The Other Critics

Bauer Says Twenty Five Lusk Reminds Him of the ‘80s; Tablehopper Hits Up Absinthe

Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

Michael Bauer pays a visit to Twenty Five Lusk, and begins — as anyone would, really — talking about the design by architects Cass Calder Smith: “if Bix channels all that was good in the 20th century, this restaurant does the same for the 21st. It feels like a new-age supper club… It’s a dramatic space, and diners can look over the half walls in the dining room and see the lounge and glassed-in private room with white leather chairs.” For the food, though, he finds the execution often too “Old World heavy,” and reminding him of the 80s: “Too many dishes rely on two self-canceling techniques: swipes of vegetable purees that are superfluous when so many dishes are awash in a demi glace, and substantial sauces that mute every ingredient they touch.” Still, he likes the grilled ribeye with foie butter and a Zinfandel demi glace, and he compliments the desserts, as well as the service. All in all, he gives it two stars, with only one and a half for food, and his kicker is kind of a diss to the upstairs restaurant: “The lounge will no doubt be a popular destination, and it’s a good way to experience the charms of 25 Lusk.” [Chron]

And in case you hadn’t noticed, Marcia Gagliardi over at Tablehopper has started posting her restaurant reviews on Fridays, and last week she made it into Absinthe to try out the new menu by chef Adam Keough. She’s in love with the soft garlic pretzels with cheese sauce, which she calls her “new favorite bar snack,” and she says the Niman Ranch skirt steak, pork ribeye, and char entrées are all winners. But she says that Absinthe’s well loved burger has seen better days, and the two ordered at her table both arrived a bit dry and under-seasoned. Also she recommends avoiding the mushroom pot pie. [Tablehopper, Bauer’s earlier take]

Bauer Says Twenty Five Lusk Reminds Him of the ‘80s; Tablehopper Hits Up