A lot of people were surprised when chef/owner Loretta Keller shut down her popular SOMA bistro, Bizou, on very short notice in late March, in order to retool the space. I was among the querulous and curious, being of the "If it's not broke, why fix it?" school. I had two happy memories of Bizou. During a quick weekend trip to S.F. with three friends a few years ago, we had dinner there, and were very happy with the rustic, warm setting, which felt like a cozy neighborhood place in France, although there were lots of Italian-inspired dishes on the menu, too. I remember sharing oysters, a wonderful duck liver terrine, and a flatbread with caramelized onions, and envying the person who had ordered a particularly succulent dish of beef cheeks. We also dined, that trip, at the French Laundry (it was the first visit there for my three companions -- oh, the famed oysters and pearls) and at Zuni, where two of us shared the incomparable roast chicken and bread salad; the Bizou dinner held up well in that... More >>>