1999 Zagats 1999

Nina and Tim Zagat ZagatSurvey 1999: America's Top Restaurants, 236 pp.

Los Angeles:Top 25 Food Ranking:

Chinois on Main 28

2709 Main St. (bet. Ocean Park Blvd. & Rose Ave.), Santa Monica.

     "Consistently the top-rated of Wolfgang Puck's SoCal empire, this Franco-Asian "adventure in decor and dining" "excites the eyes and palate" with an "innovative" if "deafening", high-energy setting (designed by wife Barbara Lazaroff) showcasing Wolf's cutting-edge "Puckerized Chinese" cuisine; "whoever thought catfish could taste so good?"-as Arnold might say, "I'll be back."

Joe's 27

1023 Abbott Kinney Blvd., (bet. Main St. & Westminister Ave.,) Venice

     "Call it "a synonym for heaven," this "casual," "cozy" Californian with "minimalist" decor in a rambling Venice storefront transcends its setting thanks to affable-yet-shy Joe Miller, a regular Joe who happens to be a "master chef," turning out "tasty" home cooking at prices that have locals singing "what a deal"; the restaurant by which some "judge all others," it ranks in LA's Top 10 for both Food and Popularity, so be sure to 'call ahead."

Other Important Places:

Lavande 26

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave. (between Colorado Ave. & Pico Blvd.), Santa Monica

     "After leaving Citrus, Alain Giraud headed west for the beach, opening this Provençal French "winner with a drop-dead view of the Pacific" in the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and garnering steller surveyor reviews: "gorgeous, grand, gourmet," "brilliant," "creative" and "friendly," with the "best soupe de poisson" and "exquisite lavender ice cream" for dessert. "Santa Monica ain't St. Tropez, but you might think otherwise" after a meal at this newcomer with "a promising future.""

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 Kelyn Roberts 2017