the other critics

First & Hope Grabs Gold's Ring; Alan Richman Blew the San Gabriel Valley

Dessert at First & Hope

Dessert at First & HopePhoto: Hadley Tomicki

Jonathan Gold transforms into Chandler upon entering First & Hope, "a maximalist's cool evening out" that "splits the difference between Busby Berkeley glitz and downtown disco cool." Though it's "less a restaurant than it is a blog about a restaurant" and the manufactured dishes are at times disappointing--if not necessitating legal intervention--he's totally going back after rocking out to some Wagner. [L.A. Weekly]

Always watching our backs, Jonathan Gold notes that Alan Richman of GQ took a misguided tour of Alhambra before declaring the Chinese food in Manhattan superior to San Gab's. But back then he never had the opportunity to pig-out on pork, prime rib, and eel fried rice at Gourmet Island, which could have changed his mind completely, even if it in no way neighbors MILF Island. [L.A. Weekly]

S. Irene Virbila rejoices at not having to skip a velvet rope at Hollywood's popular new lounge La Vida. She celebrates chef Joseph Panarello for "forging his own path" and likes most of the Cal-Spanish dishes, even if "everything doesn't work so well." Pastry chef Jose "Secret Weapon" Detres might very well be responsible for the second star in this review. [L.A. Times]

Need a flexible place for a big group? Mr. Gold covers the options form Street to AOC, "the OG of the flexi-hang around here." In the end, Comme Ca is picked as the potential best fit, even if "you'll have to shout." [L.A. Weekly]

S. Irene Virbila takes an early peek at Wolfgang Puck's WP24, finding it "so far, so very, very good." [L.A. Times]

Los Angeles magazine is transported to France at Maison Maurice, where the dishes are as "lovely" as the low prices, even if the "rubbery" Napolean is to be avoided. [Los Angeles]

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