Bauer returns to Top 100 mainstay Amber India (on Yerba Buena Lane) to make sure the restaurant's still got it after four years and several new spinoffs. While he writes that the butter chicken is "better than what I had in the Mission location," there's a moment of doubt when other dishes "lost a bit of the finesse." There are also problems with rushed service ("we had three courses within an hour"), but "many high points" on the menu keep the restaurant in Top 100 territory at 2.5 stars. [Chron]
Barbecued meats at Ming Kee Restaurant may have the same sodium and saturated fat as a Big Mac, but for SF Weekly's Anna Roth the comparison stops there. The Outer Sunset restaurant has a full service restaurant in addition to its take out counter, but it's smart to skip the "ho-hum version of honey walnut shrimp" and go straight to the meats. The free-range chickens and geese ("bronzed and smooth as the former governor of California") are quick sellers but the real star is the pig which is "so sweet and succulent it's almost like pork candy." [SF Weekly]
SFBG's Virginia Miller assesses newly opened sushi spots in Russian Hill and the Mission. Noted for its sustainable take on Japanese, Elephant Sushi incorporates freshness down to the homemade soy sauce and real wasabi. Despite its "funky-fun" dishes and crudo that "pops with fresh flavor", she writes that some are "a let down after the flashy flame of its presentation." Similarly, at Sugoi Sushi "the artistry goes a step beyond," but "a funky piece of fish or two" ruins the experience. Maki rolls, which are "filling and bright," are a diner's best bet. [SFBG]
THE ELSEWHERE: EBX finds impressive roast beef at Star Meats and The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley; The Merc highlights Bay Area chefs with hand pies; Marin IJ checks out the new chef at Hawk's Tavern in Mill Valley; The Chron gives off-beat comfort food at The Square Cafe in Santa Rosa 2 stars.
— Ashley Mason