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Zagat '12 Released: Matsuhisa, Urasawa Top List

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Last night in WP24's lounge atop the Ritz-Carlton downtown, Tim and Nina Zagat threw a cocktail party for a select group of chefs and industry vets to celebrate the release of Zagat's Los Angeles/SoCal 2012 restaurant guide and pass out awards for the LA's winners. Tim read a slew of statistics culled from surveyors over the past year, he said that 11,000 diners surveyed restaurants for the 2012 guide, and that diners are now more sensitive to prices than ever. Also, the trend for new restaurants which have opened over the past year is affordability, for both diners and owners. A full 36% said that dining out in LA is the best it has ever been (4% said the scene is worse now than ever), and many agree that LA's weakest aspect of dining is service (61% of restaurant complaints are service-related). Tim commented that until FOH (front of house) is as strong as BOH, LA restaurants will not received full respect from diners. LA's favorite cuisine is Italian, 63% of diners say no to texting while at dinner, but 85% think it's ok to photograph food. Tim concluded his speech by saying, "LA is one of the greatest dining cities in the world."

Winners: Nobu Matsuhisa’s namesake restaurant, Matsuhisa, has regained top honors for Food this year. The “stunning” speakeasy-style of The Edison has won for Decor while the award for Service went to the “meticulous” hospitality of Urasawa. Perennial favorite Spago returned as the Most Popular LA restaurant this year. The full list of winners is as follows:

Top Food
1) Matsuhisa
2) Angelini Osteria
3) Asanebo
4) Mélisse
5) Urasawa

Top Decor
1) The Edison
2) Culina Modern Italian
3) Belvedere
4) Bazaar by José Andrés
5) Saddle Peak

Top Service
1) Urasawa
2) Mélisse
3) Providence
4) Belvedere
5) Sam’s by the Beach

Most Popular
1) Spago
2) Bazaar by José Andrés
3) Angelini Osteria
4) Osteria Mozza
5) Pizzeria Mozza

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