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Bauer Dotes on Sons & Daughters; Sens Digs Duende

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Sons & Daughters. [Photo: darindines/Flickr]

Michael Bauer has long been a doting parent to Sons & Daughters, but he was impressed even more by his most recent trip, citing the "extraordinary evolution of talent" displayed by "relatively unknown" Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty. The increased "attention to detail" in everything from the menus to the bathroom hand towels, presentations that are "breathtaking, but not at the expense of flavor," and dishes like "perfectly seared" squab indicate these chefs are "heading for the constellations," and Bauer's happy to add a few of his own, bumping them from three to three and a half stars. [Chron]

The lovefest continues over at Duende, where Josh Sens follows Luke Tsai and Jonathan Kauffman into the welcoming embrace of Paul Canales' Spanish fare. With "superb" service in the dining room and "standout" paella, Sens is all about the restaurant experience, but is less pleased with the bodega, where he had to wait in three separate lines to secure drinks and a plate of "overfried, underseasoned" patatas bravas. Still, the food and space are charming enough to merit three stars: "If some components occasionally fall short, it still amounts to something greater than the sum of its parts." [SF Mag]

Though the "no frills" atmosphere and "lackadaisical" service at Parkside's new House of Pancakes don't thrill Anna Roth, she's willing to forgive when it comes to the "greasy, satisfying" signature beef pancake. ("A single one would cure a hangover in no time.") Roth's other favorite bites include the wrap-like beef roll pancake and the "light and sweet" sesame-seed pancake, and the price is right, with nothing over $10. In conclusion, it may not be IHOP, but she'll "be back for more—maybe even for breakfast." [SF Weekly]

Jesse Hirsch ventures to the culinary wasteland of the mall food court to sample the Metreon's new Inay's Filipino Kitchen alongside a Filipina pal, and both find themselves pleasantly surprised with the fare: "I mean seriously, how are they serving this in the mall food court?" his companion asks. Highlights include the "familiar, yet foreign" sisig fries topped with banana ketchup and diced mango and the "tasty" caldereta, but the dinuguan, "a purple-black stew of pork offal and blood," proved too much for his American palate. His overall verdict: "Weird, but worth it." [Examiner]

Though The Forge has "a rock-solid pizza pedigree" that tends towards the Neapolitan, Luke Tsai is even more compelled by the "unapologetically American" bites that surround the pies on the menu, like the "airy and light" fried cheese curds and "meaty" smoked chicken wings. The "lovely and expansive" setting doesn't hurt either. Overall, "The Forge is a crowd-pleasing restaurant...if I'm going to eat mozzarella sticks and potato skins for dinner, these are the ones I want to eat." [EBX]

Sons & Daughters

Powell Street, , CA 94108 (415) 994-7933 Visit Website

The Forge

66 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94607 510-268-3200 Visit Website

Duende

468 19th Street, , CA 94612 (510) 893-0174 Visit Website

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