The Other Critics

Gold Going Out With Langer’s Pastrami, But Probably Not Going Back To The Yard

Who would Jonathan Gold want to cater his funeral? While Chinese might be too complicated, he’d prefer to “die as I lived: seen off with Langer’s pastrami,” which hopefully isn’t a suspect in the death itself, come that sad, gray day for L.A. [L.A. Weekly]

Jonathan Gold hits The Yard, an “embodiment of the Westside circa 2010,” where Top Chef C.J. Jacobson, apparently once known as a Campanile line-cook named “Stretch,” has helped turn the gastro-pub into a potential time-capsule of “so many of the themes in local dining.” Gold’s first meal “couldn’t have been more of a disaster,” but he was happy to find the place turned around just half a year later, with the cuisine now “for the most part simple and accurate,” even if the pulled pork sliders and pig ear salad haven’t swayed him to be a regular or cancel any flights “to Raleigh-Durham” yet. UPDATE: And yes, he says he would go back! What do we know? [L.A. Weekly]

Though he made do with Westwood’s Alcazar, which “had equally fine food but was a bit cramped,” during the closure of the Valley locale, “miracles occasionally happen, and the Encino restaurant is up and running again.” He’s stoked. [L.A. Weekly]

Having most likely never been invited by any “smartly dressed Asians” in her crew to one of those private, locals-only clubs, S. Irene Virbila thinks Bann Restaurant & Lounge “may be the splashiest place in Koreatown.” She goes crazy for the chicken gizzards and finds “the highlight of the menu is the array of cold and warm small plates,” both funky and traditional. Minus the beef tongue, she finds the barbecue is just okay (but complains there’s not enough of it) and deems the tofu a “huge disappointment.” In case you walk ass-backwards through life, she makes sure to let everyone know it’s not Momofuku or Ssam, even if it bucks usual KTown customs. One and a half stars. [L.A. Times]

Merrill Shindler deems this “the age of the Mega-burger,” and finds The Counter to be “one of the best burgers in Southern California,” shortly before going even further overboard by including it as one of the best “in America and around the world.” [Daily Breeze]

Los Angeles magazine nails Vintage Enoteca as a place more for wine than cuisine, where “the emphasis is less on obscure pours and fanciful cured meats and more on the experience of sipping something lovely in a low-key space and having a few innovative bruschette to go with it.” [Los Angeles]

Gold Going Out With Langer’s Pastrami, But Probably Not Going Back To The Yard