Foodie Universe strives to represent the average diner. We offer a site for people dissatisfied with or alienated by traditional sources of restaurant information--reviews that don't offer a complete picture of a dining experience or reviews of restaurants that most people can't afford. Some sources only focus on trendy parts of town, and some "reviews" are really articles of lavish praise that seem to be paid for by restaurants. Foodie Universe provides the detailed, down-to-earth restaurant review resource that was missing from the scene. We created this site because we wished this kind of resource existed each time we were looking for a place to eat.
Foodie Universe provides all the practical information you need when picking a new restaurant--addresses, phone numbers, hours, menus, websites--but you'll also find out how good a restaurant's service is, whether the atmosphere is great for a date or better for takeout, and how the food looks. For some people, going to a new restaurant can be daunting; we strive to make trying a new place easy and fun by giving you all the details before you go.
At Foodie Universe, any restaurant is up for grabs--not just places that are already highly ranked, brand new, hyped up, or have famous chefs. We eat where we want; no one instructs us to visit particular restaurants. We do not eat on an expense account. We do not accept advertising money from the restaurants we review. And we always dine undercover--we get no special treatment.
The average diner is likely to eat at whatever restaurants are most conveniently located--usually close to the diner's home and workplace. Often, many of these neighborhood restaurants aren't covered in any dining guide, especially in a city with as many restaurants as Los Angeles. People get curious about the restaurants they pass on a daily basis, and wish they knew whether these places were worth a visit.
Many sources of restaurant reviews only provide positive reviews. Foodie Universe thinks this practice is short-sighted. Why should a dining guide only tell you where to eat? Knowing where not to eat is just as important--we don't want you to waste your time or money.
The average diner is concerned with price. We might eat at upscale restaurants on special occasions, but most of our meals are under $20 per person. We can't afford to order one of everything on the menu or visit a restaurant three times before forming an impression. However, most of our meals are shared by at least two people, which provides a more balanced opinion of a particular restaurant and gives us more dishes to try. We also encourage comments on our reviews. Comments help our readers get multiple perspectives on a restaurant, provide additional information, or correct any inaccuracies.
The average diner is not a foodie, so we try to explain unfamiliar cuisines and food terms instead of assuming that our readers know what "bibimbap" or "boulliabase" is. Sometimes, we don't know a thing about the food ourselves until we eat it and do some research. We aspire to the depth and breadth of Jonathan Gold's food knowledge, but we aren't experts of his level yet. We're learning as we go.
Foodie Universe is a journey--a foray into new places, new cuisines, different cultures, and new experiences. We invite you to join us on this journey as we celebrate and critique one of life's necessary pleasures. We hope we encourage you to try new restaurants and new cuisines. We hope we help you find some gems you weren't aware of, and steer you away from places that aren't worth the visit. We hope you'll share your experiences in the comment sections. Most of all, we hope you have fun perusing the site and that we help lead you to many wonderful dining adventures.