Zach Brooks: The impact of Jonathan Gold's review of Vespertine

When Vespertine topped Jonathan Gold’s annual 101 Best Restaurants list last year, it left many readers baffled. How did the man known for championing strip-mall cafes put chef Jordan Kahn’s conceptual dining experience above the mom-and-pop shops he frequented? Smorgasburg LA’s general manager Zach Brooks remembers how Gold’s review provided a balance to all the extreme opinions swirling around the restaurant in the first few months after it opened. But don’t ask him if he’s eaten there.

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The white asparagus at Vespertine. Photo by Jeff Elstone.

Vespertine: 3599 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232