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Aug 8, 2008 12:38 AM

J. Gold's "99 Essential Restaurants" [moved from L.A. board]

How many of you have checked out this list? Thoughts? Agree/disagree?

It seems like Gold is pretty respected around here---and yet, when I've asked for recommendations on some of the restaurants, they are moderate to poor (some examples--750mL, Oinksters, Simon LA).

Any total standouts on here? Places that absolutely do not deserve to be on this list no matter how many Pulitzer prizes you've won??

I'd love to discuss this )

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  1. Well, Oinkster certainly belongs on the list as it does what it is trying to do very well. Whether or not you like it is a different discussion.
    Keeping all kinds of different cuisines, prices, settings and needs, etc. separate in this discussion is a very difficult task, and almost unfair to really even try to assess without some other parameters set in place. And Gold felt these places were essential to represent the broad spectrum of the LA dining scene.
    Obviously, ymmv!

      1. I have to think that Dino's, at least the Azusa location, has seen quite a drop in quality since they were named to the list.

        1. Blue Velvet, fantastic newish on the east side, just west of downtown. I love this place.

          Fogo de Chao? Really? bluck.

          I enjoy The Lodge, but it is definitely not a must do.

          Also, The Grill on Hollywood is a great place for locals in the area of tourists at Hollywood & Highland, but for sure not a top 100.

          I'd go on but I have to work.

          5 Replies
          1. re: lotta_cox

            The Grill on Hollywood isn't on the list; it's The Grill on the Alley, in Beverly Hills. Big difference.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              by all means, my mistake. please excuse my massive oversight.

            2. re: lotta_cox

              Have you been to Blue Velvet since Kris Morningstar left? I haven't but I'm going on Monday night so I'll report back.

              1. re: mollyomormon

                i haven't. please report back, with a link in this thread so I can see what you think. dying to hear,. I have been out of town almost all summer, and haven't been hitting my favorites as often as I would like to. *cries*

              2. re: lotta_cox

                You need to quit that job. It's interfering with your blogging.

              3. When using this list it is important to note that this is a list of the ESSENTIAL restaurants in Los Angeles.

                It is not a list of the best of the restaurants.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  And you see the distinction between "essential" and "best" as...

                  1. re: JeMange

                    My $0.02. Caioti Pizza: darn good pizza, not necessarily the best, but essential in that it was Ed Ladou's own little shop after he created the "California pizza" for Wolfgang Puck's megamonster CPK. (I'll go to Caioti Pizza, but not to CPK. Go figure.)

                    Same goes for Philippe's The Original: not necessarily the best french dip, but an LA icon (at least for me) that made french dips what it is today. I don't often order french dips, but I'll go to Philippe's for theirs...I kinda dig the old school atmosphere.

                    1. re: OCAnn

                      To JeMange: what she said up above.

                      1. re: OCAnn

                        I was gonna be snarky about your response but that's actually a really convincing explanation/distinction. Good points.