The Other Critics

Lalime’s Isn’t as Good as Bauer Remembers; Patti U. Loves the ‘Luscious’ Food and Soft Lighting at Heirloom

Michael Bauer revisits Lalime’s in Berkeley, which has been open since 1985 and which recently promoted sous chef Brian White (formerly of Sea Salt and Fonda) to the exec spot. The restaurant fell off the Top 100 a while back after earning three stars in 2000. This time around, it’s a two-star review, even though Bauer doesn’t sound all that thrilled with any of the dishes. He complains of “flaccid” fries, “limp” soft-shell crab, and over-salted fettuccine, and only makes a final, positive note about the service, calling it “excellent, and [this] may be part of the reason the restaurant has remained popular all these years.” [Chron]

Patricia Unterman follows Bauer by only a week paying a visit to Heirloom Café, and she appears to have scoop of sorts here: She mentions a new chef working with Matt Straus named John Merritt (possibly a sous chef? Straus was doing all the menu creation to start). She is gushing and complimentary about the food, per uje. She writes, “A hunk of roasted halibut, silken and moist, scattered with fresh peas and paper-thin slices of fresh porcini, anchored by velvety cauliflower puree and finished with a light, buttery sauce was sublime.” She also loves the olive oil cake, the wine, she crushes on her “young, charming waiter,” and she loves all the soft lighting too. [Examiner]

Lalime’s Isn’t as Good as Bauer Remembers; Patti U. Loves the