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Nov 9, 2011 07:26 PM

Golds 99 essential restaurants 2011 up

And the award for Biggest Oversight goes to....

And the award for Least Deserving goes to....

The 99 are as follows

Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Antojitos Carmen
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Comme Ça
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Euro Pane Bakery
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Hungry Cat
La Casita Mexicana
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Meals by Genet
Mother Dough
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Pollos a la Brasa
Red Medicine
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Spice Table
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Tsujita L.A.
Waterloo & City

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  1. Least deserving Father's Office, the ultimate pretender.

    27 Replies
    1. re: scottca075

      imho, there are at least 5 or 6 "least deserving" restaurants on there.
      i believe that most of the people who participate on this board could do a better job of list assembly.
      tell me again why folks think he knows something special. . .

      1. re: westsidegal

        whether or not he "knows something special" is a subject of debate. whether or not he can express what he knows better than any of the people on this board, well, not so much.

        i have no doubt some of the posters here could list names of essential restaurants. whether or not i'd want to slog through that list and its justifications is another question entirely.

        1. re: westsidegal

          "tell me again why folks think he knows something special. . ."

          -because he has the ability to eat at most if not all the places in SoCal and can make judgements as he has tasted a whole lot of food
          -because he has real credibility (Pulitzer prize) where we hounds only have postcount credibility

          1. re: ns1

            a pulitzer prize speaks to his writing skill: not to his tasting skill.
            now, i am less and less inclined to respect his tasting skill.
            meh restaurants
            has-been restaurants
            nothing with nothing restaurants
            all showing up as "essential"?

            i didn't expect to agree with all his choices, but, i certainly didn't expect as many mediocre restaurants to be on the list.
            maybe it would have been a better list if he had narrowed it down to 80 "essential" restaurants. . . .

            1. re: westsidegal

              Basically, this is your opinion vs his opinion. Since he is a highly regarded food writer, I will obviously default to that vs some random individual on the internet

              that is not to say that i agree with his choices, but it's pretty obvious why people put him in high regard.

              1. re: ns1

                My opinion, and that of many others, is that J Gold is not a particularly highly regarded food writer. I am also waiting for the day that the media stops referring to him as "Pulitzer Prize winning Johnathan Gold". Yes he won the award in 2007, but it's not like he was knighted.

                1. re: downastro

                  I would love to see the culinary resume of hounds that do not regard J.Gold as a good food writer

                  As much as all of us would love to argue otherwise, we're just a bunch of anonymous foodies with blogs and high post counts

                  k, done with this thread now.

                  1. re: ns1

                    +1. In writing circles, Pulitzer Prize = knighthood. In food writing circles, Pulitzer = historical event. Why anyone would agree with every item on his or any other list baffles me. We are not sheep - we eat them.



                  2. re: downastro

                    One thing that draws me to j Gold's writing is that he writes not just about food, but also culture. If there's anyone who's more plugged in to the pulse of this city, I have yet to read his or her column.

            2. re: westsidegal

              WG, i can't believe you didn't list Mariscos Chente as biggest oversight!

              Mariscos Chente
              4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I don't know if J Gold still reads CH (he used to read AND post -- e.g., see link below), but I suspect he feels a professional need to distance himself from CH. That may mean he doesn't even read anymore, or, if he does, to offer contrarian views early and often, and not be seen to be +1-ing CH favorites.

                (A post from J.Gold in 2001:

                1. re: Peripatetic

                  Ah, the early days, of both Chowhound and the Internet, when people didn't think about privacy and people freely posted under their own names. I think it's fair to assume that JGold continues to read these forums under a pseudonym. After all, we're his primary source of leads. (ZING! I keed! I keeeed!)

                  Mr Taster

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  best not to get me started. . . . .

                  "essential" restaurants?!?

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    I'm no where near the writer or expert J.Gold is and I know it's always easier to criticize than to create...but I'm with you on this one.

                    For the life of me I can't imagine what Comme Ca contributes from a best perspective or an essential perspective or any perspective.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      aaaand *there's* the indignation i was looking for ;)

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Although I don't have a pulitzer, and I have a job which prevents me from eating at as many restaurants as J Gold, I agree with you westsidegal.

                        1. re: cls

                          thank you for the support!
                          a more accurate name for his list would be:

                          "List of Many of the LA Restaurants that People Have Heard About,"

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            why do you think they have heard about them?

                            you also might want to read the title of the list more carefully. as far as i can see, it's "Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011"

                            not "THE ABSOLUTE 99 essential l.a. restaurants 2011," not "God's 99 essential l.a. restaurants 2011," not, "THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT STATES THESE ARE 99 essential l.a. restaurants 2011."

                            also, you do realize since you, and many others, have read the list, and are talking about it, well, the terrorists have already won and all that...

                        2. re: westsidegal

                          I think his list tries to achieve several different and perhaps contradictory missions: 1) shout outs to old favorites where he feels comfortable year in and year out; 2) in a somewhat similar way, highlighting older places that have importance to him from an iconic or historical standpoint; 3) pointing out examples of as many different types of food as are available in an effort to get us to try something different on occasion; 4) offering his two cents on newer/edgier/trendy spots that have opened since the last list. So different spots are "essential" for different reasons: comfort, history, variety, cutting edge. I guess there's a certain culinary "political" correctness that has crept into the listings.

                          1. re: mc michael

                            what does "culinary 'political' correctness" mean, please?

                            1. re: linus

                              It's just a phrase I coined to summarize my thoughts about the list. See Mr. Taster's post about Gold's choices (below).

                              1. re: mc michael

                                o.k., but, no offense intended, what does the phrase mean? just trying to understand.
                                mr. taster's post doesn't help.

                                1. re: linus

                                  let's say a Martian restaurant opened. unless it was awful, chances are it would make the list so we would have that category of food covered. we'd be correct because Martian cuisine was included.

                                  1. re: mc michael

                                    thank you for taking time to explain.

                                    1. re: mc michael

                                      I have had Martian Food at Mars 2112 in NYC. It's an acquired taste.

                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                        Another example of East Coast hegemony.

                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                          Personally, I thought it was out of this world.

                      2. To include Border Grill, Street, Alcazar, Chang's Garden and Larkin just renders the list worthless.
                        JG just needed to fill column inches with this list.
                        Any list, when including higher priced and better restaurants, needs to also include Hatfield's, which of course was omitted.

                        Border Grill
                        1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                        Chang's Garden
                        627 W Duarte Rd, Arcadia, CA 91007

                        1. Fab's is on the list but not Brent's. That is a travesty.

                          1. Ricky's Fish tacos is so much better than TBE! 26 Beach for their Sushi Hamburgers, please!

                            26 Beach
                            3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                            1. It's not as if he goes and eats the 99 restaurants every year in fact I wouldn't be surprised if he hadn't eaten at some of these in years and they had fallen off in terms of quality without his knowing.

                              It's by no means the quintessential list but its a good start.