Michael Bauer’s Blunders

San Francisco Chronicle restaurant reviewer writes about Los Angeles, San Francisco Chronicle restaurant reviewer gets slammed by locals, who complain that “he doesn’t get us.” Usual NorCal versus SoCal silliness, right? Big deal.

Well, it is a big deal when said critic is Michael Bauer, who has very little competition for the title of San Francisco’s most influential restaurant critic, and when it consequently surfaces that Bauer may not really know exactly what he’s talking about. Or so alleges Eater LA, which attacked Bauer on Friday for a blog post in which Bauer defined some esoteric ingredients (speck, finocchiona, saba, burrata) that he’d written about in his Los Angeles piece. Problem was, says Eater LA’s “anonymous tipster,” “he got almost everything wrong.”

Speck is smoked, not flavored with juniper; finocchiona was spelled wrong, and very rarely includes curry; saba is not vinegar, but sweet, greatly reduced grape juice, a signature ingredient of Batali; mantecato is described correctly but spelled wrong; stracotto may be made with shank at Mozza but in fact usually is made with other cuts; and burrata isn’t a creamy mozzarella-type cheese but mozzarella stuffed with cream, which is a crucial difference.

Eep, embarrassing. At least Bauer spelled stereotypes correctly.