What are the best restaurants in Los Angeles? Melisse, Sushi Gen, Providence ... OK so far. And Michael's on Naples? Yes, it's time for Zagat to release its annual survey of dining in Southern California.
Based on the opinions of 9,469 diners who reviewed, according to Zagat, more than 1,400 restaurants, the results are — to say the least — somewhat idiosyncratic.
Which is perhaps why, after those first four, the Top 10 also includes old-school steakhouse Dal Rae, at No. 9 — above highly praised sushi restaurant Asanebo. And, of course, why Michael's on Naples comes in at No. 4.
If you often wonder why Michelin stopped publishing guides to Los Angeles, now's the time to consider that topic again.
The 2015 Los Angeles guide, which is available now online, gives top food honors to Josiah Citrin's Santa Monica restaurant Melisse, top decor honors to Jose Andres' the Bazaar, top service to Michael Cimarusti's Providence, and most popular to El Cholo. The "Hottest Newcomer" is Alimento and the "Best Buy" is Porto's Bakery.
Zagat also has a "Top Spots by Cuisine" section, which lists the "Best Dim Sum" as Hakkasan Beverly Hills and the "Best Chinese" as Wolfgang Puck's WP24. Maybe those 9,000-plus Zagat diners need to spend a little more time in the San Gabriel Valley.
Zagat includes other interesting information in its surveys, including that, according to them, L.A. diners spent an average of $39.04 on dinner out (the national average is $39.40), we like Italian food the most, and we think that noise is the No. 1 problem — far worse than traffic.
Lots of pictures of xiao long bao on Instagram @ascattergood.