The Other Critics

Virbila Gets The Specials at Aburiya Toranoko; L.A. Weekly Examines Bricia Lopez and Nathan McCall

Alright, now we’re talking. S. Irene Virbila is back in town and ready to sniff out the restaurants we’re eager to hear more about. To this end, she’s at Aburiya Toranoko, the hyper-kinetic izakaya next to Lazy Ox. She surprisingly likes the graffiti and is bowled over by the expanse of the menu. She loves the seafood here, but not the sushi so much. She tucks into some char-grilled pig’s feet and crispy fried octopus tentacles and sounds like she’s in heaven. The choices are many and so far the execution is beautiful, especially while she pounds an Echigo Red (is this still Virbila we’re talking about?). But as we’ve heard from the critic before, when things get too damn funky, her red pen comes out. “Some of the more creative dishes…fall flat…Call me crazy, but I just don’t enjoy the taste or texture of cream cheese with raw fish.” Nope, not crazy on that one. Only one question remains. Where are the stars? [LAT]

L.A. Weekly released its people issue today. That means, sorry L.A., no new J. Gold review. The man does take a look at Los Feliz butcher Nathan McCall, whom he scores a lid of Berkshire pork shoulder from when no one’s looking. Meanwhile, Elina Shatkin drops in on Bricia Lopez, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love this dynamic young lady? She’s even doing a Got Milk? Ad this summer. [LAW;LAW]

Patrick Kuh counts CBS and Mr. Chow among his ten favorite Chinese restaurants in L.A. [LAM]

Virbila Gets The Specials at Aburiya Toranoko; L.A. Weekly Examines