HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Gold's 99 Best of L.A. 2007 are out...

... and I've only been to 7 of them. Suddenly I feel like less of a chowhound... :(

Here they are:

Not much change from last year, I noticed.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have only made it to 17 of the list...just not enough time and room in my stomach to make it to more!

    1. I've hit fifteen. But seriously: Royale?! He's either high when he writes these lists or taking fat bribes from the maître d's.

      At least Pho 79 didn't make it this time...

      1. No Vito's Pizza, whos a guy gotta bribe around here!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Burger Boy

          I agree!! Casa Bianca and no Vito's??? that's just crazy talk!

          1. Wow, I actually been to 14, huh. Anytime Jonathon wants to roll to some serious Taco or Burger Spots, I don't want to speak for Bandini, but lets do this bad boy! I even got some Que up my sleeve.

            1. I've actually been to 32, but there is some serious WTF about a few of the entries. Border Grill and Ciudad? I can see Border Grill because of what it represents for LA food history. But Ciudad is fair at best, and often mediocre. Beacon is vastly overrated. I also find it odd that there are so many noodle houses but only one dim sum place.

              1. I've only been to four of them. My budget and time are far more limited than Mr. Gold's.... :-)

                1. I'm surprised at myself! I've been to about 35 of them (although not all recently :-)

                  Perhaps Vito's is not on the list because it's really still quite new in it's reopened incarnation?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DanaB

                    Fraiche is newer and it's on there. Maybe he just hasn't made it to Vito's yet?

                  2. Having been to more than 50+ on the list , most of them recently it's a shame only 10 of them are even memorable. It's hard to take the list seriously anyway without cornerstone restaurants like La Cachette ,etc not being included? I think he left Valentino off last year which speaks volumes? I like the Chowhound Best of list of 07', pretty accurate if you disregard the intermittent bogeys.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: russkar

                      As the list says, it is the "ESSENTIAL" list of 99 restaurants in LA ... not the best.

                      I think J Gold's list is suppose to reflect what LA cuisine is about, not the necessarily the best of LA cuisine.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Exactly. "But an essential restaurant here does speak with a Los Angeles accent, whether it is reflecting the vibrant strength of our immigrant communities, our funky soul, or the city’s place at the center of one of the great agricultural regions of the world. It is when you feel the most as if you are dining outside Mexico City, or in Seoul or at the court of Louis Quinze, when the facts on the ground have been replaced by our own vivid green-screen reality, that you know you are really in L.A."

                        1. re: mc michael

                          I don't follow this logic. Essential LA restaurants are about making you forget you're in LA?

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Ooh, touche, ipsedixit. Very perceptive of you, I didn't notice that.

                        3. re: russkar

                          ooh chowhound best list of 07? im new here how do i get my hands on THAT?

                        4. I've been to over half of them, but I wouldn't classify a lot of those as the "best". I guess that's why he gets paid way more than I do!

                          1. 19 here - but these are silly parts of the list.

                            fogo de chao - good but a chain.
                            koi - ? ok at best.
                            ciudad - see previous poster.
                            nook - i know i'm in the miniority - but this place was utterly bland imo.
                            phillips' bbq - overrated and not so great recently.

                            i guess at least it reminds me of the places i need to try.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: dtud

                              I'm with you on Nook. Until now I thought I was the only person who found the place completely unimpressive!

                              1. re: hrhboo

                                Wow I'm kind of glad I went to Library last night instead of Nook, then. At least Library gives me a known quantity of great beer and decent food.

                                Edit: Sigh, only 19 for me. Looks like I've gots me some work to do, especially in the Santa Monica area.

                                1. re: SauceSupreme

                                  Nook is good in many ways, I just wasn't bowled over by it.

                                  19 is a great number, I'm sure you're picking up my Mid-City slack!

                                  1. re: hrhboo

                                    Make it 20. Had a great lunch at Los Balcones del Peru.

                                    In your face, To-Do List! ;D

                                2. re: dtud

                                  Agreed on Nook. Cute place and nice waiters but the food was meh each of the three times I went.

