This week, Rachel Feit of The Chronicle reviews No Va, the new Rainey Street restaurant from chef Brad Sorenson. Sorenson was a contestant on Next Food Network Star and Chopped, and previously worked in the kitchen at ASTI. Feit enjoys No Va's more casual brunch and late-night offerings best. On the food:
I visited during happy hour with friends one night and had to physically restrain myself from monopolizing the mac and cheese ($5) with roasted jalapeño added on ($2). Pleasantly spicy and creamy, topped with crusty breadcrumbs, it was perhaps the best example of mac and cheese I've encountered in a long while. A chicken confit taco was just as tantalizing ($3). . . The dinner menu, on the other hand, is more ambitious, and here is where young Sorenson and the rest of the No Va staff betray their relative inexperience. Caught up with being clever, the menu and execution can at times degenerate into a cacophony of global gastronomy and clumsy missteps.Feit's verdict is that No Va is a welcome addition to the Rainey dining scene, but like the street itself, the restaurant is still "maturing."