Let the Subscription Run Out – Bon Appetit’s Restaurant Picks

bon appetit magazine september 2005 america's top 5 restaurant cities
About a week ago, I put together my thoughts about GQ’s July 2005 issue (Jessica Simpson!) that had Alan Richman’s list of the 20 Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die, but held off on attacking the subject of Bon Appetit’s September restaurant issue because I just didn’t want to get all over-heated. No, I’m not upset that they left Los Angeles out of their Top Five Restaurant Cities in the US. I’m not necessarily patting the editors on the back for it, but I’ve never though LA to be a true “food” city to begin with. From West to East, Bon Appetit chose San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, New Orleans, and New York. I’ll admit that the choice of Vegas surprised me, but only a little, as many a great chef has opened a restaurant in Sin City, and if I ignore the Treasure Island buffet, then I’ll give them Vegas. ;)

bon appetit september 2005 issue, top five restaurant cities
i’m okay with vegas, as long as they don’t mention “buffet”

And I have to say that I was happy to see that Bon Appetit did acknowledge LA for some of it culinary merits. Sure, we have embarassing celebrity restaurants like Chi and Dolce, but we also have an incredible patchwork quilt of ethnic neighborhoods that basically allow a person to eat all over the globe without ever setting flight on a plane. But don’t think that doesn’t mean you don’t have to travel for a bit. Katmandu Kitchen may be closer in miles than the Himalayas, but if you’re starting from Pasadena, it’ll still take you 45 minutes to get to Nepalese food. ;)

bon appetit september 2005 issue, la in the raw - sushi
la for sushi – no argument

No, I had no issue with the issue, and in fact, completely agreed with their claim that LA can’t be beat for sushi. Please, no arguments here. That’s just a fact. No issue with the issue, until…I actually opened to the article and saw not one, but two photos, and read their praises of Geisha House, I almost…wept. Geisha House. Geisha House?! I was stunned. Not only did Condé Nasty list Geisha House as one of the 80 Hottest Tables Around the World, but now a magazine that I read and respect and look to for fun and food, has identified Geisha House as “L.A.’s sushi restaurant of the moment.” Oh, BA, do you now see the Geisha for what it really is behind all that makeup?

I suppose it sounds like I am very very bitter. I’m not. Really. In fact, I don’t hate Geisha House as much as you would think. I will most certainly not argue that Geisha House is trendy. The gazilliion dollar almost-to-the-point-of-gaudy decor, the beautiful people not eating at the tables and not eating at the bar, all make it a fun place to see and be seen. The problem I have is more with Bon Appetit. A food magazine calling Geisha House out for their food? Did they look around and just not eat like everyone else there (Geisha House is in Hollywood, after all) and not taste how so very mediocre and *eh* the sushi was? *sigh*

“L.A.’s sushi restaurant of the moment.” Of the moment. At least you’re right about that.

Here are the rest of B.A’s picks:

NEIGHBORHOOD SUSHI (3 out of 4 in the Valley!)

8385 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA


11680 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA

Sushi Nozawa
11288 Ventura Boulevard, Suite C
Studio City, CA

Tama Sushi
11920 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA


Geisha House
6633 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA


730 N. La Cienega Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA


Sushi Ike
6051 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA

Sushi Roku
8445 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA


The Hump
Santa Monica Airport
3221 Donald Douglas Loop, 3rd Floor
Santa Monica, CA

Mori Sushi
11500 West Olympic Boulevard
West Los Angeles, CA

8684 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA

218 N. Rodeo Drive (@ Wilshire Boulevard)
Beverly Hills, CA

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