What You'll Need:

  • A general idea of the type of cuisine or specific dish you would like to eat, or not eat

  • The number of people in your party

  • A price range of how much you would like to pay for your meal

  • The part of town where you will dine

  • A note of any special considerations (i.e., kid- or dog-friendly seating, a strategically placed television so you can keep an eye on the Dodgers no matter where you're seated, an intolerance of communal tables, you only eat purple foods that start with the letter Q and other dietary restrictions, etc.)

  • Pen and paper


1. Keeping the above parameters in mind, call, text or email your food blogger friend and ask for a few restaurants that might fit your criteria.

2. Use the pen and paper to take copious notes.


  • When you can't quite figure out where you want to eat, most food bloggers are more than happy to offer a few suggestions — many, in fact, are current or reformed lawyers, consultants and therapists whose careers are, or were, devoted to giving advice in some form or another. That said, on a scale from Moviefone to Yelp, your blogger buddy is probably somewhere in between: Not an automated system that responds when you press 1 for burger recommendations, 2 for ramen and so on, but not quite the over-opinionated white noise that Yelp can be, either. Thus, treat (and thank) her accordingly.

  • Although your friendly neighborhood food blogger has a wealth of food-related information, there probably is a limit to these riches. A good rule of thumb is to cap your vetoes to five: Lest your friend ends up feeling like the poor sap tasked with giving samples of vegan bacon to Ron Swanson, try consulting another source or going with a reliable standby (Pizzeria Mozza, Chung King) if the first five recommendations or so just don't work for you.

  • Don't underestimate your own intuitions, or overestimate the blogger's. That is, your buddy probably can tell you where to have lunch for ten bucks or less during the one hour you have while on jury duty in Van Nuys (Takatis Pollo a la Brasa, perhaps), but is this a place your sister-in-law's 22-year-old friend from Rocky Ripple, Indiana, will enjoy on her very first visit to Los Angeles? Maybe. Probably. But only you and Rocky Ripple truly know the answer to that one.

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