Stumped at Mr. C, Critic Questions What HuffPo Was Thinking

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Another Cipriani trademark? Photo: Sarah/Rose via Flickr

Back in December, HuffPo's restaurant guru, Jay Weston, tweeted out his glowing review of Beverly Hills' new Mr. C restaurant with the endorsement, "MR C is the most excitign [sic] and delicious Italian restaurant this city has seen in many years. It's a grown-up versionof Harry's Bar inVenice [sic, and again, sic]." Today, in a scorching pan of the place for The Santa Monica Daily Press, Weston's friend, Merv Hecht, wonders just what the high-praise was all about in a story hilariously titled, "Mr. C Doesn't Know Its ABCs." What exactly has put these two senior food writers seemingly so at odds after their experiences here?

Hecht makes certain from the start, "I had been pretty excited about this restaurant ever since I read the review in the Huffington Post written by my friend Jay Weston," but quickly adds, "Now that I've re-read his review, I understand why Jay spent so much time writing about the hotel, and the history, rather than the food...what I got was nothing like he described — and nothing like I've had in Italy, where I've been going with some regularity since 1953."

This is when the review gets really good, giving L.A. the kind of cash-saving slam it rarely gets to enjoy from our more noted critics. Hecht cuts down the pasta when writing, "What arrived was a disgrace to the Italian restaurant community" and calling it "mush." When he complains about the noodles being overcooked, he is given the worst endorsement of the new century, as a waiter confirms, "Well that's one of the trademarks of the Cipriani family," something he was also told when complaining about the tiny glass of wine he received.

Not satisfied with Weston's take, Hecht consults the foodidiot oracle at Yelp, and giggles that no one really goes nuts for it on the two-and-a-half-star rocking review either, with one Yelper even comparing the food and space to a cafeteria in Russia. The writer then goes on to detail the Cipriani's legal issues that he thinks have lead to a breakdown in the family's once luxe vision. Hecht offers, "In my opinion, this is an international restaurant chain run like McDonald's, so one shouldn't expect it to be an authentic Italian restaurant. I don't know what Jay was thinking."

But the friendship between the two seasoned foodies is far from tarnished completely, as the writer maintains he might go back to Mr. C someday for a closer look, that is if "Jay Weston goes with me." We look forward to an upcoming rematch between the two to see which side of the coin prevails and if you've had a great or troubling experience at Mr. C, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Catch us waiting the whole drama out at Angelini Osteria.

MR. C doesn't know its ABCs [SMDP]