In case you missed the arrival of the distinctive rectangular maroon book in your mailbox, you should probably know that the 2013 edition of Zagat's Los Angeles restaurant guide is out. Noteworthy for many reasons, not least of which because Michelin no longer publishes in Los Angeles.
So what's new this year? Michael Voltaggio's ink. was voted 2013's Top Newcomer with a 26 out of Zagat's 30-point scale. The Top Food award goes to Urasawa, one of five Japanese restaurants in the top 10. Michael Cimarusti's Providence won TYop Service, 101 Coffee Shop gets the nod for Most Popular restaurant, Grill 'Em All Truck beat out Kogi for Top Food Truck, In-N-Out Burger won for Best Buy and yes, the Cheesecake Factory won something too, getting named Most Popular Chain. From Urasawa to Cheesecake Factory. Gotta love surveys.
Of the 2,082 restaurants surveyed in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and Orange County this year -- by a record 18,450 diners -- none rated 30 or 29 on the scale. 15 rated 28 points: Urasawa, Michael's, Asenabo, Sushi Zo, Melisse, Piccolo, Matsuhisa, Echigo, Providence, Angelini Osteria, Michael's Pizzeria, Hamasaku, Kiwami, M.B. Post and Bashan. Next down at 27 include: Spago, Lucques, The Bazaar, Jitlada, Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza, Gjelina, Animal and Hatfield's. For the whole list, go read your guide.
Other interesting bits provided by this year's guide include the fact that your L.A. surveyors ate out 3.5 times a week, more than those in New York or San Francisco. (And that despite our crappy traffic.) 35% use restaurant apps and 85% think it's okay to photograph your food, although 58% think it's rude to tweet or text when dining. Presumably it's not rude to read your guide while you eat -- kinda like it's okay to read your paper while you eat breakfast. At least it is around here.