Openings, closings and gratuities for cooks — here's the food news that grabbed our attention this week:
In what was probably the most controversial L.A. food news of the week, Los Angeles Magazine broke the news that Alimento chef/owner Zach Pollack has decided to add an extra gratuity line on credit card slips to allow customers to leave tips for kitchen employees. Pollack said the decision came about as a way to decrease the disparity between wages for front of house and back of house workers. This is the same restaurant that got a lot of flack upon opening because of their $1.50-per-person charge for filtered tap water.
The LA Times reports on the latest project from Animal chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dototlo, a family-friendly California/Italian place called Jon & Vinny's, which they hope will open in early 2015. It will be an all-day affair, with "Coffee and pastry in the morning, then pizza, pasta, salads, and desserts for lunch and dinner. In addition to all-day food offerings at Jon and Vinny’s, beverage director Helen Johannesen will run a wine store in the back of the restaurant."
Eater reports that our favorite udon spot, Marugame Monzo, has taken over the Oh Tokushima space in Torrence and should be open slinging noodles shortly.
Speaking of Eater, their New York critic Ryan Sutton delivered a scathing 2-star (out of 4) review of Per Se, Thomas Keller's hugely expensive tasting menu restaurant in NYC. Keller responded last night on Twitter, quoting a famous cartoon critic.
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Zagat released its 2015 L.A. restaurant survey this week, with Melisse taking the top spot in town, ratings-wise. The LA Times points out some issues with the survey, including the fact that it claims the best dim sum in town is in Beverly Hills.
In case you missed it, we broke the sad news yesterday that Hatfield's (which, incidentally garnered a number 22 spot on that Zagat list) will be closing at the end of December.