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Ultimate Los Angeles Restaurants 2008: The Poll Results [LONG]

Largely, I think, because of the new two-poll system, the Chowhound 2008 Ultimate Los Angeles Poll had the first (slight) increase in voters since Mr. Grub started this annual tradition in 2005, along with more than doubling the number of restaurants ranked from last year.

2008: 79 total voters, 300 restaurants

2007: 76 voters, 135 restaurants
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/490712

2006: 95 voters, 147 restaurants
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/357211

2005: 104 voters, 214 restaurants
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/76226

Voters were asked to vote for up to ten restaurants, five in each of two categories. Their first-place choices got points equal to the number of restaurants they voted for; second-place got one vote less, and so forth. So, those who voted for five restaurants got five votes for their first choice, four for their second, three for their third, two for their fourth and five for their fifth choices.

This year, for the first time, I ran two polls; one for restaurants in the category of over $25 per person for food, and the other in the category of $25 or less for food. No restaurants appear in both poll rankings; the ten restaurants that were voted for in both polls were ranked in the poll for which they received the most points.

I tried as best I could to label restaurants that opened in 2008 as NEW, and restaurants that closed as RIP.

====================================

Voting in the Over $25 poll: 73
Voting in the $25 and Under poll: 75

Total voters: 79

====================================

Restaurants cited - Over $25 poll: 119
Restaurants cited - $25 and Under poll: 191

Total restaurants cited: 300
(including the ten that were cited in both polls

)

====================================

For the rankings below, the first number is the total points; the first number in square brackets is the total voters; and the number after the slash is the total voters, if any, who gave it five points. The numbers in curly brackets are the 2007 rankings.

So, for example, Providence (see below) received 88 points from 23 voters, 9 of whom gave it a full five points. It was in first place last year.

====================================

THE TOP 25 OVERALL (both polls):

Of the top 25 restaurants, seventeen were cited in the Over $25 poll, ten in the $25 and Under poll, and two in both polls.

As a result of splitting the poll into the over-and-under categories, four under-$25 restaurants - Langer’s Deli, Jitlada, Bay Cities Deli and Square One - made it into the top 25 despite having received no votes in the 2007 poll.

Providence has been the #1 restaurant in every the Chowhound Ultimate Los Angeles Poll since 2006 ... the year the restaurant opened.

1. Providence: 88 [23/9] {1}
2. Langer’s Deli: 77 [21/10]
3. Pizzeria Mozza: 60 [19/6] {4}
4. Urasawa: 55 [12/9] {5}
5. Spago: 45 [16/2] {14}
6. Jitlada: 41 [11/4]
7. Craft: 38 [11/2] {61}
8. Osteria Mozza: 33 [10/4] {2}
9. Bay Cities Deli: 32 [11/1]
----Father's Office: 32 [11/1] {18}
----Mélisse: 32 [11/1] {24}
12. Hatfield's: 31 [10/3] {6}
13. Sona: 30 [8/2] {61}
14. Angelini Osteria: 25 [8/3] {9}
15. AOC: 24 [10/1] {7}
16. Hungry Cat: 23 [9] {8}
17. Clementine: 22 [7/1] {33}
----Santouka Ramen: 22 [7/1] {77}
19. Comme Ça: 21 [8] {16}
----Sushi Zo: 21 [8] {21}
21. Oinkster: 21 [7] {37}
----Ortolan: 21 [7] {17}
23. Square One: 21 [5/2]
24. Grace: 20 [6/2] {13}
25. Mastro's Steak House: 20 [8] {40}

====================================

COMPLETE POLL: $25 And Over

Again, the first number is the total points.
The first number in square brackets is the number of voters.
The number after the slash is the number of voters who gave it five points.
The number in curly brackets is the 2007 ranking.
* Asterisks indicate restaurants that were cited in both polls, but received the majority of voters in this poll.

