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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tomorrow in 'Eat': Jonathan Kauffman Has the Last Word on Commis

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 1:13 PM

click to enlarge James Syhabout (center) presides over an Oakland restaurant that's sparked disagreement among local critics. - STAR5112/FLICKR
  • star5112/Flickr
  • James Syhabout (center) presides over an Oakland restaurant that's sparked disagreement among local critics.
Of all the Bay Area restaurants that opened in 2009, none made the sparks fly like Commis. The tiny Oakland showplace by S.F. expat James Syhabout left some critics ready to declare Piedmont Avenue the new Roses, while others couldn't wait to pay the tab and steer their Audis back across the Bay Bridge. Tomorrow in SF Weekly, food critic Jonathan Kauffman aims to have the final word. "Commis is a destination restaurant for an indie-rock generation," writes Kauffman, "diners who prize preciousness over pomp and relish the weird places that individual vision can take a gifted artist. It isn't a perfect restaurant, but it's capable of food that approaches the sublime." Read the full review later today at Tide yourself over with SFoodie's paragraph-size amuse (after the jump):

Sometimes, Syhabout showered the palate in disparate, shimmering flavors. There was a salad of crab with pink grapefruit segments, threads of bitter radicchio, and a reduced onion-shallot syrup in which each flavor chased another as they raced past. There was a goats'-milk panna cotta topped with a silky beet and blood orange sorbet, citrus segments, and candied pistachios that flickered from creamy to sharp to nutty, each impression lasting a millisecond or two.

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