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Jonathan Gold’s 101 best restaurants

Providence has many of the classic virtues: crisp white tablecloths, a lovely but understated dining room and a staff intimately acquinted with chef Michael Cimarusti’s supremely creative cuisine. (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
Wolfgang Puck has reinvented Spago with a new chef, Tetsu Yahagi, and a proto-modernist menu.  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
The mozzarella bar draws diners at Osteria Mozza, one of the collection of restaurants and a takeout place in the Mozzaplex.  (Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Los Angeles Times)
Chef Roy Choi’s food truck is such a hit that when fans find out where it’s parked, a long line soon forms. From there a party often begins.  (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)
Taylor Bay scallops with green curry, black rice, Tahitian squash and Bloomsdale spinach from Lucques.  (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Jon Shook, left, and Vinny Dotolo have a pretty good sense of what tastes good. And it’s often meat.  (Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Los Angeles Times)
A 32-ounce Porterhouse is grilled over a wood fire at Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse in Beverly Hills.  (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Three-flavored whole sea bass is among the 300 dishes served at Jitlada. The typed pages at the back of the menu list the southern Thai specialties.  (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

This is agedashi momotaro tomato tofu at Shunji restaurant in Los Angeles. 

 (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Rivera sometimes operates with five menus at a time, each exploring a different aspect of Mexican or Spanish cuisine. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Fiery grill cooking is the focus at the Spice Table, where chef Bryant Ng blends Southeast Asian flavors.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
A passionate, micro-focused chef and a menu that veers beyond meat and potatoes are the draws at this creative restaurant on Melrose. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Josef Centeno’s signature creation is a kind of flatbread sandwich halfway between a Catalan coca and a taco with a vaguely Mediterranean sauce.  (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
The impression is of Italian cooking translated into an odd American dialect, with plating done by an art director. (Ann Johansson / For the Los Angeles Times)
Tony Ho’s Rosemead restaurant delivers in every way a seafood house can deliver.  (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
The West Hollywood restaurant is a specialist in northern Thai street food. (Night + Market)
One of the Italian dishes is agnolotti alla Vaccinara, cacao pasta parcels with braised ox tail, burro fuso, grana padano, pine nuts and currants. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
The new restaurant from David Myers is at the base of a Century City condo tower.  (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Chef Josiah Citrin’s Santa Monica restaurant offers luxury ingredients ... and luxury prices.  (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Chef Suzanne Tracht is adept at both the urban rustic style of cooking that packs them in at Bestia and at Asian-accented new American cuisine. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
In a culinary narrative that could be lifted from a Christopher Nolan film, a dish of early season legumes and roots, virgin walnut, jambon Bayonne and Vietnamese herbs. (Red Medicine)
Ludo Lefebvre, left, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook run one of the hottest new restaurants in town. Want a table? Be prepared to buy a ticket at precisely 7:59 a.m. Friday.  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood is just a counter, a few tables and a reputation for great food.  (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
Suzanne Goin’s wine bar is an institution, and, yes, it’s still hard to land a table.  (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Totillas are made from scratch at Guelaguetza, a Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Park’s pretty much has the top end of Koreatown barbecue to itself.  (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
Sotto is a southern Italian place dedicated to local produce and sustainable and artisanally produced meat.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Steamed rice noodle with shrimp from the dim sum menu. (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
Vincenti is the spiritual center of Italian fine dining in Los Angeles.  (Los Angeles Times)
Sea urchin with sea salt from Kiriko sushi in West Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Chef Sang Yoon is part of a new wave of American-raised Asian guys classically trained in European techniques who re-project their vision of American cuisine through the lens of Asian street food. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
The restaurant has taken advantage of being blocks from the Santa Monica farmers market.  (Los Angeles Times)
Alma focuses on fresh produce, including locally foraged herbs, in downtown Los Angeles.  (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Gino Angelini’s osteria is a place with comfortable versions of pan-Italian trattoria classics and a friendly atmosphere.  (Los Angeles Times)
The communal table and bar at Son of a Gun on West 3rd Street. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Filete de Pescando en Adobo de chile Guajillo y Ancho, or fish fillet marinated in a chile guajillo and anchco adobo sauce and wrapped in corn husk.  (Patrick T. Fallon / For the Los Angeles Times)
Butter biscuits with blackberries, pimento cheese and honey butter.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Quinn and Karen Hatfield are married chefs whose restaurant is one of the quietest successes in Hollywood.  (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Karen and Quinn Hatfield’s sandwich shop and bakery offshoot has a Michelin star.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Chef Raymond Garcia prepares a dish at the restaurant in the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. (Ann Johansson / For the Los Angeles Times)
Din Tai Fung in Arcadia is the outlet of a Taipei-based chain that practically created the modern XLB cult when it opened here a decade ago.  (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Year after year, Serge and Sosi Brady’s restaurant becomes nothing but better.  (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
