The Bauer Boat rocks into Farina to check in on chef Paolo Laboa who's been instrumental in some recent kitchen turmoil. "The food seems to have suffered." Farina's famous hankerchief pasta comes with "slick and oily" pesto, vitello con salsa verde "had a stale, refrigerator taste" and the Genovese-style torta was "underseasoned and unappealing." The restaurant saves itself with the foccacia and main courses, both earning a "good." But there are "pricing quirks" and a four percent cover charge" that leave a bad taste, "considering the price and the uneven quality of the food, I'd walk to another restaurant." Bauer knocks his old flame down to 1.5 stars. [Chron]
Kauff lays into the new Source for this week's review, calling it a vegetarian restaurant with "psychedelic flair." He starts things off with the "Cosmic Brain Trip," a mood-altering variation on kombucha that leaves him "feeling fuzzy for half an hour." Here the "multidimensional" experience manifests as "corporate cafeteria" meets "psychedelic visuals." After tackling the proliferation of choices on the menu with his vegetarian friends, Kauff determines "the best of Source's food is all in the realm of Americana." The veggie burger is "intriguing" and salads are "solid," but dosas were "burnt-tasting" and truffled macaroni and cheese was "gloopy and gritty." With a menu edit, these guys could be on the right track. [SF Weekly.]
Reidinger visits Ideale, an Italian restaurant where the locals go in North Beach. Chef Maurizio Bruschi's pizza "pies are intense" and risotto alla pescatore "choked with seafood" is "one of the better buys" on the menu at $17.95. The final dish discussed is veal saltimbocca with roasted potato and asparagus tips, "the pinnacle of adequacy." [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: The Marin IJ liked the tropical fare at Mikey's Cuban restaurant in San Rafael, EBX says Green Papaya Deli excels at Laotian food, Bar Bites calls Ristobar a "pizza-and-wine joint," Bargain Bite carb loads at Rustic Bakery and the second Thursday Chron review has 2.5 stars for Scratch in Mountain View.