The Other Critics

Gelt Goes to Mas Malo; C. Thi Nguyen Breakfasts at Huge Pastry Tree

Quien es mas malo?
Quien es mas malo? Photo: Hadley Tomicki

Today we get a little taste of a Bizarro World where The L.A. Times has a cool new restaurant critic. Madame Virbila happens to be on vacation and in her place, Jessica Gelt looks at Mas Malo, a restaurant we’re not totally sure needs to be reviewed in the first place and that we already know drives Virbila crazy. “To carp about the over-the-top nature of the cuisine at Más Malo is beside the point,” Gelt argues, trying not to fill up on chips or get too faded on margaritas. Giving the half-cheesy nature of the place a break, she goes on full hyperbole overdrive and says, “To dine there is to take an oath of rock ‘n’ roll devotion.” Okay, sure, and Kerry Simon is the fifth member of Slayer. Gelt picks the pastor as her favorite dish, and finds the Coca Cola-braised carnitas missing some of their previous panache. Parsimonious with the stars as always, Virbila doesn’t even allow her replacement an allotment here, though the guest-critic is clearly enamored of this Silver Lake sequel. [LAT]

C. Thi Nguyen is enjoying breakfast at Monterey Park’s Huge Pastry Tree, where “the foods have about the same culinary thrust as your average pancake breakfast but are written all over with the Taiwanese bent for textural play.” [LAT]

Merrill Shindler hits Stacked, that new burger place with the iPad ordering system from an owner of BJ’s Brewhouse. Echoing our own feelings, Shindler had dismissed the tech-bent as a gimmick, to which he was soundly scolded by a Stacked wonk. Setting his eye on the place, he declares that Stacked does the burger concept “Pretty darned well…And totally terrific if you ask my 12-year-old, who declared Stacked her new favorite restaurant - and who wants to know why we don’t go there every week.” [Daily Breeze]

Jay Weston declares Stella Rossa “the best pizza in L.A.” and “perhaps the world.” We’ve heard it’s good, but still don’t know quite what to think about of this big talk. It sounds like it’s probably time to try the place, if only just to stifle our giggles with a slice. [HuffPo]

Gelt Goes to Mas Malo; C. Thi Nguyen Breakfasts at Huge Pastry Tree