There are some prejudices at work in the reviewing business, and there is some hanky-panky in the business.
1. Some reviewers have a prejudice toward certain cusines.
2. Some reviewers are just plain ignorant of anything outside their previous experience and have no interest in learning anything new.
3. Some reviewers judge food by its price and the ambience of the restaurant. i.e flowers on the table, carpets on the floor, crystal stemware, etc= great food.
4. Some newspapers only review restaurants that advertise in their paper – and they never never want to upset an advertiser.
5. Some restaurant owners have friends in high places or atended the right school, etc. – this seems to be a problem with the NYTimes.
6. Some papers are afraid of being sued if they publish an unfavorable review.
However, We’ve found our local papers to be pretty good in their reviews of local restaurants – maybe a bit easy on them , and maybe a bit leaning toward the more expensive places, and maybe ignoring our roadfood type places, but, in general, pretty accurate and fair for the limited amount of effort and money they are willing and able to spend on the copy.