Crustless Baur drops into old favorite Globe, a spot he acknowledges as "the Cotogna and Flour+Water of the late 90s" that "was rewarded with the patronage of many top chefs" in its day. Now he's dismayed to find sugary pizza crust, "gluey" polenta, cold short ribs and what looks like microwave cooking in some instances. After being "assaulted with bathroom smells," Bauer "realized it was time to savor the memories and perhaps say goodbye to an old friend." 1 star. [Chron]
The Enduring Kauff tries David Bazirgan's menu at Fifth Floor, where "the decor has shifted from Zsa Zsa Gabor's closet to private club." He finds the best dishes among the second and third course options, especially lobster agnolotti, "the most exquisitely balanced dish." Desserts are "a shade too flamboyant," and he "didn't always sense the same intuitive brilliance in Bazirgan's food that makes Benu, Coi, and Commis so fascinating..." In closing "...the food displays excellent technique and a wide-ranging intelligence." Of all the lounge specials Fifth Floor is running right now, Kauff likes the shot of bourbon, pint of beer and burger deal best. [SF Weekly]
Reidinger things carnival-themed Straw "feels like a throwback from 1995" in Hayes Valley. "The fried stuff is good," mac n' cheese with apple and bacon is "a nice little crock of Americana," the root beer float is "nice," and the grit-heavy satchemo is "flavorful," "well-balanced," and "beautiful to look at." Finally, he calls the "radical" combination of candied bacon, "impossibly creamy" peanut butter pie and chocolate crust: "better than fair." Sounds like he'd go back. [Guardian]
The Elsewhere: Marin IJ gets pot pie at Boathouse in Tiburon, the Merc tries the new rendition of Rudy's Can't Fail, the second Thursday Chron review has two stars for Tamarindo's "true Mexican" food in Oakland, Bar Bites likes 25 Lusk and Bargain Bite stops by Lotus Chaat in Oakland.