FROM Besha Rodell
A zero-star rating for starred restaurant reviews A tale of two restaurants. The first is run by world-class butchers, where you see whole animals roasting over a fire pit, and seasonal vegetables are pulled from the nearby farmers market. It’s rated three stars. The second restaurant is a hipster taco joint. Cheap asada tacos with homemade tortillas and buckets of agua fresca made with fresh fruit. It’s also got a three-star rating. Yes, there’s a problem with the starring system when it comes to restaurants. And one restaurant critic is taking a hard look at whether or not she wants to keep using it.
Are L.A. Restaurants Price-Fixing? Some of L.A.'s swankiest restaurants are being accused of price fixing. If you've eaten at upscale places like Republique or Lucques in the last year, you may have noticed that a three percent charge was added to your check to pay for employee healthcare. One customer was unhappy enough with the fee to file suit on Tuesday. She's claiming that the restaurants got together to agree on the charge -- and that's price-fixing.
The Best L.A. Restaurants of 2014 Where can you find the best meal in Los Angeles? Two prominent restaurant critics duke it out over what place should get top honors for the year. They also talk about the great food spots they agree on, and their secret guilty eating pleasures.
Foie Gras Ban Stands The Supreme Court has refused to review California’s ban on foie gras. What critics had dubbed “the delicacy of despair” was outlawed by California’s legislature in 2002 and the law went into effect in 2014. Specifically, the law prohibits the “force feed[ing of] a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird's liver beyond normal size” - though possession of foie gras is not a crime. The main foie gras producer and some chefs were outraged - and have been fighting the law since it was passed.
40 Oz To Freedom L.A. Weekly Food Critic Besha Rodell won a James Beard Award for her article " 40 oz to Freedom " in the online magazine Punch. She writes that this one bottle taught an entire generation how to drink and how not to drink.
Where Should We Go To Eat? In a land of endless options, it’s an unenviable task to come up with a list of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. But that didn’t stop L.A. Weekly restaurant critic Besha Rodell from giving it her best. She joins us to discuss her list of “99 Essential Restaurants.”
Symbols of protest, lighting up EDM festivals The Women's March made a huge impact, in part because of its widely worn pink knitted "pussyhat." Does the March for Science need its own unifying symbol? Lighting designer Steve Lieberman is "the man behind the lights" for the country's leading electronic music festivals and nightclubs. He talks about his early experiences with rave culture, and what it takes to spark the excitement of today's EDM fans.
Cambodians and fried chicken, baby pureés, vegan baking tips Frank Shyong explains how Cambodians got into LA’s fried chicken game. Clara Polito shares vegan baking tips from her new book, and Leena Saini says boost the flavor of your baby’s food with spices. Martha Rose Shulman talks up a nifty kitchen gadget that will take your produce for a spin, and Jonathan Gold does lamb barbacoa at Maestro in Pasadena. Plus, a closer look at how bees make honey and wasps pollinate figs.
'A Square Meal,' a kosher slaughter and Ukrainian Easter eggs Historian Andrew Coe explains how the Great Depression altered the 1930s’ food landscape, and contributor Sam Brasch witnesses a kosher slaughter. Artist Sofika Zielyk shows us how to decorate Ukrainian Easter eggs, Sandor Katz discusses his latest fermentation projects, and Dana Cree introduces her new book, “Hello, My Name is Ice Cream.” Plus: Laura Avery finds Swiss chard at the market, and Jonathan Gold dines at Kismet.
What does the Paris terrorist attack mean for Europe? There was another terrorist attack in Paris Thursday. A police officer was killed, two other officers were wounded, and the shooter was killed. Officials are calling the attack terrorism. There have been more than a half dozen terrorist attacks in France over the past two years.