The Other Critics

Tsai Calls Miss Ollie’s ‘Revolutionary’; Hirsch Says Gung Ho Is Solid

Chef Sarah Kirnon of Miss Ollie's.
Chef Sarah Kirnon of Miss Ollie’s. Photo: Tasting Table

Luke Tsai gives us the first formal review of Miss Ollie’s (901 Washington Street, Oakland), Sarah Kirnon’s new Old Oakland restaurant which up until this week was a lunch-only operation, and he’s a huge fan. He says that “In Kirnon’s hands, humble dishes like fried chicken, ackee and salt fish, and a simple bowl of sautéed greens achieve a kind of elegance,” and though some plates are “pretty enough for Bon Appétit,” it’s all very no-nonsense, and plated in a homestyle fashion. He gushes over a traditional Barbadian soup called blaff, served as a broth with a cornmeal porridge, and topped with Dungeness crab, mackerel, prawns, and conch. “Two bites in, I was swooning.” He also raves about the fried chicken (and the prices!), and his only complaint is that the curried goat could have been a bit more tender. [EBX]

Jesse Hirsch, meanwhile, takes first crack at Gung Ho (680 8th Street), the new brick-and-mortar home of Seoul Patch’s Eric Ehler. He was an “Ehler fan boy” from the start, having long ago fallen in love with Ehler’s fried chicken sandwich topped with daikon slaw and gochujang. He also loves the pork belly “muffin,” which is an early hit in the Design District neighborhood, and he says that there are “no real stinkers” on the menu, though he isn’t totally blown away by anything. He does say that the former Rockstar Sushi space in which the restaurant lives still feels a little “ungainly and odd.” [SF Examiner]

Tsai Calls Miss Ollie’s ‘Revolutionary’; Hirsch Says Gung Ho