Oakland: Mikey Boom Boom doesn't bow to the pressure, and as expected, files a lukewarm review on Oakland's Commis. The upshot for James Syhabout's ambitious, intricate newcomer is just 2.5 stars, putting it on the same level as the likes of Tony's Pizza and Tipsy Pig. A few more items of note in what should be considered very important review for Bay Area dining:
1) On the daring vision of Commis: "[Syhabout's] artistry and skill show on every oversized white plate, but his vision is so singular and personal it won't resonate with everyone ... After three visits, I'm one of those having difficulty warming to the concept."
2) The three section subtitles: Feels pretentious, Finely chopped tuna, Alice in Wonderland.
3) The good: Compliments are few and far between throughout the whole review, especially when it comes to the specific dishes: "Syhabout blends high-style techniques and unusual ingredients into dishes that are exciting and unique ... Syhabout deserves credit for creating a restaurant with such a dramatic point of view."
4) The bad: The silverware is awkward (true), servers don't describe the food intricacies sufficiently, the pricetag is off, and those in #5 below.
5) Whether important or not (see the poll), it's at least worth pointing out that Bauer echoes the Murphy complaints, critiquing the size of the wine pours (twice), the small food portions, and the rushed timing of the dinner.
6) The Eater Research Team has compiled some data points to compare/contrast MB's East Bay jaunts since the beginning of 2009. Salumi haven Adesso received three stars, and the following are on the 2.5-star level: Pican, Ozumo, Marzano, Artisan Bistro, and Five.
· Commis might be too minimalist [Chron]
· Eater Poll: On the Twitter Decorum of the Critic's Friends [~ESF~]
· All Coverage of Commis [~ESF~]