Imaan Jalali

in Food & Drinks

The Southern California Food Trucks Phenomenon

What do you get when you combine the two internationally acclaimed pastimes of cars and food? The food truck, where gustatory urges can be satisfied at a mini-restaurant that just so happens to be supported by the chassis of a machine on wheels. Granted, food trucks haven’t always been in fashion, and only since late last decade have they become popular with the in-crowd. Truth be told, they were usually thought to be an unsanitary, uncouth way to grab a meal, unless the direst need to grub presented itself. Now, the stereotype has taken a sharp turn, and Southern California food trucks are perceived as a source for open-minded and loyal aficionados of cuisine. The would-be owners of these trucks, too, now come from unexpected places, like advertising, and are the practical kind, who just want to start a business that requires no rent and “far less start-up capital” (Katy McLaughlin, Wall Street Journal). Attuned to the inner-workings of the market, the owners of these popular trucks have effectively mobilized social media support, appealing to the grab-and-go youth culture, while sustaining “underground” consumer loyalty. This is especially true in Los Angeles, which is home to 15 of the “101 Best Food…

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in SoCal Trends

Playing the Game of Attraction in L.A.

Over the years, the “City of Angels” has rightly or wrongly acquired the reputation for being diabolically difficult for singles. The vast expanse of Southern California, which, while on the surface offers never-ending options, is considered to actually be a treacherous trap with no endgame and added stress (Rebecca Haithcoat, LAWeekly). In addition, as Damona Hoffman of the Huffington Post contends, many of Los Angeles’ inhabitants might be more preoccupied with the city’s culture of fame, making it a battle of on-the-spot analysis to determine true intentions. Yet, the answer to the love riddle, perhaps shrouded more than ever, has been the same as it has been from antiquity until now—balance. You might say balance is the key to a healthy, ordered, and prosperous life. This philosophy is not new, either, as it has been around since the halcyon days of Aristotle, who espoused moderation. Throughout mankind, straddling the happy medium has applied to a spectrum of activities—from food, drink, work, school, hobbies, TV, the Internet, and so on. Yet, people don’t often include the pursuit of love—and its maintenance once it’s earned—as something that should be both nurtured and tempered with restraint. Nevertheless, what ignites the flame of attraction that leads to…

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The Lowdown on “Tainted Love” in L.A.

Imagine a roaring heat rising through your body, up to your neckline and above. Your face, now colored with a red tint, is burning, and you can’t help but tug at your collar. But this is not an unwelcome or painful episode; it is the elusive rush of passionate attraction, an animal magnetism pushing you to overcome the inhibition of convention, and leap into the lips of your soul mate sitting across the café table. Sadly, many Southern California residents are growing cynical to the idea that they could ever find their true love, let alone be able to sustain eye contact long enough to ignite any impassioned flame. No, not because they are necessarily becoming more bashful; instead, it is presumed to be the lethal combination of mobile phones and the narcissistic allure of the Hollywood backdrop. The relationships that do form are perceived to be for convenience, economics, and/or boisterous undulations of only the bodily kind. Somehow the age-old stereotypes about dating in Southern California have taken on gospel-like meaning, though they haven’t, at the very least, favored one sex over the other. The guys and gals of So-Cal have equally faulted each other, the former being reduced to musclehead, techie, surfer, or…

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