The Other Critics

Miller Raves About Machka; Bauer Likes Pican Just OK; Roth Chows on Wing Wings

Machka's falafel wrap.
Machka’s falafel wrap. Photo: Virginia Miller/SFBG

Virginia Miller has nothing but praise for new Turkish spot Machka (584 Washington Street) in the Financial District. She loves the grilled octopus mixed with chickpeas and celery; the lamb tartare; and the adana kebab, with ground beef and lamb sausage. She also says she “craves” the durum wrap with falafel, pickled cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and tahini. And she calls chef Reynol Martinez’s seared branzino with roasted fennel, cherry tomatoes, and a balsamic pomegranate reduction “visionary.” [SFBG]

Michael Bauer meanwhile pays a couple of update visits to Pican in Oakland, noting the vibrant, nightclub-like energy of the place, but also noting that the service is generally kind of unprofessional and the food just so-so. He says he liked a she-crab soup, which they were out of the second time he was there. And the fried green tomato dish with pimiento cheese, as well as the Low Country shrimp and grits, were “pleasant.” But all in all he gives them and new chef Sophina Uong an underwhelming two stars. (See his original two-and-a-half-star review here.) [Chron]

And over at the Weekly, Anna Roth is proving to be more of a cheap-eats critic than her predecessor thus far, choosing as her subject of the week Wing Wings in the Lower Haight. Chef Christian Ciscle has been doing admirable work in the wings department, and Roth loves his signature Wing Wings sauce, “a dark, sticky, soy-and-molasses-based concoction fortified with chile, ginger, garlic, and rice vinegar that manages to be both sweet and spicy, and totally craveable.” Also good are the Angry Korean wings, and the buffalo sauce, but she’s less impressed by the honey mustard and barbecue sauces. Also she says the biscuits are “the best [non-wing] things on the menu,” and the fries with gravy are “ideal drunk food.” [SF Weekly]

Miller Raves About Machka; Bauer Likes Pican Just OK; Roth Chows on Wing Wings