The Other Critics

GQ Jumps On The L.A. Love Train; Gold Gets Offended by Santa Monica Place

Xino Photo: Hadley Tomicki

GQ leaps aboard the “L.A. Actually Rules ” train, declaring it “the coolest city on the planet” thanks to Umami Burger, Cedd Moses, Lazy Ox, Bottega Louie, and Daikokuya, among its non-edible treasures. [Feast]

Jonathan Gold is not feeling the rebirth of Santa Monica Place, especially its Dining Deck, which might have been “custom-designed to make native Angelenos grumpy.” He calls Sonoma Wine Bar and Ozumo’s owner “another middling San Francisco restaurateur,” Pizza Antica “a second-tier Bay Area chain,” and might be as welcoming to Richard Sandoval as the Texans from those old Pace Picante ads. It’s unclear if flashy Xino has him pumped, but he will allow that Chris Yeo’s NorCal restaurant “does serve what is probably the best Singaporean food in the United States.” [L.A. Weekly]

S. Irene Virbila returns to Waterloo & City, declaring it “a people’s restaurant” consistent with today’s pop-up/food truck-era. She finds the charcuterie to be Brendan Collins’ “trump card,” but might save her money by skipping the inventive pizzas for Manchester quail or shepard’s pie. “A great neighborhood find” that only occasionally misses the mark, Virbila deems Waterloo “the closest thing to a really great London gastropub we’ve got.” Reversing her Drago Centro decree, the massive, free parking lot doesn’t yield an extra half-star, with only two-and-a half doled out to Collins and crew. [L.A. Times]

Mr. Gold writes a column to an extremely limited group of foodies: Lucky souls with reservations for the last two weeks of LudoBtes 5.0 who want BYOB wine recommendations. Fortunately, his suggestion of Alsatian Riesling will satisfy BYOB needs all over town from Starry Kitchen to Totoraku. If you don’t end up going to Ralph’s, he suggests perusing the selection at Domaine LA. [L.A. Weekly]

Jonathan Gold declares great burgers “a birthright” in L.A. but Burger Kitchen is the only place in town serving Pat LaFrieda’s Black Label beef, used in the widely praised burger at New York’s Minetta Tavern. Not following new Russians into battle with a $75 caviar-topped “From Siberia with Love” burger, he advises “You’re here for the Natural…which can resemble a Maillol bronze of a hamburger more than it does a hamburger.” [L.A. Weekly]

Los Angeles magazine abandons all decorum in Waterloo and City where “The mashed potatoes atop the shepherd’s pie special had us licking the dish.” [Los Angeles]

Merrill Shindler really likes the new chef at Baleen, even if the servers tarnish the experience by flailing about on the computerized billing system. [Daily Breeze]

GQ Jumps On The L.A. Love Train; Gold Gets Offended by Santa Monica Place