Word of Mouth: February 26th 

Eaten anything especially tasty lately? Memorable? Weird? Bodacious? Let us know by e-mailing tscheffler@cityweekly.net

City Weekly reader and food fanatic Jason Shearer says, “I’m writing to recommend the new Taste of India (1664 N. Woodland Park Drive) restaurant in Layton. Also, Pad Thai (1986 N. Hill Field Road, No. 8, Layton) is probably the best Thai restaurant in the state. In the military, I sampled Asian fare across Asia before returning to Utah. Imagine my delight to find that Utah’s Asian food scene has been growing exponentially in my absence. I’ve eaten what I consider to be above-average dishes at several Indian restaurants here, but the new Taste of India is far superior to any of the other efforts. Both their lamb korma and their tandoori are far more flavorful than any I’ve tried before.

The saag paneer is absolutely fantastic. And every dessert that they offer is a home run in and of itself. I am concerned that the prices are a little high and the portions a little small. But if you’re paying for quality, you’re getting every penny’s worth.”

City Weekly staffers recommend:

Stephen dark: Chicken livers traditionally are the bedrock of a sound—and cheap—paté. An alternative use, however, and one I tried last weekend with some success, is to use them as a delectable tapas side dish. After lightly cooking the livers in butter with garlic and onions, transfer them to a warm plate. Then use a half-cup of a reasonable sherry to deglaze the frying pan. Reduce the sherry, then pour the sauce over the livers. It’s an exquisitely rich starter, as long as you get the more squeamish among your dinner guests past the fact they’re eating offal.

holly Mullen: My latest food addiction: House-made fresh-wheat tortilla chips from Whole foods Market (645 E. 400 South). Cut into generous triangles, the chips are fried and perfectly seasoned. They come in three flavors to a package—plain flour, spinach and red chile. Crunchy-good! They were a huge hit on Super Bowl Sunday with guacamole and sun-dried tomato dip. You’ll find the chips packaged and displayed above the salad bar at each Whole Foods location. They retail at $5.99 a pound, but you get a lot of tortilla chips in a pound!

Ted McDonough: The shawarma sandwich at O’falafel, etc. in Sugar House (2100 S. 790 East) is an answer to a prayer of many years for a little shawarma place. The name of the joint is just gravy.

Ted Scheffler: During a recent visit to Scottsdale, Ariz., I stayed at a small, inexpensive “boutique” hotel called the 3 Palms. With its room rates well under $100 per night, I highly recommend this place, located in the heart of Scottsdale, right next to El Dorado Park. Anyway, it so happens that the hotel’s new restaurant, called avalon, just opened that week and we decided to check it out. Mouth-watering dishes like short-rib osso buco with mascarpone polenta, sesame-crusted Hawaiian ahi with wasabi cr%uFFFDme fraiche and seared Maine Diver scallops with white bean pancetta ragout were certainly tempting, as were the fairly priced wines. But, priced at a mere $27, I couldn’t resist chef Travis Watson’s poached Maine lobster, which came with heavenly homemade ricotta gnocchi, tomato confit and saffron-lobster demi. Simply put, it was unreal. Should you find yourself in the Phoenix area, Avalon restaurant adjacent to the 3 Palms Hotel is well worth a dining detour.

Eric Peterson: If you’re ever in the UC (Utah County), swing by la carreta in Orem (340 E. 1200 South).

It’s a very tasty Peruvian joint. I’d recommend the aji de gallina (chicken with gravy and spicy salsa) or the pollo la Carreta, a sizzling fajita plate of chicken that’s marinated in grapefruit juice and comes with rice and veggies. All dishes pair well with a two-liter bottle of Inca Cola, the national soda of Peru, which you can also get at La Carreta. Very nice.

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