Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register's New Food Critic, Introduces Himself With Guns A'Blazing

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Next week, new Orange County Register food critic Brad A. Johnson will unveil his first review--and OC chefs are already a'trembling. See, Johnson wrote an "My name is..." story this past Wednesday in which he not only eviscerated OC institution Zov's (I mean, insulting Zov's is like insulting your grandmother on the day your grandpa passes away) and slammed Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen for their tortilla chips (um, okay), but also laid out in exacting detail how he'll cover OC restaurants: with guns a'blazing and long knives ready to plunge into hubris-laden hearts.

And we love it!

The Reg's food coverage needs someone who won't rewrite press releases, needs someone who actually knows food instead of trying to be fancy tuna to everyone, and Johnson is just that man. I don't agree with his high-falutin' standards, which he laid out in his piece (he's already proclaimed that a food truck or hole in the wall with fluorescent lighting and plastic forks will never attain four stars," which is absolute bullshit: Alebrije's is five pinche stars in our books, milk crates and all) and burnishes his creds a bit too much--yeah, Brad, so you traveled the world and worked in a restaurant. So what? Edwin and Dave are computer geeks during the day, and the only foreign food I ever had until starting this job was Mos II. And yet this infernal rag rules OC food reporting--SaFII rifa, cabrón!

But Brad does know his stuff--e wait with baited breath for his first review, so we can properly poke holes into it. Welcome, Brad, and words to the wise: don't believe the hype about Javier's...

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8 comments
JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Brad A. Johnson's first review, of Carthay Circle (published this a.m.) was a delight to read...breezy, informative, and critical (favorably and unfavorably).  Aaron Kushner and the other guy who's your partner, you have dramatically reversed my uniformly negative opinion of the Register with just one hire.  

His review actually reminded me of the glory days of Stick a Fork in It, circa 2010.  I'm hoping with this new formidable competition, Stick a Fork in It will spend less time covering Tijuana, appointment-only coffee bars, and Joseph Mahon and instead give us more of the comprehensive, snappy, relevant content the writers are so very capable of generating. 

devthekoala
devthekoala

"So, unlike 95 percent of the reviewers on Yelp or Zagat or whateverblogs you might follow, I have a pretty good context and track recordaround which to base my opinions."

Meeeoww! I usually follow bloggers because I like their opinions and writing style, not their credentials.

Johnny1979
Johnny1979

Sounds like he's trying a little too hard to be edgy and cool, but we'll see....

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Oh man, I love this Brad A. Johnson guy already...

in his first three paragraphs of breath [linked above], he rips one of OC's most overrated eateries, Zov's Bistro.  His account of the man with the smooth head and the "smiling mustache" proves the truth about Zov's, i.e. that reputation is everything and food is way further down the line.  

Welcome, indeed.  

Wednesday is now the most anticipated day of the week, just like Mondays used to be for "Monster Munching" back in the mid-'00s. 

reviews2
reviews2

He's starting out on the wrong foot insulting Zov's and Gabbi's. But just as restaurants shouldn't be judged on only one item Brad shouldn't be judged on only one article so we'll see what the rest of his output is like.

shawnmiars
shawnmiars

Great another epic failure for the register. How about he just does a piece with the reg's bootlicker and they can eat at where ever in Corona Del Mar....blah blah blahhh

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