Welcome to a special edition of the Counter Intelligence newsletter. The occasion: Our annual list of 101 restaurants around Los Angeles has arrived.
I’m Andrea Chang, a food writer here at the Los Angeles Times.
Without our late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, we faced a daunting task. Acting Food editor Jenn Harris, fellow food writer Amy Scattergood and I compiled the list — this year called 101 Restaurants We Love, online now for digital subscribers and in print on Saturday — by traversing the city and surrounding regions in search of amazing places to eat, using Jonathan’s most recent list as a baseline. Departures and new entrants were voted on with a majority-rules method.
“Writing a restaurant list without Jonathan Gold was incredibly difficult, but we felt it was important to continue to celebrate talented chefs and their restaurants and to give readers some direction as they explore L.A.’s dining scene,” Harris said. “We did our best to honor Jonathan’s legacy and keep the ideas he championed in our minds, thinking about diversity, equality, deliciousness and the stories behind the plates of food before us.”
You’ll still find Jonathan’s presence: With the help of his wife, Laurie Ochoa, 15 spots were awarded to restaurants that Jonathan had reviewed since the 2017 list was released; these first-time entrants are ones Laurie knew he would have wanted on the list.
For the first time, the 101 is unranked — instead, you’ll find it in alphabetical order in print, and categorized by geographic location online.
We also added a bonus list of 10 classic L.A. restaurants; these are longtime favorites that have stood the test of time and that we believe are essential to the city.