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Unterman's Farewell Review of Gajalee, Josh Sens Slaps A Rare Four Stars On His Beloved Saison, and More

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Patricia Unterman's farewell review for The Examiner is of the Mission's new South Indian restaurant Gajalee where she finds several things to like despite "tortoise-slow" service. The meen pollichathuou ("satiny" true cod steamed in a banana leaf), chicken chettinad, lamb xacuti and fish malvani all earn her good graces, and the favorite seems to be the fish thali: "every dunk, scoop and spoonful of the aromatic food produces wonder at the infinite ingenuity of cooks." [Examiner]

Before Josh Sens releases a full four star rating on Saison's $498 chef table experience, there are lots of questions: "But 22 courses? Eighteen flights of wine, beer, and sake? On a less-than-glamorous block of Folsom Street? What kind of madness was this? Is Skenes’s maxed-out menu the masterwork of a soaring talent or the clouded vision of a hubristic chef, caught in the updraft of his own ego?" But the meal is "superb" and the counter seat provides "first-rate entertainment." If you're into "...very refined dining San Francisco has no better option than Joshua Skenes’s Saison." In the end, it's "money well spent." [San Fran Mag]

Chron's Carey Sweet has two stars for the Italian-Asian two-in-one restaurant that is Forchetta/Bastoni. The banh mi from Bastoni (the Asian part of the equation) is "among the best I've had." The Italian Forchetta side is a little fancier she likes the "bubble-crusted pizzas" and handcrafted chiattara pasta enough to recommend them. She thinks both restaurant themes are "smartly thought out."

Kauffman files one of his final reviews for SF Weekly and it's a comparision piece on the rotisserie chickens at Bayview's new Limon Rotisserie, Bernal Heights' Inkas, and Brasa in Berkeley. None of them are perfect, like his favorite from the original Limon Rotisserie, but at least the chicken at Inkas is "expertly cooked." The Limon Bayview the "dried out" breast meat and "stiffened up" thigh require "apologetic" dunks in sauce. Unfortunately, Brasa's meat was "salted so densely I considered dipping bites in my ice water,"and on the other visit it's just flat-out tough.[SF Weekly]

THE ELSEWHERE: The EBX's Jesse Hirsch is happy to discover Wally's Cafe in Emeryville, Marin IJ enjoys "fresh pizzas with a view" at Mill Valley's Tamalpie, and The Merc has a "lovely lunch" at Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay.

Gajalee

525 Valencia Street, San Francisco , CA 94110

Saison

178 Townsend Street, , CA 94107 (415) 828-7990 Visit Website

Gajalee

525 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA

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