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Welcome to TreasureMA!

10 Sep

Welcome to my Boston food and entertainment blog TreasureMA!

Let me start with the obvious: I love food and drinks. Fine dining, street food, beer, cocktails – I can’t get enough of it (as long as it’s done well). I spend way too much of my day thinking about what has turned into an admittedly unhealthy obsession. But it’s about more than what is on the plate or in the glass for me. It’s about knowing the whole story – how it got there and the personalities involved.

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Veronica Rathbourn of Dog & a Duck Marketing (@Vxronica), Me, and Drago Centro Bar Manager and 2012 Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Jaymee Mandeville (@JaymeeLA), on the day I announced I was moving to Cambridge

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been able to just simply enjoy what is in front of me. If I like something, I need to know everything I can about it. For example, music has always been an integral part of my life. When I started to become a fan of many small bands struggling to make it into the industry, I started learning everything I could about the economics of the music industry. I delved into the history of copyright law, studied spreadsheets on financing tours, and couldn’t stop thinking about the ethics and business side of piracy. One day I woke up and realized I had all of this information that is relatively useless to me (I have no musical ability and will never be able to fake my way into a band), but it might be helpful to others. Another thing you should know about me is that I love to share knowledge. Being a college professor was a dream of mine for a long time. UCLA gave me the opportunity to teach a 10 week course to 22 student-musicians about various business models the music industry might adopt. (Sidenote: I’m so proud that a band consisting of one of my favorite students, Este Haim, is currently blowing up!)

My love for music and desire to help advance the careers of musicians I respect made a career in music tempting. Only problem is that I was born 20 years too late. You don’t need me to tell you that the music industry is a total mess. The frustrations of an ailing industry, the long hours, and the realization that another round of layoffs are always around the corner made me realize that it wasn’t the place for me. Instead, I’ll continue to be a music fan and do whatever I can to promote the bands that I believe in.

My senior year at UCLA, a briefly dated a girl who was serious about food. Gone were my dates at Olive Garden or Chili’s (the favorite restaurants of my two preceding girlfriends). Instead, dates involved tracking down the Kogi BBQ truck to be among the first to experience what would launch the food truck craze or scarfing down oxtail poutine at Animal.

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Full Circle: Hanging with Kogi BBQ & Food & Wine Best New Chef Roy Choi. His tacos made a big impact on me, but his passion, ethic, and plans for the future have made an even bigger impact. You ain’t seen nothin yet

The relationship didn’t last, but my obsession with food was only beginning. I began reading every food blog, emailing LA food guru Jonathan “Pulitzer Prize” Gold for Indian food recommendations, and driving far and wide to find the best Szechuan restaurant or pupusa. As with all of my obsessions, I wanted to learn everything. History of LA cuisine, chef personalities and inspirations, what drove bloggers to blog, the role of PR, everything.

I started the blog TreasureLA for two reasons: to share what I discovered, and because you come off as a lot less creepy asking chefs and bartenders a million questions when you are carrying press credentials. My all-consuming passion has tempted me into a career in food, but as of now, it must remain only a hobby. Just like the music industry, the food industry is a lot of hard work and not particularly glamorous for all but a few. By remaining a passionate observer, I hope to do some small part to support and bring attention to the people who are doing wonderful things in my community, without getting jaded and burnt out which is so easy inside this tough industry.

At the same time I started TreasureLA, I became a writer for LAist, Los Angeles’s biggest blog covering news, food, and entertainment. Both sites served as wonderful outlets for my thoughts and criticisms of culinary arts, music, theatre, museums, etc…

Me and Chef Mike Garbs of Mohawk Bend

Me and Chef Mike Garbs of Mohawk Bend (@garbs). TreasureTIp: Don’t mess with me when he’s expediting.

Leaving LA is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. Although it took a few years to warm up to, I think Los Angeles is one of the most unique, rewarding, and truly special cities. When I received a scholarship to study at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard to pursue my naive desire to change the world, it was with a heavy heart that I accepted. Thanks to TreasureLA & LAist, I’ve met so many fellow writers, bartenders, managers, chefs, and PR folks that I now consider among my dearest friends. Being 3,000 miles away from loving and supportive friends, whether they’ve been friends for years or just 6 months, weighs heavy on my heart.

My stomach, on the other hand, is equal parts sad and excited. The sadness comes from leaving a city where no matter what craving I am having, I know where to get it satisfied. And god, I’ll miss tacos. I’ve been at the gym every day this week trying to lose my taco weight I gained from eating tacos for lunch and dinner almost every day before I made the cross-country road trip.

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There’s nothing quite like “California Love.” Pour Vous Bar Manager Dave Fernie (@customercervix) & Director of Operations at La Descarga Hollywood Steve Levigni at the amazing Art Beyond the Glass cocktail event

I’ll miss my friends calling me every day asking for a date spot or where to get the best mole in LA. I’m moving to a city where I don’t even know where to get a good cup of coffee. But this is an exciting challenge and opportunity. I hope you’ll join me for the ride as I try to uncover the best in food, drinks, arts, fun, and anything else I find worth sharing. Cheers!