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He's Got 99 Restaurants (But The Valley's No Fun)

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Pulitzer-Prize-winning and family-feuding restaurant critic Jonathan Gold published his updated list of L.A.'s 99 Essential Restaurants in the LA Weekly today, an annual tradition that arrives this year sans fun interactive Google map. L.A. classics like Langer's and Phillipe's are still holding down their spots (and may they forever more), while modern masterpieces like Melisse and Providence continue to reign over the dining scene.

New to the list are Akasha, Animal, Anisette, BLD, Comme Ca, 8 oz. Burger Bar, LA Mill, The Nickel, Osteria Mozza, Palate, and Wolfgang's Steakhouse. It's also good to see LAist faves like Jitlada and the Culver City Father's Office hitting JGold's sweet spot.

The Valley proper gets very little love: we San Fernandans can turn to only Asanebo, Max, and Alcazar for an Essential experience, apparently. (Ok, the NoHo branch of Krua Thai gets a shout-out too.)The San Gabriel Valley, however, is awash in cheap but excellent eats, according to Mr. Gold: not a surprise, given his penchant for the varied Asian cuisines of the east side of the city.

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As far as overarching trends go, Gold deems this the year of " the hypermasculine restaurant, where chefs take the same kind of fierce pride in their arcane meats and cheeses they probably used to take in their record collections. Their whites are always stained with blood, and they exult in the hard labor and difficult conditions of even the modern restaurant kitchen."