One welcome — and surprising — newcomer is Gusto, a terrific cozy Italian restaurant from a young chef with the unforgettable name of Victor Casanova.
Gusto is a deceptively modest, down-to-earth restaurant with some of the best Italian cooking L.A. has seen in a long, long while. He's putting in the hours making his own bread and pastries, fine-tuning his menu, choosing the wines himself and running the kitchen.Pizza is "very good" and Vic "knows his pasta." The restaurant's one fault is the noise level, but nonetheless SIV still exclaims, "[t]his restaurant just makes me happy." Eater's estimate star rating: Three stars. [LAT]
Although Maison Giraud in the Palisades might well serve the best croissant in Los Angeles, The Goldster feels let down by savory preps: "But it has to be said: Giraud is one of the few chefs in Los Angeles capable of commanding a large, accomplished kitchen, of producing haute cuisine. He has the training and the background as well as the track record and the technique. It is pleasant to sit in his airy restaurant and nibble at rare seared scallops with soft, braised leeks and pistachio butter, or to dig into a bowl of risotto scented with wild mushrooms and minced herbs, but it is challenging neither to eat nor to produce. It is good, but it is hard not to expect more." [LAT]
The Elsewhere: e*star LA hits Cecconi's, Eat: LA picks Gingergrass, Food GPS tries Mozza's Salumi Bar, Darin Dines at Melisse, gastronomy tests the Sprinkles cupcake ATM, kevinEats at The Royce, and Midtown Lunch revisits Fox Hills' 101 Noodle Express.