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Bauer Still Digs Firefly; Roth Indulges at Bacon Bacon

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Firefly on 24th Street. [Photo: トモ T./Yelp]

Bauer stopped by longtime Noe Valley fixture Firefly in this week's update review, where he found a neighborhood spot with a new focus. Though "the interior appears a little static and shopworn ... the food has continued to evolve" as chef Brad Levy has put extra emphasis on vegetarian dishes and gluten-free options (both his daughters have celiac disease). Various cultures inform Levy's menu, with dishes like seared halibut complete with "complex and refreshing" accompaniments, "well-conceived" vegetarian dishes (he tried the seared maitake and king trumpet mushrooms with bok choy), and a sizeable dessert menu. "Service has a welcoming, neighborhood demeanor," says Bauer, and "the staff knows the menu and their customers." It's just another reason that "Firefly has thrived for more than 20 years." 2.5 stars. [Chron]

Roth paid a visit to the newly reopened Bacon Bacon brick-and-mortar, which has made a business of that "unpretentious," "indulgent," and undisputedly "delicious" meat. After near-legendary shutdown prompted by neighbors complaining about the porky aroma, the spot is back, but the biggest triumph is that "the food is more than just a novelty." "These are seriously good sandwiches," says Roth, "worthy of a cheat day or hungover Saturday." Breakfast options include a good breakfast sandwich ("who needs to break new ground with something this buttery, salty, and smooth?") and an even better "almost veggie" version. Lunch highlights include "a reliable burger," a "messy, delightful" pork belly sandwich, and a "buttery and golden" grilled cheese. And when it comes to this spot's notorious bacon bouquet, Roth notes that "it's a decadent and fairly ridiculous thing to order and carry around, let alone nibble." But hey, "don't pretend you're above this." [SF Weekly]

Alex Hochman checked out Barrel Head Brewhouse, and found a spot that "immediately lifted" his foul disposition. The vibe had him pondering "how lucky this no-man's land neighborhood was to have a new, thriving venue," but the food didn't measure up: "just about every dish felt too safe," from the flavorless burger to the "bland" Cuban sandwich to a brisket sandwich "buried" in too-sweet barbecue sauce. But poutine elevated "pedestrian" fries to "junk-food magic," and the housemade sausage made for a "stellar" lunch: Hochman would "gladly pop back in for a sausage sandwich and a mood lift" while he waits for food that matches the ambiance. [Examiner]

Luke Tsai visited Oakland's Michel Bistro with this week's review, an "unobtrusive" but "surprisingly spacious" spot in Grand Lake. "Mostly, though, the place just feels very French," with a bright and airy feel, "gracious servers," and "rustic bistro dishes" made "lighter and brighter" with local ingredients. Bison tartare presented "textural pleasures," green-garlic cream soup was lick-the-bowl good and a bone marrow starter was "another stunner." Entrees like moules frites, trout, and lamb burgers all impressed, and though "desserts don't appear to be the restaurant's strong point," Michel Bistro does offer a "damn good, if still slightly under-the-radar" weekend brunch. [EBX]

Barrel Head Brewhouse

1785 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117 415-745-1570 Visit Website

Bacon Bacon

205A Frederick Street, , CA 94117 (415) 218-4347 Visit Website


3343 Lakeshore Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610


4288 24th St., San Francisco CA