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New app shows where the chefs are eating

September 29, 2011 |  6:30 am

Chef feed Sure, you can go on Yelp and find out what the general public thinks of just about any restaurant in Southern California. But where do the folks who really know food eat? Where do the pros go? A new iPhone app being released Wednesday tries to answer that question. It may not be nearly as extensive as Yelp, but it is a whole heckuva lot of fun.

Chefs Feed, available free from iTunes, rounds up roughly three dozen Los Angeles area chefs and asks them for their five favorite restaurant dishes and why they like them (it also covers New York, San Francisco and Chicago). Each chef also gets a nice plug for their own place — honors won, etc.

It’s great fun to poke around and see who recommends what. Josef Centeno, from Lazy Ox, for example, chose the escarole and sunchoke salad from Gjelina, the spicy chicken pops from Lukshon, yakitori from Kokekokko, birria tacos from Cactus Mexican Food No. 2, and pollo alla brasa from Chimu.

Of the tacos, Centeno praised: “For all-around consistency and easy access to tacos any time of the day or night, I like the Cactus stands on either Vine or Beverly. They’ve always been there for me when I need a birria fix.”

Jar’s Suzanne Tracht, on the other hand, chose the fennel sausage pizza from Mozza, the sansei vegetable soba noodles from Yabu, the laksa soup from Singapore’s Banana Leaf, the crab and shrimp cocktail from Cut and the Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities Italian Deli.

That sandwich, believe it or not, is the most-chosen dish on the app, favored by Mary Sue Milliken, Sang Yoon and Susan Feniger. The other top vote-getters were soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung (Eric Greenspan, Yoon and Roy Choi) and the omakase menu at Sushi Nozawa (Craig Thornton, David Myers and Greenspan).

If a dish sounds good, you can map the restaurant in order to find it, then after you try it, you can rate it yourself. New chefs and new recommendations will be rolled out monthly, the company says. Short videos based on the app will also be shown on Virgin America airlines.

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Sambal-topped cheeseburger? Yes, please

--Russ Parsons

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