Critic Roundup: Piora 'Specializes in the Unexpected'

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'There’s no sign touting gochujang octopus. Its website lacks an 'about' or 'philosophy' section. That’s OK by me. Good food shouldn’t be explained,' says Ryan Sutton about Piora.

This week in restaurant news, critic Ryan Sutton reviews Piora in New York City, which he says "specializes in the unexpected: French-Italian-Korean fusion," but doesn't advertise it. "There’s no sign touting gochujang octopus. Its website lacks an 'about' or 'philosophy' section. That’s OK by me. Good food shouldn’t be explained," Sutton says. Along with the food, "Service is impeccable, with every plate hitting the table at once, as at fancier uptown hangs," he says. "There’s a solid list of sparkling wines by the glass you’ll want to sample because many of Piora’s preparations contain some element of heat."

In Los Angeles, Girasol "in many ways resembles a typical Studio City place, located on a fast avenue lined with more condos than cafés, occupying a building that has been more restaurants than I can remember, in a neighborhood where the sidewalk is empty but the parking spaces are full," says critic Jonathan Gold. "You could probably have dinner here without noticing the detail Jacobson puts into most of his dishes: the scattering of crisped lentils under the salad of chocolate persimmon and burrata; the tart pop of finger limes, the pomegranates of the citrus world, with the raw hamachi; or the charred pine needles that give fragrance to the Wagyu flat iron steak."

In San Francisco, 1760, sister restaurant to the "best high-end Italian restaurant in the Bay Area," Acquerello, is a "letdown," according to critic Michael Bauer. "The menu is like a palette of random colors without any theme or vision," he says. In addition to the disappointing food, "the crowd was chatty, and the bass was so loud on the music that it shook the booth; I felt as if I were trying out a new gadget from Good Vibrations down the street."


Restaurant Critic Roundup: 11/06/2013

Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Gael Greene Insatiable Critic Le Bilboquet  
Ryan Sutton Bloomberg Piora 3 stars
Pete Wells New York Times Quality Italian 1 star
Tom Sietsema Washington Post RedRocks  
Jonathan Gold Los Angeles TImes Girasol  
Tom Sietsema OC Register Blossom 4 stars
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle Morimoto 2 stars
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle 1760 2 stars
Devra First The Boston Globe Grill 23 & Bar  
Stan Sagner NY Daily News The Musket Room  
William Porter The Denver Post Comida 2.5 stars
Scott Reitz The Dallas Observer Dee Lincoln's Steak and Burger Bar  


Click here for The Daily Meal's "Top Chefs Review — and Rate — America's Food Critics."


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Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @haleywillrd