Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Din Tai Fung, home of the perfectly crafted soup dumpling, now at the Americana mall in Glendale
Counter Intelligence: Angelo Auriana and Matteo Ferdinandi have opened an easygoing trattoria that produces composed and careful formal northern Italian cooking.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews the Church Key, where a retro-future dining adventure on the Sunset Strip comes along on carts.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Colonia Taco Lounge in La Puente. Ricardo Diaz's new restaurant confirms we're living in the golden age of the taco in L.A.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Mari Vanna. The new branch in Los Angeles spikes simple Russian cooking with perfection.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Girasol. The Studio City restaurant by Chris Jacobson benefits from his travels abroad and his Southern California roots.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Fishing With Dynamite. The wait can be daunting at David LeFevre's newish Manhattan Beach eatery Fishing With Dynamite, but it's also worth it.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Bucato. Chef Evan Funke combines strong pungencies and seasonal vegetables with fresh pasta at his restaurant in Culver City's Helms complex.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Marugame Monzo. The Little Tokyo noodle house is at its best with its traditional udon dishes. Its more modern varieties miss the point.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Allumette. The Echo Park restaurant is chef Miles Thompson's follow-up to his pop-up Vagrancy Project.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Chengdu Taste. Along with the Sichuan restaurant's many unique dishes, the menu now features Diced Rabbit With Younger Sister's Secret Recipe.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Connie and Ted's. The West Hollywood clam shack conjures Rhode Island on the West Coast, be it with clams of all kinds, lobster cooked just right or oysters treated with reverence.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Petty Cash, chef Walter Manzke's new taco restaurant, where the guacamole is made with sea urchin and the crickets are toasted.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Paiche. Ricardo Zarate's Marina del Rey restaurant brings the flavors of the Upper Amazon, tinged with Asian influences, to the Westside.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Barnyard. The Venice restaurant offers fresh ingredients, grilled breads and delicious assemblages.
Jonathan Gold restaurant review: Roy Choi's rice bowl joint Chego has moved from Palms to downtown's Chinatown and offers an almost user-friendly attitude in its new home, along with its usual elevated street food.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Trois Mec. Ludovic Lefebvre's new restaurant is a collection of small revelations. The trick is getting in.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews AOC. At the new AOC, chef Suzanne Goin's menu is still recognizable with its delicious tastes of Italy, France, Spain and North Africa, whether you order meat dishes or just the vegetables. But the larger space and big platters are a new experience.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews RivaBella. Gino Angelini's new, enormous restaurant RivaBella on the Sunset Strip has grand ambitions and occasional flashes of brilliance, serving precise versions of his Italian dishes in a streamlined international style.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Corazón y Miel in Bell. Corazón y Miel lets Salvadoran chef Eduardo Ruiz, formerly of Animal, pursue his heart's desire. With transformative food, terrific cocktails and must-have desserts, it's an Eastside destination.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold | L.A. restaurant review: Littlefork takes a big-eats turn north
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Littlefork. Full flavors of New England and Montreal (yes, lots of maple), combined with a Chicagoan's cocktail magic, and all for a few Yankee dollars.
Counter Intelligence: Jonathan Gold reviews Hunan Mao in Rosemead: Fiery chiles and giant steamed fish heads are on the authentically Hunanese menu. The heat is on.
Hinoki & the Bird is a modern, luxuriously designed Century City restaurant from David Myers that is part Bond-villain lair, part garden party. Jonathan Gold reviews its pan-Asian cooking and finds its high-end ingredients leave an impression.
The Hart & the Hunter in the Palihotel on Melrose makes angelic biscuits. Jonathan Gold reviews Kris Tominaga and Brian Dunsmoor's restaurant, which specializes in Southern food.
Review: Hostaria del Piccolo near Venice Beach gets some things very right (the costicine). Jonathan Gold finds consistency is an issue, though.
Bar Amá restaurant review: Josef Centeno's new Tex-Mex cantina does Tex-Mex its own way, queso included. Jonathan Gold checks it out for Counter Intelligence.
The newly redesigned Spago in Beverly Hills modernizes the dining room and brings a fresh take on Japanese cooking as it plays down its tasting menu in favor of an Italian-style menu structure.
Chef Ari Taymor is cooking like no one else in L.A. at his downtown restaurant Alma, which started in pop-ups. And, oh, those butter-soaked carrots.
Tasty Dining in San Gabriel can bring tears to the eyes. That's what you get for ordering the chicken wing griddle 'very' spicy. The restaurant serves Chinese food from Wuhan, a culinary center in Hubei province.
MessHall restaurant review: It might not be a destination restaurant, but its glammed up dinner-party food and summer camp theme set the stage for a good time.
At Laurel Hardware, chef Mario Alberto, lately of Lazy Ox and Chimu, brings an inventiveness to this late-night haven that sometimes nails it, sometimes doesn't quite.
