There are people who like eating out, and then there are people who track every single meal over a 58 year-basis using a spreadsheet. Those kinds of people include one man who’s chronicled 6,297 of his meals at different Chinese restaurants in the Los Angles area and all around the country, because well, he felt like it.
Since 1955, the man (now 64 and an attorney in L.A.) has been keeping track of each meal he’s had at every Chinese restaurant he’s ever dined at, reports the Los Angeles Times, which got a peek at his extensive records.
Back when he started his log, his parents wanted him to grow up more American, as less than 1% of the population of L.A. was Asian at that time. He didn’t have much of a connection to Chinese culture outside the Chinese restaurants in L.A.’s Chinatown, the only area that offered such cuisine.
By the time he got to UCLA, his view of Chinese culture began to change, along with his growing love of Chinese food. He made friends with co-workers from Hong Kong and together they launched a campaign to try every Chinese restaurant as it opened. And from then on, he became obsessed with adding to his list.
“I’ve always been a collector. I collected stamps, and records,” he said. So even if a friend gave a restaurant a bad review, he’d o there anyway, just to see for himself.
As he gobbled up all L.A. had to offer, he cast his net wider and traveled all over the country in his quest to try it all.
“It doesn’t have to be authentic Chinese. If it’s Chinese American, it’s all the more interesting,” he adds.
6,297 Chinese restaurants and hungry for more [Los Angeles Times]