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University of Missouri

I’ll Have What They’re Having

What do Columbia chefs eat when dining out?

Jina Yoo recommends the pho noodles at Chinese Wok Express

Jina Yoo

Owner of Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro, 2200 Forum Blvd., Suite 108
The eponymous culinary entrepreneur studied piano and pipe organ at Indiana University Bloomington. She transformed her musical talent to create symphonettes of sushi. Among her signature rolls: Cadillac, Sin City and Monkey Goes Nuts, which includes smoked salmon, mango puree, sautéed cashews and eel sauce. Yoo orders pho noodles at Chinese Wok Express, 422 E. Broadway.

Daniel Pliska recommends Kampai Sushi

Daniel Pliska

University Club executive chef, Reynolds Alumni Center
Pliska can create anything in his own kitchen, and with the University Club’s Global Cuisine Nights — a Thursday night rotation of dishes from South America, India, Spain and Greece — he gets plenty of practice. When he does dine out in CoMo, he sometimes enjoys the dynamite and dragon rolls at Kampai Sushi, 907 Alley A.

Eric Cartwright recommends the Vietnamese spring rolls at Saigon Bistro.

Eric Cartwright

Executive chef for MU Campus Dining Services
MU won the coveted Ivy Award — an honor also bestowed upon the Four Seasons, Emeril’s and Ritz-Carlton — when Cartwright was an assistant manager and sous-chef. He suggests the Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp and pork at Saigon Bistro, 912 E. Broadway.

Mohamed and Elizabeth Gumati recommend the Street Side Sa-tay at Bangkok Gardens.

Mohamed and Elizabeth Gumati

Owners of the International Café, 26 S. Ninth St.
For more than 20 years, the couple has operated one of Columbia’s favorite destinations for gyros, kabobs and baklava. The Gumatis don’t have to go far to enjoy Bangkok Gardens, 811 Cherry St. Elizabeth loves “anything with the peanut sauce,” especially the Street Side Sa-tay, grilled chicken marinated in yellow curry and coconut milk.

Brook Harlan recommends the pork belly sliders at Sycamore.

Brook Harlan

Culinary arts instructor at the Columbia Area Career Center and the food editor for Inside Columbia magazine
Harlan enjoys the pork-belly sliders at Sycamore, 800 E. Broadway. The trio of miniature sandwiches includes a sweet and salty soy glaze and crunchy, tart apple slaw.

Travis Tucker recommends the lo mein at Peking.

Travis Tucker

Executive chef and owner of Bleu
Tucker, BGS ’04, loves the hearty and flavorful vegetable lo mein at Peking Restaurant, 212 E. Green Meadows Road Suite 4. Stir-fried with broccoli, snow peas, carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, baby corn, onions and bean sprouts, the popular noodles can also be ordered with beef, chicken or pork.

Mike Odette recommends the Blue Chips cheese bread at Murry's.

Mike Odette

Executive chef and co-owner of Sycamore
Odette, Engr ’95, was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Midwest award in 2009. The Blue Chips Cheese Bread at Murry’s, 3107 Green Meadows Way, is one of his favorites. The decadent appetizer is French bread topped with shrimp, Provel and blue cheese.

International Flair

India’s House | 1101 E. Broadway
A daily buffet provides a taste tour of Indian delicacies, including Tandoori chicken (in yogurt sauce), lamb curry and fragrant naan bread. Request items spicy if you like.

Geisha | 804 E. Broadway
For a dramatic presentation, kimono-clad servers deliver boats of sushi billowing dry-ice clouds. Try the “Golden Girls” shrimp tempura roll customized with your ingredient selections.

Casablanca | 501 Elm St.
Rick, Ilsa and Sam would have approved of this Mediterranean favorite just off the northwest edge of campus. Regulars love spinach pie and homemade soups.

44 Stone | 3910 Peachtree Drive
You’ll find English-inspired fare as well as unusual plates including lamb sliders, a pork roast Reuben and smoked Berkshire pork belly sandwich. Watch the tap cams to survey the daily beer options.

Kui Korean BBQ | 22 N. Ninth St.
Using oak charcoal and authentic Korean grilling techniques, Kui has been serving spicy beef, chicken, pork and more since June 2011. Lunch specials include salad, soup, your choice of barbecue meat with veggies and unlimited rice.

Okii Mama | 3709 S. Providence Road, Suite C
Mizzou Taiwanese students rave about this pan-Asian sensation. Try the beef shank noodle soup or Bao Zi (stuffed buns).

UKneadSweets | 808 Cherry St.
Owners Allen and Helena Shih, BS BA ’83, have spent the past 30 years working in her family’s Jefferson City, Mo., restaurant. Now she has realized her dream of opening her own bakery, where she makes delicate treats such as French macaroons, green-tea tiramisu and peanut butter mousse domes.

Agave | 901 Safari Drive
Now in its fifth year, Agave brings a taste of Mexico to the north side of town. You’ll find all the traditional favorites, including fajitas, enchiladas, fish tacos, burritos and — of course — margaritas.

Best of CoMo 2013

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