the other critics

Ask Not For Whom LaBan’s Bells Do Not Toll; Monsu Is ‘Insane’ and ‘Insanely Delicious’

• Craig LaBan says that Serafina’s “stupidly oversized bar crushing food-runners, guests, and packed tables into a noisy lasagna of a space, seems almost designed for full-contact dining,” following a slight altercation at the bar. The “vast prosaic Italian menu,” he adds, is “dull, relatively expensive, and soullessly mass-produced.” “Over-fried calamari,” “a minuscule fillet of bass cooked to mush,” and the “fishy aroma you don't want from your sashimi” emanating from a tuna carpaccio add up to zero bells. [Inquirer]

Monsu’s “play on mozzarella en carozza,” Adam Erace writes, is “insane — and insanely delicious.” The Mahimahi nods “to Morocco atop a hill of pearly, perfectly cooked couscous and Tunisia with its fiery harissa-flamed tomato sauce.” A “too firm” almond panna cotta “had the texture of a bike-seat gel cushion,” but a “heavenly” ricotta cannolo “was worth every bite.” [Courier-Post]

• Two Eat Philly check out the Korean and Japanese offerings at KoJa, “a classic Penn campus truck,” and take issue with the dumplings’ “ the thick, chewy wrapper.” Even more unsettling? “The contents,” which they surmise “probably shouldn't be that difficult to tell.” An “interesting take on stir fry,” with chicken “cooked in a spicy red chili sauce (similar to sriracha)” had them “pretty much in love” with the dish, but the Bulgogi Steak Sandwich “wasn't anything special.” [Two Eat Philly]

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