For his Thursday showcase this week, Fireworks Bauer returns to Fog City Diner, the Embarcadero restaurant that once upon a time, was on a cutting edge. Last the Chron checked in earlier this decade, the nouveau diner was hanging onto a pair of stars, but this time around, Mikey Boom Boom decisively slices that number in half with a one-star thrashing. At least the gift shop sounds promising:
As I feared when looking at the merchandise, it's become a tourist trap, with all the stereotypes that implies...Probably the best thing about the meal was that we were in and out in 50 minutes...The food at Fog City is certainly nothing to linger over.
The hits keep on coming too: the soup should have never been served, the pot roast is reminiscent of precooked Trader Joe's meat, and the meringue in the lemon meringue pie is only described as a "sickly brown" (ew). So it goes. Thus, inspired by a rare 1/2-star rating for food alone, Fog City Diner and its gift shop get demoted to the lowly singleton star status. You do hate to see that, almost as much as the official "Bauer-Certified Tourist Trap" designation. [Chron]
Mandy Erickson gets the second review in the Datebook today, and she bestows a deuce upon Burlingame Ave's Kabul Afghan Cuisine. It's an offshoot of the San Carlos institution and with the food on par with the original, it just might break the revolving door of its cursed space: "Afghan food is a fine addition to Burlingame's offerings, and after 20 years in San Carlos, the restaurant has proved it has staying power." [Chron]
Like Bauer, Paul Reidinger also revisits a classic Kuleto restaurant in Farallon, and—surprise!—the flashy seafood restaurant has aged quite gracefully on Post Street: "[Farallon] has survived its perilous youth to achieve, perhaps, the stability of middle age ... The theme instead is one of discreet sophistication, cleverness that does not call attention to itself." [SFBG]
Matthew Stafford finds his way to Little Skillet. Though there are some misses to be had, most po' boys are winners, and the alley hole-in-the-wall is perfect for those rare San Francisco sunny summer days: "This urban enclave of shade trees, greensward, tables, and benches is the perfect spot for a midday summertime getaway." [SFW]
THE ELSEWHERE: The EBX does hidden Berkeley Chinese food at the Mayflower, the Merc deems Crimson "uncomfortably close to laughable" (that's not good), the MIJ finds quirky wackiness at Coast Cafe in Bolinas, the PressDem has three stars for Petaluma's Gohan, Single Guy takes an early look at Commis, the Bunrabs are at the Marina's Noodle Theory, Bargain Bites stops by Beautifull, Bar Bites does Fifth Floor, and lest we forget, the big review of the week was Bauer's three-star coronation of Michael Mina's RN74.