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Apr 5, 2012 09:28 AM

Forbes Top Restaurants in the US?

Did I miss a discussion on the Top 100? I looked back and did a search and couldn't find a topic.

LA has some interesting inclusions.

1. Manresa, Los Gatos, CA 102.06
2. The French Laundry, Yountville, CA 101.94
3. Alinea, Chicago, IL 101.34
4. Per Se, New York, NY 101.19
5. Town House, Chilhowie, VA 100.91
6. Masa, New York, NY 100.76
7. Urasawa, Beverly Hills, CA 100.73
14. Saam at the Bazaar, West Hollywood, CA 98.46
23. Providence, Los Angeles, CA 96.71
26. Spago, Beverly Hills, CA 96.51
58. Patina, Los Angeles, CA 94.56
70. Matsuhisa, West Hollywood, CA 94.15
81. Totoraku, West Los Angeles, CA 93.75
82. The Bazaar, West Hollywood, CA 93.68
94. Red Medicine, West Hollywood, CA 93.24
98. Cut, Beverly Hills, CA 93.19
98. Nishimura, West Hollywood, CA 93.19

I included the top 5 for interest + Masa because of Masa's former LA connection. But when you look at the complete list it is very NYC centric and it seems very "old". A lot of names that appear year in and year out and almost nothing of new, cutting edge places. Yes Momofuku made the list (and not just one, but all three Momos in NYC), but my guess is only because it is in NY. Since there is not one restaurant in all of TX or GA, one in FL, two in WA, would Momofuku made the list had they been in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Miami or God forbid, Fargo?

What of the LA list?

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  1. Saam #14, then Providence #23 ?? Must be a real brain squeezer to adjust the computer's algorithms to represent someone's personal taste after about #10.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DeePocketChopra

      This isn't Forbes' list, but Opinionated About U.S. Restaurant list.

      As the article notes - Joel Robuchon at the Mansion (Las Vegas) didn't make the top 100. But Peter Luger is? Huh?

      I don't know his reasons, but that's just dumb. Melisse isn't on here either? Really?

      1. re: foodiemahoodie

        Sorry. It was in Forbes about the list. The Forbes link has a hyperlink to Opinionated about Dining.

        1. re: scottca075

          No question that David Kinch is a very talented chef, but that list is tainted by the fact that Opinionated About was started and is dominated by Kinch's girlfriend and her little friends. I frankly dismiss these results altogether. And Im sorry, Nishimura does not belong on this list at all. Gimme a break.

    2. I have a copy of the 2011 OAD book given to diners at one of their events held at Providence last year. The guy who writes and compiles the list seems like a nice guy, but the writing and ratings in the book are VERY questionable.

      1. "Manresa, Los Gatos, CA"

        what the hell is this, the best restaurant nobody has ever heard of?

        8 Replies
        1. re: ns1

          Best restaurant you've never heard of. It's stellar. They got that one right in relation to TFL IMO.

          Red Medicine should be much higher. Saam at Bazaar much lower.

          1. re: Porthos

            In my 7 years of being serious about food I've never heard of that place even once, but places like TFL/Per Se/Joel Robuchon/etc countless times.

            Learn something new everyday I guess.

            I too was not impressed with Bazaar.

            1. re: ns1

              Yeah Manresa is a big deal. 2 Michelin stars, various "best of" lists, etc.

              Agree on Bazaar.

              1. re: ns1

                I've eaten at Manresa about 5 times in your 7 years of being serious about food :) One of my favorite high end places in the US including NYC and SF's finest (unfortunately have not done Alinea yet).

                That may all change after Atelier Crenn next weekend though...

                Back to LA. In general I would agree with the order of the LA rankings except for Saam and Red Medicine. Maybe if you switched the two.

                1. re: Porthos

                  You are going to Atelier Crenn next weekend too. We are going there next Fri. Hopefully we all have a great experience.

                  1. re: mrsjoujou

                    Atelier Crenn Saturday, La Ciccia Friday night...see you at the Ferry Building ;)

                    1. re: Porthos

                      Maybe ya'll can meet for pizza afterwards because if it is like my experience, you'll still be hungry after dinner....

            2. re: ns1

              Folks, please keep the focus of the discussion on L.A. area restaurants that did or did not make this list.


            3. I thought Matsuhisa or Nishimura would provoke more of a response.

              Does anyone have Matsuhisa in the top five sushi spots in LA?

              2 Replies
              1. re: scottca075

                Not top 5 from a sushi perspective, but Matsuhisa is still great IMO.

                For some reason OAD is the one place I've seen Nishimura ranked/rated very highly. Doesn't seem to get too much action on CH boards or blogs.

                1. re: scottca075

                  Matsuhisa is not a sushi joint. It is and always has been Peruvian-Japanese fusion at its core.

                  But, in order to pay the bills (and because everyone just somehow expects a Japanese-named eatery in Beverly Hills to serve sushi), Matsuhisa serves sushi.

                2. This reviewer deserves a place very high up on a list of "Most Ridiculous Food Critics in the World".

                  I love Manresa (been there 3 times) but I'd say it was on a par with Melisse (except for one dish they made which I didn't like at all - it had "tuna broth" in it and it just tasted like warm fishy water to me) Manresa is a worthy restaurant, but why he excludes some and includes other is simply absurd (I started to read him but it was so infuriatingly dumb I had to stop - truly worthy of the word ridiculous.)

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                    Really? When was the last time you got fried liquid cubes of spring greens from Melisse's own garden?

