Kicking off this week's review party, SFBG's Virginia Miller admits she's obsessed with Southern food, and there are three places that fulfill her cravings. At Hops and Hominy she's surprised by the smoked bacon old fashioned and espresso-cured chocolate duck. Hog & Rocks—where Berkshire pork cutlet is "the standout dish"—has a stellar new cocktail program from Scott Beattie. And she heads back to Front Porch for crab fritters, some of the best shrimp and grits in town, and fried chicken that's good, but "not the ultimate." [SFBG]
Thanks to Mexican, Thai, American and Japanese cooks in one kitchen, Patricia Unterman finds "a United Nations of cooking" at Sandbox Bakery's new restaurant offshoot 903. She can't stop thinking about the rice burger, and the green tea sponge cake with red bean paste and whipped cream is "a revelation." [Examiner]
Kauff goes to The Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley where he thinks drinks called phosphates and lactarts make up the best part of the menu. He's annoyed by the pompous propensity of the "soda jerks," and he waits 45 minutes for a drink on one occasion. Still he's impressed by drinks like the "Ode to Mr. O'Neil," which reminds him of a fresh apple: "a lovely effect." [SF Weekly]
THE ELSEWHERE: EBX's Jesse Hirsch writes a detailed blow-by-blow of B-Side BBQ's menu ,which he sums up as "pretty darn good," The Merc has spicy Chinese food at YiPing in San Ramon, and the Marin IJ weighs in on the revamped Shoreline Coffee Shop in Mill Valley.