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Food - A Culinary Journey through L.A.

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Task 1: Read the text "A Culinary Journey"

Task 2: What can you say about the culinary diversity in L.A.?

Task 3: Compare this diversity with your hometown ­– what are the similarities and differences?

Task 4: Can you think of any problems that might occur from such a culinary diversity in a multi-cultural society?

From Tom Ka Gai to Tamales

A Culinary Journey Through the City's Ethnic Enclaves

Los Angeles is the most spread-out city in America; it is also one of the most diverse. Once you know your way around Los Angeles, the excitement lies in being able to maneuver your way from Little Tokyo to Little India, from Melrose to Malibu, where the surfer-dudes and blondes-in-bikinis really do look like they've just stepped out of a movie.


Drive along Broadway Street downtown on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and you'll think you're in Mexico City. Everyone speaks Spanish, from the vendors hawking little girls’ party dresses or papayas-on-a-stick to Latino families doing their weekly shopping. See the colorful murals in East Los Angeles, shop for fresh corn tortillas and handmade tamales, then listen to a battle of the mariachi bands in El Mercado. At the Grand Central Market, choose from Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Mexican specialties, including the best gorditas in L.A. See our 10 Best LA Mexican restaurants.   


Los Angeles is home to the largest Korean population in America, much of it concentrated between Western and Vermont avenues. In Koreatown, you'll find everything from barbecue, noodles and dumplings to all-you-can-eat buffets. Try B.C.D. Tofu House or Shin Jung. To experience the thriving Korean nightclub scene, check out Chapman Market which has a number of upscale Korean clubs and restaurants including Toe Bang.


A center of Japanese culture and history, Little Tokyo has become a tourist destination where you can find authentic Japanese food, restaurants and products from electronics to fine china. You can even get a Japanese massage and stay in a Japanese-style suite at the elegant Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens. In West L.A., Sawtelle Boulevard between Olympic and Santa Monica boulevards, has become a Little Tokyo West. Here, you'll find Japanese restaurants and noodle shops, several wonderful Japanese nurseries, even Japanese video stores. See our 10 Best LA Sushi bars.   


In old-fashioned Chinatown downtown, you'll find Hollywoody Chinese-palace architecture, mostly Cantonese restaurants and shops selling everything from ginseng root to air-dried Chinese ducks. With its giant Hong Kong-style restaurants, including NBC Seafood and Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant, upscale Monterey Park is the destination for those in search of authentic dim sum or Chinese seafood. See our 10 Best LA Chinese restaurants.


On Fairfax Avenue between Melrose and Beverly, you'll find kosher restaurants, kosher markets and a landmark Jewish deli, Canter's, which sells giant hot-pastrami sandwiches and knishes 24 hours a day. The neighborhood is also home to many Russian shops and restaurants, for this has become the center of L.A.'s Jewish-Russian émigré community. Pico Boulevard, running west from Fairfax towards Century City, has lately become a Kosher Restaurant Row, with numerous places including the Milky Way, which belongs to one of L.A.'s most famous Jewish mothers, Leah Adler, mom of mega-director Steven Spielberg.   


Leimert Park, near Crenshaw and Leimert, is a center of African-American artistic life. The jazz scene here is thriving, especially at Fifth Street Dick's, a coffeehouse and after-hours club where local musicians and jazz superstars perform. For Ethiopian food, try restaurants along Fairfax Avenue between Pico and Wilshire such as Nyala. For upscale Southern-style food and star spotting, head to The Porch at House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard.


In Little India you can find saris and sitars, Indian restaurants representing every region of the subcontinent and shops selling the 24-karat-gold jewelry that Indians prefer. The action is clustered along Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia. Expect to find cafés and take-outs featuring vegetarian cuisine or meats roasted in the traditional Indian wood-burning clay tandoori oven. There are also Indian spice shops, sari shops and cafés clustered in Culver City. See our 10 Best LA Indian restaurants.   


Turn south on Westwood Boulevard from Wilshire Boulevard, and suddenly you're in the heart of L.A.'s Iranian commercial area, with its abundance of Persian grocery stores, cafés and restaurants like Shahrzad. Pick up meats and spices for making your backyard-barbecue kebabs, and don't forget the basmati rice and sticky-sweet Persian pastries.


[ Source: http://www.gayot.com/cityguides/losangeles/ethnicla.html - 9 NOV 2009 ]