So-called "Dining Guides" - spare me!
There are several publications in the Los Angeles area that publish regular dining guides, featuring capsule reviews of eateries deemed worthy by the resident food writers. There are some other publications that publish small listings of restaurants that advertise in said publications, and perhaps once a year they'll do a stand-alone magazine-style piece with more comprehensive listings … of ALL their advertisers, with copy written mostly by the advertisers themselves. Pasadena Weekly has this week published such an item, along with a map showing locations of the listed places, a separate roster of the past year's "Best Of" contest, and some reviews of several of the highlighted ones. The reviews are gushing and laudatory, the map seems to have been outsourced to someone who's never been here - City Hall jumps several blocks east, while Civic Auditorium leaps clear over almost to PCC - and although the Best Of list awards several fine or semi-fine places that don't advertise with the Weekly, that roster is the only place you'll find them. No review, no nothin'. This mixture of crass promotion and careless editing is not of course unique to the Los Angeles area; in fact, it's less prevalent here than in some other towns I've lived in. But it's no less annoying.
While I understand that the freebie weeklies operate on a bit more of a shoestring than the Times or L.A. Magazine, it would be more tolerable if they'd be upfront about the nature of these "guides" instead of being simply, stupidly obvious. No credible guide to Pasadena dining could possibly exclude such places as Gale's, Daisy Mint, Abricott or Plate 38, and certainly not Noir Food & Wine. And no Pie'n'Burger? Central Park? Let's hope that any serious eater visiting here will have the good sense to look on CH - heck, even Yelp does better than this! - instead of falling for "The Food Chain" and its cover claim to be "The 2012 Food & Dining Guide". It's not. It's just a list of who's been giving the Weekly money.