The Other Critics

Bauer’s a Good Sport About Public House; Another Rave for Hibiscus

Though it sounds like the environment at Public House, with it’s raucous crowds on game nights and walls full of flat-screens, isn’t Bauer’s cup of tea, he gives a decent write-up to the food at Traci Des Jardins’ recently revamped ballpark mega-pub. He recommends getting drunk in order to deal with the party atmosphere, but also recommends the lamb sliders and cheesesteak. But, he writes, “don’t expect a coursed-out meal even if you order salads and main dishes, which might include a nightly special of cioppino, because everything will probably arrive at once.” Overall: 2.5 stars. [Chron]

He’s less kind toward the new Mijita, where he says “After three visits, I could see glimmers of the soul I know [Des Jardins] possesses, but in most cases it simply didn’t translate to the dishes I tried.” After some raw meatballs and cold al pastor, he gives it one sorry star. [Chron]

Chrissa Ventrelle at the Oakland Tribune files a review of Hibiscus, calling the phoulourie (split pea fritters) and the crab and grits must-orders, raving about the fried chicken, but saying the service could be a bit disorganized and “snippy.” [Tribune]

Jeff Cox sings the praises of Grace’s Table in Napa, saying the chef Mauro Pando (formerly of Scala’s and Lulu) makes “an uber-tamale that sticks in your mind as well as to your ribs and tempts you back for more.” Also, he says Pando “nails” the Creole steamed mussels, and his nightly seafood specials are pretty great too. [Press Democrat]

Bauer’s a Good Sport About Public House; Another Rave for Hibiscus