Father's Office

Counter: A bistro, a rice bar

We were reminded this past week of how vibrant a food town Los Angeles is — not that we ever need much reminding of that, granted. But when the folks from Lucky Peach came downtown to the Million Dollar Theatre to do a food event, with Jonathan Gold reading an essay and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon performing a recipe, among other attractions, and then everyone wandered next door to Grand Central Market for food, it was hard not to feel some civic pride.

That vibrancy was again evident this week, in the Studio City bistro that Jonathan visits for his latest review. And in the tiny Filipino counter restaurant where a former executive chef at Patina is cooking the rice bowls of his...