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Week in Reviews: Two Spot For Brick, Plus Epic and More!

In his revisit review for the week, Mister MB gives Brick the same two stars it got upon its initial review back in 2006. The good news is that the Tenderloin restaurant has established itself with a solid customer base, the kitchen is in good hands with Alex Marsh, and Bauer S&M references are always fun:

While you won't find the drama of previous menu itemsas cauliflower soup with chocolate and rosemary dust, Marsh isn't afraid of bold flavors, as shown in one main course: honey habanero-glazed ribs ($16). The three ribs fall from the bone and onto the bed of braised greens, accompanied by whole baby carrots. The heat in the glaze is searing, a little bit of S&M on the palate ... The curried lamb ($21), the most expensive dish on the menu, is also the most elaborate ... It's a well-balanced, fully realized dish.
The bad news, though, is that desserts fall short, or in the house-made lavender ice cream's case, go too far ("so strong that it was like eating a handful of potpourri"). Deuce aside, it's a fairly positive review, as it seems that Brick has found its way as a comfortable neighborhood, lounge-like joint. [Chron]

It's been a while since the Chron has broken out the dreaded 1.5-star sticker, but that's exactly what Carol Ness does at Rendez-Vous Cafe-Bistro in Albany: "The feel is more Disney-does-Paris than la belle France itself. Service starts out efficiently, a bustle of menus, drinks and orders. And meals generally arrive in good time, unless the place is busy. But once you're eating, mysteriously, servers seem to become invisible, or we did. Suddenly, getting more water or a check proved almost the impossible dream." [Chron]

Paul Reidinger takes his turn at Epic Roasthouse, and though it seems that service has slipped since opening, he echoes the general sentiments at the waterfront behemoth: "... prices at these levels catch your attention. And while you can pay as much or more at lots of places around town now, the issue, properly framed, is whether the food is good enough, the wider experience exhilarating enough, to justify the price. Some very expensive restaurants are worth the coin. Epic Roasthouse is handsome and luxurious-looking, and the food is quite good. It's about as transit-friendly as a Bay Area restaurant can be. And yet, and yet..." [SFBG]

Matthew Stafford takes the Weekly review today, and he's at Cossu, the newish Moroccan restaurant in the old Pasha space on Polk and Broadway: "The end result is similar in many respects to the old Pasha — it's still a swell magic-carpet sort of a place to get away from it all and enjoy a fun evening — but with better food this time ... Cossu comes into its own when it edges away from the classic repertory." [SFW]

Bauer's Sunday review was a 2.5-star one at Yerba Buena's Amber India: "Clearly, [chef Anish] Potdar is a seasoned, creative chef, but the personality he brings to the classic dishes comes through more than in the contemporary ones. Lunch is an entirely different experience ... If you judge the quality of Amber India by that meal, you'll be disappointed." [Chron]

THE ELSEWHERE AND THE BLOGS: Matthew Stafford double dips this week, also filing for the EBX at Berkeley's Taste of the Himalayas, Aleta Watson stops by AP Stump in San Jose, SF Station enjoys gastropub fare at Sebastopol's Hopmonk Tavern, Lady Hopstress shares some house rules at Ino Sushi, the Daily Feeders stop by Dynamo Donut, Singlechefguy does Bar Jules, No Salad is at Coi and Beer & Nosh tries the new Magnolia.