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Jonathan Gold’s Last “Anonymous” Review at Pistola, Besha Rodell Gets Vegan With It at The Springs

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And more reviews from the bloggersphere!

Elizabeth Daniels

Just hours before Fridays not-so-huge unveiling, the Jonathan Gold filed his final review under the pretense of an anonymous critic, following what he described as the routine of "pretending not to notice that a restaurant staff is pretending not to notice me noticing them noticing me." The Sundance film star chose the old school Italian-meets-ritzy-steakhouse Pistola as his subject.

Through heavy implementation of the second person, which has certainly become the Goldster's signature rhetorical device, Gold pens a review of his experiences that seem to have been good albeit unextraordinary. While there is discussion on the meatballs in Sunday gravy and a variety of pastas, the focus is on the "big honkin' steak":

And then, inevitably, comes the steak, big hunks of meat, reasonably well-prepared and luxury-priced. If there are four of you splitting a thick, $125 Fiorentina, you will be happy enough with the porterhouse. The meat is neither as intensely mineral as what you'd find at Sostanza in Florence or Villa Roncalli in Foligno, nor as profoundly marbled as the best steaks at Mastro or Cut, but it is decently juicy, cooked to an accurate medium rare and well-portioned. Is meat-tartness more evident in the biceps-sized dry-aged tomahawk rib-eye? Maybe a little, although if you slather it with an ice cream scoop of truffle butter, a $3 supplement, you probably wouldn't notice if they slipped a pork chop onto your plate instead. [LAT]


In stark contrast to Gold's meaty review, Besha Rodell heads to "lifestyle center" The Springs. The raw/vegan restaurant receives two stars from the LA Weekly critic, and while she credits the food as being "ambitious and utterly sincere," offering "full-time vegans dishes that are complex and surprising, dynamic and full of flavor," B. Rod won't be converting to raw veganism anytime soon:

Like every raw food experience I've ever had (including a one-time 10-day raw diet - it was for research purposes, I swear), the food at the Springs suffers from the problem of palate exhaustion. That is, all of this food hits high on the palate, and the bass notes that generally help to balance those acidic, vegetal flavors - such as rice, or bread, or cooked potato - never appear. Add super-acidic juice to the equation and, even with the often grounding nut elements in many of these dishes, your taste buds can end up weary, scrubbed and longing for something, well, cooked. [LAW]


The Elsewhere: Daren Dines thoughtfully critiques Redbird, Midtown Lunch defends Pok Pok Phat Thai's honor, Gastronomy Blog heads to Pitfire Pizza Pasadena, and Food GPS sips purple drank at Ramen Champ.

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