The Other Critics

Jonathan Gold Names His Favorite Dishes of 2010; Virbila Champions Salt’s Cure

What's shakin' bacon-wrapped bacon?
What’s shakin’ bacon-wrapped bacon? Photo: Fig

Jonathan Gold picks his best dishes of 2010, giving a nod to Intelligentsia’s cappuccino, Fig’s bacon-wrapped bacon, Chego’s hot buttered kimchi bowl, and the duck carnitas at Cacao Mexicatessen that he can’t stop quacking about. [L.A. Weekly]

S. Irene Virbila, the people’s champ, hits Salt’s Cure, where she says the chefs “don’t take the easy road “with anything.” That means if they can make it themselves here, they will. She finds that “the charcuterie and smoked fish are a big draw,” and loves their cheeseburger, even if she dare speaketh the name “AstroBurger” in the same sentence. Yeah, we kinda figured it was better than their’s already. She loves the place, with its Oregon-style passion and cooking she deems “rugged, satisfying and pulling no punches with the flavor.” Sure, it only gets two stars after a glowing review, but what are you going to do, take her photo, kick her out, and email all the local food blogs? [L.A. Times]

Don’t ask us why your visiting friends always want to stay on the West Side when you live like 20 miles away, but if you need a place to take them, Mr. Gold suggests Venice’s Tasting Kitchen, which he admits he talks “about way too much” and also allows you to hit neighboring Gjelina, which has pretty people and “decent organic-fetish Italian food” that said pretty people worship. Our tip: Bring your biggest sunglasses and smallest child or risk not fitting in with Travis Lett’s crowd. [L.A. Weekly]

J. Gold calls Thierry Perez’s L’Epicerie “a sort of evolved café, a place of crepes and croissants in the morning, sandwiches and tartines for lunch.” With straightforward cooking and a selection of great products, he deems it “a place a local could drop into several times a day.” [L.A. Weekly]

Los Angeles magazine enjoys itself at Eveleigh, especially a “ruby fillet of ocean trout with crispy skin we’d eat by itself,” the dessert of pear crumble, and herbs grown in the garden. “Don’t be alarmed if Aussie chef Jordan Toft climbs over your booth to snip some herbs,” they tease, though we actually think we’d kind of mind dudes’ Wallabees all up in our rib-cap like that. [Los Angeles]

Enjoy your holiday eating, readers, we’ll be back on Monday morning with guest-editor Lesley Balla taking you to the new year.

Jonathan Gold Names His Favorite Dishes of 2010; Virbila Champions Salt’s Cure