“Bill Esparza’s L.A. Mexicano is the book I wish I could write. The L.A. dining scene has exploded in the last decade, fueled by the passion inspired by the Mexican community in Southern California. Esparza knows this world better than anyone, and like all great books about food, it’s both a learning adventure and a culinary inspiration for the home cook.”
— Andrew Zimmern, Food & Wine contributing editor and host of such Travel Channel shows as “Bizarre Foods.”
Los Angeles Magazine's 2017 Cookbook of the Year
Celebrated on NPR's “Dinner Party Download” with Rico Gagliano
"Fascinating and inspirational"
—Evan Kleiman, Good Food, KCRW/NPR
"Thanks to the recipes Esparza has gleaned, cooks outside Southern California can duplicate everything from complex mole negro to simple fresh salsas."
“A deep dive into the complex food culture that permeates California’s most glamorous city."
The Urban Forager
The Urban Forager showcases the heterogeneity of these [eastside] neighborhoods while reflecting the ways that most home cooks actually cook. Most of us don’t specialize in one kind of cuisine. Our recipes come from dozens of sources: websites, cookbooks, friends, spouses, and co-workers. We swap ingredients and make adjustments. Nothing is too precious to be tinkered with.
—India Mandelkern, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Elisa Callow takes us on a stroll through her kitchen, her neighborhood, and her meandering path of learning to be a great cook—and drops a lot of knowledge along the way. I relished her discoveries and expanded my own world of food and community.”
— Anna Thomas, James Beard Award winner and author of The Vegetarian Epicure, Love Soup, and Vegan Vegetarian Omnivore
“The Urban Forager provides insight into a region of innovation and leadership that is intriguing and enlightening, with a sweeping mix of cultures, styles, and personalities. Though locally focused, the concept and personal voice of the book make it a good read as well as guide—and there are recipes for all!”
— Jerry Di Vecchio, Former Food and Wine Editor, Sunset Magazine