About 18 months after he gave the Napa resort restaurant two stars upon opening, Bauer once again goes PlumpJackin' at the Carneros Inn's Farm, where big menu changes prompt a half-star upgrade to 2.5:
We were made to feel like outsiders by the haughty host, who led us through the dining room as if we were interlopers. Yet aside from that brush-off, we enjoyed the meal, the first I've had since I reviewed the restaurant shortly after it opened in December 2006.It's a largely uneven, not particularly noteworthy experience, but lo and behold, The Bauer leaves his stamp on the review with the most non sequitur line he's dropped in a long while: "I noticed a young couple that were all over each other. The man was casually dressed and his companion was in a knitted tube dress so tight and short that it barely covered her thigh, producing a Britney moment when she got up." And ... scene. [Chron]
Since that time the grounds have matured and the menu has changed significantly under new chefs Jeff Jake and Christophe Gerard, who still subscribe to the farm-fresh philosophy of their predecessor.The difference is that the food is now much better.
At West Portal's finest Indian bistro, Paul Reidinger finally discovers a restaurant to fill his void: "Since the crash of Tallula a few years ago, the Department of Innovative Indian Food has undergone some slight shrinkage ... where oh where is the restaurant that will cook a well-spiced duck in the tandoor, then serve the meat in slices as part of a salad with arugula and bing cherries? Tallula was brilliant at this sort of cross-cultural flourish, and I was hopeful it would be the first of its profuse kind. Perhaps, despite its too-short life, it was. The second of its kind could be Roti, in West Portal — a much better-looking restaurant than Tallula, though shyer about proclaiming its more distinctive dishes." [SFBG]
Once again, Lord of the Chowhounds Robert Lauriston goes off the beaten path, deep into the Mission to give a history of the Ottoman Empire and local Middle Eastern fare at Old Jerusalem: "... our Middle Eastern restaurants also pander to local customers unaware of the distinctions among the region's various cuisines by offering familiar dishes and skipping those that might require some education or encouragement. There's no such pandering going on at Old Jerusalem, a Palestinian place that opened in the Mission a couple of years ago. In addition to the usual suspects such as falafel, shawerma, hummus, and baba ganoush, the menu includes around 20 dishes rarely seen around here." [SFW]
THE ELSEWHERE: Bauer's Sunday review dropped 2.5 stars upon Tiburon's Cottage Eatery, Marin's Aurora doesn't impress the MIJ, the East Bay Express does Ethiopian at Oakland's Shashamane, and rounding out a light week on the review front, we have Single Guy enjoying himself at 1300 on Fillmore.