The Other Critics

Virbila Finds Beechwood Improved; Jonathan Gold Bugs Out at Guelaguetza

Tacos chapulines from Guelaguetza
Tacos chapulines from Guelaguetza Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

S. Irene Virbila checks in with Jamie Lauren at Beechwood and finds the chef has added “more heart and soul to the food than it’s had in a while.” She references Bolano and Gustavo Dudamel and even gets in a new dig at her least favorite Top Chef when she notes that there are “No Fabio Viviani theatrics going on here.” Although duck mole tacos, sloppy joe sliders, and a grilled cheese fail to please her, Virbila determines that “Lauren’s cooking comes into focus with her main courses,” and thinks the pork confit, Kobe beef cheeks, pierogi, and Jidori are true hits. She gives the “retooled” restaurant one and a half stars. [LAT]

Where do you get a head-start on the apocalypse and begin eating insects in L.A.? Mr. Gold recommends silkworm soup at Mok Maru Jong and the entire insect section Typhoon has on its menu for such fare as scorpions on shrimp toast. But surprise surprise, he takes us to Guelaguetza for the chapulines, which are great with beer, “except for that occasional bead of goo that lingers inside one bug out of ten.” [LAW]

Los Angeles magazine deems Mas Malo an improvement on the original, “a step up as well from the ‘chewy chips’ and the beef and pickle tacos of the original,” with drinks that will cement it as a Downtown nightlife staple. [Los Angeles]

“These days, you want to see the game, and eat sushi, you go to the mall,” marvels Merrill Shindler while digging into RA Sushi in Torrance. Although “Sushi purists weep at the notion of such rolls” as the crazy combinations found here, the writer deems it “definitely” good. [Daily Breeze]

Virbila Finds Beechwood Improved; Jonathan Gold Bugs Out at Guelaguetza