Heh. Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle food critic of note, rewarded the high-glitz of Hakkasan, a sparkling $7 million restaurant at Kearny and Market, with just two stars. The food? He gives 1.5 stars. Ouch. But food itself is dead. It's all about decor now -- or rather, it should be all about the decor. Anyway.

He seems to like some of the food at the wildly expensive restaurant. But some he does not. And the food that he does not enjoy makes for four-star copy. Check it:

Some dishes, such as the Hakka noodles ($12) with mushrooms and Chinese chives, are drowned in a slick of oil that recalls Panda Express. Yet that chain wouldn't offer something as elevated as braised cuttlefish ($18) in a warmly spiced sauce with slivers of okra and crisp cross-cut potato chips. One of my favorite dishes over three visits was prawns ($21) with lily buds and almonds in a green Thai curry-like sauce.

Panda Express! That is some midnight drag show reading right there. Well done, Bauer.

But the real star of Hakkasan is its surroundings -- a 3-star vision of wonder, to be exact. You have to take an elevator just to get inside! That is magical and just like Working Girl.

At the entrance, which can seem intimidating and slightly pretentious, diners walk into what looks like a small office lobby with two hosts behind the reception desk, then ascend by elevator. The doors open to a rush of incense so intense it practically sucks the oxygen out of the marble foyer accented with a riot of colorful orchids and a picture window overlooking Market Street.

A large, 25-seat bar shaped like the front of a ship is awash in blue lights and filled with diners and drinkers. Even those with reservations may be shuffled off to the lounge to wait for a table in either of the two dining rooms flanking the bar.

This is what my parents, back in the '80s, would have deemed a "coke bar." I mean that in the best way possible; sadly, so did they.

Further, as Eater points out, "Bauer isn't too pleased with SF's latest attempts at upscale Chinese dining, a desire he expressed in part by spending two paragraphs of his review longing for the halcyon days of Cecilia Chiang's Mandarin." (Mandarin closed 20 years ago. It also involved an elevator. Which, again, is rad.) Bauer recently tossed 2.5 stars M.Y China, celebrity chef Martin Yan's high-end mall eatery.

Aside: Hakkasan is located in the same building as a lovely privately-owned public space that SFist reviewed last year. One of the best in the city, really. Check it out.

Hakkasan: 1 Kearny (at Market) SF, 415-829-8148