The Other Critics

Patty U. Likes Txoko, Despite It Not Being Very Spanish; Erickson Doles Out Another Two Stars in Palo Alto

Txoko Photo: Grub Street

Kicking off her review of Txoko this week, Ms. Unterman brags, “I just returned from a visit [to San Sebastian], where I ate one of the best meals of my long, gluttonous life at Extebarri, a restaurant in the countryside that simply cooks everything over a wood fire.” Wish we were there, Patty! Though she finds that “San Sebastian may have inspired [only] an ingredient or two” at Txoko, she still says that “many of [chef Ian Begg’s] elaborate though miniature dishes are incredible values.” She loves a “juicy” fried quail, and raves that a couple of the pintxos (fried sweetbreads and seared scallops) were “masterpieces,” and the “liver and onions” dish is “a rockin’ little mouthful.” She admits that “some of Begg’s ideas don’t quite pan out,” but in contrast to Bauer (who found the dark, casual space off-putting), she writes, “The juxtaposition of high and low makes it fun.” [Examiner, Kauffman’s earlier take]

Meanwhile, Mandy Erickson gets stuck on the Palo Alto beat this week — where the Chron regularly and ever so charitably likes to dole out the occasional two-star review, just so they don’t feel left out down there. She reviews Anatolian Kitchen, the Turkish restaurant that replaces the former Oaxacan Kitchen, and unfortunately their falafel can be kind of bad! She finds the kebabs juicy and well seasoned, and that’s about all she has to say to endorse the place, besides some “warm” service that’s nonetheless disorganized. And, surprise, it’s another two stars. [Chron]

Patty U. Likes Txoko, Despite It Not Being Very Spanish; Erickson Doles Out