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B.N. Lee Gives China King The Three-Star Treatment

China King "feels like a remnant of an earlier era of Americanized Chinese cuisine" says The Improper Bostonian restaurant critic B.N. Lee. A nostalgic appreciation of value - both monetary and gustatory - underpins Lee's latest review, which anoints the Beach Street restaurant with a solid three stars. Lee reminds readers that this family has been in the business since the Julia Child days (starting with King Fung), and notes that the first course of the off-the-menu Peking Duck outshines those that follow. Instead, the rice cake with pork and pickled cabbage is Lee's top pick: "Discs of airy noodles were transformed by the salty-sour combination of meat and preserved vegetables." [TIB]

Right off the bat, Corby Kummer bestows a supreme honor on Clio in his most recent Boston Magazine review. He says that this will be the Boston restaurant "to figure out what will stick around — and what will one day seem excessive" in contemporary cuisine. Even now, Kummer says, some of Clio's dishes have staying power and some do not: "The smears can seem silly, the number of sauces excessive, the textures not quite suited to the main ingredient." Buttermilk-braised chicken, however, is not only good but "chicken reinvented." Incredibly, cold foie-gras terrine "tasted like Hawaiian Punch." [BM]

The guacamole's good at Rosa Mexicano, but that's about it, says Globe restaurant critic Devra First. And so she gives the newish waterfront Mexican chain but one and half stars, citing "soggy fries" and a chicken tortilla pie that "has the texture and temperature of something that’s been nuked too long." Pescado pibil is "cooked perfectly," but the mojito de coquito is "a vile concoction." [BG]

If you needed a professional critic to tell you that BonChon is good, now you have it. Robert Nadeau of the Boston Phoenix gives the second local outpost of the Korean chain in Harvard Square three stars for its "divine" fried chicken, chiefly. The other stuff is pretty good, too, including some "very decent" pan-fried pork dumpling. Similarly, the dumplings in a bowl of mandu guk are "superior." [BP]

"Something about this food seems like it was made by village women" says Globe food editor Sheryl Julian, regarding JP's Cafe Beirut. And that softens the blow of the Styrofoam, flimsy paper plates and too-thin napkins. Dishes "that have a cooked-all-day quality... come out of the kitchen swiftly." [BG]

The tres leches is very good at Gail's Café & Grill in Jackson Square. So good that it makes Ariel Shearer of the latest Boston Phoenix On The Cheap column wish he hadn't eaten everything else, so that he could eat more. But doesn't that mean that the rest isn't really that good? Not necessarily: Gail's also serves "the best $5 breakfast I've found in months." [BP]

[Photo: Yelp/Paran Y.]

Clio

370 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 617 536 7200

China King

60 Beach Street, Boston, MA

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