There Are Hipsters in the San Gabriel Valley

I don’t want anyone to be alarmed, but there are hipsters in the San Gabriel Valley.

They’re hard to escape these days — bearded, tattooed young guys wearing Vans and cool t-shirts emblazoned with logos for Nashville honkytonks, their hair either coiled up in a man bun or shaved off entirely, accompanied by beautiful tattooed braless young women of often indeterminate Hispaneuroasian ethnicity.

Jaydyn, Willa and their dim sum

San Gabriel Valley is as unhip as it gets. Why, then, are the hipsters there? I partially blame it on Jonathan Gold, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Angeleno food critic. Jonathan Gold was unhip, too — a portly, balding guy with suspenders and a squeaky voice. But he wrote with the music and flourish of a poet as he gleefully took the road less travelled to L.A.’s grittier corners in pursuit of a great meal. He was, as it turns out, was a muse for L.A.’s hip and intelligentsia, who could boast amongst one another of the most recent Jonathan Gold treasure they’d frequented. More

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The Curious Case of the Szechuan Peppercorn

One of the strangest culinary experiences I’ve ever had was more than a decade ago, when our friend from Szechuan, Guonan, invited us over for Szechuan hot pot.

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Among the more unusual items on the condiment plate that evening as we sat on the floor around a bubbling pot on the coffee table of her Marina del Rey apartment, gazing out at the twinkling lights of the boats in the harbor, was duck tongues. More