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SF’s Food Critics Journeyed East for Worthy Food and Impeccable Sunsets

The critics traveled to Mersea on Treasure Island, The Kon-Tiki in Oakland, and Juanita & Maude in Albany

The duck sausage at Juanita & Maude in Albany
Patricia Chang

Juanita & Maude

Right here on Eater SF, critic Rachel Levin took the Transbay bus to Albany where chef Scott Eastman is scratching a culinary itch at Juanita & Maude. The vibe, Levin says, is “oh-so Berkeley” but the food is “fresh, lively, current” at the same time. East Bay Express critic Janelle Bitker had a similarly glowing take in January, so expect Michael Bauer to “discover” the restaurant with a two-star review in the next few months.


Although Treasure Island is technically part of San Francisco proper, the Weekly’s Pete Kane left the mainland to dine at the “Dwell-baiting dream made manifest” known as Mersea. Built from shipping containers and featuring both a bocce court and a mini-golf course, the restaurant shrugs off tourist trap vibes with “worthwhile” food and drink, plus a kitchen that “has a flair for the creative.” Standouts include coconut milk ceviche, “unique” carnitas nachos and a “steroidal McMuffin” called the Jersey Girl sandwich — as well as a bargain $14 whole roast chicken. Unfortunately, the casual service could use some tweaks to keep up with the restaurant’s impressive views.

The Kon-Tiki

Janelle Bitker continues the seafaring vibe at the Kon-Tiki in Oakland. According to Bitker, Hawker Fare alums Christ Aivaliotis and Manuel Bonilla aren’t just serving up umbrella drinks, but also making “bar food you’ll actually want to eat — even completely sober.” The double patty burger topped with pineapple-onion jam is “justifiably popular,” as is the fried chicken sandwich brined in buttermilk and green curry. But for a real tour of the menu, Bitker recommends the pupu platter starring deep fried adobo pork belly, grilled King Trumpet mushrooms and “ridiculously over-the-top” crab rangoon dip.

Bauer Blog

Finally, the Chronicle’s food editor-at-large took a backseat to the paper’s big package on Chinese cuisine in Northern California this week, but he still wrote a lovely card to Hoss Zare for Palentine’s day.

The Kon-Tiki

347 14th Street, , CA 94612 (510) 823-2332 Visit Website


699 Avenue of the Palms, , CA 94130 (415) 851-8118 Visit Website

Juanita & Maude

825 San Pablo Avenue, , CA 94706 (510) 526-2233 Visit Website

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