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LA Weekly's 99 Essential Restaurants 2013


To me, the epitome of, shall I say, literary douchebaggery in a food-related article are these lines in the Gjelina chapter:

"Among the flowers and leaves and rays of dappled sunlight shining down on the bricks and tables and beautiful people (waiters and customers both)..."

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  1. Literary douchebaggery, indeed.

    1. Written with the literary genius of a 13 year old with access to google.

      1. thanks for the warning.
        will not read any of the article.
        can't stand that kind of "writing."

        1 Reply
        1. To be fair, this list does have its positives. For one, there isn't the need for J. Gold to carry over some of his dated favorites from when the list was first conceived, year-to-year. Also, not the biggest fan of B. Rodell's either so far, but it's not just her contributing. There were a few inspired additions, with the excerpts written by others.

          1. It has some interesting choices, but there isn't much depth or reasoning in the writing.

            1. I get the impression that folks are holding this compilation of thumbnail sketches to a much higher literary standard than it ought to be..and I thought the choices of restaurants was pretty darn good and well selected in terms of interesting food and general ambiance.

              12 Replies
                1. re: Servorg

                  I agree. Silly prose aside, it's a good list.

                  Only glaring omission is Mori for sushi but otherwise solid list.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I think there are more glaring ADmissions than omissions.

                    Savoy? Really? I'm not sure how Hainan Chicken rice is essential to LA, and if it is, why Savoy would be the flag-bearer.

                    Chung King ... I think there are Sichuan restaurants out there that have done laps around this place since Gold first reviewed it some 10+ years ago.

                    Places like Oinkster, Lucques, Jar, LIttle Dom's, etc. are head scratchers. All fine establishments, but not necessarily noteworthy in any respect.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Like you've said before, Quint/essential is very different from what is best in LA now or most food worthy.

                      For example, I agree with you regarding Lucques but I can understand it's place from a historical perspective.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Where do you find Hainan chicken rice better than Savoy?

                        1. re: Ernie

                          Why is hainan chicken essential LA?

                          1. re: Ernie

                            If you want to stay in the SGV, then down the street at Dong Nguyen. Nha Trang is pretty good too but Dong Nguyen is better.

                        2. re: Porthos

                          Do you truly feel that Canele, Chung king, Eva, Fred 62, Little Dom's, Pink's, Playa and Tavern belong on this list?
                          Lucques is 10 times better than Tavern, yet another poster felt it not worthy of the list at all.
                          Playa closes Wed. 3/6/13.
                          This list is a sham, and still remains the remnants of the "friends of J. Gold era".

                          1. re: carter

                            I will defend Pink's.

                            Regardless of what you think of the food, it is part of the celebrity fabric of Los Angeles that makes the city a unique culinary destination.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I think you nailed it - not only for Pink's - but for the general intentions of the list, relative to their "essentialness." Chowhounds rightfully judge the merits of places based mostly on their deliciousness. QPR might play into this as well. But this is a narrower perspective IMHO that parallels the list's intentions. For lists like these by J. Gold, or whoever is at the helm of the food column for the LA Weekly at any given time, other factors - not Chowcentric - are often in play as to why a place is considered essential to her or him personally.

                            2. re: carter

                              Do you truly feel that Canele, Chung king, Eva, Fred 62, Little Dom's, Pink's, Playa and Tavern belong on this list?

                              Except Pink's from a historical perspective.

                              The entire list isn't a sham. There are at least as many good selections as there are bad probably more good. Maybe even 66:33 good:bad. It's a good list. Not great or the best but pretty good.