The Other Critics

Unterman Calls Cupola ‘Extraordinary’; Jasper’s Gets a Respectable Two Stars From Bauer; Tablehopper Talks Locanda

Cupola Photo: Grub Street

Patty U. says that after writing some 2,000 restaurant reviews, the “last place [she] would expect to find an extraordinary meal is on the fourth floor of a shopping mall.” She goes on to rave that Cupola, the new Lark Creek-group-led pizzeria at the Westfield, “currently ranks as one of my favorite eateries in the Bay Area. Really.” She says everything was perfect, from the margherita pie, to the “dome” salad, to the “fork-tender” pork, which was the roast of the day. She says she plans to keep returning, and that she’ll consequently need “to look for some larger pants for fall.” [Examiner]

In his Sunday review, Michael Bauer pays his requisite three visits to Jasper’s Corner Tap and Kitchen, and finds a lot of “basic pub grub” that “covers all the clichés.” But he raves that, execution-wise, chef Adam Carpenter “has generally done himself proud.” He really likes the sliders and the chop chop salad, but he doesn’t much care for the sausage bites, the shepherd’s pie, or the mussels, which he says “could have used a hit of spice in the pallid broth.” Also, he doesn’t agree with us about the deviled eggs, which he says were “too aggressively flavored.” All told: two stars. [Chron]

And e-columnist Marcia Gagliardi, of Tablehopper fame, weighs in on the Mission’s biggest opener of the last few months, Locanda. She loves all the cocktails, the carciofi crudi, and the pizza bianca with fresh figs, prosciutto, and lardo paste (“spread some on me”). But she says “the price to portion ratio felt off” in a dish like the grilled sepia ($25), and notes that the pastas are not served in particularly generous portions. She also notes a service style and timing issues that aren’t quite on point, and makes the valid observation that the menu could use a bit more translation, as it contains a lot of pretty obscure Italian words for things. [Tablehopper, Earlier dish slideshow]

Over in Berkeley, John Birdsall notes some good stuff happening at one-year-old Addie’s Pizza Pie, where 23-year-old kitchen manager Joe Pelzers recently took over, having done a stint at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in S.F. He says, “The crust is chewier than before, more elastic, less brittle: better,” and that the toppings on the Southside pizza make more sense than when the place opened. And he still loves the frozen custard. [EBX]

Unterman Calls Cupola ‘Extraordinary’; Jasper’s Gets a