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FAQ: New to the LA Board? Read this first

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Are you new to Chowhound? Or just to the Los Angeles board? Perhaps visiting from out of town? We've got some tips to help you get started.

If you're brand new to the site, you should read our Site Etiquette http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367605 so you don't break any rules or step on any toes.

This board is focused on discussing chow in the greater LA area. This includes LA, Orange and Ventura Counties and Southwestern San Bernardino County. If you'd like tips on chow in Southern California outside of LA, please see our California board: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/3 or our San Diego board at: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/65. For a complete list of boards available, see the "Chowhound Discussions" menu above.

HAVE A HOT TIP?
If you've got a great tip or a recommendation for someone, dive right in and post it. It's great if you can include some details of why you like a place, but even those short tips on where to find a great taco or donut are appreciated.

To start a new thread, use the "Chowhound Discussions" menu in the navigation bar at the top of the page to go to the index of the board, and then choose the "start new thread" button.

HAVE A QUESTION?
The LA board is a pretty active place, and a lot of questions have been covered recently--the Chowhound archives are a great resource.

Start your quest for an answer with a search of all the great info that's already out there. The search box is in the top right corner of the screen. If you're searching from this board, it should default to searching LA. Just add your keywords and go. On the search results page, you can change your search criteria to add more keywords, or change your sort order or the dates you're interested in.

Here are just a few of the subjects that are common on the Los Angeles boards, and some suggestions on how to find that information:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE LOS ANGELES BOARD:

Where should we eat in Hollywood? Santa Monica? Downtown? West Hollywood? the San Gabriel Valley? Any other Neighborhood?
Search terms to try: neighborhood name (Hollywood, Downtown, etc) or abbreviation (Hwd, SM, etc).

Where should we eat near the Pantages? Disneyland? Dodger Stadium? Angels Stadium
Search terms to try: the name of the attraction you want to eat near (Disney, Pantages, etc), or the neighborhood it's in

Where's the best brunch/sushi/burger/etc?
Search terms to try: title:best and the name of the food you're looking for

Where should we go for our special occasion?
Search terms to try: anniversary, "special occasion", proposal, romantic, birthday
These might not all apply to your particular occasion, but they generally turn up the same kind of recommendations.

Where should I plan my group dinner?
Search terms to try: "private room", "buy out", corporate, group, "holiday party", "large group"

Where can I find New York (or Chicago) style pizza/chinese/bagels?
Search terms to try: New York plus the type of food, "east coast"
If you end up asking about these, please be nice--don't disparage the local food scene when asking about the stuff you remember from back home.

STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
LA chowhounds are a great resource, but help them help you by including some important details. Tell them:
- What part of town you'll be in.
- How far or how long you're willing to travel. LA traffic can really make a difference at different times of day. Locals will assume you have a car available unless you say you don't.
- What your budget is. Descriptions such as 'expensive', 'moderate' and 'cheap' mean different things to different people, so use dollar values.
- What types of cuisines you're interested in.
- Any other special circumstances (traveling with kids? vegetarians? non-chowhounds?) that will help

If you've done some of your own research, mention what you found so hounds can help fill in the gaps, rather than rehashing what you already know.

AFTER YOUR MEAL
Most importantly, after your trip or your meal, thank the LA hounds for their help by reporting back. Tell people which suggestions you used and how the meals turned out, plus add tips about any great places you discovered on your own. This helps makes the board more useful for everyone who visits after you.

LA SPECIFIC TERMS
Here are some things you might see referred to on the Los Angeles board that are unique to this board:
BH = Beverly Hills
SGV = San Gabriel Valley
DTLA = Downtown LA
SM = Santa Monica
WeHo = West Hollywood
OC = Orange County
VC = Ventura County
SFV = San Fernando Valley
LB = Long Beach
Hwd = Hollywood

LINKS
Best of Chowhound posts from LA: http://www.chow.com/digest/los-angeles/
Add a new topic to the LA board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/new?...

LA CHOWHOUND MEETUPS
Hounds love to eat, and they love to eat together. Anyone can plan a chowdown and announce it on the board, (see the Etiquette for more: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3676... ) but there are a couple of established groups of hounds who dine together, so you might want to get on their mailing lists:
SCARF: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCARF-S...

FEEDBACK
If there's something you think is vitally important for new members of the board to know that we've missed, please comment on this Site Talk thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/458604