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Reading the Young & Hungry 50 Best Restaurants in D.C., you might notice there are no stars, toques, forks, or other rating for a restaurant’s prowess. The fact is, I have a low tolerance for some of the minutiae of the restaurant rating business that keeps me marginally employed in a dying industry. For starters, star systems mean far more to restaurateurs and to those diners who need a critic’s complicated take on a restaurant to be neatly quantified in sporks or stars or drooling tongues or whatever.

But if Citronelle loses or gains a star, it has absolutely no bearing on whether you will enjoy a meal in Michel Richard’s signature dining room. It just means a few hundred more tourists will skip over Citronelle in their guide book in favor of the four-star sexpot above it. And don’t even get me started on the numerical ranking of Washington’s best restaurants. Until an ethnic restaurant in Falls Church can legitimately vie for the top spot, the ranking system will be more biased than the BCS.

Photograph of Michel Richard by Darrow Montgomery