The L.A. Times' food critic, S. Irene Virbila and some companions went to a new restaurant called Red Medicine in Beverly Hills the other night. For 16 years, she has worked as under-the-radar as possible. But someone on the staff at Red Medicine believed he spotted Virbila, who had made reservations under an assumed name. The managers spent a little time confirming it and made the party wait 40 minutes before bursting out, shooting her photo and informing her they would not be serving her at the restaurant.
The restaurant then put out a photo of Virbila on their website, too, and Gawker and Eater.Com also posted it. Her anonymity, such as it was, is gone. She spent 16 years avoiding photos of herself being published.
There is much to say, obviously. Managing partner Noah Ellis thinks he's a hero, telling the L.A. Times that Irene's reviews in the past have been "unnecessarily cruel and irrational." She is said to have immense power over the fate of new restaurants, and she tends to eat at least three times at a place before making a decision.