The Los Angeles Times names two new restaurant critics


In addition to the new critics, The Times also announced Friday that it has hired Lucas Peterson to launch and appear on a number of new food video series; he will write food and travel articles for the paper as well. Peterson has been the Frugal Traveler columnist for the New York Times for nearly three years and producer and host of Eater’s longest-running video series, “Dining on a Dime,” since 2015.

Addison has been the national critic and restaurant editor at Eater since 2014, and previously reviewed restaurants for Atlanta magazine, the Dallas Morning News and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Escárcega was the restaurant critic at the Phoenix New Times, an alt weekly, for three years. In Los Angeles, she said she will look for restaurants that reflect “where Los Angeles is at the moment.”

“It’s an embarrassment of riches in Los Angeles, and getting to write about that scene is a huge honor,” she said. “Jonathan Gold was a longtime writing hero of mine, and what I enjoyed was how deeply omnivorous and egalitarian he was. He would eat anything and anywhere, and I really admired the way he acknowledged that no one food is better than another. That’s pretty much my ethos.”

I couldn’t imagine a sample writing piece for a job application than Addison’s Sorry New York, California Is Just Better Now - Eater

Are there any Phoenix residents on the board who know of Escárcega’s writing? What do you think?

What are folks thoughts on Peterson? It’s encouraging to see that he, as one of the three new food writers at LA Times, speaks Mandarin (and Spanish and several other languages) and did his undergrad in East Asian studies. In addition to having prolific writings on various cuisines, dude won on Jeopardy multiple times and does acting on the side.


Patricia Escárcega in 2016:

Apodaca, the local Mex-sushi lover, says that the food grows on you, and there’s likely a roll out there for everyone.

“My husband didn’t like it at first,” she says. “But now, he tells me, ‘Hey, we should go out for Mexican sushi.’”

Apodaca’s favorite Mex-sushi spot around town is Sushinola, where she frequently takes friends to initiate them in the ways of sushi frito (fried sushi).

“Everybody I bring here loves it,” she says, referring to Sushinola.

But still, for others, Mexican sushi is an abomination, a crude revision of one of the world’s most admired and refined food catalogs. If classical Japanese sushi is an elegant and restrained Vermeer, Mexican sushi might be a freshly painted Jackson Pollock: drippy, messy, overtly modern, and not at all suited to everyone’s taste. One can only imagine the horror that the three-Michelin-starred chef Jiro Ono, the elder master of sushi craftsmanship profiled in the popular documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi , might feel upon being presented with a platter of goopy, crumbly, deep-fried Mexican sushi.

Escárcega’s Twitter:

Kim Severson (formerly of the SF Chronicle) in the NY Times: