In the name of superior Korean fried chicken, The Kauff joins the under-30-set at Red Wings in the Western Addition. The little spot strikes out on decor, music (Bieber!) and pretty much everything on the menu except the chicken. The "K-pop" style "shows off the wings in their naked glory." "K-jun" with Cajun spicing is also to the critic's liking. The other wing varieties: manul chicken (soggy once, better than San Tung's the next time) and yani chicken ("sticky, spicy bites"), aren't quite as reliable. And the only other thing Kauff would get again seems to be the "feather-light, contorted, perfectly fried sweet potato chips ($5.90), dusted in white sugar instead of salt. Snicker all you like at the seasoning: The basket may be empty by the time your next jug of beer arrives." [SF Weekly]
The Bauer Touch hits Dio Deka, the nice Greek restaurant at the Hotel Los Gatos. It starts well on the noise front: "decibels have gone from a bomb to a pleasant three bells." And new chef Marty Cattaneo's "high-profile cooking gigs [Manresa, Ubuntu, Aziza] are evident on each plate." Several apps so good the mains "pale next to the[m]. The roulade of chicken "mosaic," for example, "...was good-except for the chicken;" and John Dory was a little overcooked. The desserts were also a shocker "for their price, if nothing else." (A $12 yogurt thing really catches Bauer off guard.) He wraps it up with 2.5 stars and this: "Cattaneo is producing exciting food, although it's not yet fully realized...it's definitely a place worth checking out again." [Chron]
The Hayes Valley corner where Mazzat sits reminds Reidinger of an area in East Berlin, with weedy emptiness and the memory of damage. But he's most impressed by the the affordably priced menu of Lebanese eats. Fattoush, hummus and meat pies get good marks. There's just one "divergence of views" on the chicken shawerma wrap, due to its clove seasoning. At meals ends, "the desserts were of a proportion I would call ideal," especially the baklava. [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: The Merc likes the belly dancers at Livermore's Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen, Marin IJ enjoys all kinds of Indian food at Novato's Batika, the EBX tries to overlook imperfections at Doña Tomás, Bargain Bite suggests India's iconic dishes at Albany's House of Curries and Bar Bites finally gets its mingle on at Under Attic in San Mateo.
[Photo: Yelp/Pablo R.]