Sorry New York, California Is Just Better Now - Eater
Written just because the red hats have been trash talking California a lot lately. My allegedly MS-13 over run state. (How does that work despite all the ICE agent “liberated towns” some speak of?) I digress. Our taxes are so high everybody is leaving. Really? Nope. When counted as a rate, not raw number (adjusted for population iow) Texas has more people leaving.
Our economy is famously strong. If our liberal ways were so bad, how is it the state emerged earlier than Trumpland from the Great Recession? In part by feeding millions with migrant labor and international investments. With hard industries like technology, aerospace and soft industries like entertainment.
De we really deserve contempt for fouling water air and land less than most?
California is now the most influential force in American dining. That’s right, it isn’t New York. Not any longer. Sure, the great city will always produce blockbusters and occasional, wonderful novelties; Queens is an undervalued wonderland of cuisines. But NYC, as an engine of influence, is stagnant. This is a time in Manhattan to fall back in love with neighborhood trattorias. And I’m not the only one who finds it sluggish.
Instead, this is California’s moment. Its brightest food minds are now the ones shepherding what shows up on plates nationwide; they advance the cuisines to which we gravitate. This West Coast cogency is a relatively new phenomenon. Of course, California has for decades been the paradise of plenty, the Left Coast frontier from which chefs, farmers, and dreamers espoused the seasonal, local, farm-to-table philosophy that is now rote. But it has long been New York’s culinary talent — and its relentless media machine — that disseminated the ideas that defined restaurant culture across the country.
Now, with a reach that spans the continent, California holds the space for both deep tradition and wild experimentation. It is the most powerful force in food today. I know this in my marrow. As Eater’s national critic for over four years, I wander some corner of this land nearly every week. But constantly I find myself wanting to return to California, not only to revel in the obvious (but still radical) freshness of its food, but also to witness the unbridled creativity coming out of its two major cities.
I say the red hats are actually jealous. In a mean spirited (like the boss) take down what you can’t call your own way.