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SIV Picks San Francisco, Gold at The Olive Garden

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1) San Francisco: SIV switches up her usual review this week for a trip to San Francisco to sample six eateries: Plum, Cotogna, Commonwealth, Mission Chinese Food, Bar Agricole and Benu. Immediately Sher declares that San Francisco's "food scene there is on fire. Every meal I had was noteworthy. Either I was very lucky, or there's a whole lot of good cooking going around up there...What are the chances of picking six really good restaurants in a row? In my experience, slim. But it happened on this trip. The even better news is that many are quite affordable, fun and blessed with an exuberant and bright spirit." [LAT]

2) Arcadia: A foiled April Fool's joke, which Gold tried to play on his photographer, Anne Fishbein, lands him at The Olive Garden: "I had no intention of eating lunch at the Olive Garden. I was planning to intercept the grumpy photographer at the door and spirit her to the Derby, a track-fueled steak house less than a minute's drive down the street. We'd have a Sidecar or two. We'd laugh at how she'd been fooled...Except that I was caught in traffic and ended up at the restaurant 20 minutes after she got there. She had commandeered a big table upstairs, and was already into the bread sticks, long, doughy things slicked with grease and oil. She was working on a cappuccino, which was all but hidden under a swirly tower of whipped cream. She was looking forward to a bowl of 'Tuscan'' soup..." Anyway, as one would expect, Gold has nothing positive to say about his dining experience, every dish was a flop. He concedes, "I'm the snob. I will always be the snob." [LAW]

The Elsewhere: The Find discovers La Cocina del Camaguey, Eat: LA hits Venice Beach Wines, Food Je T'aime tries Red Medicine, Gastronomy dines at Yun Chuan Garden, Refined Palate chooses Raphael, and Sinosoul picks Roy's.

The Olive Garden

430 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA