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"Cognitive dissonance" is the way Nicholas Bauer describes the Refuge, the upscale pastrami lounge in San Carlos with a look inspired by David Lynch films. The glowing 3.5-star review is not only a rave, but an intriguing one: "But this is more than a meal. It's a rich cultural experience. The pastrami, thick hand-carved slices, rivals any found on my deli tour of New York City ... While the Refuge is, as its name implies, a haven for the modern world, Levin tucks another meaning inside: It's a place where endangered dishes get full protection ... That's the beauty of the Refuge. It's all about serving food that chefs actually love to eat, not the precious dishes they cook for others night after night. If the Refuge were located in a metropolis, it would be packed past midnight with hungry chefs just off work." [CCT]

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