After giving Michael Mina restaurant a longer-than-average grace period of ten weeks, the time has come for Bauer to weigh in. Since Mina is already on the Chron honcho's good side, having received four stars in '08 for the first Michael Mina restaurant at the Westin St. Francis, it's no surprise that this year's review of Michael Mina's reincarnation ends well. Highlights include the Five Seas ($42) protein sampler: "one of the best dishes of the year," and the dessert sampler "a must-order item, ending the meal on an impressively high note." Although the kitchen "is still working out minor glitches" and a quail dish "came across as heavy and muddled," no feathers are ruffled as Mina nabs 3.5 for food and 3.5 stars overall.
"From start to finish, Mina has successfully reinvented the restaurant and honored the history of Aqua, a blending of old and new that's never easy to do. He's made the new space as relevant and exciting as when Aqua opened two decades ago. Aqua was then; Michael Mina is now."
Michael Mina at Michael Mina. [Photo: Jana Asenbrennerova/Chron]