Today Bauerissimo reminds us that North Beach's Rose Pistola, with it's focus on Ligurian cuisine, was once a trailblazer of hyper-regional Italian food. It faltered over the years, but since the refresh in early 2011, "things are looking up." Antipastis are "coming back;" "the main courses were better than on a previous visit, but aren't quite there yet;" and "The remodel also seems to have energized the staff." In summary, "While Rose Pistola still has a way to go to recapture its glory days, it's on the right track." 2.5 stars, overall. [Chron]
The Kauff checks in on Sausalito's two-month-old Plate Shop where "flavors echo James Beard and Edna Lewis more than they do Alice Waters and Richard Olney." "The percentage of blonds in the room" seems to bother Kauffy a bit, but the food settles him down. Chef Kim Alter's warm monkey bread "may spark a citywide revival" and her warm winter salad shows "perfect balance," but the whole chicken entreee "wants for something other than solid technique," and a smoked risotto "needs to be reeled back." The end is positive: " [Alter]...balances good cooking, good ethics, and technical legerdemain skillfully enough to satisfy diners who are out for a good, no-bullshit meal, as well as those of us who prefer our Americana, like our America, to have a little more thrill." [SF Weekly]
In contrast to The Kauff's earlier so-so Locavore review, Reidinger goes "Loco for Locavore" in the Mission. He notes the locavore thing (sourcing everything from within 100 miles) isn't too tough in San Francisco; still "Chef/owner Jason Moniz's food is excellent, reasonably priced, and the vegetarian angle seems to have been considered with some imagination." Reidinger relishes everything from a spicy yuba soy roll to ham hock ravioli, finishing with a honey semifreddo that "made a beautiful, balanced mouth music unlike any other I've ever enjoyed." [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: Marin IJ digs into massive portions at Theresa & Johnny's Comfort Food, the EBX has dessert-like cereal at nonprofit Cafe Yesterday, CoCo Times calls Pleasant Hill's Zen "reliable" Chinese food and the Thursday Datebook review has 2 stars for That Bar in Danville.
[Photo: Foodie 411]