I'm new to this city (Ok, technically I've been here for almost two years, but I still don't feel like I belong) and always looking for good places to eat. We moved here from L.A. and, needless to say, feel that we suffered a huge hit in the diversity of available cuisine. No more Hawaiian plate lunches, Uzbek plov, or Brazilian feijoada for us!
That being said, we've found some restaurants with tasty, fresh fare that have surpassed our expectations. So here are our favorites:
Ruthai's Thai Kitchen, 3164 Linwood Avenue in Mount Lookout Square--excellent massaman curry and fragrant basil noodles
El Pueblito Restaurante Mexicano, 8450 U.S. route 42 in Florence, KY--great tamales, carne asada, and burritos (numerous other options as well; we just haven't tried them yet)
East African Restaurant, Ethiopian and Eritrean, 6025 Montgomery Road--everything we've tried was lovingly cooked by Mom and perfectly seasoned
Shanghai Mama's, 216 E. 6th Street downtown--we often opt for orange glazed duckling rice bowl and udon
Pacific Moon Cafe for dim sum, 8300 Market Place Lane in Montgomery--basically, this is the only place we've found that does an extensive dim sum service, and it's quite good, much better than we had hoped (given that we came from L.A. and its numerous dim sum restaurants); I particularly like the shrimp with asparagus dumplings and those with enoki mushrooms
Manhattan West for soul food, 6041 Montgomery Road in Pleasant Ridge--my husband loves the ribs and I dig in to the stuffed pork chops; yams and macaroni and cheese make excellent sides
We also frequent Ambar in Clifton for Indian food, Arthur's for burgers in Hyde Park Square, Doodles in Hyde Park Square for quick noodle soup, and Pan e Vino in Hyde Park Square (Ok, guess our neighborhood) for Italian and delectable crab cakes. We've eaten at the Precinct and Maisonette, and I actually preferred my meal at the Celestial to that at the venerated Mobil five-star. Teak and Lemon Grass Thai restaurants did little to please our palates.
(Note: I'm rather a wimp when it comes to spiciness, so any recommendations I've made are based on relatively mild versions of their cuisine. I can't speak to their ability to prepare, say, an unclog-your-sinuses curry. On the other hand, the fact that even mild interpretations of often spicy dishes are intensely flavorful in all these establishments says a lot about the quality of the restaurants, in my book.)
So after that lengthy discourse, here's your chance to tell me what I'm missing. What have we overlooked? What are your favorite food finds? I'd love to hear suggestions from others in, from, or otherwise familiar with the area. Thanks in advance.