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What do you get when you cross a pastry chef, a bartender, and a child prodigy? Our 2014 Los Angeles 30 under 30 list, of course.

Zagat’s 3rd annual round-up of the city’s top movers and shakers under the age of 30 represents the next wave of culinary talent in Los Angeles. While you may not know some of their names right now, our editors anticipate these men and women will be among the next generation of superstars on the scene.

We honor 30 individuals to pay homage to Zagat’s iconic 30-point rating scale. This year’s list represents virtually all realms of the industry, from chefs and entrepreneurs to mixologists and baristas. Read on to see this year’s honorees:

Jake Ahles (27) and Max Block (27), Founders at The FareTrade

Tristan Aitchison (29), Chef de Cuisine at Providence 

Chris Amirault (26), Head Barman at Harlowe

Charles Babinski (29), Co-founder of G&B and Go Get Em Tiger

Ellen Bennett (27), Designer and Founder of Hedley & Bennett

Sophie Bonnet (27), Restaurant Manager at ink.

Robin Chopra (28), Owner/Bartender at Corazon y Miel, PUNCH and Eduardo M. Ruiz (28) Chef-Owner at Corazon y Miel, Picnik

Jeffrey Faust (29), Partner, Business Development and Woogene Lee (29) Managing Partner at fundamental LA

Chris Ford (29), Pastry Chef at Bouchon Beverly Hills

Kate Green (29), Assistant to Nancy Silverton at Mozza Restaurant Group

Anna Knudson (29), Head Bartender at Melrose Umbrella Co.

Robert Kronfli (26), Owner-Founder of Bacari PDR, Bacaro LA, Nature’s Brew, and Kronfli Brothers products

Cloe Lane (20), Owner of Bon Puf

Johnny Lee (27), Chef de Cuisine at Eggslut

Phillip Frankland Lee (27), Chef-Owner at Scratch|Bar and The Gadarene Swine

Thomas Lim (29), Chef at Goldie's, LA and Dudley's, NYC

Bricia Lopez (29) Fernando Lopez (27), Co-Proprietors at Guelaguetza Restaurant and Michelada Guelaguetza

Andrew Luthi (26), Owner at Ohana Brewing Company

Ivan Marquez (28), Head Pastry Chef at Short Cake 

Flynn McGarry (15), Chef at Eureka Pop Up

Rebecca Merhej (26), Chef de Cuisine and Pastry Chef at love&salt

David Palos (27), Chef de Cuisine at Hatfield's

Percy Omar Ramirez (29), Director of Coffee Operations at Compañía de Cafè 

James Seok (26), Co-Owner and Chef, and Brian Yeun (28), Co-Owner of The Bun Shop

Dylan Snyder (28), Brewer, Bartender, Consultant, Educator, Beertender Los Angeles, Acme Hospitality Group, Barrel Down

Brandyn Tepper (27), Head Bartender of Hinoki & the Bird and Founder and Partner of Cocktail Academy

Erwin Tjahyadi (28), Co-Owner and Chef at Komodo 

Adrian Vela (26), Sous-Chef at Cafe Del Rey

Kimmy Wade (27), General Manager at Son of a Gun

Jonathan Whitener (27), Chef de Cuisine at Animal Find out more about this year’s LA culinary all-stars here!

Posted by Tiffany Herklots, Zagat

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As backyard barbecue season comes to a close, Zagat is revealing the results of its 2014 Burger Survey. This year 3,466 burger aficionados visited Zagat.com to rate and review the top burgers at patty purveyors in 16 major markets.

For the first time ever, Zagat is presenting the ratings and reviews of an actual dish. Unlike Zagat’s iconic restaurant surveys where users rate the Food, Decor, and Service of establishments, burger survey participants reviewed the most popular burgers in their cities and separately rated their Flavor, Ingredients and Value on Zagat’s signature 30-point scale.

The top burgers in each market (with accompanying overall* score) are as follows:

Atlanta: Illegal Food - The Hank (28)
Austin: Mighty Fine Burgers Fries Shakes - The Classic with Cheese (25)
Boston: Craigie On Main - Local Grass-Fed Beef Burger (26)
Chicago: Lockdown Bar & Grill - The Lockdown Warden (28)
Dallas: The Grape - Classic Cheeseburger (26)
Denver: Highland Tap & Burger: Shroom Luva's (26)
Houston: Kenny & Ziggy’s - In Queso Emergency! (26)
Los Angeles: In-N-Out - Double-Double (23)
Miami: db Bistro Moderne - The Original db Burger (28)
New York: Peter Luger - Luger-Burger (24)
Philadelphia: Nick's Roast Beef Bar & Grille - Nick’s Bacon Burger (26)
San Diego: Carnitas' Snack Shack - Snack Shack Burger (26)
San Francisco: Nopa - Grass Fed Hamburger (24)
Seattle: Palace Kitchen - Palace Burger Royale (28)
Washington D.C.: Le Diplomate - Burger Americain (26)
 * Overall scores are an average of the Flavor, Ingredients and Value scores.

