THE FEISTY LAMB—Yikes! Earlier this fall, Mercury critic Andrea Damewood tweeted, "It's finally happened. I left a place up for review due to woeful understaffing and a 25 minute wait for coffee." Last week, she finally named that place—The Feisty Lamb—taking it to task for "the bristliness of the atmosphere, slow service, small portions, and high price." And while the restaurant had "a few wonderful dishes," the flavors were quickly eclipsed by what Damewood describes as the "bad attitude" of chef-owner Micah Edelstein, writing, "There are a couple of chefs around town known for their forbidding attitudes and strict policies—but overall, that's not really Portland's vibe. We tolerate the few chefs who act like this because their food is really good. But to stomp up in here and alienate your customer base from the get-go, without delivering the goods to back it up, is just absurd."
LA MOULE—This week, Damewood also tells us that Aaron Barnett and Tommy Klus's La Moule has completely won her over. The space "transforms the former Savoy Tavern into a two-part experience on SE Clinton—one half a traditional bistro, the other a hidey-hole with psychedelic wallpaper covered with mussels splayed open like hearts. J'adore."
GANGNAM BBQ AND K-TOWN KOREAN BBQ—"American barbecue is a religion. Korean barbecue is a party," so writes The Oregonian's Michael Russell in his recent joint review of Hillsboro's Gangnam BBQ and Lents's K-Town Korean BBQ. He writes that eating Gangnam BBQ after eating "Beaverton's Nak Won" is "a bit like eating frozen pizza after Apizza Scholls. It's Seoul without the soul." But he then adds, "Korean BBQ, like pizza—yes, even frozen pizza—is pretty much always welcome." As for Southeast's K-Town, where "a sign by the door" says "you have two hours to eat as much as you can," Russell praises most of the meat, save for some "flavorless chicken," before concluding, "[I]t's hard to nitpick when you've got another round of juicy kalbi, sweet bulgogi, spicy pork and thin-sliced curls of frozen beef brisket on the way, plus this large bottle of frosty Hite beer and a strange jar of yogurt-soju-Sprite cocktail to finish. Bottoms up."
LA CARRETA— Willamette Week's Martin Cizmar reads the emails you send him. A month after writing that Rocio's "looks the part" but doesn't quite deliver because its street tacos are "the best and worst things on the menu," the critic was presented with a challenge: finding a "really good sit-down family Mexican" joint. "I received lots of emails and Facebook messages from readers who thought I might like their favorite spot. So I went to them. All of them." The overall winner? La Carreta, for its "$1.99 margs and 99-cent" beer specials, its late-night hours, the "excellent" beef enchiladas, and the "free scoop of ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate sauce" that comes with every meal.