Merrill Shindler is editor of the Los Angeles Zagat Survey, host of Fine Living: Critics on the Fine Living Network, restaurant critic for the Copley and San Gabriel Valley Newspapers, and host of a weekly program on how much fun it is to put things in your mouth on KABC Radio.
He's written and spoken about his various oral fixations, both in America and abroad, for most of his adult life. Beginning in the early '70s as the Restaurant Critic for the San Francisco Bay Guardian (a position that led, inexplicably, to three years as Music Editor at Rolling Stone), he's written about livin' large as Restaurant Critic for San Francisco Magazine, and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, along with covering the world of chow for the New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Diversion, Food Arts, Food & Wine and Bon Appetit. bio cont. below player
He's the author of a variety of books, including American Dish (a volume that takes Jell-O and Frito pie very seriously), El Cholo: A History, The Best Restaurants of Los Angeles Under $10, and The Herald Examiner Guide to the Best Restaurants of Los Angeles. Shindler also spent ten years as Film Critic for Los Angeles Magazine (before discovering that he preferred eating dirt to sitting through another Pauly Shore movie), and has written hundreds of hours of syndicated TV and radio shows (including American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, which he's written since 1979).
But mostly, he likes to describe himself as just a big ole hungry boy, whose main object in life is figuring out where to eat next. He firmly believes that french fries are nature's most perfect food, and that ketchup really does qualify as a vegetable.