For starters, Kauff thinks Beast and the Hare has "perhaps the best restaurant name of the year," he goes on to define each meal by number of animal species consumed, ranging from five to nine over the course of his visits: "The food waffled between the extremes of meat-driven cuisine today: offal artisanry and KFC's Double Down, the exquisite and the shlubby." There are undeniable highs such as the "meal's pièce de resistance, 'ambrosia' tacos," but also "a savory bread pudding...that tasted like mushy, unseasoned milk toast." It feels as if Kauff likes the place and chef Ian Marks' fare despite the hiccups. "Service is super," and "Beast and the Hare's charcuterie plate...warrants a visit in its own right." [SF Weekly]
Bauer checks in on Chez Papa Resto in Mint Plaza post David Bazirgan departure. The Provencal slant to the menu is out; instead new chef "Steven Rojas' food is contemporary French, with prices to match." While the charred octopus is "one of the best dishes," most of the others have a weak link. Still "the sexy vibe of the interior" and the "professional and precise" service hasn't changed. "So, while some things have changed and prices have increased, there's still lots to draw people to Chez Papa." And the restaurant moves down a half notch to 2.5 stars sans Bazirgan. [Chron]
Reidinger takes Valencia Street's new Grub, with it's "plate-glass façade," "nouveau-mod dining room," and "value-intensive menu," as one more sign that "a basic shift in sensibility is occurring." He finds an ahi sandwich to be "a little frail, pale, and delicate, like a child who needs to get outside more," but the osso buco is "fork-tender" and the mac n' cheese has "more than enough flavor thrust to reach escape velocity." But his favorite part of the experience was probably his server: "a godlet who might have just stepped from the set of one of those Twilight movies." [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: Metro SV finds "fast food with flair," strolling down San Jose's Santa Clara Street, the Marin IJ tries Peter Schumacher's Dish, the EBX is one of the first to review Garibaldi's/Marzano reinvention Hudson, Bar Bites hits Hog & Rocks and for the Datebook Review, Carey Sweet doles out 2 stars to Sonoma's Hot Box Grill.
Inside Beast & The Hare. [Photo: SF Weekly]