The Other Critics

Bauer Walks Down Memory Lane at Trident in Sausalito; Hirsch Delighted by Basque Cultural Center; Roth Finds Worthy Deep-Dish at Capo’s

Janis Joplin was here
Janis Joplin was here Photo: via Trident Restaurant site

Over at the Chron, Michael Bauer reviews the revitalized Trident in Sausalito, overhauled by the people behind the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco. He is transported to the 1970s, in a good way, when the waterfront restaurant was in its heyday and Janis Joplin had a table in the corner. He enjoys the crisp batter of the fried calamari, fresh-tasting clams, and thick cioppino, but notes the “quality of the food seesawed” during his visits, including in an undistinguished main course of petrale sole. As for desserts, he recommends the lava cake, but says to skip the toothache-inducing pistachio ice cream sandwiches. Overall, he says the food is “good enough, and better than at most places in this tourist town.” Verdict: two stars. [Chron, Earlier]

The Examiner’s Jesse Hirsch heads to the Basque Cultural Center, which he calls both “a delight” and “a place where only the sourest scenester wouldn’t appreciate its warmth or lack of pretense.” He finds the food “competent, indistinct and hearty,” and while the juicy escargots, earthy pâté de campagne, and uniformly tender meats don’t transport him to “soaring heights,” the dishes never let him down either. And the kicker? The nightly dinner special with two entrees, soup, salad and dessert will only set you back about $20. [Examiner]

Rounding out the recent critics’ reviews is Anna Roth’s write-up of Capo’s for the Weekly. The new North Beach restaurant from Tony Gemignani, he of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and 11-time World Pizza Champion, churns out Chicago-style pizzas, a regional version conspicuously missing from his other restaurant. Roth calls Capo’s pies “worthy contenders for the best deep-dish in the city,” although she notes “the cheese and sauce take the spotlight, muting the other ingredients,” which can include house-made calabrese, Italian sausages, and Italian beef. Still, each bite is “dense, rich and savory” with “bright, fresh tomato sauce.” Roth also digs the 1920s gangster-themed decor, but warns it’s cash-only. [SF Weekly]

Bauer Walks Down Memory Lane at Trident in Sausalito; Hirsch Delighted by Basque