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LA’s Jessica Koslow Doesn’t Know Why New York Restaurants Bother Making Avocado Toast

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“If I was in New York, I wouldn’t be making avocado toast.”

Jessica Koslow
Keep smiling with your perfect avocadoes, Koslow
Wonho Frank Lee

Sqirl’s Jessica Koslowbeloved in Los Angeles for her signature ricotta toast and sorrel rice bowl — has thrown down the avocado toast gauntlet. In a feature on some of that sunny town’s best versions, Koslow tells the Times, “It’s easy for me to say Los Angeles has an avocado toast game because we have really extremely delicious avocados ... If I was in New York, I wouldn’t be making avocado toast.”

A piece of toasted thickly heaped with colorful cherry tomatoes cut in half, onions, and avocado.
Atla’s excellent avocado toast
Photo by Nick Solares

Well, well, well. . . That’s a pretty strong statement, though understandable with her coming from the California ethos of eating local. But can New Yorkers not have their avocado toast and eat it, too? Especially since if you’re looking at many restaurant menus, it’s clear that New Yorkers have decided that local is overrated.

If you ask Eater critic Ryan Sutton, Koslow is just plain wrong. In his recent Atla review, he waxed poetic on the all-day Mexican restaurant’s version, writing:

Atla’s best dish is somehow the avocado toast, that typically overpriced brunch dish that pales in comparison to the cheaper, tastier, more bespoke versions you can make at home. Soto-Innes [the chef] turns a thick slice of ciabatta into a veritable vegetarian buffet, smearing it with goat cheese, guacamole, onions, and tomatoes ranging in color from red to green to purple to yellow. It’s a shockingly balanced blend of fat, funk, salt, and acid, with leaves of cilantro and slices of jalapeño that impart verdant fragrance with aggressive heat.

The truth is, avocado toast likely is better out in California, where much of America’s produce originates. But that doesn’t preclude it from being good here — just ask the people in line at Brooklyn’s all-avocado bar.