Hot or not? Esquire hails Faith & Flower and Chi Spacca, TripAdvisor disses

Russ Parsons
The California Cook
Faith & Flower and Chi Spacca among best new restaurants in America

Are we hot or are we not? This week, Esquire magazine named two local restaurants as among the best new spots in the country. But just last week, the travel website TripAdvisor released its annual 10 best list and there wasn’t a Southern California spot on it.

On the plus side, Faith and Flower and Chi Spacca were both included on Josh Ozersky’s list of best new restaurants, released Tuesday.

Ozersky, the publication’s new editor at large covering food, hails Faith & Flower, which opened this spring, writing: “Faith & Flower doesn't have to be nearly as good as it is. A late-night refuge for roués and rascals, it's the epicenter of the city's downtown renaissance and has little in the way of competition; people would go there just for the flaming absinthe cart. But chef Michael Hung counterintuitively takes things far into fine-dining territory, bringing deep flavors and impeccable technique to a kitchen that could have gotten away with far less."

He called Chi Spacca, which opened more than a year and a half ago, “the country's most high-minded new temple of meat.”

Ozersky dubbed Harlem’s The Cecil the best new restaurant of the year and Austin’s Paul Qui the best new chef. Dish of the year was a chicken pot pie.

But there was no such love for L.A. from TripAdvisor and its members. They chose three restaurants from New York (Eleven Madison Park, Bouley and Daniel), as well as eateries in San Francisco (Gary Danko),  Chicago (Alinea), Charleston, S.C. (Hall’s Chophouse), Austin (Uchi), Seattle (Canlis), Dallas (Pappas Steakhouse), and Orlando (Victoria & Albert’s). Orlando?

Faith & Flower, 705 W 9th St., Los Angeles, (213) 239-0642,

Chi Spacca, 6610 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 297-1133,

Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1

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