the other critics

Gold Says Moko is What Culver City Needs; Looks Into LudoBites 7.0

Moko's hamachi

Moko's hamachiPhoto: Vanessa Stump

We've been dying to know what Jonathan Gold thinks of Moko and the day has finally arrived. "Banchan," the critic puts forth, "may be the latest frontier in Los Angeles cooking," and Gary Robins' market-driven small plates, while unusual, may make Moko "worth going to...for the banchan alone." Here here! "Robins had probably been the first important Asian-fusion chef in Manhattan," Gold writes, wondering about the chef's recent dip into Italian cooking. He may not completely approve of the chef's take on galbi skewers and dessert falls flat, but Gold loves the foie gras mandu and asks, "who wouldn't want their kimchee jeon pancake, inflected with pork belly and smoky bacon, plum sauce and chile? It's the kind of excess we believe in." The great scribe sums up Moko in an encouraging endorsement: "With the closing of Beacon, and the impossible waits at Lukshon, Moko is a restaurant Culver City needs." [LAW]

Today starts The L.A. Times' new practice of having restaurant reviews only every other week, meaning you'll just have to wait to find out how restaurants like Hungry Cat and Ammo are (again). Instead we have Miles Clement breaking down "hybridized hamburgers and hot dogs fused with soul food" at Otis Jackson's Soul Dog and Toni's Soul Burgers, . Said burgers "may be the most ambitious in all of Los Angeles," due to its combination of turkey, yams, fried eggs, and collard greens. Then there's the Thanksgiving burger...yes please! IN the dog department, Clement tries one with collard cucumber relish, potato puree, and crumbled bacon and really enjoys the country dog, with fried okra, chipotle mayo, and pickled chiles on top. We can't get there soon enough! [LAT]

While you watch Ludo cuss a path across the U.S. on Sundance Channel, Jonathan Gold is eating at LudoBites 7.0, which naturally sounds phenomenal. Describing the dream, Gold writes, "You taste things you have not tasted before -- that you have not begun to taste before." Uh, not exactly, sit. YOU get to taste them, while we're stuck digging through the fridge and trying offensively limp new renditions of Westside pizza for $18. Though there's a little magic missing from the old days now that "Your great-aunt may know who Ludo is," Gold pinpoints that moment everyone feels amid the excitement at LudoBites when "you realize: Damn, this guy can cook." Though some dishes fall flat, the critic goes on to say, "there are so many good dishes at 7.0 that it can be hard to choose between them." Bouillabaisse milkshake anyone? [LAW]

Do you miss the fried chicken at Indo Cafe as much as Mr. Gold? If so, you may find relief over at West Covina's Merry's House of Chicken, which the writer claims, "rocks pretty hard." Then there's Chicky's BBQ in Duarte, which he says, "isn't bad." Even if he still has a hole in his heart for Cafe Indo's chicken, he also finds that there's nasi bungkus right across the street at Simpang Asian. [LAW]

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