Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Does going West lead to a dead-end?

Does anyone have a comment on this week's West magazine restaurant issue?
OK, I'll go first. I thought the conceit of categorizing dishes by which utensil they are eaten with was pretty forced, but I can certainly understand the desperation for fresh ideas. But usually in this type of issue I can at least find two or three places I'd like to try. This one just seemed small and flat. Tuna burger at M Cafe, pastrami sandwich at Langer's...I think we've heard this song before. The only place that might be a discovery was S Vietnamese in Westminster. In his editor's note, Rick Wartzman mentions "all the Mexican and Thai places that, for relatively little money, offer their own culinary bliss." Well, maybe we'd like to hear about some of them.

On the other hand, today's Times Food Section story "Koreatown 24/7" is informative and packed with new places to try...wish I was in the mood more often for a 3 a.m. pick-me-up of jampong, bubbling cauldrons of "deep red, searingly hot soup chock-full of octopus, shrimp, crab and mussels." Hopefully it's just as good at 7 p.m.

In other news, CurbedLA updates the status of Mario Batali's Mozza...apparently phase one is due for August. And why wasn't I invited to the pizza tasting with Jake Gyllenhaal?

Curbed also reports via A.V. Newbie that a Famima is coming to downtown Glendale...that's pretty cool, because there are few things I love more than fishy flavored or green tea flavored Japanese snack foods.


ipse dixit said...

99% of the issue was a rehash of prior SIV work and the feature articles were banal and uninspired.

The one notable piece, by Charles Perry, on cocktails and desserts had potential, but it was limited to a glossy two page pictorial with what essentially amounted to a insert/caption for an article.

Erin S. said...

I agree with your assessment...not much there there. Didn't pick up on anything new.

Anonymous said...

Typically, I save the magazine restaurant issue as reference for the year....I already recycled Sunday's edition. How do remember which utensil goes with which restaurant? Seemed kinda arbitrary. Perhaps, next year they should try a best of issue or new to town or restaurants with views where the food is good or even passable or anatomy of a hit restaurant (Hungry Cat) vs. a miss (you know who you are).

Anonymous said...

Famima's also coming to Hollywood Boulevard, by the way.

Anonymous said...

The Restaurant Issue in the past couple years have been uninspiring to say the least. Maybe it reflects the state of LA's gourmet scene these days? It's just hip steak and Cal-Italian places opening left & right.

The only really interesting food is happening in ethnic enclaves like Koreatown, San Gabriel Valley, etc.

KateCoe said...

I'll tell Charlie someone like his piece--he called me, asking if I knew of any "trends". And loyal Top Chef viewer that I am: cocktails and sweets. To bad they didn't let him actually research it.
Every issue of West is a disappointment.

Ellen Bloom said...

Your blog is MUCH MORE informative than anything written about food in the L.A. Times, including this past Sunday's Magazine Section hightlighting L.A. restaurants!

Thanks for keeping us up to date on high-end and low-end eats in L.A.

Anonymous said...

completely agree. the west mag was lame. Although, i have to say that for the K-town article, she mentioned Wien as a good bakery, and I would recommend Paris Baguette on western and 1st 10 times over wien. Their green tea and blueberry cakes are divine.