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LA's New Data-Focused Restaurant Rating System Wants to Compete with Michelin

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Renzell wants to be a modern counterpart to those stodgy old guides

Broken Spanish, Downtown LA
Broken Spanish, Downtown LA
Wonho Frank Lee

Just in time to start ruining your upcoming New Years dining resolutions comes the launch of Renzell, a new data-focused restaurant rating system launching across Los Angeles. As Eater NY (where the app has existed for some time) says, think of this like the Zagat or Michelin guide, but for more younger, tech-savvy people.

The idea with Renzell is to focus on a more objective conversation surrounding a city’s higher-end restaurant favorites. Instead of relying only on single-person perspectives like what you’d find on, say, Yelp, Renzell works across a network of supposedly vetted "restaurant enthusiasts" who dine out independently and on their own dime, completing a survey at the end that helps to quantify every level of their experience.

What anyone’s qualifications are, beyond having money and the ability to dine out often, is unclear, but the app does hopefully offer a more cumulative data-focused option for discerning diners eager to really find out about just a select few of the hottest restaurants in town. Eventually, now that Renzell has launched in Los Angeles as well as Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle (among others), the company will release some of that data in the form of ranked lists across categories like food, hospitality, drinks, and value.

So will Renzel really compete for the modern diner’s eye in Los Angeles, since the likes of Michelin still hasn’t seen fit to return? It’s possible, especially since many diners and restaurant owners alike continue to begrudgingly use Yelp while grumbling about its appearance as a flawed and subjective platform. There’s something quietly reassuring about "using data" to solve any problem, though ultimately Renzell is still as dependent on the personal fancies of its own diners as any other app. Renzell launches this week in Los Angeles, with their first lists to come in 2017.

Here's a full list of restaurants that will be included and rated in the first guide:

Aburiya Raku
AOC
Animal
Asanebo
Baco Mercat
Bar Ama
The Bellwether
Bestia
Birch
Broken Spanish
Capo
Cassia
Chosun Galbee
Church & State
Cleo
Crossroads Kitchen
EP & LP
The Factory Kitchen
Faith & Flower
Gjelina
Gracias Madre
Hatchet Hall
Hinoki & the Bird
Ink
Laurel Hardware
Little Beast
Little Dom's
Lukshon
Lucques
Maison Akira
Matsuhisa
Maude
Melisse
N/Naka
Nobu
Odys + Penelope
Orsa & Winston
Osteria Mozza
Providence
The Raymond
Redbird
Republique
Rustic Canyon
Saam
Santa Monica Yacht Club
Scopa Italian Roots
Simbal
Sotto
Sushi Zo
Tangine
Tar and Roses
The Tasting Kitchen
Trois Mec
WP24

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