Food

Beverly Hills restaurateur outs LAT's Irene Virbila *

irene-virbila-tumblr.jpgFor some reason, co-owner Noah Ellis of the recently opened Red Medicine in Beverly Hills really didn't want L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila to review his kitchen. When he spotted Virbila in the lobby, Ellis refused to seat her and her three guests — and snapped a rare photo of Virbila, who like many reviewers prefers to remain anonymous. Ellis then posted the pic with a rather sanctimonious rant. I'm sure it has nothing to do with resentment over a bad review somewhere along the way. Excerpt:

Tonight, in the middle of a particularly hairy service, Irene Virbila arrived for her reservation (4 people under the name “Fred Snow” with a phone number of 310-999-9959), and because we had guests lingering, were not able to sit immediately....

Our purpose for posting this is so that all restaurants can have a picture of her and make a decision as to whether or not they would like to serve her. We find that some her reviews can be unnecessarily cruel and irrational, and that they have caused hard-working people in this industry to lose their jobs — we don’t feel that they should be blind-sided by someone with no understanding of what it takes to run or work in a restaurant.

Geez, dude. Just shut up, man up and make your restaurant better. If you're afraid to have your place independently reviewed, that tells me all I need to know. Eater, LA Weekly

* Evening updates: The Times says it will continue efforts to review Red Medicine and calls Virbila "one of the premier restaurant critics in the U.S." Plus: is this the review that set off Ellis?


More by Kevin Roderick:
LA Observed Notes: 60 Minutes, selling the Coliseum and more
Gil Cedillo, Nick Melvoin win LA runoffs*
LA Observed Notes: Baca goes down, LAX shuffle, media moves
LA Observed Notes: Big TV news, media moves, obits and more
LA Observed Notes: Writers on the verge, Fox, the riots and more
Recent Food stories on LA Observed:
An appetite for discovery
Norms Pico has definitely closed
Norms on Pico looks to be closing this month
Border Grill closing in Santa Monica after 26 years
Michel Richard, 68, formative LA chef
KCRW investigates LA restaurant worker abuse
CBS This Morning follows Jonathan Gold around (video)
Yamashiro closure plan leaves weddings in disarray


 

LA Observed on Twitter