Let's get the review party started with Paul Reidinger at Ironside over by AT&T Park: "The look is a cozier version of nearby Zuppa's. The food, though, is another story -- a lovable hodgepodge executed with verve and presented with exuberance." Later on in the review, we get some back story on said exuberance: "Our handsome young server could have been an extra from Milk...He thanked us profusely for everything. As Joan Crawford might have put it, just whom is thanking whom here? [SFBG]
Next up: The Kauff, who's had a nice little run at less-authentic-but-still-good exotic spots, like Puerto Rican Parada 22 and this week's review of "Carribean-Creole," Hibiscus in uptown Oakland. "Two fascinating meals over the past month" yield the following conclusion: "Hibiscus has some polishing to do, but the eclecticism of Kirnon's food is so personal and so richly layered that it captured my imagination." [SF Weekly]
Meanwhile, El Bauer is noodling around in Wine Country again, this time at LaSalette, which has been serving a modern take on Portuguese food since 1998: "While this type of food might seem a bit out of place in Wine Country, with its 90-degree summer days, the owners never lose sight of where they are..." And it may be the service with a "friendly, freehearted spirit" and "bookend gestures" like chocolate-covered nuts at meal's end that pushes this tiny guy into the land of 2.5 stars. [SFGate]
But The Chron's Carol Ness isn't so amused at SR24 in the East Bay's Temescal Triangle: "the decor...made me think of Venus Williams' outfit at last month's French Open - red and black and what was she thinking?" But she's able to overlook all this to come up with her final answer: "Still young, SR24 feels like a labor of love, a work in progress that could eventually hit its groove." In other words: 2 stars. [SFGate]
THE ELSEWHERE: The CoCo Times gets into a pork chop at Brentwood's Shutters Brasserie; The EBX likes on Richmond's Boilerhouse; The Marin IJ is barbecuing at Roadside; The Merc is bringing insect repellant to Menlo Park's Flea Street Cafe; Amanda Gold files today's third Datebook ditty at uber-local, Osteria Stellina; Bar Bites gets super fancy at Quince; and Bargain Bite says to hell with it and digs into nachos at El Farolito.
Irondside. [Photo: Daily Candy]