With an intro that compares Los Angeles cuisine to what they serve at Houston's---"which is to say the market-tested version of the grill-happy, big-flavor, salad-intensive cooking pioneered decades ago at places like the original Spago"---we have Jonathan Gold's new 99 Essential Restaurants. This year it's all about the rise of "Urban Rustic cuisine," farmers market produce, our immigrant communities, and "the hypermasculine restaurant, where chefs take the same kind of fierce pride in their arcane meats and cheeses they probably used to take in their record collections." The classics are all there (Spago, Campanile, A.O.C, Sapp's, Elite) but new stars include Akasha, Animal (pictured), the "brilliant brasserie" Anisette, BLD, Comme Ca, 8 oz. Burger Bar, Father's Office II, Jitlada, LA Mill, The Nickel, Osteria Mozza, Palate, and Wolfgang's Steakhouse, which is so bad (onion rolls, wine list, karma), only a sizzling porterhouse can make up for it. One thing we see missing is last year's cool interactive map. You?
· Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential LA Restaurants [LA Weekly]
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