Untzy Pants goes to try the 4-course $15 tasting menu at Mr. Pollo because she met chef Manny Gimenez at the farmers market. Turns out his "meticulous California cooking, in miniature, comes as a surprise in an arepa shop, but there really wasn’t quite enough to eat, and the meal took way too long, especially with 1970s disco blasting away for two-plus hours." But she does find one item that's worth it: "I’m sticking to pollo arepas at Mr. Pollo. For them, I will wait." [Examiner]
Since St. Helena's Terra made all those changes back in January, added a bar and some more casual menu options, The Movable Bauer Feast payed owners Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani a visit to see if the Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants fixture was still worthy of its 3.5 stars. Well he likes what he finds: "The menu seems as exciting and modern as a restaurant that just opened." There's specific mention of an asparagus and ocean trout salad, Wagyu beef carpaccio and Doumani's desserts: a "classic huckleberry pie" and a "rich chocolate tart." In summary, "The 'new' Terra is better than ever" and it hangs on to its 3.5. [Chron]
Also checking out some recent changes, Reidinger hits Hayes Valley to try the Absinthe menu from chef Adam Keough who replaced Jamie Lauren in September of last year. The decor has always been one of this favorites because its "low-key elegance and even glamour" exemplifies "the height of what San Francisco restaurants were, and were like, before the city became a suburb of Silicon Valley." Now on to the food: "fabulous garlic pretzels ($7)," a "marvelous potato tart," "lovely version" of bouillabaisse, a "tender as well as tasty" skirt steak, and our German chocolate cake hater says pastry chef Bill Corbett's is a version "even a skeptic could love." [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: The Chron's second Datebook review gives 2 stars to ex-Poleng Lounge chef Tim Luym's new project The Attic, serving pan-Asian food with Filipino leanings; the Marin IJ likes the greasy, organic food at Bubba's Fine Diner in San Anselmo; The EBX likes Southie's pulled pork sandwich best, Metro SV finds "an appealing mix" of Middle Eastern and Greek at San Jose's International Kabob House; Bar Bites is charmed by Presidio Social Club and Bargain Bite digs Daly City's diminutive Filipino Tselogs.
Mr. Pollo. [Photo: Yelp/Jonas T.]