This week, the Goldster reviews Red Medicine, Jordan Kahn's sort-of Vietnamese restaurant in Beverly Hills that received worldwide notoriety for ousting and outing the LA Times' former week-to-week critic, S. Irene Virbila. While Jonathan Gold had given plenty of love to Red Medicine during his time at LA Weekly, this is the response that Times editor Russ Parsons wanted since 2010 when he wrote: "We had hopes that they would be doing interesting things with Southeast Asian food. We will still review them." Well, here it is:
Red Medicine is a splendid restaurant in its way, but it may still be better known for its faux pas than for anything that has ever appeared on its plates...Some early dishes borrowed a bit too faithfully from the famous Copenhagen restaurant Noma, which was odd because Red Medicine was nominally a Vietnamese restaurant at the time...
Most notoriously, a manager made a Los Angeles Times colleague wait 45 minutes, snapped a picture, threw her out without seating her and posted her (until-then anonymous) likeness online. No restaurateur has ever been quite so nasty to a critic...
[Photo by Elizabeth Daniels]
Gold continues by remarking on the increasing portions at Red Medicine:
"Instead, the locavore neo-Nordic principles that always seemed to be lurking beneath Jordan Kahn's mountains of chicken rillettes and vast bowls of rice porridge have come to define his cuisine. Servings are enormous — Kahn is definitely trying to shake the small-plates thing —– and even the tasting menu is served as a series of huge bowls plunked in the middle of the table. A single serving of duck liver may incorporate as many foraged herbs and flowers as Alma serves in a month...
There has always been something a little punk rock about Red Medicine, but it has become hard to imagine the Los Angeles restaurant scene without it. [LAT]
The week prior, Jonathan Gold filed a review for Q, with some pretty lofty remarks on the Downtown omakase specialist:
Q is connoisseur's sushi, dazzling in its simplicity, the next level after you have mastered the more user-friendly sushi at Gen, Sushi Sushi and Zo. The fluke, marinated with a bit of the seaweed kombu, is remarkable in that it tastes more of itself than the crunchy, relatively bland flatfish tends to, and the muscular flavor of the lightly vinegared mackerel is to most saba what a four-year NBA all-star is to a skinny second-round draft pick. [LAT]
The Elsewhere: Table Conversation likes Bangla Bazar for goat biryani, Darin Dines fancies the execution at Faith & Flower, estarLA goes to The Oinkster, EatingLA digs Pine & Crane, and Refined Palate thinks Craft Bar is still a winner.
· All Red Medicine Coverage [~ELA~]
· All Week in Reviews Coverage [~ELA~]