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The recession may be on, and everyone is on a diet, but you'd never know it on a Monday night elbow to elbow with people tearing into soft hunks of braised hog jowl glazed with dark, fish sauce–infused caramel, crisp-skinned pork meatballs that explode with the flavor of aniseed, or slices of grilled skirt steak draped over a forest of grilled baby broccoli. Everything is portioned for sharing and served in Staub cast-iron cookware — lamb's-tongue salad, curried mussels, marinated cucumbers, everything — which makes sense for cheese-crusted roasted brussels sprouts with hazelnuts, which you might expect to be cooked in cast iron, but doesn't for something like bland slivers of raw hamachi draped over spoonsful of pureed avocado.

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