Waking up from a three week stint as someone who resembled me but wasn't me was like coming home. Suddenly back in my own skin, feeling my own rhythms (quick, muscular, motivated), seeing my true face in the mirror, it was like emerging from a chrysalis after too much time.
In the name of homecoming, I write about two newcomers to my neighborhood--one I love, the other left me underwhelmed.
Bocca Lupo ("in the mouth of the wolf," literally; figuratively it means "good luck"), on Henry and Warren is just what my 4 block radius needed: a wine and panini bar that doesn't seek to be anything other than what it is, which is a good neighborhood place. The salads and panini are really solid, and the atmosphere is warm, and the wine keeps flowing and is very delicious.
Lunetta on Smith between Pacific and Bergen left me wishing we'd gone to Noodle Pudding instead. I had a great glass of Valpolicella and delicious fried artichokes, but we followed the waitress' suggestions and ended up with three mediocre dishes. Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage lacked seasoning but had cream. Cream? The penne with braised lamb was a little dry, and probably should have been tagliatelle, or a noodle, not a tube. The cripsy friend chicken was extremely tasty but seemed better suited for a Chinese restaurant and came with nothing on the plate except the many large chunks of deep fried chicken. Hmmmm....odd. Probably will not go back. With such good Italian in this city, there is no reason to eat anything less than something excellent.