"Can you imagine me being Guy Fieri?"
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"If chefs truly can cook better when they know a critic is in the house, then restaurants without an early warning system are at a permanent disadvantage."
Michael Cimarusti's Providence is the food critic's top pick.
Elsewhere, Brad A. Johnson gives San Juan Capistrano's RokPrime one and a half stars.
Interesting under-the-radar inclusions help extend one's adventures through Taco Town.
Jonathan Gold still loves Mexican food in LA; Brad A Johnson finally finds a 3-star worthy restaurant in Orange County.
The critic compares chef Eduardo Ruiz's place to "the Latino equivalent of restaurants like Spice Table, Lukshon, Chego, or Bar Ama."
The creative Rivera chef will not longer be cooking at Playa, putting his attentions towards his Tamale Museum instead.
Down in San Juan Capistrano, Brad A. Johnson bellies up for brunch at the historic Ramos House Cafe.
"If everything weren't so well-executed, I'd say this place was ridiculously boring," the O.C. critic writes about Brea's hot Italian trattoria.
Gold says the Newport location "may be SoCal's best Indian restaurant."
In Anaheim, Brad. A Johnson falls in love with The Ranch.
Down in the O.C., Brad A. Johnson squeezes into The Cellar in San Clemente.
In Santa Ana, Brad A. Johnson loves Jason Quinn's food, even if he thinks there's a "Playground bully" lurking in the kitchen.
While the nominees mingled, Christina Aguilera took her opportunity to chow down at In-N-Out.
Serious Eats misguidedly declares that Paul Shoemaker "can feel more like a brand than an actual chef."
The Los Angeles Magazine critic calls Elia Aboumrad's French restaurant on the Sunset Strip "seductive."
The critic loves Remi Lauvand's cooking, but is perplexed by a scene that's not about the food.
The L.A. Weekly critic finds more magic in the room than on the menu.
In Orange County, Brad A. Johnson gives DivBar a sterling review, a day before the chef takes off.