California Cuisine: The Word Cloud
More than a few chefs at restaurants specializing in some variation of California cuisine prostrate themselves at the alter of Alice Waters; others harness the state's resources for edgier displays. Either way, when you eat out a lot, you might run into roasted beets with goat cheese, tuna tartare, and poached farm eggs draped over asparagus spears a little more often than you'd like.
Just for fun, we randomly snagged dinner menus from five critically acclaimed restaurants in the LA Weekly Restaurant Guide -- Spago, Michael's, AOC, The Foundry, and Campanile -- and generated a word cloud using the ingredients in listed appetizers and entrees. The process wasn't scientific, but the result -- a verbena-scented, balsamic-drenched catering van pile-up at the junction of the 10 and 405 -- both confirms and defies preconceptions.