The Other Critics

Patti U. Calls Gitane ‘Elegant, Ecclectic’; Bauer Revists Evvia, Says It’s Slipped; Rocketfish: ‘Fusion Gone Way Wrong’

Patricia Unterman takes a stab at Gitane this week, which recently welcomed new chef Bridget Batson, and Patti writes, “The very first thing I tasted, calamares from the wood-fired oven, knocked me over.” She also adores the caille (roasted quail), and the mini-bastilla (Moroccan chicken in pastry) and says that “Batson’s cooking is all about complexity and depth, not fussiness and confusion.” [Examiner]

Mr. Bauer revisits Evvia in Palo Alto this week, the Peninsula sister to Kokkari, and much like he wrote about Kokkari earlier this year he finds the food not quite what it was in years past. He downgrades them from three to two and a half stars, saying a goat dish was “salt on salt on salt” and that the execution of most dishes came off as “mechanical” and “more like a feeding frenzy than a dining experience.” [Chron]

Also, Jon Bonné writes a mini-review of Schmidt’s, and says the bar café from the Walzwerk folks and executive chef Matt Shapiro is a “pragmatic enough place” where “meat is the thing.” He recommends any of the sausages, of course, and says, “Don’t leave without trying the pea pancakes with cured salmon, the herbed spaetzle with cheese, or the cured meat plate.” [Chron]

And Alex Hochman files a review on SFoodie (is this a new thing?) in which he gives some respect to Rocketfish chef Kenichi Kawashima, formerly of Blowfish Sushi. He likes the walu carpaccio, and the slightly scary sounding avocado curry tempura maki. But much of the “tapistro” menu, like the frites-like panko-fried scallop skewers and the agedashi mozzarella, he says is just “fusion gone way wrong.” [SFoodie]

And finally, Carol Ness gives a measly one and a half stars to a Chinese place we’ll never go to in El Cerrito. [Chron]

Patti U. Calls Gitane ‘Elegant, Ecclectic’; Bauer Revists Evvia,