Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wellness on Woodward

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Wednesday night is the busiest night at the Goldengate. That’s because it’s fire night, and because it’s drumming night. A fire rages or smolders in the stone fireplace on the patio, while bring-your-own drummers hypnotize themselves and the neighbors with free-form wallops and throbs. The eatery serves a mostly vegan menu, with some dairy, but the majority of diners are omnivores seeking a healthy meal. They’ll find a good one, and they won’t find the holistic trip laid on in a preachy way.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Frijoles off the freeway

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2007 at 12:00 AM

The menu at this kitsch-clogged Mexican restaurant (in a former Denny's) is dominated by tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos and fajitas with the spice and fire level toned down for tender Midwestern palates. The portions are generous, and they offer 31 combination dinners ($6.50 to $7.50) that mix and match endless varieties of tacos, enchiladas, burritos and chalupas with chile relleno, beans, rice, sour cream and the more obscure tostaguac, a crispy corn tortilla with beans, beef, lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole. The affordable price structure prevails with the drinks, with 10 Mexican beers going for $3.50 each, and a liter of sangria or house wine that may set a local record at an incomprehensible $9.50.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Somewhere in time

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Fans of time warps and fried food should make a beeline for Scotty Simpson's. The joint seems not to have aged an hour since its founding in 1950, save for a partial updating of the jukebox maybe 35 years ago. Scotty's feels like a neighborhood place to the hilt, its...

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A pleasing ratio

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2007 at 12:00 AM

More formal than its immediate predecessor, Caffe Milano, Pi flaunts heavy linen tablecloths, elegant oversized white china in a variety of interesting shapes, dramatic white ceiling-to-floor curtains separating the lively tapas bar from the two main dining areas and a professional wait staff smartly attired in black. Averaging around $9, the seven starters may be a bit overpriced considering the relatively modest cost of the entrées, most of which are in the high teens. The entrées move geographically from Western Europe’s Irish lamb stew to Eastern Europe’s Polish bigos (beef, pork, sauerkraut and prunes). In between, the menu touches down in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Greece and in Slavic regions. Italy weighs in with five items, including tender veal scallopini with artichoke hearts and mint ($19) swimming, or perhaps even drowning, in an espagnole sauce reduction. The well-selected wine list sticks to the Old World as well, with nothing from Australia, Chile or the United States.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Feeding a yen

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2007 at 12:00 AM

This is the type of place where Japanese salarymen go out after work — and there's a large enough clientele to keep this izakaya (pub) thriving. It serves five Japanese beers, sake and hot sochu. Expect small plates of seafood, noodles, sashimi and more. Most of Hanzo’s food follows the Japanese model of graceful arrangements, complementary tastes and colors, and light but satisfying food.

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