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Golds 99 essential restaurants 2011 up

echoparkdirt Nov 9, 2011 07:26 PM

http://www.laweekly.com/2011-11-10/ea...

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

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

The 99 are as follows

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

  1. n
    nosh Nov 13, 2011 02:36 PM

    Anyone care to analyze the overlap between Gold's "essential 99" and Eater L.A.'s top 38?

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh
      m
      mc michael Nov 13, 2011 10:33 PM

      Eater misses the boat.

    2. i
      issey Nov 12, 2011 01:33 PM

      Biggest Oversight goes to....urasawa

      Least deserving......border's grill

      1 Reply
      1. re: issey
        r
        redrover Nov 13, 2011 11:27 AM

        http://www.thedeliciouslife.com/jonat... That's a spreadsheet workup The Delicious Life did on Gold's 99. It shows that 28 restaurants are new to the list this year, only 5 of which had previously appeared. It also shows that only 22 places have been on the list since the beginning in 2005. Chowhounds love to disagree with critics (what is this list for), fair enough, but that rate of change says to me that Gold's list is not ossified old places. You might not agree with all the choices, that makes sense, but he's not just recycling the past.

      2. s
        sushigirlie Nov 11, 2011 09:59 PM

        I think J. Gold must not be all that keen on seafood. That's the only explanation I can come up with for his leaving off so many good Japanese places (seriously--no Urasawa???), Water Grill, and Mariscos Chente.

        -----
        Water Grill
        544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: sushigirlie
          c
          chezwhitey Nov 11, 2011 11:58 PM

          Providence counts as seafood, no? While I like water grill as much as the next person, if you compare it to the high end seafood places on the east coast, it's just another restaurant. In addition, they have a new chef, the girl from top chef, so perhaps he has not eaten there since the chef change and cannot recommend it yet.

          1. re: chezwhitey
            honkman Nov 12, 2011 10:52 PM

            She is not any longer at Water Grill.

          2. re: sushigirlie
            m
            mc michael Nov 12, 2011 08:58 PM

            I'm thinking essential to Gold also includes an element of not completely outside the reach of most of his readers. And I think he knows that anyone who really is in to food in LA would be aware of Urasawa. So by taking it off the list, he gets to include one other more affordable place.
            He's certainly aware of Urasawa and of seafood. He used to eat at Masa when it was in a strip mall location as I recall.

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

            1. re: mc michael
              westsidegal Nov 12, 2011 10:22 PM

              ok
              so are you saying he is "aware" of seafood, but hardly mentions it because seafood is "outside the reach of most of his readers?"

              if so, OMG

              1. re: westsidegal
                m
                mc michael Nov 13, 2011 10:31 PM

                No, there are many seafood places on his list. i am saying Urasawa is outside the reach of many of his readers.

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

          3. katydid13 Nov 11, 2011 09:57 PM

            I'm just thrilled he included Marouch. I've had so many great meals there, but it's usually almost empty. I don't want them to close!

            1. j
              jesstifer Nov 10, 2011 02:55 PM

              Actually clicking through to the list and doing a little comparison to 2010... his intro is all about how he was hoping for more high end restaurants to emerge, so perhaps there's a little personal backlash bias against "street food."

              He also discusses why TBE made the list instead of Ricky's; not because it's just a table, apparently. I think Stingray Soup is the kicker.

              A couple of spots mentioned here, Hatfield's and (re: "no ramen?") Daikokuya, dropped off the list since 2010. I think almost more interesting than reading his reviews of restaurants we've seen a million times would be why a restaurant loses its spot.

              -----
              Daikokuya
              327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

              2 Replies
              1. re: jesstifer
                TonyC Nov 10, 2011 03:07 PM

                Or why Chego/A-frame are included, but Urasawa was dropped. (Pardon my cloudiness/bias, just watched "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" last night).

                per jesstifer, I'd like a whole column (perhaps the week following Essential 99) explaining the logic behind adds/drops.

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

                1. re: TonyC
                  s
                  sushigirlie Nov 11, 2011 10:01 PM

                  I agree. This is is just sad. It's a mixed up culinary world when Chego is more "essential" than Urasawa.

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

                  Chego
                  3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

              2. m
                mc michael Nov 10, 2011 02:13 PM

                Preliminarily (without reading his comments), i'd say Bottega Louie is the most undeserving. I also think Ray's is conceptually deserving but fails in the execution. Places that could have made the list include the new Sushi Ike, Green Street Tavern and Elite.