                    Was going to go to Melisse for the first time next weekend but one look at that not so exciting menu and those prices sent me to SF for Atelier Crenn instead.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      The tuna broth I was referring to was from Manresa (in case it was confusing in the post).

                      And when I get fried liquid cubes from Melisse? You might have to make a more specific point, but Melisse is not going to serve the same thing. (Fried liquid cubes of spring greens mightvery well be delicious - but doesn't sound terribly interesting to me. )

                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                        Interesting, looking at Melisse's Carte Blanche menu I can't find a single dish as interesting as Manresa's simple amuse of fried liquid vegetable greens from their own garden (or the fried liquid foie gras cube on another visit), or their salad of 20+ tastes of vegetables from their garden during springtime, or their smoked foie gras paired with cognac fortified white wine, or the Manresa maple syrup egg, or their lamb with Indian spices and a hint of coconut, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Compare that to the salmon, duck, beef courses of Melisse's current online carte blanche menu.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          We disagree on a philosophical level. Taste is paramount to me, creativity to you. But I doubt we're far apart. Because I'm certain taste is very important to you, as well as creativity is to me. But I've had many meals which appeal to my brain - tickle me profoundly in that regard, but did they taste great? Good maybe, of very good, but did it make me sigh with food lust? Probably not. That first bite (and to the last) - is what I hold to be most important. It's an issue of priority.

                          Also, just simply saying salmon, duck, and beef does sound pretty boring. But you're stacking the deck. Vegetable juice, duck liver, salad, lamb sounds equally tepid if couched in the same (lack of) terms. You can check Manresa's site and find simple descriptions too.

                          a213b - not sure why you want to question my haute credentials when I disagree with you. "Blows away" - just, uh...I have no words for that. whatever

                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                            No, food should taste good first and foremost. But for it to wow me, it must be creative and new (when talking about high end cuisine). I'm not one to like creativity for the sake of creativity...which is why I'm not the biggest fan of ink and Bazaar. Those salmon, duck, and beef dishes are prepared and served in very traditional methods. It might work better if you list some "wow" dishes from Melisse. I'm curious and maybe it might prompt me to go sooner.

                            Regarding your position on Manresa it's your opinion and you're entitled to it, but you're clearly in the minority. Nothing sums it up better than Alain Passard saying Kinch has the "most beautiful hands in the States" and Eric Ripert saying he is "out of this planet".

                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                              foodie, I didn't mean for that to come across as a questioning of your palate or experiences ... apologies that it seemed that way.

                              I will say, if you re-read my post, I was careful to include phrases like "in my opinion" and "to me", in the hopes of avoiding exactly what happened. Sigh ... sometimes I'm not careful enough when dashing off a quick post.

                              I more meant this to be an assertion of agreement with Porthos, and an observation that the two of us seem to have shared many of the same dining experiences and then shared many of the same thoughts on said experiences.

                              I do stand by my claim that Manresa towers above Melisse, and will go even further by saying I think Melisse is highly overrated; each of the times I've eaten there I've found it laughably middling, at best. Perhaps I've just had the misfortune of hitting it each time on an off night, but I doubt it.

                              I realize I'm crucifying a board favorite, and expect to get a little heat for it, but that's alright ... I have asbestos skin. ;-)

                        2. re: Porthos

                          Manresa blows away Melisse ... not even close, in my opinion. Porthos, you and I both have a great deal of SF & NYC dining experience, and in terms of more haute food, to me, Melisse falls laughably short when compared to either city, and Chicago as well.

                          And I agree the menu is tired and staid.

                          1. re: a213b

                            To be fair, I think foodiemahoodie also has extensive SF and NYC experience. Kinch of Manresa often collaborates with top 2 and 3 star chefs from Europe (eg Alain Passard of Arpege) to create dinners and no doubt exchange ideas and better himself. His produce he sources from his own garden and a collaboration with a local farmer. It's a totally different level than what Melisse is operating at. I'll go Melisse Carte Blanche next truffle season, but honestly the dishes at Melisse you can find in one iteration or another in any major city.

                            Here is a link to a GQ piece about Kinch with high praise from Eric Ripert and Alain Passard, two top chefs in their own right.


                            1. re: Porthos

                              I wasn't commenting so much on fmhoodie, rather pointing out our similarities (yours and mine) ... I rather feel we are kindred dining spirits

                              1. re: a213b

                                It's always nice to find a doppelganger palate. If my doppelganger is your doppelganger, you should look for Daveena's reviews and recs when in NYC and SF.

                        3. re: foodiemahoodie

                          For what it's worth, the OAD dude was very, very active in the early days of CH. He was part of the contingent that split off to start egullet - in other words, an OG apostate.

                          Manresa is often discussed within the context of the world's most important restaurants at the moment, along with Coi and Alinea. Melisse is just the last fancy L.A. place standing...

                          1. re: condiment

                            Coi to me is a perfect example of food that is interesting, experimental, unusual but failed to tweak my culinary monkeybone in terms of taste. Tried it twice. That's enough for me.

                            Manresa is both interesting conceptually and in taste.

                            1. re: foodiemahoodie

                              This I can definitely agree with. Coi left me scratching my head in a sort of "emperors new clothes" kind of way. My wife and I both left wondering what on Earth we missed, given the raves of so many others.

                              I think you summed it up perfectly -- "interesting, experimental, unusual but failed to tweak my culinary monkeybone in terms of taste".