In today's feature food story, our new restaurant critic, Besha Rodell, considers the vast new dinner table that is her Los Angeles. In the process, she tells you something about herself, her methodology and a recent California epiphany. (A seat at Pizzeria Mozza. A walnut.)
Over the years, I've come to care more about the context of a restaurant, what it means for a city, what it means for a neighborhood. I want people to read my reviews and know whether they'll love the place, regardless of whether I love it or not. I'm interested in what a restaurant is trying to achieve and whether it is achieving that thing, rather than holding everything up to one rigid standard. Food can and should be viewed as art, but it's also pop culture and anthropology and politics and love.