The Best of LA – Los Angeles Magazine vs. The Delicious Life

los angeles magazine, august 2006, best of la
Like yesterday’s post, magazines are brain candy that are nothing short of a complete waste of money and cause full-color glossy advertorial decay of your intellect. They have page after page of half-naked metasexuals draped over each other, and that’s even say, Field & Stream. Articles are boring, not very well-written, and very rarely do they ever have new information. I subscribe to Saveur only because my elementary school-aged cousin swindled me into her school’s fundraiser.

I was dropping her family off at LAX after they had stayed with us for their Spring vacation. As my aunt and uncle were heaving enormous suitcases out of my trunk onto the curb, she said to me, in the stickiest, sweetest, pinkest Hello Kitty voice she could muster, that she loved me and would miss me and would I pleasepleaseplease come visit them soon? Please? *blinkblinkblink* My heart melted, just like she knew it would, that sneaky little professional swindler.

As soon as she saw my face soften with love and adoration for her, she promptly whipped her backpack from around back to front, pulled out an order form, and asked me right there in front of 200 gawking people waiting in the curbside line if I wanted to support her school as they sat in the storm-ravaged, rain soaked old gym as she and her classmates bake bread and sew together shoes for the starving, shoeless children in Africa? Would I buy a magazine from her? *blinkblinkblink*

I had no choice.

Okay, so I think this fundraiser of hers was actually for a new gym for her school, but she basically made it sound like I’d be a heartless African child-hater with her manipulative display in front of 200 strangers. I signed on for Saveur. If it weren’t for the fact that my aunt was scuttling about, worried about making it on time for the flight through security, my cousin probably could have gotten me to sign up for Travel+Leisure, Vogue, Parents, Ebony, and Highlights, the magazine that no one reads except patients at the dentist’s office. Hey, Ebony I could use, but what the hell would I do with Travel+Leisure? ;)

Saveur isn’t all that bad. Really. I enjoy reading about faraway places with incredible, exotic foods that I’ll never ever eat. The articles are dreamy, well written, the photos are vivid and definitely convey whatever exotic image they are trying to convey. I am just sure that I would never ever in my life ever make Indonesian fish stew made with exotic spices that are encased in the excrement of some magical sea creature for which I would have to sell my first born child.

Saveur is nice, but I probably won’t renew the subscription, unless my overly entrepreneurial little cousin comes a knockin’ on my door next Spring. Thank God she isn’t a Girl Scout. I’d be ruined.

The point is that the only time I ever read other normal girl-ish and or “style” magazines is when I am at my ultimate lalala fashionista sister’s house babysitting my niece.

Or getting a massage.

I got a deep tissue massage today. I really needed it. (No, really, I did – Thanh tells me I carry all my stress and tension in my shoulders and upper back.)

So, thanks to my extraordinarily over-worked-under-employed upper back and shoulders, I got to read through their subscriber’s copy newest issue of Los Angeles Magazine. August 2006 is Los Angeles Magazine’s annual Best of LA issue, so of course, I immediately flipped to the Best of Food because I am obsessed with any and all “-est” superlative showcasing Best of/Top X/All-time Favorite/Befo
re You Die
lists. I sat there in the lounge, huddled over the magazine doing even more damage to my back and shoulders, scribbling it all down in my notebook, just to save that $4.95 newsstand price that could be spent on Pinkberry.

$65 massage just to save $4.95. That’s sensible accounting by way of unemployment.

These are the editors’ Best of LA food selections only, because I don’t really care about the Best Place to Buy Girl’s Surf Gear, and come on, have not I already established that this Delicious Life is a food blog and not a place for me to unload all my mental nonsense?!?! That’s right. I thought so.

Their choices were interesting, and I love comparing against my own unqualified opinion, so as always, my own selections and comments follow. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment, but if you disagree, I might just accidentally delete it. (Please. I don’t even delete comments that are scathing personal attacks at me and cause me to cry tears of shame and rejection at night, so yes, feel free to comment.)

By the way, I am fully aware that this Best of LA list is, in no way, helping my obsessive list compulsion, whether it’s building my own, or drooling over someone else’s.


