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Awards and Contests

Ink.: GQ's Best New Restaurant in America; Picca Is #6

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Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:43 AM

click to enlarge Dungeness crab, broccoli mayo, broccoli "kimchi" at Ink. - MY LAST BITE
  • My Last Bite
  • Dungeness crab, broccoli mayo, broccoli "kimchi" at Ink.
Michael Voltaggio's Ink., which our own critic described as "the most eagerly anticipated brick-and-mortar opening in years," has been named the best new restaurant in America by GQ.

The magazine's editors, along with restaurant critic Alan Richman, today debuted their annual list of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America. The pleasantly un-New York-centric list spans the country, from Portland, Ore., to Nashville, Tenn. (Mostly, we're impressed -- and jealous -- that any print publication has the $$ to fly writers around the country to eat.)

Ink. isn't the only Los Angeles restaurant to make the cut. Picca came in sixth. Full list of winners after the jump.

click to enlarge A dish at Picca - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • A dish at Picca
GQ's 10 Best New Restaurants in America

1. Ink. (Los Angeles)

2. Brushstroke (New York City)

3. Next (Chicago)

4. Mission Chinese Food (San Francisco)

5. The Catbird Seat (Nashville)

6. Picca (Los Angeles)

7. The Woodsman Tavern (Portland, Ore.)

8. Mica (Philadelphia)

9. Ruxbin (Chicago)

10. Barley Swine (Austin, Texas)

Writing on Picca, Richman says:

"Foodies in America have for years awaited the triumphant arrival of Peruvian cuisine, long ago designated the next big dining trend. Until Picca came along, only ceviche -- raw fish marinated in citrus juice -- had made notable inroads.... The selection of dishes, almost all small, reveals the multitude of influences in the Peruvian larder: Spanish, African, French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. A fantastic dish was tuna tartare with avocado and lemon-soy dressing, so fresh it practically floated off the plate."

Writing on Ink.:

"Chef Michael Voltaggio has all the gadgets -- "Yeah, I do," he admits -- but somehow the food at Ink. is astonishingly easy to like.... He calls his food Modern L.A. Cuisine. Voltaggio doesn't try to make too much of this classification or, for that matter, himself.... Every dish I ate was carefully conceived. Some seemed eloquent, like fluke wrapped in romaine, which I was certain represented a death struggle, innocent fish versus deadly undersea predator. (Voltaggio said the presentation simply made the fish easier to eat.)"


Follow Squid Ink at @LAWeeklyFood and check out our Facebook page. Follow the author at @ElinaShatkin or contact her at eshatkin@laweekly.com.

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