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  • I'm a writer, journalist, and the editor of The Gambit, the alt-weekly newspaper in New Orleans.

    Journalism: My work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Globe & Mail (Canada), The Times- Picayune (New Orleans), The Oregonian, and Willamette Week, as well as in magazines including Details, Vogue, Publishers Weekly, and Portland Monthly.

    Publishing: Tight Shot, my first novel, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Its sequel, Hot Shot, was roundly ignored by everyone, but was a far better book. I'm also a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

    Stage: I was a member of the Groundlings and Circle Repertory West in Los Angeles, and am a playwright (see "Stage" in the right-hand rail).


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« Augusten Burroughs: I'm no James Frey | Main | Eric Asimov replies »

October 01, 2007


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Whoa, that's insane! If Azimov is exclusively a wine writer for the Times, why is he writing on food culture? Regardless, for this recent article Azimov is a food writer and clearly in violation of the NYTimes "Company Policy on Ethics in Journalism." Journalistic Integrity? Bah. I think the NYTimes food section has beaucoup problems and any ethics policies have gone the way of the Dodo Bird. Boo hiss.

Matt Davis

That's one of the most hostile "Mr.Allman"s I've ever seen. And I'd say Mr.Asimov should be looking for another job about now. Your research does more than raise questions, I'd say it pretty much exposes blatant shilling. And for a favorable grade on his child's piano lessons! So cheap!


Rumor has it that Mr. Asimov also stayed at Paley's home while in town...guess he'd know first hand what that pool looks like.

Claire Walter

I suppose, to paraphrase a former president, "It depends what your definition of 'close friend' is." If Asimov stayed in the Paleys' home, I suppose that would qualify. If the relationship were just via piano lessons, maybe that wouldn't be deemed "close." It will be interesting how the TIMES deals with this.

Claire @

Edward Allen

I don't think Paley's Place is really that good for rave reviews like this. I have had better, and at cheaper prices.


Paley's Place has long been the most overrated restaurant in Portland. I have had dinner there several times, and have never had an outstanding meal there. It did not hold a candle to the late, lamented Alberta Street Oyster Bar. Many other Portland restaurants consistently deliver higher quality, more imaginative dining -- Bluehour, Castagna, Lucy's Table -- just to name a few.


So your blockbuster connection is that the restaurant owner's mother teaches piano to the critic's child? And the restaurant owner used the phrase "good friend" in a promotional piece (which are never known for exaggeration...).

That's embarrassing -- for you, Kevin.


Never been to the restaurant or even the pacific north west, but would wonder if the same ethics litmus test is being used for the political coverage at the Liberal Grey Lady


It's an interesting quandry for me, because of my job as a reviewer. It can be tough walking the tightrope at times.

That said, it does sound like Asimov (yes, I stopped myself from writing Isaac) might be a little close to be penning two rave reviews in such a short period of time, especially since he's supposed to be a wine critic.

My question is, not being that familiar with the Times, how often does he review restaurants? Is this a usual gig for him, or is he going out of his way to do a restaurant story?


Asimov wrote about restaurants in the Times for many years before taking over the wine beat from Frank Prial.

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I don't think Paley's Place is really that good for rave reviews like this either. i do all my deals via last minute travel and they are really good.


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I fell less connected to it. my agent booked me a flight to NYC through last minute travel. for sure ill take my cold music with me:)

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  • Booklist:
    "A worthy successor to Tight Shot, Allman's insider view of the seamier side of Hollywood is not only hip and entertaining but also has something serious to say about our insatiable hunger for tabloid thrills."

    Washington Post:
    "Barbed, breezy and often pretty and entertaining. Allman can be very funny, and Hot Shot complements nicely the less forgiving takes on Los Angeles as the future of us all. "



    "Allman turns a very sardonic pen loose on Hollywood's glitz-and-glamour crowd in this entertaining first novel... An impressive debut and an almost sure thing for a sequel."

    New Orleans Times-Picayune:
    "Allman clearly knows those of whom he writes. He's got L.A. nailed."

    Publishers Weekly:
    "Snappy debut... Readers will look for a sequel."


    A French Quarter convenience-store clerk has a hilariously traumatic encounter with a pair of Shreveport tourists. Part of Native Tongues 3 (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2001; Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago; 2006).
    An upper-class black caterer finds comeuppance and redemption. Part of Native Tongues 4 (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2005).
  • MY-O-MY
    A recreation of an evening at the notorious New Orleans 1950s female-impersonator nightclub My-O-My (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2005).
    A lonely man discovers purpose when he intercepts a televangelist's letters from his neighbor's mailbox. Part of the Dramarama New Plays Festival (Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans; 2004).
    A black father discovers that no good deed goes unpunished when he helps his white neighbor bail her son out of Orleans Parish Prison. (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2004; Walker Percy Southern Playwrights Festival, Covington; 2007).
    An evening of comedies. In The Stud Mule, the world's richest woman arranges to be impregnated by a doltish escort; in Snatching Victory, an earnest college student runs afoul of her lecherous professor and the dour head of a women's-studies department (Le Chat Noir, New Orleans; 2003).


  • Patty Friedmann: <i>A Little Bit Ruined</i>

    Patty Friedmann: A Little Bit Ruined
    One of the first post-Katrina novels, and probably destined to be one of the best. Friedmann's sequel to Eleanor Rushing finds her crazy heroine still holding everything together after the storm (after a fashion), until she has to leave New Orleans and she falls apart physically as well as mentally. Mordantly, morbidly funny.

  • Tom Piazza: <i>Why New Orleans Matters</i>

    Tom Piazza: Why New Orleans Matters
    The best post-Katrina book I've read. In 150 small pages, Piazza explicates the New Orleans experience simply and beautifully. I'll be passing this one on to anyone who wonders "But why would anyone want to live there?".


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