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About

I’m a Los Angeles-based freelance writer, blogger, and mother of two boys, ages 4 and 7. In addition to maintaining Taster Tots L.A., I’ve been a contributor to LA Weekly‘s Squid Ink and wrote/edited the Weekly‘s “Gold Standard” dining e-newsletter for a couple of years. I have written for Tablet, the Los Angeles Times, SunsetLAistBabble, and various other websites and publications. (Selected clips are posted below.) I’ve been blogging since 2003, which in Internet Time, is pretty darn ancient. I have a B.A. from Wesleyan University  in Art History and American Studies, and an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, so my interest in architectural history, design, and urbanism sometimes winds its way back into my work, too.

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Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

heather August 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Congrats, Jessica! Look forward to following.

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Andrea Arria-Devoe August 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Hi Jessica,
I’m really excited about your blog. We’re regulars at Pitfire (as part of Venice tribe). We used to eat out with our son a lot more but now that he’s full steam terrible twos it’s not as appealing as it used to be. Nevertheless we’ll still brave brunch at Gjelina now and again. How old are your boys?

Andrea

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Laura August 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

Jessica-

As a mom of three boys ranging from 5 months to 12 years, I am really excited to see this! Only one problem… we live on the East Coast! So, with your blessings, I would love to take your idea and run with it here in Upstate NY. My 12 year old is definitely a foodie in that he really likes to experiment (he made an interesting popcorn coating consisting of rosemary, garlic salt and oregano) and is willing to give his feedback on restaurants. My hope is to collaborate with him to really get a kid’s perspective on local area food joints.

Cheers to you, and happy eating!

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Jessica August 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Thank you!

@Andrea: I have an almost four-year-old and an almost 11-month old. (It helps for now that the baby’s not walking yet.) Two is a tough age, indeed, but hopefully eating out will get a little easier for you again.

@Laura: Go ahead! Love the idea of getting direct kid input, and how it could be a parent-child collaborative project that’s useful to both generations!

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Lucy August 17, 2010 at 7:36 am

Well done to you Jessica – love the blog!

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Kate August 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Why not branch out to the SGV and all those great Chinese places? They were our favorites when our kids were little.

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Jessica August 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I’d love to and eventually will! But I’m only one person with two small kids in a huge city. You get it.

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Madelaine August 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Great idea! I have been amazed at how my daughter and my niece and nephew (all under 6 and we have family dinners out a lot) have been welcomed at so many restaurants in LA. Mostly we eat at casual but tasty places. However, when we want to go to sompelace nicer we make early (5:30) reservations and tell them that we are bringing kids and we’ve had the best luck. Sal at Il Grano brought out fresh carrots from his garden and made them noodles with a simple sauce; the folks at Lucques were so sweet and helpful. My only disappointment is that many restaurants don’t offer smaller portions of what is on the regular menu (or at least a simpler version of their regular dishes) or a kid’s menu that isn’t grilled cheese and chicken nuggets. There’s a middle ground (which Tavern does well, I think). I’m excited to keep reading!

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Vivek Asija September 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I liked ChuckE.Cheese’s too as a kid. In fact I still like it. I like your blog and I am sure it will be even more meaningful if and when I ever have offspring. Or if I move from SF to LA – now 11 years after you first dropped me off up here in this foggy, colder-than-it should-be city by the bay.

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Brendan Armm, DAOM, LAc August 20, 2011 at 4:09 am

Great blog site, Jessica. Glad to follow.

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