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Bauer Pans "Old-School" Garibaldis; Roth Digs Chino

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[Photo: Patty K./Foursquare]

There's a country club feel to the food, clientele and ambiance at Garibaldis, the subject of Bauer's latest update review, and "it's food that isn't meant to offend - although it still did, in some cases." Chopped salad "was comfortably bland," chicken Milanese "lacked finesse" and marinated lamb tenderloins "would have been better left in the 1990s." Also off-kilter was the service, with "longer-than-normal waits between courses, dishes brought to the wrong person," and, a popular Bauer quibble, a wayward hostess more interested in the bartender than in the guest. Sure, a preschool boy nearby enjoyed his dessert, but at Garibaldis, "it doesn't feel that this is about dining; it's more about eating." Two stars. [Chron]

Anna Roth stopped by Chino, which despite being a new arrival to the corner of 16th and Guerrero, "already feels like a Mission institution that's been open much longer than a few months." Chino has been busy since opening, with a "casual, playful décor" that draws a youthful crowd, late-night hours, and fun boba cocktails that "for a novelty drink ... are pretty damn addictive." Though Chino's xiao long bao (soup dumplings) needed some work, they've "have finally found a formula that works," and other fun twists abound, like "crisp" pork lumpia, "zesty, spicy" Japanese-influenced chicken wings and "clear, smooth, spicy-as-hell" hot and sour soup. Already packed, "it's already a solid place to hang out with friends on a casual weekday dinner, meet a first date or business partner." It's closer than the Avenues, and one thing's for sure: "dumplings bring people together and cure all woes." [SF Weekly]

Meanwhile, Alex Hochman checked out Don Pistos' Grant Street spinoff Pisto's, which he calls owner Pete Mrabe's "most under hyped" spot. No "overstuffed, greasy tacos for cheap" were to be seen: "tacos here were three-bite affairs that reeked of quality rather than quantity." "Crackly" al pastor and "briny" shrimp impressed, and the bacon-marinated hamburguesa "deserves a mention in any 'best of' conversation.'" Though a Saturday brunch "went a bit clunkier," a dish of wild mushroom enchiladas redeemed Hochman's faith in this "embodiment of San Francisco's sit-down Mexican restaurants of yore." [Examiner]

Luke Tsai paid a visit to James Syhabout's latest, The Dock at Linden Street. Split into two parts, the Beer Shed "is more or less a literal shed," while the restaurant portion, The Dock, has "a rustic and warehouse-y space" and a menu that works as "a United Nations of beer bites." "As long as a dish tasted good with beer, and as long as Syhabout could give it a distinctive twist, anything was fair game," like the "showstopping" fried fennel and onion petals, "juicy" linguica corn dogs, and "brilliant" fish-sauce-and-lime-spiked kohlrabi and hearts of palm salad. A rotating beer list was "loaded with food-friendly taps" and the spot's pleasant patio has "one of the nicest sunset views in Oakland." [EBX]

The Dock at Linden Street

95 Linden St., Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 338-3965 Visit Website

Chino

3198 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 552-5771 Visit Website

Garibaldis

347 Presidio Ave., San Francisco CA

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