Michael Bauer Is, Predictably, Enamored With Padrecito

Padrecito Photo: Andrei Riskin/Grub Street

Much like he continues to love Mamacita, and recently reaffirmed its place on the Top 100, Mr. Bauer is officially in love with its Cole Valley spinoff Padrecito. He says today not only that “you can expect Padrecito to be added [to the Top 100] next year,” but that it “signals the rise of Mexican restaurants across the Bay Area.” He cites the critical mass of such upscale Mexican now extant following the openings of Comal in Berkeley, Mateo’s in Healdsburg, and Nido in Oakland (which he’ll be reviewing shortly), and all these followed the opening of Nopalito over four years ago. He calls out unusual dishes like the pulled duck tacos with arbol strawberry marmalade, and the “soulful” ensalada manchega, and he says chefs Luis Contreras and Sam Josi have given humble chilaquiles “opera-worthy refinement.” And he appreciates that the menu’s dishes are “modern interpretation[s] that respect traditions.” All told, just like Mamacita, he gives the place three stars. (But for the first time since the start of the Chron paywall, he doesn’t provide a free link to the full review.) [Chron, Between Meals, Roth’s earlier take]