As a former Angelino, I like to peruse the Los Angeles Times and the LA Weekly on a semi-regular basis, just to keep tabs on things (specifically, I like to read Jonathan Gold for the best food journalism on the planet). To my surprise, the Times actually shifted some of its focus up to the Napa Valley this week, and I felt that the newspaper’s assessment of downtown Napa provided a solid “backstory” to my piece about Morimoto’s impending influence on the downtown Napa dining scene.
Of course, the reason why I call the Times article a “backstory” is because the solution to the article’s lead rhetorical question — “What’s a town gotta do to gain some cachet?” — has already been answered, at least according to my well-trusted sources on the inside. To put it all plainly, Morimoto’s restaurant will do far more for downtown Napa than Copia (one of wine country’s most egregious examples of mismanagement) could have ever done.
Even so, I found the L.A. Times article rather ironic, considering that the Morimoto news could really hit the mainstream at any given time (I’m not privy to when the information is actually set to break, just that the deal has been penned). Once the deal is officially announced, however, the feeling around the Napa Valley will the palpable. And Napa’s long-awaited rebirth — almost 10 years in the making — will finally be underway.