Beginning next week, L.A. Weekly's main restaurant reviews will come with a star rating. This week, in place of a restaurant review, I wrote an essay explaining the new system, as well as discussing how the decision to implement stars came about and why we think this is a good idea.

An excerpt:

It's one thing to be high-minded and talk about the ineffable qualities of a meal, but in the age of Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes, when everything is rated or “liked” or favorited, why shouldn't professional critics be part of the discussion? Bowing out of that game for the last seven months has been nice, believe me, but it feels like stepping away from the modern mode of conversation rather than engaging in every way we can.

Read the full story here. Thoughts on the change? I'd love to hear from you — email me at

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