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Roth Digs Ichi + Ni Bar; Unterman on Cosecha

[Photo: Patricia Chang]

While Bauer panned Mission Chinese earlier this week, Anna Roth paid a visit to the new incarnation of Bernal's popular Ichi Sushi, now with the Ni Bar addition, and found that "the quality sushi that drew people to Ichi is still very much present." The new bar space, which serves as a waiting zone for the bigger dining room, "is still coming into its own," but is "bound to become not only a staging ground for the sushi bar's omakase, but a destination in its own right." Yakitori were "meaty bombs of umami" and cold somen with shiso pesto "showed decadence as much as restraint," but if you're waiting for a table, "don't fill up too much in back, because eventually you will get seated in the main dining room," where it's best to sit at the long sushi bar "where the fun begins." Though you can order from the menu, she recommends the omakase (chef's choice), where the progression could include "ruby-red slices of big-eye tuna," snapper "adorned with yuzu juice and green tea salt" or "rich, oily" saba. Sure, "Ni Bar still has a ways to go before it reaches those heights," but Roth is "happy to wait." [SF Weekly]

Unterman chimed in with a review of Oakland's Cosecha, where she found a pozole verde that she called "a dish I can't get out of my mind." "Each spoonful tells an intriguing story even as it delivers pure comfort," she raved. "This is one of those miracle dishes that satisfy deeply while staying lean." But that's not all that cooking at Cosecha: the pork belly taco is a "knockout," the "inventive" roasted yam and cheese quesadilla is a "Mexican style grilled cheese sandwich" and the freshly baked chocolate chip cookie is "exceptional." Though it's a little hard to fine, "no matter where you're coming from, Cosecha is a place you want to find." [Unterman on Food]

On the heels of two other new Shaanxi spots comes Terra Cotta Warrior, which Jonathan Kauffman calls "the most beautiful ... as well as the tastiest" option. It's "straight-up legit," with "brawny flavors" and "spicy and sour notes" that fall between that of Beijing and Sichuan. At the heart of the menu are handmade noodles like the "ethereal" mian-pi and "chewy and elastic" hand-pulled Qishan noodles, and "more well-known dishes are cooked equally well." "That's the Shaanxi style." [Tasting Table]

Meanwhile, Alex Hochman checked out Jin Mi, a new Korean restaurant in the Tenderloin. It's a family-operated business, and though there's "nothing groundbreaking on the menu," "it's definitely a good spot for solid if unspectacular renditions of the Korean classics." Bibimbap "got the little things right," seafood pa jun was "delicious" despite skimping on key ingredients, and galbi was "perfectly charred with just a hint of sweetness." It may not have lived up to Hochman's "lofty expectations," but hey, "everyone can always use a little family loving." [Examiner]

Luke Tsai visited Plum, Daniel Patterson's Oakland spot that's been "closely tied to Oakland's rise as a world-class food city ." The restaurant has had its fair share of chef shuffles, but with Kim Alter at the helm, there's "much-needed stability," and it shows: Plum is turning out cuisine that's "modern and slightly edgy" while still managing to "satisfy basic comfort-food cravings." Dish after dish is "labor-intensive and gorgeously plated, always featuring some unexpected ingredient or unusual technique," and though Tsai doesn't have enough column-inches to take you through a blow-by-blow, "Plum suddenly feels as relevant and as exciting as it did when it first opened." Though it may not be for everyone, "Plum's appeal lies strictly in the quality of the food itself," "pinpoint execution" and "ambitiousness" in cooking technique. [EBX]

ICHI Sushi + NI Bar

3282 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 415-525-4750 Visit Website

Plum

2214 Broadway Street, Oakland, CA Visit Website

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