Anyone read Chinese Food Finder: New York by Carl Chu? [Moved from Manhattan]
Browsing amazon, this book came up, and I had no idea that it existed. Carl Chu's LA guide (at least edition 1)is damn near perfect, providing a cultural, historical, and linguistic guide to both the cuisines of China and where to experience them in the area. Apparently the NY version was published a couple of years ago. Has anyone used it?
I'd take some of Carl Chu's stuff with a dash of salt. A lot of it is accurate and informative, but some of the stuff in there makes me think that he relies more from personal experience rather than thorough research.
For example, he lambasts pu-erh tea in the LA guide. Of course it's a matter of personal taste and pu-erhs are somewhat of an acquired taste, but it's essentially the equivalent of saying that Bordeaux are poor wines.
His description of Teochew/Chaozhou cuisine is also primarily filtered through a Thai and Vietnamese perspective (Teochews are the majority of ethnic Chinese in these countries), rather than Teochew cuisine in its native city in the Canton Province.
It's still a great guide, but just that one has to be a little careful with it here and there.
Chu's book on L.A., as opinionated as it may be, has some credibility because he has lived and eaten in the L.A. area for so many years. But one has to wonder how much research and persnal experience went into the New York and San Francisco Chinese Food Finder books, which seemed to be rushed out to capitalize on the success of the Los Angeles guide.