Mr. Bauer did not get his fill of Vietnamese food while in Vietnam a few weeks ago, so he returns this week to update his original 2002 review of Tamarine in Palo Alto, from the same owners as the former Bong Su. He says the menu is a little long, the service slow, and the appetizers are “freshly made” but hit and miss. He seems to like the clay pot cod but says little else about the dishes except to say that they “satisfied my Vietnamese cravings.” And he gives the place a fresh two and a half stars. [Chron]
Patti U. meanwhile skips a week of restaurant reviewing to do a quick review of the book by the cheese guy from Rainbow Grocery, which she calls “refreshingly honest.” Then she talks about what she plans to cook for Thanksgiving this year, beginning with a Niman Broad-Breasted Bronze turkey.
Nicholas Boer hops over to Walnut Creek to review Ottavio Osteria, the new venture from former Rose Pistola chef Valentino Lurchin. He writes, “Luchin’s gutsy food mirrors the new no-nonsense atmosphere” in what was formerly Le Bistro. He enjoys the arugula and white bean salad with fresh Monterey calamari, the wild boar sugo, and the pappardelle with goat sugo. He says the other pastas are “hit and miss” and the grilled meats have a “rugged sensibility.” All told: two stars. [Chron]