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San Francisco Mag Critic Josh Sens Identified at Michael Mina, Has "Prince" Treatment, Still Manages Unbiased Review

San Francisco magazine's Josh Sens is the restaurant critic version of that much-needed friend who will tell you if your new hair cut is an epic fail. And his most recent review on Michael Mina's newer Michael Mina restaurant on California Street brings all the refreshing candor we want from him. Sens even admits he was recognized as a critic after his first visit, something that happens way more often than any professional food critic would normally deign to admit. The review begins, naturally, by calling out all the things that are markedly different from Mina's first Michael Mina on Union Square: the "mix-and-match" menu has given way to fixed price tasting menus, waiters wear jeans, tablecloths are gone; but the core, "Michael Mina" feeling of dinner as an "experience" or "show" is there. To Sens it's "more Spider-Man the musical than Spalding Gray."

And he mentions several highlights, like "Wagyu shabu-shabu. Such fun to say. So good to eat," and servers that "know their stuff" enough to make all the unnecessary flourishes okay. After he was identified as a critic, Sens notes, "I was given a prime table and pampered like a prince," but feels it wasn't much of a departure as "Mina is a restaurant designed to make all of its patrons feel deeply indulged." Sens ends "impressed, sated, a little bit exhausted," and leaves us with this: "A meal at Michael Mina is not for everyone or every evening. But you understand why, across the country, the man plays to packed houses every night." We're sure Sens is just as curious as we are how the "experience" would have been different if he wasn't recognized.

Did you feel like a prince (or princess) at Michael Mina? Share deep thoughts and feelings in the comments.

· Maximum Mina [SF Mag]
· All Previous Michael Mina Coverage [~ ESF ~]

Michael Mina

252 California Street, San Francisco, CA

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