[LA Weekly] Best of Los Angeles 2013
*PUBLISHED / BOOKS & LITERATURE / Boyle Heights / Downtown / FOOD / LA Weekly / Latin American food / Little Tokyo / Mexican food

[LA Weekly] Best of Los Angeles 2013

Looking for more reasons to love L.A.? Just head to your local newsstand (or computer) to browse the latest “Best of L.A.” issue from the always eclectic L.A. Weekly. These are a few of my favorite things… well, eight favorites, from “Best Filipino Fried Chicken” to “Best Little Tokyo Bar” to “Best Japanese Bookstore.” Keep reading… Continue reading

[Blog] Quote of the Day: “The life of the journalist…” from Cold Comfort Farm
*BLOG / BOOKS & LITERATURE / JOURNALISM

[Blog] Quote of the Day: “The life of the journalist…” from Cold Comfort Farm

In the novel Cold Comfort Farm (1932), British writer Stella Gibbons spins a tale of doom, dreams, families, and farmland. Not a morose tale, though. It’s irreverent and sometimes wacky — a parody of somber authors who have written grandiose tomes of bucolic life. (Think Thomas Hardy and Tess of the D’urbervilles or worse, Jude the Obscure.)

In the Foreward, Gibbons addresses a letter to a certain “Anthony Pookworthy,” supposedly an esteemed novelist who chronicles “spiritual struggles, staged in the wild setting of mere, berg, or fen.” Right. In the note, Gibbons reflects on her own writing career, making a hilarious jab at both journalistic and literary writing styles… Continue reading

[Blog] Summer Reading: China, North Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Cuba and New York City
BOOKS & LITERATURE / Chinese / Cuban / Jewish / North Korean / Russian

[Blog] Summer Reading: China, North Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Cuba and New York City

We’re nearing the end of those “lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer,” as Nat King Cole put it in his 1963 pop hit. The days have been especially lazy, crazy and hazy for those of us who just graduated college. Plenty of time for reading! No syllabus necessary. My picks have taken me to the … Continue reading

[LA Weekly] Diana Kennedy at LACMA: Oaxacan Foods, Book Signing + Proper Tortillas
BOOKS & LITERATURE / FOOD / LA Weekly / Latin American food / Mexican / Mexican food

[LA Weekly] Diana Kennedy at LACMA: Oaxacan Foods, Book Signing + Proper Tortillas

Diana Kennedy, the Mexican cuisine authority and cookbook author, doesn’t often travel outside of Mexico, where she lives in rural Michoacán a few hours from Mexico City. For the past 65 years, Mexico has been her home, and a laboratory for her studies and writings about Mexico’s regional cuisines. So her appearance last Sunday at the L.A. County Museum of Art for a brief talk and book signing presented a rare opportunity for Angelenos to meet the woman who’s often called “the Julia Child of Mexican food.” Like Child, Kennedy has shared her vast knowledge on a topic that had previously been both exotic and esoteric in the United States. Her latest book, Oaxaca al Gusto from 2010, ismuch more than a cookbook. The 450-page tome presents a study of Oaxacan cultural history illuminated by glorious photographs, many taken by Kennedy herself…. [keep reading] Continue reading

[LA Weekly] Cookbooks Panel at LitFest Pasadena
BOOKS & LITERATURE / FOOD / LA Weekly

[LA Weekly] Cookbooks Panel at LitFest Pasadena

Cookbooks have long faced competition from magazines and newspapers. But now, it’s the Internet Age. Print publications are putting their recipes online, and websites such as Epicurious and Food help you find instructions for virtually any dish with just a few clicks. Meanwhile, blogs are offering their own perspectives and kitchen tips. Many of these websites are beautifully designed. (Just check out the tomatoes atGilt Taste.) Still, cookbooks persist with their hard covers, thick pages and glossy photos… Continue reading

BOOKS & LITERATURE / FOOD / Latin American food / Mexican food

[LA Weekly] Q & A with Gustavo Arellano: Taco USA, Mexican Authenticity + Food Writing

You might suspect Gustavo Arellano, the brain and wit behind the popular syndicated and OC Weekly column ¡Ask a Mexican!, as one of those Mexican food sticklers who bristles at ideas of yellow nacho cheese, the chimichonga, the chicken fajita pita, enchilada combination plates and Taco Bell’s 50th anniversary festivities. Yes, Arellano admits to having once been fanatical about authenticity. But he’s reformed… Continue reading