Especially in the past year I've barely felt the need to read the LA Times, or any newspaper for that matter, as I've mostly turned to online sources for news. Especially in the case of local news and events, I've turned entirely to the blogosphere, even neglecting my old favorite LA Weekly. This isn't just due to my ready accessibility of the net so much as the fact that Los Angeles can boast a great number of fantastic blogs that keep people up to date on the city and its inhabitants in many different ways.
While I can't entitle it "Best Los Angeles Blog", blogging.la is certainly the one I frequent most often. It combines informative posts about local rumors, as well as frequent sophmoric gripes about traffic, parking, and noisy neighbors. For a while I put the LAist neck and neck with blogging.la, but in the past year it appears LAist has become less blog and more of a replacement for the Calendar section of the Times, focusing on lists of band dates, movie reviews, and advice columns that smack of corporate pandering than raw blogging (and I say this cautiously - I make my living off of corporate pandering).
Another favorite is the "open source" LAVoice.org, which allows and encourages anyone to submit a post. All posts are screened by site editor Mack Reed before posting, so while this keeps out ridiculous posts and spam, the delay means LAVoice lacks the ability to post about breaking news in "real time", which is its only drawback.
But the TonyP for Best Los Angeles Themed Blog goes to LA Observed, the most hard news oriented blog about Los Angeles. The highlight of LA Observed is the daily morning recap called "First Thing" using a variety of legitimate news sources and blogs to bullet point whats going on in the city. Best of all, Observed manages to make recaps of city council sessions interesting. Its a clean site that lacks the drama and bells and whistles of all the other local blogs, but it takes on the responsibility of being a true Los Angeles news source that is so lacking from even the professional writers he cites and links to. Bruce Feirstein from the New York Observer sums it up best (from LA Observed's sidebar): "In just a few postings a day, he gets to the flesh and blood of the city...It makes you feel as if you’re part of L.A., in the way the L.A. Times doesn’t."
Special credit to 1947 Project as the coolest local blog, as they blog about LA news, with an emphasis on crimes and misdemeanors, from the same day back in 1947... the year the Black Dahlia was murdered.