* Click here for rating key
Nick's Next Door Restaurant Review: Chef Nick Difu has moved his neighborhood bistro from cramped confines to a more spacious spot half a block away. The surroundings have changed, but the cuisine --- homey plates elevated by sophisticated sauces and garnishes --- remains the same. Dishes have multiple components --- for example, pan-roasted rib-eye steak with roasted bone Marrow, pommes frites, Italian spiced cauliflower, braised pork belly and red wine demi-glace --- but the results rarely seem fussy. Appetizers include an artfully presented salmon poke, with its contrasts of soft and crisp textures and sweet and piquant flavors. Crispy Brussels sprouts are the best around. Lunch and dinner both start with the house-made focaccia, served with a dipping sauce of olive oil and dried tomatoes. For dessert, don’t miss the chocolate peanut butter mousse. The wine list is focused on California, including bottles from the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. One warning: The noise level can be high.