L.A. Weekly’s newly hired restaurant critic, Besha Rodell, will have her first column published next week in the paper, Squid Ink reports. But today she speaks to the city for the first time, detailing her thoughts on the subject of anonymity, as well as humility, following Eater L.A.’s repeated attempts to unmask her. Speaking refreshingly freely, Rodell admits that although she did foresee Jonathan Gold comparisons in her future, she didn’t quite expect them to arrive in the form of anonymous comments like “Its Jonathan Gold in drag.” Welcome to L.A., indeed.
Despite being pushed past the fresh start she had hoped for, the writer appears to have a shell as tough as a saltwater croc, forgiving all the “outrageous dicks” that said these nasty things and admitting that she probably can’t blame the site, either, as “we (restaurant critics) kind of brought this on ourselves, being all self-important and wearing wigs and pretending we’re spies.”
Speaking of which, Rodell then admits that the burka video she made on the importance of critics’ anonymity “was supposed to be a joke,” though she still concedes, “anonymity helps.”
Facing her online firing squad with courage, self-deprecation, and calling people “dicks” while still sounding smart totally fosters fond feelings for L.A.’s newest critic over on our block. This being said, while Rodell counts it as a strength that “I don’t know any chefs or restaurant people here,” we have to wonder if the antagonistic welcome wagon she’s been met with could be the main reason she says, “and I hope to keep it that way.”