Today we kick off the Thursday review extravaganza with Jonathan Kauffman's pizza-centric double-shot of Delarosa and Pi Bar. Both places have heavily incorporated beer into their beverage programs in an attempt to stand out in the pizzeria deluge, and for the most part, the idea works. As for the pizzas, Pi Bar's are consistently overbaked, while Delarosa's can get inconsistent during the busy hours:
Gadaldi's "Roman-style" thin-crust pizzas, cooked in a wood-fired oven, vary in quality. When it's done right — as it was at lunch one day, when the smaller crowd gave the cooks more time to focus — the dough bubbles and puffs around the edges, airy and smoke-tinged, with a papery crispness that holds up to the tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings (in this case, mushrooms and fresh thyme, $14). On a busy night, the pizzas seemed to lose that elegance, toughening up around the edges while the center was undercooked and still floppy.Regardless of the minor shortcomings at Pi Bar and Delarosa, the restaurants are putting out appealing products, as proven by the crowds that continue to flock to both spots. The Kauff Drop's final assessment of the duo: "Pi Bar works as a good neighborhood beer bar with the occasional snack, while Delarosa seems like it's a matter of bringing execution up to speed with the concept." [SFW]
Paul Reidinger is in the Marina too, and he's got some encouraging words for the food coming out of Scott Street wine bar Bin38: "There is a snug, cave-like quality to the layout ... what is most immediately notable about the dishes emerging from head chef Matt Brimer's kitchen is how gorgeously everything is composed and plated. The designs aren't so fussy that you feel like a Visigoth trashing the treasures of Rome when you start eating them, but they are striking in their combinations of shape, color, and texture." [SFBG]
As noted earlier in the week, Josh Sens hits up Castro darling Frances in this month's SF Mag, and like the other critics, finds much charm in Melissa Perello's snug establishment. It's not perfect, but it's comforting: "Fittingly, the space emits a familial warmth, like Mr. Rogers’ cardigan in restaurant form ... this restaurant has no airs. Its chef is back to doing what she wants, and Frances is exactly what it aims to be." [SFM]
The lone Chron review today has Mandy Erickson handing out a deuce to San Carlos Greek eatery Mythos: "The Greek-Californian restaurant's streamlined menu features equally distilled dishes, simple and well prepared ... Blending two cuisines often leads to overly complicated dishes born from an attempt to fit both viewpoints on one plate. But a meal at Mythos, which serves a California take on Greek cuisine, is blessedly straightforward." [Chron]
THE ELSEWHERE: The PressDem has 3.5 stars for Sebastopol's K&L Bistro, the EBX checks out Oakland's veggie-inclined wine bar Encuentro, the Merc does Greek at Evvia in Palo Alto, Bar Bites heads to Redwood City's Milagros Cantina, Bargain Bites is at Erawan 2 Thai Cuisine in Martinez, and last but not least, the Sunday Bauer had 2.5 stars for Berkeley's Gather.