Yesterday, Bon Appetit magazine put out a list of the 20 most important restaurants in the country. These are the restaurants, according to the magazine, that:
…define how we eat out. They're the fearless spots that drive chefs to innovate, restaurateurs to imitate, and the rest of us to line up. In short, these are the restaurants that matter — right now.
Of this list of 20, can you guess which solitary L.A. restaurant made the cut?
That's right, Animal. Even five years after opening, Animal is still considered our most important restaurant, and the only one in Los Angeles on the list. They came in at number 11. According to Bon Appetit: “By serving a menu of upscale munchies in a gritty, minimalist space in the old Jewish neighborhood of Fairfax, the two also changed the dining culture in L.A., making food, not the scene, the centerpiece.”
Not surprisingly, of the 20 restaurants listed, six of them are in New York City. This is either a function of New Yorkism, a disease wherein New Yorkers don't grasp exactly how much of the universe exists outside of New York, or it's simply a truth that the New York restaurant scene still completely dominates and outshines everyone else, by, like, sixfold.
I'm not sure — I might rank one or two places in L.A. above Balthazar in terms of 2013 importance. But maybe I just have a case of Los Angelism, in which I overestimate the importance of our sprawling city simply because it has swallowed me.
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