Has L.A. Dining Gone Soft on Critical Thought?

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Is our food scene becoming bereft of critical thought? We couldn't stop pangs of empathy for blogger PaniniGirl, who felt like a kid with a lump of coal in her stocking while cracking open The Los Angeles Times' food section Wednesday and finding it nearly barren. It was also yesterday that Eater questioned why the paper's S. Irene Virbila was spending so much time out of the county, reviewing restaurants in Napa and O.C. While bloggers have risen in status and a whole cast of dailies, weeklies, and monthlies have expanded their food coverage quite nicely, we wonder where L.A.'s true critics have been hanging out. Counter Intelligence still delivers the Gold and Irene stays honest, but where else do Yelp-shy foodies have to go for serious restaurant analysis? It seems like eons since we've seen a place get slammed and many open menus without so much as a second glance from our best voices. We are surely not running out of restaurants, but seemingly out of opinions. We'd love to know dear readers, where are you going for your L.A. food reviews and which voices do you trust the most?

[The Ever Dwindling Food Section [PaniniGirl]