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Jonathan Gold's Top 101 Restaurants in Los Angeles

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

Here's the top 20:

1. Providence 2. Urasawa 3. Spago 4. Mozza, etc. 5. Kogi 6. Lucques 7. Animal 8. Cut 9. Jitlada 10. Shunji 11. Rivera 12. Spice Table 13. Ink 14. Baco Mercat 15. Tasting Kitchen 16. Sea Harbour 17. Night + Market 18. Bestia 19. Hinoki and the Bird 20. Melisse

I know this will be a losing game for me, compared to other posters, but which of the top 20 have you dined at?

Me: 1, 5, 7, 10, 16.

Anyone (kevin?) have an account and can post the entire list (if that's allowed)?

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    1. the rest of the list is not copy/pastable.

      1. Not sure if this link will work, but it's to the map with all 101:

        http://guides.latimes.com/jonathan-go...

        33 Replies
        1. re: Wayno

          Try this: http://www.latimes.com/about/mediagro...

          Guess they are going to make all hounds buy a copy of the paper to get the full story! Ha ha...now we see the genius behind the madness.

          1. re: Servorg

            The funny thing is if you want to order an extra copy, that will be $6.25. Seriously no joke. If you purchase today's paper, you will see the add for it.

            My favorite is definitely still shunji's, langer's, and spago,

            1. re: kevin

              Langer's sets the gold standard for corned beef on rye. Ditto pastrami on rye. Even die hard Carnegie Deli fans (NYC) swoon over Langer's.

          2. re: Wayno

            Still brings up the paywall prompt... :(

            I found the list and am trying to format it to paste in here...

            1. re: PeterCC

              See if you can't access them all via the Google map here by clicking on each number in the map: http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

              1. re: Servorg

                Wow, even the preview page is not loading fully for me now. Says I've reached the max free articles, and I have to take a survey to see more... WTF.

                1. re: PeterCC

                  You can clear your cache. and erase your computer's history, if that's not too much trouble, and they you can see your ten free articles again.

                  It's interesting that this pullout section was free when he was ensconced at the Weekly, but now the Times can charge for it, or are attempting to.

                  1. re: kevin

                    JUST USE A DIFFERENT BROWSER AND IT WORKS... THE LA TIMES IS SO DESPERATE

                    1. re: love2eat

                      You can't access it for free even of your browser is refreshed. But that only applies to the 101 Restaurants guide.

                      1. re: kevin

                        I'm sure that in a few days the list will be either posted here (is it a crime to do so???...I doubt it, but I'm not a lawyer), or will be available with a Google search.

                2. re: Servorg

                  Here's the Middle 30:

                  50. Manhattan Beach Post
                  49. Le Comptoir
                  48. n/naka
                  47. Post & Beam
                  46. The Bazaar
                  45. Marouch
                  44. Din Tai Fung
                  43. Fig
                  42. The Sycamore Kitchen
                  41. Hatfield's
                  40. Hart & the Hunter
                  39. La Casita Mexicana
                  38. Son of a Gun
                  37. Angelini Osteria
                  36. Alma
                  35. Rustic Canyon
                  34. Lukshon
                  33. Kiriko
                  32. Vincenti
                  31. Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village
                  30. Church and State
                  29. Drago Centro
                  28. Sotto
                  27. Park's BBQ
                  26. Guelaguetza
                  25. AOC
                  24. Salt's Cure
                  23. Trois Mec
                  22. Red Medicine
                  21. Jar

                  Me: 50, 44, 43, 41, 38, 33, 22.

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    19 out these 30 for me. But I must say ALMA should be #1, not Providence. As much as I enjoy Providence, Alma is tops for me when it comes to food (which is by far the biggest consideration for me when dining out, with service and space being distant 2nd & 3rd). Alma's food blew me away on all fronts -- taste, textures, presentation (stunningly beautiful), innovation. Providence bores me and costs easily 2x Alma.

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        you actually like din tai fung ?

                        I thought we were not allowed to like that joint on this here board ?

                        1. re: kevin

                          I love DTF and I'm not afraid to say it! :-)

                          1. re: PeterCC

                            me too...perfect everytime...in Arcadia, in Beijing, in Taipei and Shanghai

                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                              I can vouch for that... although I felt the chicken soup was a helluva lot better in Taipei (and the prices were the same as in Los Angeles, despite the fact that things usually cost 1/3 in Taiwan of their stateside equivalent).

                              For some reason Beijing was the cheapest of the bunch at about $5 for a tray of xiaolongbao. But yes, they were equally as translucent in all locations.

                              Mr Taster

                          2. re: kevin

                            I've been a few times. Then I found out that Arcadia was only the tip of the SGV iceberg.

                      2. re: Servorg

                        Here's the Bottom 51:

                        101. Apple Pan
                        100. Dae Bok
                        99. Comme Ça
                        98. Fab Hot Dogs
                        97. El Parian
                        96. Ciro's
                        95. Nickel Diner
                        94. Kobawoo
                        93. Bulgarini Gelato
                        92. Cacao
                        91. Sapp Coffee Shop
                        90. Krua Thai
                        89. Mo-Chica
                        88. Musso & Frank
                        87. Rocio's Mole de los Dioses
                        86. Patina
                        85. Newport Tan Cang Seafood
                        84. Mayura
                        83. Ración
                        82. 101 Noodle Express
                        81. Mantee
                        80. Mariscos Jalisco
                        79. Border Grill
                        78. Chichen Itza
                        77. Meals by Genet
                        76. Hannosuke
                        75. Corazon y Miel
                        74. Attari
                        73. Golden Deli
                        72. Sqirl
                        71. Little Dom's
                        70. Valentino
                        69. Hunan Mao
                        68. Grill on the Alley
                        67. Bierbeisl
                        66. Gjelina
                        65. Coni's Seafood
                        64. Plan Check
                        63. Langer's
                        62. Cooks County
                        61. Bludso's
                        60. Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong
                        59. The Hungry Cat
                        58. Matsuhisa
                        57. Guisados
                        56. Superba Snack Bar
                        55. Starry Kitchen
                        54. Tsujita
                        53. Tar & Roses
                        52. Soban
                        51. Picca

                        Me: 101, 79, 76, 64, 61, 54.

                          1. re: A5 KOBE

                            Nice, I haven't been in a while but, it used to be a once a week spot for lunch.

                            1. re: JAB

                              Yeah, I am still addicted to their chorizo and eggs.

                              1. re: A5 KOBE

                                My favorites were the milanesa plate or the steak picado burrito.

                                1. re: JAB

                                  Never had the steak picado.

                                  I like those avocado chunks (salsa?) they give you with the chips.

                                  All this talk of Ciro's has me itching to go now.

                                  1. re: A5 KOBE

                                    You and me both. I still work fairly close by. Ditto on the chunky salsa and freshly made chips. Speaking of chunky, their steal picado is very chunky with big pieces of grilled meat, jalapenos, onions etc... The milanesa plate is a carb bomb. Breaded steak, beans, rice, fries and tortillas.

                                    1. re: JAB

                                      damn, a question.

                                      how can you go back to work after that meal.

                                      it sounds like an old-school mex-amerc restaurant, is that correct ?

                                      cheesy, sour cream, guar, wet enchilada sauce all over the place.

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        In a wheelbarrow. We're not talking skimpy portions either.

                                        Not that type of restaurant at all. Much more "authentic".

                            2. re: A5 KOBE

                              Ciro's is the one that made me the most curious when I read it.

                              Now I really want to try it.

                              1. re: A5 KOBE

                                Made my long overdue return to Ciro's today. It was at least as good as I remembered it. I love it when expectations are at least met if not exceeded on a return to an old favorite.

                              2. re: PeterCC

                                Why isn't 101 #101 on the list?

                                Mr Taster

                                1. re: PeterCC

                                  Seems to me that Border Grill, Gjelina's and Meals by Genet are misplaced here, hovering around Musso & Frank.

                                  1. re: VenusCafe

                                    As has been discussed here and elsewhere, the specific order, especially further down the list, gets quite subjective and muddled. I'm sure JGold put a lot more thought into composing the top 5 than he did the rest of the top 10, than he did the rest of the top 20, etc.

                                    M&F is #88. BG is #79, MBG is #77. What does a movement of ~10 spots down mean to you?

