One of the peculiarities of the new media is that reviews stay on-line forever. Someone who Googles a restaurant or whiskey might pull up a review from years ago. Unfortunately, the world of dining is not as static as the world of archived internet reviews. Now that I've been at this blog for a few years, I have a number of reviews which are outdated. The worst problem is restaurants that have gone downhill. (Why is it so few places seem to get much better over time?) A few months ago, I voiced my sadness at what had gone awry with the previously excellent Luck Devils, but I can't do that for every place I review, so I thought I would catalogue a few of the places that have changed, mostly for the worse, since I sung their praises.
Shanghai Restaurant. A year after my review of this San Gabriel Square Shanghainese, the food quality seemed to have dropped. The menu was the same, but the flavors just didn't have the same spark. I have heard that there have been some recent changes, hopefully for the better, so it may be worth revisiting.
Moishe's Village. As part of my tour of the Third and Fairfax Farmers Market, I gave a top tier ranking to this spot. While it calls its dishes boerek, but they are really closer to Georgian khachapuri, similar to an egg and cheese calzone. When I first visited, these were fresh and delicious, but since then, I've found the offerings lackluster with uneven flavor; perhaps they are using a different kind of cheese which resulted in a product with weaker flavors.
Crumbs Bake Shop. When the Crumbs shop first opened in Beverly Hills, I really enjoyed their cupcakes, though I did find them a bit too sweet. Fast forward around 18 months and there are five Southern California locations, the sweetness has gotten way out of hand and general quality has suffered. The actual cake in the early days was quite good, but now, for the most part, it is just a content-less vehicle for the overly sweet toppings.
No Reservations. Finally some good news. After watching the first season of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, I slammed it as contrived and over-written, but in the years since, it has become one of the best food shows on TV. It took Bourdain a little while to catch his stride, but once he did, he managed a balance of food exploration, humor and political commentary that you won't find on any other cooking show.
There are surely more places I've reviewed over the past two years that have changed, for worse and hopefully for better, and there are countless others that have closed their doors. Alas, even as I was writing this entry, I read that Disney has changed their beloved corn dog, and not for the better.
As a blogger, all I can do is write in the moment, and then turn and face the strain.