Beginning this week's review rehash, things go swimmingly for deep-sea Bauer at Farallon: "it feels as if Mark Franz and his crew, led by Ryan Simas, are back on track. The menu has been reformatted...and the combinations were as well executed as when the restaurant opened in 1997." The Union Square mainstay proves it's "once again the big fish of seafood restaurants," and earns a whopping 3.5 stars overall. [Chron]
Always game for a good digression, The Reidinger starts his Heirloom Cafe review with biblical references; then dives in: "its menu is refreshingly brief and implies a lineage, at least in spirit, from Chez Panisse and Zuni Café...The cooking is as elegant and understated as the interior design." [SFBG]
The Kauff files a twofer on Public House and Social Kitchen and Brewery, two new beer-focused restaurants in town, and laments: "Both places have got the beer part right. Do I really need to talk about the food?" At the former, Traci Des Jardins' jaunt into ballpark-appropriate fare, "...came off as genuine as Martha Stewart demonstrating how to make Jell-O shots;" and at the latter, Butterfly chef-owner Rob Lam seems to have concocted more misses than hits: "And why, we kept wondering, were there kumquats in everything?" [SF Weekly]
San Francisco magazine's Josh Sens has offered up his two cents on Russell Jackson's exploits at Lafitte, which recently received a bit of a slam from the Bauer. Sens notes that if Jackson "promises diners a 'soupçon of insanity'...you have to wonder why so many dishes taste so subdued." And despite claims that "'it's all about service'," he recounts sad adventures in ordering wine and requesting a missing fork: "I felt like a castaway frantically signaling a distant steamer. Next time, I’m bringing a flare." [San Francisco]
Finally Amanda Gold does today's second Datebook review of Isa-and-Domo-owner Luke Sung's Prime Rib Shabu: "It may be another shabu-shabu joint in the Richmond, but it hasn't gone unnoticed." Translation: two stars. [Chron]
THE ELSEWHERE: The CoCo Times gets whisked away by the Lake Chalet; the EBX tries out a Martin Cate-free Forbidden Island; the Marin IJ likes everything but the duck breasts at NewZ; The Merc is stunned by Le Papillon in San Jose; Bargain Bite does not find coffee at HRD Coffee Shop; Bar Bites likes the burger and the bloody at Crogan's in Oakland; and Janny Hu contributes a Datebook feature on notable eats and drinks in the Inner Sunset.
Farallon. [Photo: Flickr/Bill in DC]