the other critics

Bauer Returns to Haven, Likes It Now

The chef's counter at Haven.

The chef's counter at Haven.Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

Mr. Bauer's original review of Haven, after its late-2011 opening in Oakland's Jack London Square, was pretty critical, noting some "aggressive" seasoning and inconsistent service. He returns a little over a year later to find that chef Kim Alter has "found her groove" and "there's no denying [she's] a talented chef." He compliments her "bold flavors" and "intricate techniques," and he especially likes the subtlety of a turnip soup. Also, he still likes the dish of clams with vadouvan and turnups, something he said was the best dish on the menu last year. The service, meanwhile, is much improved and "attentive, but not overbearing." He's still not a fan of the interior, though, which "looks makeshift." All told: two and a half stars, up from the original two. [Chron]

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