Dear Mr. Gold:
My fiancee and I are trying to eat everything on your 99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die list, but we noticed that a couple of of the restaurants have closed down: Anisette Brasserie and Pho Bac. Can you suggest restaurants to replace these two?
Dear Mr. Saranglao:
While Alain Giraud's new place isn't set to open until May — he did bring the croissants to L.A. Weekly's Gold Standard event a couple of weeks ago — you could always content yourself with the pain au chocolat at Huckleberry, Susina, Euro Pane or (weirdly enough) the Encounter restaurant at LAX to substitute for Anisette's version.
But I have to admit: Few restaurant closings have unsettled me as much lately as that of Pho Minh, which was as profound a marriage of obsession and craft as you see at high-profile places like Providence or Playa. Eric Lam did just one thing — pho — but he did it superlatively well. While waiting for Pho Minh to resurface (please, please, let it resurface), try Pho Filet, a couple of blocks away, which also has a delicious pho bac, highlighted by a slab of filet mignon that looks as if it came off on the losing side of a knife fight, in a broth crazy-sharp with cloves.