Kauffman Loves the Spice at Juhu Beach Club; Bauer Disappointed in Willi’s Wine Bar

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Mistry's pavs.

Jonathan Kauffman at Tasting Table gives us the first mini-review of Juhu Beach Club, where he says, "Preeti Mistry proves that when Indian and American cuisines meet, the result doesn’t have to taste dumbed down." He loves the vada pav, "topped with pickled onions and a slashingly hot ghost-chile chutney." And he says her chicken curry is "deeply savory," and he also likes the sev puri, "a fried wheat-flour cracker piled high with mashed sweet potatoes, a fiery apple relish and an aromatic raita." The service, he writes, is "sunny and considerate." [Tasting Table]

Michael Bauer is mostly disappointed in his recent revisit to Willi's Wine Bar in Santa Rosa, which he swings back to each year to see if it's still up to snuff for his Top 100. This year it sounds like it's not! He downgrades them to two stars and says that several of the small plates "seemed a bit heavy handed — from the too-cheesy topping on the oysters with artichokes and guanciale ... [to] the overpowering truffle oil in the dressing in the arugula salad." And the service was slow and a little lackadaisical too. Sounds like the Stark Group's newer restaurant, Bravas Bar de Tapas in Healdsburg, which Bauer reviewed a couple weeks back, might even replace Willi's on the Top 100 this year. [Chron]