"Billed in the advance press — hours of interviews transcribed, dozens of photos released — the team has used talking points like casual, modern, even edgy to describe their new place. Well, it sure as hell isn't any of those things. Rather, the restaurant is more like a $300 pair of jeans: Calling them casual and edgy betrays how long you've lived among the moneyed classes....everything Prospect actually wants to be — urbane, subtle, playful in the mannered tones of an 18th-century French noble — it realizes beautifully."[SF Weekly]
Meanwhile Mikealicious isn't totally won over by his review subject, Woodside's Village Pub, either: "I was disappointed in the lackadaisical service, lack of precision in the kitchen and arrogant pricing." Bauer references some "excellent" items on the bar menu, but most everything he writes about from the main menu: duck sausage, pork chop, flan, scallop(s); misses. The interior, which gets half a sentence of play: "all the diners can soak up the ambience of rich burgundy chairs, padded walls and massive fireplace," earns a whopping 3.5 stars, pulling the overall count out of two star oblivion up to 2.5. [Chron]
Despite the "phlegm-colored" exterior of Hunan Chef, Reidinger has a nice meal here in Bernal Heights: "The better news is that Hunan Chef serves pretty wonderful food at modest prices." As often happens, the review includes some strange admissions: "This was the kind of sauce that left you wishing Chinese restaurants brought you a basket of bread so you'd have a means of sopping it up." [Guardian]
For the second Thursday Datebook review, we're out in the Sunset at Izakaya Sozai where 34-year-old chef Ritsu Osuka creates traditional Japanese pub fare for a mixed crowd: Chef Osuka said he envisioned Izakaya Sozai being a popular neighborhood spot, and it looks as if his plan is working. Much of the food is, too. And it's a solid 2.5 stars across the board. [Chron]
The Elsewhere: The CoCo Times goes to the circus for Ringling Bros. rolling diner; the EBX finds the definition of izakaya at Berkeley's Ippuku; Metro SV blends in with the high rollers at Madera; The Merc trips across Asia via Mint Leaf Cuisine; Bar Bites braves the din at Delarosa and Bargain Bite tries out Iron Cactus in SoMa.