With Stephen Barber out at Barbers Q, the joint gets a new name, Q Restaurant, and a new three star Bauer review. Its "sleek Armani looks" are the backdrop for a "down-home culinary focus," exemplified by some of the best devilled eggs around and barbecued items that "continue to shine." Bauer calls new hire Randy Lewis "one of the best chefs in the Bay Area" and says the service is also "a cut above what you'd expect." [Chron]
SFBG's Virginia Miller is blown away by the "approachable dining experience" at West Portal's Orexi, especially its "addictive" pitas, zuchinni fritters, and "homey moussaka." While some dishes don't deliver on flavor ("unremarkable potatoes," baked white beans that "suffer from blandness"), Miller is won back by the "chic" decor, and the "effortless" service: "the same waiter? remembered a wine I ordered the month before." [SFBG]
SF Weekly's Anna Roth feels FiDi Turkish restaurant Machka "never quite lifts off." Some dishes are spot on, like the "piquant, addictive" adana kebab, but others don't deliver: see falafel balls, "dense as a hockey puck." Still she has some things to recommend: "flaky and buttery" pitta, "magnificent" lamb tartare, and almond-coconut ice cream that's like "an upmarket Almond Joy." [SF Weekly]
THE ELSEWHERE: EBX samples the brew at Elevation 66 in El Cerrito; The Merc finds Italians with Mexican flair at Ferrari's Cucina in Danville; Marin IJ tries serious chicken at Whistlestop's Jackson Café in San Rafael; and Chron doles out 2 stars for Borgo Italia in Oakland, despite small portions.
— Ashley Mason