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Secret Foodie: An Interview with Christian Lander, Author of Stuff White People Like

Christian Lander, with baguette in tow.
Jess Lander

There are foodies hiding everywhere. One of them is Culver City resident Christian Lander, creator of the blog mega-hit Stuff White People Like, author of the New York Times best seller of the same name, and host of PC Hook-up with Christian Lander. He recently took the time to chat with us about his take on food in Los Angeles. Here's what he had to say:

Christian Lander, with baguette in tow.
Christian Lander, with baguette in tow.
Jess Lander

Squid Ink: First, the obvious question. What do white people like to eat in L.A.? What do they hate?

Christian Lander: This is a super controversial question. On one hand, you have the west side white people who are all the way organic, vegan, gluten-free, celebrity chef type people. Then you have more of the foodie/hipsters who actively seek out ethnic restaurants where they will probably eat something that has come from a pig. I usually like to tell vegetarians that if you order a water in the San Gabriel Valley there's a good chance that it will have pork in it. But all white people hate the Cheesecake Factory/Grand Lux Cafe in the Beverly Center. They actually hate all national casual dining restaurants.

SI: What about you? Have you always been a big foodie? What got it all started for you?

CL: I've always been a huge foodie, it's hard for me to think of a specific event that started it. I think it stems more from a direct order from my mother. She grew up in England and eventually moved to Canada with her parents when she was in high school. Subsequently this meant that she grew up with an English palate that she hated. Boiled meat, potatoes, no spice. So when she had kids she decreed that my brother and I would eat EVERYTHING that the city of Toronto had to offer, and we did. The intended consequence was having two sons who love eating, the unintended consequence was two chubby children.

SI: You're known to be a staunch supporter of bicycle riding in Los Angeles. What's the furthest you've biked for a meal?

CL: Culver City to Little Tokyo for Daikokuya.

SI: Burgers are a hot topic in right now. Where's your favorite?

CL: Pie N' Burger in Pasadena. It's just so classically California, I always say it's like the Wonder Years on a bun. Yes I know Wonder Years was set on the East Coast, but come on.

SI: If you were moving away from Los Angeles for the next ten years and couldn't come back, what's the one restaurant you'd make sure to dine in before you left?

CL: Do any restaurants in L.A. serve poison? I can't imagine having to leave for ten years. But I would probably go to Hide Sushi on Sawtelle. It's not the greatest meal in Los Angeles, but it's always so good and it holds a special place in my heart as the place for celebratory meals.

SI: Do you read any food blogs (other than this one, of course)?

CL: Serious Eats, Oishii Eats, Eater LA and all the links my wife (who is the bigger foodie) sends me.


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