After a tormented debut in Boulder, 5280's Scott Mowbray is encouraged by the direction that Arcana has taken since chef Kyle Mendenhall joined the group. The restaurant critic found that "the menu was not so much rethought as refocused." Highlights from his experiences there include "a deftly cooked, medium-rare lamb sirloin" served on a salad of tender beans, the Colorado trout, which came with "a brilliant dandelion cream," and a whole variety of dishes that included the house-made bread. Another major strength of the Boulder restaurant is its beverage program, which provides exciting options for pairings from ciders to creative cocktails, which at times arrived later than Mowbray liked.
Five month old Mas Kaos strikes the right chord with the crowds, according to the newest Westword restaurant review. While it may sound blasphemous to replicate the Pizza Hut and Taco Bell one-stop-shop combo in a more upscale setting, that's exactly what the Berkeley eatery has done, and it has found great success doing it. Critic Gretchen Kurtz advises to "order tacos followed by pizza, making sure to specify that you want the tacos first."