Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Defending Why Los Angeles Is The Best Food Town In America

The haters are out in full force today after The Daily Beast explained Why Los Angeles Is the Best Food Town in America. Gawker followed up by asking the question, Is Los Angeles the Best Food Town in America? And here were some of the replies:

You know how every mid-sized American city has that one main drag full of bland strip malls and mediocre restaurants? That's what almost all of LA feels like to me. For the most part, I've had adequate meals there.

Every woman I know who is from or moved to LA is either anorexic or bulimic. So it's kind of a sad joke if LA is the best food town.


Are San Francisco and Chicago no longer considered as part of the U.S.? I am sure those two cities would beg to differ. I love L.A., but not for the food.

How can you tell in a town where no one eats?
Yep, the usual idiot comments. (By the way, what has the Bay Area even offered in cuisine as of late?) But commenter Kat B. owned all of those other folks with her fantastic defense of why L.A. might just be the capital of U.S. eats right now:

Los Angeles resident here. All the naysayers here, I'm sure you love your city a whole lot — but anyone who wants to refute this (especially the dude who thinks Boston has "great food" LOL) who hasn't spent more than a touristy vacation in LA needs to shut the fuck up and check their idiocy at the door. I'm willing to wager you all don't know much about LA aside from what the tee vee shows/tells you — "CELEBRITIES AND PRETTY PEOPLE EVERYHWERE!" — and you're in for a rude awakening. (EDIT: And to all your people making "but people in LA don't eat jokes!" are so lazy, I almost feel bad for you.)

I grew up in the Bay Area, and Bay Area food doesn't hold a candle to what you can get in LA. There is literally every single type of food here — and it's done right and it's done well. A lot of this is thanks to LA's huge ethnic populations. We have the most Thai outside of Thailand; the most Filipino outside of the Phillipines; the most Mexicans outside of Mexico; the most Koreans outside of Korea. Need I continue? Large immigrant populations mean multiple locations to eat real, authentic cultural cuisine.

Just take a look at Jonathan Gold's list of the 100 best restaurants in LA. Out of the 100 featured, only a handful (less than 10?) are traditional "American/Californian" fare. The rest? You'll find the most delicious Oaxacan mole ranked alongside the best yakitori outside of Tokyo sitting next to the most exquisite Taiwanese soup dumplings from the world's best dumpling chain. (You'll only find those stateside in Seattle and LA, by the way.)

We have Cuban, Ethiopian, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, El Salvadorian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Peruvian, Caribbean, Guatemalan, French, German, Italian — not to mention a selection of vegan restaurants that would make your head spin. LA is a vast and varied food city, and it's definitely the only city I've found that is truly global and all-encompassing.

But please, continue to think that LA is a superficial no-man's-land of Kardashians and rich people. We won't miss you here. Don't get me wrong, we have a lot of social and political problems — but in terms of culture, you'd be hard pressed to find a more unique, captivating place.

1 comment:

carld said...

Philadelphia is, amazingly, the best food town in my experience. L.A. maybe in the top five but seems silly to rate it tops other than for its ability to spawn bicoast (with NY) power lunch venues IMHO.

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