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Naming The Top Newcomers Of 2009

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As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of industry types, bloggers, and chefs. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from 2010 Headline Predictions to Top Standbys. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Thursday. On we go, in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited:

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Q: Who are the top newcomers of 2009?

Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly: Tasting Kitchen, Mo-Chica, Bistro LQ, Mozza 2 Go, Church + State 2.0.

Lesley Bargar Suter, Los Angeles Magazine: Drago Centro, Mo Chica, Tavern, Bottega Louie, Wurstkuche...dare I say, the Lazy Ox?

Eric Alperin, mixologist, The Varnish: Duh, The Varnish (Totally kidding)... Copa D'Oro, Roger Room, Tarpit.

Sam Nazarian, Hotel/Restaurant/Club mogul: Barack Obama

Jeff Miller, Thrillist: I think for all the excitement of Bouchon, I don't know anyone who's had a legendary meal there yet (and I was only there for the press opening night, when I was more floored by watching Larry King and Ludacris shake hands than any of the food.) The place I keep sending people back to is Mexico in West Hollywood -- I was shocked by how good and fresh the food there was, and there's no better place for some outdoor margarita drinking in LA. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention The Golden State: not only are Jason and Jim good friends, but their burger is second to none.

Cedd Moses, restaurant/bar owner: Rivera (food and cocktails) and Mo-Chica Peruvian.

Mark Peel, chef and restaurant owner, The Tar Pit: The Tar Pit, of course. Mozza to Go. Bouchon. Church & State.

Odell: Bouchon because it's Thomas Keller, Varnish, The Tasting Kitchen, Umami, Ado, JTYH.

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