the other critics

Kauffman Explains the Vietnamese-Cajun Thing; Reidinger Tries La Briciola

Thankfully, we have Jonathan Kauffman to explain things that confuse us, namely the provenance of this Vietnamese-Cajun crawfish boil thing. He reviews a pair of such restaurants this week, Red Crawfish in Little Saigon and SJ Crawfish in the Sunset, first explaining, "it began in the Vietnamese-American communities along the Gulf Coast, where small restaurants started offering the same Cajun-spiced crawfish boils their white and black neighbors did." The trend came westward, and Kauffman says to avoid SJ Crawfish, and advises, "There is only one reason to come to Red Crawfish — crawfish — and it's reason enough." [SF Weekly]

Reidinger heads over to La Briciola, in the shadow of the newly refurbished Bay Bridge viaduct, where he says "chef Gian Luca Toschi's best dishes are the traditional ones," noting in particular the veal "alla valdostana," which he says is like chicken kiev, and the fagottini (Italian crepes): "The earthiness of the filling was enhanced (and that's putting it mildly) by a cream sauce of mushroom and truffle oil." [SFBG]

And Anneli Rufus, writing in the East Bay Express, heads for breakfast at Café Aquarius in Emeryville, which is apparently popular with the Pixar crowd. Though we only get reviews of breakfast/brunch items, it's a rave, and she calls the lemon-ricotta pancakes "heavenly [with a] float-away lightness" and the biscuits and gravy "bone-jarringly good." [East Bay Express]

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