The Other Critics

Virbila Ventures to South Beverly Grill; Gold Guesses At His Choonchun Dinner

Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

S. Irene Virbila tries to make the case that S. Beverly Drive has more soul than Rodeo Drive, though South Beverly Grill might be bringing the latter to the former with its decent upgrade of “middle-of-the-road American food.” Having “eliminated most of the negative elements associated with a chain restaurant,” it is bestowed three stars to add to that premature AIA design award. [L.A. Times]

Though he loved the shit-storm at the first L.A. Street Food Fest, noodler-numero uno J. Gold cites “the cattle-car conditions and edgy vibe” at last year’s Korean BBQ cook-off. This year’s was mellower, giving him time to be impressed by the dakgalbi at new Choonchun, where a follow-up reveals that “the menu is untranslated, which means that you have to more or less guess at your dinner.” Knowing Gold, that’s a great sign. [L.A. Weekly]

A possibly high (on caffeine) Jonathan Gold is inspired by the Pasadena’s branch of Intelligentsia. While the others are “mere temples of the bean,” this is a gourmet’s haven. Even if the lasagna cupcake “violates every rule of Italian cooking,” it tastes “like something straight out of Ferrara.” [L.A. Weekly]

Going on a date in LBC? Mr. Gold suggests pork shank carnitas at Enrique’s and liverwurst sandwiches at Joe’s for the second go-round, apparently the one where you can start revealing your inner piglet. For the first date, start licking the flames over the great view and “very nice” food at Fuego, where “there’s a great tequila selection if things get interesting.” [L.A. Weekly]

Merrill Shindler has a newfound respect for Bertha’s , which has offered “neckbones and oxtails since 1965,” now that it’s being considered for LAX. Still, he’s not sure how they will “cook the ribs in the airport,” when they use an oil barrel for an oven. [Daily Breeze]

Los Angeles magazine also hits South Beverly Grill, and finds “this operation comes from an experienced company; there’s a polish to the service that’s rarely seen in new spots,” except when Ruth’s Chris, The Alley, or Capital Grille open new locations. [Los Angeles]

Virbila Ventures to South Beverly Grill; Gold Guesses At His Choonchun Dinner