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What We Often Miss When Writing About Chinese Food in America

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Plus a craft beer delivery innovator, and how you can win a free pop-up restaurant space

Chengdu Impression 6
Chengdu Impression
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

The perils of it all

Vice’s Munchies imprint has recently published a bold longform story about the perils of writing about Chinese food when you are, in fact, Chinese yourself. The piece is from sometimes Eater contributor Clarissa Wei, who spent much of last year traveling through China and picking up recipes. Now back stateside, she notes that the way the food media continues to cover Chinese food in America is one often of exotic infatuation, which is itself a pretty tricky prospect.

Wei argues that most of what Westerners know about Chinese food and culture comes through a very narrow band, often one that has already been through the ringer of outside influences (like Wades-Giles phonetic spelling of places like “Canton” instead of Guangdong province). The story also tackles the inherent issues of food “discovery” by often white male writers, when the culture being discussed — often by someone who doesn’t speak the language and assumes there’s no use asking questions to anyone in a restaurant because of a social barrier — is actually many thousands of years old. It’s an intriguing, important read, so go check it out.

For the love of craft beer

There’s a craft beer home delivery model on the market, and its name is CraftX. The monthly service distinguishes itself from the competition by skewing extremely local, letting customers in on great releases from breweries nearby (as well as up and down the state) and, eventually, across state lines. They’ll also be working exclusively with hard-to-get stuff that isn’t being canned or bottled already, so this will be your only real chance outside of a growler fill (if even that) to get some of these take-home brews from places like Inland Empire Brewing, Home Brewing, and more.

Good-cause baking

Union in Pasadena is the latest location for the rolling Bake & Gather series, where pastry chefs, bakeries, and more donate their time and product for an old school bake sale, with proceeds benefiting Planned Parenthood.

More Starbucks, still

Looks like even more Starbucks action around town, as some Los Feliz planning paperwork points to the former Tangier space getting taken over by a new Starbucks with an on-site restaurant. It seems there’s no stopping the coffee crush that continues to come to Los Feliz.

Frida finds itself

Looks like two new locations for casual Frida Mexican Cuisine. The budding chainlet has locations in Westwood, Beverly Hills, Torrance, and at the Americana in Glendale, but is adding to its repertoire by taking over a former El Torito in Cerritos and another space in at the Galleria in Sherman Oaks.

Win your way in

Want in on a free pop-up space, with some prize money to boot? Check out Moreno St. Market in Montclair, where the folks behind Montclair Place are giving away a summertime-only stall and $5,000 to anyone who submits the best concept application. It’s open enrollment now, with the top five finalists being announced on Monday, May 15.

Santa Monica is Rawkin’

Looks like another location for Rawkin’ Juice, a healthy-eating cold press juice spot and vegan restaurant originally from Burbank. The new location at 705 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica is almost ready, with an opening slated for May 1. Expect daily hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.