1) Waterloo & City: Today SIV hands out two and a half stars to Waterloo & City, “the closest thing to a really great London gastropub we’ve got.” Right off the bat she gets right to it: "It's big, it's noisy, but it's full of energy and, although every dish doesn't hit the mark every time, it's a great neighborhood find." Come for the charcuterie platter or the unique pizzas which are "fine, and generous for the money," note that "salads pack a wallop...this is food for people who like to eat." SIV advises, "As for the big dishes, don't pass up that old Brit standby shepherd's pie...now you may have had some dodgy versions of this elsewhere, but this one is carefully made, the lamb well-flavored, the mashed potatoes fluffy." Overall, "despite how busy the place is, the kitchen is inventive, changing out the main courses frequently. Not every one hits it out of the ballpark, but they do enough to make it worth exploring this section of the menu...The kitchen has been slammed since Day One, yet the food comes out in a timely manner and is beautifully executed...That's someone who knows how to run a busy kitchen...Waterloo & City is full of life and frenzied fun. And good eats are just part of the equation." [LAT]
2) Burger Kitchen: Interesting choice this week for The Goldster as he files a report on Burger Kitchen and its myriad of offerings. Despite all the choices, it's mostly about La Frieda's Black Label blend and the $26 Black Label burger "which can resemble a Maillol bronze of a hamburger more than it does a hamburger itself: prime brisket and strip steak and skirt and some other things, dry-aged for twice as long as most men would think sensible, then ground, formed into an enormous half-pound patty the size of a shuffleboard puck, and placed naked, with a token leaf of lettuce, on a towering brioche bun from the Santa Monica baker Ca d'Oro. It may be no bigger than the other hamburgers at the restaurant, which also weigh in at eight ounces of meat, but its presence dominates the table... there is a density, a numbing richness that makes it difficult to eat more than a few bites...but the Natural is an extreme burger for extreme times, a burger less to be eaten than to be conquered. If you are committed enough to spend this kind of money on a hamburger, the tidy Third Street storefront may be the only logical place to go." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find dines at Merry’s House of Chicken in West Covina, Refined Palate hits up Vin Bar/Valentino, Eating LA goes for caviar at Petrossian, LAmag also tries Waterloo & City, and Midtown Lunch lunches at Sak’s Teriyaki.