By Jasmine Zahedi
A self-proclaimed foodie, I always look forward to tackling restaurants on my “must-eat” list. And living in Los Angeles, where the food culture is so widespread, makes this the easiest and the most fun activity to do on weekends. I make a concerted effort to go somewhere new with my friends at least once a week. This way not only do I get an excuse to do something that I love—eat—but I also get to share this passion with people that are close to me.
Currently, my list has 40 eateries, organized by location, that I have yet to visit and 64 places that I have already had the fortune of trying out. These numbers might seem crazily high, but I started this list my freshman year and it only continues to grow. I add restaurants to my list mainly after hearing about them from other foodie friends or after seeing them on Instagram. My personal favorite food Instagrams are eater_LA and dineLA. I love seeing their pictures on my feed because it inspires me to continue on my foodie adventure.
Recently, I visited Zinc Café and Market during a roomie brunch, and I highly recommend it as a place for a relaxing meal and maybe even as a place to study and get some work done. I am also a huge fan of the chashu hash skillet from JiST Café in Little Tokyo, anything from Daily Dose Café, and the ricotta toast from Sqirl. As you can see, I am extremely partial to brunch.
Being a foodie is not limited to living in Los Angeles. When I was an intern in Taipei last summer for eight weeks, I discovered a food culture that was almost greater than that in Los Angeles. Taiwanese people take pride in the various 小吃 (xiǎochī), which means snacks, that they have to offer, and nowhere is this more evident than in the crowded and bustling night markets found throughout the large cities. While in Taiwan, my friends and I visited night markets at least once a week and fawned over the shaved ice, the scallion pancake wraps, and all the fresh fruit. In addition, I religiously followed A Hungry Girl’s Guide to Taipei, which not only categorized restaurants by price range but also by location in relation to subway stops.
Whenever I start talking about Taiwan with someone who has been before, the first thing that comes up is always (and inevitably) food. Have you tried the boba from that little street cart in Gongguan? Or the scallion pancake wrap with eggs and sausage from the vendor in Dongmen? The answer is always YES because Taiwan has such a big food culture that everyone knows about and participates in.
I’ve honestly noticed that a significant amount of conversations I have with friends revolve around food; that just shows how important food is to all of us. Food brings people together and connects people of various cultures and walks of life so, if you’re looking to connect with someone, try a food-related opener. The results might surprise you!
Featured image by Eaters Collective on Unsplash