                                3. Hmmm... over 40 places for me. And most within the last year. I knew I needed to cut back some, I guess there goes proof. Now I know that banks that give out Visa cards have bots that alert them when your card activity is high - will they be alerted when my activity drops?

                                  El Parian, La Casita Mexicana, Golden Deli, Kiriko - I think it looks like a pretty good list, seems like this guy deserves a prize of some kind...

                                  1. i've been to exactly 70 of them and i think theyre all strong contenders.

                                    the only thing that i think has gone downhill is macau street. i had a pretty bad meal there after liking it the first time i went...

                                    i also ate at village idiot and found both the mussels and fish and chips to be bland and using poor ingredients.

                                    i've never once had a memorable meal at guelaguetza. either west la or ktown. and after eating oaxacan in a recent trip to mexico city it confirms that its just not that great despite the large oaxacan population. i just ate lunch at montel alban today. the mixed tazajo and cecina plate was good but the red mole chicken was so so.

                                    not to make this a shit fest but i always found beacon to be good but kind of typical as well.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: modernist

                                      70! you have my respect only 24 for me...agreed on all points here

                                    2. I've made it to 22 of them... but I demand extra points for doing so while covering every single one his ratings that ranks a ¢ for price, and many of the single $ locations, while having only one $$ ranking, and nothing that ranks higher on the price scale. Yay for cheap chowhounding.

                                      1. i have not lived in LA for 9 years glad to see so many places still there.

                                        I was for sure an Apple Pan girl.

                                        1. Marouch over Sunnin? Blasphemy.

                                          1. I agree not much change, but some new ones on the list are great. Even those that aren't new, but have just hit his radar like La Casita are excellent additions.

                                            Can I just say how fantastic that map is?!?!

                                            Not only will it be handy, but it shows interesting biases. Are there so few essential places in the south bay or south LA? What's up with the vacancy throughout much of the SFV? It would be interesting to overlay his map with other demographic maps of LA. I wonder if that geography might influence his roaming in the next year?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ks in la

                                              Interestingly enough, I think he did a very good job with his coverage of the valley, meaning Max, Caioti, Tama, Woodlands in Chatsworth, and Alcazar in Encino.
                                              Most of the italian in the valley tastes the same - who cares, and much the same can be said for most of the sushi places, albeit it at a higher qualitative level, but still all about the same.
                                              But he seldom even gets to the valley as his preference seems to be toward Asian food as a generalization and except for Thai on Sherman Way, most of the Asian, non-sushi, is elsewhere.

                                            2. I've only hit 16, I guess I need to get on the ball.

                                              1. Notice the huge blank spot in the middle of the SFV on the map.

                                                Gold just can't seem to brave The San Fernando Valley for good food, of which we have an abundance.

                                                Has he visited More Than Waffles? Il Tiramisu? Sushi Go Mart? Gourmet Tamales? HOng Kong 88? Kyushu Ramen? Gangadin? E &E Market? Alexis' Greek Cafe? Vinh Loi?

                                                Dare he come over to the Valley?

                                                I don't know. Then again, if he DOESN'T review some of my favorite palces, it'll keep te hordes out!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Diana

                                                  I think the Valley-locations have managed to do that-- that is, "keeping the hordes out"-- just fine.

                                                2. 20

                                                  Well, I guess there's more money to be spent (ideally at places with better food than what some of these have offered...)

                                                  1. Only 23 for me. I've got work to do!!

                                                    But in regards to the list being "essential" LA restaurants --- while I do like the idea of "essential" versus "best," I have to wonder about places like Fogo de Chao (chain), Ciudad (not necessary if you have Border Grill) and Village Idiot (not special or unique).

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: TinyNancer

                                                      the village idiot addition smacks of some form of nepotism cuz there is nothing remarkable about the food and the beer selection isnt even all that...

                                                      1. re: modernist

                                                        Totally agree!! Don't get me wrong, I like the place, it's got affordable beer, but it's not worthy of being on the Essential 99.

                                                    2. thanks for posting this!
                                                      ha! ive been to 24 which still leaves lots of room for exploration...