Friday, November 12, 2010

Jonathan Gold's 99 Essential Restaurants Is Back

Grab your forks: L.A.'s Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic is back with his latest list of L.A.'s most important eateries.

Just as you finally made a dent in last year's list, Jonathan Gold's new 99 Essential Restaurants list is out in this week's L.A. Weekly.

If there's any trend to this year's list, it's Gold's acknowledgment that the very definition of what a "restaurant" is has changed:

Some of the most interesting Los Angeles restaurants at the moment are as illusory as light on a screen.

Glazed pork-belly adobo for lunch? Check your Twitter feed. The truck that serves it may be around the corner or it may be two counties away. The cocktailian whose mezcal drinks you crave shifts venues more often than an NBA team on the road. Restlessness has long been a local characteristic, and we were famous for drive-ins, dine-and-dash hash houses and takeout windows long before the advent of tapas trucks and pedal-powered popsicle carts.

The best enchiladas I've ever tasted were made by a woman whose makeshift stand occasionally pops up around the corner from a more established stand whose location I can never quite figure out. The most celebrated young chef in Los Angeles imports his restaurant into a different kitchen every couple of months, like a soufflé-happy hermit crab inhabiting a new shell. At one of the most popular new places in town, your dinner may be prepared one night by one of the most famous chefs in Mexico; the next by a moonlighting lackey from a place you wouldn't eat at with somebody else's mouth.

Check out the full list here.

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