                -----
                Green Street Tavern
                69 W. Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91105

                Bottega Louie
                700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                22 Replies
                1. re: mc michael
                  westsidegal Nov 10, 2011 10:25 PM

                  mc michael:
                  enthusiastically agree with you re: Bottega Louie.
                  Bottega Louie, imho, is COMPLETELY undeserving.
                  actually, probably i'm even more disdainful of it than you are!

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    m
                    mc michael Nov 11, 2011 07:58 AM

                    I bow to your expertise ;-)

                  2. re: mc michael
                    Peripatetic Nov 11, 2011 08:18 AM

                    > i'd say Bottega Louie is the most undeserving

                    +1

                    It's not good.
                    It's not characteristically LA.

                    1. re: Peripatetic
                      scottca075 Nov 11, 2011 12:07 PM

                      >>>It's not good...... It's not characteristically LA.<<<

                      It is good, not great and it is quintessentially emblematic of the "new" downtown.

                      1. re: scottca075
                        m
                        mc michael Nov 11, 2011 12:10 PM

                        lots of other, better choices downtown. if this is downtown's emblem, DT is in trouble.

                        1. re: mc michael
                          scottca075 Nov 11, 2011 08:06 PM

                          >>>lots of other, better choices downtown. if this is downtown's emblem, DT is in trouble.<<<

                          Right, no one says that the "essential" restaurants are the best ones. Downtown is younger, louder and brasher than my father and grandfather's downtown, theirs is the downtown of the Jonathan Club and Pacific Dining Car not The Edison and Elevate.

                          Gold's list isn't meant to be the best, essential is quite different.

                          -----
                          Pacific Dining Car
                          1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                          1. re: scottca075
                            m
                            mc michael Nov 12, 2011 08:45 PM

                            Right. See prior threads.

                        2. re: scottca075
                          westsidegal Nov 11, 2011 01:57 PM

                          my experiences at Bottega Louie resulted in my vow never to eat downtown again.

                          1. re: westsidegal
                            m
                            mc michael Nov 11, 2011 02:15 PM

                            wow, that's an overreaction. you are missing out.

                            1. re: mc michael
                              westsidegal Nov 11, 2011 02:32 PM

                              for the most part, i've found that being a "regular" at a restaurant is beneficial for all involved.
                              they learn my tastes, the chefs feel free to experiment on me, i am treated like a member of the family, etc.

                              to be a "regular" at any restaurant downtown would be plenty tough enough since i live and work near the beach.
                              to go through meals like those served to me at Bottega Louie in order to discover what restaurants down there might be deserving of my business was just way too much. . . . . .

                              i have a finite amount of time, money, gas, calorie consumption, and energy to expend on my restaurant addiction. given that reality, the Bottega Louie experience pushed me over the edge.

                              It's not like there is a dearth of good restaurants on the westside.

                              1. re: westsidegal
                                Porthos Nov 11, 2011 02:37 PM

                                Spice Table and LQ@SK are the two DTLA restaurants worth the trek.

                                -----
                                The Spice Table
                                114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                1. re: Porthos
                                  Dommy Nov 11, 2011 02:42 PM

                                  I dunno if Spice Table is something that WSG would like as their dishes run on the heavy side, but I certainly adore Lazy Ox Canteen who is one of the places doing the most creative things with veggies. Also, I would head downtown just for Mexicali Taco Co. (which again wouldn't qualify for the list...)

                                  --Dommy!

                                  -----
                                  Lazy Ox Canteen
                                  241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                  The Spice Table
                                  114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                                  1. re: Dommy
                                    Porthos Nov 11, 2011 03:00 PM

                                    Been to Lazy Ox about 5-6 times for dinner and about 12 times for beer and snacks at the bar while waiting for friends who live at Sakura Crossing to get ready. Aside from the awesome pig ears, I find the food very mediocre. Dried chicken for two (at $40+ nonetheless), flavorless ribs, average grilled whole branzino, the ubiquitous radish and pickled onion side/salad...if you look carefully it's a very limited kitchen with limited cooking going on.

                                    Love the beer and pig ears at Lazy Ox, everything else is average in my experience. I feel WSG would definitely be pissed about travelling for that one.

                                    1. re: Porthos
                                      westsidegal Nov 11, 2011 03:14 PM

                                      thank you Porthos for the heads-up.
                                      for beer-type beverages, i would rather get Alagash Black on tap at The Tripel (almost crawling distance to my house) along with some of their interesting small plates, or Old Rasputin on tap at the venice location of Wurshkuche (sp?) (about 11 minutes driving to my house) along with their vegetarian italian sausage.

