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:
Maude, Petit Trois and KazuNori.
Pat Saperstein, Founder, EatingLA.com:
De Sano Pizza Bakery, All'Acqua, Pine & Crane, Wexler's Deli, Superba Food & Bread, Salt & Straw, Night + Market Song, Stir Market, Pot, Petit Trois, Guisados
Brigham Yen, Editor, DTLARising.com:
Wexler's Deli, The Oyster Gourmet in Grand Central Market, KozuNori in Old Bank District, Gentaro at FIGat7th, and the return of The Empress Pavilion in Chinatown.
Nicole Iizuka, Producer, POPSUGAR:
Cadet!! Republique, Commissary
Esther Tseng, e*starLA:
Petit Trois, Alimento, Night Market Song, Republique, Pot, Pine & Crane
Euno Lee, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Trojan; Eater LA Contributor:
There were a handful more restaurants I would have liked to include on this list, but Republique's influence is already starting to be felt at newer restaurants. Of all the chefs in Los Angeles, Walter Manzke seems perhaps the most at home creating the type of accessible, unfussy fare at a high level of execution. With little details like changing the roasted chicken at winter to incorporate heartier complements like jus-adulterated cauliflower and broccoli, the former student of Joachim Splichal has the kind of sprezzatura that comes off more as a nudge and a wink, as opposed to the attention-seeking pageantry of his contemporaries.
The Art Deco decked-out Faith & Flower is easily one of the most beautiful places to eat in Los Angeles, and they absolutely have the menu and cocktail program to match. Chef Michael Hung's comforting pizzas and kimchi deviled eggs are already required eating for Angelenos. Micah Wexler rounds out the list by slicing out the best pastrami in the city.
2. Faith & Flower
3. Night + Market Song
4. Petit Trois
5. Wexler's Deli
Caroline on Crack, Los Angeles Magazine Liquid LA cocktail blogger:
Stacey Sun, dineLA Director:
Superba Food and Bread has been great, especially their pastries. I always make a detour for Lincoln Carson's croissants.
Garrett Snyder, LA Magazine Contributor:
Alimento, Maude, Petit Trois, Sushi Tsujita
Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch and Food is the New Rock Founder:
Cofax and Prime Pizza! What the Golden State guys have done in that neighborhood over the past two years is something other neighborhood restauranteurs should study. It's kind of amazing how one group of guys can arguably lay claim to the best burger, best BBQ, best pizza, and best breakfast burrito in Los Angeles.
Jeff Miller, Thrillist LA Senior Editor:
In terms of fine-dining-ish stuff, Faith and Flower knocked it way-way out of the park. I'm excited about Kazunori because when it expands it's going to mean cheap, great sushi is even closer every lunchtime. And Pine & Crane is so craveable: I've only been twice, but I think about it weekly.
Crystal Coser, Eater LA Contributor:
Petit Trois. Everything about this place, from the perfect omelets to the bright celery root salad to the French rap blaring through the speakers takes me back to being in Paris. I can't get enough.
Tony Chen, Eater LA Contributor:
Joshua Lurie, Founder, FoodGPS:
Silver Lake got a great new duo that I wish were open when I lived in the neighborhood. Alimento is a thoughtful northern Italian restaurant that strays from tradition, but it's clear that Zach Pollack had an understanding of those traditions before shifting them, which makes a difference. It was also cool to see that NIGHT + MARKET Song has a personality (and menu) that's almost completely distinct from Kris Yenbamroong's original restaurant on the Sunset Strip.
Matthew Kang, Eater LA Editor:
I loved the Sichuanese restaurants that hit SGV this year: Chengdu Taste 2, Szechuan Impression, Fang's Kitchen. Faith & Flower, Night + Market Song, Cadet, Alimento, Gjusta, Petit Trois, POT.