Monday, June 29, 2009

Bid Adieu to Wonton Forest (City of Industry)

Am I the bearer of bad news or what? I think I enjoyed playing the Angel of Death this week because this is the 2nd news of something that are not going to be with us. Sadly, I cared about this place more than the Michelin Guide.

Wonton Forest was a place that my boy Go Ramen! had championed since its earliest days of opening. Since the mythical Won Ton Time closed in Alhambra more than a year ago, many people had being trying to find a replacement for a cheap won ton noodle soup. Why mythical?

To this day, no one knows how they make any profit margin by charging a bowl of soup with big won tons for less than $4. If you have to ask, yes...Won Ton Time closed under mysterious circumstances which we'll never know the behind the scenes.

For this case however, sadly Keizo of Go Ramen! actually whispered to some of us that the end will come for Wonton Forest. About more than a month ago, Daily Gluttony of Rants and Craves and I wanted to join Keizo for the last hurrah before the official announcement were to be made about the future of this restaurant.

The popular slang of "FML" comes to me when I realized this place is only 3 minutes from my work place. That close, but yet I never knew about the place until Keizo pointed this place out. Damn me...

Just looking at the photos of the Won Ton Noodle soup and the spring rolls made me wonder why I took such a long time to write a review and not championed this place earlier. Now, this restaurant will be part of a group that didn't deserved to suffer an early demise.

It's one of those regrets I wish I would have come to this place more often because the soup broth were excellent and the won tons were scrumptious. The spring rolls were a delightful crunchy sucker that was waiting to be dipped in the sauce so that you can fully enjoyed the wonderful flavor and aroma.

Too bad, now it's just all for naught as Keizo posted the sad news. With that in my mind, I do want to wish the owner Paul all the good lucks and may he prosper down the road as he worked hard to make this place that never was fully appreciated in a tough restaurants area.

With this, I bid adieu to Wonton Forest and wish the new place (whatever it may be) the best of luck.

Wonton Forest
18230 Gale Ave
City of Industry, CA 91748


ps. I would have given this place a rating of A minus. *sigh* FML??

Wonton Forest on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nightmarish Marriage comes to an end between city of LA and Michelin Guide

Maybe deep down inside, you knew Angelina Jolie's marriage to Billy Bob Thornton wouldn't last. Somehow you still wound up admiring the guy and want to give Billy Bob a high five for that feat.

In many ways, a pause was on the back of my mind when it was announced two years ago that the French Tire company Michelin who started this red book to help travelers around Europe to find good places to stay and worthwhile places to eat, would be adding a new addition to our fine city of Los Angeles. I was skeptical on how long they would keep this edition.

So it came no surprise to me on Friday when it was announced that the Michelin Guide will "temporarily" suspend the Los Angeles edition along with the city of Las Vegas for their next 2010 issue. Only one reaction have came to me.

Finally. -- and good riddance!

Late last year I wrote a post about the exclusions of many ethnic restaurants in Los Angeles edition of their fable guide. Even though the Michelin Guide stated that ambiance and service was not part of the grading system or the determining factor, it's pretty obvious that the European inspectors tend to favor the upscale fine dining establishments.

Of course, the rival pundits who annually put up a list for LA diners (such as LA Weekly, LA Times, and LA Magazine) have all pointed out the inspector for the LA list does not like ingredient based dishes, but tends to favor the standard fare with beautiful presentations. Also the big complaint of obvious objections to the guide not venturing out to other parts of LA for a fairer assessment of the best places to dine.

It was always comical to me that they present their guide with two simple lines of minimal description with the awarding of the stars grade as the only indication of how the restaurant will be. Even a list of some restaurants that was included in the "Bib Gourmand" section drew an irate reaction such as the inclusion of places that would be consider to be question choices (such as Empress Pavilion as one of the only 4 Chinese restaurant selections in 2008).

For me, I used it as check off list for places I have visited. I knew two of my fellow dining buds, Notorious P.I.G. and kevinEats have also included the stars as part of the indications of places they have visited based on the list.

With that list being vanquished for at least one year, we won't be hearing about how Gordon Ramsay got his restaurant undeserving in this list (Gordon Ramsay at London) or how restaurants with $50 per head are always on that list. By the way, why is Bastide even part of that list? They are not even opened before the 2009 was announced!

You'll probably see more of Essential 99 ramming down our throats for years to come. Jonathan Gold will be shilling Nancy Silverton and Suzanne Goin's restaurants to remind us on how great these two chef's places (AOC/Luques and both Mozza) are. Oh joy!


Speaking of which, since the list is gone, which new restaurants would have been on the list? Are there any restaurants worthy of three stars in their grade?

Nope on the three stars, but I do think places such as Bazaar and Angelini would probably granted one star in the list. I would have enjoy watching Bastide, Patina, and Water Grill off the list.

Any places you want to put in or leave off the list?