Saveur’s latest issue is a love letter to L.A. dining that positions us as one of the nation’s most thrilling cities to eat in. However, The Jewish Journal finds the whole thing "edited to within a hairs breadth of puffery" and hopes to ease a little hot air from our bubble in a list of ten things Saveur failed to mention. The whole premise, as explained by writer Rob Eshman, is that L.A." is not a great food city. It is an almost-very good one" and that while Saveur nailed its pleasures, the magazine also left out its pains. So what’s got the Journal so frustrated about eating in L.A.?
First, there are the things, okay the thing, we agree with. We will concede that our attachment to driving does make it rather hard to pull booze-fueled all-nighters in this town. Going out typically means a two-drink limit or serious finagling to find someone who will drive. Still, plenty of people manage to turn once-skanky strips into nightlife havens, from Downtown to Cahuenga to Abbot-Kinney, that are walk-able and conveniently located within a taxi’s fare of many neighborhoods. We’ll save The Journal’s most convincing argument for the day someone praises our nightlife, which might take ten years or more.
As for the many, many things we disagree with, Eshman claims that there is no good food in Palms, that one cannot find an enticing restaurant on Olympic west of Crenshaw, and there are few too outdoor dining options. We’ll direct the writer to our huge guide of outdoor dining spaces, and also suggest trips to Stefan’s at L.A. Farm, Oliverio, Il Moro, and Lemon Moon to start a Western Olympic voyage. If that street still fails to yield anything, consider a turn onto Venice or Pico, which are still overloaded with unique, independent eats. Speaking of which, Guelaguetza, new Bawarchi, and Tara’s Himalayan only scratch the surface of what you’ll find in and around Palms.
Eshman argues that we don’t take advantage of our beachfront property. There’s some truth there that beachside dining is few and far-between, but we’re pretty content that our beaches are not treated like Europe’s or Tel Aviv’s, where there’s never been a stretch of sand someone didn’t want to serenade with horrible techno and worse tattoos. We’d rather keep the beach for reflection and let the tourist droves line up at Gladstone’s and The Lobster when they want seaside dining.
Way off base, Eshman boldly declares that "much of L.A. is a food desert" and that Angelenos "eat to live, not live to eat" since here the currency "is the deal, not the meal." Boring stereotypes of a Hollywood-driven culture aside, we’ll save our voices and point Eshman to the words of new Angeleno Zach Brooks, founder of Manhattan’s Midtown Lunch. Almost giving Eshman a perfect response, Brooks recently wrote, "I’ve been in L.A. only two weeks now and I have to admit I am completely overwhelmed. Seriously. How do you people do it? With so many amazing and diverse neighborhoods, serving up interesting under $10 lunches, deciding where to eat every day is completely daunting." Ah, already that’s one thing Brooks has gotten so right and the Journal so wrong.
What do you think? Do you agree more with Saveur or The Jewish Journal? Let us know in the comments.
10 Reasons Saveur Magazine Is Wrong [Jewish Journal]