesman's Matthew Odam files a double review of family affairs Kin & Comfort and Titaya's. At the former, Ek Timrerk has " found inspiration in the idea of blending culinary cultures":
The fryer gets a workout on a menu that includes russet taro hush puppies ($3) with textured shells concealing soft interiors and splashed with a tart plum sauce. The worlds of the South and Thailand collide in fried rice balls ($6) with savory sausage-specked white gravy beneath a dancing blanket of bonito flakes. Southern picnic staples deviled eggs get a Thai update with a palm-sugar-sweetened sauce drizzled across the three soft-boiled-then-fried eggs filled with spicy mayonnaise and topped with crispy leeks.
Meanwhile at Titaya's: After a 13-month hiatus, the dining room got a new modernized look and they've also added a few new dishes:
Titaya's imported a few of Ek's dishes from Spin, like the refreshing larb sake ($9.95), a beautiful dish of cubed raw salmon tinged with chili and garlic and served with sliced tomatillos and halved grapes in a vinaigrette sweetened with palm sugar. ... Pad Kee Mao with ground pork ($8.50) balanced acid, crunch, heat, sweetness and earth in a dish of flat noodles weaving their way around a tumult of tomatoes, bell peppers, Thai chilies, onions and mushrooms.
Virginia Wood was wowed by the Tex-Mex burgers at El Sapo. While prices might be on the high side, it's worth it for food this good:
At this point, my faves are Charlie's Special ($12) with Cheddar, bacon, fire-roasted jalapeños, and all the trimmings, as well as El Chile ($13) with Cheddar, chile con carne, and more of those roasted jalapeños. The big, juicy patties are cooked on a flat top grill and are a meaty match for the fresh flavors of the vegetables and condiments.