We love a smart, well-executed theme. And this casual locale on South Lamar carried the grammar school trope through from the classic metal locker hostess stand to the chalkboard menus with math equations and spelling words and the menu items listed in childhood grammar and phrases. We started with a delicious shaved kale and Brussels sprouts salad with roasted butternut squash and spiced pecans. A side of “cawwots” arrived as slightly underroasted multicolored carrots atop a savory black baba ghanoush with pickled mushroom and crunchy hazelnuts. Italian-Mexican fusion of tortellini stuffed with pork carnitas and bathed in mole sauce was revelatory, but the star of the show was Ramen Risotto, a Chinese congee-like rice served with two thick-cut slices of pork belly and dusted with furikake and shaved scallions. Chocolate chip-sea salt cookies served with warm malted milk served as the perfect farewell hug to the evening.
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From its banh mi éclair bites to homey roast chicken—this spot is both clever and comforting.