Celebrate the 1st anniversary of The Knife and vote for The Kindest Cuts


I’m not big on formality, but (ahem) The Knife is a year old. (The official birthdate is/was November 13.)

To celebrate, I’m launching The Kindest Cuts, otherwise known as The Knife’s year-end recognition/celebration of Los Angeles’ best restaurants, chefs and wine/food stores.

Not the best that opened this year, just… the best. Your favorites. Casual, fancy, large, small — I want to honor the people and places that would make The Knife’s readers gnash teeth and rend clothing were they to close or move away.

To do this, I need your help. Badly.

Tell me what and who you love — restaurants, chefs and stores — and why. Leave your thoughts in the comments section (or, if you’re feeling shy, email). I’ll use your responses to create polls that will let you vote for your favorites.

The winners will be announced in The Knife and receive a formal recognition suitable for display (or, depending on temperament, storing in the garage).

On a similar note: The Knife’s second cousin, Restaurants & Institutions (like Variety, it’s part of Reed Business), is seeking nominees for its annual Top 100 Independent Restaurants, which are published in April. Says the editor in chief, Scott Hume:

"There never are any Los Angeles spots on the list and it makes me nervous and suspicious. SURELY there are hotspots there doing more than $12 million a year in F&B sales."

Surely he’s right. Let’s lay his suspicions to rest: If you own, or know of, a LA restaurant that fits the $12 million bill in 2007, tell me.

This was the R&I list for 2006 (published 4/15/2007). (Click through to see the full image.)





6 responses to “Celebrate the 1st anniversary of The Knife and vote for The Kindest Cuts

  1. David Garber

    Nate n’ Al’s! As the owner says, “It’s an institution in both meanings of the word.” I am happier in no other restaurant in Los Angeles. Although I love all the servers, Gloria is my favorite. Forget Disneyland, Nate’s is the happiest place on earth.

  2. Big Bomb

    Langer’s Pickles – 5 bux in a great mason jar.
    Lou’s …
    Vert … one of the few places to eat in H-wood proper that doesn’t think bomp-bomp music goes good with digestion … and it does what it does well … if you want to impress the out-of-towners with the hollywood razzle-dazzale, this works for you and for them.
    Hungry Cat
    Sinksy Wines
    Alma Rose (and the return of Sanford) Wines
    Margerum 5
    The Hard Rock Casino in Vegas (“we may be the light island of beauty”)
    Din Tai Fung
    Chico’s guac in Highland Park
    El Metate in Highland Park
    Gilbert’s El Indio in Santa Monica — those aren’t margies — they’re breakfast drinks!
    Chicken in a Biscuit w/ ham salad if you can sneak home for lunch.
    eating ancient salt at Bastide and feeling like I’m stealing from the time-salt continuim
    still praying that Wolfgang gives us his food and a view, that Wolfie does a veggie restaurant, that Wolfie takes over The Penthouse in Santa Monica. Would it be so wrong to be able to see the ocean and eat good food?
    Kudos to those who tip at comped events and death-ray-eyes to those who don’t. Comon peeps, you’re food and drink is free and you can’t throw the waitstaff a bone. Weak.
    Yummy Bartenders. They were — as promised.
    The sandwiches at Santa Anita. Off the bone, off the hook.
    Sushi Nozawa — I keep waiting for the quality to drop. It hasn’t.
    Edison’s downtown — pure joy of design.
    Best dive bar in the Valley — Universal Bar and Grill … right down to the bordello paintings and wallpaper …
    Best street performer at Farmer’s Markets? The sad, sad, sad Mexican man who wails and keens in key. He’s at the Pasadena one a lot.
    Foodie trip everyone should take — Chinos Farms. They lived up to the hype. Drop the kids off at Sea World and make the journey to see vegetables to pretty for still life.
    The NY Times Bread 18 hour bread — puts La Brea Bakery on notice. Haven’t been this excited about bread since Beer Bread hit big. Could mean a revival for Impossible Pie too.
    The new Whole Foods in Pasadena has the feel of a Parisian/NY food mega-market — you feel rich just to be able to walk around in it …

  3. Sara

    cupcakes at Joan’s on 3rd. chocolate w/ peanut butter frosting. i’ve made the arduous journey from Orange County many, many times just for one cupcake (full disclosure: i buy a half dozen but only one makes it home).
    and it’s not technically a restaurant, but the bacon-wrapped hot dogs made by an enterprising young man and his George Foreman Grill on the corner of hollywood and ivar are to die for. Trust me, at 3am after a night of dancing/drinking, this is the only thing worth eating…

  4. Lula on Main St., for its lethal margaritas alone but the accessible and affordable mix of Mexican cuisines makes for nice icing.

  5. very cool – happy birthday Knife.

  6. DF

    Hideyo Mitsuno/Restaurant 2117 (2117 Sawtelle) Excellent food, reasonable prices, nice folks, cheap valet parking. I’ve been going there since it was the original Cafe Bizou and the place continues to be a tremendous value. Wine friendly cuisine (Asian-inspired California/Italian/French) and reasonable corkage completes the cycle.
    Nook Bistro (Santa Monica) Comfortable, good food, crowded during peak dinner time (6-8 PM in this neighborhood) but good lunch location. Best mussels in town.
    Coffee Roaster (Marina del Ray) This is among the best cups of drip-coffee in LA. Roasted on the premises, it’s full-flavored and costs a couple of bucks. I’ve found most of the food items a little on the pricey side and the crowd isn’t exactly my scene, but a cup of coffee to go is worth the detour and waiting in line until the tourists decipher the menu and place their orders.
    Lou On Vine (Hollywood) My kind of wine bar! Great wines I can’t pronounce from places I’ve never heard of and made from grapes I didn’t know existed. Excellent food too (particularly the Monday night family style theme-nights). Kind of out of the way for me but worth the 50 mile drive to visit.
    Il Grano- Crudo!!!!!!!!
    Fraiche- Haven’t hit the bar scene yet but the charcuterie is excellent.
    Cara Bertone- She’s the sommelier at the Water Grill and it’s an amazing wine list. Not as big as others in town, it’s one of the few places in town that I don’t even consider bringing my own wine. Likewise with any place with a list done by Caitlin Stansbury. The recently-decamped-to-Hawaii Peter Birmingham is another sommelier who gets it. Maui will be an even more desirable destination because of his residency.
    Malibu Seafood- (on PCH just down the hill from Pepperdine) really fresh fish presented very casually, bring your own wine (and glasses)(and silverware if you use such things) and order a squid sandwich or the fish special and enjoy life. No pretensions, just great ingredients prepared simply and with a pretty okay view.

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