Bauer-san revisits Joe Manzare's Japanese restaurant Hecho, and now that Sachio Kojima is running the kitchen he thinks it deserves 2.5 stars. Fried chicken nuggets, edamame, "perfectly grilled" hamachi collar, and a ginger creme brulee are among the dishes he calls out. Even though he doesn't "understand the allure of a margarita and sushi" together, he's coming around now that Kojima's in tow. [Chron]
The Untermarvelous trips to Daniel Patterson's Plum Bar, where she seems to like the cocktails best of all. "Plum Bar executes them with commitment, down to the size of the house-cut ice cubes and the scent-delivering shape of the glasses." A falafel flatbread, charcuterie plage and skillet cornbread are all worthy of mention, and although the aged burger with stinky cheese "fell flat," D-Patt gets points for his mission: "to invent, to push convention, to discover, while keeping the comforts of the neighborhood bar and the organically grown reassuringly close." [Examiner]
J. Kauff reviews a dinner event put on by 18-month-old Stag Dining Group, calling it to be "creative, professional, and heavily co-branded."
Kauffman has admired the work of chefs Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury since they worked together at the Alembic. Their dishes are more rustic here, but salads and platters filled with quail and trout are still well-executed. But what really hooks him is that "Something unique happens when you seat a group of strangers together for a long banquet, an effect that can't be reproduced at cocktail parties or the communal tables at restaurants." [SF Weekly]
Virginia Miller is "captivated" by the "magical setting" at Restaurant 1833 from the moment she steps on the property in Monterey. "The bar is mezmerizing," and when it comes to chef Levi Mezick's food, this is "no style-over-substance scenario." Pizzas, pastas and whole-roasted meats "leave you fat and contented, while drink offerings threaten to outshine the food." Finally, "as a cocktail destination, 1833 has no equal in the entire area." [SFBG]