Indeed, there’s hardly a restaurant on the list that takes reservations, uses tablecloths, or even has wait service.Where most top lists lean toward fussy French, Italian and New American eateries, along with minimalist sushi bars — the worlds of Le Bernardin, Nobu, Spago, French Laundry and the like, this list is skewed toward joints where you grab food that can be gobbled in your car. It does not include any of the usual high-end Michelin/Zagat names. Yelp’s “Top 100 Places to Eat in the US for 2017” (an optimistic title, considering that the year has just begun) is a fascinating document.
They like their chow cheap. They like their chow served fast. And they’re hungry all the time. The list speak volumes about the Yelp voters as well — putting aside the inevitable question of how many are real, and how many are shills and ringers. They seem to prefer Mexican, Italian and Middle Eastern options to Asian eateries, though there are, as ever, plenty of exceptions to what essentially is a list without rules.Oh, and chains are as rare among the Top 100 as restaurants with wine lists. If a conclusion can be drawn, Yelpers like the little guy.
And notably, despite the abundance of sushi bars in the SF Valley, not one made the list — and for a change Ventura Boulevard does not dominate. San Fernando ValleyThis region did better than any other, with six eateries in the Top 100. And that when in doubt, kebabs always satisfy. And that Reseda Boulevard is arguably the true ethnic heart of the region. Proof that there is life north of the 101.Dizin Persian: (6740 Reseda Blvd., Reseda, 818-697-5737, www.dizinpersiancuisine.com) A reminder that the Persian presence in the Valley is considerable.
The list consists of eateries (“restaurants” seems an excessive term in many cases) that earned a “perfect five” on Yelp.And though the list covers the 50 states, it’s heavily, admirably, skewed toward California. Of the 100 venues, 35 reside in the Golden State. (The Inland Empire also was well-represented on Yelp’s list, as John Plessel reported in his Dine 909 column on Friday.) Of those, 26 are scattered about Southern California, with 12 of those in the suburban enclaves surrounding Los Angeles — San Fernando Valley, South Bay, San Gabriel Valley and Long Beach.