• Jonathan Kauffman pays a visit to the barely two-month-old Baker & Banker and writes of their New American cooking (which he really wants to call Californian) that unlike “the rampant eclecticism of the late 1980s,” B&B;’s flavors “are filtered through the cooks’ precise, nuanced palates.” But he notes that his favorite Asian flavors aren’t quite “under control.” [SF Weekly]
• Paul Reidinger drops in on five-year-old neighborhood fave, The Richmond, saying that its Californian cuisine is “clever but doesn’t wallow in cleverness” and praising chef John Owyang’s restraint in a “wonderfully earthy pumpkin-celery root soup.” [SFBG]
• And over the weekend Michael Bauer filed a review of the Marina’s new Beretta spinoff, Delarosa, to which he gives an unimpressed two stars (it takes a lot for old Mike to slip into one-and-a-half territory) and complains of being nudged a lot at the communal tables. The Marina chick woman sitting next to him on one visit was quite close, and apparently oblivious to her influential but forgiving neighbor. “Just about every time she lifted her hand to her mouth, she brushed my arm; it wasn’t a come-on, just crowded quarters.” [Chron]
• Josh Sens pens a review of the relocated Quince in the new issue of San Francisco magazine ,calling it “a highly ambitious restaurant, nearly doubled in size and quintupled in its effort to be all things to everyone.” BUT: “Whether it’s worthy of the buildup—or the buildout—is another question, and I’d say “not quite” to anyone who asked.” [San Fran Mag]
Addendum: In what may mark the beginning of a new habit for Kauffman, he chooses on the SFoodie blog to highlight a specific aspect of the restaurant he just reviewed, Baker & Banker — in this case, a collection of framed menus by the bathrooms — the same day that the full review runs.