Unlike all the local critics before him, Jonathan Kauffman is not thoroughly in love with Frances — where, he notes, the difficulty of getting a reservation now rivals Manresa and The French Laundry. He ends up having an internal struggle between the easy lover, who falls prey to chef Melissa Perello’s beguiling minimalism, her “subtle, precise” technique, and excellent ingredients; and his exasperated side who wants to know what all the effing buzz is about.
“How is Frances different?” he writes. “There wasn’t a single unexpected tweak to make me think, oh, this is how the chef’s brain works!” [SF Weekly]
And, oh, Mr. Reidinger, you never fail to delight us with your imaginative, tangential efforts in your role as food critic over there at the Guardian. You’re like the finest of Yelpers, one might say. This week, you head to Lincoln Park’s Oyaji, the five-year-old sushi restaurant, and spend half your review exasperated over a nearby “hipster” diner’s haughtily displayed iPad, wondering how they can’t appreciate the “unmediated encounter” of a sushi bar. You take a moment to call the food “pretty conventional, mostly excellent,” but you reserve special praise only for a spicy scallop handroll that, you quip, could be hard to eat “while dealing with your new iPad.” [SFBG]