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Molly Lambert is a genius writer from the Valley whose appeal seems to cut across borders and boundaries in Los Angeles. If you need a concrete example, check our Gmail inbox or our Twitter mentions-- people from East L.A. and Brentwood, Long Beach and Culver City, Boyle Heights and Encino forward us her columns in Grantland, usually without comment. People just want us to be aware of what she's written, which is a nice thought but FYI we've usually already read the column...

Just this year Lambert has written about Clueless, Janet Jackson, Mad Men, Noah Baumbach, Rihanna, Van Morrison, Robert Durst, the Glendale Cat Show, and (perhaps most memorably) the AVN Awards in Las Vegas. It would be easy to look at one's own pop-culture diet and for a moment not be overly impressed by that list until you remember that Molly is not just watching and thinking about those shows/movies/people, she's illuminating them like a diligent monastic scribe. Presumably working by MacBook light in an Echo Park area cloister, Lambert paints the margins of today's cultural artifacts with trenchant references to other works of art, while also giving us often hilarious insights and an opinion that is both unmistakably her own and resonant with a lot of people in this city.

If you read only one piece today, check out Porntopia, her coverage of the Adult Video News awards in Las Vegas. The näif visits a porn convention thing has been done to death, and yet this coverage is completely fresh-- Lambert reports on the awards and the industry at large with the acuity of a Wall Street Journal reporter, but there is no nudge-nudge, no wink-wink, and no wannabe Hunter S. Thompson "how craaaaaazy is this shit, right?"

That said, like what Hunter S. Thompson was really striving for is there-- by the end of the piece you get to know the nominal star of the piece, Carter Cruise, but you really get to know the author, her insecurities, her beliefs, and her ultimate take on why anyone should actually care about porn and its young stars. Lambert is the antidote to a lot of the nonsense still present in pop-culture reporting, but perhaps most importantly is always fun to read.

So, Molly Lambert, what's your favorite taco?

"the zoooooooooone" (AKA Taco Zone in Echo Park).

Find Molly Lambert on Twitter or at Grantland.

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