2018 LA Weekly 99 Essential Restaurants

Everybody loves lists. Head scratchers for me
Fresh Water Dumpling & Noodle House - never heard of this place but there must be more essential Asian or Chinese places.
Javier’s Century City - really?
STRFSH - never been but not a lot of lower priced options and this doesn’t seem like a top 99 place.

the List is not a good one, all the credible food writers are no longer with LA Weekly.

try the Rogue 99 list:

written by two food writers who used to be employed by LA Weekly.

8 Likes

Agreed. I looked at it for 2 minutes.

Swork, Cafe del Rey, Javier’s, Catch, Tosai Sushi, Derive, AR Cucina. Hm.

2 Likes

Hock & Hoof is so new their website still says “Coming Soon” and they have no Yelp listing or reviews, and yet it’s on the Essential 99.

1 Like

they’re probably gonna be at LA Weekly’s 'The Essentials"

2 Likes

Maybe they recycled some of her work, but she quit last September and moved back to Australia.

I don’t think LA Weekly currently has any experienced food writers or editors. Michele Stueven’s experience is as a photo editor.

2 Likes

Wow. Just - wow.

And not in a good way.

1 Like

Fukin lmao at Javier’s!!!

How much did they pay for that?

2 Likes


71ABOVE
ALIMENTO
ANGELINI OSTERIA
ANIMAL
A.O.C.
AR CUCINA
BAROO
BEIJING PIE HOUSE
THE BELLWETHER
BESTIA
BLUDSO’S BAR-&-QUE
BRENT’S DELICATESSEN & RESTAURANT
BROKEN SPANISH
B.S. TAQUERIA
BURRITOS LA PALMA
CAFÉ DEL REY
CASA VEGA
CATCH L.A.
CHARCOAL
CHENGDU TASTE
CLEO ON THIRD
COLOMBO’S ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE & JAZZ CLUB
CONI’SEAFOOD
CONNIE & TED’S
CROSSROADS
DELPHI GREEK CUISINE
DÉRIVE
EATALY
E.P. & L.P.
FATHER’S OFFICE
FELIX TRATTORIA
FRESHWATER DUMPLING & NOODLE HOUSE
GELATERIA ULI
GJELINA
GRACIAS MADRE
GUELAGUETZA
GUERRILLA TACOS
GUS’S WORLD FAMOUS HOT & SPICY FRIED CHICKEN
GWEN
HATCHET HALL
HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU
HINOKI & THE BIRD
HOCK + HOOF
HOWLIN’ RAY’S
THE HUNGRY CAT
JAR
JAVIER’S CENTURY CITY
JEAN-GEORGES
JITLADA THAI RESTAURANT
JON & VINNY’S
KALI
KISMET
LARDER BAKING COMPANY
LE PETIT GREEK
LOVE & SALT
LUCQUES
LUKSHON
THE MAR VISTA
MB POST
MÉLISSE
MICHAEL’S
MTN
NIGHT + MARKET
NOMAD
OSTERIA VENICE WEST
OTIUM
PANN’S
PARK’S BBQ
PEDALERS FORK
PETTY CASH TAQUERIA
PHILIPPE THE ORIGINAL
PIE ’N BURGER
PLAYA PROVISIONS
PROVIDENCE
REDBIRD
RÉPUBLIQUE
THE ROSE
RUSTIC CANYON
SEA HARBOUR SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
SHUNJI
SICHUAN IMPRESSION
SOTTO
SPAGO BEVERLY HILLS
SQIRL
SRI SIAM CAFE
STRFSH
STUFFED SANDWICH
SWORK
TALLULA’S
TAVERN
TOSAI SUSHI
TOSCANA
TROIS MEC
TSUJITA
UNION
VIA ALLORO
VINCENTI RISTORANTE
WATER GRILL
WINSOME

4 Likes

I think the somewhat tragic outcome of this new Essentials list is that while it has some very, very good restaurants, it doesn’t encompass the “best” places LA offers from a food point of view. Tosai Sushi is clearly an upscaled pre-packaged sushi spot from the guy who helped put those premade sushi packs in Whole Foods and other grocery stores. It’s a far cry from the best that LA can offer. I speak with honesty in saying that when I look at our lists at Eater, especially marquee ones like the Essential 38, I’m thinking of visitors and tourists coming here and wondering what the best places for them could be. Mall sushi (or Mexican food) just doesn’t really offer the best, most compelling experiences for visitors (and locals). I hope they can take the feedback to heart and improve on it next year.

2 Likes

My understanding is the whole point of an “Essentials” list, as opposed to a “Best of” list, as Gold originally envisioned it, is to provide a broad swathe of restaurants/cooked food purveyors that encompass what he saw as being quintessentially representative of Los Angeles - not the single best sushi experience, but one that exemplifies a specific element (or elements) of what LA offers.

That said, I think the list put together and published by LA Taco (thanks for the link @Hungrydrunk!) is a lot closer to the original intent of an Essentials list than what the Weekly just published or what I’ve seen of the Eater Essentials lists (with the caveat that I’ve only skimmed a few of the latter).

@PorkyBelly, thank you for cobbling all the names together - I’m continuing to avoid giving the Weekly any traffic, so this is much appreciated.

5 Likes

Hopefully no more than Casa Vega, which is on both lists.

For those that live in glass houses, best not to throw stones.

3 Likes

I really enjoy that @KatherineSpiers put Steak N’Stein on the list. It’s one of my haunts when the fire pit comes out during fall and winter. Nothing better than some drinks and snacks whilst watching the fire roar.
Is it the best steakhouse? No, but I love the ambiance…and to me, that’s comforting.

7 Likes

seems the LA Weekly Essential event has been cancelled.

3 Likes

image

3 Likes

Thank you! I love it there in December when it’s decorated. And its seems like it’s a special-occasion restaurant for families.

To your point, I agree, food-wise it isn’t the most amazing, but it’s an essentials list, not a best list. I think you get it, but I’ve been surprised over the years (starting long before I was at the Weekly) about how … aggressive people are about not understanding the difference. It’s always talked about in the intro, too!

Oh and for anyone reading, attran99 is talking about the L.A. Taco list (http://www.lataco.com/restaurant-guide/) … the one where every restaurant on it is actually open! Oh lord, what a place LA media is in right now.

9 Likes

Keep fighting the good fight. Seems you’re The Last Jedi and those takeover noobs are The Empire.

3 Likes

hmm. does eater have any data (clickstream analysis, etc,) to confirm that the majority of people viewing those lists are the target demographic?

also, i noted that for the recent vietnamese update there was a caveat suggesting that the ‘best’ food was really down in little saigon, and there were a fair percentage of choices (about half IIRC) listed in the SGV. OTOH, no such caveat is mentioned for chinese food, and it’s seemingly predominantly non SGV selections. i’m having a problem understanding what seems to be an inconsistency. perhaps you could clarify that for me?