The Monster doesn’t eat beef, pork, lamb, veal, quail, pheasant, buffalo or ostrich. No white sauces of any kind. Sour cream, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, milk, and yogurt are all verboten. Just the smell of cold cheese makes The Monster leave the room. Why then does The Monster love pizza and chicken parmigiana so much he eats them for breakfast? Mac n Cheese, yes, Cheetos, no. As a child The monster made eggs. Scrambled and sunny side up. He wouldn’t dare touch them now. The Monster despises olives. Rhone wines where he can taste the filthy beast’s presence shall not be poured at The Monster’s dinner table. And yet, The Monster is often found happily dousing his bread with olive oil. Mushrooms scare The Monster. Tempeh and tofu and seitan are the devil’s work. Love fruit but won’t touch a banana or peach. Banana and peach flavored candies are The Monster’s favorites. Never had a cup of coffee. The Monster likes coffee ice cream. The Monster likes ice cream but not dairy products. The Monster drinks no soda but is an ardent supporter of vodka and fine wine. The Monster chews no gum. Until The Monster was in living in Kingston, Jamaica, at the time the most dangerous city in the Western hemisphere, volunteering in the prisons, and taking classes The Monster doesn’t recall ever having a salad. The Monster eats them regularly now. Unless of course they have mushrooms or olives or bleu cheese or ranch or thousand island. Ice is preferably finely crushed and water must have lemon. Chicken wings and sushi should share the same menu. So too would crawfish etouffee and saltado de camarones. Because The Monster has a craving for both. At the same time. And maybe even together. Fried chicken deserves its own holiday. National Cioppino Day has a nice ring. The Monster bows down to the goddess they call crab.
Such is the story of a man who endeavored to eat at every restaurant in Zagat in Los Angeles. A man who saw a city almost five hundred square miles large, with over 13 million inhabitants, speaking over two hundred and twenty different languages, without a functioning mass transit system and decided to make it his own by eating. And eating well.
This is about the joy, heartache, passion and love we find while eating. Alone, with friends and equally with strangers, with loved ones and ones we once loved, with those we hate or those we will, we are the first on our planet to make eating a pastime. To make cooking a sport and food an international hobby. To make meals more than a mode of survival but rather a method of defining who are and who we want to be.
This is the story of a man who wanted to eat it all. And did.
Three thousand plus restaurants later The Monster has eaten at every restaurant in the 2011 Zagat Guide! And he just keeps on eating.
Here’s what you can expect as The Monster charts the journey from moving to LA and having his first meal to finishing the last of this great adventure…
A detailed look at the final twenty restaurants culminating in the last meal at legendary LA institution Pink’s that was saved for fourteen years. The final meal was a charity event, raising almost $9000 for the James Cancer Hospital.
The highs and lows of eating in LA with tips on where to go, what to eat and how to best feed the monster. This will include many restaurants not in Zagat that are delicious, inexpensive and little known.
Reviews and critiques on restaurants around the world during the course of The Monster’s travels.
How Mama Monster and Papa Monster played a huge part in The Monster’s insatiable appetite for food and drink. And how Mrs. Monster became his partner in crime nine years ago.
The opportunity to ask the only person in the world ever to have eaten at every restaurant in the Zagat guide in a single city any food related questions you may have…Where’s the best place to go on a first date? Where can I take my parents that is great but not too expensive? I have a client in town and need a quiet place to conduct business? I’m in Koreatown but feel like Greek food, help? Where’s the best Cioppino? Fried chicken? Pizza? Ice cream?
This is the art of eating. This is how I ate my way through LA. This is how I fed the monster.