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Bauer Flashes Back at Keiko; Roth Goes Afield at Prubechu

Bauer revisited Keiko À Nob Hill in this week's update review, calling it "the type of rich, textured restaurant that's not being built today." Heading into the restaurant is "like entering a salon of a very rich, elderly uncle" (presumably in a good way), and Bauer savored chef Keiko Takahashi's 12-course, $175 tasting menu of "small, exquisite bites served on similarly impressive plates." The elements of a bluefin tuna and toro dish "bloom once they hit the tongue," the tempura-fried fiddlehead fern and Japanese plum add "a pleasant, slightly sweet tang" and "the menu is filled with other luxury ingredients," like spiny lobster, wild golden eye snapper and A5 Wagyu. The service around wine was a notable hiccup, with glasses of pre-poured wines smudged with fingerprints, but "for anyone who hungers for a refined sensibility and enjoys spending a leisurely three hours dining, Keiko is a great place for an evening out." Three stars. [Chron]

Anna Roth took a trip to Guam with her review of new spot Prubechu, a restaurant where the food, "though odd at first bite, tends to grow on you." Though there is an a la carte menu, "bargain" $40 5-course menu from chef Shawn Naputi, "offered a small parade of intriguing items that showed Naputi's classical training and culinary dexterity," from an oyster with coconut vinegar, ahi tuna with toasted rice and achiote pepper and an "intensely beefy, rich oxtail in coconut broth." Roth notes that "the flavors of the meal were literally all over the map," saying that "it was hard to find a point of reference in all of it." She left the restaurant "impressed with the pair's obvious love for the food and culture of their home country, but a bit confused by what had just transpired in my mouth." But hey, "sometimes we eat out to be comforted and reassured; sometimes we want to be transported to somewhere new and exotic." [SF Weekly]

Meanwhile, Molly Gore investigated the pierogi situation at Mission newcomer Stuffed, where "ambiance is beside the point." It's a bit of a mystery "how a little, bleak kitchen can spill out such life-giving, buoyant food, and stay perpetually uncrowded." "Fluffy and satisfying" pierogis run the gamut from traditional to "unexpectedly complex and delicious" Buffalo pierogi to mushroom pierogi "coursing with a rich umami funk," and though food was a bit inconsistent and atmosphere was not a draw, the flavors were enough to make Gore want to "come back, and back again, and again." [Examiner]

Luke Tsai dropped in at the new location of Great China, where "the titan of regional Chinese cookery" is "striving toward greater authenticity, as several Americanized dishes have been eliminated." A "showstopper" of a Peking duck, "the best version [he's] encountered in the Bay Area," is a highlight, and baby oysters "were perfectly fried, with a thick tempura-style batter." As an added bonus, it's the rare Chinese restaurant where ordering a glass of wine feels natural," thanks to its "world-class list." So don't sweat the "sleek, minimalist...high-end cafeteria" decor, and come hungry. "It's no wonder, Great China, that you have been sorely missed." [EBX]

· All Week in Reviews posts [~ ESF ~]

KEIKO à Nob Hill

1250 Jones Street, , CA 94109 (415) 829-7141 Visit Website

Stuffed

2788 Mission, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 642-1069 Visit Website

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