                                    Gjelina is #66 so would be a bigger drop. Do you like all the other restaurants #67-#87 better than Gjelina?

                                    (Just in case my tone doesn't come across, I'm not trying to be argumentative, just curious.)

                            3. re: Wayno

                              Edit: Weird, I put the bottom 51 in a reply to the main thread, but it showed up here as a reply to Wayno's comment. *Shrug*

                              Re-replied to the main thread with the bottom 51. See below.

                              Edit 2: Nevermind, I guess see above instead (under Servorg's comment) for the lists. The site is putting my replies in weird places in this thread.

                            4. 3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 21, 22, 25, 28, 29, 32, 46, 51, 55, 58, 59, 63, 64, 66, 68, 70, 79, 86, 88 and 101 - over time, not all in the past year.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Thor123

                                Same here.

                                If I tried most of all those places, this year alone, I would be in deep deep deep deep trouble.

                              2. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 18 for me.

                                Of those, I'd only go back to 3, 4, 7 (with 7 being the top pick).

                                8, 9, 12, 14, 19, 20 are on my 'to do' list :)

                                1. I know this will be a losing game for me, compared to other posters, but which of the top 20 have you dined at?
                                  __________________

                                  This year? Or ever?

                                  If the latter, then I'm only missing Nos. 15 and 17.

                                  If the former, then only 3, 16, and 19

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    Either, both? :-) Thanks for providing both answers. Looks like you're top so far (for the Ever category).

                                    For me, if just this year (assuming calendar year 2013, and not since JGold's last list for LAW in 2012), then I've just just been to #10.

                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                      I've only been to 6 or 7 of the top twenty.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Been to 18 (all but Bestia and Hinoki.)

                                      2. 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 (only at the original Melrose location so probably shouldn't count),11,13,18,20 for me

                                        and 25 out of bottom 51 restaurants.

                                        I need to cook more and eat out less...

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: soniabegonia

                                          I've never eaten at his Melrose place, but I gathered that Shunji is a bit different than Shunji's, maybe not as much in terms of food as atmosphere, so it probably shouldn't count, but since this is just for fun, I leave it up to you. :-)

                                          1. re: PeterCC

                                            I know you've been to Shunji on Pico numerous times - thank you for the great posts. Have you had a chance to try n/naka yet? If so, where would a party of six work better? I'm guessing n/naka. Thanks

                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                              I've not had the pleasure of dining at n/naka, though it is one of the top restaurants on my mental to-try list.

                                              A party of six is doable at Shunji. They have tables that should be able to accommodate. But assuming you want to sit at the bar and be served by Shunji (on the weekends, a second chef splits the bar with him), you should call with as much notice as possible to try to get six seats together at the bar, since it holds less than a dozen people.

                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                Please sit at the bar if you are going for your first time if at all possible.

                                                Only sit at the tables, if you have been a few times before and are ordering only a few dishes.

                                          2. re: soniabegonia

                                            51, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 73, 74, 81, 82, 84, 85, 88, 101.

                                            I need to eat out more and cook less...

                                          3. Some oddities.

                                            - How is Bulgarini Gelato a "restaurant"?

                                            - Elite did not make the list.

                                            - Nor did Father's Office.

                                            - Where's Totoraku and Yamakase?

                                            - No Madeo, or Scarpetta

                                            - Gasp, no Mori or Zo (hide this list from westsidegal and Porthos!)

                                            32 Replies
                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              How is Kogi a restaurant? ;-)

                                              I was surprised at the lack of Mori as well (haven't been to Zo but from its reputation I also expected it to be on the list). Despite it being my favorite restaurant, I was also (pleasantly) surprised Shunji broke top ten...

                                              Has JGold been to Yakamase? A quick Google search doesn't turn up any reviews on the first page of results.

                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                That's a good point, Peter.

                                                JGold probably hasn't been to Yamakase yet.

                                                But that brings up another point. How many of these restaurants has Gold actually visited in the last full calendar year (i.e. 2012)?

                                                Has he actually dined at Musso & Frank within the last 18 months? Or 101 Noodle Express? Or even Sea Harbour*? And does he go to Matsushisa? Really?

                                                (*As to Sea Harbour, I'm pretty sure he has not been for a while now, dunno about very early early early 2012, however.)

                                                1. re: PeterCC

                                                  Interesting point. Yamakasi is certainly deserving. Was thinking of what were the most glaring omissions? Surprised that Madeo was not there.

                                                  1. re: Thor123

                                                    damn, i didn't realize you guys had so much love for madeo like me (though i can do without its exoribitant prices and pretentious clientele usually and the ubiquitous papparazzi outside).

                                                  2. re: PeterCC

                                                    Yeah, in brief blurbs, he did not express a strong like of zo, but did possibly prefer hikko.

                                                    It may have been difficult to get into Yamakase, hence the restaurant did not make it to press in time.

                                                  3. re: ipsedixit

                                                    Board favorite Sotto was 28 and Bestia 18?

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        Would have put Dan Tanas before Musso.

                                                        1. re: Thor123

                                                          No Pann's means it's a failing grade from me...

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            Jeez, I'm glad you said that, Servorg. That's usually my line and I'm getting tired of saying it, but it's still true. There's probably nothing at Pann's that someone else can't do better, but not simultaneously nor at their prices. Pann's is I think as much a part of L.A.'s culinary spinal column as Musso & Frank's.

                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                              Have you tried the TX style bbq on the weekend at Pann's? The Ribs look "to die for"!!!
                                                              http://www.panns.com/#texas

                                                              1. re: CharlesKochel

                                                                Had them last night. Also had them four and half weeks ago when we went the last time before last night.

                                                                Penny was back from Thailand so sat in her section and heard all about her trip home to see her family.

                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                  Had their Bayou Omelete this AM. Looked atrocious but all the crawfish and crab made up for it.

                                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                    Is this a favorable review of the bayou omelette ?

                                                                    I hope you drink hit up the all you can drink kir royale to wish it all down.

                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                      It tasted fine - just looked kimda gross to me. Couldn't partake in the all-you-can-drink deal. Too much booziness this weekend - needed a spacer.

                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                        I can definitely fucking relate to that.

                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                          Save room for the good stuff later...

                                                            2. re: Thor123

                                                              Tana's Dabndey Coleman kills the steaks at Musso's.

                                                              but musso's bar program and pre-mixology craze mixed drinks/cocktails are top-notch (from the eponymous martini to the grasshopper to the manhattans to the ecuadorian special). and so is manny. And the sourdoudhg bread and butter is always classy and good (only other place i can remember that serves it like that is the tadich grill in sf). the flannel cakes, the grenadine of beef with bernaise (absolutely beautiful), the crab louise and hte shrimp cocktails. ok, i do like this place.

                                                              But then again i've never had the privilege of obtaining a bar stool counter seat at tana's.

                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                I dont know that's a privilege (a bar seat at Tana's). Crowded and pushy. The fun is being in the bar room and watching and hearing the goingz on at the bar (IMO). The bar is not really for eating unless it is really early or really late.

                                                                1. re: Thor123

                                                                  i guess if i'm comparing the bar scene at the actual bar at Tana's to an actual bar seat at Musso's.

                                                                  Musso's is great at the bar, especially in that early golden hour hour.

                                                                  i'll have to take a seat at the ramburnctious bar at Tana's but if i do on that visit, i will take your advice and skip dinner at the bar (after all, i have cut back on my beef intake. diet's are a true bitch).

                                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                                Good one! Go to Dumpling House in Gardena.

                                                              2. re: Servorg

                                                                Now that's what I'm talking about.

                                                                I will say it once again. (Not that anyone most likely give a flying turd).

                                                                But I still actually like ROC.

                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                  Off the eastern coast of mainland China.

                                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  No Madeo is shocking! To include Musso & F's, and put it above Dan Tana's, and not include Madeo or even Scarpetta...there is no credibility whatsoever for this list!

                                                                  1. re: josephnl

                                                                    I dont know if I would go that far. I think its a subjective list and one that I am sure we could each find areas of fault (from our own subjective views) - which makes it fun to debate. That said, I agree with you.

                                                                    1. re: Thor123

                                                                      For the LA Times to publish his list, they must think that it's more than just one person's subjective opinion, I.e., that he is a person of both knowledge and credibility. His list IMHO at least suggests that this may not be true.

