Will Red Medicine's exposure of S. Irene Vribila's face lead to critical slams that give them a dose of their own bitter tonic? Perhaps not. Huffington Post critic Jay Weston just dropped a review that makes the modern Vietnamese restaurant sound like the second coming, despite writing last week, "I absolutely abhore [SIC] the rude behavior of that fellow named Noah Ellis," whose comments he labeled "sick and spurious." He also tweeted that he would "try to be fair and objective, although I hate their rude action." His final analysis?
Rudeness hardly plays into the picture as Weston's love letter to Red Meds gushes, "This restaurant shall overcome that situation and rise forth to shine in the reflected glory of the three guys who dreamed the dream, walked the walk, and brought it to fruition." He calls chef Jordan Kahn "intensely brilliant" and "the Michelangelo of desserts," and even gives Ellis props for "a true wonder" of a wine and cocktail program. Partner Adam Fleischman? Well, he might earn the highest praise of all, sharing space in the same sentence as the holy temple of In-N-Out Burger for his aims to start a fast, casual national empire.
Could the Red Medicine situation somehow have the reverse effect of what's expected by making critics feel they must prove their objectivity and thus driving them a little over-board? Is there anyway to be objective or trust the hype after all the whole kerfuffle?
Clearly, all eyes are on the final word from L.A. Times and Jonathan Gold (who already said the restaurant "made themselves look second-rate") but for now Red Medicine seems to have erased the sour taste in at least one critic's mouth and will likely be treated with a fair hand on the merits of its experience in the months to come.
Good Evening Vietnam: Red Medicine Is Here [Huffington Post]
Earlier: How the Food World Feels About S. Irene Virbilas Outing [Grub Street]
A Look at Red Medicine's Reimagined Vietnamese Cooking, Now Open on Wilshire [Grub Street]