Now there is a Chowhound thread about Patricia Unterman's recent dismissal from the Examiner, and of course it meanders into the subject of the Michael Bauer review process. From nocharge:
"I used to know a guy who owned a small restaurant that probably would have been below Bauer's radar except that the guy kept sending him messages asking him to review it. Eventually, Bauer did and gave it two stars, which was probably as :much as could be hoped for for that kind of place. The tone of the review was positive and the restaurant's revenue went up 30 percent in the weeks following the review. The food was actually quite good -- the chef later left to open his own place and made the Top 100 list several times. [sic]"
Hey, never underestimate the power of a personal note.