Besha Rodell has announced that she’s leaving her position as restaurant critic for LA Weekly. Rodell, who is from Australia but has worked as a restaurant critic and food writer in the U.S. for more than a decade, has moved back to Melbourne.
The move has been in the works for some time, according to Rodell, who announced that she’s stepping down in an LA Weekly story that went live this morning. In the piece, she explains why she’s given up “the best job in the world,” a position she’s held since 2012, for Australia:
What would it take for you to give up the best job in the world? Lots of things — things that are personal, professional and, yes, even a little political. But mainly they are family things: a father I've not spent significant time with since I was a teenager, siblings I miss terribly.
Rodell’s final review for LA Weekly was last week’s take on Vespertine, Jordan Kahn’s ambitious, moody tasting menu restaurant. She writes in today’s farewell, “I can't think of a more complex, fascinating and weird way to bow out.”
With Rodell gone, Jonathan Gold is now LA’s only restaurant critic. Rodell stood out as the city’s sole anonymous critic, Eater LA notes, and instituted a starred-rating system that changed the “landscape of dining and reviewing in Los Angeles.” And unlike Gold, who often buries his position on a restaurant with florid descriptions of dishes, Rodell could be vicious, as was the case with a July takedown of Hollywood hotspot Tao.
Los Angeles, Rodell says, is “the most exciting food city in America,” but while she is sad to leave it, Melbourne, for many reasons, is home.
• A Restaurant Critic Says Goodbye to the Best Job in the World [LA Weekly]
• Besha Rodell Steps Down as LA Weekly Food Critic, Effective Immediately [ELA]
• The City That Knows How to Eat [E]
• The Best Lines from Besha Rodell’s Tao Takedown in Hollywood [ELA]