Los Angeles

Is there such a thing as Los Angeles cuisine?

Thanks to Kristin’s List for a pointer to this free lecture at a great local resource, the Hammer Museum:

When you go to a Chicago-style restaurant, you might expect hot dogs or deep-dish pizza. A New York-style restaurant might serve old- fashioned Italian-American seafood or giant steaks. “Philly” signifies cheesesteaks; “Buffalo,” chicken wings; “Seattle,” salmon and blueberries.

Los Angeles cooking, from designer sushi through Asian fusion through barbecue chicken pizza, is perhaps some of the most influential in the world. But like Los Angeles-made movies, rock ‘n’ roll and sportswear, the local cuisine is universal enough to transcend regionality. Nobody thinks of McDonald’ or Johnny Rockets as coming from Southern California. They think of them as coming from America.

Zócalo brings together a panel of prominent local chefs that will include, among others, Michael Cimarusti, co-owner and executive chef, Providence Restaurant; Octavio Becerra, chef and owner, Palate Food & Wine; Evan Kleiman, executive chef, Angeli Caffe and host of the Good Food show on KCRW, to ask what exactly Los Angeles cuisine might be. Moderated by Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly, the panel will consider whether Los Angeles cuisine owes more to the confluence of global cultures or the extraordinary local produce, to car culture or to pure imagination? And where is it going?

When: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 beginning at 7:00pm
Where: The Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
Cost: Free, but reservations are encouraged. Reserve your seat via the Zócalo website.

Presented by Zócalo, “a cultural forum for the new L.A.,” and the Hammer Museum.