"Mr. Bowien does to Chinese food what Led Zeppelin did to the blues," says Pete Wells of Mission Chinese. Bowien respects tradition while going a little crazy with the details. The housemade pastrami in his kung pao pastrami makes you laugh because it's so good. But a few stumbles earn the loud cheap-eats spot two stars.
The Daily News' Stan Sagner tells no, urges you to make the trip to Flushing for Hahm Ji Bach's shareable Korean portions. Go for the Pajeon (rice flour pancake), steamed blowfish stew, and grill-at-your-table BBQ. Sagner awards three of five stars.
Bushwick's El Mio Cid is a celebration of the famous poem about retaking Spanish territory from the Moors and a commemoration of real Iberian tapas restaurants. Robert Sietsema laments that while hipsters may not be beaten back from the neighborhood anytime soon, whole sautéed sardines, chicken croquettes, and a variety of veggie dishes come in surprisingly large small plates. Skip the unsatisfactory mains he says they're aimed at warding off hipsters.
The usually kind Tejal Rao enjoys the duck-fat popcorn that came with her butterscotch budino and vanilla ice cream at Arthur on Smith in Carroll Gardens. But the chicken-liver mousse, tough gnocchi, and overcooked shrimp in tagliatelle leave a bad taste. All in all, a Bronx-Italian spot in Brooklyn that's good when it's good.