Everything comes and goes with time. Trends rise, appearing from seemingly nowhere with no explanation for their popularity, climb to significance only to disintegrate as they fall from grace, perhaps lost in a fog of neglect: the ultimate void into which hipness disintegrates. In chronicling the ever-changing “cool”, we see this quite a bit. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s for the best, and sometimes it simply is what it is. There are very few things in life that do not succumb to these delightful and tragic pitfalls but two that will forever be a part of our lives are food and fellowship. These two things alone can drive communities to be built from the ground up, serve as the foundation for neighborhood economies, and solidify one’s self-perception within a group.
In 2012, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles with my girlfriend. I had moved most recently from Philadelphia where the burgeoning food industry provided many of my friends with gainful employment and gave me the opportunity to sample a variety of high end offerings in the area. The food in Philly is unusually good; that is to say that due to the compact spread of the city, the ratio of exemplary food offerings to neighborhoods is second to none in the US today. I had extraordinarily high standards set by the time I rolled into LA and without a doubt they were blown out of the water, though in ways I hadn’t expected. We found the most diverse selection of ethnic foods I’ve ever seen anywhere. The Mexican food is obviously fantastic but the offering across the board, representing nearly every culture in the world, is paralleled by none. While you might try to go to a bar or restaurant in Philly that’s too crowded and be in luck with a host of 10 other offerings within walking distance, LA’s a different animal but as long as you’re willing to jump in your car for 10-20 minutes the options are limitless.