Counter Intelligence Returns With a Look at LàOn

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LaOn's abalone Photo: Esther Tseng via E*Star L.A.

With his first full restaurant review for The L.A. Times, Jonathan Gold confirms he's keeping the "Counter Intelligence" name for his famous cheap eats column while taking a look at Koreatown's LàOn, Jenee Kim's follow-up to huge KTown hits, Park's BBQ and porky Don Dae Gam. Of Kim's new "swank small-plates place," the scribe first felt it was "a sleek Korean analog to the gastropubs that were opening up everywhere in town," then later zeroed in on its possible place as "the first modern Korean restaurant in Los Angeles," where "Kim's best dishes here seem to be miniaturized versions of classics from the Joseon-era royal kitchen, a highly codified system of cooking from Korea's long golden age that is basically the country's haute cuisine." Accessible to the city at large, menus are in "impeccable" English and the cuisine "has a lot in common with the most fashionable cooking in California and New York at the moment." [LAT]