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The Best Food Writing from the James Beard Awards The Ten Best Food Stories You Should Read From the James Beard Awards

Need something good to read? Check out these food-related longreads on bananas, omega-3s, and Los Angeles eats.

If you don't live near any of the restaurants honored in last week's James Beard Awards, at least you can still read the great stories nominated in the journalism categories.

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Food for Thinkers: Why We Don't Need Any More Anonymous Critics

Anonymous food critics, come out of hiding! Food is too important an issue for our smartest voices to lurk in the shadows.

Late last year, Los Angeles's food world was upended when the veteran Los Angeles Times critic S. Irene Virbila went out to dinner. After 45 minutes of waiting for a table at a buzzy, busy new restaurant, she was approached by one of the restaurant's young partners, but he was not there to seat her party of four. Instead, he snapped a rather unflattering, red-eyed photo of her, dismissed her from the restaurant, then triumphantly posted the image along with a disapproving rant about her writing on their website. In 16 years of being the Times's critic, Virbila had not once had such a photo taken, yet in a single moment, her anonymity had been snatched out from under her. She had been, as the Times dramatically put it, "unmasked."

When a surreptitious camera phone can plaster someone's photo across a Facebook page before they've handed their keys to the valet, it sounds ridiculous that any critic would attempt to retain their anonymity. Last year, The New York Times critic Sam Sifton was followed by the blog Eater after he mentioned via Twitter he was leaving the office to go purchase KFC's poultry abomination, the Double Down. The photos of him eating it were posted promptly, as was Sifton's "review" where he noted the "geek paparrazzi" hiding in Herald Square's landscaping.

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Each year Jonathan Gold treks through the greater Los Angeles county in search of the perfect dumpling, ceviche, or curry on behalf of his fellow Angelenos. The result is a kind of foodie gospel that residents (and visitors) reference when they need a culinary awakening, or just a good huarache to tell their friends about. But the best thing about his list may be that it gives you a point of entry to the otherwise vast, sprawling land mass that is Los Angeles County. To that end, we've highlighted the neighborhoods where one could eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner according to Mr. Gold's recommendations (and a couple others because we like them). Bon appetit!

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