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FOOD
August 12, 2010 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic
This is Beverly Hills?, I wondered, oh so many years ago when a friend took me to lunch in a sweet little house with a fireplace on South Beverly Drive. Chez Mimi later moved to Santa Monica, and Urth Caffé now dispenses soy lattes and iced green tea from that rose-covered cottage. Back then (and now), South Beverly Drive didn't seem fancy at all, more like a small-town Main Street where you'd find shops selling nightgowns and one-piece swimming suits, baseball cards and birthday gifts.
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FOOD
April 11, 2014 | Jonathan Gold
It has never been easier to eat high-end sushi than it is now in Los Angeles - to surrender two hours and half a month's rent to the choreographed roll of the waves. You can experience the masculine crispness of Mori or the postmodern wackiness of Wa; the gentle experimentation of Kiriko or the discofied modernism of Nobu Malibu; the gold leaf and truffle oil of Go's Mart or the intellectual approach of Kiyokawa. The idea of purist edomae sushi, or at least its rigor, is well-established here.
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FOOD
August 25, 2011 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
I sincerely hate to break it to anybody who hasn't heard by now, but mamma's gone. Mamma Loredana moved out, with her son Filipo Cortivo, from Osteria la Buca two chefs ago and opened her own place, Osteria Mamma , on Melrose Avenue a few blocks west of La Buca. Meanwhile, remaining partner Graham Snyder has expanded the original hole-in-the-wall upward and sideways. A recent makeover by designer Brendan Ravenhill removed the clichéd Italian references. Gone are the bottle chandeliers, replaced by understated lighting fixtures.
FOOD
February 14, 2014 | Jonathan Gold
Have you ever tried the beets and berries at Rustic Canyon? Because the dish is kind of mind-blowing when you think about it, a mess of roasted beets and purple quinoa in a rustic pottery bowl. There are herbs scattered over the top, and a few crisply roasted pistachios, and a few chunks of buttery, ripe Reed avocado, along with a seedy smear of slightly unripe mashed berries that seems to be there more for its fragrance and acidity than for any particular flavor. There may be a hint of dairy, and I seem to remember a version of this dish with creamed horseradish, but it could probably pass as one of those vegan feel-good bowls at a place like Real Food Daily or Café Gratitude - at least until you realize that you have powered your way to the bottom without half realizing it, and that the berries are doing unspeakably wonderful things to the avocado and that this may be the first bowl of quinoa you have eaten with pleasure since the last time you went to Peru.
FOOD
August 3, 2013 | Jonathan Gold
If you follow the peregrinations of local Chinese kitchens, you've probably been hearing a bit about Chengdu Taste lately, a new restaurant specializing in the dishes of its namesake city that was pretty much acclaimed as the best Sichuan restaurant in town from the first days of its opening. When I noted the unavailability of an appetizer translated as "Diced Rabbit With Younger Sister's Secret Recipe," the San Gabriel Valley cognoscenti knew what I was referring to even without a mention of the restaurant's name, and I was sent links to recipes, to articles noting the dish's ubiquity in Chengdu and a short biography of the woman who invented it. (According to Fuchsia Dunlop, second-sister rabbit cubes were popular enough to inspire a Chengdu poet to compose an ode in its honor.)
FOOD
July 28, 2011 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
The concrete walls of the new M.B. Post (short for Manhattan Beach Post) are stenciled with giant faded postmarks beneath a barrel-vaulted ceiling. The design by Stephen Francis Jones of SF Jones Architects plays off the fact that from the '50s through the '70s the building was the beach town's post office. And even though old mail-sorting slots are used as dividers in the dining room, that long-ago post office definitely didn't have a tapas bar. And it's a fairly sure bet that few of the people picking up their mail back then had an inkling about Spanish cuisine or ingredients like yuzu kosho or white anchovies.
FOOD
September 8, 2011 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
In Venice, Italy, friends who've met in the street will go off to drink un ombra , slang for a small glass of wine. That's the name of a new Italian restaurant that opened quietly a few months ago in Studio City. Chef-owner Michael J. Young is crazy enough about wine that he's taken courses at UCLA to learn more about it. He also picked up a lot about Italian wine working as sous chef under Angelo Auriana at Valentino way back when and with Celestino Drago at Drago Santa Monica.
NEWS
November 15, 2012 | By Betty Hallock
Guy Fieri shot back at New York Times critic Pete Wells for a scathing review of his new Times Square restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar (written entirely in rhetorical questions). Some are even calling it the most brutal restaurant review ever. On today's "Today" show in an interview with Savannah Guthrie , the spiky-haired Food Network star said: "I thought it was ridiculous. I mean, I've read reviews - there's good and there's bad in the restaurant business, but that to me went so overboard, it really seemed like there was another agenda.
FOOD
November 2, 2013 | By Jonathan Gold
If you have spent much time in L.A.'s farmers markets, you have probably run into C.J., Chris Jacobson, an affable chef, tall enough to be an NBA power forward, who seems to know every farmer in town. He worked on the line for a while at the old Campanile, where everybody called him Stretch, and he ran the Yard, a small gastropub in Santa Monica known for its beer list and fish tacos but which he managed to nudge toward fine dining at the end. As you might expect from a young Los Angeles chef, Jacobson did his time on TV, including "Top Chef," and he consulted for restaurant owners more interested in building a bar crowd than in nurturing cuisine.
