Kauffman Adores Bistro Central Parc; Reidinger Seeks Out Sushi In North Beach?
Jonathan Kauffman observes that after 30 or 40 years of French food becoming less exotic and more integrated into what we call California cuisine, we can now more than ever appreciate the humbleness of bistro cuisine on its original terms. The effect of this "halo-dimming," he says, "is kind of wonderful: It lets a French bistro be a French bistro again, a neighborhood spot for straightforward cooking and a glass of decent, moderately priced red wine." NoPa's Bistro Central Parc he finds to be a fine example, with an all-French staff and "occasional bouts of Gallic fussiness on the plate." He compliments the mixed green salad and finds the bouillabaisse to be fine example, with "a delicately piscine flavor tinged with just the right amount of saffron and fennel." He notes a few missteps and "cooking-school" flourishes he could do without, but he also compliments a veal sweetbreads appetizer, "creamy slices of pan-fried sweetbreads, each the texture of a marshmallow, napped in sautéed oyster mushrooms," which he calls "exquisite." [SF Weekly]
Reidinger, curiously, decides to head for sushi in North Beach we're starting to feel like he's running out of ways to be different and unpredictable in his choice of places to review. But, he insists, Sushi Hunter is "pretty wonderful," but he goes on to describe some convoluted maki rolls (he calls them "faux sandwiches") like the Double KO "hamachi and cucumber in a passionate embrace under a double-deck roof of salmon and strings of fried onion." Then he describes the White Tuxedo roll as "distinctive," but also sounds like he hates it (make your mind up, Paul!), describing how a pile of cream cheese overwhelmed the albacore, avocado, and butterfish "the way a blizzard might." [SFBG]