                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                        the l.a. times published his list because they thought it would attract attention and sell advertising.

                                                                        opinions on the taste of food are always subjective. it's fine to disagree with someone's opinions on the taste of food.

                                                                        as far as knowledge and credibility go, gold's c.v. stands on its own.

                                                                        1. re: josephnl

                                                                          He also won the Pulitzer prize and in my opinion he seemingly champions the little guy and takes a judicious stab at ethnic eats unlike other critics.

                                                                      2. re: josephnl

                                                                        Musso's is an institution. Complete with institutional food.

                                                                        It shouldn't be on this list. Nor should Dan Tana's.

                                                                      3. re: ipsedixit

                                                                        With Totoraku, that's easy.

                                                                        Because if he is not allowed to actual review the joint, he most likely can't add it to the list.

                                                                        what about go smart ?

                                                                      4. Notice the Pasadena Sizzler did not make the list. Perhaps that's why they are shutting down?

                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            In the immortal words of Maxwell Smart "missed it by that much ...."

                                                                            1. re: Thor123

                                                                              It was the fresh iceberg lettuce at Apple Pan that nosed it out for No. 101 ahead of Pasadena Sizzlers.

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                where i say is europane ?

                                                                                i believe he really liked that joint in years past.

                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                  Bakeries seem to be nonexistent on his 101. I'd wither away without a few good bakeries, a not much more than a few there are...

                                                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                    I'm pretty sure he included it in the past few 99 restaurant lists for the Weekly while he was still there.

                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                      You're right about Euro Pane. His 99s have included places like Huckleberry and Nickel Diner.

                                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                        The Sycamore Kitchen is on the list too as a bakery.

                                                                          2. re: Thor123

                                                                            LOL, and no ramen places that don't serve hanjuku eggs!

                                                                            1. re: PeterCC

                                                                              excsue my utter ignorance.

                                                                              but what is the "hanjuku" egg ? is that a really runny egg yolk ? or soft-boiled ?

                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                Hanjuku literally means half-done/cooked/etc, so it's more of a medium-boiled egg.

                                                                                1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                  My yolks need to be completely runny.

                                                                                  On a side note, does anyone happen to know where I can still get a duo of soft-boiled eggs in the shell with toast points on the side and a tiny demitasse spoon on the side to scoop out the yolk ?

                                                                                  Thanks.

                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                    I had a similar dish @ bottega louie, except instead of spoons we were given toast sticks.

                                                                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                      the cup containing the egg should look a little like this cup:

                                                                                      http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/A...

                                                                                1. 1,3,4,5,7,8,9 &16 Hey maybe I should play those as Lotto numbers.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                                                                    Just waiting for the numerologists and cryptographers to start analyzing this thread...

                                                                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                      Mozza could use some bagua 911...

                                                                                      1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                        But I do love 27,33,34,50,56,61,64, 65,66,82,88,101 and especially #63 that I call Langer's!.

                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                            what's on the number 63 sandwich, i thought the famed one was the no.19.

                                                                                            But i always have to order that sandwiches in the buff: pastrami on rye, and no other fix ins. maybe a couple beers or a couple diet dr. brown's cream sodas if i'm feeling virtuous.

                                                                                    2. 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 11 for me.

                                                                                      1. Is it allowed for me to post the whole list ?

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                              I think the entire list is posted, albeit in three different posts.

                                                                                              1. re: Thor123

                                                                                                I meant the whole list with his brief essays accompanying them.

                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                  I think that may be a bit closer to the admittedly fuzzy line. *shrug*

                                                                                          1. re: seamles

                                                                                            The list is on this link. Albeit in three pieces.

                                                                                          2. For me its 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42.

                                                                                            1. Can someone explain to me why the 101 restaurant insert costs $6.25 if you want to order an additional copy ?

                                                                                              1. Me: 1;3;4;5;6;9;12;16;20

                                                                                                1. Only 4 in the Valley, and one of them is a hot dog stand? Typical.

                                                                                                  1. I have been to all of the top 20!
                                                                                                    Woo Hoo!
                                                                                                    Though some not for a while - Melisse at least 5 years ago, Sea Harbor 3 years ago and Urasawa 2 years ago.

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                        How do you have the time and money ?

                                                                                                        My hats off to you.

                                                                                                        And thanks again for the most part on the tip-off to punta cabras.

                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                          kevin - you crack me up! And you confuse me!
                                                                                                          What does - thanks again "for the most part" mean?
                                                                                                          That TPC is not 100% perfect, so you can only paritally thank me for it? Or, that I was the main person who tipped you off on it, but there where others?

                                                                                                      2. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17 (total: 45/101)

                                                                                                        Yeah clear your cache (like Kevin said), or spam-reload the page and you might break in (worked for my friend). Someone also clicked back when redirected and it actually worked.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                          I'm surprised Babita did not show up on the list. But then maybe he wanted to take a stab at changing it up.

                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                            Agreed. I assumed he was going to carry over the lifers (Babita, Casa Bianca, Euro Pane, Tacos Baja Ensenada), and most of the 2+ straight years veterans.

                                                                                                        2. From the top 101 (lifetime):

                                                                                                          1, 3 (prior to renovation), 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 16, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 30, 34, 44, 45 (maybe), 46, 55, 61, 63, 64, 65 (if was this Mariscos Chentes b/f...?), 66, 73, 74, 77, 79 (seriously? this is on the list?), 82, 84, 85, 86 (if you count attending an event that was catered by Patina), 89, 92, 95 (again, seriously? this is also on the list?), 101.

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: ilysla

                                                                                                            I've been to a little over half the list. But obviously not in the past year. More like the past couple decades.

                                                                                                            But then again I'm not a full-time critic and some of the joints he reviewed are most likely places he visited even a considerable number of years ago that are still in existence and operation.

                                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                                              Har.

                                                                                                              I think mine's probably over 5-10 yrs? If I got paid to eat, it'd be much closer to 101. I can't afford #2 yet....

                                                                                                              1. re: ilysla

                                                                                                                I hear you. Number I might just be out of my budget too.

                                                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                  I think for at least the past couple of yrs, Providence has offered a lower cost on their 5-course menu to celebrate the anniversary of the opening. That's the only way I was able to afford that restaurant! And I've only been to Melisse as part of a work dinner or when someone else was treating....

                                                                                                                  1. re: ilysla

                                                                                                                    How much is the reduced price 5 courser at Providence ?

                                                                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                      It will be $80 this year ( was $75 in the prior years), $125 with wine pairing. Entire month of June, like every year. That's for the 5 course tm.

                                                                                                          2. http://ballots.latimes.com/lists/101-...

                                                                                                            Been to 49 of them total, 11 of the top 20. But, really, whatevers.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: pley

                                                                                                              You are correct. It's fun to analyze.

                                                                                                              But at the end of the day, the list is merely subjective just like a great eats list that I would create.

                                                                                                              1. re: pley

                                                                                                                Why don't we each create, draft, and execute our very own hundred best restaurants lists ? (maybe we can start it on a separate thread).

                                                                                                              2. I've done 69 out of 101.

                                                                                                                Of the top 20: I've been to them all except Night+Market and Hinoki and the Bird.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                  Wow...I'm impressed. Please tell us how much you agree with JG, and where you disagree. Are there any in the 101 that you would not include, and ate there any that you think are inappropriatey missing. You obviously dine out a great deal, and your opinion may well be at least as valid as JG's.

                                                                                                                2. 1-4, 8-12, 14-16, 18, 20. Jonathan Gold frustrates me. Bring back Michelin and a return to quality food over all this hipster nonsense.

                                                                                                                  26 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: AlkieGourmand

                                                                                                                    And for some people, Michelin is fussy nonesense.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                      So do you agree with J. Gold? Baco Mercat over Melisse? I don't see how anyone can agree with this (or countles other travesties on J. Gold's list) either objectively or subjectively. It's an offense to the skilled chefs at Melisse and other top restaurants around LA (e.g., Mori Sushi) to see this list, which largely consists of mediocre, plebeian restaurants with unskilled chefs.

                                                                                                                      1. re: aventinus

                                                                                                                        Very energetic defense of Mori! I like it!

