Bouche Confuses Kauffman; Miller Likes Lunch at Nombe and Sweet Woodruff; Hirsch Enjoys Caña

Bouche Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

Jonathan Kauffman is quick to note the talents of young chef Nicolas Borzée at Bouche (603 Bush Street), writing of his concise menu at the modern bistro that “technical flaws were few … But the food often tasted disjointed or just plain odd, like the writing of an honors student who is still learning to think for himself.” He compliments dishes like the squid with black trumpet mushrooms and butter, and a perfect dish of roasted lamb shoulder. But dishes like the brown butter carrots, which get a seasoning-step too many with cumin and lime, and a totally weird sounding plate of cured salmon atop a nest of kataifi (Turkish pastry threads) with a cold poached egg and creme fraiche, leave him “more puzzled than satisfied.” [SF Weekly]

Over at the Guardian, Virginia Miller files a few capsule reviews of new lunches around town, like the delicious ramen being offered by new chef Noriyuki Sugie at Nombe; the crispy shrimp balls on a challah hot dog bun at 903; and the pheasant hot pocket at Sons & Daughters spinoff Sweet Woodruff; and the Dungeness crab roll at Southie in Oakland. [SFBG]

And Jesse Hirsch examines the “split personality” of Oakland’s Caña, which is ostensibly an “authentic” Cuban restaurant — something we don’t have a lot of in these parts — but on the other is a platform for a talented young chef to display some improvisational, “multi-culti” skill. He’s a big fan of the empanadas, says the Cuban sandwich is good, and calls the Cuban fried chicken a “rousing success.” [EBX]