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Bocca Deli, Cajun Kitchen, Lola's and More

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Chronicle critic Alison Cook awards Chinatown crawfish restaurant Cajun Kitchen one star for serving "some of the most distinctive crawfish in town, along with highly respectable fried seafood and some Vietnamese-style grilled oysters that rank among the city's very best." As for the non-crawfish offerings, Cook advises "Don't forget to flesh out your crawfish feed with some of Cajun Kitchen's batter-fried seafood, which compares favorably with what you'd find at more expensive places. The catfish, in particular, was so dewy and slip-slidy under its brittle cornmeal coating that it stunned me; and the butterflied shrimp were good of their kind, probably not wild caught." [Houston Chronicle]

Houstonia food editor Robb Walsh submits two mini reviews this week. In the first, he calls the banh cuon at Thien Thanh in Chinatown "the top of the heap" and offers a recommendation for the right mix of ingredients for a perfect dipping sauce. Then he pays a visit to Heights diner Lola's, where he finds indifferent service and too-watery poached eggs. "Next time I order 'Breakfast Lola,' I will either specify 'lightly' poached eggs and ask the kitchen to drain them before sending them out--or switch to 'over-easy.'" [Houstonia]

For her penultimate review, Press critic Katharine Shilcutt visits northside cafe Bocca Deli, which is poised to benefit from the light rail's northward expansion. "All of this would be interesting albeit decidedly less so for a restaurant review if those sandwiches were boring. But they're not. Bocca Deli manages to straddle another fine line by offering what a friend recently called "creative sandwiches that aren't weird." I found that a succinct way to describe the standard-sounding panini and deli-style sandwiches that are anything but routine." [Houston Press]

The Blogs: Catherine Martin wins the week with this arbitrary ode to Taco Bell. Felice from Urban Swank raves about the crawfish bread at Beaucoup Bar & Grill. Slim Palate looks at Corner Table from the perspective of someone who follows the Paleo diet. Hank on Food awards an A- to Heatmapper Pizzeria Solario. Finally, Chili Bob's Houston Eats goes off the beaten path to Somali restaurant East Africa and Middle East Restaurant.

· All Week In Reviews on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]

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