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99 Essential Restaurants (moved from L.A. board)

Well, it's Thursday which means there's a new LA Weekly out. Anybody got any opinions on Mr. Gold's 99 Essential LA Restaurants? Anything you would have left out, anything you would have added?

Here's the link, if you're interested:


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  1. Thanks for the heads-up !

    1. Looks no better or worse than any other guide out there.
      Lots of misses, lots of shouldn't-be-theres.
      Like : Craft in the first group.
      Like : Bastide in the second.

      1. No two people are going to agree 100% on everything; I trust J. Gold's taste on almost everything, just because we always seem to agree on the things that appeal the most to me, and if he loves a place I know I'll enjoy a meal there. That said, although I probably like Pie'n'Burger almost as much as he does, I'd have cut it in a heartbeat to get Pann's in there. See what I mean?

        1. Wow...Patina made the list but Water Grill did not.

          1. To me its based more on who his friends are than quality (see Beacon). Do we need two mozza's in the list--I think not--nothing is less essential than Mozza.

            6 Replies
              1. re: RicRios

                Add me to that list!
                And I cannot imagine any Patina Group operation even merits a token consideration.

              2. re: Adsvino

                Ouch ! I feel that Mozza is pretty essential. But hey, vivre le difference !

                That's just more butterscotch buddino for me :-)

                1. re: mikester

                  You could have gotten that at Jar already (also on the list).

                  1. re: mikester

                    I agree Mikester...I love those beets with horseradish.

                2. For edification, here's a list of places that were on last year's list but are not on this year's. For some reason there are only 93 restaurants listed in the online version of last year's list and 98 listed in the online version of this year's list, so there may be inaccuracies.

                  750ml [RIP]
                  Apple Pan
                  Bin 8945 [RIP]
                  Blue Velvet
                  Caioti Pizza Café
                  Dino’s Burgers
                  Father’s Office [replaced by FO2]
                  Fogo de Chao
                  Green Village [RIP]
                  Literati II
                  Macau Street [RIP]
                  Metro Café
                  Noodle House [RIP -- _not_ the one that exilekiss wrote up]
                  Simon L.A.
                  The Lodge
                  Uzbekistan [RIP]
                  Village Idiot
                  Water Grill

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    Thanks for the list. Totally agree with the removal of Apple Pan, Blue Velvet, Caioti, Royale, Valentino, Water Grill.

                    Nook, otoh, is a gem and should have remained on the list.

                    Went to Blue Velvet, partially based on JG's 99 last year. Had a fish course(i think it was salmon) that was cooked sous vide. The texture was so gawdawful that I had to force myself to eat even a third of it. It was mushy beyond belief... then a few months later, on an episode of Top Chef, someone commented that salmon is not a good fish to cook sous vide, that it ruins the texture... go figure.

                    1. re: soniabegonia

                      Well seriously, though, is there anyone in s cal that actually makes an incredible salmon? Strangely enough I was forced to attend California Pizza Kitchen for dinner, ordered salmon and kept my fingers crossed. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest where salmon rules....I found CPK's to surpass any I've ever had in LA. Go figure.
                      There is nothing like white king salmon if anyone has never tried it....as long as the chef doesn't butcher it.

                  2. has anyone been to Flame, the Persian restuarant on the list this year? is it really any different from all the other Persian kabob places?

                    1. I just ate at The Nickel based on his list. Terrific place. Nice to have a diner downtown