1. LA is much more than just the strip of densely populated real estate between downtown and the ocean. Jonathan Gold proves this daily in his food writing. On par with Gold, Food GPS travels throughout southern California with the same fervor and frequency. From Little Saigon to Santa Barbara and Bell to Laguna, he blogs with attention to detail, clear photographs and a diverse palate. He also writes about food outside of LA, which is a great addition from a trustworthy blogger.
2. J Restaurant & Lounge is a good place to go before, after or during a Laker game. At 25,000 square feet I always worried that quality would suffer for quantity, but they manage to maintain good service and food despite the size and crowd. We had dinner in a curtained off room that had a flat screen playing the Laker game, a couch, table and view out to the patio. The food was flavorful (with large portions) and the scotch pairings (an added bonus) were terrific. Which leads to..
3. Oban scotch is fantastic and I want to drink it all the time.