Virbila Misses Manzke But Believes in Joshua Smith; Gold Gobbles Noodles and Respects Panda Express

By
Respected by our Pulitzer-winning critic Photo: illinoisoases via Flickr

S. Irene Virbila initially wasn't sold on Church & State's new chef Joshua Smith as he was in the unenviable position of "executing Manzke's menu." Though she says he's "not Manzke," Smith is very much worth checking out now that's he's found his groove, turning out a "wonderful" North Sea cod with duck confit and potato puree. Plus, the wine list and desserts have expanded. Two stars. [L.A. Times]

Jonathan Gold is back with more cold noodle madness, telling us there's nothing "more refreshing than naengmyon on a blistering summer day." For proof, he suggests Yu Chun, where they're "cold enough to give you an ice cream headache." [L.A. Weekly]

Mr. Gold respects, but does not love Panda Express, and feels that chain restaurants "probably have something valuable to say about the state of the culture," even if what they have to say "is too dismal to contemplate." [L.A. Weekly]

If you want a New Jersey-style, fried "ripper" hot dog, a Frito pie, or "an uncanny version of L.A.'s famous Oki dog," get thee to Fab Hot Dog's "spacious" new space on Victory. [L.A. Weekly]

"Covell Wine Bar is something more" than "just another hipster joint," announces Virbila, who finds that the relaxed attitude reminds her of the "new generation of wine bars in Paris operating with just a toaster oven." [L.A. Times]

Merrill Shindler checks out Hermosa Beach's new La Campagna, deeming it "a down-to-earth, wholly relaxed trattoria, the sort of place you'd expect to find on a back alley in Florence." [Daily Breeze]

Lest you fear Momed is just "another hummus-and-shawarma slinger," Los Angeles magazine sets the record straight, reporting that "the flavors are heightened, and the space is contemporary." [Los Angeles magazine]