                                      since i no longer eat meat, the pig's ears have no draw.

                                      also, my dining partner and i would not be incurring $15 of valet fees for our two cars just to walk in the door. . . .

                                      1. re: westsidegal
                                        Porthos Nov 11, 2011 03:23 PM

                                        since i no longer eat meat
                                        ======================
                                        Really? Not even gormeh sabzi?

                                        I personally like Pranqster if I want something light. St Bernardus or Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer if I want something darker.

                                        1. re: Porthos
                                          b
                                          bulavinaka Nov 11, 2011 08:50 PM

                                          >>I personally like Pranqster if I want something light.<<

                                          Probably one of the most perfectly balanced beers.

                                          1. re: Porthos
                                            westsidegal Nov 11, 2011 09:39 PM

                                            shamshiri grill serves a vegetarian version of gourmeh sabzi that works for me.
                                            they offer it both at dinnertime and as one of their unbelievably inexpensive "lunch specials."

                                            next time i go to a gastropub, i'll ask for one of your "darker" selections.
                                            thanks for the recs.

                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                              Tripeler Nov 12, 2011 04:50 PM

                                              If you haven't tried Rochefort 10 from Belgium yet, you may like it quite a bit.
                                              I refer to this beer as the "liquid chocolate brownie" of beers. Beware of the huge alcohol content.

                                              1. re: Tripeler
                                                westsidegal Nov 12, 2011 05:16 PM

                                                THANKS for the rec.
                                                definitely sounds like "my" kind of drink.

                                                1. re: Tripeler
                                                  s
                                                  sushigirlie Nov 13, 2011 12:48 AM

                                                  Yes. As a plus, it's quite widely available (e.g., at most Whole Foods).

                                      2. re: Porthos
                                        m
                                        mc michael Nov 11, 2011 03:40 PM

                                        and Rivera. but I guess I'd be disappointed as well if I'd made the trek from the Westside to end up at Bottega Louie, which realistically is not a typical DT spot.

                                      3. re: westsidegal
                                        l
                                        linus Nov 11, 2011 03:24 PM

                                        i find this sad.

                            2. j
                              jesstifer Nov 10, 2011 11:45 AM

                              For my taste, the whole list is skewing too high-end.
                              Inexcusable oversights: Carney's, Philippes, Original Tommy's.

                              Undeserving: Musso and Frank, Tacos Baja Ensenada (RFT FTW!), Vincenti, Caffe Angeli, Fab Hot Dogs.

                              -----
                              Vincenti Restaurant
                              11930 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                              Tacos Baja Ensenada
                              385 W Whittier Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: jesstifer
                                n
                                ns1 Nov 10, 2011 11:51 AM

                                "Inexcusable oversights: Carney's, Philippes, Original Tommy's. "

                                No I'm pretty sure he got that right

                                1. re: ns1
                                  j
                                  jesstifer Nov 10, 2011 12:17 PM

                                  If those three establishments were suddenly gone tomorrow, I wouldn't recognize L.A. It would have lost the best purveyors of three different iconic L.A. dishes: the chili cheese burger, the chili dog, and the French Dip.

                                  Street, Comme Ça, and Hungry Cat, to name three, are certainly better restaurants; but they are not "essential." Close tomorrow, and there would be shrugs all around.

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

                                  Comme Ça
                                  8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

                                  1. re: jesstifer
                                    n
                                    ns1 Nov 10, 2011 12:27 PM

                                    "t would have lost the best purveyors of three different iconic L.A. dishes: the chili cheese burger, the chili dog, and the French Dip. "

                                    and that is where we disagree.

                                    Tommy's chili = meh (and I've been to the OG Tommy's on Rampart enough times to know this) and Philippes French Dip is actually the worst beef french dip I've ever had. My employer commissary makes a much better version (to me), and the fact that Philippes is so polarizing on this very board should speak for itself.

                                    FWIW I've never considered a chili cheese burger as an iconic LA dish

                                    1. re: ns1
                                      j
                                      jesstifer Nov 10, 2011 12:51 PM

                                      Reasonable people may disagree. Tommy's chili is not something I'd sit down and eat a bowl of, but is, IMHO, the perfect chili for a cheeseburger. The French Dip at Philippes that is "best in town" is the lamb, not the beef.

                                      As for the CCB not being an iconic LA dish... I suppose someone without appreciation for Tommy's could assert such a thing. ;-)

                                      1. re: jesstifer
                                        n
                                        ns1 Nov 10, 2011 12:55 PM

                                        "the French Dip at Philippes that is "best in town" is the lamb, not the beef. "

                                        I think the lamb dip is okay, but too bad the beef dip is what most people get on their first time. and it's terrible.

