I don’t mean to take issue with Jonathan Gold’s review of Ludo Bites, since I am the number-one admirer of Ludo’s cooking and find it superior to his mentor, Gagnaire. I do take issue with Gold’s notion that eating there costs one-third [of what it would cost] at the late Bastide. I recently ate there with two friends, had six or seven courses, and the check for food exceeded the cost of a comparable meal at Bastide. That, and there was no Riedel crystal, no service, no valet parking and no ambiance. A $125 dinner at Bastide would cost $750 per person at a comparable restaurant in Paris. A decent meal at Atelier Robuchon would cost $250. Bastide offered a cuisine and quality of service that was unequaled, except for the better three-star restaurants in the world. Your reviews of Bastide recognized that — and I am grateful — but your casual comment comparing Ludo Bites and Bastide does Bastide a great disservice because it is inaccurate. Bastide is no more but, please, respect the memory.

—John Pytka, Los Angeles

I found Ludo Bites to be quite a bit less expensive than my last visit to Bastide. For two people, with six dishes between the two of us plus the $5 corkage, we walked out for about $100 before service. I personally prefer to choose my own small plates rather than have a prix fixe. Not being a huge person, I rarely can do justice to a chef’s menu. I also think comparing Ludo Bites to Bastide is inaccurate, because it is comparing apples to oranges. Ludo Bites, while wonderful in flavor and service, is really not at all like Bastide in ambiance, service and pretense. While I certainly enjoy pretense as much as the next person, Ludo Bites is simply more my style. Thanks, Jonathan Gold, for the beautiful review.

—Comment by Foodshethought, Los Angeles


Re “Wrinkles in Runkle Canyon” by Michael Collins (July 23):

A fantastic article, Michael, and a particularly clear, understandable explanation of what happened, and why the aftermath of this nuclear meltdown is still a giant-sized problem in the whole affected area. What could possibly be a bigger problem than builders wanting to build on contaminated land, and Boeing still denying that there is a problem.?

Fifty years later, this drama is still going on with new cancer cases continuing unabated. We keep hearing from people who grew up around the nuked area and are developing cancer in their 40s and 50s … having already buried their parents, who were clearly made terminally ill by living near the Field Laboratory.

The newspaper articles you have written about this (partial) nuclear meltdown, down through the years, have been a real link to the enlightenment of people living in the area surrounding this sodium reactor experiment. A devastating and failed experiment. Please keep up the good work. You are totally needed.

—Comment by Margery Brown, Chatsworth

Great reporting. How can the companies claim there is no problem if they aren’t going to do the testing or take the claims of people who worked there seriously? Just saying, “trust us,” isn’t enough.

—Comment by Michael Rose, Marina del Rey

Great article. It’s really amazing that it takes 50 years for the details of the truth to finally start to trickle out. Thanks for keeping this important subject in the news and in the minds of the people below.

—Comment by Christina Walsh, Canoga Park

On behalf of all the Radiation Rangers, I want to thank Michael Collins for another great job of reporting. One of the most difficult jobs we have as “Rangers” is keeping all this information public. Thanks again, Michael, for helping us achieve our most important goal.

—Comment by John Southwick, Simi Valley



Re “Beautiful Loser, Tortured Killer” by Paul Cullum (July 9):

Interesting to see what constitutes justice and law enforcement in L.A. Those are very different things here in New York (though justice here is also very much based on the perceived social standing of the victim). It’s very difficult to even keep a gun in a locker at a shooting range in Manhattan, much less actually have one in your home. And they allow this guy to have a handful. So he thought he’d “never kill a man.” Well, now that he’s satisfied with having experienced that particular kick, will the LAPD let him continue to roam and have a chance to repeat the thrill? Congrats to the reporter for running all the details here (even if the name of the art school in Baltimore is a little off). True enough, this story will probably allow the guy to sell all those copies of his masterpiece that have been sitting and collecting dust. Hopefully he’ll have to use the proceeds to pay for a good defense attorney.

—Comment by Iver, New York

Re “The Closers” by Christine Pelisek (July 23):

Once again, top-notch reporting from the L.A. Weekly. Enthralling, factual, just absolutely stunning reporting. If more people read the L.A. Weekly, the more people would realize that they’re getting gypped by the L.A Times. Good work.

—Comment by Virg, South Pasadena

Look at all this attention paid to crimes against women. Yet there are five times as many men murdered as women. I know a serial sex-predator story offers a certain lurid intrigue, but in the interests of objective journalism, shouldn’t the L.A. Weekly be writing more than it does about male victims of violent crime?

—Comment by Smoke, Los Angeles


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