Friday, June 26, 2009

Big news! Michelin Man dumps LA, Vegas, citing irreconcilable differences, general malaise

So this is something. Apparently the Michelin Guides won't be publishing either a Los Angeles or a Las Vegas guide for 2010.

I think this is a good thing. In the short time that Michelin's been active in these markets, very little has happened. The fine dining market in these two money-above-all-centric cities has been absolutely stagnant. The list of Michelin-starred LA-restaurants reads like a who's-who of bland and dull. When your biggest openings are fifth or twelfth efforts from non-indigenous chefs like Michael Mina and Gordon Ramsey, you know your city's shit just isn't straight. And from watching the Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel penned classic "Multiplicity," we know what happens by the third or fourth iteration--you end up with a retard who still gets to fuck Andie McDowell.

LA's neighborhood dining has flourished, don't get me wrong--Animal, Street, Palate, Barbrix, Father's Office, all pretty exciting stuff. But LA's $100 a plate restaurants are a list of dreary Cal-Med retreads and fusion endeavors that reak of the late 1980's. Why isn't Los Angeles nurturing its local chef-owners to produce stand-alone restaurants of a destination calibre? Where are the restaurants like SPQR, Range, Redd, and Cyrus in the SF Bay Area? (Meaning restaurants that have opened in the last five years or so that are innovative and appealing and not backed by giant restaurant groups).

Money can't buy honesty and it definitely can't buy class. Thanks Michelin for taking a temporary hike.


Pshaz said...

Ouch! Sure, we have the (non) Gordan Ramsey, but what about Josiah Citrin and Michael Cimarusti?

I get what you're saying about how dull the last Michelin Guide read, though. But what do you think would galvanize LA to becoming a food destination spot?

David J.D. said...

Less money spent on novelty and cushy chairs, give more autonomy to chefs & chef-owners. And get over the "fresh & seasonal" ingredients thing. That's great and all, but that's also from 1985. Using good ingredients should be the benchmark for any good restaurant. It's a starting point. Take those killer ingredients and push peoples' expectations.

Pshaz said...

right, but what's gonna draw chefs to open in LA as opposed to anywhere else? LA has never been known as a hot spot for revolutionary good food.

by the by, speaking of cushy chairs and novelty, have you tried Bazaar? despite it all, i still want to try that place.

David J.D. said...

Yeah, I went there and had a cocktail and a couple small plates. Pretty good food and surprisingly cheap given the venue. Neat cocktails but expensive, even by LA standards.

I think part of the problem with LA is the crowd. Too many trend chasers and lazy people. We don't have adventurous and innovative diners here, which is why by the time something gets to LA (fancy pizza, gourmet burgers, locavorism) it's already old news in SF and NY.

J. Song said...

Just because I wasn't able to find anywhere else to ask you: have you tried Church & State? It's an excellent, excellent restaurant with a great wine list.

Joon S.