While foodbloggers and journalists debate whose restaurant criticism is more valid, we find out in tomorrow's LA Times that Southern California gets its first Michelin guide this fall. Michelin: the ultimate judge of fine dining. Chefs have committed suicide over losing a Michelin star. Are we worthy? Several LA chefs aren't so sure:
Valentino owner Piero Selvaggio says, "Let's be honest, I cannot think of one single restaurant here that will get three stars...I can think of only maybe a couple that could get two stars."
While excited over the prospect of more stars, Melisse owner Josiah Citrin thinks SoCal casual won't bowl over any Michelin critics: "... this is a different city than other places they're used to and regardless of what the guide wants, we have to do what we have to do to keep customers coming in."
Michael Cimarusti from Providence takes more of an aw-shucks stance: "This may be overly flattering, but to think that one day Providence might earn one ... gosh, wouldn't that be something?"
And while they all note the challenges--this is a jeans-to-dinner town, after all---it's Citrin who hopes it influences at least some restaurateurs: "This should up the ante and make them try even harder to make their places better and better. This is a good thing for the city." Ass kisser.
The thought of six Michelin "inspectors" dining around town will perhaps leave some local restaurant owners and chefs shaking in their boots; we're sure several others will ask why everyone's freaking out over a tire company's restaurant review. But for a bit of relief, the quaking ones can think about those inspectors heading to Vegas. Don't get us wrong, we've personally enjoyed meals in that city's finest restaurants, those that warrant serious criticism and review---we're talking Guy Savoy, Michael Mina, Joel Robuchon---but the majority of dining in Vegas is still all about mass appeal. One steakhouse is just as good as the next, sushi can be found in every. single. hotel. It's sooo repetitive and quite often mediocre, especially in bulk. Could be a critic's worst nightmare. What will they do with all the buffets?
· LA to get Michelin guide [LAT]