LA dining guide? (moved from Los Angeles board)
Any suggestions for a good dining guide that would help a traveler get a sense of where they wanted to eat? Maybe in the LA Times, or in a weekly publication? I'm a bit overwhelmed in my planning and don't even really have a handle on what cuisines I want to eat yet. I've love to just browse something to get some ideas.
I'm going to get seriously skewered, grilled and charred for this, but going to Yelp for general categories in a given cities is a start, then cross-reference the higher-rated eateries with Chow for more detail and thumbs-up or down. We do this a lot when we're out of town and need info quick. I've found that what Yelp lacks in serious reviews (too many, "I wanted to like this place but..." kinda comments), it makes up for in number of responses and coverage of just about every eatery in the local area. Yelp is very user-friendly when it comes to producing lists of places serving specific types of food and kinds of places - Chow not nearly so.
We were up in Santa Cruz last summer. When I inquired about great places to eat in Santa Cruz on the California board, I received some great recs. For instance, Kelly's French Bakery was recommended. Another bakery that I didn't see mentioned was The Buttery, which we found on Yelp and was very good as well:
When I yelped, "bakeries" in the Santa Cruz area, I found The Buttery and Kelly's at the top with highest ratings and enough numbers of reviews to support these ratings. I then checked Chow's California Board for positive mention of The Buttery, which I did find. When I see this kind of confirmation, chances are very strong that the prospective eatery will be a ringer.
In my little part to make Chow an easier place to find specific categories, I know will lead with subject names when creating a new post. Here's a recent one inquiring about gastropubs:
I also agree with hobbess about using Jonathan Gold's lists and write-ups as a barometer. Although his write-ups can be somewhat vague in determining a true opinion, his lists leave no doubt about how he feels relative to a place.