The Bazaar is a local vanguard of modernist cuisine.  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Govind Armstrong’s fresh take on African American dishes is new yet utterly familiar.  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Sashimi of tuna, halibut, kanpachi, oyster with uni and live sweet shrimp at a recent kaiseki dinner.  (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
A “secret” restaurant behind a wine storage facility in Glendale run by ex-Marche cook Gary Menes. ()
David LeFevre’s restaurant is giving Angeleno’s a reason to drive to the South Bay for dinner again.  (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Ricardo Zarate filters Peruvian cooking through the aesthetics of the izakaya.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Soban serves a variety of traditional Korean soups and bowls. (Soban Korean Restaurant)
A large wood oven is the heart of the cuisine.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Lines are long, and ramen is served only at lunch.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Nguyen Tran and his wife, Thi Tran, with their sought-after dish of Singapore-style chili crab. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
The Postmodern shed in Venice is open to the outside. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
The taco sampler at the Guisados in East L.A.  (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
Matsuhisa’s snow crab rolls with caviar are wrapped in pastry leaves called feuilles de brick(Los Angeles Times)
Besides the fresh seafood, the Hungry Cat also has inventive cocktails, such as the Schnockered Bloody Mary and the Porch Swing. (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)
Cardboard cutouts of former wrestler Kang Ho-dong grace the front entrance.  (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Kevin Bludso mans the steel smokers at his barbecue place in Compton. Now there’s a new outlet on North La Brea.  (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Cooks County takes advantage of seasonal bounty, like with this fat Sacramento Delta asparagus with Jersey cow’s milk Ricotta, pounded hazelnuts and lemon zest.  (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Pastrami is sliced for the famous No. 19 sandwiches at the deli on Alvardo Street.  (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
The restaurant on Sawtelle Boulevard is retro-futuristic, with a list of Japanese whiskies to boot. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
The shrimp dishes are great, supposedly made with seafood a member of the family brings from Mazatlan a couple of times a week.  (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
Chef Travis Lett’s restaurant on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice has crunchy-crusted wood-fired pizzas.  (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
Apfelstrudel with homemade vanilla ice cream brings the flavor of Austria.  (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Everybody looks good at the Grill.  (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
If you’re an old-school gourmand in L.A., you probably have a relationship with Valentino.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Brandon Boudet’s New Orleans roots come through with his Creole takes on Italian.  (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)
Golden Deli has been the default Vietnamese noodle shop in the San Gabriel Valley for more than 30 years.  ()
A sandwich stuffed with kuku, a vivid green frittata, breathes the essence of fresh spring herbs. ()
The avocado frito (avocado, coconut and mango with habanero chutney) at the restaurant in Bell.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Hannosuke in the Mitsuwa supermarket in the Palms neighborhood.  (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
The Yucatecan dishes include Brazo de Reina (green and yellow tamale spirals on orange and yellow tomato sauce). (Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times)
Boster, Mark -- B581938874Z.1 LOS ANGELES, CA., MARCH 2, 2012: Tacos at Border Grill in Los Angeles MARCH 2, 2012 .(Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times). (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
The signature tacos dorados de camaron, shrimp tacos.  (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
The Lebanese-Armenian restaurant in Studio City brings a different kind of edge to the cuisine.  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
No trip to 101 Noodle Express is complete without a beef roll.  (Cathy Chaplin / GastronomyBlog.com)
The tapas restaurant in Pasadena is from the team of Loretta Peng and Teresa Montano.  (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)
At nearly 2-feet long, an order of masala dosa, served with spiced potatoes, for $8.95, is a great item for sharing.  (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Lobster dishes are a speciality.  (Cathy Chaplin / GastronomyBlog.com)
This is a grand restaurant for celebrating big things. It helps that it’s next door to Disney Hall.  (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Mole Oaxaqueo shrimp is among the myriad mole options.  (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Longtime barman Ruben Rueda at Musso & Frank, a Hollywood classic.  (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
The Peruvian lomo saltado with sauteed beef fillet, Roma tomatoes, red onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and Kennebec fries.  (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
It’s the place to be after the bars close in North Hollywood and you have a craving for Thai.  (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
Perhaps the most dependable lunchroom in Hollywood.  (Julian Fang)
Cacao has expanded and now has a beer and wine license, so you can make an evening out of it.  (Cacao Mexicatessen)
Leo Bulgarini mandates a three-scoop minimum.  (Stefano Paltera / For the Los Angeles Times)
Kobawoo is famous for its version of bossam, boiled pork belly you wrap into leaves with raw garlic, sliced chiles and a salty condiment made from fermented fish.  (Cathy Chaplin / GastronomyBlog.com)
The restaurant respects the changes downtown, from its longtime skid row neighbors to the incoming loft dwellers.  (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
Salsa de aguacate (avocado salsa) at the East L.A. restaurant.  (Patrick T. Fallon / For the Los Angeles Times)
Primal Mexican food doesn’t get any better than this. (Mariah Tauger / For the Los Angeles Times)
Fab’s crazy ripper hot dog. (Sherrie A. Gulmahamad)
The restaurant is more or less a brasserie in the classic sense, except you can also get a nicely turned out Aviation No. 1.  (Coral von Zumwalt / For the Los Angeles Times)
Dae Bok, left, specializes in caldrons of brick-red broth and vegetables for slipping in meaty pieces of simmered blowfish. Quite different from the Apple Pan, right, the classic American burger joint in West L.A. (John Kim (left) Susan Gerbic (right))