1. Providence: 88 [23/9] {1}
2. Pizzeria Mozza*: 60 [19/6] {4}
3. Urasawa: 55 [12/9] {5}
4. Spago: 45 [16/2] {14}
5. Craft: 38 [11/2] {61}
6. Osteria Mozza: 33 [10/4] {2}
7. Mélisse: 32 [11/1] {24}
8. Hatfield's: 31 [10/3] {6}
9. Sona: 30 [8/2] {61}
10. Angelini Osteria*: 25 [8/3] {9}
11. A. O. C: 24 [10/1] {7}
12. Hungry Cat: 23 [9] {8}
13. Comme Ça: 21 [8] {16}
-----Sushi Zo: 21 [8] {21}
15. Ortolan: 21 [7] {17}
16. Grace: 20 [6/2] {13}
17. Mastro's Steak House: 20 [8] {40}
18. Palate: 20 [6] {NEW}
19. Lawry's Prime Rib: 20 [5/3]
20. Lucques: 18 [8] {3}
21. Fraîche: 17 [8] {10}
22. Sea Harbour*: 17 [5/2]
23. Jar: 14 [5/1] {22}
24. Saddle Peak Lodge: 12 [4/2]
25. Animal: 12 [4/1]
26. Josie: 12 [4] {36}
27. Tacos Por Favor: 11 [3/2]
28. Boneyard Bistro*: 11 [3/1] {NEW}
29. The Park*: 10 [4/1]
30. Jiraffe: 10 [3/1] {97}
31. Valentino: 10 [3] {38}
32. The Foundry on Melrose: 9 [4] {25}
-----Lou On Vine: 9 [4] {30}
34. Canele*: 9 [3] {29}
-----Madeo: 9 [3]
36. Asanebo: 9 [2/1] {34}
-----Sushi Sushi: 9 [2/1]
38. Totoraku: 9 [2] {61}
39. Hiko Sushi: 8 [2/1] {49}
-----Nishimura: 8 [2/1]
41. Marouch*: 8 [2]
42. Carnitas Michaocan*: 7 [2]
-----Houston's*: 7 [2]
44. Bazaar (NEW): 6 [3]
45. Anisette: 6 [2/1]
-----Newport Seafood: 6 [2/1]
47. Joe's: 6 [2] {43}
48. Orris: 5 [4] {30}
49. Musso & Frank: 5 [3]
50. Babita: 5 [2] {76}
-----Jinpachi: 5 [2]
-----Mori Sushi: 5 [2] {116}
-----Sushi Nozawa: 5 [2]
54. Cafe Verona: 5 [1/1]
-----Capo: 5 [1/1] {41}
-----Citrus At Social: 5 [1/1]
-----Cut: 5 [1/1] {15}
-----Dining Room at the Langham: 5 [1/1]
-----Mako: 5 [1/1] {25}
-----Osteria La Buca: 5 [1/1]
-----Porky's: 5 [1/1]
62. Drago: 4 [3] {97}
63. Campanile: 4 [2] {11}
-----Chosun Galbi: 4 [2]
-----Il Grano: 4 [2] {65}
-----Morton's (RIP): 4 [2]
-----Patina: 4 [2] {97}
68. Bar Marmont: 4 {97}
-----Go's Mart: 4 {32}
-----Kokekoko Yakitori: 4
-----La Cachette: 4
-----Little Door: 4
-----Otafuku Noodle House: 4
-----Ruth's Chris: 4
-----Via Veneto: 4 {97}
76. Arroyo Chophouse: 3
-----BLT Steak: 3
-----Chinois: 3 {97}
-----Kagaya: 3
-----La Terza: 3 {34}
-----Melograno: 3
-----Red White + Bluezz: 3
-----Seashell: 3
-----Shibuya Sushi: 3
-----Z Sushi: 3 {97}
86. Chaya Venice: 2 [2]
-----Wilshire: 2 [2]
88. Amarone: 2
-----Bimi Sushi: 2
-----Cafe Des Artises: 2
-----Fleming's: 2
-----Gordon Ramsay: 2
-----Kings Fish House: 2
-----Nick & Stef's: 2
-----Nobu: 2
-----Shik Do Rak: 2
-----Warszawa: 2
-----Wolfgang's: 2
99. Akasha: 1
-----Arnie Morton's: 1 {77}
-----Beso: 1
-----Bistro De L'Hermitage: 1
-----Fatty's: 1
-----Gjelina: 1
-----Katsuya: 1 {77}
-----Madelines: 1
-----Maison Akira: 1
-----Mei Long Village: 1 {77}
-----Mike & Anne's: 1
-----Napa Rose: 1
-----Sanuki No Sato: 1
-----Shaherzad: 1
-----Sushi Ike: 1 {116}
-----Tama Sushi (RIP): 1 {97}
-----Taylor's: 1

