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Tom Sietsema Gives 2.5 Stars to Pabu Izakaya

Tom Sietsema treks to Baltimore to visit the Four Seasons' Pabu Izakaya, a Michael Mina restaurant, and winds up feeling positively pampered.

The good vibes run right through the night. Order coffee, and the pot arrives in a zippered leather wrap to keep it warm. Use the valet service, and your car is purring out front when you exit. Come to think of it, when's the last time the guy who parked your wheels introduced himself, or inquired about your dinner? (Thanks, Andrew!)

Ramen and tempura disappoint, but the critic steers diners towards poke, shishito peppers, country ribs and sushi. [WaPo]

Warren Rojas has fun with acronyms when reviewing Jeff Buben's WTF, the takeout operation affiliated with Woodward Table.

The results are a far cry from anything slapped together at commercial hoagie dens. Looking to fuel up before an a.m. huddle with "44"? Carb lovers can indulge in flaky ham-and-cheese scones, streusel-topped muffins or cakey slices of chocolate-banana bread embellished with a bonus shot of sticky marshmallow fluff.

Quiches, the chicken biscuit and corned beef sandwiches all get the seal of approval. [Roll Call]

After a frustrating search, Don Rockwell finally finds Bethesda-area raw food at Maki Maki on a Monday.

...The octopus, salmon, and yellowtail were all *very* good, and only the red clam was mediocre (and stingily portioned). The maki roll was okay, but not as good as the first three orders of sashimi. With tax, I got out for $25.95, and considering how strong my craving was, I was happy to pay it. [DR]

For his first bite column, Tom Sietsema visits the Atlas District French restaurant Le Grenier. Consider him charmed.

[Chef Thierry Sanchez's] appetizer of foie gras mousse spiked with cognac sports a glassy surface that suggests creme brulee. The touch of sweet is nice. Duck confit, a main course, rests on a risotto fashioned with minced apple: tradition with a twist. [WaPo]

For the Post's Good to Go column, Nevin Martell heads to Grassroots Gourmet for a sugary fix.

Sticky, sweet chocolate bourbon pecan mini pies ($3.50) are hard to resist, as are the vanilla whoopie pies stuffed with creamy Nutella icing ($2.25). Cupcake flavors change regularly but might include mint chocolate, Snickerdoodle or ­vanilla-topped chocolate ($2.50 to $2.75). [WaPo]

THE BLOGS: DC Wrapped Dates is fond of everything offal at Blue Duck Tavern...DMV Dining snags a reservation at Minibar and finds it memorable and worth the money...FooDCrave pits Pho 14 and Hanoi House against each other and gives Pho 14 the edge on food.

[Photo: Pabu Izakaya]

Le Grenier

502 H Street Northeast, , DC 20002 (202) 544-4999 Visit Website

Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th Street Northwest, , DC 20037 (202) 419-6755 Visit Website

Pabu Izakaya

200 International Drive Baltimore, MD

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