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Bauer Torn at Scala's; Roth on Biergarten

A day at Biergarten. [Photo: }{enry/Flickr]

It was a tale of two restaurants for Bauer's revisits to Scala's Bistro, where the food, "while reliable, has rarely been exciting." Bauer's first visit back to the 18-year-old "magnet for tourists" went well: the squash blossom pizza was "a triumph of rustic sensibilities" and the blueberry pie was "excellent." But he was disappointed the second time around and left feeling flummoxed by the "lethargic" service, the "lukewarm" flat-iron steak and french fries he calls "among the worst I've had." It's the luck of the draw at Scala's, he says. "Rarely am I at a loss for words when critiquing a restaurant." Two and a half stars. [Chron]

Meanwhile, Anna Roth was tucking into Biergarten's Wednesday-only hamburger, "a hell of a burger" that's "easily a contender for one of the best in the city." "Just on the right side of greasy" and "topped with height-of-summer produce," Roth was picking up what Biergarten was putting down. She loved the "expertly grilled" Bratwurst, the "melt in your mouth" pork belly sliders and, of course, the classic pretzel, as well as the spot's authentic beer selection. "Squint a little and you could be in Munich." [SF Weekly]

Kauffman paid a visit to Bouli Bar, where "ladies who lunch" peer in at awe at each other's plates. Mediterranean flavors "glow steadily" in Amaryll Schwertner's food, where the "destination dish" is the mezze plate with "puffy wedges of just-baked" pita, "chunky relish" and a "satiny ragout." The Eastern Mediterranean salad with "tart-sweet dried barberries" and pomegranate reduction also stood out, demanding a celebratory glass of rosé at this "excellent" spot. [Tasting Table]

Alex Hochman visited fog-bound West Portal to try out Trattoria Da Vittorio and called it the neighborhood's "destination restaurant." From a "dark-maned, sexy pizzaiolo" manning an equally sexy red-brick pizza oven to classic Italian-American dishes like the "surprisingly light" lasagne, "well-blistered" pizzas and the housemade scialatielli with clams, this spot was tops. "The vibe is that of a rollicking dinner party" and the restaurant achieves a rare feat: it "re-energizes a neighborhood." [Examiner]

Lucky Three Seven is a tiny Filipino joint, but Luke Tsai says it's as difficult to resist as it is hard to miss. "Painted bold red and royal blue, with yellow banners to complete the Philippine flag," this spot delivers home-style Filipino food like the "X-Large" lumpias, menudo and pork belly tausi. The pricepoint is low, and the flavors are classic. While it wasn't perfect, Tsai says that critiquing the food "feels akin to being invited over to Grandma's house for dinner and then posting your complaints afterward on Yelp." His advice? "Go eat some now." [EBX]

· All Week in Reviews [~ ESF ~]

Bouli Bar

1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA (415) 399-1155 Visit Website

Scala's Bistro

432 Powell St., San Francisco CA