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LA Magazine's Top 75 Restaurants, Now Starred!

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There are a lot of interesting food reads in the April issue of Los Angeles magazine (the Zankou murders, meeting industry insiders like the founder of Chefwear), but we must start with the biggest, boldest move on the food editors/writers' part: Coming up with a list of the 75 best restaurants in LA and implementing a brand-spanking new star system. The magazine, and we assume this goes for Patric Kuh's full reviews, never used stars because, the editors say, "it narrowed our options by influencing us to review restaurants based on a system rather than a sense of exploration." Now these stars (one through four) "puts perspective into opinion and grounds it in fact." In all honesty, we kind of liked that LAM didn't star restaurants. It wasn't difficult to discern what Kuh thought about a place; it almost always seemed/sounded even-handed. Now it's one more rating to clump in with the LA Times and Angeleno, the only two notable locals to use stars, not to mention the various Yelp and Citysearch ratings (which mean less since they're weighted and fiddled with by algorithms), all of which really just allow the restaurants more marketing verbage ("#1 four-star restaurant in LA!"). Then again, by definition, these ratings make sense:

****: "Remarkable and extraordinary"
***: "Bold and ambitious"
**: "Distinctive and assured"
*: "Pleasant and satisfying"

As long as everything fits the new ratings, it should work. This is important now because the editors grouped the 75 top LA restos by star and in descending order. Number one four star, top of the heap: Lucques, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's nearly 10-year-old restaurant. The rest of the list (really 76 because the Mozzas are two different restaurants but grouped as one) to follow.

Many will probably take issue with something missing or something that's listed and shouldn't be, or where something sits in the list, but there is one inarguable common thread: These restaurants have longevity, even the newbies. The concepts are clear, concise, nothing too frivolous or trendy. But even more fun is figuring out how many restaurants you've been to (more than half but not all, and some not for many years, can't wait to get to the other half) or where it will take you next. We'll take your thoughts in Comments, of course.

FOUR STAR
1. Lucques
2. Melisse
3. Providence
4. Bastide
5. Urasawa
6. Sona

THREE STAR
7. Vincenti
8. La Cachette
9. All'Angelo
10. Patina
11. Hatfield's
12. Osteria Mozza/Pizzeria Mozza
13. Mako
14. Wilshire
15. The Dining Room at the Langham
16. Valentino
17. Angelini Osteria
18. Spago
19. Campanile
20. Fraiche
21. Josie
22. Saddle Peak Lodge
23. Craft
24. Cut
25. Water Grill

TWO STAR
26. Ortolan
27. Joe's Restaurant
28. A.O.C.
29. The Grill on the Alley
30. Gardens
31. Xiomara
32. Jar
33. Nishimura
34. Mimosa
35. Comme Ca
36. Mastro's Steakhouse
37. Ciudad
38. Simon LA
39. The Foundry on Melrose
40. Grace
41. Bar Hayama
42. Michael's
43. Drago
44. Il Grano
45. Kiriko Sushi
46. Matsuhisa
47. Lawry's the Prime Rib
48. Blair's
49. Massimo
50. Madeo

ONE STAR
51. Sushi Katsu-ya
52. La Botte
53. The Hump
54. Sushi Dokoro Ki Ra La
55. Tanzore
56. The Buffalo Club
57. Mori Sushi
58. The Lobster
60. Chameau
61. Il Carpaccio
62. Trattoria Tre Venezie
63. Nanban-kan
64. Asanebo
65. The BLVD
66. Paperfish
67. Petros
68. Sam's by the Beach
69. Bashan
70. The Ivy
71. Cafe Pinot
72. Crustacean
73. Cafe Pierre
74. La Scala
75. Tasca Wine Bar

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