We read an article years back that said you can measure your pull in Los Angeles by how far someone will drive to have lunch with you. And if you're doing the bulk of the driving, then you know you're not all that.
And while LA will forever be an eating-out kind of town, the noon-hour meal can be tricky due to traffic. One wrong turn into a construction zone and your lunch partner will finish her appetizer, and probably entree, while waiting for you to arrive (waiting huffily, we might add). That is, if you're lucky to finally get to your destination while there is daylight out.
That's why we like Merrill Schindler's ponder piece on Angelenos eating at their desks, and find it more timely than ever. In a day when we're all concerned about the state of jobs, being seen more around office doesn't seem like a bad thing. In fact, we just saw funny Bill Geist do a piece on looking busy at work, and how balled-up fast food wrappers around the desk is always a good sign (just watch grease accumulation on your keyboard, sticky keys and so forth).
Our theory is that if one has to drive more than fifteen minutes for lunch, they just won't go on a weekday in LA; fifteen minutes there and fifteen back is half a lunch hour, typically. So that's why the fries-and-sandwich places in office parks and skyscrapers can feel confident that they will always stay very busy.