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The LA Times Responds to Critic Unmasking

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The Los Angeles Times has responded to the unmasking of their restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila by the restaurateurs behind Beverly Hills restaurant Red Medicine. Assistant food editor Rene Lynch quotes food editor Russ Parsons as saying Virbila "was upset because she has worked extremely hard for more than 15 years to maintain her anonymity in the L.A. restaurant scene." Despite Lynch's statement that "anonymity is important," The Times appears to be keeping Virbila on as their reviewer and "consider her to be one of the premier restaurant critics in the U.S." So maybe anonymity isn't all that important?

The article also makes it clear that The LA Times intends to "continue with its plans to review Red Medicine." After being denied entry, surely Virbila can't be the one to review it; a review's not much of a review if the critic can't get a table. So they'll have to send other LA Times staffers. Will they also be persona non grata?

· S. Irene Virbila Photographed and Kicked Out of Red Medicine [LAT]
· LA Times Critic S. Irene Virbila Outed by Angry Restaurateurs [-E-]
· All To Catch a Critic Coverage on Eater [-E-]
Red Medicine, Los Angeles. [Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

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