The Inlander Staff & r & & r & MOJO & r & & r & Mojo appeals with its innovative format, comfort-oriented foods and gourmet-inspired flavors at less-than-gourmet prices. At the greeting station, choose from standard selections or create your own meal (salad, sandwich or entr & eacute;e) from a menu described as "gourmet fast casual." Our wild sockeye salmon salad ($10/half, $13/whole) was a bouquet of flavors ranging from super-fresh greens, delicately poached salmon, roasted butternut squash, spicy pecans, tangy bleu cheese and sweet Craisins. The Indian pulled turkey sandwich ($7/half, $10/whole) was disappointing, with flavors and textures that didn't work well together, but the cheesy chicken apple sandwich ($8/half, $11/whole) made up for it. Served on fresh sourdough (baked in-house), it was a perfect blend of tangy, crispy, savory and sweet: moist grilled chicken, applewood-smoked bacon, creamy havarti cheese, crisp Red Delicious apple slices, and a topper of caramelized onion, a few greens and honey-mustard spread. Our food arrived quickly and beautifully prepared, and servers (including Chef Charlie) buzz in and out of the dining room often. 328 N. Sullivan Rd., Spokane Valley, 893-8900 (CS)
The upscale ambience at Villaggio (Italian for village) highlights the pizzas from the brick wood-fired oven, like the Vegetariano ($15) -- a 12-inch, irregularly shaped platform for a thin layer of tomato sauce and a gardeners' feast of caramelized onions, mushrooms, roasted eggplant, peppers, artichoke, and millimeter-thin slices of zucchini. Caramelized onions also add a layer of texture and flavor to the Insalata Villaggio ($10), with arugula, pear slivers, walnuts, gorgonzola and fig balsamic vinaigrette. The wonderfully rich tiramisu ($7), with layers of creamy filling, coffee-saturated cake and melted chocolate, was a lovely ending to a nice meal. If you judge pizza by the inches per dollar, Villaggio might disappoint, but if your judgment is based more on quality than quantity, you'll find a nice experience. 2013 E. 29th Ave., 532-0327 (DN)
The Beacon's potato hummus and grilled pita ($5) is a European twist on the original and is dense with garlic and a lemony bite, and the lightly crispy jalape & ntilde;o-cream cheese wontons had just the right amount of pepper heat ($7.50). Eight draft beers and 22 bottled choices gave a casual beer consumer like me plenty of options, along with a smattering of red and white wines ($5-$10) by the glass. The moist and flaky beer-battered fish and chips is easily the most affordable in North Idaho -- $8 for three and a half large chunks of fish -- and the tartar was sweet and bold with a hint of capers. Service was excellent and the ambience equally pleasant, making the Beacon a hip locale for tasty pub grub that's reasonably priced. 325 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene, (208) 665-7407 (CS)
THE OVAL OFFICE
The chic little sister of the ultra-popular White House Grill occupies the little white house that the Grill outgrew a few years back. The compact bar area only seats a few people at the counter, but it's sufficient for shaking up a host of concoctions, such as the most popular martini, the "Dirty Monica." The grapes and cheese platter ($7.50) offered nice contrasts in texture and flavor. The house salads, included with our entr & eacute;es, were terrific and generously topped with feta, dried cranberries and walnuts. Among entr & eacute;es, the mango swordfish ($23) stood out -- the fish was moist and tasty, and the salsa fresh and spicy. Owner/chef Raci Erdem pays tribute to his tutelage at the Spokane Club with the Will Barron Steak ($24), recreating the yummy pepper sauce. 620 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, Idaho, (208) 777-2102 (LM)
The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.