Alan Richman, GQ's restaurant critic, has more than doubled his Best New Restaurants list this year, and instead of getting the 10 best new eateries according to Richman, we now get 25. The print edition of the list will be on newsstands tomorrow, February 24, but the list is available in slideshow form (complete with plenty of interrupting Armani ads) now.
Three restaurants from L.A. made the cut: Alimento, Smoke.oil.salt, and Shi Hai.
Richman credits Alimento in Silver Lake with "reinventing Italian again," saying "Chef Zach Pollack has turned Italian food inside out." Of Smoke.oil.salt he says "I've never come upon a Spanish chef who cooked with the intensity of Perfecto Rocher," before quipping that the space could be renamed "loud.dark.cramped."
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For his final L.A. pick, Shi Hai in Alhambra, Richman seems to be mainly impressed with a dim sum experience that caters more to his tastes service-wise. The food barely gets a mention, but he does say "Sadly, dim sum tends to be the same everywhere: unchanging versions of shu mai and har gow roll by on carts. Terrible tea. Indifferent service. Shi Hai is way better: attentive staff. Choice of teas."
As for Richman's number one pick, that goes to Rose's Luxury in Washington D.C., which has pretty much topped everyone's national lists for the best new restaurant of 2014.