New York City has long been considered the mecca of the food world, and Voltaggio even goes so far as to call it “the most respected food city in the entire United States.” However, Los Angeles is quickly becoming a major competitor with a rapidly expanding food scene (check out our own L.A. Week for evidence).
Huang—who owns BaoHaus in NYC—concedes that Los Angeles has a lot to offer, especially in terms of fast food (“L.A. does fast food better”) and mid-level fine-dining (“two-star, three-star dining is better in L.A., hands down”). They both firmly agree that even though NYC has places like critical darling Sushi Nakazawa, overall, L.A. is better for both high-end and more affordable sushi. Huang notes, “If you want cheap sushi, you can get really cheap, high-quality sushi in L.A. In New York it’s like $200 and up. If you’re not paying $200, don’t eat it, you know?”
As for New York City, Huang argues that it reigns supreme for “high-end, five-star dining.”Voltaggio counters that the only reason it excels in fine-dining is because the East Coast was “discovered first,” thus giving people more time to “practice.” Huang adds that NYC is great at “authoritarian restaurants” where the chef serves incredible food but you have to eat it his way; he also claims the the customers are better in NYC. Voltaggio agrees, noting that they actually show up on time for reservations in NYC, unlike in L.A.
As for what restaurant’s each city is missing? Huang and Voltaggio would love to see Brooklyn institution Peter Luger open in L.A., along with Keith McNally’s popular French restaurant Balthazar. As for NYC, Huang says that it could use a Coni’Seafood, which “destroys anybody else’s attempt at Mexican food.” Just look at its pescado zarandeado.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]