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Michelin releases second L.A. guide; critics weigh in

October 22, 2008|Betty Hallock

The 2009 edition of the Michelin guide is out, and Providence in Hollywood has been added to the list of L.A.'s two-star restaurants. Providence received one star last year in the much-criticized debut edition of the Michelin guide for Los Angeles.

Providence joins the ranks of Melisse, Spago and Urasawa, which each received two stars last year and retained their stars this year. Still no three-star restaurants in L.A. This year, Hatfield's, Bastide and Osteria Mozza each get one star (they weren't on the one-star list last year).

"Seems a little bit stingy, doesn't it?" says Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila. Should others such as Lucques have been on the list of one-stars? "Definitely, yes."

Says LA Weekly restaurant critic Jonathan Gold: "I got worked up over last year's Michelin list, but this year's, substantially identical to the last, is just boring."

This year the Michelin inspectors cast their net wider; they made it out to the San Gabriel Valley. Still, says Gold, the roster of "Asian (and token Mexican) places . . . smacks less of sincere exploration than it does like a list of Chowhound consensus favorites," Gold says. "[Mission] 261 is gorgeous, but the cooking is a mere husk of what it used to be. . . . Phoenix Inn isn't bad, but the inclusion is just random."

-- Betty Hallock

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latimes.com /food

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