The Other Critics

Brad A. Johnson Savors Shoemaker; Gold Grubs at Georgio’s Cucina

Photo: Savory

Despite the dude wearing a skull cap and sandals, Brad. A Johnson enjoys Paul Shoemaker’s “straightforward” cooking at Savory. Having skipped the chef’s stretch at Bastide (“L.A.’s original pop-up”) he loves the sea salt sous vide hanger steak, crab cakes, and salmon, but is disappointed by the mussels and linguine with clams. Before endowing it with three stars, Johnson offers, “Already, this might be the best restaurant in Malibu…But with a little tweaking, Savory could become a true destination worthy of frequent drives from all across L.A.” [Angeleno]

Taking us back to the days when he was the New York critic for Gourmet, Jonathan Gold says he used to follow the elusive chef Gary Robins, citing Ruth Reichl as a fan as well. Never being able to pin Robins down in one place in time for a review, Gold has finally caught him at Studio City pop-up Georgio’s Cucina. While a little bummed that Robins isn’t showcasing his flair for Asian fusion, Gold finds Georgio’s “a mainstream Italian thing” and “kind of a regular Italian restaurant, and a pretty good one.” [L.A. Weekly]

S. Irene Virbila checks out Xiomara, which has mostly dropped its Cuban accents for California cuisine. Unfortunately, it “doesn’t carry the passion or the sense of discovery of the original, but offers solid, well-priced California fare and attentive service.” Although the “kitchen needs to work on consistency,” owner Xiomara Adrolina has turned the restaurant “from more of a special-occasion place to a neighborhood fixture.” One and a half stars. [L.A. Times]

Not especially hip to the stoney references in its name, Merrill Shindler finds that Chronic Tacos is “a bit chaotic, but the food is well-grounded” with eleven “well-spiced” tacos. Turning his attention to Vietnamese, he endorses Pho Consomme in Gardena for anyone seeking “a child’s swimming pool of rice noodles, beef, tripe, tendons, chicken and whatever else is what you’re in the mood for.” [Daily Breeze]

Brad A. Johnson Savors Shoemaker; Gold Grubs at Georgio’s Cucina