Lauro

3377 SE Division, 239-7000

What do you want for dinner tonight? Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern? Or how about something totally different? How about culinary fusion? Hybrid dishes that combine flavors and recipes from places like Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco, and the Middle East? How about a restaurant whose specials might include a dinner called "Lamb Meatballs over Israeli Couscous?" Or consider the Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Quince Sauce. Served on a bed of moist spinach, golden raisins, and pine nuts, the breast is topped with a caramelized sauce made from quinces, a long-lost cousin of the apple or pear. And while the quince sauce drizzled on top of the breast might stimulate your sweet taste buds, when combined with the layer of creamy goat cheese stuffed inside the chicken, your mouth registers a rich and tangy harmony of flavors. SL

No Fish, Go Fish

3962 SE Hawthrone, 235-5378

Gimmicks vs. signature dishes, it's what separates the successful restaurants from the ones that never quite get off the ground. The folks at No Fish, Go Fish certainly understand this concept. The No Fish signature dish, a crisp, intricate fish-shaped sandwich, is what sets them apart from the crowd. Modeled after a real Korean dish, the No Fish people modified the Korean dough and use a multi-grain corn meal, changing the traditional filling of beans to a variety of different things--spinach and Feta, cream cheese, and pepperoni, ham and cheddar, as well as mozzarella and tomato. SL

Pho Jasmine

714 N Killingsworth, 283-0398

The menu at Pho Jasmine is a mixture of traditional Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese fare. Winning starters include of golden deep-fried shrimp and vegetarian salad rolls. The shrimp is delightfully large and crunchy, and the rolls imbued with fresh mint. The Pho is also excellent, the broth breathily complex with its mixture of spices and lean beef. The spicy lemongrass chicken entrée is one to try, with a smokey, coconutty flavor that doesn't mask the lemongrass and is served atop a bed of freshly grilled green peppers, onions, and bamboo shoots. LC