Nick Mancall-Bitel, writing in Eater, has an interesting story on the concept of “California cuisine.”
…even without a clear definition of the food on the plate, diners then and now harbor an image of California dining. The concept conjures a place more than a flavor: a table on the patio or by the pool, surrounded by desert plants and minor celebrities, a glass of wine glinting in the ceaseless sunshine. And increasingly, restaurants, both in the state and elsewhere, design their spaces to evoke this scene.
Now I’m hungry.