Food & Drink

Good dining options continue to come in pairs

Turning the lower level of downtown's Paramount Hotel into a pan-Asian wonderland of repurposed bleacher-seat booths and Japanese railway wood, Tasting East and TE Bar are two distinct venues plating everything from Tokyo street food to Hong Kong faves while providing contrasting dining experiences billed as "night and day", which they hope is enough to get you to Cruise on in.

Tasting East: The unabbreviated full resto takes the “daytime” tack with festival lanterns and kitchen/ dumpling bar seating at which to take down a massive menu of not-so-small plates offering "lighter, cleaner flavors", which obviously means a pork belly "Baga" wrapped in a steamed bun w/ mustard greens & peanuts, intensely sauced nine-flavor chicken, and oyster-sauced "Chow Fun & Vegetables", which was once just regular fun, before the vegetables ruined everything.

TE Bar: The night side’s got a Kyoto Tunnel mural setting the mood for sub-$8 street food including the Hawaiian Spam musubi roll, a Far East-style Coney Island dog featuring Japanese Arabiki sausage doused in porky curry & Jack, and sandos like bulgogi beef & kimchi wrapped in a scallion pancake. Meanwhile, the cocktail menu delivers stuff like the vodka/ basil/ cucumber/ soju Feng Shui Me, and you can also grab eight Asian brews and/or sparkling sake, which will make for the most memorable bomb since Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz made an action film.