                                        1. re: jesstifer
                                          b
                                          budlit Nov 11, 2011 07:57 AM

                                          I think the lamb is even worse than the beef, pretty bad

                                          1. re: budlit
                                            scottca075 Nov 11, 2011 12:04 PM

                                            >>I think the lamb is even worse than the beef, pretty bad<<

                                            you have a right to be wrong

                                            1. re: scottca075
                                              Mr Taster Nov 11, 2011 12:07 PM

                                              Ha! Wholeheartedly agree. I'll have to remember that line.

                                              I've tried the beef twice, and visited with others who chose it over the lamb. All times the beef was dry, dry, dry. I've had off days with the lamb as well, but most of the time it's juicy and flavorful. I've also found that if the counter girls like you (and if you go at off-peak hours), they'll do a better job of carving.

                                              Mr Taster

                                      2. re: jesstifer
                                        m
                                        mc michael Nov 10, 2011 10:17 PM

                                        Well, Jay's Jayburger (R.I.P.) had a better chili cheese burger. Cole's has a better beef dip, etc. Chili dogs are pretty ubiquitous, but I prefer the bacon wrapped street dogs around town.
                                        And I would really miss Hungry Cat, its seafood, its burger, its desserts, its fresh drinks.

                                        -----
                                        The Hungry Cat
                                        100 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

                                      3. re: ns1
                                        scottca075 Nov 10, 2011 02:29 PM

                                        "No I'm pretty sure he got that right"

                                        No, he was wrong.

                                        They are essential in the fabric of Los Angeles restaurants.

                                        1. re: scottca075
                                          n
                                          ns1 Nov 10, 2011 02:33 PM

                                          I'm not going to argue with this with you again. I'm only going to let the polarizing nature of the restaurant in question speak for itself.

                                          Potential diners can determine for themselves what they define as "essential"

                                          1. re: ns1
                                            j
                                            jesstifer Nov 10, 2011 02:51 PM

                                            Must be a Cal Bears thing. :-)

                                            1. re: jesstifer
                                              scottca075 Nov 10, 2011 07:40 PM

                                              We seem to agree down the line, lamb double dip, Go Bears! :)

                                      4. re: jesstifer
                                        Dommy Nov 10, 2011 01:42 PM

                                        While I TOTALLYinclined to agree with you that Ricky's has the best Fish Taco, sadly he is not a restaurant and this is a list of restaurants. He also didn't include one of his favorite places, Lets Be Frank because again, it's not a restaurant...

                                        1. re: Dommy
                                          j
                                          jesstifer Nov 10, 2011 02:09 PM

                                          True. I wasn't suggesting that RFT should be on the list... it's just hard to argue that TBE is "essential" when there's a guy with a couple of tables and Easy-Ups doing better.

                                        2. re: jesstifer
                                          m
                                          mc michael Nov 10, 2011 03:05 PM

                                          If you wanna go low end but not quite, I'd say the Cole's/Varnish duo is a pretty essential, downtown, late night spot.

                                        3. o
                                          Ogawak Nov 10, 2011 11:23 AM

                                          Interesting:

                                          Only Kiriko among sushi bars is listed. No Mori or Urasawa? No Japanese restaurants at all otherwise. No love for Izakaya or ramen?

                                          No Dean Sin World? Elite? Artisan pizza joints beside Mozza?

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

                                          Kiriko
                                          11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                          Dean Sin World
                                          306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Ogawak
                                            c
                                            chezwhitey Nov 10, 2011 11:35 AM

                                            I've found dean sin world to be pretty average. I'd put J&J over din tai fung though. Isn't half the fun of these lists complaining about them?

                                            1. re: Ogawak
                                              Dommy Nov 10, 2011 01:40 PM

                                              He did add Mother Dought as far as the new wave of Pizza...

                                              --Dommy!

                                              1. re: Ogawak
                                                Mr Taster Nov 11, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                I think when you have to limit your list to 99, it's fair that there's only one spot for "artisan pizza". He also chose Sea Harbor over Elite-- not because I imagine he dislikes Elite, but because there's only so much room on the list. I can live with that. Chichén Itzá over Flor de Yucatan? Park's over Soot Bull Jeep? I can live with those too. I understand why those decisions were made.

