The Other Critics

Culina’s Crudo Changes Brad A. Johnson; Gold Hits The Slaw Dogs/Red O

Culina's crudo bar
Culina’s crudo bar Photo: Hadley Tomicki

Culina changes Brad A. Johnson’s perspective on raw salmon when the deftly seasoned crudo rocks his world harder than any uncooked fish short of Urasawa and Mori. Even though “the last thing this neighborhood needed was another Italian restaurant,” Culina is “everything that [Gardens] never dared to be: modern, vibrant, airy, sexy.” Three out of five stars are awarded, with an accompanying seal of approval from Joe Jonas and Enrique Iglesias. [Angeleno]

Jonathan Gold quits knocking The Slaw Dogs before he’s tried it, finally deeming it “part of the new movement in Los Angeles cooking…where Asian-American chefs claim the chicken-pot pie, the taco and the Cobb salad as their own,” which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t here. [L.A. Weekly]

GQ food critic Alan Richmond takes issue with Jonathan Gold’s San Gabriel Valley shite-talking and claims the L.A. Weekly scribe is writing “fiction.” [L.A. Weekly]

S. Irene Virbila thinks it’s a crying shame that the bad economy is keeping people from Patina, which “sneaks up and reminds the unwary and the jaded just why fine dining matters” under newest chef Tony Ensault. She gives it a whopping four stars, reminds us it’s “Downtown’s flagship” and lets slip that the talented Waylynn Lucas is now pastry chef here. [L.A. Times]

We’re sure he’ll take a deeper look into the tequila tunnel soon, but Jonathan Gold so far approves of Red O’s non-traditional take on cochinita pibil and sopes, but if “you are expecting Topolobampo” or the dynamic recipes of Chente or Casita Mex, you might find dishes that are blander than the shiny clientele. [L.A. Weekly]

Want to simultaneously please both a vegetarian and a carnivore? Mr. Gold would typically send you to Taylor’s, but to really satisfy that greenie he suggests Lazy Ox where the veggie can “eat as low on the food chain as you’d like.” Snap! [L.A. Weekly]

Merrill Shindler recalls Minetta Tavern and Maialino in New York, leading him to Torrance’s Michael Shafer’s Depot, where he veers towards “the left side of the menu.” [Daily Breeze]

Culina’s Crudo Changes Brad A. Johnson; Gold Hits The Slaw Dogs/Red O