Tom Bergin's Tavern on Fairfax is fascinating since Brandon Boudet took over, with rethought Irish American bar food and, if you're lucky, a killer jambalaya.
Plan Check Kitchen and Bar has a modernist take on the classic burger, engineering it to a different level. Other items on the menu are a mix of good and bad.
With its pan-Asian dishes that include the popular Singaporean chili crab, Starry Kitchen has set up shop as an evening pop-up shop at Tiara in the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles.
At Superba Snack Bar, the cauliflower T-bone grabs attention, but the playful cooking hews Italian. Jason Neroni and Pitfire's Paul Hibler are behind it.
The atmosphere at Sycamore Kitchen is relaxed, but make no mistake: The husband-and-wife team behind the restaurant obsesses over every detail of every dish.
Red Hill is the latest step in the Brooklynization of Echo Park, a modern restaurant to go with the vintage clothing stores and well-frequented boutiques. Jonathan Gold reviews.
The Pikey isn't a gastropub. It's just a pub. It's got three beers on tap, food kicked up a notch with market-fresh ingredients and a little imagination, and an atmosphere even an Iron Maiden roadie could appreciate.
At Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades, the croissants are as good if not better than ones you'd eat in Paris. Alain Giraud may be the last true French chef standing in Los Angeles.
Bizarra Capital in Whittier is a Mexican-flavored gastropub, the newest project of Ricardo Diaz, who is also behind Cooks Tortas and Dorados in Monterey Park and Guisados in Boyle Heights. Featured dishes are
Silver Lake gastropub Black Hogg is a beguiling new entry on the neighborhood's scene, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila says in her review.
Downtown L.A. restaurant reopened in January after a $1.5 million redo with a new look, menu and chef. Highlights include the raw bar, fish 'n' chips, Dungeness crab.
At Umamicatessen in downtown, L.A., a wealth of imagination is on the menu at the multi-kitchen restaurant: Rethink that pastrami sandwich, a bourbon cocktail, the PB&J.
Wine is important at Andrew Kirschner's new restaurant, but so is the food, starting with the lardon- and chile-laced popcorn appetizer. From there, it's a serious but playful mix of wood-fired small-plate temptations.
A1 Cucina Italiana in Beverly Hills has assembled some of the team that once made Alto Palato special, including Danilo Terribili and Fredy Escobar. In the old Il Buco space, the Italian restaurant has a revamped menu of solid Italian food in an intimate setting with a contemporary, smart look.
Raw, fried or grilled, oysters from all over are the specialty of the house at the tiny eatery. But wait — you don't like oysters? The menu takes care of you too.
800 Degrees in Westwood has a soda machine like a fast car and a fast-food pizza assembly line like the epitome of culinary efficiency. From the man who brought you Umami Burger.
With the success of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich try for a repeat in Newport Beach. The food succeeds, but the atmosphere, well...
Pizzeria il Fico: Nicola Mastronardi of Vincenti in Brentwood branches out with a location near the Beverly Center in L.A. Its ambitous menu includes pizza, antipasti and pasta dishes with a southern Italian accent.
Thierry Perez's L'Epicerie Market in Culver City started uncertain of itself but has gotten reinforcements of late with the addition of Sébastien Archambault and his flavorful, casual southwest French cooking.
Chef-owner Michael J. Young's Ombra goes beyond being just another neighborhood Italian restaurant with authentic dishes, including excellent pastas, and a personable atmosphere.
The vegan and raw Café Gratitude in L.A. sends out lots of good vibrations with its positivity campaign that extends to menu entry names and questions of the day. Even if that's not your cup of tea, the food is inventive, delicious and wholesome.
Steve Samson and Zach Pollack's southern Italian restaurant Sotto could break the mold for L.A. Italian cuisine. It's strong in pizza and regional meat dishes, but the pasta and dessert offerings need some work.
The new Spice Table in Little Tokyo weaves the vivid flavors of Vietnamese and Singaporean cuisine into a delightful menu that gets just about everything right.
Museums aren't generally known for harboring distinguished restaurants. And the original one at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was never much more than adequate. But Ray's and Stark Bar have more ambition and are actually pulling it off.
Tim Goodell's Public Kitchen & Bar in the Hollywood Roosevelt offers laid-back, classic American fare with bright flavors in an unpretentious setting with a bit of Hollywood glamour.
London restaurant reviews: St. John Hotel is a carnivore's haven, with some succulent twists. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal offers playful reinterpretations of English dishes savored through the centuries. Together, they make London the world's most exciting place to eat.
Veteran chef Jason Travi has been enlisted to make the restaurant side of the operation as alluring as the bar scene, but his menu tweaks are still a work in progress.
Hostaria del Piccolo in Santa Monica: The décor evokes a contemporary Italian restaurant in the mountains. The food passes the exacting standards of an Italian native.
Roy Choi, who dreamed up the popular Kogi Korean BBQ truck, also has A-Frame, a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Culver City that channels the modern picnic. S. Irene Virbila reviews it.