The Other Critics

Kauffman Not a Fan of Dumplings & Buns; Bauer Likes the Drinks More Than the Food at Southern Pacific Smokehouse

He says,
He says, “the execution is still out of whack.” Photo: Eater

Jonathan Kauffman has already paid a few visits to the new Dumplings & Buns (2411 California Street at Fillmore) which opened only a few weeks ago in Pacific Heights, and the verdict isn’t great. “The basic rule of upselling a familiar product is that you can charge more as long as you make it better,” he writes, and goes on to say that the purported “upscale” versions of Cantonese-style sweet and savory buns are “chewy,” “pallid,” and basically not worth the markup when much better buns can be had in Chinatown. “Gummy tapioca-skin dumplings filled with grainy, underseasoned ground chicken,” is how he describes one. So yeah, they’d better up their game if they want to be “the Beard Papa of Chinese buns.” [SFoodie]

For his Sunday review, Michael Bauer was on the Novato beat, reviewing Southern Pacific Smokehouse, the enormous restaurant, bar and music venue from Philip Claypool and former PlumpJack Group CEO Rick Riess. He says it has “all the hallmarks of a chain in the making,” but he writes, “I just wish the execution were as fine-tuned as the concept. It’s long on style and sometimes short on finesse.” He is a big fan of the cocktails, however, from bar manager Alex Bachman, which he says, “can compete with any in San Francisco.” Also, the service can be a bit lackadaisical and Marin-like, so all told the place nets two stars. [Chron]

Kauffman Not a Fan of Dumplings & Buns; Bauer Likes the Drinks More Than the