                                                                                                                        Mori is easily top 10. The only logical explanation is that J.Gold has never been.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                          If that's true, then that says more about JGold than anything about this list.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                            That is the only reason I can think of without accusing him of deliberately leaving it off the list.

                                                                                                                            Thus, I am going with, has never been.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                              I honestly don't know what's a worse reason.

                                                                                                                              Never having been to Mori, or deliberately leaving it off the list.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                The latter. The former is admittedly inconceivable, but the latter would be unethical.

                                                                                                                                1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                  What would be unethical about deliberately leaving Mori off the list if the reason was that he felt it was not in the top 101?

                                                                                                                                  Differing minds can and will disagree.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                    Hmm I guess I inferred nefariousness in Porthos's original use of "deliberately" (when paired with "accusing") when I have no cause to. My bad.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                      Sure, differing minds can disagree.

                                                                                                                                      But this omission make it hard for me to respect his taste. And that's important. A reviewer whose taste aligns closely with my own can be used as a reliable predictor.

                                                                                                                                      He's got some 'splainin' to do.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                  I cannot find any reviews or columns of his on Mori. That is truly bizarre, if he's never been there.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                    He has name checked Mori a few times over the last 9-10 years... but has never reviewed the restaurant individually:

                                                                                                                                    http://www.laweekly.com/2005-06-30/ea...

                                                                                                                                    Anyway, nothing unethical about it. He has often said that he see's his role as much as a cultural anthropologist as a food critic. His Top 99/101 lists have always been designed to offer a snapshot of the overall community rather than simply selecting the very best of the best.

                                                                                                                                    Incidentally, there's a map of all 101 in this article at KPCC:

                                                                                                                                    http://www.laweekly.com/2005-06-30/ea...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Moomin

                                                                                                                                      >>His Top 99/101 lists have always been designed to offer a snapshot of the overall community rather than simply selecting the very best of the best.<<

                                                                                                                                      I think this sums it up. He's always had a soft spot for his #101 - The Apple Pan. I don't think J Gold would argue that the crew at The Pan would be doing as remarkable chef work as Mori which didn't make his list. Rather, The Pan is of cultural significance to the burger, West LA and all the nostalgia wrapped up in all of it.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                        >>His Top 99/101 lists have always been designed to offer a snapshot of the overall community rather than simply selecting the very best of the best.<<

                                                                                                                                        So why have Urasawa and not Mori? Once you get past the cooked dishes, gold foil, ice blocks, location, and price, the sushi at Mori is at least as good as the sushi at Urasawa. I dare say better. Though not cheap, Mori is more accessible to a greater population of the readers and people of LA.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                          Just a guess on my part, since I can't locate hardly any definitive info on Mori by J Gold, yet can find a fair amount on Urasawa by him: J Gold's lists seem to consist of places of which he is familiar with - IMHO it's inferred in how much or in how little he has written on them over the years. It just seems that Mori has not been on his to-go list, or at least to-review list. I seriously respect your opinion on Mori v. Urawawa, as I do on your other views on food. Just the same, I've found that J Gold seems to never have an axe to grind with any particular place, and his omission of Mori may be just because he won't go (or at least write about it) for some unknown reason.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                      Sherry Virvila reviewed it for the Times years ago. I specifically do not remember jgold reviewing it for the Weekly.

                                                                                                                                      Though according to a times blog, he has been there but there has been no review as of yet (he's also been to gos Mart but did not write a review in that one. Something about the owner not allowed the sushi bar to be photographed by the Times and even reviewed. I highly doubt that's the policy with Mori since it has been photographed and reviewed by the Times a few years back).

                                                                                                                              2. re: aventinus

                                                                                                                                You expect everyone to agree subjectively? LOL!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Jase

                                                                                                                                  Or, equally - if not more - absurd, opining that there are "objective" criteria for disputing the taste of what someone else likes that doesn't match one's own likes.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                    Yet there is a long history of judges of chefs and cooking. These days, cooking contests galore judged and opined by the top chefs in the field (eg. Bocuse d'or, Michelin Guide, Iron Chef, Food Network, Top Chef, etc.)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                      I am under the impression that these judges may differ widely in what they like at times. It never fails to make me laugh that matters of taste are "subjected" to supposed "objective" tests.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                          Plenty of good is being done then every time that the assertion of objective measurements of taste is brought up here.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                            part of me likes to think gold left mori off the list just to watch posters' heads explode.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                              What ilnus just said. This part of the thread is pretty hilarious.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                If he's reading this thread, then he's proclaiming, "Mission accomplished..."

                                                                                                                              3. Darn. I made it to only 9 of the top 20.

                                                                                                                                1. I'm curious to see how this compares with his 99 Essential from last year's LA Weekly and if there's been any shift, if at all.

                                                                                                                                  I'm also surprised this was a RANKED list though I suspect that has more to do (perhaps) with the LA Times's insistence. 99 Essentials was always alphabetical and therefore, didn't spur the whole "how could you rank this over that?!" debates" that get hella tiring.

                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: odub

                                                                                                                                    There are shifts, changes, and modifications from his Weekly list.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: odub

                                                                                                                                      I compared the 101 to Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential list of 2011 - hope I got it right...

                                                                                                                                      Not on JG's 99 Essential of 2011:

                                                                                                                                      RESTAURANT/RANK ON THE 101
                                                                                                                                      Urasawa/2
                                                                                                                                      Kogi/5
                                                                                                                                      Shunji/10
                                                                                                                                      Baco Mercat/14
                                                                                                                                      Bestia/18
                                                                                                                                      Hinoki & the Bird/19
                                                                                                                                      Trois Mec/23
                                                                                                                                      AOC/25
                                                                                                                                      Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village/31
                                                                                                                                      Alma/36
                                                                                                                                      Hart & the Hunter/40
                                                                                                                                      Hatfield's/41
                                                                                                                                      The Sycamore Kitchen/42
                                                                                                                                      The Bazaar/46
                                                                                                                                      Post & Beam/47
                                                                                                                                      n/naka/48
                                                                                                                                      Manhattan Beach Post/50
                                                                                                                                      Soban/52
                                                                                                                                      Tar & Roses/53
                                                                                                                                      Starry Kitchen/55
                                                                                                                                      Superba Snack Bar/56
                                                                                                                                      Matsuhisa/58
                                                                                                                                      Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong/60
                                                                                                                                      Cook's County/62
                                                                                                                                      Plan Check/64
                                                                                                                                      Coni'seafood/65
                                                                                                                                      Bierbiesl/67
                                                                                                                                      Grill on the Alley/68
                                                                                                                                      Hunan Mao/69
                                                                                                                                      Valentino/70
                                                                                                                                      Sqirl/72
                                                                                                                                      Corazon y Miel/75
                                                                                                                                      Hannoske/76
                                                                                                                                      Mariscos Jalisco/80
                                                                                                                                      Racion/83
                                                                                                                                      Patina/86
                                                                                                                                      Rocio's Mole de los Dioses/87
                                                                                                                                      Krua Thai/90
                                                                                                                                      Apple Pan/101

                                                                                                                                      From the 2011 "99" list, not on JG's Top 101:

                                                                                                                                      A-Frame
                                                                                                                                      Akasha
                                                                                                                                      Alcazar
                                                                                                                                      Angeli Cafe
                                                                                                                                      Antojitos Carmen
                                                                                                                                      Babita
                                                                                                                                      Bottega Louie
                                                                                                                                      Campanile
                                                                                                                                      Casa Bianca
                                                                                                                                      Chang's Garden
                                                                                                                                      Chego
                                                                                                                                      Chung King
                                                                                                                                      El Huarache Azteca
                                                                                                                                      Elvirita's
                                                                                                                                      Euro Pane
                                                                                                                                      Eva
                                                                                                                                      Father's Office
                                                                                                                                      Golden State
                                                                                                                                      Good Girl Dinette
                                                                                                                                      The Gorbals
                                                                                                                                      Huckleberry
                                                                                                                                      Larkin's
                                                                                                                                      Lazy Ox
                                                                                                                                      Lou
                                                                                                                                      LudoBites
                                                                                                                                      Mezze
                                                                                                                                      Mother Dough
                                                                                                                                      Nem Nuong Khanh Hua
                                                                                                                                      Oinkster
                                                                                                                                      Palate Food + Wine
                                                                                                                                      Playa
                                                                                                                                      Pollos a la Brasa
                                                                                                                                      Ray's
                                                                                                                                      Street
                                                                                                                                      Tacos Baja Ensenada
                                                                                                                                      Terroni
                                                                                                                                      Waterloo & City

                                                                                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                        First of all, thanks for all that work.

