‘The Lettuce Diaries’ Review: Salad Days in Old Shanghai

A Westerner visiting China in the 1990s could expect dinner hosts to offer their guest “salad” alongside regional foods like Sichuan mapo tofu or Hunan red-braised pork. The then out-of-place dish was both a sign of respect for the visitor and a way of showing that China was opening up to “outside” ideas, even about cuisine. Yet, a Chinese offering of “sè-lā,” as the dish is pronounced in Mandarin, would often remain untouched. What passed for salad—diced potatoes tossed with Russian dressing, or a half-head of doubtful-looking iceberg drenched in an indeterminate glop—wasn’t very appealing alongside traditional Chinese fare.


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Review: Chef Claudette Zepeda goes global with fine, flavor-packed food at VAGA restaurant

Two years ago this month, homegrown chef Claudette Zepeda was forced to closed her year-old signature restaurant, El Jardin, in San Diego. Now, the Chula Vista resident is creating a new legacy at VAGA, a globally inspired restaurant in North County that looks, tastes and feels like a space where she can put down roots and flourish.

Operating since May at the new Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas in Leucadia, VAGA is a stunning ocean-facing restaurant with an open kitchen, a Zen vibe and a diverse menu that celebrates the bold, multilayered flavors that distinguished Zepeda’s cooking on Bravo’s

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Review: Honest Indian Is A Truly Spicy Vegetarian Restaurant in Coral Springs

CORAL SPRINGS, FL – A sign of a good ethnic restaurant is one that, with its cuisine and atmosphere, can instantly transport you from your native surroundings to a different place. 

Ethnic restaurants in South Florida rarely can do that because many have become highly Americanized. Many serve food tamed for a domestic audience that cannot tolerate the spicing or pungency enjoyed by immigrants raised on their native cuisines.

One of the cuisines that I feel has been subject to heavy Westernization in the United States is Indian food. 

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