Review: Fairfax goes from crunchy to hip as easy as 1, 2, 3

Customers gather in the dining area that is filled with light from the floor to ceiling windows, simple furnishings made with reclaimed wood and pendant lights that add warm tones to the interior at 123 Bolinas in Fairfax. Full Story
Geoff Butterfield

United States

#1 Aug 11, 2010
The reviewer's snarky comments on Fairfax's hipness reminds me of Midwestern rubes who think San Francisco is made up entirely of men in drag. I for one, appreciate that Fairfax is not San Anselmo or Mill Valley, where the kind of attention seeking, hipster-poseur restaurants the reviewer seems to find so compelling thrive. My wife and I looked in on the new wine bar before smiling at all the people who were trying to eat dainty food over half-height tables. We then went next door to Sorella's, a wonderful restaurant owned by people whose kids go to the same school my kids do, and was filled with our neighbors and friends. No iPads necessary.
tbt

Oakland, CA

#2 Aug 11, 2010
Thanks Geoff, you articulated my thoughts exactly ! That being said, I will probably check out the wine bar, just to see what the old hippie market I used to buy my patchuoli, incense and granola cookies at in high school looks like now as well as drink some wine with my fellow chick friends!!
Withnail

San Rafael, CA

#5 Aug 11, 2010
"Read: Leave the tie-dyed hemp skirts and patchouli oil at home."

Uh, the writer should leave her snarky attitude at home, wherever that is.

"Summary: The style factor in Fairfax just went up a few notches with the opening of 123 Bolinas in July.......there is no doubt that 123 Bolinas has brought some badly needed style and verve to this crunchy enclave."

She just kicked her copy down a few notches with such an elitist attitude. Fairfax is not Ross nor is it San Francisco, and that's a good thing. It's hard to believe this writer is a judge at the James Beard Foundation journalism awards. Disparaging a town for its nature in order to thrust the writer's concept of what's cool in the face of readers is poor journalism. I hope she gets some badly needed humility.

Sure, Fairfax has its share of crystals, dream catchers, kombucha, and teens coughing up a bong lung. But it's also home to a few of my favourite things: Good Earth, Scoops, Coffee Roasters, Revolution 9, Peri Park, and the Farmers Market in Bolinas park.

Anyway, why are the tables set so frickin' low in 123? I hope they offer free back massages. Everyone in the photo looks crimped, stooped, and slouchy. I say drop the iPad schtick and get more comfortable seating. Otherwise, it seems like an interesting place to get a little drink and have a chat.
yah

San Rafael, CA

#6 Aug 11, 2010
well it used to be a "ladies place" now we men know where to go
Fairfax local

Ross, CA

#7 Aug 11, 2010
Glad to hear it's doing well. I walk past the place on my morning dog walk. Took awhile to get the place together, but sounds like it's been worth it.
babs94949

Union City, CA

#8 Aug 11, 2010
Geoff Butterfield wrote:
The reviewer's snarky comments on Fairfax's hipness reminds me of Midwestern rubes who think San Francisco is made up entirely of men in drag. I for one, appreciate that Fairfax is not San Anselmo or Mill Valley, where the kind of attention seeking, hipster-poseur restaurants the reviewer seems to find so compelling thrive. My wife and I looked in on the new wine bar before smiling at all the people who were trying to eat dainty food over half-height tables. We then went next door to Sorella's, a wonderful restaurant owned by people whose kids go to the same school my kids do, and was filled with our neighbors and friends. No iPads necessary.
Attitude? Looks like GB has enough to go around!

