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.”
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.