The Bauer Gamble is ready to drop an extra half star on Union Street's Cafe Des Amis, raising the rating to a whopping two stars. "I discovered that the food and service have improved, although some dishes came out lukewarm and imprecisely seasoned." Meals run the gamut from "tepid" French onion soup to a "standout" apple tart, and "one of the main reasons to go to Cafe Des Amis" is the fries. [Chron]
The Untermagnificent doesn't recommend ordering from the regular menu at Diamond Heights' All Season Restaurant (5238 Diamond Heights Blvd.) if you can't speak Chinese. Dim sum is easier to tackle. Her Chinese friends say the style is "very Hong Kong," ordering shrimp and scallop har gow, sticky rice balls, mashed taro rolls filled with meat and veg and for dessert: "coconut coated rice dumplings filled with runny, sweet and salty egg yolks ($4.15) are a knockout." [Examiner]
Like Bauer, Jonathan Kauffman takes three trips to Charles Phan's Wo Hing General Store and finds it "doesn't always succeed." His Cantonese cooking rewritten "in the language of Californian bistros" includes " Gummy ha gau ($8), diffidently seasoned ma po tofu ($13), half-hearted fried squid," and desserts? "Uniformly awful." Still "the kitchen grew more assured with every visit" and there are dishes, like "velvety" Sichuan red-braised lamb where the "chef's hand was apparent." [SF Weekly]
Virginia Miller compares SoMa's new AQ to Sons & Daughters and Commonwealth: "it is rare to see this level of skill and creativity at this price." She digs the seasonally changing decor, a Monterey squid app is "rife with flavor," boudin noir "is a thrill," and the love fest goes on for the savory dishes, though "desserts don't fully captivate." But with Tim Zohn's "lovely" cocktails, AQ is "the whole package." [SFBG]
THE ELSEWHERE: EBX meets the Bette of Bette's Oceanview Diner, The Merc finds Martinez's Creek Monkey Tap House "pretty darn heavenly," and finally Marin IJ thinks you should have lunch at Jackson Café in San Rafael.