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Caruso's Faux Americana, and Michelin Guide Falls Flat

Aria Falls Flat

Comment on Matthew Fleischer’s profile of Rick Caruso [“Caruso’s Aria: L.A.’s Mall King Mulls a Mayoral Run”]: Just what we need, more of this man’s faux Americana with canned Muzak to spritzing fountains on faux streets with faux trams to nowhere, which occasionally derail and hit people just like real ones do. Adding to this recipe at the Grove, his Glendale Americana adds real apartments and a real playground with real kids and real parents where they’re conspicuously on view for shoppers and diners to simulate a real town.

If he did manage this in the incredibly dense areas of South L.A., Watts, Ramona Gardens in East L.A. and Pacoima/Sylmar, converting gang-infested blight and backyards full of chickens more reminiscent of TJ than Mayberry, I’d take another look. One thing this city needs is more development in the poor areas, where they’re crowding into small homes and apartments and then driving to affluent areas of L.A. and neighboring cities, adding to gridlock, pollution and road hazards. But from the way his “rock-star status” causes the same old developers to salivate, all I can see is more faux streets for the affluent areas where residents do not need more development.

Caruso’s been less than embraced in affluent Montecito, where he’s turning a sprawling, low-rise hotel complex into a monstrosity according to his usual brand, but after a lot of battles, he’s apparently bought his way to approvals.

The tone of this article is so biased, coming on the heels of the hit piece on the current mayor, it’s laughably obvious.

Posted by Susan from Hollywood on Oct. 16

 
Michelin Misguided

I wholeheartedly agree about the futility of Michelin’s very existence [“The Hits and Many Misses of Michelin’s Latest Survey of L.A. Cuisine,” by Jonathan Gold, Oct. 24-30], but I have to disagree about Triumphal Palace — at least about their dim sum. I’ve tried dim sum at dozens of places in all areas of greater L.A., but Triumphal Palace has yet to be beaten in the way it makes dumplings and sticky rice. It took me three visits to realize that they don’t serve condiments. Everything is so perfectly seasoned that you don’t even need them.

Posted by Nickolay from L.A. on Oct. 23

 

Mr. Gold, when you examine New York’s restaurants, I am glad to see you do not try to figure every nuance of that matrix; rather, you review the meals you eat and relate them to what you have eaten before. Your readers know what you mean when you describe a meal in detail. The idea that one could cross an ocean and come to a frothing mix of cultures that is Los Angeles and do due diligence in examining its foods is absurd. The thinness of the Michelin guide only hurts its reputation, not the food served here. Real chefs should laugh at the assertion that the Michelin guide is anything but a doorstop.

Posted by Dileep Rao from L.A. on Oct. 23

 
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