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Friday December 19, 2014
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Pacific Rim

 

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Alongside that soup, our table shared a plate of fried calamari. I wouldn't have ordered it myself-I've hit my lifetime limit on this dish-but if you're still up for it, Pacific Rim's version is as expertly prepared as any, and the sweet-hot dipping sauce that comes with it is stellar. The monsoon platter is a crowd-pleaser, combining familiar items such as a standard spring roll with novel ones like a pot sticker stuffed with duck confit. Each of the four two-bite appetizers is paired with a flavor-boosting sauce, the best of which was the smashing cilantro-lime chutney for the wee crab cake. Arranged on a square of white porcelain, the appetizers reminded me that I have not found more beautifully plated food anywhere in town.

Among the dinner entrees, we tried two that were new to us. The fillet of hamachi (yellowtail) is barely seared, thinly sliced, and served with buckwheat soba noodles and a tidy mound of watercress. The overall effect is light but nourishing. The scallops with quinoa turned out to be the kind of unexpected and dramatic dish Pacific Rim can do so well: three fat scallops seared with a thin crust of the ground quinoa (the ancient Incas' "mother grain" and a nutrition powerhouse) and served alongside saffron rice and a mélange of cubed kohlrabi, crunchy edamame, and fennel.

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