There’s nothing quite like a good history lesson but text books can end up being such a bore. This book is a little bit different though. Author Josh Kun released his new book, To Live and Dine in LA: Menus and the Making of the Modern City, on June 13th and it’s full of a vast history of LA’s food scene told through menus. From the design, to the location, to the food on the menu, Josh is painting a beautiful portrait of LA and the different restaurants that have inhabited the city over the years.
With over 200 different menus dating as far back as the nineteenth century, To Live and Dine in LA teaches you everything you need to know about the ever-expanding food scene of the city. Getting a good look at some of these older menus gives you a grasp on the way LA’s restaurants have grown and changed over time. It really lets you feel what LA was like during each specific time and place based solely on the food everyone was consuming.
The book isn’t just about gawking over delicious food and vintage menus though—there’s a strong message of food justice in the book. Each menu teaches what the politics, economics, and sociology of eating at the time were like. What neighborhoods in LA were eating big meals? What neighborhoods were serving smaller portions? It’s all in this book and it’s all extremely interesting.
To Live and Dine in LA is more than just a book of menus—it’s the “definitive way to read a menu for more than just what to order.”