You can’t throw a bagel in a room of restaurant-lovers without hitting somebody who knows Maggie Nemser, or at least her business, BlackboardEats.com.
The former Yahoo Food editor founded the high-end restaurant discount service in September of 2009, and since then, her wild success has prompted her to target other cities, such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago, before going national in 2010.
These days anyone who loves to eat out in the manner in which they were accustomed before the Great Recession began subscribes to BlackboardEats.com. Since through her service even I can afford to go out to some of the coolest restaurants in L.A., I thought it was worth it to lob a few questions her way. And Maggie’s always game.
1. What’s BlackBoardEats mean anyway?
Good question. It represents the daily special presented on blackboards at restaurants.
2. Why’d you launch in L.A.? Why not NYC or SF or some other food-obsessed city?
Very simple. I live here (most of the time.)
3. You’re based in Venice, which is ground zero for the food truck trend. How do you feel about food trucks these days?
I am not a fan of trucks parking in front of restaurants and stealing their traffic without paying property taxes. I feel great about food trucks parked away from brick and mortar restaurants.
4. L.A.’s been besmirched as a serious food-town by certain Frenchmen. How do you respond?
“L.A. is an ideal playground for adventurous culinary enthusiasts who appreciate gems and for those who know that good food does not always mean fine dining. There are several great fine dining spots in our fabulous, sunny town. Bottom line: L.A. is a town for serious food-lovers and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!
5. What’s hot in town right now?
Charcuterie, Neapolitan-style pizza, New England-style fish “shacks,” Peruvian, substitution-free policies crop up as bragging rights, artisanal ice creams, Vietnamese all dressed up, Sophisticated “Eating at the bar” options.
But I was still hungry for some answers. So…
6. What do you mean “substitution-free policies cropping up as bragging rights?”
In a city where “dressing on the side” was considered standard fare, L.A. restaurant’s are now proud to forbid substitutions.
Good thing I’m not a picky eater…
7. Where do you want to try next?
While this answer is not hot or new, I have always wanted to try Urasawa. The price point always trips me up, but I’m just waiting to see them on BBE… then I will roll right in.
8. Favorite comfort food?
Mochi Maki at the Sakura House
9. What’s for lunch today?
Akbar takeout Mint Chicken, baby!
Thanks, Maggie! We hoist our cocktail to you.