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Jonathan King
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I grew up in L.A. in the '50s and '60s, spent a few '70s years there as well, but haven't logged much time there at all for 30+ years. As the only child of a single mom (rare in the '50s), I ate out a fair amount -- nothing fancy or expensive (we veered between poor and not quite poor), but as varied as the era and our budget permitted: Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Italian as often as standard American. (While still in elementary school I loved a small trattoria in the nowheresville between Venice and Mar Vista called Mama 'n' Joe's, where there was a blowup photo of S.Z. Sakall in the entryway -- there's some celebrity trivia for ya! -- and where I first encountered lasagna, circa 1959.) So in a town with no real food culture at the time, I got to experience some of what little there was. Gee, I wish I'd snagged a Ship's coffee shop menu when I had the chance ... they cost a zillion on eBay now, if you can find them. In the mid and late '70s I drove around the city's ethnic nabes, looking for cool things to eat at a time when Westsiders just didn't do that. East Side Mexican, emerging Koreatown joints, wherever I could assess a place, or a nabe, as having potential just from driving around in those pre-Internet, pre-Jonathan Gold days. Employment and adulthood led me to higher- class places than I'd known in my childhood: Scandia and La Toque, both on the Sunset Strip, were particular payday favorites. And then I moved up north in 1983, and completely lost track of the food scene in L.A., apart from what I'd occasionally read in the L.A. Times food section. Relatives and friends down south would urge me to visit and eat, but since most of the former have long since moved from the Westside to the upper reaches of the Valley, when I do go down, I mostly eat at Brent's, the unbelievably wonderful Jewish deli in (and I still can't quite believe this) Northridge. I'd really like to branch out -- if only there were some kind of L.A. food guide in print...
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Absolutely vital piece of scholarship, for which many thanks. A number of simple declarative statements in this text leap out at the reader, so fabulously detailed is the reporting: If I had to choose a single example it would be, a propos the end of the Allen & Rossi team: "Marty Allen dissolved the partnership, claiming that he wanted to focus on serious acting roles."
Gee, it wasn't *that* funny ... though Colbert (whom I admit I don't get most of the time) was polite enough to let the prof get a few words in. But what are we to make of Blum's assertion, at the very end of the clip, that he "absolutely" will eat Gulf seafood now?
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Aug 20, 2010