As a former Californian, I used to wonder a bit about the thin coverage of the 'Golden State' myself. But after collecting several editions of the Roadfood/Goodfood books, I began to notice a pattern developing. Basic Roadfood (meat and three's) are fairly rare (no pun) in SoCal. If ever there was a locale that reflected the rainbow of ethnicity similiar to NYC or other Eastern Cities it is SoCal. The ONE major difference in the area is the size (geographically). Where the diversity in NYC is fairly compact, the L A area extends for over 150 miles. This means going out to dinner to a specific type of place may incur a drive of over an hour...or two.. to reach the "special place". If you have shared in the SoCal lifestyle at any time you can understand how the concept of 'distance' affects your dining decisions. A poor example, but the only one that comes to mind here,
My neighbors in SoCal lived on the high desert, and worked at L A X. Commute distance=110 miles (one way), Jobs for both him and her were blue collar (delivery truck driver and office worker). They spent 6.5 to 8 hours a day in their car going to and coming from work. No Easterner could understand that type of life!! So it is with the attitude for food... distance is a factor in decision making, and I think it shows in the writings of Roadfood.
Now Micheal, Tell me this is all smoke, and that you just don't like L A , hehehe.