I had the opportunity recently to shoot an episode of "Flavors of LA," in which Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti introduces the viewing audience to communities across Los Angeles through visits to a variety of restaurants in selected council districts.
Los Angeles is such a international city - but I wonder how few people really have the opportunity to experience the international selection of restaurants - from Cuban to Lebanese to Indian to Salvadoran - almost any fare around the world is represented here. For example, we were treated to a fantastic meal at Maroush, a Lebanese restaurant. For the purposes of the show, the restaurant prepared many of their signature dishes, providing us with a real introduction to Lebanese fare. I believe, at times, we miss the chance to explore establisments and foods like these strictly out of unfamiliarity - the same reason, I suppose, many Americans avoid international travel.
Fear of the unknown, whether we're talking about international food or culture, leads both to ignorance and arrogance.