====================================

COMPLETE POLL: Under $25

Again, the first number is the total points.
The first number in square brackets is the number of voters.
The number after the slash is the number of voters who gave it five points.
The number in curly brackets is the 2007 ranking.
* Asterisks indicate restaurants that were cited in both polls, but received the majority of voters in this poll.

1. Langer’s Deli: 77 [21/10]
2. Jitlada: 41 [11/4]
3. Bay Cities Deli: 32 [11/1]
-----Father's Office: 32 [11/1] {18}
5. Clementine: 22 [7/1] {33}
-----Santouka Ramen: 22 [7/1] {77}
7. Oinkster: 21 [7] {37}
8. Square One: 21 [5/2]
9. Din Tai Fung: 19 [8] {93}
10. M Café de Chaya: 19 [7/1]
11. Casa Bianca: 18 [5/1]
12. Nanbankan: 17 [4/1]
13. Porto's Bakery: 15 [5/1]
14. Elite Restaurant*: 15 [4] {43}
15. Izakaya Bincho: 14 [3/2]
16. Philippe's: 13 [4/1]
17. Amandine*: 12 [3/2]
18. Europane: 11 [3/2]
19. Noodle House (Mian Hsiang Yuan): 11 [3]
20. Caioti Pizza Cafe: 10 [3]
21. Ruen Pair: 9 [4]
22. Asa Ramen: 9 [3/1]
-----Polla A La Brasa: 9 [3/1]
24. Loteria: 9 [3] {77}
-----Urth Cafe: 9 [3]
26. Monte Alban: 9 [2/1]
-----Robin's Woodfire Barbeque: 9 [2/1]
28. Sushi Gen: 8 [4] {49}
29. La Cabanita: 8 [3/1]
30. Bella Roma SPQR: 8 [2/1]
31. Golden Deli: 8 [2]
32. Banh Mi Che Cali: 7 [2/1]
-----Park's BBQ: 7 [2/1] {65}
-----Taco Zone (Truck): 7 [2/1]
-----Tender Greens: 7 [2/1]
36. Pann's: 7 [2]
37. Yuca's: 6 [4]
38. Guelaguetza: 6 [2/1]
-----Nook Bistro: 6 [2/1] {45}
40. Joe's Pizza: 6 [2]
-----Vito's: 6 [2] {28}
42. Daikokuya: 5 [3]
43. Aroma Bakery Cafe (Hollywood): 5 [2]
-----Bollini's Pizzeria: 5 [2] {116}
43. Kansas City BBQ: 5 [2]
-----Simpang: 5 [2]
45. Beverly Soon Tofu: 5 [1/1]
-----Brent's Deli: 5 [1/1]
-----Bulan Thai: 5 [1/1]
-----Ciro's: 5 [1/1]
-----Daisy Mint: 5 [1/1]
-----Dominick's: 5 [1/1]
-----Eduardo's Border Grill: 5 [1/1]
-----Eight Cafe: 5 [1/1]
-----Fabrocini's: 5 [1/1]
-----Joseph's Deli: 5 [1/1]
-----King Taco: 5 [1/1]
-----Krua Thai: 5 [1/1]
-----La Morenita De Oaxaca: 5 [1/1]
-----Mariela's Tacos: 5 [1/1]
-----Pink Pepper: 5 [1/1]
-----Rutt's Hawaiian: 5 [1/1]
-----Swan Thai Food: 5 [1/1]
-----Viet Noodle Bar: 5 [1/1]
63. Barone's: 4 [2]
-----Indian Restaurant (Taiwanese): 4 [2]
-----Joan's On Third: 4 [2]
-----Marios Peruvian: 4 [2] {116}
-----Sokongdong: 4 [2]
-----Sunin: 4 [2]
69. 101 Noodle Express: 4
-----Artisan Cheese Gallery: 4
-----Bilal: 4
-----Cafe Brazil: 4
-----Cayenne: 4
-----El Chato (taco truck): 4
-----El Parian: 4
-----Fatburger: 4
