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Absinthe Bumped Up To Three Stars; Ramen, Explored; More!

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Royal Bauer docks at Absinthe for an update review since chef Jamie Lauren was replaced by Michael Mina vet Adam Keough. He opens with a real zinger:

When "Top Chef" contender Jamie Lauren left her post at San Francisco's Absinthe a few months ago to move to Los Angeles, she was reported as saying that she wouldn't miss much about the city. And with the food being produced by Adam Keough, who took over the kitchen in mid-August, she won't be missed much here, either. The new chef, a four-year veteran of Michael Mina's Southern California restaurants, has brought a renewed vibrancy to this stylish Hayes Valley Belle Epoque-era brasserie.
Add in staff that "seems more engaged and helpful" and the Hayes Valley favorite gets a bump to three stars. [Chron]

Meanwhile The Kauff is slumming it (relatively) at our newest ramen holes. He notes "San Francisco may be seeing the birth of an evangelical movement, if not a full-fledged cult, proselytized by a cluster of ramen shops, stands, and pop-up restaurants that have appeared since the beginning of the year." Using tonkotsu ramen as the litmus, he likes what he finds at five spots: Izakaya Sozai, Saiwaii Ramen, Ajisen Ramen, Hapa Ramen and Ramen Dojo. [SF Weekly]

And Reidinger tries out Uptown Joe's, has a field day dissecting the name before noting some dishes fell flat, like the minestrone ("sickly, gray-green") and the fried chicken ("gravely underseasoned"). Everything is summed up by the metaphor of dessert: "The chocolate mousse cake ($7.75) was light as whipped cream and not much else, while the apple pie ($7.50, with a pat of vanilla ice cream) was almost too hot to eat in spots despite a creditable crust. In a word: middling."

The Elsewhere: Bar Bites joins the "eclectic crowd" (really?) at Mill Valley Beerworks, Bargain Bite is hot, hot, hot at Mission Chinese Food, EBX gets into some Indian chiura at Hamro Aangan in Albany, Marin IJ tries out the three-month-old raw- and vegan-centric Lydia's Lovin' Foods in Fairfax and Metro SV is at Cupertino’s Liang’s Village Cuisine for Taiwanese food.

The bar at Absinthe. [Photo: Flickr/numberstumper]

Absinthe

398 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA

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