Dara writes:

I got some very good feedback on a recent post about Target from a woman in Alabama. She reminded me that New Yorkers can be very provincial; Ms. Herbitter averred that while compared to the MoMA Design Store Target might not be much, compared to Wal-Mart it is manna from heaven.

While we New Yorkers can navel-gaze, we can also forget the rest of the country and zoom right on out to California. One example of our coastal myopia is the writing of Kim Severson for the "Dining" section of The New York Times. Her role seems to be bringing dispatches from California; no wonder: until recently she was a staff writer at The San Francisco Chronicle. Don't we have enough voices from CA?

This past week, Ms. Severson wrote about a fire that destroyed a beloved Northern California inn. The caption below the photograph of the inn read as follows:

"RUSTICITY Manka’s Inverness Lodge was known for its quirky menu."

For a moment I thought I was going to read about a quaint little restaurant of which I would not have otherwise known. Instead, Ms. Severson informs her readers that

"Manka’s fed actors like Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt and writers like Isabel Allende and Robert Haas."

Indeed, the day of the fire, actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal were guests at Manka's. The thing is this: if I want to encounter Jake Gyllenhaal, I can nibble chicken paillard at the over-discovered Manhattan restaurant Pastis (as I recently did and sat next to him). If I want to read about food and scenery a bit more extraordinary, I might need to look beyond food writers whose main pipeline is the next Jet Blue flight to Oakland.