I decided not to append this thought to earlier threads about SF Chron restaurant critic anonymity, hoping to re-launch the conversation with a different tone.
I was interested in Pete Wells review of Daniel this week in the NYT. He made it clear he knew he was recognized on each visit (as he surely is everywhere).
What he did at Daniel was have a colleague who wouldn't be recognized dine at another table at the same time. That way, he was able to compare. And the comparison was telling. His table's experience was better than that of the nobody-special pal. And that difference became a major point of discussion in the review.
Michael Bauer faces the same problem (not a chance he's not spotted).
I wonder if the SF Chron team might consider the NYT strategy--or if they might come up with some comparable way to test the fact that Bauer is getting the same attention as you or I would, were we to dine at the restaurant under review.