                                                However, I'm not sure what rationale he could have used to leave Urasawa off. And although I'm okay with him leaving Dean Sin World off the list, how could he eliminate Shanghainese food entirely?! (Sorry, Din Tai Fung doesn't count... did you think you could kill two cuisines with one stone?) Shanghainese is cuisine that is so strongly represented in the San Gabriel Valley? That seems like a serious lapse in judgment. A well-made pork pump is, unquestionably, essential LA.

                                                Mr Taster

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

                                                Dean Sin World
                                                306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                                  c
                                                  chezwhitey Nov 11, 2011 09:06 AM

                                                  Chang's garden has plenty of shanghainese dishes.

                                                  1. re: chezwhitey
                                                    Mr Taster Nov 11, 2011 09:39 AM

                                                    Ohhh that's right! I had forgotten... only visited once and tried the dongpo pork. Mea culpa, sorry Jgold!

                                                    Mr Taster

                                              2. wienermobile Nov 10, 2011 10:55 AM

                                                Manhattan Beach Post and Brent's Deli both belong on this list.

                                                -----
                                                Brent's Deli
                                                19565 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91324

                                                Manhattan Beach Post
                                                1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                                                1. j
                                                  Jack Flash Nov 10, 2011 10:46 AM

                                                  Also, note that he doesn't call these the 99 *best* restaurants, just 99 *essential* restaurants.

                                                  1. j
                                                    Johnny L Nov 10, 2011 10:42 AM

                                                    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.

                                                    1. b
                                                      Burger Boy Nov 10, 2011 10:14 AM

                                                      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. A5 KOBE Nov 10, 2011 12:05 AM

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

                                                        1. c
                                                          carter Nov 9, 2011 09:52 PM

                                                          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. scottca075 Nov 9, 2011 07:47 PM

                                                            Least deserving Father's Office, the ultimate pretender.

                                                            27 Replies
                                                            1. re: scottca075
                                                              westsidegal Nov 9, 2011 11:09 PM

                                                              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
                                                                l
                                                                linus Nov 10, 2011 08:10 AM

                                                                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
                                                                  n
                                                                  ns1 Nov 10, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                                  "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
                                                                    westsidegal Nov 10, 2011 11:49 AM

                                                                    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
                                                                      n
                                                                      ns1 Nov 10, 2011 11:51 AM

                                                                      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
                                                                        d
                                                                        downastro Nov 11, 2011 02:42 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          n
                                                                          ns1 Nov 11, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                                          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
                                                                            b
                                                                            bulavinaka Nov 11, 2011 08:43 PM

                                                                            +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.

                                                                            http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/218309/jonathan_gold_is_the_first_food_critic_pg2.html?cat=22

                                                                            http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

                                                                          2. re: downastro
                                                                            c
                                                                            chezwhitey Nov 11, 2011 11:52 PM

                                                                            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
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Nov 10, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                                      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
                                                                        Peripatetic Nov 10, 2011 11:18 AM

                                                                        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:
                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4753...)

                                                                        1. re: Peripatetic
                                                                          Mr Taster Nov 11, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                          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
                                                                          westsidegal Nov 10, 2011 11:35 AM

                                                                          best not to get me started. . . . .

                                                                          "essential" restaurants?!?
                                                                          PULEEEEZE!

                                                                          1. re: westsidegal
                                                                            Porthos Nov 10, 2011 12:20 PM

                                                                            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
                                                                              goodhealthgourmet Nov 10, 2011 12:26 PM

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

                                                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                c
                                                                                cls Nov 10, 2011 07:09 PM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  westsidegal Nov 10, 2011 10:35 PM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    linus Nov 11, 2011 08:00 AM

                                                                                    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
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  mc michael Nov 11, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    linus Nov 11, 2011 08:15 AM

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

                                                                                    1. re: linus
                                                                                      m
                                                                                      mc michael Nov 11, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                                      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
                                                                                        l
                                                                                        linus Nov 11, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                          m
                                                                                          mc michael Nov 11, 2011 12:01 PM

                                                                                          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
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            linus Nov 11, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                                                            thank you for taking time to explain.

                                                                                            1. re: mc michael
                                                                                              wienermobile Nov 11, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                                              I have had Martian Food at Mars 2112 in NYC. It's an acquired taste.
                                                                                              http://www.mars2112.com/

                                                                                              1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                m
                                                                                                mc michael Nov 11, 2011 03:42 PM

                                                                                                Another example of East Coast hegemony.

                                                                                                1. re: wienermobile
                                                                                                  Steve2 in LA Nov 11, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                                                                  Personally, I thought it was out of this world.

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