The Other Critics

Jonathan Gold Remembers Joan Luther; Morningstar Scores With Virbila

Kris Morningstar
Kris Morningstar Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Jonathan Gold pens a tribute to Joan Luther, “the first lady” of L.A. restaurant publicity: “Luther made you feel as if you were part of a larger continuum, a better, more romantic Los Angeles where green goddess dressing was on every menu and Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart still roamed the sunbaked streets.” [LAW]

The 3-month-old Ray’s can easily hold its own against some of Los Angeles’ best Mediterranean bistros,” writes S. Irene Virbila. “The food is often surprising, almost always delicious.” Here here, Sherry! “Morningstar tends to change the dishes on the menu faster than Lady Gaga comes up with outfits,” she chuckles, giving him props for “cooking with the season and not just giving the idea lip service.” Loving dishes like the octopus and Romano beans (dude, you gotta get that porchetta if it’s still around), she concludes, “Ray’s (along with Stark Bar) is a fine tribute to both Stark and Renzo Piano’s design for the pavilion.” [LAT]

Jonathan Gold probably wouldn’t answer to “hey you, noodle boy!” but naturally, he does like the Rosemead restaurant of the same name. It’s a very simple menu, he explains, breaking down that “You can get noodle soup. You can get noodles without soup. You can get soup without noodles. That’s pretty much the end of the story…” It sounds like the wontons, which you may remember form such San Gab restaurants as Wonton Time, are a major draw, while “the important topping here… is the house-made fish ball — less like the firm, rubbery things you usually find in this neighborhood and more like airy slabs of perfected Chinese gefilte fish.” [LAW]

Some dude’s tired of tricking out cash for zillion dollar steaks at Jar and Cut, but is apparently too good for the $10 flanky, skirty steaks at Empanada’s Place or A Taste of Brazil in El Sereno. What to do? If Spice Table’s “unami-bomb” isn’t your style, get thee to Salt’s Cure, Mr. Gold suggests, as “Almost nobody sources meat better than they do.” Uh, and the price? Well, we know it’s cheaper than Cut. [LAW]

Jonathan Gold Remembers Joan Luther; Morningstar Scores With Virbila