The Other Critics

Virbila Jocks Jocko’s; Gold Examines Test Kitchen

S. Irene Virbila spends more time up in wine country, jocking Jocko’s in place of Bradley Ogden. A “hands-down favorite for locals who want some of that famous Santa Maria-style ‘cue,” even if waiting 15 to 30 minutes after your reservation is the norm, she is enamored of the “cowboy” clientele, red oak-fueled fire, and small town prices. Disinterested in the wine list, she declares, “This isn’t prime meat…But it’s cooked by expert grill men who know their meat through and through.” [Los Angeles Times]

In today’s raging age of pop-ups, “A well-curated Twitter list is worth more than a dozen Zagat guides,” states Jonathan Gold. Food-as-live-spectacle is reaching a natural zenith at new Test Kitchen, “less a restaurant than it is a club that happens to feature food instead of music; a venue where every night is opening night, the name chef is always behind the range, adrenaline is the drug of choice and cooking is performance art.” In any case, Jordan Kahn’s dinner has him already fiending for a fix of Red Medicine. [L.A. Weekly]

Los Angeles magazine finds The Glendon’s decor too sophisticated for co-eds to call a second-home, even if the menu seems sophomoric, “made up of booze-absorbent foods like fried calamari, crab cakes, burgers, and pizzas and an unfortunate list of sugary martinis.” [Los Angeles]

Mr. Gold breaks down the use of fried foods in Cantonese cuisine, recommending a trip to Alhambra’s Gourmet Island for the salt-pepper calamari. [L.A. Weekly]

Jonathan Gold admits it’s a bit early to lose one’s cool for Salt’s Cure, despite the deli/butcher/restaurant’s incredibly promising premise, genealogy, and potted duck with blueberries. Still, a classic has already been born as the critic declares, “it would be a shame to endure even a single extra day without having experienced the Salt’s Cure BLT.” [L.A. Weekly]

Merrill Shindler admits reverence for the grand dames of L.A. hotel restaurants, and truly enjoys a trip new-school Sip’s in Long Beach at the former home of Tracht’s. He enjoys the food, but finds cocktails “the name of the game at this hotel hot spot.” [Daily Breeze]

Virbila Jocks Jocko’s; Gold Examines Test Kitchen