Going back to look at these original guides is a trip. I can't find a date, but
the second edition has a disclaimer about the confusion over the introduction
of the 310 area code. I didn't google it, but does anyone know when that was?
Another thing that really struck me is how much I would love to have something
of this caliber on my website.
Is the complete title. It was born out of a need
to keep track of all the restaurants I ate at, looked at, cruised
by, was told about when I first moved to the greater Los Angeles
area around 1983. Then I had to make a decent interactive environment
to distribute these findings.
I hate Zagat and always have. Don't get me wrong,
I take the free issue (If you fill out there stupid form every
year, they send you a free copy. the stupid form is all they
use to create their "guide". When I first arrived in
Los Angeles I spent most of my time driving the endless roads
and in doing so discovered many hidden pockets of food.
To this day it has been proven time and time again that some
the best, most authentic cuisine resides at your local pod mall.
Just see my most recent Dada entry entitled Simpang
Asia, off a hot tip from
Jonathan Gold. And this is not to suggest that Dada was restrictive.
I love Musso
and Franks and pine for the long gone Mongolian
BBQ on Hollywood Blvd.
Food and travel and guides have always
been a real attraction to me. My pal Chris O. and I drove across
the country three times eating almost exclusively from Jane and
Michael Stern tomes, Good, Food,
Road Food and Eat Your Way Across The USA respectively. On
one of those trips we stayed off all intestates except for one
unavoidable 100 mile stretch of route 80 somewhere west of the
Rockies. Those trips had a real impact on me and my desire to stay
in touch with what is now referred to as "slow
Each night as we pulled into some new forgotten decrepit old town,
the first thing we did before finding the Best
Western breaking out the scotch and Battleship was
to go into the oldest part of town and see if there was
anything resembling a decent breakfast joint. There is probably
nothing less appetizing than being forced to eat at a Denny's first
thing in the morning.
In going over some photos (there are thousands from these trips)
I captured these two which really exemplify the wondrous culinary
experiences we had. This "Pie Shop" was hardly on the
beaten track. Somewhere 100 from Nashville along a secondary highway,
and to get to the actual "shop", you had to cross through
someone's back yard, could not even see it from the road. there
was no one else there but us. One table in the shed where the cute
little pies were made. The owner/baker was as surprised to see
us as we were to see her.
The pie? Well, just look at it!
being smitten by the regional cuisine I had discovered on my trans
continental trips, I also happened on to the "Access" series
of travel guides invented by Richard
Saul Wurman. I say invented because in the beginning
they were genius. Every aspect was color coded, cross referenced
and indexed exactly the way I would have designed guide.
Wurman is this fascinating elusive creative person that among other
things hosted a high end seminar boot camp for the most interesting
people in technology markets. Look at it this way, Steve Jobs went
to them every year. (They were called TED which
stands for Technology Entertainment Design) Wurman no longer is
a part of it, as with everything else he lays his golden hands
on it has been passed along. His current website is
worth a gander with topics like: Understanding
So Wurman makes the guide I think is the only one even close to
what I want from a travel guide (They have gone way down hill since
he sold the whole sha-bang to Harper
Collins many years ago). I
live in LA, I am eating out every night, I am making too much money
in the film business, I go to EVERY restaurant I can. So I need
to keep track. And that is how DaDa came about.
Dada was my own attempt to marry the
regionally of my LA travels with a highly functional, easy to use
It was fairly successful given the following:
The original Dada was made before I even owned a computer. If memory
serves I actually wanted a computer mostly becasue I realized
how much easier creating DaDa would be. Number 1 was typed out
in long hand and then laboriously cut and pasted at what was
then I think the first Kinkos in LA. Somewhere around Melrose
and Fairfax. I mean it felt so cool that I could go to one place
and use scissors, xerox, glue sticks, etc. I was living in about
fifteen miles away, that's how big a deal it was. I think I made
15-20 copies. I still have two, the one that traveled in my car
has all the hand written additions and changes for what would
become Dada 2.
Was indeed made on my first computer. A Mac
SE30 with 2 megs of
ram and a 20 meg hard drive. It cost me just under $4000 at some
special deal I got through UCLA and a friend who was a student
there. To this day it is the most expensive computer I have ever
purchased. Along with a copy of Aldus Pagemaker (Quark
was not even in existence and actually I think Photoshop was not
either) I hammered out a streamlined, fully cool-ized update. I
still have all the files on my computer, that is how crazy I am
about back ups.
Your reading it. I want to have a decent databases
online so that at the very least I have a place to go and remember
where exactly my favorite Mexican
market is. If things really work
out I hope to have all my restaurant notes online in some sort
of a searchable database. But even though I spend way too much
time working on these pages here at interactivehank, I still don't
know enough to do what I want.
I particularly like how
"up to date" the origianl DaDa was. Even after going to press, I
was obliged to disclose new information about the "Tic Tock Restaurant".
Oh what I wouldn't give for a dish of there fried chicken today.