Michelin CA, Hudson Yards DOA, Yelp cookies, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, May 31st, 2019
Let’s get to it…
Michelin Season CA – While we wait for the first ever Michelin Guide to all (well, most) of California to be released in its entirety on Monday, they announced 151 Bib Gourmands statewide this week, including 88 new entries.
Highlights from Eater LA’s Farley Elliott and Matthew Kang: “Some of the most notable restaurants to make an appearance on this list (and thus shut out of stars) in Los Angeles include Jessica Koslow’s impossibly busy Sqirl; David Chang’s best new restaurant winner Majordomo; Bryant Ng’s Santa Monica restaurant Cassia; and Boyle Heights legend Mariscos Jalisco, often considered to be among the greatest pound-for-pound restaurants anywhere in Southern California. Other Bib Gourmand winners include Kismet, Badmaash, Pizzeria Mozza, Rossoblu, Rosaline, Petit Trois, both Chengdu Taste and Chengdu Impression, Tsubaki, Jon & Vinny, and Aburiya Raku.”
P.S. Don’t look for Kang at Monday’s “Star Revelation event” (yes, that’s what they call it) in Huntington Beach. He tweeted Tuesday: “Was just told by Michelin that I am strictly not invited to their announcement event next week. So I will be tuning in on the live stream.” Sad!
Midwest Moves – “When Twain opened in August, it seemed to have a can’t-miss formula. A cool menu, featuring modern riffs on Midwestern cuisine, inspired by chef Tim Graham’s Missouri upbringing and his collection of vintage, spiral-bound women’s-club cookbooks. A clever cocktail program and an impressive wine list by Rebekah Graham. An eye-candy design by Jordan Mozer…. Sadly, it has all gone away. Twain closed quietly, with virtually no notice, over the weekend.” The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel says co-owner and partner Branko Palikuca will repurpose the space, but the Grahams “will be moving onto other projects.”
The Dystopia – In a tech piece investigating data tracking and the iPhone, the Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler reports some interesting usage while he was sleeping: “All night long, there was some startling behavior by a household name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my IP address — once every five minutes.” This prompted a beautiful bug-not-feature denial on the part of Yelp: “The company says the behavior [he] uncovered wasn’t a tracker but rather an ‘unintended issue’ that’s been acting like a tracker.” Sort of like that NestCam in your AirBnB that’s accidentally in the bedroom ceiling?
Some sad news – A local legend passed away in D.C. recently: “He was born Nezameddin Daryoush in Shiraz, Iran, in 1953, but for years, Washingtonians knew him as Mike Daryoush, the affable founder of Moby Dick House of Kabob, a small but formidable chain that introduced countless diners to kubideh skewers, kashke bademjan and other pleasures of the Persian table.” Daryoush was 66. Tim Carman has a full obituary in the Washington Post.
And for Northeasterners, an obit from Daniel Slotnik in the NYT: “Curtis Blake, a Founder of the Friendly’s Chain, Dies at 102.”
The Critics – I don’t usually include reviews here, but they don’t usually come out like this either. Both Eater NY and the LA Times released big batch critiques this week, with Eater tackling almost all the restaurants at Hudson Yards, and the LA Times handling the slightly less daunting task of “one mega-complex, The Manufactory L.A.”
On the Eater NY side, Ryan Sutton gave out tough-to-read, zero-star ratings to Wild Ink (“an Overwrought Yet Underachieving Fusion Disaster”), Estiatorio Milos (“One of the Last Big Restaurant Scams in New York”), and Belcampo (“a Big, Bland Miss”). Doing a bit better in the ratings was Thomas Keller’s TAK Room, which managed to earn a single Sutton star for finding “New Ways to Charge More for Average American Fare.” Congrats?
Whether you read bad reviews for schadenfreude or self-improvement, enjoy! (And if you’re in the mood for something more positive, here’s Sutton’s three-star take on Kawi, “a Hudson Yards Gem,” from David Chang and Eunjo Park.)
The Corporation – Also from Eater NY, a headline via Carla Vianna: “Danny Meyer’s Restaurant Empire Is Undergoing a Major Staff Shake Up This Year.” Seems like fairly normal turnover for a group this size, but lots of chess pieces here, so I’ll just quote one paragraph for reference: “Gramercy Tavern general manager Scott Reinhardt is leaving after 22 years, and Blue Smoke’s executive chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois is leaving his post of five years, following many more years at the company. Nick Anderer of Maialino has left after a 15-year run with USHG, as has Michaël Engelmann, the Modern’s five-year wine director.” Good luck, all!
Last sentence of the piece: “USHG says it’s actively looking to hire for empty roles.”
For design fans – Probably a bit of a cheap shot to criticize what the headline aptly calls “Chicago’s Sprawling Domed Patio Bar at Navy Pier”, but it’s hard to look at this Barry Brecheisen photo spread and not think: This is it? All that space, that sky, that view, (presumably also, that rent), and this is… it? Personal opinion: Just because the entire ceiling is a skylight, doesn’t mean patio furniture is the right indoor choice. One of the captions reads, “It’s supposed to feel like a boat.”
Is it supposed to though?
And that’s it for today. Good luck to everyone in CA on pins and needles about Monday’s big list. Remember: When all is said and done, YOU are the star.™
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
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