                                                                                                                                        Fascinating...so we're talking about a 30% difference in two years which...

                                                                                                                                        Doesn't sound that unreasonable/unusual, especially with turnover.

                                                                                                                                        The only four on the 99 list that I'm very surprised to see get left off the 101 are: Euro Pane, Lazy Ox, Pollos a la Brasa and Tacos Baja Ensenada.

                                                                                                                                        Likewise, I'm surprised to see these make it to the 101 list yet not be on the 99 list:

                                                                                                                                        Urasawa
                                                                                                                                        Kogi
                                                                                                                                        AOC

                                                                                                                                        1. re: odub

                                                                                                                                          My pleasure - small in contribution compared to what you and others offer almost daily. I also was surprised at how much of a change there was. Granted, his last 99 is from 2011, and there's always attrition and evolution to account for in this industry. Euro Pane has been an enduring love of his - I'm wondering why they've slipped away.

                                                                                                                                          I didn't check his older 99s, but Urasawa and AOC have always been list-worthy.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: odub

                                                                                                                                            All 3 have been on the list before.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                            Building on your excellent work, Bulavinaka, I've compiled the restaurants on the 101 list that were not yet open when JGold's last 99 came out in November of 2011, as determined by the oldest review date on Yelp, blog posts from Eater.com, and threads on CH. Cribbing your format...

                                                                                                                                            RESTAURANT/RANK ON THE 101 (OPENED)

                                                                                                                                            Shunji/10 (March 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Bestia/18 (November 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Hinoki & the Bird/19 (January 2013)
                                                                                                                                            Trois Mec/23 (March 2013)
                                                                                                                                            Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village/31 (December 2011)
                                                                                                                                            Alma/36 (June 2012)
                                                                                                                                            The Hart & the Hunter/40 (October 2012)
                                                                                                                                            The Sycamore Kitchen/42 (June 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Post & Beam/47 (January 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Tar & Roses/53 (January 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Superba Snack Bar/56 (July 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong/60 (January 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Plan Check/64 (February 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Bierbeisl/67 (March 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Sqirl/72 (October 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Corazon y Miel/75 (February 2013)
                                                                                                                                            Hannosuke/76 (June 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Racion/83 (March 2012)
                                                                                                                                            Rocio's Mole de los Dioses/87 (Late 2011?)

                                                                                                                                            I could not find a definitive opening date for Rocio's Mole de los Dioses, but I included it since the oldest Yelp review was from January 2012. I also included Cook's County, even though it opened the same month (the same week, even!) as JGold's last 99 list came out, since he (probably) could not have tried it before press time.

                                                                                                                                            I did not count Starry Kitchen (Nights) though, as they did exist, albeit in a different location, when the list came out. I also didn't include Hunan Mao for similar reasons.

                                                                                                                                            Any other edge cases that I missed? Any mistakes?

                                                                                                                                            So the "exclusion" of these restaurants from the 2011 list was obviously not directly due to changing tastes and trends. They just weren't around to be included...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                              Agree with Peter's assessment of the wave of new (and excellent) restaurants contributing to the fluctuation, as well as 11 of the restaurants on the 2011 list closing.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                I was going to look at the closings from the 2011 list, but got too tired after the above. Most obvious ones I noticed were Campanile, Mezze, and Playa. Does LudoBites count since he's settled down with Trois Mec? What are the others?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                  Yeah I was counting LudoBites...

                                                                                                                                                  Alcazar
                                                                                                                                                  Angeli Caffe
                                                                                                                                                  Antojitos Carmen
                                                                                                                                                  Campanile
                                                                                                                                                  Eva
                                                                                                                                                  Larkin's
                                                                                                                                                  Lou
                                                                                                                                                  LudoBites
                                                                                                                                                  Mezze
                                                                                                                                                  Palate Food + Wine
                                                                                                                                                  Playa

                                                                                                                                        2. Do I understand this correctly? Is #1 (Providence) the best restaurant in Los Angeles (in Gold's opinion?)

                                                                                                                                          I don't have a problem with that, (or #2) but #3 and on and I don't really get the order.

                                                                                                                                          I've been to 50 of them.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                            The order isn't that big of a deal anyways - I'm sure J. Gold would have a different order if you asked him today.

                                                                                                                                            I actually like these lists in general because they're organized and are a good talking point, but when people get caught up taking the exact order too seriously, then it trivializes the process (not saying that's the case with anyone here).

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                              I have no problem with that idea - I'd rather group restaurants as favs. But Mr. Gold doesn't stipulate what you have stated simply and elegantly.

                                                                                                                                              Why number that at all?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                Probably because he didn't want to do 99 as "direct" competition to LA Weekly's, and for some reason 101 > 100 to most people for lists.

                                                                                                                                                J. Gold actually doesn't seem like the type that does stuff like rank restaurants 1-101 (I mean, he refuses to have a rating system for reviews). Probably a LA Times thing for more readership.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                  To be fair, LA Weekly has since gone HEAVY into Top 10 and ranking systems as well. Publications always point to customer demand for ranking systems so blame your fellow neighbors.

                                                                                                                                          2. 82!
                                                                                                                                            Here's the twelve I am missing including a few I never heard of...Mantee and Cacao!

                                                                                                                                            29. Drago Centro
                                                                                                                                            36. Alma
                                                                                                                                            43. Fig
                                                                                                                                            47. Post & Beam
                                                                                                                                            49. Le Comptoir
                                                                                                                                            52. Soban
                                                                                                                                            55. Starry Kitchen
                                                                                                                                            72. Sqirl
                                                                                                                                            74. Attari
                                                                                                                                            75. Corazon y Miel
                                                                                                                                            80. Mariscos Jalisco
                                                                                                                                            81. Mantee
                                                                                                                                            83. Ración
                                                                                                                                            84. Mayura
                                                                                                                                            85. Newport Tan Cang Seafood
                                                                                                                                            87. Rocio's Mole de los Dioses
                                                                                                                                            92. Cacao
                                                                                                                                            96. Ciro's

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                                                              Showoff!

                                                                                                                                              Cacao is pretty amazing though. Definitely should check it out, Bob.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                will do - it's a schlep but the menu looks awesome, thanks Chris and Servorg!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                                                                Cacao (better known as Ca Cao Mexicatessen) has been mentioned here http://www.chow.com/search?query=caca... multiple times over the years. Great place not too far from Sr. Fish in Eagle Rock.

                                                                                                                                                http://www.cacaodeli.com/

                                                                                                                                                http://www.cacaodeli.com/view_menu.jpg

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                                                                  Impressive! But what do you mean you've never been to Newport Tan Cang?! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                                                                    Dang I thought I was in the lead. 73 for me

                                                                                                                                                  2. Have not had the time to read this entire thread until this afternoon, then created my own list, which surprised me that I have actually eaten in 35 on the list, albeit most of them in previous years.
                                                                                                                                                    Top 20 selections: 1,3,4,6,9,11,20 with only #s 6,9,11 worth repeating.
                                                                                                                                                    Balance of list: 21,25,26,29,34,35,37,41,42,45,51,62,63,68,69,0,78,79,83,
                                                                                                                                                    86,88,89,90,92,93,98,99,101.
                                                                                                                                                    My lack of love for Japanese & Italian food precludes my own list from growing too much more.

                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                        You mean I have work to do and money to spend!
                                                                                                                                                        Or do I have work to do, you have money to spend.
                                                                                                                                                        But you get to the 310 way more than I do or want to.
                                                                                                                                                        But selectively I do.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                          My bad.

                                                                                                                                                          I don't think my post was directed at you necessarily.

                                                                                                                                                          But I went to 55 of the places on his list.

                                                                                                                                                          I still have to say that his list is still quite good.

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry.

