Recently, I wrote a small food review for Paper Magazine on LA Restaurants.
Frankly, I abhor food reviews. You can never be as honest as you’d like without hurting someone’s feelings. I see it as a way to improve business, while others look at it as a slap in the face. “How dare she criticize my favorite ______?!”
I make no apologies for how I feel. It’s an opinion, but some forget that you’re even allowed one when it broaches on the subject of someone’s taste. (I’ll follow up on this at a later time.)
Regardless, I wrote my neutral critique. Unfortunately it was edited, so I wanted to share with you, the original version:
When in L.A., more likely than not, you’ll find restaurants more focused on its clientele then on its cuisine. But within the realm of the mediocre are a few hidden treats, just waiting to be devoured. On the nondescript corner of Wilcox and Selma in Hollywood, far removed from the neon signs and massage parlors of Koreatown is Los Angeles’s newest hotspot, Shin’s. Within its concrete walls is a moody red interior filled with dark polished wood furnishing and a slick bar that bodes the nighttime crowd of Hollywood hipsters that inhabits the area, welcome. Simon Shin, a second-generation restaurateur, has opened the newest spot in a line of celebrity-backed restaurants that inhabit L.A.’s dining scene. But unlike the glitz of Geisha House or Nobu, Shin’s no frills setting, draws you in to enjoy the food. From the Famous Shin Ribs (bone-in prime rib marinated) to its seasonal array of traditional banchan, once the meat hits the grill, you’ll embrace coming over to the Korean side.
For a different kind of foreign affair, head over to Conny Andersson’s AK Restaurant on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Former chef of the Four Seasons and the Beverly Wilshire, Andersson’s seasonal menu is heavily influenced by his world travels and Swedish heritage. Indulge in a myriad of flavors from Scottish organic cod saltimbocca with duck prosciutto to traditional Scandinavian fare like aquavit-cured salmon and Swedish meatballs. Have a glass of Aquavit and enjoy the Sweden you never knew existed.
After a long night out, nothing brings you back to life like a hearty, satisfying breakfast. At House of Breakfast, a Koreatown institution (opened in 1972 by Mitz Yamamoto) and its best-kept secret, you can saddle up and grab one of the best breakfasts around. Those who come here (Artists, writers and neighborhood regulars) can’t get enough. And once word gets out about their spicy Portuguese sausage, perfectly crisp hashbrowns and the best pancakes in town, you’ll wish you kept your mouth shut.
House of Breakfast, 3728 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90019 Closed on Wednesdays, Opening 7am till 2pm M-Sat, Sunday 8am till 1pm(323) 731-5405 **FYI: The House of Breakfast is by far, the best breakfast you’ll have in LA, hands down.
AK Restaurant + Bar, 1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, between Venice and Palms Boulevards, Venice (310-392-6644)
Shin, 1600 Wilcox Avenue, at Selma Avenue, Hollywood (323-464-4100 or shinbbq.com).