The Other Critics

Hochman Raves About West of Pecos; Miller Rounds Up New Pizzas; Hirsch Rounds Up Lobster Rolls

West of Pecos
West of Pecos Photo: Brian Smeets

First off, let us note that word arrived yesterday that West of Pecos has a new bar manager who’s bound to bring things up a notch at the bar there: Brent Butler, who’s been at Blackbird for the last couple of years. Second, the first formal review of the place arrives today from Alex Hochman in one of his last pinch-hits at the Weekly, and he’s a big fan of the place! He notes, as many of us have, that southwestern is like so old a trend that it’s new again around here, and says that chef Leo Zaros “reopened [his] mind to Southwestern cuisine.” “All Chevy’s nightmares began to fade,” he says, after a plate of fresh, sizzling fish fajitas. He also likes the lavender and chipotle duck breast, and the green-chile mac-and-cheese, but says the service still needs a lot of work. [SF Weekly]

Over at the Guardian, Virginia Miller makes the rounds of new pizzas, writing that Del Popolo is making “exceptional” pies out of their crazy, truck-mounted mobile oven. And she tries out the new Gioia Pizzeria outpost in Russian Hill, saying that their asparagus-ricotta pie is “luscious” and “gorgeous,” and the rest are delicious too. She notes, though, that slices are available, but that’s only actually true at lunch. As for Nick’s, the new place in Oakland, she says the best thing about it is the local kombucha in jars. [SFBG]

Meanwhile, New England transplant Jesse Hirsch rounds up the city’s best lobster rolls for the Examiner. And these being an item that are not so frequently found around the Bay — or so frequently well executed — this is a helpful list. Coming out on top is Woodhouse Fish Co.’s lobster roll, which he says, beats out the one at New England Lobster Company in South S.F. in “small nuances,” like a lighter and more flavorful bun, made by La Boulange, and the creamier house-made aioli. Fourth down the list is Anchor & Hope’s pricy, over-dressed roll, which at $25, he says isn’t really worth it. [Examiner]

Hochman Raves About West of Pecos; Miller Rounds Up New Pizzas; Hirsch Rounds Up