Are You Ready for a Spam Sushi Benedict?

I recently enjoyed brunch at The Modern Hotel and Bar. You’ve probably heard of The Modern because its swanky rooms, friendly patio, and designer cocktails have made it a favorite of people visiting Boise and most national magazines. Now a decade old, it is equal parts hotel and local hangout.

You wouldn’t know it from the ‘Hotel and Bar’ moniker, but The Modern is also an excellent restaurant. The food is locally sourced and the menus are consistently eye-catching. My brunch menu was dotted with truffle oil, naan bread, green tomatoes, and bonito flakes. This isn’t Elmers.

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Quote of the Week: Helen Rosner

“Instagram means that once-private pleasures can be even more pleasurable when they’re broadcast to an audience of thousands. I may love the garlic scape pesto I whizzed up at home yesterday, or the peppery buttermilk panna cotta at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, but more than that, I love broadcasting that love, a narcotic combination of “but it’s my job” rationalization and the validating thrill of a push notification. Every picture of food is a selfie.”

– Helen Rosner

Click here for the rest of her astonishing essay about chicken tenders.

Take Note: This Place Makes an Underrated Sandwich

The High Note Cafe is easy to overlook. It’s a small establishment squished between Flying M and Guidos. It often advertises itself as a music venue, and I don’t tend to conflate live music with good food.

But the food here is quite good. It feels homemade, as if your high-functioning, gourmand roommate just thought to make you lunch. Nothing is carefully plated, nor overwhelmingly seasoned, but the portions are generous, and the ingredients are left pleasantly intact.

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Remembering Jonathan Gold

The food world lost its greatest critic on Saturday. Jonathan Gold, the beloved sovereign of Los Angeles eating, passed away at the age of 57.

Jonathan Gold’s page on the L.A. Times website has long lived at the top of my bookmarks page. I visited it every day hoping to find a new review.

The man was quite simply a legend. He began his career by incredibly eating at every restaurant on Pico Boulevard. He cemented his legacy with an eponymous documentary that demonstrated his virtuosic command of the food scene in the second largest city in the United States.

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Wok-Inn Noodle Is a Hidden Delight

The first time I attempted to dine at Wok-Inn Noodle, it was closed. The sign out front said it had opened an hour ago, but the door was locked. When I peered through the glass into the darkened restaurant, I saw a wizened man slowly sweeping the floor. He didn’t seem like he was in a rush to get cooking.

Wok-Inn Noodle doesn’t operate like most restaurants. There’s one small dining room, one server, and one chef in the kitchen making one dish at a time—and the restaurant opens whenever he feels like it.

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The oddly charming dining room at Wok-Inn Noodle.

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Can Saint Lawrence Gridiron Tackle Your Taste Buds?

Boise is home to a lot of restaurants that serve upscale casual American cuisine. Boise is also home to a lot of restaurants that used to be food trucks. Saint Lawrence Gridiron is both of those things, and that makes it a quintessentially Boise establishment.

Saint Lawrence offers barbecued meat and comfort food redesigned in service of modern palates. The menu includes brisket, pulled pork, and other hefty entrees that your doctor doesn’t need to know about.

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How good can Chinese food be?

Get ready for some wild speculation:

Different foods have different degrees of upside and downside. Pizza, for instance, has sky-high upside and almost no downside—it’s really hard to mess up hot bread and cheese. Foie gras, on the other hand, has high upside and devastating downside.

I fear that Chinese food—or the popular American rendition of Chinese food—is the rare cuisine that has both low upside and high downside.

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