Across the Table: The trend toward flying plates as diners engage in the 'foodie pass' at restaurants takes away the pleasure of ordering your own choice and not having to share.
Critic's Choice: Smoke is a versatile tool for the savvy chef. Three Los Angeles-area restaurants that use it well: Hinoki & the Bird, Barney Greengrass and Horse Thief BBQ.
Critic's Choice: Pancakes are an American comfort food favorite. Three L.A. eateries offer terrific examples: Cooks County, Valerie and Axe.
Critic's Choice: Spago, Lucques and Bar Bouchon excel at bar food
Across the Table: Bonny Doon's Randall Grahm bites into the cider trend, with a French twist.
Critic's Choice: For those who love corn, creative dishes at Tar & Roses, Gjelina and Cliff's Edge let you savor a summer flavor.
Across the Table: Bottarga, a taste once acquired, used to be worth smuggling back from Italy. Now that it's more available, it's worth seeking out, especially for spaghetti alla bottarga.
Critic's Choice: Il Grano and Lucques in L.A. and Marché Moderne in Costa Mesa are among area restaurants that can indulge a fresh tomato craving.
Three Los Angeles area restaurants, Jar, Hinoki & the Bird and Chinois on Main, offer lobster dinners that are almost as good as being oceanside in Maine.
No mistaking when you meet Semsa Denizsel. She is the real deal: a female chef in a place where that's unusual enough, self-taught, outspoken in her opinions, fierce in her love for Turkey and its food. She's been called the Alice Waters of Istanbul. Not only do they share a farm-to-table...