It should be noted that Los Angeles has its own, indigenous cuisine, too. The city and the surrounding area gave birth to the Cobb salad and the chiffon cake; the chili burger and the California roll; Taco Bell and McDonald's. What most people think of as Los Angeles cuisine is a variant of gracious, basic cooking: Dad grilling steaks and burgers out on the deck, Mom tossing a big salad, a pot of beans on the stove. Compared with London or Barcelona, Los Angeles is a young city, but its food has always had its own style, informed by the quality of the produce, the cultivated ease, and the pleasure of being able to barbecue outside in your shirtsleeves almost every day of the year. The vaqueros, the Mexican cowboys who settled this land more than 200 years ago, ate a lot of grilled meat and salad in California's early days, and so did the Midwesterners who ended up here at the beginning of the last century. The Sunset magazine, ranch house, checked-blouse paradigm of the 1950s was a continuation of that lifestyle—and so, in their way, are the grill-intensive menus of Wolfgang Puck's Spago, the big salads at places like the Beverly Hills Hotel's Polo Lounge, and the fire-charred pizzas at Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali's Mozza. When it is 72 degrees outside and the surf is up and Vin Scully is calling the Dodgers game on the radio, there is no patience for casseroles or stews.