Modern Food & Spirits and Royal Kubo

Reviews of Modern Food & Spirits and Royal Kubo
Royal Kubo
Pork barbecue, skewered pork slices with Philippine spices, at Royal Kubo. Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Modern Food & Spirits: The simple café/bar created by the husband/wife team of Francis and Kim Stanton (who resisted calling it a bistro) seats 100 in an L-shaped space. The imaginative menu offers fresh fare such as shiitake mushroom crêpes in Gruyère sauce, mussels steamed with herbes de Provençe, and smoked salmon with sesame crackers and citrus aioli, all appetizers. The dozen entrees range from beer-braised pork shank to sautéed fresh monkfish Mediterranean style with roasted tomatoes, garlic, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and couscous. The wine list is noticeably affordable, reflecting the menu itself.  L & D Mon.-Sat. and D Sun. 1535 Cass Lake Rd., Keego Harbor, 248-681-4231. $15  Handicap accessible.

Royal Kubo: The setting, with its wood-bedecked patio in front and floor-through space under a high ceiling inside, is a major improvement over the former space on Greenfield Road, where Armand Santos had his first Royal Kubo — one of the very few places in the area serving Filipino fare. The kitchen excels, from the appetizers of lumpia (tiny meat-filled egg rolls with a sweet/spicy dipping sauce), to barbecued pork on skewers, and entrees of adobo (chicken or pork marinated with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves), and pancit (rice noodles with pork, chicken, and shrimp), two traditional dishes. It’s an interesting twist on the more familiar Asian cuisines. Another element here is karaoke, always very much part of the Royal Kubo experience. 27 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-588-2300. L & D Tue.-Sun., D Mon. $12  Handicap accessible

Note: Dollar amount is the average entree price.