Eater's second annual list of essential restaurants, as picked by national critic Bill Addison, just dropped this morning, and Addison's continuing love affair with Los Angeles shines through. The list features three L.A. restaurants, which is just as many as New York or any other big dining city. In fact, Addison tells us that originally there were to be four L.A. restaurants on the list, but his fourth pick — Gjusta — was too young. He has a policy of not putting any place on the list that's less than 18 months old.
The places that did make the list — Night + Market Song, Trois Mec and Guerrilla Tacos — represent to Addison all that's exciting about eating in America right now. "L.A. is the city where I want to come to understand the best of American dining right now," Addison said by phone this morning. "It's where I want to come for street food, or for a tasting menu in a funky former pizzeria. The more I ate here, the more I understood how profound L.A. is as an incubator for ideas and for what's new and exciting in the country as a whole."
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Addison said that, in general, his list of 38 is a mix of old standard-bearers and newer places, but L.A.'s three choices are relatively young restaurants. "That reflects how essential it's become in the last two years especially," he said.
Along with the list of 38, the package features a number of trend pieces, and those, too, give love to L.A. spots. His pick for best burger of the year went to Petit Trois (a judgment I obviously agree with), and he gave a shoutout to Sqirl in his ode to breakfast. He admitted to us that Sqirl was on his short list for consideration in the 38, mainly because "their rice bowl is my favorite thing to eat in America for breakfast."
You can see the entire package here, and read more about Addison's thoughts on why L.A. is the best town to be eating in right now here.