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LAist's 2008 Foodie Wish List

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Happy New Year from LAist and your brand new Food Editor! I've arrived home refreshed from a fantastic vacation in the Philly/New Jersey area, and now I'm revved up and ready for the New Food Year. It was difficult to leave Philadelphia and its fabulous dining options behind (cheesesteaks are only the tip of the iceberg), but nothing beats Los Angeles for its range of offerings. Here's my wish list for places to go, ingredients to cook, and meals to eat in 2008. What's tops on your list of must-eat destinations and recipes this year?

Doner Kebabs: Turkey's national dish (and a pan-European favorite) has finally made it to Los Angeles, and Spitz in Glendale Eagle Rock has the savory lamb sandwich you're craving.

The Farmer's Kitchen: this daily market and cafe is set for a tentative April 2008 opening in the Hollywood Entertainment District. It would be great to see a little slice of organic heaven in this neighborhood, and I for one will visit it regularly to pick up a fast lunch or shop for after-work dinners.

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The Father's Office Empire: is there a better burger in Los Angeles than Sang Yoon's bacon compote & blue cheese masterpiece? Maybe now that a new location is opening up in Culver City, the crowds at the Santa Monica location will lighten a bit -- but this gourmet grub & beer establishment is so popular, we're doubting it.

A better restaurant experience in North Hollywood. The arrival of Bank Heist to the neighborhood was supposed to kick up the dining scene a notch in the Arts District -- so why do I still feel like I can't get attentive service or a knock-em-dead meal on this stretch of Lankershim?

Fish fish fish: it might not be the most original ingredient, but fish fits in perfectly with a health-conscious and sustainably-minded diet. This year, I am going to experiment with mackerel, mussels, anchovies, tilapia, and Pacific halibut.

Michael Symon, The Next Chef-Sex-Symbol. Why does the sight of this new Iron Chef send me into such spasms of desire for, er, rustic Mediterranean cuisine? Could it be that sexy bald head? That contagious yelp of laughter? The intense, focused gaze? Why can't I take my eyes off the guy or his food? Watch your back, Bobby Flay, there's a new hottie in town.

LA Mill: Cimarusti. Enough said? Alright, alright -- this upscale coffeehouse from the mastermind who brought Providence to Los Angeles will be (fingers crossed) opening in Silver Lake next week. From their website: "LA MILL is committed to sourcing the Earth in an effort to produce the world's best cup of coffee."

Soup. What's the big dish of the year? We have to agree with LA Foodblogging -- soup is where it's at, especially during the rainy season. Mish mash, ramen, matzoh, pho, minestrone, consomme, ciappino, French onion -- for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we love it and want to order it everywhere we go.

Hollywood. The neighborhood where I'll be eating out most? Why, Hollywood! With The Hungry Cat, Katsu-ya, Atch-Kotch Japanese (ramen again!), and Los Balcones del Peru all within a few blocks, and many more hot spots set to open in 2008, I'll be enjoying all the eats that this vibrant, classic neighborhood has to offer.

Photo by colin.brown via Flickr