48 hours in Los Angeles and what's a British restaurant critic to do? If you're Giles Coren, the answer seems to be eat at all three Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo restaurants in one day and then write it up for the Times. (An aside: Coren alludes to being in LA to take a meeting. Someone get this man a television show.) The first two — Son of a Gun and Animal — were pitstops on a quest to dine at the duo's white hot project with Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec. Alas, when Coren finally arrives at the restaurant, he's so full that "Food fans, I baulked. I blenched....I muffed it." Below, a transatlantic culinary tragedy in seven parts.
1) On deciding what to do in LA: "Could either sit watching steroid-bulked muscle attempt to form copulatory alliance with silicone-enhanced tit over sugar-free drinks at the pool of the Hollywood Roosevelt, where I was staying, or do some eating, alone, at the sort of places we just don't have in Britain."
2) On the likelihood of getting into Trois Mec: "I was 7,000 miles from home and knew nobody. Trois Mec was unbookable, unfindable and the hottest ticket in America. How hard could it be?"
3) On Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo: "Real men, and not names I have dragged randomly from the credits of The Sopranos."
4) On who else was trying to dine at Trois Mec that night: "As I left, to go back to my hotel and try to grab a little digestion time ahead of the evening's possible double-header, Willie Nelson's promoter was offering Jon concert tickets in return for tickets to Trois Mec, and being turned down."
5) On the difference between LA restaurants and London restaurants: "Animal was so cool I almost plotzed: sparse, Spartan, monochromatic, sharp lines, seriously tattooed staff (full double "sleeves" all round), and tear-jerkingly attractive punters reminding me why properly cool restaurants can never exist in Britain: because we just do not have the clientele to fill them. There are only maybe nine beautiful people in our whole country."
6) On Trois Mec's old school pizzeria signage: "You'd have to be insanely cool, or me, to know that Trois Mec was even there. (London restaurants are doing a bit of "misleading signage" now, to try to ratchet up the cool, but nobody really gives a damn.)"
7)On not being too full at Trois Mec: "Food fans, I baulked. I blenched....I muffed it. It was my third massive, highly sought-after Los Angeles blowout in six hours."