Book Review: EAT: Los Angeles 2012

Nowadays when you need a restaurant recommendation you can always hop onto your Yelp app and check out the blogs. But maneuvering through the techno-maze can be time-consuming. And who are those people anyways? Sometimes you just wish you had a trusty friend to tell you where to find a good bowl of pho.

Thank goodness for EAT:Los Angeles The Food Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles. This is a book to keep in your glove compartment. Its tabbed sections are simple to flip through and logically organized. In addition to the standard “Where to find a good breakfast in the South Bay” listings, there are sections on regional specialties, author favorites, food truck lots, and “good food neighborhoods.” There is a chapter devoted exclusively to cocktail lounges, wine bars, and gastropubs with delicious fare. When you’re wondering where to find galanga root or miso paste, this is your guide to specialty markets. Some of the most useful information are the kitchen supply stores, and they even have listings for Farmer’s markets.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this year’s edition, edited and published by Colleen Dunn Bates and Prospect Park Media. The recommendations are solid and right-on. Every section I look through lists my personal favorites and some intriguing must-try places. Pick up this book, look for your favorite hidden restaurant, and I guarantee you it will be there. Unless your favorite restaurant is PF Changs, because this guide is intended to “celebrate the places that are mom ‘n’ pop in spirit…”

Not only are the authors extremely knowledgable, but their tone is friendly and accessable. For example, on the subject of dividing LA into regions, the book confides, “Yes, we know La Canada and Flintridge aren’t technically in the SG Valley, but for simplicity’s sake, we are pretending they are.”

These are the trusty friends you have longed for: Jean T. Barrett, Linda Burum, Miles Clements, Jean Garbee, Amelia Saltsman, Pat Saperstein, and Joseph Shuldiner, all respected and knowledgable food writers. This year the group gets even better with the addition of Elina Shatkin, writer for the LA Weekly and at least for me, actual trusty friend.

For those of you who can’t let go of the gizmos, EAT is available for your Kindle, and as an iPhone app.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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