Michael Bauer Is All About Meatballs Right Now; Also, He Thinks All Spice is Slipping

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This morning on his Between Meals blog Michael Bauer makes note of the meatball boom around town, a trend which like some other trends (Neapolitan pizza, speakeasy-esque bars) comes via New York and took a couple extra years to hit the Bay Area. He was able to name six favorites around town, mostly of the Italian variety, when her wrote a column about meatballs three years ago, but now they're on all kinds of menus, crossing ethnic boundaries, including some of his favorites at Comal, Gioia, and Plaj. [Between Meals/Scoop]

And on the heels of San Mateo's All Spice landing their first Michelin star, Mr. Bauer returns for an update visit and says, no, hold up, it's actually not as good as before. "Previously I loved the effortless blending of cultures," he writes, "but on this visit the effects were muted, devoid of the roller-coaster spicing that makes Indian food so compelling." He's disappointed by an overly sweet warm salad of shishito peppers and corn; an unexciting, under-spiced short rib vindaloo; and a black cod dish that "tasted more western than Indian." All told, he downgrades the place to a lowly two stars, from its original two and a half. [Chron]