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Dish of the month? Or neighborhood of the month? Ideas for Chowhound LA

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Hi LA hounds,

As some of you may have noticed, we've started doing a project called "Dish of the Month" on a few boards....this launched in SF in July, and has now been expanded to a few other cities, too (Toronto, Washington DC, New Orleans, Boston, New York City). The San Francisco Dish of the Month project was a big success last month, and it resulted in this post: http://www.chow.com/digest/122552/asi... after a really robust thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/856748

We've been thinking about expanding this to the Los Angeles board as well, if people are game. But I also wanted to run a different idea by LA hounds, one that I think might work particularly well on this board. The idea is "Neighborhood of the Month"

The premise would be choose a specific neighborhood each month....I suppose it could be as broad as a particular section of the city (i.e. Cypress Park) or actual city (i.e. Monterey Park), but ideally would be more specific (a particular stretch of a street, or a particular group of blocks), and then collectively try as many restaurants as possible in that area. I think LA would be particularly good for this since there seem to be tons of streets and neighborhoods with restaurants that no one talks about....and there could be some serious hidden gems. A project like this could encourage exploration, and the sniffing out of great new places....one of the original goals of Chowhound.

My thinking is that it would work the same way as Dish of the Month and Cookbook of the Month, where there would be a nomination thread, a voting thread, and a reporting thread. Hounds could organize amongst themselves to try to cover as many places as possible in a certain area.

Curious to hear what people think about this idea!

Dave MP

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  1. I should mention also that the idea of "Neighborhood of the Month" came mainly from a meeting I had with Thi and Sarah, long-time LA hounds who write for the Best of Chowhound (formerly the Digest). They agreed that it could be a great way to encourage more hounds to make new discoveries and explore lesser-known neighborhoods.

    1. As a Hound who finds his name on many of the recent "Best of Chowhound" posts (aw shucks, thanks guys), I think "Neighborhood of the Month" idea is a good one.

      Often times, I find myself in an unfamiliar area, hungry, and ask myself, "Where's the good chow in this area?"

      1. I'm all for a "neighborhood of the month" post, it's really promising.

        Also because it could incorporate specialty grocery stores in addition to the restaurants and cafés. You know "and after you tried this fantastic [insert super rare ethnic specialty] at [great hidden gem] don't forget to walk 3 doors down and explore the local store for [insert super exciting spice/condiment/baked item/drink].

        1. Yes

          1. Could you alternate?

            Neighborhood of the month sounds great but may be tough logistically for many. Easier done in a compact city like Manhattan or even SF but could be tough in LA where distance is better measured in minutes/hours travel time instead of miles.

            Dish of the month would allow all LA hounds to participate. For example, an OC hound could seek out a few OC versions and not necessarily have to drive 2 hours to Silverlake to do neighborhood of the month.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Porthos

              I prefer the idea of a neighborhood of the month. Especially neighborhoods that are under served on these boards. I would hope that it could tap in to hounds who may live in those areas but don't often post for whatever reasons. I see this as a great way to get more voices heard on these boards.

              1. re: Porthos

                great idea...like the idea of alternating focus if possible between dishes and neighborhoods; otherwise if not feasible I would prefer a focus on dish of the month.

              2. I'd like to nominate porchetta as "dish of the month" when/if the time comes. Maybe not for the first month since it's hard to come by down here and you might want a slightly easier item in the beginning to increase participation and board response.

                1. Okay, let's give neighborhood of the month a try for September. I'm glad that LA will be the place to test this out! I'm not super familiar with all LA neighborhoods, so let's get lots of ideas going in the nomination thread (feel free to nominate as many neighborhoods as you can think of—I think it's better to be as specific as possible).

                  Here's the nomination thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/865015