Eater LA is a breathless site, with Balla posting several times a day to fulfill a "quota" from her New York bosses of four to six posts daily. It targets goings-on in restaurants, bars and nightclubs. "It's more about the scene and the industry," Balla says. She doesn't review restaurants, but she does review reviewers, who aren't often awarded any more stars than they dole out.
Eater LA is plugged in at both ends. Balla relies on connections, press releases and pavement pounding to post breaking news and gossip hourly, but there's a prominently displayed e-mail link for readers to pass along hot tips, providing the opportunity for ordinary pizza-loving, ramen-chasing folks to jump into the fray of the news-gathering process. The tipster network helps generate interest, hits, traffic -- and thus ad revenue.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday January 06, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
Blog writer: A Food section article Wednesday about Los Angeles-based food blogs said Eater LA's Dana Harris writes film reviews for Variety. She writes news stories.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday January 10, 2007 Home Edition Food Part F Page 3 Features Desk 0 inches; 26 words Type of Material: Correction
Blog writer: A Jan 3. article about Los Angeles-based food blogs stated that Eater LA's Dana Harris writes film reviews for Variety. She writes news stories.
It's this kind of traffic that is bringing more and more bloggers into the fray -- be they individual insomniacs in their fuzzy slippers or media organizations interested in expanding their audiences and brands. Longtime L.A.-based blogs include general interest sites such as Variety editor Pat Saperstein's posts of news and reviews at Eating LA or the lore- and history-rich Professor Salt, as well as highly focused chronicles such as the Great Taco Hunt and Eddie Lin's Deep End Dining.
Those voices have been joined in the past year by not only another handful of amateur online restaurant reviewers but also a "teenage glutster" and an impassioned farmers market commentator. And on the national front (but based in L.A.), Bon Appetit magazine launched a blog in May written by staff editors.
"The appetite for this information seems to be endless," says LA.com editor Lonny Pugh. "And the more the better. If you look at one, you look at them all. There doesn't seem to be a saturation point."
Too busy cooking to read
NOT everyone is convinced that the food world's appetites are best served by the exponentially expanding blogosphere. In an informal poll of L.A. chefs, Water Grill's David LeFevre said he thinks that food blogs are a "distraction" for himself and his staff, while Lucques' and A.O.C.'s Suzanne Goin admits to being "totally clueless" about them. On the other hand, Dakota Weiss of the Tower Bar and the Terrace says in an e-mail, "I'm on the Internet often reading them. I use them to see what's going on with other chefs and to keep up with trends."
And for those of us who are as plugged into the Web as we are to our KitchenAids, all those blogging food lovers are difficult to ignore.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
News, reviews and gossip
acmeinstantfood.blogspot.com Since April, this blogger has been posting recipes strung together with humorous diatribes. Some of the recipes are hilarious too -- for example, the Aaron Spelling gingerbread house.
colleencuisine.blogspot.com A chatty, personal restaurant-review blog. Very fond of Pinkberry.
deependdining.blogspot.com From Eddie Lin, a well-written and frequently posted blog that focuses on extreme culinary experiences such as the much-talked-about live octopus dish.
eatingla.blogspot.com Written by Pat Saperstein, an editor at Variety, this is an opinionated 2-year-old review and news blog with a focus on points east of Beverly Hills.
epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com This Orange County blogger, known as Chubbypanda, has been posting reviews and recipes since August.
erinskitchen.blogspot.com Enthusiastic cooking and review blog with postings about L.A., San Francisco and New York.
foodpornla.blogspot.com Launched in November, this is a photo-driven blog featuring commentary such as doughnut poetry and bacon-buying rants.
gastrologica.com By two guys, self-described as a gourmand and a chef. Strong though sometimes voluminous writing, with lots of pictures and a podcast.
gastronomy-101.blogspot.com Since May, an energetic attorney has been blogging here, sharing material from her reading, discussing such things as her problems with raw fish.
la.eater.com Since November, this L.A. spinoff of the New York blog Eater has been concentrating on local openings and closings, restaurant buzz and gossip; posts multiple times a day.
la.foodblogging.com The communal post is organized by one person but written by half a dozen occasionally changing writers. It's frequently updated, with good reviews from a variety of perspectives.
omgfood.blogspot.com A 6-month-old restaurant review blog by a freelance writer (and frequent Chowhound and La.foodblogging poster) based in Hollywood.
oishiieats.blogspot.com This restaurant review blog from a writer whose day job seems to be teaching kindergarten has a great blog roll (linking to other blogs) and is well organized.
www.potatomato.com/mt A restaurant review blog run by two graphic designers (and it shows) with an emphasis on photos and quick panoramic entries.
www.professorsalt.com Formerly \o7yougonnaeathat.com\f7. The author offers long, informative posts with lots of lore and history.