S. Irene Virbila

S. Irene Virbila is a restaurant critic and wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Her worldly perspective on the L.A. dining scene has won a James Beard Foundation Award in 1997 and the American Food Journalists Award in 2005. Before joining The Times in 1993, she wrote about food, wine and travel from Europe and Asia, trained as a sommelier in Paris, edited cookbooks and was part of the culinary scene in Berkeley when Chez Panisse changed everything. 

Recent Articles

  • Find the rosés nobody else has at the Garagiste Festival

    Find the rosés nobody else has at the Garagiste Festival

    Is this rosé weather or what? Time to lay in your supply for the summer. But how about going with some that aren't as well known as the rosés from Domaine Tempier, Miraval, Arnot-Roberts or Robert Sinskey? To find rosés produced in minuscule quantities that even your most savvy wine geek friends...

  • Nutella pastries and schnitzel: BierBeisl Imbiss opens downtown

    Nutella pastries and schnitzel: BierBeisl Imbiss opens downtown

    Originally slated to open in February, BierBeisl Imbiss, the casual Austrian restaurant from Bernhard Mairinger, will finally open in the Spring Street Arcade downtown on July 9.

  • Helen's Wines at Jon & Vinny's blends curated finds with a sense of humor

    Helen's Wines at Jon & Vinny's blends curated finds with a sense of humor

    The wine shop at the back of Jon & Vinny's on Fairfax Avenue, the new red sauce Italian restaurant from the chefs behind Animal and Son of a Gun, is about the size of a walk-in closet. And yet the 6-by-8-foot space holds a whole world of wine. Open the door and it's like walking into someone's...

  • 6 terrific white wines for summer drinking

    6 terrific white wines for summer drinking

    We’re just at the beginning of what will be a long, hot summer — just the time to lay in some wines for summer drinking.  Find something you like and then buy more of it; wines just don’t sit on the shelves for months, and the good ones tend to sell out quickly.  Be prepared for any eventuality...

  • 11 places for food lovers in Larchmont Village

    11 places for food lovers in Larchmont Village

    With its quaint shops, family restaurants and essentials — an international newsstand, drug store, beauty supply — Larchmont Village has always felt like a small town in the middle of larger Los Angeles. And though it’s set at the edge of posh Hancock Park and Windsor Square, Larchmont never felt...

  • Tasting of the Week: Nuit en Rosé at the Mondrian's Sky Bar

    Tasting of the Week: Nuit en Rosé at the Mondrian's Sky Bar

    The Sky Bar at the Mondrian Los Angeles is one of West Hollywood’s most glamorous outdoor spaces, perfect for a celebration and tasting of pink wines. La Nuit en Rosé, which launched in New York last year, is coming to Los Angeles for the first time this Sunday.

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