“Lesley, I’m truly sorry you feel you have to keep defending yourself in this situation. I’m a little disgusted that so many (mean) comments have been sent to you about something so trivial and irrelevant. You were trying to relay some information about the upcoming Taste of Newport (a food event!), and these ding-dongs have to go batshit because you stated a PREFERENCE about one performer vs. another in the first sentence. I’m sorry you have to waste your time with this and that these ding-dongs won’t let it go.


Dave, our newest blog brother, jumped headlong into controversy the first chance he got, talking directly to the xenophobes who revealed their ignorance on the subject of food trucks. Dave put out a point-by-point argument on Nov. 18 defending all “roach coaches.” On unfounded fears regarding food-truck sanitation, he memorably wrote:

Kogi: Overexposed, schmoverexposed!
Keith May
Kogi: Overexposed, schmoverexposed!

Location Info


A La Carte

1915 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > Gourmet

Region: Laguna Beach

“Let’s just get this right out of the way: I have eaten at food vendors from Hong Kong to London. I have eaten so-called ‘dirty water’ hot dogs, barbecue brisket, grilled squid on sticks, Mexico City-style quesadillas de huitlacoche and, yes, Korean grilled pork tacos, and I have never gotten sick. Not only have I never gotten sick from a mobile vendor, but I don’t know anyone who has ever gotten sick from food from a mobile vendor. I have, however, gotten food poisoning on multiple occasions at brick-and-mortar restaurants. Now, while the ratio of time I eat at mobile vendors vs. brick-and-mortar restaurants is fairly low, it’s definitely high enough that I should have gotten sick by now if sanitation were the issue the detractors say it is.”


But controversy gets bitter if there isn’t some feel-good fluff to sweeten the palate once in a while.

For our weekly “On the Line” feature, we bugged, cajoled and begged local chefs and restaurateurs to answer our standard set of eight frivolously inconsequential and not-so-probing questions to find out things like what kitchen tools they find indispensable, what’s always inside their home iceboxes, and what fast-food restaurants they will admit to liking. But then there’s what happened when we asked them to complete the following Mad Lib:

“I would like to [verb] [Food Network star] with [noun].”

Some responses were respectful, even deferential to Mario Batali and others. Those—how to put it delicately?—sucked. The following answers were much better—and just might lead to beefed-up security around Food Network’s NYC HQ.

“I would love to do away with Rachael Ray.” (Ray White of Veggie Grill, Dec. 15)

“I would like to call Rachael Ray a liar! She recommended a restaurant in Atlanta, and we went out of our way to eat there in hot and humid weather, and it was horrible!” (James Sar of Cambinos Asian BBQ, Nov. 3)

“I would insist Sandra Lee make an entire meal from scratch.” (Mark Cleveland of Avanti Cafe, Oct. 27)

“I would very much like to feed Guy Fieri to his hairdresser.” (Deborah Schneider of SOL Cocina, Sept. 29)

“I would like to baste Bobby Flay with Mario Batali’s drippings. Whatever that means.” (Steve Samson of Pizzeria Ortica, June 30)

“I would like to sodomize Guy Fieri with a white-hot can of Cheese-Whiz.” (Dave Mau of the Retreat, July 21)

“I would like to slather butter on Paula Dean.” (Marc Cohen of Watermarc, July 7)

“I would like to shower Rachael Ray with EVOO!” (Amar Santana of Charlie Palmer’s, July 28)

“I would like to drive to Las Vegas with Alton Brown in the Wienermobile.”(Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery, Aug. 18)

“I would like to spoon with Giada de Laurentiis.” (Aron Habiger of the Crosby, Sept. 15)

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