Since this blog's inception in 2013, I've struggled with two things. One is finding the time to actually write, as I've averaged about 2-3 posts a year ("Not great, Bob!"). The second is finding Hollywood Gourmand's niche, it's identity, it's purpose.
To quickly recap: I began this blog as a way to document my adventures on the road working freelance in TV (which is why it was originally called Distant Hire). Then I took a studio job and moved back to Los Angeles. Distant Hire was quickly rebooted as Hollywood Gourmand, "an LA based food and travel blog." Six months after the rebrand, my wife became pregnant with twins. As a freshly minted father, I can safely say that globetrotting is not in our near future.
Food, then. LA food.
I've always had a love hate relationship with Los Angeles. That's why I spent so much time on the road in the first place. But after three and half years away, I was legitimately excited to return. Because the media was heralding the arrival of the LA food scene. Everyone from Vice to the Huffington Post was declaring that Los Angeles had replaced New York as America's culinary capital. Bon Appetit named Alma as the best new restaurant of 2013, crowed about Grand Central Market in 2014, and gave LA 2 of its top 3 spots in 2015 (Gjusta, Petit Trois). And while I was suspicious of the fact that this same media was proclaiming Los Angeles as the new Brooklyn, it did seem like a lot of talented Brooklyn chefs were moving west.
So why did my love hate relationship with Los Angeles quickly spill over to its food scene?
To be sure, I didn't expect LA to be great at everything. I knew it didn't have a fighters chance at competing with NYC when it comes to fine dining. NYC has six 3 Michelin star restaurants, Los Angeles doesn't even have its own Michelin guide (not since 2009, anyway). And that's OK, if I'm looking for a three star experience, I can just head up to SF and empty my wallet at Saison. But I had hoped for progressive cooking. And outside of one glorious Mexican restaurant in an Orange County shopping plaza, I was having difficulty finding it.Read more