Los Angeles has some truly outstanding food that is not replicable anywhere else in the country, perhaps not even outside the geographic parameters of the 213 area code (El Parian, El Taurino, and Shan for example.)But for me, a formerly self-respecting native Clevelander, now effete, Francophilac, Bordeaux futures- buying Californian, it is very difficult to match the long drawn out summer meals with a surfeit of Chateauneuf du Pape at Yountville’s Bistro Jeanty. Or the skilled use of California’s plentiful, impeccably fresh produce at the Laundry and on Saturday afternoons at Chez Panisse Café.As much as I love the richness of the Los Angeles dining scene, the Bay Area just seems a leg up on pretty much everywhere, New York included.
The white Los Angeles dining scene is so consistently an expensive disappointment that I have stopped partaking, with a few exceptions.With the bounty at the Hollywood market every Sunday morning, how these L.A. chefs consistently produce such execrable results is almost a philosophical quandary. It’s like reverse alchemy with these people.Take the highly popular Angelini Osteria. If this bastion of mediocrity were in New York, it would be out of business in a month, even on the Upper West Side. (Well maybe not on the Upper West Side, but definitely within a one-mile radius of Bar Pitti).