Virbila Visits Valentino; Gold Takes on Oodles of Ord’s Noodles

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Dinner at Valentino Photo: Valentino

S. Irene Virbila revisits Pierro Selvaggios Valentino, where there have been recent ups and mostly downs. New chef Nicola Chessa seems more committed to the classic than past transient toques, cooking some of the best food the critic has enjoyed at Valentino in years. [L.A. Times]

Jonathan Gold brings composer and Thai fanatic Carl Stone to Ord Noodles, skipping most of the fare for the boat noodles, submerged in a deep, slightly tart broth tinted chocolate-brown with its thickener of ground pork blood, garnished with scallions and skinny strips of tripe and slivers of beef, also with slablets of liver if your tastes run that way, which I admit mine sometimes do not. [L.A. Weekly]

Looking to spend a romantic night near Mt. Washington and spend a little more money than when you were college sweethearts? J. Gold suggests LudoBites at Gram & Papas, though its sold out. Oh well, head to Palate in that case, he urges, making us think he just wanted to mention LudoBites again. [L.A. Weekly]

Merrill Shindler never really got The Queen Mary as an attraction, and worse, cannot find the friggin restaurant onboard, but once he pinpoints returned chef Larry Banares revised classic dishes, he thinks it's worthwhile, even if he doesnt sound crazy about the beef tenderloin carpaccio. [Daily Breeze]

Los Angeles magazine is not entirely convinced of La Vidas Spanish roots, though the paella is decent, the bibb salad with manchego and cherries is a high point, and the tandoori-spiced lamb chops are nicely cooked, but the ethnic influence feels watered down. [Los Angeles]