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Dec 7, 2001 03:35 AM

"Please, momma, tell me about ChowNews?" "All right, sonny-boy!"

  • t

So, ChowNews:

First thing: for LA, ChowNews is gonna be me. Basically. With lots of other people helping - but I'll be the writer, the producer, l'artiste de chau, or whatever you wish. Chosen for you (total surprise to me, let me tell you) by our beloved Leader Leff.

If you haven't heard, Chowhound needs money to survive. Gifts are nice and lovely and help our beloved leader out of debt, but Chowhound needs a *server*, and servers are a regular damn monthly cost, and to take care of a regular cost Chowhound needs more than a single donation - it needs regular income.

Solution is simple, says Mr. Leff. Do not depend on simple kindness. Do not depend on charity. Offer a regular service. A worthwhile one. A good one. A kind one. One that makes people happy and wise and well-fed and better, more beautiful souls.

Solution is: a weekly newsletter, which will cost less than $3 a month, which, at least from my point of view, is slightly less than the cost of ONE HALF A ZANKOU CHICKEN. If you WASTE MORE THAN $3 a month because you couldn't think of a place to go and *didn't have time to surf the board for half-an-hour" and ended up having crap-ass Sweet 'N Sour Suck at Chez Chop-Suey da Looey or something, then you are terrible and wrong and your life is terrible but it can be fixed simply. As follows:

So: ChowNews. The magical newsletter of love. Each week, I'll be reading the *everything* on the board, consulting with my network of spies, ringers, and food-loving evil-doers, and then putting together a happy summary of what we think are the best reccs of the week, in short, snazzy, compact, easy-to-print-and-carry-in-your-breast-pocket-and-crease-up-and-cover-with-stains-and-pass-on-to-your-children form. With:

Restaurant names.
Restaurant addresses.
Links to maps to the restaurant.
Summaries of commentaries on the restaurant.
Recommended dishes obout the restaurant.
Summaries of other interesting threads from LA.

To which will be added:
shining happy summaries of general topics and articles and all sorts of other things that you can find out at the main page, or at Jim Leff's post, below.

And me: I'll ramble if you want. Or I'll shut up if you want. Anything - I'm flexible.

I can put the rambling at the end. So you busy people can skip it.

Think of it! Thi! Rambling for you! In e-mails! Special rambles, that only ChowNews subscribers will get! It'll be an utterly unique experience, which you will share only with my roommate, the people in my philosophy program, all the people who are at the booth next to me after the fourth beer at Ye Olde Rustic, the people near me in Tower Records when I forget my meds.

It'll be just like you're my girlfriend, and I've woken up from a dream about goat stew. "Mmmm... ... tender... stringy... ... tasty chupacabras... taco bell dog..." (direct transcript provided by my girlfriend of me at 3 AM last night, thank you.)

Once again: boards are great, but take time. We have no time. We are busy people in a world on the brink of destruction. We must zip to places in our cars. Most of us do not have internet connections in our cars. But! A solution appears on the horizon! ChowNews! ChowNews! Charging down the hill to your printer! Links to maps! Solutions to your math homework! Directions to The Garden of Delights! Restaurant summaries!

Please subscribe. It will be good for you. You will have summaries. It will keep Chowhound running for us all. God help me if I don't have Chowhound. I'd have to turn to Zagats. God save us all from that.

That is all.



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  1. Cool!

    I don't live in LA, but I am now considering signing up for LA chow news. I'm definitely sending one as a gift subscription to a friend in LA.

    ramble on, my friend


    are you paraphrasing
    Butthole Surfers-
    "Daddy, what does regret mean?"
    "Well son, a funny thing about regret. It's better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done"
    (locust abortion technician)

    or Johnny Cash
    "Mama, how high's the water"
    "Three feet high and rising"
    (3 feet high and rising)

    Both are true for chowhound and getting a subscription


    1. You've inspired me with a fabulous idea: I am getting ChowNews subscriptions for friends this holiday season! Cheap, unique and a gift that keeps on maybe they'll be so grateful they'll take me out to eat.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Lisa Bee

        And you've inspired me, Lisa--

        Just ordered chownews for five friends for xmas gifts. Already had ordered subscription plus a couple Ts for myself, natch.

