The Other Critics

Kauffman Thinks Ippuku Is Just Swell; Reidinger Waxes Nostalgic at Capp’s Corner

Photo: Lara Hata/SF Weekly

Jonathan Kauffman is impressed with the beak-to-tail preparations of “every molecule” of the chicken at Berkeley’s Ippuku, and he goes so far as to say the place is “one of the year’s new restaurants I’m most impatient to return to.” For chicken parts, he says, “It was the neck that got me, thumbnail-sized curls of meat crowded up against one another on a skewer… grilled over bincho-tan charcoal… [it] had a smooth spring to it I’d never encountered, and an unearthly juiciness.” He goes on to call the setting of the restaurant “elemental and brooding, raw and intimate,” so yes, he clearly loves the place as much as Bauer and Unterman did, making for Berkeley’s latest trifecta. [SF Weekly]

And Paul Reidinger answered our prayers and got personal again in this week’s Guardian review, deciding to write an update of sorts about Capp’s Corner in North Beach, which happened to be the “long ago” site of a “a melancholy dinner on a damp winter night with my first love. By ‘long ago,’ I mean so long ago that I decline to say how long. By ‘first love’ I mean unrequited love; is there any other kind of first love?” (We’re going to guess right now that that love had a beard.) The food, obviously, is an afterthought… he calls the spaghetti and meatballs “probably typical” with pasta cooked “a bit past al dente.” He’s a bigger fan of the eggplant parmigiana, and the veal tortellini, but mostly it sounds like he just sat there teary-eyed with his wine and his memories. [SFBG]

Kauffman Thinks Ippuku Is Just Swell; Reidinger Waxes Nostalgic at Capp’s