FOOD
March 22, 2013 | By Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
A few months ago, a colleague invited me to dinner at Newport Beach's Tamarind of London, which he considered probably the best Indian restaurant in Southern California, a full-fledged satellite of a Mayfair restaurant that had been among the first kitchens ever to win a Michelin star for its Indian cuisine. I had been to the London original about a decade ago, and while I had been more impressed by the clubby plushness of Cinnamon and the direct, vibrant flavors at Rasa and the late Kastoori, I was impressed by the Mayfair Tamarind and its frank attempt to produce Indian food with the sheen and polish of white-tablecloth European cuisine.
FOOD
November 30, 2013 | Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic
Are we living in the golden age of the California taco? We may be - or at least it can seem as if we are when your tummy's full late on a Saturday night. Nobody finds it odd that Roy Choi, the local chef with the most international attention on him at the moment, became famous making Korean short rib tacos on a truck, nor that Walter Manzke, one of the half-dozen chefs in town capable of running a high-end French kitchen, opened the taquería Petty Cash. Wes Avila, who has cooked with Alain Ducasse, prepares diver scallops and Cook Pigs Ranch pork at his Guerrilla Tacos with the same care he took with those exalted ingredients at Le Comptoir.
FOOD
November 2, 2013 | By Jonathan Gold
If you have spent much time in L.A.'s farmers markets, you have probably run into C.J., Chris Jacobson, an affable chef, tall enough to be an NBA power forward, who seems to know every farmer in town. He worked on the line for a while at the old Campanile, where everybody called him Stretch, and he ran the Yard, a small gastropub in Santa Monica known for its beer list and fish tacos but which he managed to nudge toward fine dining at the end. As you might expect from a young Los Angeles chef, Jacobson did his time on TV, including "Top Chef," and he consulted for restaurant owners more interested in building a bar crowd than in nurturing cuisine.
FOOD
August 3, 2013 | Jonathan Gold
If you follow the peregrinations of local Chinese kitchens, you've probably been hearing a bit about Chengdu Taste lately, a new restaurant specializing in the dishes of its namesake city that was pretty much acclaimed as the best Sichuan restaurant in town from the first days of its opening. When I noted the unavailability of an appetizer translated as "Diced Rabbit With Younger Sister's Secret Recipe," the San Gabriel Valley cognoscenti knew what I was referring to even without a mention of the restaurant's name, and I was sent links to recipes, to articles noting the dish's ubiquity in Chengdu and a short biography of the woman who invented it. (According to Fuchsia Dunlop, second-sister rabbit cubes were popular enough to inspire a Chengdu poet to compose an ode in its honor.)
FOOD
July 20, 2013 | Jonathan Gold
Paiche are enormous. Paiche have teeth on their tongues. Paiche, living fossils barely evolved since the Miocene epoch, have lungs and breathe air, which is pretty unusual for fish. Paiche are also easy to catch, a problem even in the sparsely populated Upper Amazon, where, despite laws against commercial fishing, they are becoming rare. If your experience with paiche, also called pirarucu, comes mostly from the Discovery Channel, you may be surprised to learn of the existence of the local restaurant named Paiche, where customers may be observed consuming paiche tiradito , paiche tucked into lettuce leaves, grilled paiche ribs glazed with chile and sweet miso and paiche stewed in a spicy sauce.
FOOD
May 11, 2013 | By Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Angelini Osteria is almost everyone's favorite Italian restaurant in midtown: an informal room with well-designed trattoria cooking, a place to settle into for a plate of bombolotti or a Sunday saltimbocca, where whatever diet you happen to be on at the time will be accommodated without a fuss. Some nights, it feels as if everybody in the room knows one another, but you're in on the party too. You drink well, you eat well and you go home. A lot of chefs have come out of that kitchen, including Ori Menashe of Bestia.
NEWS
April 2, 2013
Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold returns Wednesday for his weekly live chat, "Lunchtime With Mr. Gold. " Stop by at noon and bring your questions. He'll answer as many of your dining queries as he can get to in half an hour. So get ready!  Got a craving for BBQ? Need to get your hands on a glazed doughnut? Need a recommendation for someone who loves Indian food? Have more culinary questions? Gold's your man. More Jonathan Gold quizzes: Sandwich time | Pickles | Birds Come back here Wednesday at noon.  LIVE Lunchtime with Jonathan Gold » ALSO: What I'm drinking now: David Rosoff of Osteria Mozza Food & Wine names Michael Voltaggio of L.A.'s ink. a best new chef Jonathan Gold | L.A. restaurant review: Muddy Leek gets comfortable in Culver City  
FOOD
March 30, 2013 | Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Muddy Leek is in kind of an odd location, just a block or two away from the restaurants in Culver City's Helms complex yet seemingly well outside of the area. It's part of a building that briefly served as a design museum before it was converted into architects' offices, in an awkwardly proportioned space that runs through restaurant identities like Spinal Tap goes through drummers. The neighborhood is rich enough in gelaterias and boutique art galleries that it is nearly impossible to find a parking space on Saturday nights, and the big windows face out onto a panorama that includes two liquor stores, the ice cream sandwich shop Coolhaus, and a shop that flashes slides of sleekly designed kitchens on its exterior as if they were movies at a drive-in.
FOOD
March 22, 2013 | By Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
A few months ago, a colleague invited me to dinner at Newport Beach's Tamarind of London, which he considered probably the best Indian restaurant in Southern California, a full-fledged satellite of a Mayfair restaurant that had been among the first kitchens ever to win a Michelin star for its Indian cuisine. I had been to the London original about a decade ago, and while I had been more impressed by the clubby plushness of Cinnamon and the direct, vibrant flavors at Rasa and the late Kastoori, I was impressed by the Mayfair Tamarind and its frank attempt to produce Indian food with the sheen and polish of white-tablecloth European cuisine.
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