With the recent critic showdown over 25 Lusk in mind, let's take a moment to look at our friend Kauff's thoughts on the glitzy SoMa newcomer. Even though it's not his kind of place ("...a restaurant designed for business dinners and tech-firm holiday parties, not alt-weekly food writers") Kauff finds "The cooking is solid, even if it strains to match the splendor of its surroundings." At the end of the day the restaurant "passes my measure of a successful restaurant in that it achieves almost everything it sets out to do...And yet I never felt myself swept up by the romance of the scene..." Sort of unimpassioned, compared with what we've seen so far. [SF Weekly]
Meanwhile Reidinger dines with the "town's tonier heterosexuals" at Capaninnia in Cow Hollow to find the design "handsome without becoming narcissistic" and the food "a tight weave of tradition and controlled innovation." One of the standouts is a chicken under a brick that "couldn't be improved on" and the canolli: "exceptional, in a word."[SFBG]
Berkeley Bauer pens an update review of Scot Howard's Five in the Hotel Shattuck Plaza. The orzo mac and cheese and warm biscuits are still a "must order" (thought the biscuits were gratis before). But generally the new chef Banks White "has a feel for the menu, but the execution can be mixed." And the "best part of the meal was dessert," which is done by Robert Hac. The verdict? Two starsoverall. [Chron]
The Elsewhere: The second Thursday Datebook review doles out another twofer to Zut! in Berkeley, The CoCo Times also goes to Zut!, but seems to like it a little better that The Chron; the Metro SV hits up Tigelleria Organic Restaurant, EBX likes the new version of Trader Vic's in Emeryville, the Marin IJ goes to a random chain restaurant in San Rafael's Northgate mall, Panera Bread; Bar Bites has tater tot nachos at Bullit in Russian Hill and finally Bargain Bite hits the Blue Bottle Cafe in Mint Plaza where the lunch fare is surprisingly delicious.
25 Lusk. [Photo: VinDivine]