The Other Critics

J. Gold Does Dan Dan Right at Chaun Yu Noodle Town; Wolfgang Zweiner Wastes L.A. Times’ Time and Money

An exploration of the United States’ dan dan mian noodle scene reveals “intricacies [that] can tear families apart and bring close friends to blows.” But Chuan Yu Noodle Town, which “isn’t quite set up for non-Chinese customers” is a “specialist,” offering a “bowl, bright red, mined with Sichuan peppercorns, ya cai slippery, fried peanuts extra crunchy, noodles dense but not unpleasantly so, sesame paste sparingly applied.” [L.A. Weekly]

S. Irene Virbila is astonished at how popular Wolfgang’s Steakhouse is on the Beverly Hills pimp scene. Scooting by some hot shot with a lady on each arm, she finds, “Other than one truly great steak, the porterhouse for two, the restaurant doesn’t have much else to recommend.” Even though it’s closely following the Peter Luger model, “greasy, burned” spuds, unripe tomatoes, overly breaded crabcakes, and overcooked steaks have her convinced, “you should get more for your money.” [L.A. Times]

Does J. Gold cook at home? Como no! Though he does admit he sometimes cooks for ten and “then realizes that he has forgotten to invite anybody to dinner.” He tours the most battered cookbooks in his collection, starting with good ole Marion Cunningham, book-ending Rick Bayless and his wife, along with Alice Waters, in the middle, and declares Bittman’s How to Cook Everything “the Boy’s Own Joy of Cooking” even if it is the “most shoddily bound cookbook ever to hit the shelves.” [L.A. Weekly]

Merrill Shindler says he predicted the rise of the gastro-pub, the “Anglo cognate for the Japanese small-plate-and-beers joints called izakaya.” He has three to frequent on the Pacific coast, guess-timating that it would take two years of weekly visits to digest the beer list at Congregation Ale House, shouting out Waterloo & City, and adoring the brown sugar glazed pork ribs at Hudson House. [Daily Breeze]

Despite “a few duds,” Jonathan Gold is pretty pleased with Xiomara having ditched its Cuban roots. New chef Michael Reed, a Sona and Mozza vet, has made it “again a restaurant to watch” with his “pork-on-pork-on-pork-on-pork” braised pork chop with pancetta, kale, and pork jus and a standout seared sea bass with butternut squash. [L.A. Weekly]

Los Angeles magazine visits Cleo and while the offal selection is “impressive,” it feels that the “supersize menu from chef Daniel Elmaleh needs focus” and “those sugar-rimmed cocktails have got to go.” [Los Angeles]

J. Gold Does Dan Dan Right at Chaun Yu Noodle Town; Wolfgang Zweiner Wastes L.A.