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cuocco pazzo update? new finds in Chinese? Distrito

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Greetings to the BOARD from the land of green trees, gray skies and, more Chowhoundly speaking, oysters and sea tastes, pho, coffee and farmers' markets.....to the blue skies, cacti, spectacular sunsets and tanned foothills.
Chowhoundly looking forward to regular stops: Mex (Los Reyes de la Torta, Gallo Blanco), NM/Mex (Dos Molinos), Latin (Deseo), "upscale comfort" & local vino (FnB), pizza & pannini etc. (PB and PB, I know, not what it used to be w/o Chris as chief pizzaiolo) , Italian (Andreoli's)
Kai usually on the list....and someone else's tab, but not in the mix this visit.

I am wondering about Cuocco Pazzo....even more so since I learned very recently that a creative force has departed. Has anyone been there to assess for damage?
As a native New Yorker/Long Islander I still search for any Italian or Chinese venues wherever we go, but it's difficult to find much beyond the "generic" selections and quality of ingredients, so when I read about Cuocco it seemed like it would be worth a try. Now What?

And last. I've read some positive comments about Distrito. I wonder if anyone can "characterize" it, in that it appears to be new in the past year and I'm wondering if it's a trendy tidbit or a solid find.
Thanks for any help.
My Seattle suggestions are available if you are headed up this way!

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  1. went to distrito

    Their happy hour menu was pretty poor for food (the fundio for HH is not the same that is on the menu) and the other orders off the HH menu were not that great
    Magarita was not very good
    Pork Shoulder was just ok, overly sweet with pineapple flavor
    Shrimp Tacos were very good but 3 small tacos for that price is tough to handle
    guac was very good as well

    The place has glittery tables and looks "cheap" inside but i think that is what they were going for - like a mexican street vendor etc

    i wont be hurrying back anytime soon - but if everything on the regular menu is done as well as the shrimp tacos it could be good, they said the HH menu was new, it just seems like they tried to skimp on everything to lower the price point instead of making the HH stuff actually good - which always aggravates me

    Havent been back to Cuocco in a bit but plan to soon - from what others have said it is still good even after Peter left - even if that wasn't the case their beer selection is awesome and after a few strong ales it won't matter ;p