In between coughs and sneezes, my husband recently said to me, “Vacations are really nice. Don’t you wish we could wash our clothes, rest for a week, then head out again?” Yes I do, though I’m not quite up for another trans-Pacific flight quite yet. Maybe a long drive to one of my favorite eating cities – Los Angeles.
My husband was born there and we used to live there. We still go often to visit family and friends. The Los Angeles food scene has been relatively low key over the years, compared to that of New York and San Francisco. As one chef recently put it, the celebrities in Los Angeles are in the dining room, not in the kitchen. Food is not precious in Los Angeles. It just is. Delicious and varied.
It’s only been in the past few years that the diversity of Los Angeles’s food options has been recognized on a national level. The huge swaths of space, distinct ethnic enclaves as well as meshing of cultures make for a super exciting place to eat and explore.
With regard to Asian cuisines, Los Angeles arguably has the most vibrant Thai, Korean, and Chinese food scene in America, given the range and populations that demand excellent and authentic fare. Excellent Japanese noodles is not only about ramen but also soba and udon. (Don’t get me started on the heavenly Mexican food...)
I was reminded of the eating options in Los Angeles when I perused Cathy Chapin’s Food Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles. It was just released as part of a series by Globe Pequot. Cathy is an American-born Vietnamese woman who despite her slight figure, can really put away lots of grub. She reviews restaurants at Gastronomyblog.com, covering high-, medium- and low-brow spots all over.
The book is informative and educational, not written like a self-focused Yelp review. Cathy offers just enough insider’s information to get you comfortably in the door, seated and eating. Her comments in Food Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles include the name of the proprietors, a little bit of their backstory, as well as pointers on how to enjoy foods that you may shy away from, say “finless sauteed eel” from a Shanghai restaurant called Southern Mini Town.
That kind of sums up the quirks of Los Angeles dining. Much of it is humble and homey. Chefs in Los Angeles may not be out to strike it rich on the Food Network but they certainly deserve platinum for the food they dish out.
This is a book for anyone interested in food, whether you live in, visit, or never set foot in Los Angeles. I have three (3) copies to giveaway.
Here’s the giveaway lowdown:
Prize: 3 copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles
Who is eligible to enter: Anyone with a United States mailing address.
How to enter: Simply leave a comment on this post. Foodwise, what does Los Angeles conjure up in your mind? Are there foods or meals that you recall from LA? What piques your curiosity about the Los Angeles food scene? Anything else you’d like to comment about! Include your email address so that I can contact you directly if you win.
Can you enter more than once? Yes, if you’re a fan of the VWK Facebook page, follow me on Twitter or have joined me on Pinterest or Instagram, you can enter an extra time for each of those social media networks. If we’re buddies on all four, then shoot, you can enter five (5!) times. If you’re doing multiple entries, let me know who you are by including something like [FB], [Twitter], [Pinterest], or [Instagram] in your comment.
Deadline to enter: Monday, February 10, noon (PST)
Selection, notification, and getting the books: The winner swill be randomly selected via Random.org and notified by email. The winners will be announced next Tuesday, February 11. I’ll send the winners the book. If you’d like more details, read the official giveaway rules.
Thanks for entering and good luck!
Related info: "America's Next Great City is inside LA" by Brett Martin for GQ magazine (read this for a tease of delicious happenings in downtown Los Angeles)