Enter the Hungry? and Thirsty? guides for Los Angeles. Ask either of these two thin neon guides and you shall receive an answer. A kind of hip take on Zagat's guides, these two little books answer their respective questions in depth, breaking down the sprawl of L.A.'s many neighborhoods to deliver precise drinkographic and foodological descriptions.
The Hungry? Book divides L.A. into eleven sections of gastronomical merit, taking you on a grand gut odyssey; starting from the many elderly attended Jewish delis of the valley, looping through Glendale's Armenian delights, cutting down through the high-end eateries of Hollywood and Downtown, taking a right through the soul food and ethnic delicacies of South L.A. and circling back up north through the burritos of the beach cities and the rows of Westside sushi joints.
The Thirsty? guide is a bit more complex, featuring 13 areas, four of which are essentially parts of Hollywood and its adjacent neighborhoods. It's not quite worth the DUI to make a day trip boozing around L.A., but the guide gives a good sense of what every neighborhood has to offer, from the grimy dives on the outskirts, to the expensive anorexic posturing of hip young Hollywood.
Both guides lay claim to being “the lowdown on where the real people” eat or drink, which makes you wonder a little bit if you will cease to be a real Angeleno if you don't go to a place in one of these manuals. But ridiculous statements aside, these books are substantive enough to assist not just the rosy faced tourist, but the over-it La-La land lifer as well.
With a variety of helpful mini lists and asides covering everything from where the best patios are to how to get into bars if you're underaged (anonymously written), these guides deftly avoid the monotony of reading a selection from the yellow pages.
So slide over that empty bottle of Smart Water you've been hiding in your glove compartment, and make some room, because you might not be answering ‘yes' to the questions posed by these guides this exact minute; but chances are, you will be soon.
To purchase the Hungry? and Thirsty? guides and for more information, visit www.hungrycity.com.