As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions running the gamut from meal of the year to top restaurant newcomers. All will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the 2014. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited herein. Readers, please do add your survey answers in the comments.
Kat Odell, Eater Editorial Producer:
Gary Baum, Senior Writer, The Hollywood Reporter:
Wexler's Deli, Sycamore Kitchen and, as always, Pizzeria Mozza.
Pat Saperstein, Founder, EatingLA.com:
Lacha Somtum, Sqirl, El Condor, Pine & Crane, Tsujita.
Brigham Yen, Editor, DTLARising.com:
Uncle John's on Grand Ave, Men-Oh Ramen in Little Tokyo, Shop House in Hollywood/Santa Monica, Nice Time Cafe in Monterey Park.
Nicole Iizuka, Producer, POPSUGAR:
Esther Tseng, e*starLA:
Sqirl, Ricky's Fish Tacos (if you can call it a restaurant), Pine & Crane
Euno Lee, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Trojan; Eater LA Contributor:
When I think of standbys, I think of consistent excellence with maybe a little pushing the envelope. Chef Michael Cimarusti continues to refine and expand the boundaries of his craft while managing to stay anchored on what made Providence so successful. The former Water Grill chef delightfully surprises where others opt to shock, and gracefully incorporates forward, Japanese influences without bucking to the latest trends.
Angelini Osteria, on the other hand, has been an absolute mainstay in Los Angeles for over a decade and I think that deserves mention. Despite an ever-changing landscape of Italian restaurants and push from other, newer players on this list, I do think you have to be consistently excellent to be a viable option for Italian food in Los Angeles - and Gino Angelini's inventive antipasti and reassuringly well-executed proteins are sure to make a regular out of even the most progressive diners.
Caroline on Crack, Los Angeles Magazine Liquid LA cocktail blogger:
Stacey Sun, dineLA Director:
Sushi is my favorite type of food. I go to Sugarfish at least once a week because it's a great value, good quality for the price, and has several locations in LA which makes it very convenient. The first meal I had when I came back from my 2 week trip to Spain was Echigo which is where I've go when I want more variety.
Garrett Snyder, LA Magazine Contributor:
Night + Market Song, Belcampo Meat Co., Tire Shop Taqueria
Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch and Food is the New Rock Founder:
So much standing this year, especially in Grand Central Market. Spent a lot of time standing in line by Wexler's, Egg Slut, Sticky Rice, and Belcampo. There's a lot of standing at Kang Hodong Baekjong these days as well.
Jeff Miller, Thrillist LA Senior Editor:
I'm seriously such a regular at Robata Jinya that they sometimes jokingly say "see you tomorrow" and then... yeah. You get it. And Sugarfish on La Brea was a big-deal opening for me. What can I say, I like Japanese food.
Crystal Coser, Eater LA Contributor:
Myung Dong Kyoja for kalgooksoo and dumplings, Pho Consomme in Gardena for the best pho I've had in LA, and Faith & Flower for English Milk Punch and kimchi deviled eggs (I'd like to have a stash of those in my purse at all times).
Tony Chen, Eater LA Contributor:
Dining out - Papilles
Take out - Cemita Poblanas Juquilita
Joshua Lurie, Founder, FoodGPS:
My favorite find from the past year has been Oh Ma Ni, an incredible comfort food destination on a side street across from Taylor's. The mother and daughter who run the restaurant turn out some of the best chicken noodle soup in the city, with noodles made in-house. Their soondae bokkeum, featuring blood sausage stir-fried with pork stomach, sesame leaves and onions, is also a spiritual experience. I've already been five times.
Republique was one of my favorite openings from 2013, and the restaurant has become a regular haunt. Walter Manzke's globally influenced brasserie fare has become increasingly vital, whether it's wood-grilled meats or seafood, spaghetti dishes, or salads. Margarita Manzke also continues to make some of the best pastries and desserts in town, with savory flourishes and fun riffs on sandwiches like the BLT and Cubano.
Matthew Kang, Eater LA Editor:
Seong Buk Dong, Kang Ho Dong Baek Jeong, Han Bat Suhl Lung Tang, POT, Sun Nong Dan, and Star BBQ for Koreatown.
Outside of Ktown: Canele, Faith & Flower, Father's Office, Phorage, Tsujita, Daily Dose, Night + Market, Tire Shop Taqueria, Grand Central Market, Bucato, 800 Degrees, Chengdu Taste, Mariscos Jalisco, Sotto.