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In Los Angeles, you will often hear the words "ethnic," "traditional," "authentic" and "exotic" to describe food other than cupcakes, hashbrowns, hamburgers and subway sandwiches. If you venture into the San Gabriel Valley, you'll find that the city is pretty well endowed when it comes to Chinese food, but the dishes you'll find in Chinatown versus Monterey Park vary widely.
At the downtown Central Library this Saturday, Andrew Coe, author of Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States, will be speaking about the evolution of Chinese cuisine in America, as influenced by immigration laws and consumer tastes. Hosted by the Culinary Historians of Southern California, the event is free and will be followed by a reception including "themed" refreshments.
Chinese Banquets on Gold Mountain: the History of Chinese Food in the American West: Saturday, March 13 at 10:30 a.m.; Mark Taper Auditorium at the downtown Central Library; 630 W. 5th St.