I checked out the place with my husband on a Thursday night and found the staff friendly, the ambiance relaxing, the wine good, and the food fantastic! They had a few sandwiches available, also, the night I was there.
As for the chick factor, gentlemen take note: they have some great beers, too, and it's right on your way home from that work-out on your mountain bike!
1-2-3 CHEERS!
fairfax rez

Mill Valley, CA

#9 Aug 11, 2010
Love 123. Great food, nice wine list, fairfax prices. Just had a few "smidges" of wine with a friend and some excellent food to go with it. Don't hold the reporting against the establishment. It's got a fairfax twist of sustainability and warmth.
Another Fairfax Local

Corte Madera, CA

#10 Aug 12, 2010
I don't see the harm in calling a spade a spade. Fairfax IS a little hippy haven, among other things.
Calling out that this place has a slightly more upscale, refined vibe isn't "disparaging" to the town, it's calling things like they are around here.

I've been to 1-2-3 and found it very pleasant. Good wine and friendly staff. I eat next door all the time as well. It's not an either or.

I think folks are getting a touch defensive here.

New Pot Club coming. New Wine Bar, New Vegetarian Place, New Cajun Joint replacing The Klatch...
It's all good.

Time for my bedtime bong and Geritol.
gorpman

Mill Valley, CA

#11 Aug 12, 2010
Obnoxious writer who appears to know nothing at all about Fairfax - so just reverts to tired cliche. Most hippies have moved out of Marin - including Fairfax. Who can afford to be a hippie in Marin? What, exactly is a hippie, anyhow? Does a CEO driving his new Mercedes qualify if he is wearing a tie-dye shirt? Plenty of those kind of hippies in Marin.
Geoff Butterfield

United States

#12 Aug 12, 2010
babs94949 wrote:
<quoted text>
Attitude? Looks like GB has enough to go around!
Notice that I didn't criticize the restaurant, but the review. I (and some others here) found her portrayal of Fairfax cartoonish, which is fine, but it did interfere with her review of the restaurant. If she had focused more on the details of the food and service, and less on what she thinks of as hip, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Her review probably did more harm then good locally, as its the people of Fairfax who make and break local restaurants, and I (who has lived in Fairfax some 15+ years now), found her review patronizing and insulting, and now I associate that attitude with 1,2,3.(Thats not fair to the restaurant, but there you go.)
travis

Cape Coral, FL

#13 Aug 12, 2010
gorpman wrote:
Obnoxious writer who appears to know nothing at all about Fairfax - so just reverts to tired cliche. Most hippies have moved out of Marin - including Fairfax. Who can afford to be a hippie in Marin? What, exactly is a hippie, anyhow? Does a CEO driving his new Mercedes qualify if he is wearing a tie-dye shirt? Plenty of those kind of hippies in Marin.
Anecdotally my hippie girlfriend in the early 80s used to gripe that there were no hippies left in Marin even back then. And more au courant my ex Marin hippie wife and I were at a juke joint in east central Mississippi a couple of weeks ago where a jazz organ trio was playing rather than the usual blues stuff. My wife joked that they looked like Marin hippies from the late 60s. They sure could play though.

Since: Aug 09

San Rafael, CA

#14 Aug 27, 2010
Just went here this evening. This snotty-arse article does not do service to how great this place truly is. Wonderful wine selection, great service, nice patrons, and a delightful staff. It's a clean, approachable, inviting space to enjoy interesting artisan wines. Two lemur paws WAY up.
babs94949

Union City, CA

#15 Aug 29, 2010
Geoff Butterfield wrote:
<quoted text>
Notice that I didn't criticize the restaurant, but the review.
Too bad GB couldn't get past the story lead... the rest of the article was full of detailed description of the great wine and food being served, in addition to the sustainable/green decor at 123 Bolinas.

Paradoxically, GB accuses the reviewer of judging Fairfax like a book by its cover, but does the same thing when he and his wife merely "look in" at the wine bar without actually giving it a try; yet still he feels qualified to be the first to comment on this otherwise excellent review.

As I said before: talk about attitude!

Next time, save your editorial comments for the literary mags, and let the rest of us enjoy the 'meat' of the restaurant reviews.

Since: Jun 10

Marin County

#16 Aug 29, 2010
babs94949 wrote:
Next time, save your editorial comments for the literary mags, and let the rest of us enjoy the 'meat' of the restaurant reviews.
Unless it's a vegan restaurant.

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