Bauer is disappointed with his return visits to Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak, but it still manages to hang on to its overall 3 star rating. He thinks "the restaurant has scaled back its ambitions in both food and service." The first tip off is when his favorite amuse, the complimentary duck fat fries "came to the table barely warm." Thank goodness "the beef is still excellent." In summary: "Where the kitchen shines, and where you can actually see chef Omri Aflalo's creativity, is with the non-beef main courses...I can understand why Bourbon Steak is packed - it retains elements of the glamorous Compass Rose architecture, making it one of the most elegant, masculine dining rooms in San Francisco - but I long for the creativity that once defined Bourbon Steak and raised it far above the typical steak house venue." [Chron]
The Unterminator is impressed by Pac Heights' new roasted chicken joint Roostertail, calling it "indispensable" for a number of reasons. The birds "err on the side of doneness...But it is the Roostertail sides that I adore, all of which must be ordered separately." The "restauranty" sandwiches on offer are "pure and luscious," and the only real drawback she finds is "disorganized service." Still, "Roostertail is a go-to spot for high-quality comfort food based on fresh, local ingredients." [Examiner]
The Kauffinator marvels at Izakaya Yuzuki chef Takashi Saito's ability to take his dishes "all the way back to their base" as in "warm tofu, curdled moments before it arrives at the table." He says the restaurant faces two challenges: 1) a cursed space in the Mission 2) "calling the place an izakaya" doesn't really do it justice. In short "Not all of the dishes work, but the homestyle food Yuzuki is serving has a delicacy and detail hard to find in San Francisco." [SF Weekly]
THE ELSEWHERE: The second Thursday Chron review has two stars for Santa Rosa's new Sweet T's where the fried chicken is "dry and underseasoned," but the fried green tomatoes are "some of the best;" The Merc gets nostalgic at Alameda's 1400 Bar & Grill , EBX isn't totally wowed by the $8 beers at Emeryville's new Prizefighter, EBX's Jesse Hirsch is neither here nor there on Lin Jia in Lakeshore, and the Marin IJ calls Greenbrae's Vis à Vis "a real bistro."