Go to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of Guns, Germs, and Steel. It is a book that attempts to answer why Spaniards with horses and guns landed in south American and conquered the indigenous tribes, rather than the other way around. One of Jared Diamond’s major points is that the region known as the fertile crescent had vastly more crops and animals the early human population was able to domesticate. This lead to a better immune system, which lead to an agrarian society, which resulted in longer survival rates, and spawned cities, artisans, and technologists. The fertile crescent gave rise to the Babylonian empire, the Assyrians, the Persians, and what is now Israel and Syria. These early civilizations spread their farming technology across the region, due to similar climates and farming abilities. Language and technology spread across the longitudinal meridian and voila, the Mediterranean cuisines all have a similar GUI. Greece appropriated a lot of this long pre-history and claimed it as its own. Turkey, Macedonia, and Italy all have an antagonism towards certain aspects of Greek society for this reason. What is true Greek architecture? True Greek art? It’s like asking what is American. Greece was the dominant civilization of its day and appropriated the world into itself. But Greek food does taste different from middle eastern and Persian food, even though so much of it looks the same. Sofi’s is one of the few true Greek restaurants in the city, with both traditional seafood choices, as well as poultry and beef entrees. They make a wonderful Avgolemonu, a lemon-egg soup that is a sublime balance of tart and creamy, with tender chunks of chicken and orzo. They fish is stupendous, as are the traditional moussakka and lamb dishes. They have a splendid outdoor patio, but it’s usually populated by ugly smokers. Two people can dine for thirty dollars.
8030 3/4 W 3rd St., Los Angeles