Mr. Jonathan Kauffman is delightful as ever, exploring two pop-up restaurants, Vinyl and EAT. He loves the feel of Vinyl—the side project of Saison's Mark Bright and Kris Esqueda—and thinks it's a great spot for large groups and lovers (awww) alike. Good looks aside, he was impressed by two out of the three offered dishes, his favorite being the potato ravioli. He says the "filling was so delicately earthy I wondered whether the potatoes were grown in a bed of feathers." That sentence is both ridiculous and wonderful, I love it! At EAT, Kauffman found the food and service more hit or miss, but still enjoyed his over-all experience. He ends by asking, "Was either meal substantially different from anything I've eaten in a permanent restaurant? Not particularly, though prices were probably a third cheaper." Nice! This is Recession 2.0, baby! We need to hold onto our George Washingtons with the ferocity of a mama bear protecting her baby cubs. Literally, that is how I protect my one dollar bills and I suggest you do the same. [SF Weekly]
Reidinger hit up Beautifull and finds healthy (and pricey! cha-ching!) fast food that takes influence from the cuisines of the world. He says that although some of the dishes are inventive, "Mildness rules the day here." He's simultaneously depressed by and impressed with the fact that decent-quality food costs a pretty penny. Girl, I relate. I'm going broke buying Kiwi Berries at Bi-Rite for $50 an ounce and I can't stop. Ah, San Francisco! [SFBG]
Senor Bauer (rhymes? kinda? nevermind) returns to Maverick and loves what he sees. Well, maybe he doesn't love what he sees, but he very much likes what he tastes. The restaurant's new chef, Matt Brimer, has bust onto the scene, and brought with him some splendidly innovative cuisine that Bauer appreciates. Of course, Bauer takes issue with some garish decor and his inability to hear dining companions over those dang youngsters. Normally I'd be all, "Get over it, Old Man!" but today I'm like, "Peach it, Bauer." The older I get, the less patience I have for the experimental and the loud. NOW GET OFF MY LAWN! All told, a strong 2-1/2 stars for Maverick. [Chron]
The Elsewhere: - EBX is kinda into Beckett's in Berkeley. You know who was really into Beckett's back in the day? Underaged drinkers at my high school. ALLEGEDLY. Mercury News reviews a whole slew of restaurants (ugh so much writing!), and finds them all fairly delightful. Ok, fine, it was Oakland's Southie, San Ramon's Fat Maddie, and Fremont's Little Madfish. I'd like to point out that all of those restaurants have excellent names, but that's all you're getting from me! The Marin IJ appreciates the healthy and fresh food at Picante Taqueria. It's all so Marin. That means I probably won't like it. 2 a.m. El Farolito or bust! If a burrito doesn't make me throw-up and then STILL compel me to keep eating, I don't want to know it. I just told you all that because you asked.
Vinyl Wine Bar. [Photo: SF Weekly]