                                                                                                                                                          Btw. No sushi or Italian food for you ?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                            Talk about boring!
                                                                                                                                                            Don't eat tomato sauce or cheese, so right there most Italian places, pizza included, are no-nos.
                                                                                                                                                            Don't get the allure of raw fish either.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                              Wow - I could swear you're my father-in-law. Those are all heavy no-gos on his list. He's Chinese from Malaysia, and his generation (and probably all before him and many since) have no affinity to such things...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                Well. At least you are eating much healthier by cutting out all the cheese.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aventinus

                                                                                                                                                            There are only 2 food trucks on the list. I know from your comment above you don't agree with many (most?) of JGold's choices, but implying Mori didn't make it because its not a food truck, even jokingly, doesn't make a lot of sense.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                              That's because there is not much sense in Mori not being on the list. I can understand not wanting to overload the top 20 with too many sushi and Japanese selections for the sake of diversity (Kogi, really? Are people still lining up for it?). But for it not to be on the list at all is just silly.

                                                                                                                                                              An embarrassment for the list actually not to recognize the care and quality that goes into the food there.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Porthos

                                                                                                                                                                As you said above, I must work under the assumption that he's never been. While puzzling, at least it's less troubling than if he did include it due to the consensus of its quality even if he's never been. Of course in this day and age, any deception in that vein would likely quickly be exposed anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm fairly certain he's been, but probably has never written about it due to Mori's previous policies re: photography (probably something similar w/ Go's Mart - I remember him talking about how he was never able to write about it in one of his Lunchtime Chats). He might even have mentioned it as one of his top 5 sushi places in a chat, but I'm not going to go through all the chats to find it.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                                    His reviews aren't that photo-heavy are they? On a similar vein, has he not reviewed Zo? I'm too lazy to look.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                      From what I remember about the couple of lines he wrote about Go's Mart, he was trying to bring in a photographer to take photos of the interior and food, and Go-san refused to be featured (or something along those lines).

                                                                                                                                                                      Like Mori and Go's Mart, I have a feeling he's mentioned Zo in a chat before as well. But I could be completely wrong about ALL of this though (ex: I have a history of calling people by the wrong name while playing pick-up ball for years)...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                                        That's why go skins and shirts.

                                                                                                                                                                        People on your team you call them by the name of "give me the damn ball".

                                                                                                                                                                        People on the other team you call "your(s)" as in "that was your man" or "he's yours".

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                                      You might be right, but for a food critic to omit a highly regarded restaurant because he can't take pics is a critic with out-of-whack priorities.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                                        It speaks to what qualifications there are for inclusion. If for instance he couldn't officially review a place for either LAW or LAT based on certain requirements from his bosses (like there be pics of the restaurant and/or food), AND if for inclusion in the list it must be a place he's officially reviewed for the publication, then that would be a legit reason for exclusion.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                                          Did a fair number of searches for Mori: Mori sushi; Mori sushi Los Angeles; Mori sushi Los Angeles Review; Mori sushi Jonathan Gold; Mori sushi LA Weekly; Mori sushi LA Times; Mori sushi Gourmet Magazine; Morihiro Onodera.

                                                                                                                                                                          I came up with very very little in terms of actual content from any publication. I found no published review on Mori by J Gold. He does make passing mention of Mori in various articles where it seems fitting. But the only published reviewer that I found was S Irene Virbila from 2004, including one photo. Don't know how she got the photo or under what conditions:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/...

                                                                                                                                                                          A boat load of reviews from yelp and other similar sites; good writeups from bloggers including kevineats and thedeliciouslife. Even kevineats kind of growls at Mori's "no photo" policy from earlier attempts in past years. His more recent review was from 2011 - post-Mori - and he did took lots of photos. thedeliciouslife posted twice - 2005, no photos; 2009, photos - go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                          I can see the photo ban being a review killer for papers and mags. It seems while Mori did enforce this ban starting around 2005 (post-Virbila), it had been haphazard (deliciouslife's 2009 photos) and maybe no more post-Mori.

                                                                                                                                                                          Gold obviously embraces Kiriko - he has a fair amount of print on Namba-san's craft. Kiriko seems to be rather open to the press. So I can see subtle signs of resistance from Mori during LA's serious sushi renaissance in the mid-2000s. I don't think many would argue against the fact that Itamae can be a temperamental breed. Who knows how Mori-san feels about the press eyeballing his craft.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                            "I don't think many would argue against the fact that itamae can be a temperamental breed."

                                                                                                                                                                            Mori channeling their inner Keizo, perhaps? Jiro daydreams of cleaving camera toting customers?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                              It does appear that Maru-san's attitude toward photographing is not as negative as Mori-san's. Last year Maru didn't bat an eye when I was taking pics of the food at the bar.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                I've never had even the hint of a protest from Mori-san or Maru-san when I took photos at their sushi bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I know that gos Mart didn't accept a photographer to take photos for the Times.

                                                                                                                                                                                  But for some reason bloggers/customers are allowed.

                                                                                                                                                                                  That reminds me that I am seriously overdue on a visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                  That's a work-intensive question to answer...

                                                                                                                                                                                  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Did you mean this reply to be in the ramen thread?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry, I was replying to josephnl.

                                                                                                                                                                2. 3,4,5,7,8,11,13,15,16,18,19,21,27,30,33,34,38,44,45,46,51,53,
                                                                                                                                                                  56,59,63,66,71,79,84,86,89,99,101

                                                                                                                                                                  1. It just occurred to me that the data we're volunteering on this thread is a veritable treasure trove for the ChowMods/CBS in potential the data-mining of our dining behavior...

                                                                                                                                                                    Not sure if I like this turn of events...

                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm pretty sure the data we've been volunteering on this SITE has been or at least can be used for those purposes.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                        Tru 'dat - But this one thread is especially data-dense, especially from an objective standpoint. Many other threads contain subjective opinions, whereas this thread places specific Hounds at specific locations over time.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: J.L.

                                                                                                                                                                        Wow. I didn't even realize that.

                                                                                                                                                                        In that case, let us please end this thread now so any more of our behavior may not be mined against us.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                          Better yet, let's recommend and profess an overwhelming love for all the restaurant we actually find "abhorrent" - that'll teach those data mining so and so's a lesson!

                                                                                                                                                                      3. Only in Los Angeles for a week or two a year and still managed to do these in the top 20.

                                                                                                                                                                        1,2,3,4,6,10,17,20

                                                                                                                                                                        1. JGold speaks.

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                                                                                                                                                                          As if to twist the knife in our backs, still no mention of Mori -- even to dismiss it. 'Natch.

                                                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                            LOL - he knows the kind of outrage these lists engender.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                              i found his answer totally appropriate.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                Might too obvious of a nod if he mentioned it - assuming that he is lurking...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                  too much of his writing seems to be embellishments of chowhound posts for me to believe he isn't lurking. . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                    there is nothing in golds writing that even vaguely reminds me of anything ive read on chowhound.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've yet to see anything on this board that even vaguely hints at Pulitzer material...and that's being generous in the extreme.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                        which is not to denigrate my appreciation of the reviews and information here on chowhound, which i am grateful for.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                          But what is does mean is that there is no reason on Earth for JG to be cribbing anyone's prose here.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                          And I've yet to see any of Pulitzer material from JGold.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                            Some of Bulavinaka's and Chandavkl's stuff approaches anthropological articles I've read...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm not saying that his writing style is derived from this board.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                Folks, this got really unfriendly and personal. We've removed a lot of posts from this thread. Please try to keep the focus on chow and not on your fellow chowhounds. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                  ok, will do. thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  some times we all get slightly carried away in the heat of the moment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  but to keep it chowish, what's your favorite of the 101 restaurants ?

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. As many of you say, these "Top Lists" just seem to engender angst, frustration, conversation, outrage, or happiness (if your tastes aligned with the author's). :P

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been to 15 of the Top 20.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think we all have our favorite restaurants that were left out, but some of these are frustrating:

                                                                                                                                                                                      * J Gold ranks Kogi BBQ Tacos, Shanghai No. 1 Seafood, Apple Pan, Fab's Hot Dogs and Golden Deli all above Mori Sushi and Torihei?! Huh? WTH?!