Best Los Angeles Magazine vs. Sarah
Restaurant Cooking Class Jar I’ve never taken a restaurant cooking class, but based on my experience at Jar, I don’t argue this at all. Ok. Next!
Dumpling House Din Tai Fung One word: yes. In fact, Mom and her friends love these so much more than I do that they have somehow managed to find a blackmarket, back alley source, but I can’t tell you any more than that.
Frozen Yogurt Pinkberry I don’t like frozen yogurt. Might have something to do with OD-ing at Yogurt Park in college.
Polenta Ford’s Filling Station Really? All I have ever heard about Indy Jr.’s place has been negative.
Burger Menu The Counter Will someone hurl a Double Double Animal style at me if I say I love In n Out?
Beef Jerky A&Z Nut Wagon Clearly the editors of Los Angeles magazine have not stepped into a Chevron station and picked up the Hot n’ Spicy by N*joy. It’s like petrified perfection.
Crudo Il Grano Il Grano was good, but did they pick it for crudo because it’s the only place that does it?
Potato Chips Bar 75 Bistro I will forever love the Saratoga Chips at Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati, and if Bar 75 ‘s stack up, then I’m in.
Granola Urth Caffe The bread has lost favor with me, but I love La Brea Bakery‘s granola right out of the bag.
Matzo Ball Soup Nate n Al’s Deli Junior’s in Westwood. Followed by shoe shopping at Nordstrom. Duh.
Romantic Restaurant Michael’s The patio is gorgeous, but I don’t think it qualifies as the most romantic restaurant in LA. Hm, I have to think about this one.
Cookies Clementine I love Clementine (for obvious reasons), but the best cookies?
Restaurant for Fish Providence Sushi is fish, too, you know. I pick sushi. Anywhere.
Cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques It was my birthday last month. Feel free to buy this for me.
Vegetarian Takeout M Cafe de Chaya Re-he-he-heally?
Birria El Parian I think “birria” is goat. I will take their word on it.
Chopped Salad La Scala Predictable. It’s good, but every time I have eaten it, it has been just slightly under “bad.” Surely there is something better.
Floral Dessert La Cachette No. No “floral” dessert. wtf?
Thai Food Krua Thai What about Thai Elvis?!?!
Museum Cafe Garden Terrace at the Getty Center Better than sitting next to the Tar Pits.
Picnic Box Mako I don’t know – traipsing up and down the hills in Hollywood with raw fish sounds like you’re asking for the Immodium. I like Mediterranean.
Restaurant Special Night Pig Roast and Paella Fridays at Norman’s “Pig roast” will always sound pretty damn special to me.
Coffee LA Mill Coffee Do you read that SoccerBoy?!? I guess you were right. ;)

** a year ago today, baklava was nuttin’, honey **

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  • LB

    Here’s what we do when the nieces and nephews come a beggin’. We offer them a check for their fundraiser, but we do not buy the wrapping paper, magazine or whatever else it is. That way, the WHOLE check goes to the school, and we don’t have to buy some crap we don’t want.

    Having said that, you never know what you’ll make from Saveur. A couple of years ago, I read their article about Sardinia and was fascinated by the music paper bread. Well, a couple of months ago, I was in Guidi Marcello in Santa Monica, and they had a huge box of Pane Carasau (aka music paper bread) for $7. So I bought it, but couldn’t find the recipes for how to use it anywhere.

    So I e-mailed Saveur and they faxed me the recipe for Pane Frattau, a sort of lasagna using this dried cracker bread. I’ve made it a couple of times now and I love it! Don’t give up on Saveur!

    And thanks for the list, by the way!

  • Hui Jeong

    i’ve actually been tricked into buying a subscription. it’s a long story but i was totally hustled by some kid when i was in college. he was very, very sneaky. i love teenagers and all but i have to say this kid was pretty damn scummy. luckily i was able to cancel it as soon as i got back to my dorms!

  • Phil

    Girl Scouts vs. MBA’s? I’d vote for the Girl Scouts.
    On a sad note: I’m still unemployeed and just applied for CA.Gov.UI.$$$$$$$. I’m giving CA another month and then moving on. It’s been a tough 5 years.
    Phil

  • Julianne

    sarah, you’re my food blogging goddess:) however, we differ in our opinions on magazines… you could send me to subscriptions-anonymous – can’t get me enough of the glossy pictures and latest product reviews. but, you can’t question my taste too much – i read your blog daily!

  • Andy

    “It’s like petrified perfection.”

    Are you a fan of Strongbad? I can so hear Strongbad saying that one. Prefaced, perhaps, with an “Oohhh…man…”

    I feel your pain with regard to magazine subscriptions. And the sweeties that ask us to buy them. Nobody wants yesterday’s news, stuff that’s obsolete before it’s even printed.

