James Newman, 10/23/07
Despite being an admitted non-locavore, Meredith Brody swallows her anti-local sentiments and heads to Fish & Farm, where all meat/produce is sourced from within 100 miles when possible. Brody, in a flurry of neologisms, discovers that "locavoration" only works when the ingredients are matched by the kitchen:
I intend to have more than one go at Fish & Farm. Its young chefs, Michael Morrison, Colton Harmon, and Ricky Odbert, are demonstrating skills worthy of their locavorish philosophy. Even the best and freshest ingredients need respect, inspiration, and execution.The experience is not without hiccups—the corvina is "mealy, dry, and tasteless" and several dishes are wanting in portion-size—but all in all, Fish & Farm gets the Brody seal of approval. [SFW]
Michael Bauer is initially excited to pay a visit to longtime favorite Grand Cafe and its new chef, Mauro Pando. Unfortunately, his holiday joy is quickly quelled and he ends up demoting the Union Square brasserie from 2.5 stars to 1.5 stars. And it's not pretty: "My good intentions were doused with cold water - literally. The busboy accidentally reached across the hard-to-service booth and dumped a glass of ice water into my friend's lap. The accident was forgivable, but the aftermath wasn't. I had to argue to get a new tablecloth, because the waiter wanted to put another napkin over the dripping edge. No one from management bothered to come over to acknowledge the accident. In fact, we were ignored most of the night." Memo to Grand Cafe: brief staff on the likeness of the most powerful critic in town. [Chron]
Amanda Gold takes to the Richmond's Layaly Mediterranean Grill, where she bestows two stars upon a gem waiting to be discovered (or a place waiting to close due to lack of business): "Layaly offers a cuisine that the neighborhood has little of - most of the street is marked by sushi, dim sum or Korean barbecue spots. Locals should find it a welcome addition; I've come to consider it a go-to-weekly spot. And yet, I've been acutely aware of the lack of customers - one other table, at most, was occupied on each of my three visits." [Chron]
ELSEWHERE in this abbreviated week: Lady Tablehopper is at Namu, Metroactive gets nostalgic at Silicon Valley's Original Joe's, BellyFull checks out B Star Bar, Passionate Eater strikes at Farallon, and Not For Tourists stops by Valencia's Frjtz.