The Other Critics

By Way of Apology, Bauer Ups Lafitte a Half Star; Kauffman Anoints the Top Five Pizzas In S.F.

Russell Jackson
Russell Jackson

Michael Bauer kind of slammed Lafitte shortly after it opened last year, giving it a droopy one and a half stars and inspiring chef Russell Jackson to go on a Twitter rampage and install a modified Eddie Bauer label in one of the restrooms that reads “Eff Bauer.” But now, he circles back for a surprise update, perhaps by way of apology, saying that the place has “grown up” and that it “deserves a second look.” Jackson has abandoned the prix fixe format and ambitious, nightly changing dishes that he began with, going with more of a bistro format. Bauer says Jackson can now “be proud of his offering.” He compliments a compressed cucumber and pluot salad served with a slab of head cheese; and he also likes a lamb’s tongue salad, saying it “should become a menu staple”; and the butter-poached lobster and bacon salad (see also his thoughts on the term “butter-poached” from this morning). In the end, it’s a modest upgrade to two stars, but a kind compliment nonetheless. Maybe Jackson will rethink the “Eff Bauer” thing now. [Chron]

Meanwhile at SFoodie, the JKauff has done a top-five ranking of pizzas across town, and only one newcomer to town makes the cut! Below, his rankings, with a few quotes.

1. Gialina - “Whether it’s a seasonal pie with chanterelles, caramelized onions, and thyme or a perennial favorite like the Amatriciana (pancetta, tomato, chiles, oregano, and an egg), Adriana continues to bring it.”

2. Una Pizza Napoletana
- “When Anthony Mangieri packed up his peel and moved his storied pizzeria here from New York, the question was: What is this dude going to show us? Uh, the value of devoting your life to making five pizzas.”

3. Pauline’s
- “Pauline’s makes pies with the kind of airy, blistery crusts that certain nameless high-end pizzerias are still struggling to master, and layers on toppings so local and seasonal that they’re grown by the owner herself.”

4. Pizzeria Delfina - “A gnarled, bubbly crust spotted with just enough char to give it a smoky depth, and toppings, all made in-house or grown locally, that could be swept off the pie and eaten on their own.”

5. Arinell - “Arinell’s cheese slices, with a two-millimeter-thick crust that cracks when you pick it up and just enough tomato sauce and mozzarella to melt into a mottled, flavorful slick, is the only slice in town SFoodie actually brags about eating.”

San Francisco’s Top Five Pizzerias [SFoodie]

By Way of Apology, Bauer Ups Lafitte a Half Star; Kauffman Anoints the Top Five