  • abraxis

    Hmmm. The Delicious Life versus some mag?

    Put my bet on The Delicious Life anytime!

  • stray carnivore

    Definitely backing you up on the In n Out burger as well.

  • stray carnivore

    Definitely backing you up on the In n Out burger as well.

  • marissa

    I just don’t get the din tai fung hype. I know they’re supposed to taste “clean” and “light” but I prefer my xiao long bao to have, like, flavor and fat. the ones I had at din tai fung were sort of mealy and flavorless. my search continues…

  • Gourmetish

    Thanks for posting the list! I’ve only tried a few of those but I have to agree that Clementine has amazing cookies..my boss brought me some when I worked in Bev. Hills and I was very impressed. Thanks for reminding me…when I move back to LA I must get those cookies!

  • Gourmetish

    Thanks for posting the list! I’ve only tried a few of those but I have to agree that Clementine has amazing cookies..my boss brought me some when I worked in Bev. Hills and I was very impressed. Thanks for reminding me…when I move back to LA I must get those cookies!

  • matt

    OMG this posting is brilliant! I totally appreciate your take on their list, and if you ask me yours is much more interesting and valid.

  • Anonymous

    Its true in a way magazines are a waste of, in my case a waste of space my parents have loads and loads of them which I doubt they even read, and just keep piling them up. But the way your cousin sold you off that subscrption is neat… LOL

    Anyways the delicious life with no doubt is where I stand

    Amed
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  • suzie q

    Sarah, this was my first time reading your blog, and your comment about Junior’s matzo ball soup followed by a Nordstrom’s chaser was the biggest laugh I’ve had all day. True, too!

  • Max Million

    West does crudo.

  • dlo

    The chips at French 75 are good, but they are nothing like Montomery Inn’s. I usually make 3 trips a year to get Skyline Chili and Montgomery Inn’s chips and other great food.

  • sarah

    lb: i am over saveur. i let the subscription run out and now i’m kinda hot for…everyday with racahel ray!!!1

    just kidding. ;)

    hui: when i was in college, people knew better than to apporach me about that stuff. i could hardly afford to eat, let alone buy $5 candy bars or magazines!

    phil: you’ve been funemployed for five years?!?! i’m jealous!

    julianne: thanks so much for reading! and blogs are kinda like magazines, so i’m an addict, too. well, not anymore, but i was.

    andy: don’t know strongbad, but it sounds like i would be a fan :)

    abraxis: thanky ;)

    stray carnivore: AUSOME handle! and yes, in n out, kitten.

    marissa: are there other places that DO xia long bao?!?

    gourmetish: move! move back to LA!

    matt: and what’s your list?!?!

    in fact, what is everyone else’s list? i bet combined, we could all come up with one helluva a badass list.

    anonymous: two scoldings for you! one for being *almost* anonymous. two for your spamtastic links. naughty naughty!

    suzie q: am i right, or am i right? ;)

    max million: yes! west! though i was unimpressed by my three meals there overall :( can’t beat that view, though.

    dlo: montgomery inn!! *sigh* i miss cincinnati.

  • sarah

    lb: i am over saveur. i let the subscription run out and now i’m kinda hot for…everyday with racahel ray!!!1

    just kidding. ;)

    hui: when i was in college, people knew better than to apporach me about that stuff. i could hardly afford to eat, let alone buy $5 candy bars or magazines!

    phil: you’ve been funemployed for five years?!?! i’m jealous!

    julianne: thanks so much for reading! and blogs are kinda like magazines, so i’m an addict, too. well, not anymore, but i was.

    andy: don’t know strongbad, but it sounds like i would be a fan :)

    abraxis: thanky ;)

    stray carnivore: AUSOME handle! and yes, in n out, kitten.

    marissa: are there other places that DO xia long bao?!?

    gourmetish: move! move back to LA!

    matt: and what’s your list?!?!

    in fact, what is everyone else’s list? i bet combined, we could all come up with one helluva a badass list.

    anonymous: two scoldings for you! one for being *almost* anonymous. two for your spamtastic links. naughty naughty!

    suzie q: am i right, or am i right? ;)

    max million: yes! west! though i was unimpressed by my three meals there overall :( can’t beat that view, though.

    dlo: montgomery inn!! *sigh* i miss cincinnati.

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