The Marina seems like a good place to start this week's review battalions. Let's head over with Patty Untz Untz, who's enjoying some "velvety" salmon, "pristine" burrata, and shrimp with "heads full of suckable shrimp fat," at the newly remodeled Bistro Aix. Of the spaghettini with tomato sauce ($12), she has this to say: "I have traveled across The City at 10:30 p.m. for this one," but she's pleased overall as well: "[Chef Jonathan] Beard has always served some of the most lovable food in San Francisco — for the most reasonable prices. Now he’s got a hot little restaurant to match it." [Examiner]
Renaissance Bauer heads into Americano for his Thursday review update and finds the food has steadily improved since it opened 5 years ago. Shockingly, he digs into a pizza (better than it's puff-pastry predecessor) and a "first-rate" burger "seared almost black, rare and juicy inside." In the end it appears Kory Stewart's takeover of the kitchen worked out, and the place is a good pick-up joint to boot!: "I can imagine people meeting outside and then moving inside a one-stop restaurant that takes customers from pickup to first date." So it's 2.5 stars for the American in Italy. [SFGate]
And The Kauff continues his ethnic eatery crusade at To Hyang, a Korean restaurant owned by Hwa-Soon Im: "Only a few ultralocavore cooks in town can rival her DIY-ness." And you can taste it in the food: "Even classic recipes in every Korean cookbook on your shelf taste different, singular, personal here." The meal brings him right back to his days in southwest Korea, especially the doenjang jjigae ($10.99). Made with a soybean paste "[Im's] daughter says, was started before To Hyang opened. You won't taste its like anywhere else in town." [SF Weekly]
This week's Reidinger review is a real head-scratcher. Most ink is devoted to confessing his prior writerly sins: misuse of "izakaya," mispelling "matcha," overlooking the first Belgian restaurant in the city; you get the drift. Finally he describes the three empanadas at Chile Lindo, which he determines are authentic in style. Still he's left wanting: "[A] Chocolate empanada would be...a nice touch in this regard -- patience, my pretties!" [SFBG]
THE ELSEWHERE: The CoCo Times is gettin' jiggy with it at Hibiscus; The EBX gets ADD at Liege; Stett Holbrook has it his way at Sprout Cafe in Palo Alto; The Marin IJ sees lots of bright, cheery things at Mi Pueblo; Bar Bites takes in the view at Piatti in Mill Valley;Bargain Bites leaves Morty's stuffed and smiling; and finally the second Thursday Datebook review is of Palo Alto's Calafia, which gets caught by the famed Chron deuce.