‘Off Menu,’ a new food show hosted by Lucas Peterson, premieres October 15


Since joining the L.A. Times a little more than a year ago, lots of cool things have happened to our Food coverage: We brought back a standalone print section; we’ve published a bunch of stories that probably wouldn’t end up in another daily newspaper; we’ve expanded our ranks and updated our look. I’m excited about a lot things on the horizon — like the first 101 Best Restaurants lists by our critics Bill Addison and Patricia Escárcega, coming soon — and right now I’m happy to share the first look at a new video series from Lucas Kwan Peterson.

You may remember Lucas from such hard-hitting feats of investigative journalism as his French fry survey or his deep dive into dining culture in New York or maybe his more recent romp around the Cheesecake Factory. I think the reason the humor in his pieces resonates so widely is because it’s backed by a ferocious curiosity (full disclosure: We went to high school together; Lucas is one of the smartest people I know) and tempered by sincere compassion and humanism.

I feel this show is a great way to get to know that side of him — and more so, that he’s a pitch-perfect interlocutor for us to send out to the streets and strip malls and kitchens of the city to get at the stories behind the cuisines that make Los Angeles food as wonderful as it is. He’s selected a surprising range of stories, subjects and things that we eat for the camera, and the results are as entertaining as they are educational.

So watch this trailer, smash that subscribe button and look forward to the rollout of “Off Menu” — an episode a week, coming to the tiny screens we’re glued to all the time anyway, starting on Oct. 15.