• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Check L.A. food blogs for choice picks

May 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many diners are taking a different approach to going out to eat: They're getting advice from food bloggers -- reviews of food and service, even the noise level -- about a restaurant posted on food review Web sites"Everyone relies so much on word of mouth and reviews," says Neil Kohan, Just One Plate. "Not everyone has enough time to say, 'I'm going to try all the new restaurants and build my own opinion.'"

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch the accompanying video to this story.

Blogger Neil Kohan likes foodgps.com and foodmarathon.blogspot.com. His site, justoneplate.com features one chef, one recipe and 10 questions to the owner. Kohan likes this idea as it allows consumers to try something at home if they don't have the cash to go out. But he says there are countless others for those looking for that "special" food.

"There's people that focus on Ramen, there's people that focus on vegan, there's people who focus on burgers," says Kohan.

Then there's Lesley Balla, who's fondly known as the go-to person for what's happening food-wise in Los Angeles.

"I'm breaking news about restaurants, where the chefs are going, what's opening and closing," says Balla. "I'm almost always first, or try to be."

By industry standards eaterla.com is one of the most credible sites for food. Yet Editor Lesley Balla says everyone from "hobby bloggers" to paid posters are blogging about food. There are many levels of blogging out on the Web.

"Chowhound and Yelp aren't really considered blogs," says Balla. "They're considered forums, message boards completely open to the public, anybody can post."

"It's not fair. A lot of these people don't have pedigrees to be putting a restaurant on blast without any kind of true culinary experience," says Kohan.

Yet consumer postings offer a certain writing style, even preference of flavors that many enjoy reading and following, education or not. Some would argue they might not know the culinary details of making a pizza, but they certainly appreciate the taste of a good one.

Even though it's clearly an opinion, many consumers often appreciate the tips that bloggers provide, although restaurateurs and chefs might have a different opinion. Remember, many bloggers use aliases and they can make or break a reputation.

"They can say whatever they want, and no one knows who they are and you have no idea if they know what they're talking about," says Jason Travi, Fraiche.

And since everybody has a bad day, chef and owner Akasha Richmond feels this rule should be followed..

"A legitimate food critic will come to your restaurant three or four times and give you a lot of chances," says Richmond. "Because they know it's a restaurant. Things change every day."

Many experts check the food blogs on the L.A. Times Web site, The Daily Variety Web site, along with food magazines such as Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazine as well.

Blog sites:

Eater LA

Just One Plate

Food GPS

Food Marathon

Chowhound

Yelp


Load Comments