                                                                                                                                                                                      Kogi's Tacos were a nice trend, but he throws them "boldly" in at his #5 Best Restaurant in LA, as if to be "hip" or "cool" or something. Seriously overrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bestia is overrated at #18, above Melisse, MB Post, Rustic Canyon, Hatfield's, AOC, etc., etc. seems another misplaced restaurant, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                      But that's why these things are so interesting / controversial / etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                      It certainly has engendered lots of conversation. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                        I think we would all get some serious crap if we each drafted our own top 100 for Los Angeles lists.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                          The one advantage that JGold has is that he does this professionally and for some time. I'm not sure I've been to 100 different restaurants in L.A. Okay, I probably have, but certainly I'm not putting many of them (most fast food restaurants) in a top 100 list.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                            these days, i would more appreciate a list of restaurants at which one can reasonably get out the door for $30/pp to $60/pp for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                            to try to compare and rank the food served at providence with the food from a taco stand is, to me, a fool's errand.

                                                                                                                                                                                            i think most of us already know the higher-end restaurants. the mid-priced ones imho need to be monitored.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                            Too true. :) It's a tough job, if you're tasked with creating a "Top 101."

                                                                                                                                                                                            I guess it's just really surprising the blatant non-mention of some excellent eateries, but especially Mori Sushi. And the inclusion of some, IMHO, solidly mediocre restaurants instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm sure there would be a significant number of hounds that would not put Mori in the list.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, Mori is one of my favorites but it may not be another's preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                oh, no doubt. :) For sure, everyone has their own opinion on what their top restaurants may be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I guess for this highly-touted list, leaving off Mori Sushi (and smaller, excellent eateries like Torihei) seem like an oversight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                And then throwing Kogi Tacos at #5 Best Restaurant in LA over so many others feels like a desperate stab at "street cred" or "coolness."

                                                                                                                                                                                                Shanghai No. 1 Seafood was downright mediocre-to-awful the last 2 visits (and it was mostly empty), with the sad, unprofessional practice of scribbling off menu items that they've taken off the menu (instead of reprinting). Then again I realize it's probably too pricey for them to reprint. :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shanghai No 1 is mostly abysmal. Many around here like one dish - the thick juicy pork buns but that's about it. What a joke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Disagree on that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The pan fried buns are stellar. As close as you will get to Shanghai in this town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The braised pork, lions head, vegetables with preserved duck eggs, are all very good. Better than what you'll find at board favorites. Certainly spanks MLV. Ordered 3 times off the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think getting caught up in the rankings is ultimately a fool's errand. "Why this over that?" is just one of those endlessly subjective arguments with no possible resolution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think Kogi is fine at #5. I don't think it's a "desperate stab at 'street cred." At this point, Kogi's no longer a "trend piece". It's just part of the L.A. food scene. Besides, they serve a great dish and more importantly, what Kogi does is uniquely Angelino, which is part of the list's purpose. Whether it's #5 or #55 is besides the point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: odub

                                                                                                                                                                                                      hi odub,

                                                                                                                                                                                                      true, thanks. at this point, it really is one individual's subjective list; it's his favorites. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      but in regards to Kogi Tacos being placed at #5 (vs. #55) best restaurant, at least for me, I think it does matter in a way. It's like ranking Matt Barnes as #5 best NBA player, and leaving Kobe Bryant of the Lakers off the list. Sure, it's his choice, but it feels a bit glaring IMHO. :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                      But yah, at the end of the day as foodiemahoodie says, it should be taken with a grain of salt. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I personally don't think of Matt Barnes as a game changer as Kogi was to food. Maybe Jerry West...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If we're comparing using NBA players, then maybe Kogi is more along the lines of a Moses Malone (or Kevin Garnett for a more recent comparison), in that Kogi opened the doors for food trucks as these players did for high school players to go straight to the NBA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A door that has since been closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Definitely better for comparison. My only point was throwing any player in for comparison. One can't deny Kogi's impact on the food biz - it's substantial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                @ bulavinaka,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                no doubt. ill definitely give credit to Kogi for lighting the fire for food trucks and involving social media; no denying that. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But this is a list of the Top 101 Restaurants in LA as of 2013; not a history lesson of "greatest impact in LA restaurant culture" or something like that. If it was that, sure, there's an argument to be made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But just in my humble opinion, throwing in Kogi at #5 above far too many restaurants *is* like throwing Matt Barnes in the list at #5 and leaving Kobe Bryant off the list of Top 101 NBA Players of 2013.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For my tastes, Kogi Tacos are severely overrated. i'd rather eat Ricky's Fish Tacos, Mori Sushi and plenty of other restaurants left out over Kogi. Let alone dumping Kogi at #5 Best Restaurant in L.A. which just seems absurd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                ah sorry, i got carried away again. it's his list, it's his choice. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I still think throwing Matt Barnes in is extreme and out of context with J Gold's intentions of his list. And I'd take Jerry West over Kobe. I've always felt that steadfast character combined with great all-around skills and a team mentality trumps one stand-out player who is full of himself, and who spells, "team,' with an "I." ipse provided the LA Times link with J Gold expressing further thoughts on his list. I was left with the impression that yes, it is his list; yes, it is subjective, and yes - contrary to your position on what the 101 should represent - it is not so much only who is ranked top to bottom as the best based on some hypothetical scale, but who or what represents LA in some significant way:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  >>I tried to choose restaurants that expressed something about Los Angeles, whether in the way they reflected the city’s role as the center of a great agricultural region, or ignored it in favor of reflecting Shanghai or San Juan de los Lagos – but the quality of representing Los Angeles is obviously subjective, whether it is a plate of flautas in Boyle Heights or an indifferently cooked but pleasant seaside lunch.<<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  J Gold had never ranked his 99 in the past - only listed them by alphabetical order. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing he feels that ranking them does a great injustice to all 99 and beyond, as they all have some sort of significance to contribute to the collective LA palate. And Kogi at #5 might just be his way of skewing LAT's ranking dictate. Being that he now seems somewhat different in profile (not nearly as many ethnic joints considered, ranked lists), the change is almost certainly coming from above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Many on this board have voiced sometimes severe criticism of J Gold, questioning his knowledge on certain dishes, cuisines, even his taste. I equate him to a world class decathlete with a boat load of gold. Few have his overall understanding food as well as an ability to compassionately discuss it with such humility. I think for someone who is considered a professional food critic, his style is open and engaging. He has a child-like curiosity coupled with an sophisticate's intellect yet humble as a monk, a kind and fair hand with the pen, and a gift to lace his thoughts with vibrant prose. I personally liked his work more so when he was with the LAW, but I'll still take him at his current post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hi bula,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ah thanks for the additional quote from a followup interview. i think the confusion may lie in the way this was presented. staring at my hard copy of the Los Angeles Times "Jonathan Gold's 101 BEST RESTAURANTS" and then taking the introduction to this printed in the LA Times (written by J. Gold no less)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "What are the BEST restaurants in Los Angeles? It depends on whom you ask..." (J. Gold, emphasis mine)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and then seeing the HUGE custom Red and Gold Font for "#1" "#2" "#3" etc....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the way it's presented is definitely a hierarchical ranking list. so before you mentioning that follow-up interview afterwards, at least with the material presented before me (la times hard copy of the article, in its own full color fancy insert), and the text and presentation, it definitely came off as "best restaurants in order" and not "historically significant" or "what represents LA in general" etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    if taken as "here's an alphabetical list of significant restaurants that have shaped LA" or are important to LA, yah, I have no problem with Kogi Tacos being listed anywhere in the list, even at the very top if it wasn't ranked. It is, indeed, significant. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    in general though, i def agree that J Gold has hit the mark far more than missed it, and i enjoy his writing style in general. :) ive found many good eats thanks to his old la weekly columns, but also disagreed with quite a few in terms of deliciousness or quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks for the great conversation and insight. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm enjoying the discourse as well. I'm guessing J Gold caught a lot of flack for his 101 - in order - and all that were omitted; thus, the follow-up. I feel it was more than gracious of him to do so. It seems most who have far less credibility and far less worthy lists have never done so. The more I see these lists - Top Five, Top Ten, This Guy's 100, That Gal's 999, etc., the less I feel they really need to justify them. They're just lists that we all can take as seriously as we want to - or not. They do make for great conversation and debate (this thread is just over a week old and is already at 260 posts).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know J Gold's are far more significant than most other lists, given his exposure and potential impact, but if one feels a place has been unjustly omitted, added, or unjustly ranked, usually we can at least surmise a reason for it (Kogi and Mori included).

