This seems like a no-brainer. Especially for an alt-weekly always on the lookout for additional ways to get its hooks into a readership hungry for good eats, great events and the ease of quick-scan capsule reviews.
Starting in the new year, LA Weekly will adopt a zero-through-five-stars rating scale for restaurants. As Jonathan Gold‘s 2012 replacement Besha Rodell explains, the idea took root during her whirlwind LA spring job interview and city tour with food editor Amy Scattergood:
At one restaurant, we ran into one of the city’s best-known chefs. He had no idea who I was, of course, or why I was there. But he and Amy got to talking about the subject of star ratings. The LA Times had just abandoned its long-standing star system, and the chef bemoaned the loss.
“I know there are things about star ratings that are stupid,” he said. “But they’re also really helpful. And they give us something to aspire to. When you open a restaurant, you have the rating in mind that you’re aiming for. It’s a benchmark, for chefs and consumers. Especially after Michelin pulled out of LA, I just think it’s depressing that there’s no system in place, no weekly starred review in a city this important.”
The system picks up on a scale already being used online by LA Weekly readers. As to whether any local joint will garner the revered five-star rating, Rodell isn’t sure. But she’s looking forward to a New Year for which that comparative table has been set.