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Bauer Has Only Praise For Bocadillos; Sens Loves Alta CA

Inside Bocadillos [Photo: Andreelau/Flickr]

Less than a week after dropping a disappointing two stars on D-Pat's newcomer Alta CA, Bauer lavished praise on ten-year-old Bocadillos, Gerald Hirigoyen's tapas spot. Deviled eggs are of-the-moment, but Bocadillos' version "still rises to the top," and a steak tartare "is a star" here, along with "sweet and succulent" prawns a la plancha and an "excellent" Bavette steak. Though Bauer longed for a cocktail, the wine list sufficed, and service was nothing to complain about either. "It's a place I'd go back to again and again." Three stars. [Chron]

Though Alta CA didn't do it for Bauer, Josh Sens, like Anna Roth before him, was a fan, dubbing it "excellent, energetic" and "of-the-moment.""Crisp, eclectic cooking" includes acorn squash ("a lush winter warmer"), duck confit and "salty, crunchy" beef tendon puffs, and soft ice cream takes "highbrow riffs on familiar toppings." Service is "superb," the space is "confidently cool," and even a slightly stale bialy couldn't harsh Sens' vibe. "Like the man behind it, Alta has both soul and status." [SF Mag]

In lieu of a specific review this week, Anna Roth took a voyage of exploration through the city's many tortilla options in search of the best in the west. Tortillas in the running came from Gallardo's, Nopalito, San Jalisco, Sabrosa, Lolo, and La Palma, and Roth gave the strongest 5/5 masas rating to La Palma, where the handmade tortillas are a "revelation, with a griddled, buttery, crispy exterior and almost-custardy interior." [SF Weekly]

Jonathan Kauffman paid a visit to Pathos, the Berkeley Greek spot where "charcoal walls and white leather chairs" are a testament to the restaurant's contemporary feel. Go big here, says Kauffman: the orektiko (otherwise known as mezze) is an "edible collage that changes as the waiters swap out empty plates for new arrivals," including spanikopita "that spurt melted cheese flecked with spinach, mint and dill with each bite" or "a purple curl of fire-blackened octopus." Waiters hollering "Opa!"? Not at Pathos. [Tasting Table]

Molly Gore found nothing but good things to say about Sabrosa, where the upscale Mexican trend has a big payoff in the form of "a robust approach and seemingly brazen authenticity." The costillas de puerco con mole is "deep and rich, grounded in a dirty, soft sweetness that begs you to burrow your face in it," and "the distinctive, plump crunch of cured nopales" dominates the ensalada de nopalitos. "The singular best thing to order" is the tlacoyo con punta de res a la pasilla, a "keen double play" that's refined enough for the neighborhood, but good in a primal kind of way." Cocktails were a bit too sweet and the price point is high, but Sabrosa left Gore "willing to pay." [Examiner]

Luke Tsai ventured to Albany to try out Muang Thai, where he found "some of the tastiest Thai dishes in the East Bay." "Scratch-made curry pastes pounded with a mortar and pestle, lots of fresh herbs and aromatics, and an appealing rustic quality" characterize this spot's style, where the "gloriously wet and messy" yum pla muka squid salad, "sweet, sour, savory, funky, and spicy" rainbow trout special and "sublime" pumpkin curry all impressed. "In the East Bay, for 'old-style' Thai served the way Thai people like to eat it, you'd be hard-pressed to do much better." [EBX]

Sabrosa

3200 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 638-6500 Visit Website

Alta CA

1420 Market Street, , CA 94102 (415) 590-2585 Visit Website

Bocadillos

710 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA

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