Oozing in Ignorance
Normally, I look forward to your reviews, be they of food, music or local goings-on. They are a normally poignant and enlightened source of views. That said, the First Bite review on Rosso Pizzeria + Wine Bar (Oct. 24) by James Knight was, I felt, very poorly written and oozing in ignorance. For one, the inability to understand a pizza topped with an egg (an Italian classic) shows a lack of sophistication in a so-called food writer that is just beguiling. Quoting from the article, "There's bread, there's salad, why rock the table?" is the most insipid response to the piadini (a marvel of modern food) that I've ever heard.
Furthermore, the writer's inability to differentiate sliced and roasted local artichokes from chicken is unforgivable. The passive-aggressive chastisement of Rosso for not carrying Zinfandel (possibly the worst pizza wine pairing in existence) frankly shows beyond incompetence, an underhanded grudge bristling forward.
And as for the spaghetti pizza, Knight just missed the cult favorite of the locals, possibly the best exhibition of the house-made mozzarella. Again, I love the Bohemian, but someone had to set the record straight. Support local produce!
Ross Katzenberg, Santa Rosa
James Knight replies: I'm sorry that Mr. Katzenberg was so "beguiled" by my lighthearted self-portrayal as an initially skeptical curmudgeon that he failed to notice that Rosso won me over thoroughly. To convey my growing enthusiasm, I chose words like "warmed up to," "satisfying," "quite tasty," "such a pleasure," "excellent," "delectable" and, finally, "genuine commitment to quality gustation." Perhaps I should have been more explicit?
Regarding roasted bits of artichoke vs. roasted bits of chicken, I bow to Mr. Katzenberg's discerning eye, but the pie was supposed to be chicken-free in the first place.
And finally, I am surprised that my mild suggestion to offer some peppery, hearty Zinfandel to go with spicy, hearty Italian food is such an unpopular and grievous food pairing no-no. Being a fan as well, I appreciate that the reader jumped, teeth bared, to Rosso's defense in the face of a positive review.
I am writing this letter about our pitiful and sad mental health system and programs. Throughout our country and in California in particular, people who enter the mental health system get very little, if any, adequate care. Our homeless population, jails and prisons are packed with people who have mental health disorders and problems. What we are seeing in California is more suicides, crime, poverty, homelessness, drug abuse and alcoholism because of this.
Also, our society is creating a segment of people who cannot take care of themselves and who have no, or very little, way to survive. They also have literally no place to go because there is no one to help them. What the mental health system is doing is not coping with people who need its services.
One thing is clear: mental health illness in America is treated in an ignorant way. The lack of programs, research and funding for treatment is a crime.
David Mik, San Rafael
insulting the Ancestors
The "This Modern World" comic strip that you ran in the Oct. 24 issue that compared Republican presidential candidates and pundits to Neanderthals was an insult to Neanderthals. How could you?
Ken Ward, Guerneville