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Week in Reviews: Laiola Gets Deuced

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The Bauer Buzzsaw revisits Marina hotspot Laiola, where Ron Pei took over the kitchen from Mark Denham in late '08. But this time around, the results aren't nearly as starry for MB as they were for his first review:

A return visit last week showed that things have changed, with the food and service now much more casual and slapdash .... Laiola's draw now is the cocktails, which are well made and balanced ... Those who aren't familiar with the stellar dishes that used to come out of Laiola's kitchen might be fine with the food, especially if they are looking for something to soak up the alcohol before ordering another round.
Unfortunately, the good drinks aren't enough to soften up the review, and a few too many inconsistencies ultimately lead MB to employ the two-star stamp for Laiola. [Chron]

Mandy Erickson has the secondary Chron review this week, and she has another two stars for Crab Landing in Half Moon Bay. And little did you know that Crab Landing is every type of restaurant in the ENTIRE WORLD: "Crab Landing is many different restaurants. It's a seafood place and a steakhouse. It's a nightspot, with jazz on Thursday and Saturday nights. It operates out of an upstairs dining room, a downstairs one, a patio, a liquor bar and a sushi bar. Its menu covers classic San Francisco and Asian fusion, Mexican and sushi. And its quality runs the gamut from impressive to disappointing." Lordy. [Chron]

Paul Reidinger does French cuisine—the "earthy kind, the bistro kind"—at Rue Saint Jacques, home to one of the city's finest prix fixe menus: "The dishes rely on a timeless appeal and are very much the ones you'd find in countless neighborhood bistros in Paris. They also rely on high-quality (often organic ingredients) and thoughtful, though not fancy, preparation. For those of us who love the prix-fixe, Rue Saint Jacques is as good as it gets. [SFBG]

Meredith Brody takes her turn at the Castro's surprisingly-impressive upstairs Italian restaurant, Poesia: "San Francisco boasts a number of excellent Italian restaurants, and Poesia is serving dishes, whether homey (the soup), sophisticated (the gnocchi and artichoke cake), or simple yet thoughtful in construction (the unclichéd salad) that would hold their own among them."

THE BLOGS & THE ELSEWHERE: The EBX declares Ozumo Oakland the East Bay's de facto power center, The MIJ finds breakfast and dinner options at Mill Valley's Toast, the Merc stops in for a quick bite at Palo Alto's Cafe Sophia, Mapplr is at Beretta, despite her wishes Lady Marcia isn't exactly bewitched by Gitane, Bay Area Bites does Indian at Sultan, and don't forget that the Sunday Chron review had three stars for Michael Chiarello at Bottega.

[Photo: Yelp]