Is Register Food Critic Brad A. Johnson Giving Up on Orange County for LA?

Categories: Really?!?!?

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Photo NOT of Johnsons--but will anyone complain?
Over the past couple of months, I've been noticing less and less of Orange County Register food critic Brad A. Johnson in his ostensible employer. His original beat was to offer a weekly review of a high-end restaurant and a shorter review, with occasional forays into listicles and weird personal campaigns (like trying to get a letter-grade system installed in OC). But since the beginning of this year, he's only offered two reviews in a week twice--and some weeks, Johnson hasn't offered a review at all, leaving food coverage to the execrable Nancy Luna. What gives?

Easy: Johnson's bosses have assigned him to bolster their new Los Angeles Register paper--although in what capacity remains to be seen.

Johnson--who served for years as the food critic for Angeleno--had a story in today's inaugural LA Register about the five hardest reservations to get in Los Angeles, and although sources say there are no plans to permanently move him up there, one wonders about Johnson's commitment to Orange County. His recent list of the 10 best tacos in Orange County was the most underwhelming piece of journalism since whatever fast-food story rewritten from a press release Nancy Luna penned. And Johnson has not exactly been welcomed in OC, being hailed as the worst restaurant critic in America by local restauranteurs (they obviously never read Luna--wait, am I piling on?)

Here's to hoping Johnson stays in OC, because the more food writers in OC, the better. But if he does leave? Just more for us!

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JBinOC topcommenter

"...was the most underwhelming piece of journalism since whatever fast-food story rewritten from a press release Nancy Luna penned."  



Yeah, he's a good writer, but based on his reviews, it doesn't seem like he really appreciates food all that much.


Yeah BJ is a little bit of a food snob and "reviews"obvious places in Laguna and Newport (Fig & Olive, Red-O etc) He never really adds any unique angle to his reviews.

JBinOC topcommenter


I respect your opinion, but I really never felt he was a food snob.  And he has to review places like Red-O, partly because they're so noteworthy, and partly because of the demographics of his publication's readership.  Before the paywall went up, my sense was that his "short" reviews were meant to offset those of the "obvious" places, a la Mr. Goei's reviews and This Hole-in-the-Wall Life in the Weekly.  Maybe that changed, I dunno.  

Between Mr. Gold in the Times, Mr. Goei in the Weekly, and Mr. Johnson in the Register, I thought the dining scene in the area was pretty well covered...the latter gentleman offering the most valuable insight into service, atmosphere, and french fries. 

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