California Today: California Today: Los Angeles’s Crackling Restaurants

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The exterior of Here’s Looking at You, in Los Angeles’s Koreatown. Credit Oriana Koren for The New York Times

Good morning.

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Today’s introduction comes to us from Adam Nagourney, the Los Angeles bureau chief.

For a New Yorker who moved to Los Angeles — and who loves both cities — there may be no topic more fraught to write about than restaurants. There are many subjects on which these two coastal giants like to thump their chests, but none more than which has the better food scene.

So it is with a little bit of trepidation that we present an article taking a look at the tremendous energy and churn in the Los Angeles restaurant world these days. This region is well known for pioneering food trucks and strip-mall restaurants — hold those emails, all you New Yorkers — but every year, the scene here becomes increasingly nuanced and interesting.

It’s not only what kind of food is being served, but where. You can now have a Sonoran dinner at Salazar, a year-round outdoor restaurant (try that, New York!) on a patio surrounded by a nightscape of power lines and palm trees in Frogtown. That neighborhood wouldn’t have been on any culinary list a few years ago.

The restaurant scenes in Los Angeles and New York are as different as the two cities. Chefs here talk about the year-round fresh produce, ample space to store the bounty from a farmer’s market and the ethnic mash-up food that boils up in such a diverse community. And those top-quality fruit and vegetables make it easier to cook here. It’s more challenging in New York, often resulting in more creativity and perseverance.

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Stipulated, this is not a hardship assignment: The Times is paying for me (right @SamSifton?) to check out a dozen Los Angeles restaurants. The biggest obstacle was the churn: New restaurants kept opening as I was reporting the article, and chefs moved on from restaurants mid-article.

New York readers will no doubt complain at any suggestion that Los Angeles might be a step ahead on the food scene. The Los Angeles crowd will be on the lookout for another East Coast media slight of this city. So to be clear: We are not saying the restaurant scene in Los Angeles is better than the one in New York. I have fallen down that rabbit hole many times over the years.

We would like to know what you think. Tell us your favorite Los Angeles restaurants here: And feel free to weigh in — even if you live in New York.

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California Online

(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)


Senator Kamala Harris, 52, is increasingly being viewed as a potential candidate for the White House in 2020. Credit David McNew/Getty Images

• Will she or won’t she? Senator Kamala Harris has been quietly following the script for a prospective presidential bid. [McClatchy]

• Ms. Harris brings a style unlike that of Senator Dianne Feinstein. Just look at how they reacted to the firing of the F.B.I. director. [KQED]

• California has emerged as the central battleground in the fight for a House majority in 2018. [Politico]

• The University of California president’s office spent lavishly on parties and other perks, an audit showed. [San Francisco Chronicle]


Marlene LaMar, Sierra LaMar’s mother, spoke outside the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice on Tuesday. Credit Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

• A man was convicted of killing Sierra LaMar, a Santa Clara County teenager who vanished in 2012. Her body was never found. [San Francisco Chronicle]

• “30 cows were stranded and starving. Good thing Merced’s sheriff is a real cowboy.” [Merced Sun-Star]

• “California should be making it easier to walk in cities. That means no more bogus jaywalking tickets.” [Opinion | Los Angeles Times]

• An 11-foot statue of Padres great Tony Gwynn was dedicated in his hometown, Poway. [San Diego Union-Tribune]


A rendering showing how beach volleyball at Santa Monica Beach would look after an Olympics-style makeover. Credit LA 2024

• How Los Angeles landscapes could change if the city hosts the 2024 Olympic Games. [KCET]

Disney is a huge company, but its earnings news revolves around one unit: ESPN. [The New York Times]

• A U.C. Berkeley rugby player was paralyzed during a national championship match. [Sacramento Bee]


Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf celebrated a goal against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of their playoff series in Edmonton, Alberta. Credit Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

• After a history of playoff disappointments, the Ducks will seek redemption against the Oilers on Wednesday. [The New York Times]

Mario Maglieri died at 93. He presided over a rock ’n’ roll mini-empire that included West Hollywood’s Whisky a Go Go. [The New York Times]

• Actors in summer movies told how they won the roles — Tom Holland did back flips. [The New York Times]

• In her new book, HBO’s documentary chief Sheila Nevins dishes on the indignities of aging. [The New York Times]

And Finally …


Hiroshi Kashiwagi and his family were sent to the Tule Lake internment camp during World War II. Credit Alexander Thompson for The New York Times

It’s been 75 years since about 120,000 Japanese-Americans were rounded up and held at internment camps during World War II.

At the time, Japanese-Americans were given a questionnaire designed to assess their loyalty to the United States.

In California’s far north, the Tule Lake camp held those who answered “no” on two crucial questions: Would you swear “unqualified” allegiance to the country, and would you be willing to serve in military combat?

They became known as the no-noes, and even after the war they were ostracized by mainstream society.

In this new Daily 360 video, see what remains of the Tule Lake camp and listen to a survivor recall his experiences there.

Please note: Because of a technical issue, some photos in this newsletter may not appear for people using the Times iPad app.

Want to submit a photo for possible publication? You can do it here.

California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see:

The California Today columnist, Mike McPhate, is a third-generation Californian — born outside Sacramento and raised in San Juan Capistrano. He lives in Davis. Follow him on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

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