The Other Critics

Kauffman Reviews Chinatown Stalwart Capital Restaurant; Reidinger Ventures Downtown for Perbacco

Capital Restaurant
Capital Restaurant Photo: Lara Hata/SF Weekly

As we mentioned last week, Jonathan Kauffman has launched a project at SFoodie called Rice Plate Journal in which he intends to canvas every restaurant in Chinatown. It’s an ambitious undertaking, and as he undertakes it, he was pointed several times to Capital Restaurant (839 Clay Street) as an example of solid Cantonese cuisine. He calls the place “unpretentious,” and says it’s like “your best-fitting pair of jeans, bleached around the wallet and ruffly at the hems.” He recommends ordering off the walls, not the printed menu, and he especially likes a hot pot of “molten braised eggplant” with prawns and fish, the pan-fried broccoli, and the pan-fried pork hash with salted fish. As for the salt-and-pepper chicken wings that get “OMG’d over in three-fourths of the Yelp reviews,” he says the skin is amazing but the meat underneath ain’t that great. [SF Weekly]

Whenever Paul Reidinger reviews a big expensive restaurant, we’re always confused — partly because he seems to bristle at having to breathe the same air as those in the Financial District, and after that disastrous reaction to Michael Mina we kind of wish he’d skip these places altogether. But, in trying to be fair and balanced, we suppose, in his role as Guardian reviewer, he ventures forth to Perbacco this week, just a few doors down from chez Mina, and he spends two paragraphs talking about what it’s like to be a “mid-block” restaurant. In summoning his descriptive powers for the decor, he gives us, “It would also be fair to say that the design scheme emphasizes earth tones.” He is pleased with his salumi platter but generally nonplussed with everything else, including a pasta dish with short rib ragu and what he identifies as an unnecessary cipollini onion confit. We’ll tell you right now that Perbacco is a good restaurant, with amazing pasta, because reading a Reidinger review of a place can often leave one with no idea at all whether they should go there. [SFBG]

Kauffman Reviews Chinatown Stalwart Capital Restaurant; Reidinger Ventures