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Forbes Top Restaurants in the US?

scottca075 Apr 5, 2012 09:28 AM

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?

  1. f
    foodiemahoodie Apr 5, 2012 06:15 PM

    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
      Porthos Apr 5, 2012 08:55 PM

      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
        foodiemahoodie Apr 5, 2012 09:06 PM

        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
          Porthos Apr 5, 2012 09:26 PM

          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
            foodiemahoodie Apr 6, 2012 01:10 AM

            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
              Porthos Apr 6, 2012 07:04 AM

              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
                a213b Apr 6, 2012 10:17 AM

                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
            a213b Apr 5, 2012 09:27 PM

            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
              Porthos Apr 5, 2012 09:44 PM

              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
                a213b Apr 5, 2012 10:00 PM

                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
                  Porthos Apr 6, 2012 09:49 AM

                  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.

                  1. re: Porthos
                    a213b Apr 6, 2012 10:18 AM

                    Will do!

          3. re: foodiemahoodie
            condiment Apr 6, 2012 08:11 PM

            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
              foodiemahoodie Apr 7, 2012 10:52 PM

              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
                a213b Apr 7, 2012 11:22 PM

                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".

          4. scottca075 Apr 5, 2012 04:19 PM

            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
              chrishei Apr 5, 2012 09:05 PM

              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
                J.L. Apr 10, 2012 12:43 AM

                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. n
                ns1 Apr 5, 2012 01:41 PM

                "Manresa, Los Gatos, CA"

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

                8 Replies
                1. re: ns1
                  Porthos Apr 5, 2012 02:20 PM

                  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
                    ns1 Apr 5, 2012 02:24 PM

                    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
                      chrishei Apr 5, 2012 02:34 PM

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

                      Agree on Bazaar.

                      1. re: ns1
                        Porthos Apr 5, 2012 02:56 PM

                        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
                          mrsjoujou Apr 5, 2012 04:54 PM

                          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
                            Porthos Apr 5, 2012 05:01 PM

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

                            1. re: Porthos
                              scottca075 Apr 5, 2012 07:26 PM

                              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
                      The Chowhound Team Apr 5, 2012 02:44 PM

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


                    3. c
                      chrishei Apr 5, 2012 01:20 PM

                      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. DeePocketChopra Apr 5, 2012 10:12 AM

                        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
                          foodiemahoodie Apr 5, 2012 11:10 AM

                          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
                            scottca075 Apr 5, 2012 11:55 AM

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

                            1. re: scottca075
                              choctastic Apr 7, 2012 11:07 PM

                              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.

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