Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Angst doesn't taste good. So drop the drama and use the "Eat Los Angeles" food and drink guide.

It happens all the time. You and your friend/lover go out to eat, and the drama ensues.

“Where should we go? Is it any good? Yelp! has conflicting reviews. I’m getting hungry. Let’s try this place here. But where was that other place I saw? What do you feel like eating? What do YOU feel like eating? Do you feel like Italian? I could eat Italian. But do you really want it? I’m hungry and cranky. Let’s just go to X” (the place they’ve been going for twenty years and eating exactly the same thing).

You shouldn’t be making these decisions on an empty stomach, and you shouldn’t be making these decisions alone. Which is why the “2010 Eat Los Angeles” guide exists. When the mood strikes, check the guide, which has been compiled by the EatLA folks, who, by the way, only bother to include places they consider tasty. The guide also includes purveyors of uncooked/unmixed food and drink so you can go home and make dinner and cocktails yourself.

On this weekend’s Off-Ramp, I interview the guide’s editor, Colleen Bates, who gave me several copies to give to Off-Ramp newsletter subscribers. If you'd like your name to be in the hat for future possible giveaways, sign up for the newsletter.

Speaking of cocktails, why does anyone buy either simple syrup or dirty martini mix at places like BevMo? Simple syrup is melted sugar water and takes about five minutes to make. Dirty martini mix is the juice from a bottle of olives. Don’t fall for this scam, America.

(Photo: Tax crusader Howard Jarvis wolfing down a sandwich called “Proposition 13” at the D.B. Levy’s Westwood restaurant. According to the LA Public Library website, Jarvis (1903-1986) was there to promote his new book, "I'm Mad as Hell." Credit: Ken Papaleo/LAPL Herald-Examiner collection.)

WC Fields' safety deposit box number: TYE5UVH8S6BW.