-----The Griddle Cafe: 4
-----Hot Wings: 4
-----The Hummus Bar: 4
-----Il Capriccio: 4 {97}
-----Javan: 4
-----Julio's Bucket: 4
-----Kyochon: 4
-----La Fonda Anteoqueno: 4
-----Las 7 Regiones De Oaxaca: 4
-----Mandarin Noodle House: 4
-----Polka: 4
-----Saigon Deli (Monterey Park): 4
-----Skafs: 4
-----Spitz: 4
-----Tacos Baja Ensenada: 4
-----Tito's Tacos: 4
-----Vivoli Cafe: 4
96. Phillips Bbq: 3 [2]
97. Apple Pan: 3 {77}
-----Baby Blues BBQ: 3 {116}
-----Baja Fresh: 3
-----Bar Pinxto: 3
-----Best Fish Tacos In Ensenada: 3
-----Big Wangs: 3
-----Bread & Porridge: 3
-----Donut Man: 3
-----Fish Grill: 3
-----Ichimian: 3
-----India Sweets N Spices: 3
-----Junior’s: 3
-----La Paz: 3
-----La Playita: 3
-----Local: 3
-----Lucky Devils: 3
-----Merengue: 3
-----Miya Sushi: 3
-----My Taco: 3
-----Napa Valley Grill: 3
-----Pho Minh: 3
-----Pinks: 3
-----Say Cheese!: 3
-----Taqueria Sanchez: 3
-----Terried Sake House: 3
-----Vivoli: 3
-----Wahoo's Fish Tacos: 3
124. Antica Pizza: 2 [2]
-----Bossa Nova: 2 [2]
-----Lula: 2 [2]
-----Zankou Chicken: 2 [2]
128. Alondra Wings: 2
-----Bamboo: 2
-----Barrio Fiesta: 2
-----Beechwood BBQ: 2
-----Casa Escobar: 2
-----Cheesecake Factory: 2
-----Daphne's Greek: 2
-----El Huarache Azteca: 2
-----El Super Taco: 2
-----Gorikee: 2
-----Ham Hung Naeng Myun: 2
-----The Hole In The Wall At 719 S. Los Angeles Street: 2
-----Hugo's: 2 {116}
-----In-N-Out Burger: 2
-----Jaragua Restaurant: 2
-----JR's BBQ: 2
-----Le Petite Cafe (SM): 2
-----Manpuku Tokyo BBQ: 2
-----Messob: 2 {97}
-----Nakkara Thai: 2
-----The Nickel: 2 {NEW}
-----Pho 79: 2
-----Pita Kitchen: 2
-----Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori: 2
-----Tops (The Original): 2
153: Al Gelato: 1 {65}
-----Carls Jr.: 1
-----Coffee Table: 1
-----Copper Chimney: 1 {NEW}
-----Dino's Chicken: 1 {97}
-----Dr. Hogly Wogly's: 1
-----Fassica: 1
-----Ford's Filling Station: 1
-----Gina Lee's Bistro: 1
-----Jeon Ju: 1
-----La Estrella: 1
-----Lawton’s Famous Frankfurters: 1 {RIP}
-----Lilliana's (Tamales): 1
-----Makkah Halah: 1
-----Mendocino Farms: 1
-----Mi India Bonita: 1
-----Mulberry Street: 1
-----Pie 'N' Burger: 1
-----Portillo's Hot Dogs: 1
-----Raku: 1
-----Sakura House: 1 {97}
-----Sapp Coffee Shop: 1
-----Souplantation: 1
-----Sushi Sho: 1
-----Tamara's Tamales: 1
-----Taqueria El Tapatio: 1
-----Tlapazola Grill: 1
-----Tomato Pie: 1
-----U-Zen: 1

====================================

The top twenty-five are linked below. Enjoy, and try a new restaurant soon ... they all need our business.

