Mizuna -- One doesn't have to be a vegetarian to appreciate Mizuna's inventive, fresh cuisine and cozy, intimate atmosphere. The restaurant began serving fish a little more than a year ago due to customers' requests. Entrees include your choice of a house salad or the soup of the day. The roasted salmon with wild mushrooms ($18) was generous and oven roasted to perfection, surrounded by an outstanding portobello red wine reduction. The Indian samosa ($14.50) consisted of a beautiful pastry pocket criss-crossed with asparagus spears and filled with a heavenly melange of Yukon gold potatoes, seitan, fennel bulb, onion, garlic and ginger atop a rich yellow pepper sauce. The accompanying eggplant relish and coconut-cilantro-mint chutney were wonderful. 214 N. Howard. Call: 747-2004. (LM)
Chef in the Forest -- The aptly named Chef in the Forest is like a big lake cabin, with all the quirks and charms that might present. The dining room has a beautiful view of Hauser Lake. The menu relies on tried-and-true classics, and entrees include a choice of soup or salad. The roast duckling ($22) was served with a brandy and fresh raspberry sauce. The duck had crispy skin, with moist tender meat underneath. The rich duck was sturdy enough to accompany the very sweet brandy sauce, and a few fresh raspberries added a delightful vibrant tanginess. The accompaniments were noteworthy both for their abundance and quality: fresh candied carrots, fresh green beans with sliced almonds, and potatoes Anna, a whole potato cooked in chicken stock, topped with Parmesan and toasted under the broiler. Service was excellent. 12008 N. Woodlawn Beach Dr. Call: (208) 773-3654. (LM)
Caf & eacute; Sol & eacute; -- Sol & eacute; is located near the downtown core and may be a little hard to find on your first trip, but it's definitely worth it. The interior space is pleasantly raw and eclectic. The food is very reasonably priced. The chicken and rice burrito ($3.75) was substantial with delicious, well-seasoned chicken breast meat buried in rice, shredded cheddar and lettuce wrapped in a spinach tortilla. Evil Jungle Prince ($4), curry-braised wheat gluten tossed with veggies and a coconut basil curry sauce over rice was, on the whole, pleasing with a nicely balanced curry flavor. The service was efficient and friendly. Sol & eacute; delivers anywhere within the greater downtown area. 162 S. Stevens. Call: 216-2873. (MC)
Wall Street Diner -- The new and distinctive exterior of the Wall Street Diner screams Spanish Mission. Inside, it's comfortable and cozy thanks to the vintage lamps, antiques, rich, cherry-finished wood walls and ruddy-hued upholstery. Breakfast options range from the basics (including build-your-own and a nice 6-9 am weekday early bird special) to an impressive selection of omelets and scrambles. Lunches include burgers, hot and cold sandwiches and complete lunches (like the $6.25 hot meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy). The $6.50 Hearty Irish breakfast with two eggs, hash browns, toast and a mound of corned beef hash was generous, cooked to order and yum. 4428 N. Wall Street. Call: 325-4730. (MC)
Capsule reviews are written by Lauren McAllister (LM) and
Mike Corrigan (MC), unless otherwise noted.