Industriel Grates on Gold's Nerves; Scattergood Stoked on Avalon Grille

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Speaking of a honey boo-boo... Photo: Industriel

Jonathan Gold is the latest critic to beat up on the overly-contrived rustic vibe at Industriel, noting its "Depression chic," accusing it of taunting Downtown's housing-challenged residents, and calling it "a restaurant that can leave a certain kind of person sputtering with rage." From there it gets worse, as he pans the cocktails and its general tendency to do what everyone else is doing around town, with an extra forced push of steampunk attitude. He already knows the "imaginative" chef, Josef Antonishek, whose Russian references might make the most sense here, but finds that dishes "possibly brilliant in conception... just don't come together." Summing up his hit-and-miss experiences, Gold writes, "Antonishek, although clearly talented, may be trying a little too hard. It will be interesting to see what Industriel could become if he settles down." [LAT; Earlier]

Amy Scattergood pinpoints the the "most ambitious restaurant" available in Avalon, Paul Hancock's Avalon Grille, highlighting Catalina seafood, self-grown and foraged produce, and mainland-imported market wares to cook dishes like "local halibut with lemon-caper beurre blanc or roasted-then-fried chicken with polenta and Bloomsdale spinach...[and] one of the best bowls of cioppino you might have in years." [LAW]

Besha Rodell springs on local devotion to Mo-Chica, a restaurant she at first "couldn't quite grasp what all the hype was about." She's clearly not as fond of the paiche as we may be, finds the aji amarillo a little too amarillo, and misses the organ notes of tripe in the cau cau. She gives credit to an alpaca estofado and labels "the stews and potato dishes...genuinely soul-nourishing." Acknowledging inconsistencies in the kitchen, she also takes truck with the "overpriced" and "underwhelming" wine, and feels "it's possible to have an entire meal at Mo-Chica that falls short of expectations." Rodell concludes, "But on the right night, with the right dishes, Mo-Chica is serving up loud, raucous, colorful food in a loud, colorful, raucous room that celebrates Peru, Los Angeles and the exceedingly fun intermingling of the two." [LAW]

Clearly charmed, Jonathan Gold writes, "By the time you make it to the front of the order line, you may be so bewitched by the chewy peanut-coconut bars, the stacks of pecan sandies, and the tiny, chocolate-crusted pecan pies that you may have forgotten what you came into Sycamore Kitchen for in the first place." The exacting sandwiches and salads thrill him almost as much as the attentive, rarely-seen pastries now provided to L.A., noting that "The Hatfields are not only modernists, they are perfectionists," and warns that you won't be able to bypass the bakery selection without buying everything in sight with ease. [LAT]