In Nostalgia Bauer's review update of Fog City Diner, he acknowledges the historical impact of the "upscale diner," but that's not enough to cut it these days. Even though the Real Restaurant group has taken over and put new chef, Daniel Sudar, in place, Bauer says "the best things about my recent experience are the ambience and the fact that there's no corkage on the first bottle of wine." 1.5 stars [Chron]
In contrast, Patty U. visits another old fave, Rose Pistola, a restaurant she says has been revitalized by a recent changing of the guard. New chef Mark Gordon, of Terzo fame, puts out "lots of sexy antipasti" and "exciting pizza" and "the tone is set" by new manager/sommelier Lisa Robins who gave Unterman enough wine to make her "pay for it the next day." [Examiner]
Reidinger hits Alexander's Steakhouse, thinking the decor has hung onto the "Hooters atmospherics" of its former days as Bacar. He says chef Jeffrey Stout's Japan- and France-influenced steakhouse menu reminds him of the "splendid" 5A5 in Jackson Square. He's ok with the American influences too, as in truffle fries "I was surprised to find this was an effective idea." He says the service "must be the among the wordiest in the city" and his prime rib is tough, but things end will with a "miniature playground of chocolate." [SFBG]
Jesse Hirsch checks in on new restaurant owner Sarah Dvorak at month-old Mission Cheese and is distracted by "moments of ordering confusion, mixed messages, and forgotten dishes." The core product excels, as in a "divine" Lot-A-Burrata sandwich. And although he wonders whether Dvorak has "the requisite will to streamline the operation...the space is warm, the cheese is grand, and the concept has potential." [SF Weekly]
The Elsewhere: The Marin IJ tries Larkspur's new Magnolias Cafe, John Birdsall does a porchetta roundup for the EBX, The Merc finally gets to Ippuku in Berkeley, Bar Bites gets into some $40 wine at Cotogna, Bargain Bite discovers the rotisserie chickens at Due Drop In on Church St., and the second Datebook review gives San Mateo's Cafe Tradition an expected two stars.