Josh Sens of San Francisco magazine has two stars for Greg Dunmore's seasonal Hayes Valley izakaya, Nojo: "What struck me most about my meals at Nojo was that, for all the restaurant’s farm-to-table focus, my favorite items weren’t seasonal at all. Fresh produce is swell, but I found more to love in the primal proteins: the chicken hearts, spritzed with lemon and tingling sansho pepper; the thick-cut beef tongue, lashed with tare, a sweet soy-sauce marinade, and spiked with shichimi chili heat." [San Fran Mag]
El Bauer can't tell the difference between the carne asada, the grilled chicken and the al pastor at Albany's 10-year-old Mexican haunt, Fonda. "No one seems to be paying attention to what comes out of the kitchen," and it costs them. 1.5 stars. [Chron]
Kauff tries a bar review on for size, paying several visits to Bourbon & Branch's new "speakeasy within a speakeasy," Wilson. He enjoys the $30 tasting menu, consisting of three drinks to make a sort of "liquid dinner" and notes the mood here is "restaurantlike, too, subdued and romantic." Although the experience leaves Kauff's palate "exhausted" and his morning's "bleary," the Wilson "has the possibility to be a great one." [SF Weekly]
And Reidinger is the critic who finally pays attention Pasión, the pan-Latin spot in the Sunset from Fresca chef Jose Calvo-Perez. It "feels a little like Miami," the ceviche trio "pops," but then there's the paella: "as much gray as green, and this wasn't reassuring." That is all. [SFBG]
The Elsewhere: The Merc gets comfortable in East Dublin at Cellar 9, EBX tracks the history of burger joint, Kwik Way, the Marin IJ likes the freshness at Miracle Mile Cafe in San Rafael, the second Datebook review has 2 stars for 54 Mint's Concord spinoff, there's a vegetarian Bar Bites at Millenium and Bargain Bite has a Maoz sandwich in Berkeley.