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                                                                                                Engendering conversation is also highly over-rated. Being provocative for provocative's sake is just Intellectual bomb throwing. You might be helping a mediocre restaurant, while hurting the prospects a great one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Lists can be helpful. This list is somewhat helpful because there a lot of highly recommended restaurants I've never heard of. However, seeing that he misses the boat - my boat - in the simplest of matter - taste - then the list becomes nearly useless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                There are some on CH which have praised certain restaurants to no end - places I've tried and don't think merit a return visit. So when they rave about something again - I take with a big fat grain of sel gris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                  there is a difference between "engendering conversation" and "trying to attract readers to increase advertising revenue."

                                                                                                                                                                                                  the world needs intellectual bomb throwing. without it, we'd still all be barefoot, pregnant and in the back of the bus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linus

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I believe it was being in the back of the (Micro) bus that led to the barefooted pregnancy many times...

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Given the dreadful financial state of the L.A. Times, I can't "borrow" the list without paying. I'm not a goody two shoes. I just don't have the heart to kick them to the curb when they are hurting. If/when they fold, there will be no daily newspaper left in Los Angeles. That makes me sad and it's strictly my own personal schtick..

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cujo

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not to get off topic but the LA Times isn't in a dreadful financial state because of the paper itself. It's because the folks who own the paper (Tribune) are bankrupt and have been relying on the LAT for revenue. The newspaper is actually highly profitable, it always has been. But if you're owners are bleeding it dry as a cash cow, it certainly makes it seem like its in a dreadful state.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If/when the newspaper gets sold (ideally not to the Koch brothers, but who knows?), the odds that it will return to profitability with proper management are quite high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: odub

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I respectfully disagree. They have a long history of financial losses. They depend on selling advertisements to stay afloat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    As more advertisers fall by the wayside, so does the writing staff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. JG does write well (which I can't say the same about the old Times critic, s irene virbil) He's entertaining and fills his prose with florid, vivid descriptions usually. And generally he tries to be informative like his brethren in NYC (sietsema, trillin, et al).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now just because a writer wins the prestigious and much esteemed Pulitzer Prize does not make that individual a great writer. (Yes, this is coming from someone who is a pretty crappy writer but you get my point).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Are there hounds on here that write very well and could be accomplished critics ? I believe so. But the majority on here (I may be mistaken on this note) just simply love hitting up great eats and drinks or just eats and then like to report back about it. They are not paid to provide this service. Most of you guys I presume have other full-time jobs that does not include professional writing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  So if the writers on this board did not have day jobs, then maybe they would up their game on writing reviews that are descriptive, informative, entertaining, and exceptionally well-written.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  On the other hand, JG's full time job is to visit restaurants and write reviews on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Finally had the chance to go through all of these. Over the years, I've been to: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20, 21, 24, 25, 29, 37, 41, 46, 58, 59, 64, 68, 86, 88, 99 & 101. Many of the others are on my to-do list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chris1621

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I get the distinct feeling from reading what many of our "well dined" hounds have posted here about how many of these places they've been to that Mr. Gold got much more right (by a VERY wide margin) with this list than he got wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        But hounds will only remember their favorite restaurants that he left out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I prefer Sushi Kimagure over Mori anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I got nothing wrong with the top 20, though I'd switch Jitlada for Bestia and Rivera for Night+Market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Didn't want to start another thread, but when asked in his weekly chat what his favorite sushi restaurants were, JGold said:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "Kiriko, Kiyokawa, Shunji, Hiko and maybe Mori. I know the Sushi Zo zealots have their knives out, but it's never been one of my faves."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          He mentioned Mori! Is that a ranked list? If so, why isn't Kiyokawa on the 101? Let the debates commence (or continue...)! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          (Hat-tip to chrishei for noticing the topic on the chat...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Edit: Interesting that he doesn't like Zo but Hiko is on the list. I've always thought Hiko was in the same vein as Zo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hiko but maybe Mori?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Uh huh...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Does explain it all though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hiko's at least not factory-esque like Zo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                                                                                But is Zo now as factory-esque as Sasabune?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chrishei

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Funny, I remember reading reviews of Sasabune years ago (from Exile Kiss, among other) and being amazed and wanting to go but never going. Now, even though I am "professionally" curious ("culinary" curious is probably a better way to put it, since I don't get paid for this--I wish!) about trying Sasabune, selfishly I feel like if I'm gonna spend the money, I'd rather go to Shunji or Kiriko. I kinda feel the same way about Zo, vis-a-vis Shunji/Kiriko, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Per our offline discussions before, Zo is definitely still worth going to at least once. But it's not in Shunji and Kiriko's league, that's for sure. I actually thought that Sasabune was solid the one time I went a while back, but diners as exposed to sushi as you and I are not going to be impressed at all present-day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. (I'm breaking this out to the top level, rather than nested deep where kevin's comment was.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks CharlesKochel for pointing out that kevin asked a question that kinda got lost in the thread. It was:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "what's your favorite of the 101 restaurants ?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shunji would be my "easy" answer, but if I had to pick something other than that (or Kiriko, my other "easy" answer), I'd have to go with Tar & Roses, which I just tried on Monday. Absolutely amazing. MB Post would be a close second (or fourth, I guess), followed by FIG, probably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hmmm interesting. Tar and Roses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Given that you have hit up Shunjis and Kiriko so many times and are used to that quality of sushi you will probably not be impressed by Zo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you ever try Andrew's cooking when he was at Wilshire, especially in the early days? I thought it was quite good, yet hardly at the top of the top, per your Monday assessment.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What created the "absolutely amazing" assessment for you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: carter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm hoping to have a review out sometime next week (want to write my MB Post review first), but the ingredients were all very fresh, the flavors bright without overbearing, each dish pretty perfectly executed (with the exception of the soft-shell crab dish). Highlights were the heirloom tomato bruschetta (very simple prep, let the ingredients shine) and the honey-glazed fried pig tails (crisp, sweet without being cloying).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Service was also excellent. When the wood-roasted baby chicken came and we cut into it, there was a decent amount of pink near the bones of the thighs. The hostess quickly noticed we kinda left it alone while eating the other food, waiting for someone to come back so we can ask about its doneness, and explained the the brining can cause the meat to be pinkish even when fully done. (Water refills, slowed a bit toward the end of the meal, but that was a very minor thing.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: PeterCC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tar & Rises is off the charts and only getting better. To answer my own question ongoing to stick with hometown favorite Gjelina. I love when they change menu between small plates because of freshness, #superfood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: CharlesKochel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kochels, what's new on the BBQ or Southern front ???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great question. I've continued the trek and unfortunately ... the closest thing I have found to southern smoke flavored low heat slow cook bbq is the local craft beer with a smoke flavor...oddly enough I had it at Father's Office on Montana where Beef Ribs are boiled (really) and the rest of the food is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I get it and love Korean BBQ and whatever else taste good to me, but we are absolutely zero for (estimate) fifty bbq juke joints...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have learned, many of the better shops offer open coals, but do not enclose the box, in turn depending on wind and weather to suffice, it never works - there is a reason to trap the smoke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for asking, I'll provide a few of my local faves and why soon. Low and Fuckin' Slow Kevin...Low and Slow the seasoning is in the smoke, want a change, change the wood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: CharlesKochel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Low and fucking slow. I hear beyond loud and fucking clear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used to like a joint even though it was parboiled because there was nothing else for a solid 50 miles at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. For the hounds that were not members of the Times, you can now access the list complete with the Gold's blurbs for free starting today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Cool! My "secret" hangouts are not on the list!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trvlcrzy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now share with the rest of the class...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Unlucky #12, The Spice Table will be tabled after the new year: http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/11/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TheOffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Looks like it's probably going to be the site of the "regional connector" to the 7th Street Metro Center.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That means there will be no need to go all the wait to Union Station to connect to the Blue and Expo lines. That's a *very* good thing for all transit riders (and those drivers who benefit from those people who are not further clogging up the freeways.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://transitmaps.tumblr.com/post/52...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I understand the food at Spice Table was quite good, though I'm not terribly heartbroken at the loss of an FUB™ (which served a limited, moneyed demographic of Angelenos) in order to gain a Metro line which will make transit a little more efficient for virtually every resident of the city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd have a little more sympathy for the restaurant if this were a homespun mom & pop like Tokyo Cafe getting booted (and not just because I'd be losing their spectacular homemade gyoza!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster