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Journal North Restaurant Reviews

Not your cookie-cutter pan-Asian restaurant, Lan’s Vietnamese Cuisine is located at the south corner of College Plaza off Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

There is a deft hand at work in the kitchen of Lan’s

The first thing to know about Lan’s, a tiny restaurant tucked in the south corner of College Plaza, is what it’s not: namely, one of those cookie-cutter, vaguely pan-Asian places specializing in the tastes-the-same stir fry.

For casual Middle Eastern fare, visit Cleopatra Cafe on Santa Fe’s south side. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Cleopatra’s south side location offers exotic options

Longtime fans of Cleopatra Cafe’s downtown location in the Design Center, we were enthused about trying its (relatively) new south side location in what we think of as the “movie court” off Zafarano Drive.

Tiffany Trujillo has lunch with a friend at the deservedly popular Joe’s Diner earlier this week. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

So much more than the regular burgers and fries

Joe’s Diner has been open for more than a decade, but in what now appears to be an oversight of cosmic proportions, we’ve never stopped in.

Mussels mariniere at Old Martina’s Hall includes a peppery dash of rouille on the toasts. (Courtesy of Karen Peterson)

Where both cuisine and renovation are true treats

The Taos area has plenty of good restaurants, but Old Martina’s Hall in Ranchos de Taos merits top billing not only for its scrupulously prepared dishes, but also its setting in a massive and wonderfully renovated historic dance hall across from a historic plaza.