The Other Critics

Bauer Is In Love With the Food, Not the Service at AQ; Patty U. Sings the Praises of Wo Hing

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AQ’s new winter look. Photo: Joey DeRuy/Grub Street

Mr. Bauer filed his review of AQ over the weekend, and it’s pretty much a rave. In fact, they might have debuted at three and a half stars were it not for some truly sloppy service, including a server who asked how the food was before he took a bite. He adores the stylish and “vibrant” space; the beautiful charred cauliflower and vadouvan dish; the “inspired” lamb’s tongue with lentils and date purée; and the “spectacular[ly]” presented cobia. Also, he says, while it’s not an inexpensive restaurant, “for the quality it’s truly a bargain.” All told, he gives them three stars — the three and a half for chef Mark Liberman’s food get weighted down by a dismal one and a half stars for service. [Chron, Kauffman’s earlier take]

Patricia Unterman is the last to weigh in on Wo Hing General Store, and since we know Patty doesn’t like to go negative (she’d rather just skip the review altogether), we’re not surprised to hear her raving. She calls the space “strikingly modern,” and Brook Arthur’s cocktails “evocative.” But in contrast to Kauffman and Bauer before her, she has nothing but good things to say about the food. She adores the won ton soup “full of thin, chewy egg noodles; bite-size won tons filled with hand-chopped pork and shrimp; and crisp baby bok choy, all bathed in a rich chicken and pork broth.” And she compliments the scrambled cage-free eggs with hand-chopped pork belly, which are “like no other scrambled eggs.” She also mentioned a free cocktail snack we hadn’t heard about, star anise-scented boiled peanuts in the shell. And she says that chef Michelle Mah “aces one of my favorite Cantonese dishes, a delicate, steamed, hand-chopped pork pancake seasoned with salted fish.” [Examiner, Kauffman’s earlier take, Bauer’s]

Bauer Is In Love With the Food, Not the Service at AQ; Patty U. Sings the