Want to really appreciate the LA dining scene? Just visit Miami

I spent weeks researching the perfect restaurants for our upcoming vacation in Miami Beach. It seemed I was having an especially hard time with the planning because every time I thought I found the perfect place, I would read all the reviews on Yelp or Chowhound and realized it was probably not as good as Gayot, etc. made it out to be. But I couldn't believe that the in the land of displaced New Yorkers I would have trouble finding great restaurants, so I persevered. Plus, I had been to the area about four years ago and remembered it having promise.

Clam Chowder Contest on the Pier

This past Saturday I attended what I thought was going to be
a lot of fun…a clam chowder tasting/judging on Redondo Beach Pier. 
$6 for 5 tastes.  Split with my husband, that translated to 10 tastes for
9 available soups.  Participants were pretty much all South Bay local
restaurants, most of them from the pier or the immediate vicinity.  They gave
you a small Styrofoam cup and a plastic spoon, and the idea was to use the same
cup for each sample.  No spit bucket or new bowl.  You had to dump it
in the trash can and wipe out the “bowl” with a napkin.