        Another thought: chow merchandise a good coupling if you want to give people something to open -- with a note telling them what fine eats await them in their email.

        Now this is really beginning to sound like the home shopping channel!

        1. re: Rafi

          The "thanks" go both ways, Rafi. I always pay close attention to your tips so it's nice to know you're paying attention to mine (in addition to our mutual admiration for nighttime New Otani bbq). :)

      2. I'd like to mention that Thi was chosen because, aside from being an excellent hound (there are LOTS of excellent hounds here), he's one of the few with food writing experience...and I knew he was itching to get back to it!

        But while I think we all respect Thi's opinions, I'd like to note that ChowNews will NOT be about his personal takes or opinions. It will, rather, be his boil-down on the essential tips mentioned by everyone ELSE here (and, as he said, that boil-down will have input from a bunch of others).

        Listen....*I* don't have time to read every single posting any more. And we're growing all the time, so it's going to get harder and harder. And if we don't read everything, we miss tips, sometimes tips with potential to change our lives. I just hate that, and I know you do, too.

        Thi is going to read every single posting with maniacal diligence, and he and his team will cull the good stuff. Organize it. Whip it into shape. Add address/phone info, links to maps and driving directions. Report the consensus opinions, the strategies for eating in places. All in a neat, organized, streamlined weekly email. It's gonna be great.

        Yes, Thi is gonna be Thi (don't worry, we'll edit him back when he get really carried away!). But the newsletter is about helping you never miss the cream of the crop of tips and info posted here, and the body of the info itself will be sleek and efficiently presented (for busy people)....don't let Thi scare you! We know that if you wanted to read lots of chit-chat, you'd just come surf the boards.

        To order ChowNews, use link below to our ChowMarket


        5 Replies
        1. re: Jim Leff

          "Yes, Thi is gonna be Thi (don't worry, we'll edit him
          back when he get really carried away!)....don't let Thi scare you!"

          Jim, it's Thi's wild pitch for LA ChowNews that's got me (like Zim) interested in subscribing, all the way from out here in the Outer Boroughs. Dreaming about the Chupacabras and the Taco Bell chihuahua - whatta mind! Don't rein him in too much!

          1. re: Helen F

            I agree! He convinced me here in Boston!

          2. re: Jim Leff

            > Yes, Thi is gonna be Thi (don't worry, we'll edit
            > him back when he get really carried away!).

            Please don't.
            We delight in the excess.

            1. re: Steph P

              Ha. I knew Thi was "The Man", that's why he's editing this. In fact, I'm told that Thi means "The Man" in Lithuanian.

              My point is this: the info itself will be slick, handy, convenient, efficient, masterfully boiled down. It's meant to provide the world's first selected and digested boil-down of the delirious chaos of this message board.....and boiled down it shall be.


              Thi will riff in the cracks.

              If you want yer chow info in a no-nonsense manner, you got it. If you want riffing/rambling passages, you got it. ChowNews is All Things To All Hounds.



            2. re: Jim Leff

              Okay, I've ordered the Chownews, a black Chowhound T-shirt XL, and a couple of ATM denominations of "Good Will." NOW, can I go outside and play?

            3. I'm sold - Just ordered my subscription after reading your post!

              Thanks for making me laugh this morning :)

              1. I had already subscribed... now I'm really glad I did. Thi, your enthusiasm in the past has had me driving all over the southland. How happy I am that you're going to be the point person on this.

                Now a request: Would someone (Jim) please let us know if the response to your appeal has picked up? Are you still in danger of disappearing? Will you let us know how things stand?