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Restaurants & Bars 32

Race Relations and BBQ Hunting in LA...

ryan wenger | Mar 25, 200402:14 AM

LA is a strage, wonderful place. My search for the most authentic carne asada, or the most flavorful el pastor has not only unearthed the forementioned; it has underscored the pitiful state of race politics in Los Angeles. My late night quest for Korean BBQ and early morning trek for Chicken and Waffles has forced me conclude that LA has not learned ver much since the Riots a decade ago. Melodramatic? Not nearly enough.

Everywhere I go to eat, I seem a stranger. Looking for the best bbq raises eyebrows from many of my white comrades at USC. Never before I moved from NY to LA would my I be questioned for considering fried chicken or BBQ ribs as possibly my favorite food. More of my friends than I would ever dream have been quick to note these foods Black heritage, as if it somehow implied that I wasn't sapposed to love it.

The fact that I do not seriously consider the ethnicity of a food confuses many of my peers. My persian girlfriend's mother can not believe that I would prefer her homeade gormey-sab-sib to ham. When I stop at random Taco Shops in East LA around my College, my friends seem to think I have a psychological problem--a fetish for mexican. Even the servers are extraordinarily amused by the a white kid ordering elpastor tacos and eating radishes. My "liberal" girlfriend claims that she will not eat with me becouse the places are "dirty" despite the A and B ratings dangling at their doors.

Perhaps the bigges absurdity is "white food" that thrills most of my white friends? A slightly above average cheeseburger--known by various codes to OC's elite--wrapped in bible verses; ethnic fusion food on sunset hip via their noticable lack of ethnic clientel or servers.

What happened in LA? I am having a fine time eating here;too bad i am alone in a crowded room.

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