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  1. The LTAP function is misbehaving ... I'll link to the top 25 when it's functional.

    1. Nice work, max. Thanks.

      1. Max you're a mench!

        1. Great work max!
          Thanks

          1. Really appreciate your taking on this Sisyphus-like task. Have you spotted any trends or places that appreciably improved or slipped this year?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Steve2 in LA

              A few observations that I didn’t have the energy for last night, plus I didn’t want to make the OP even longer.

              Given the relatively small sampling of these polls, I don’t think anyone should make too much of the degree to which restaurants come and go on the list. And this year, the splitting of the poll throws an additional apples-and-oranges factor into the numbers mix. That being said ...

              In addition to the four $25-and-under newbies to the top 25, other highly ranked restaurants new to this year’s list from last year include M Café de Chaya, Casa Bianca, Nanbakan, Porto's, Phillippe's, Amandine, Europane, Noodle House and Caioti.

              The highest-ranked over-$25 newbie was Palate, which along with Lawry’s Prime Rib missed the overall top 25 by a hair. Other newly ranked over-$25s include Sea Harbour, Saddle Peak Lodge and Animal.

              Restaurants that most improved their standings from last year's list include Din Tai Fung (from 93 to 9), Bollini's (from 116 to 43), Santouka (from 77 to 5), Jiraffe (from 97 to 30), and Craft (from 61 to 5).

              Restaurants that dropped from last year’s list include Campanile (from 11 to 63), Cut (from 15 to 54), Lucques (from 3 to 20), and Fraîche (from 10 to 21). High-ranked restaurants from last year that didn’t make it onto the list include All'Angelo (#11 in 2007), Water Grill (#19), Max (#20), Bastide (#23) and La Buca (#27). I’ve said this before and will say it again -- I think these declines can be attributed as much to sampling variance as to any decline in restaurant quality.

              A non-Chowhound foodie friend looked at the list and sniffed: “Bay Cities doesn’t belong ‘cause it isn’t a restaurant.” Well, no way am I going to get into the question of what is or is not a restaurant. That being said, I’m a little surprised no one voted for Scoops or Pazzo Gelato, when both Artisan Cheese Gallery and Say Cheese received votes.

              Next year, I am definitely grading you on your spelling. You have no idea how much havoc the guy who voted for “Maestro’s” caused me ...;)

              Thank you for all your support on this. I look forward to doing it again next year.

              And here (I hope) are links to the top 25:

              -----
              The Hungry Cat
              1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

              Oinkster
              2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

              Grace Restaurant
              7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

              Mastro's Steakhouse
              246 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

              Sushi Zo
              9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

              Ortolan
              8338 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

              Clementine
              1751 Ensley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

              Santouka Ramen
              21515 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

              Comme Ça
              8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

              Mastro's Steak House
              2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

              1. re: maxzook

                And more links ...

                -----
                Angelini Osteria
                7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                AOC
                8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                Father's Office
                1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                Jitlada
                5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                Craft
                10100 Constellation Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                Pizzeria Mozza
                6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                Providence
                5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                Spago
                176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                Urasawa Restaurant
                218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                Sona
                401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

                Langer's Delicatessen
                704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

                Hatfield's
                6703 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                Melisse Restaurant
                1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                Bay Cities Italian Deli
                1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                Santouka
                3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                Father's Office
                3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

                1. re: maxzook

                  I think the reason why places like Scoops and Pazzo Gelato don't get voted for is similar to why comedies don't get nods in the Oscars - Although they bring us some of the greatest joys in life, tickles and smiles aren't considered respectable. Some times we take things too seriously and end up overlooking the obvious. As Nancy Giles on today's CBS's Sunday Morning quoted (she thinks) Sachal Page, "Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt before, and dance like nobody's watching..."