It's once again not exactly clear how The Goldster feels about Suzanne Goin's relocated A.O.C. wine bar. He points out that the restaurant, which was was once considered cutting edge, has fallen behind in some areas, but maintains strength in others, namely its new large format plates:
The charcuterie selection may seem dated in a year when the best new kitchens are curing their own meat — the lomo, coppa and speck, even as laid out with roasted grapes on the combination "vintner's plate," are not quite thrilling. There are better cheese selections in town.
... There is a surprising platter of crisp-skinned suckling pig cooked in the manner of the famous Balinese beach feast babi guling, flavored with lemon grass and dried shrimp, sprinkled with fried peanuts, served on a gooey bed of coconut rice, a dish that would be the marquee attraction at any Southeast Asian restaurant in town.Although Gold seems to take to A.O.C.'s spacious new digs, he adds that, "AOC has been an institution for so long that it seems almost odd to drop into its new grown-up location, like running into a high school crush who has become a renowned oncologist." A.O.C. is still A.O.C. in a spiffied up new home, with a few extra bells and whistles. [LAT]
B-Rod chimes in on Paiche, doling out just two stars for Ricardo Zarate's Peruvian izakaya that just misses the mark: "Here, as with all his restaurants, Zarate is best when he takes his native cuisine and plays with it ... But there is much that seems overwrought, dishes taken one step too far, ideas that are clever but don't quite work ... Paiche is a fun, colorful restaurant serving highly creative food in a neighborhood that sorely needs more options. It has neither the L.A.-specific attitude of downtown's Mo-Chica nor the precise cooking and energetic elegance of Picca, which at its best can be one of the most sensational restaurants in town." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: A Hamburger Today likes the lamb burger at Badmaash, CoC drinks vegan at Crossroads, Food GPS hits Nae Ko Hyang, Gastronomy tries Bernie's Teriyaki, and Midtown Lunch considers Sticky Rice.