The "new" Zagat "guide" for Los Angeles was "released" today and "already appears" to be an "improvement" on the 2010 edition, which clumsily included endorsements for food trucks that hadn't even appeared yet. This year, Pizzeria Mozza again takes the top spot for most popular L.A. restaurant, followed, as expected, by The Bazaar and Spago, while Sushi Zo takes the "top food" prize and Melisse scores for "best service." It's a little shocking not to see Hatfield's make the list of the 40 top spots, as chosen by 10,800 L.A. diners, but the "top newcomers" veer pretty close to correct with Noir, Eva, Lazy Ox, and Bouchon taking primary spots, followed by Stefan's at L.A. Farm, which isn't really that new, having opened in summer 2009. So, what else goes right and almost kinda right?
Elsewhere, the guide manages to decently balance L.A.'s upscale experiences with food-fanatic favorites like Cook's Tortas and Ruen Pair, though it's got some work to do in catching up with spots like Bludso's and Kyo-Chon. New entries refreshingly appear to lack those tired quotation marks, and a few necessary food trucks make the listings, as does LudoBites. The book also accrues points for extending its reach to Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, along with multiple sections organized by neighborhood, value, and cuisine, and a spiffy, shiny full-color map on its inner rear-flank.
In the end, lacking strong opinions that would warn anyone away from a spot like Trastevere means it won't replace our copies of Eat: L.A. or Counter Intelligence, but as usual, it remains a fair resource for getting familiar with the far-reaching dining scene in one comprehensive sweep.
More results are online: Los Angeles Survey Results: Who Came Out on Top? [Zagat Buzz]