Our annual issue featuring Jonathan Gold's 99 essential restaurants ("A Movable Beast: The Modern L.A. Restaurant, Unleashed," Nov. 11) inspired a few quibbles (to go with all of the, um, nibbles). Some of them were about the actual restaurants, such as this one from Dave Lieberman: "A well-curated list, sir, good reading, and a good mix of high- and low-end. That said, I wonder when you last visited Tirupathi Bhimas? It has slid depressingly, and the crowds seem to have vanished along with the slide. The last time, it was so dreary that we decamped to Magic Wok for their sisig and crispy pata instead."
Or this from Mark: "How did the Foundry by Eric Greenspan miss your list?"
Or from Sabio: "STILL missing Barbrix in Silver Lake. Best restaurant in L.A. in my humble opinion."
Or, finally, this from Bob Claster: "Jonathan, Jonathan ... How is it possible that you've overlooked Vito's Pizza, with by far the best pizza by the slice this side of NY? Next year."
Some of the other quibbles were of a technical nature, including a pair suggesting that we ought to provide a map or an app. These weren't just snarky comments — these people actually created the maps. Here's the Butcher Blog: "We've created an online spreadsheet that is fully sortable. Please feel free to use and create your variations on Jonathan Gold's indispensable list: http://thebutcherblog.com/a-sortable-feast-or-how-to-make-a-good-thing-better/"
And this from Michael/South Bay Foodies: http://www.southbayfoodies.com/j-golds-99-essential-la-restaurants-map/"
Now those are helpful comments!
THE WORST LEGISLATOR?
David Futch's piece on San Fernando Valley assemblyman Felipe Fuentes ("The Worst Legislator in California," Nov. 11) and his tendency to lend his name to bills by various special interests, including L.A.'s Community Redevelopment Agency, raised not a few hackles — in both directions.
"Wonderful piece of reporting," writes Gwennie. "If anybody wonders why there is such a disconnect between the citizenry and government, this is a perfect example."
But Ricardo sees it differently: "Here we go again, L.A. Weekly gets it wrong again. When did this type of biased writing pass for journalism. When do rumors become fact. How dare David Futch compare politics of the '60s (with no Latino representation) to now. It's easy to demonize the difficult decisions that legislators have to make. Negotiating policy is part of being a politician ... just like Obama did with health care reform."
Truly takes issue with "all you commenters who think this story means that the L.A. Weekly has gone Republican [— you] are missing the point. When bills are written and pushed into law by ANY special interest, it's not good government. Doesn't matter if it's the Sierra Club or Wal-Mart. Our system now just means that California is up for sale. Thanks to David Futch for helping to expose that the emperor has no clothes!"
Kate Barner expands on that: "Sadly this is one of the few areas where there is cooperation between Democrats and Republicans at the suffering of the poor and middle class. Democrats like Fuentes, the Mayor and City Council help make Republican Developers rich by giving away taxpayer subsidies to them and massive entitlements without any real public benefit. We are taking several steps backward in this approach and further sinking the City, County, and State into the hole."
David sees monsters in our political closet: "Our City is being strangled by the CRA/Developer/Union evil axis and it is time for the people to rise up and kill the CRA monster."
Jack Beltran gets the final word, partly because he gave us his whole name: "I don't get it. This guy is 'corrupt' and the 'worst' because he was working WITH his local city government??? I would normally call that responsive democracy. Maybe it is just me."
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GIVE THAT MAN AN OSKAR!
We don't often get letters about the great Oskar Fischinger, probably because we don't often write about Oskar Fischinger. But Doug Harvey's piece on Filmforum's "Alternative Projections" symposium ("Hollywood's Soft Psychedelic Underbelly," Nov. 11) brought this comment from one CVM: "Note that filmmaker/artist Oskar Fischinger, though known more widely for his films, was also a painter in the nonobjective or abstract tradition. He turned to painting when he could not obtain support in Los Angeles to make films, leaving behind many exquisite paintings but also unfinished tests, stacks of unshot animation drawings and plans for numerous unmade films. Fischinger Research Pages, bio, and more are at centerforvisualmusic.org/Fischinger."
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