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Sh?j?: Finally, Some Decent Pasta in Chinatown

Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Sh?j? proves that not all restaurants in Chinatown have to serve exclusively Asian cuisine. The Phoenix restaurant critic MC Slim JB - who thoroughly trounced a Yelper yesterday - reviews this recent addition to the neighborhood, where pastas "reflect a chef skilled with handmade noodles and both Italian and Asian flavors." He singles out the shrimp capellini egg nest ($15), which "breathes life into the tiredness of pad Thai" and includes a "crazy-looking variant of a shredded omelet, a matrix-like wrapper of scrambled egg." Sh?j? is not just good, it's a restaurant that the neighborhood had been lacking: "the kind of long-sought Chinatown place where veterans of its traditional restaurants can bring their less-adventurous friends, and both will find a very cool, welcoming place to eat and drink." [The Phoenix]

The Puerto Rican South End newcomer Vejigantes gets two out of a possible four stars from Globe restaurant critic Devra First. Dishes are "sometimes overcooked or underseasoned," but First seems pleased by the combination of quality and novelty. Cream of plantain soup is one of the best dishes on the menu and is "comforting without being boring" and tres leches is "one of the better local renditions." However tostones "deserve better than a crumbly, flavorless topping of what purports to be crabmeat stew." Sangria excels: the recipe "would be worth stealing." [BG]

Brookline's newish Hops N Scotch fails to make a favorable impression on 99 Bottles blogger Gary Dzen. Despite this being "one of my favorite bar concepts," a dish of cubed sweet potatoes in honey vinaigrette doesn't "warrant this being a restaurant dish." Service is lacking, taps are not all that impressive, and all in all, Dzen finds that "Hops N Scotch still has some growing up to do." [99 Bottles]

"It's not hard to see why" it can be tough to get a last-minute reservation at Hungry Mother, says Tiny Urban Kitchen. An appetizer of crispy smoked pork includes "incredible" broth "incorporating the rich, smoky flavors from the pork" and Chatham bluefish with in-house bacon, tomato jam and "a salad of arugula and red Norland potatoes tossed in a cider vinaigrette" is "solid." But "the one I could not stop eating" was the skillet cornbread with sorghum butter. [TUK]

Hungry Mother

233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02141 617 499 0090 Visit Website

Hops n Scotch

1306 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446 617 232 8808 Visit Website

Shojo

9 Tyler Street, , MA 02111 (617) 423-7888 Visit Website

Shojo

9A Tyler Street, Boston, MA

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