Bauer Kind of Hates The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse; Unterman Adores Bar Tartine; Hirsch Discovers Bro Meals

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The Sea's dining room. Photo: Courtesy of The Sea

Michael Bauer is put off from the start by The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse, that mouthful of a new restaurant that took over the former Trader Vic's in Palo Alto. He describes its corporate feel, and an entrance , and a pretentious waiter who clearly didn't know who he was dealing with. "Practically without a hello, the waiter launched into an interpretive monologue of the menu, describing the format as if it would otherwise be unfamiliar Hot Appetizers, Cold Appetizers, the Land and the Sea Entres. Then he went through a soliloquy of the house specialities, the most expensive items." Oh, brother. Needless to say he's very put off by the prices, with main dishes ranging from $32 to $62, and none of the preparations justify them. He writes, ominously, before launching into some sad dish descriptions, "The house-made bread, in fact, was the highlight of the three meals." The verdict: One and a half stars, with one star for food. [Chron]

Patricia Unterman pays a couple of visits to Bar Tartine, both at dinner and lunch, and raves about chef Nick Balla's food. She loves, especially, the chopped salad; the "slightly smoky" grilled tripe "drenched in a velvety, mahogany, paprika sauce with an intense, meaty flavor"; and Balla's modern take on goulash. And she also says that the lunchtime sandwiches "astound with the inventiveness of their composition." [Unterman on Food]

And over at the Examiner, Jesse Hirsch stumbles upon a new homecooked-meal delivery service geared toward brogrammers called Bro Meals. The business was started by Myriah Zaytoun, whose brother happens to be a cook at Maverick, and she started it via personal-services marketplace Zaarly. You can opt to order a week's worth of meals at once ($143), and Hirsch says that the menu is "rib-sticking classics all the way" and they're all "solid" versions without any special flair. But he's especially a fan of the chicken pot pie with chive-flecked biscuits on top. [Examiner]