Virbila Boosts La Buca; Gold Munches on Molcajetes at "The Monobrow"

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Molcajete en Mexico Photo: Liz (perspicacious.org) via Flickr

Well, look who decided to bestow a review upon us this week. S. Irene Virbila is reviewing Osteria La Buca: The Jason Neroni Edition, and starts off by breaking some news to everyone that's very nearly two years old by now. With Neroni's market-driven approach, she deems this "an entirely new restaurant. And certainly a more interesting one." Through a changing menu and "offbeat" approach, the critic notes "The new La Buca shows more promise than anything that came before, and that's exciting...The food is more compelling and the space more inviting than ever." Two stars drip from her parsimonious pen. [LAT]

"It seems like just yesterday that we were talking about banchan...distinctive as a fingerprint," Jonathan Gold reminisces, us upon his avuncular knee. While he could go on and on about Soban's banchan or the restaurant's spicy cod eun dae gu jorim, he's there for the ganjang gaejang. Recalling the recommendation, he wonders aloud if it is indeed, "The best single dish in L.A.?" then decides, "Hard to say. But a reason to keep Soban on speed dial." [LAW]

Where to find a decent molcajete west of Downtown and north of the ten? While that counts out like 99% of L.A.'s molcajetes, Mr. Gold points the way to Frida in Beverly Hills, where there might be "a hint of the margarita mill about it, [but] the Temple of the Monobrow isn't a bad place to go for a cold michelada and a plate of arrachera, ceviche or albondigas in chipotle sauce." Oh, and they have a good molcajete that should please this Bob Stevens guy. [LAW]