Participants report eating burgers 4.6 times per month on average, typically getting their fix at specialty burger joints (53%), general restaurants (23%), fast food spots (9%) and diners (4%). While 72% of respondents say they would be willing to spend between $10 - $20 for a burger, 44% said they have or would spend more than $25 on a “mind-blowing” burger.

When it comes to food trends, these adventurous eaters say they have or would consume burgers with a fried egg (64%), on a pretzel bun (64%), on a ramen bun (30%) and even on the decadent donut bun (23%). Although 82% of men admit to eating multiple-patty burgers, a whopping 68% of them admit to no-so-barbarically cutting their burger in half with a knife. Surprisingly, 20% of respondents say they prefer to dress their burger with artisanal ketchup (vs. 31% who prefer the classic Heinz). See more on the ketchup wars here.

For the full round-up of the 155 best burgers nationwide (plus Toronto!), visit zagat.com/best-burgers.

Posted by Tiffany Herklots, Zagat

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Are you in a last minute scramble to plan a lovely evening for your Valentine? Hop to it! Reservations are going quick because according to Zagat’s 2014 Valentine’s survey, 42% of respondents will be hitting the town to celebrate the day of love. Whether you’re searching for a restaurant to take your date to, scouting for the perfect gift in a store nearby or looking up directions to a movie with friends, Google Maps has the ingredients to cook up a successful night. To read more, visit Google Lat Long: Forget Cupid, all you need is Google Maps this Valentine's Day.


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Today we’re announcing the release of the redesigned Zagat mobile apps for iOS (v2.0) and Android (v2.1). The free updated apps add 29 cities to the existing offering, bringing the total markets covered to 42.  Another major new feature of the apps are ratings and reviews for hotels and shopping establishments in each city.  Besides supporting iPad and Android tablets, the apps feature new home screens that offer easier access to Zagat ratings and reviews.


The free apps are available for download today for iOS and Android. Enjoy!

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For the first time, Zagat is adding blog and video coverage for San Diego. Whether you're a local or a visitor, Zagat media editors can help you discover amazing places and experiences like Sublime Tavern's Sisig. Plus, match the perfect spot to any occasion with lists such as Best Restaurants With Fireplaces in San Diego or Best Business Dining Restaurants in San Diego, as well as trusted ratings and reviews for restaurants, shopping and nightlife categories.
Zagat breaks through the clutter with accurate information and the trusted opinions of thousands of avid consumers so you can quickly and easily make informed decisions. Through our digital products, you can discover notable places, perfectly suited for any occasion.

Posted by Curt Gathje, Zagat Lead Editor

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Today we’re announcing the results of the 2014 America’s Top Restaurants Survey. The survey covers 1,478 of the nation’s top-rated restaurants in 36 major markets based on ratings and reviews from over 224,000 avid diners.

The full results can be found on zagat.com. This year’s winners include such perennial favorites as the “sensational” Gary Danko (San Francisco) and Eric Ripert’s “extraordinary” Le Bernardin (New York), as well as a new crop of winners: Etch (Nashville), Katsu (Chicago), and Neptune Oyster Bar (Boston). 

A complementary survey of approximately 8,000 surveyors covers dining trends market-by-market across the country. For example, Houston beats out the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex as the market whose diners eat out most often (average 5.5 meals out per week in Houston vs. 4.9 in Dallas/Ft. Worth). The national average is 4.4 meals out per week, and the cities with the lowest average are Boston and Portland, OR both with 3.7.

As for the average per capita spend for dinner, Texas cities are among the most affordable surveyed: Dallas/Ft. Worth ($31.87), Austin ($33.76) and Houston ($35.57). In contrast, the national average dinner spend is $40.53. The most expensive markets are New York City ($48.56), followed by the Westchester/Hudson Valley ($46.35) and Long Island ($46.00) close behind.

To learn more about the city-by-city key results and dining trends, including frequency of dining out, average spend and tip, online reservation practices, percent of meals cooked at home and chief dining irritants, click here.

Cheers to the winners!

Tim and Nina Zagat
Co-Chairs, Zagat

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Today, Zagat is launching ratings and reviews for over 500 hotels and 4,400 shops on zagat.com across 15 cities, supplementing its extensive coverage of restaurants and nightspots in over 40 cities.


And for the first time, Zagat is adding blog and video coverage for Atlanta, Denver and Toronto. The new cities feature the latest news and curated lists from Zagat local editors, as well as powerful search and map-based browsing capabilities.








Zagat breaks through the clutter with accurate information and the trusted opinions of thousands of avid consumers so you can quickly and easily make informed decisions. Through our digital products, you can discover notable places, perfectly suited for any occasion.

Posted by Curt Gathje, Zagat Lead Editor