Waiting for a Table: Jonathan Gold

“Now, looking back, it seems to me that much as I respected Jonathan, I never really appreciated how much he gave us — or how much he changed food journalism. Long before anyone had used the words “social gastronomy,” long before Tony Bourdain stepped out of the kitchen and onto the television screen, at a time when nobody in America — and few people in the world — understood the power of food, Jonathan got it.” Ruth Reichl

“Chung King’s brand of Sichuan cooking, sizzling with four or five kinds of chiles and smacked with the cooling, numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns, lies halfway between dentist’s-chair Novocain and the last time you could afford a lot of blow.”

That’s the kind of writing that won Jonathan Gold a pulitzer, the first food critic EVER to win one. I am not expert, but it’s safe to say that Jonathan Gold changed food as we know it. I’m not a chef, but I don’t think he changed the cooking of it, the ingredients  that are used or recipes that were made, but he opened our eyes to a whole new world of chefs, taco stands, family restaurants and so much more… First Anthony Bourdain and then Jonathan Gold, it’s like a punch in the gut and then a kick in the balls. Words can’t describe what a loss this is for LA. Not dissimilar to Bourdain, nobody can ever fill JG’s shoes. These guys are like Michael Jordan split in two.

Years ago when my daughter Riley actually ate interesting food, she said to Kelly one day, “Mommy how do you choose a restaurant?” Kelly said “I guess I ask my friends for recommendations, what about you?” Riley ” I just go where Jonathan Gold says too”. She was so right, now I have no one to tell me where to eat. I will miss you Jonathan Gold. I will think about you every time I eat a great meal and fortunately you left me with 100’s of restaurants to still try.

Do yourself a favor, click on the link of Jonathan Gold’s 101 best restaurant’s in LA and go to one this week. If you aren’t in LA make sure to hit one up the next time you visit. Finally if you haven’t seen “City of Gold” the wonderful documentary by Lara Gabbert, now is the time.

Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold dies at 57


Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times restaurant critic who richly chronicled the city’s vast culinary landscape and made its food understandable and approachable to legions of fans, has died. He was 57.

Gold died of pancreatic cancer at St. Vincent Medical Center on Saturday evening, according to his wife, Times arts and entertainment editor Laurie Ochoa. The disease was diagnosed in early July.

One of the most widely admired voices of Los Angeles, Gold wrote about restaurants for four decades and became indelibly linked with the city in which he was born and raised.

“He, more than any chef, changed the dining scene in Los Angeles,” said longtime friend, chef and Mozza co-owner Nancy Silverton. “He really was the ambassador for our city.”Food criticism before him — and even during his time — focused on the austere, the high-end, the Michelin stars. Gold redefined the genre, drawn more to hole-in-the-wall joints, street food, mom-and-pop shops and ethnic restaurants than he was to haute cuisine. Although he appreciated and wrote beautifully about fine dining, he revered the taco truck more than the tasting menu.


Jonathan Gold, Food Critic Who Celebrated L.A.’s Cornucopia, Dies at 57


Jonathan Gold, the restaurant critic whose curious, far-ranging, relentless explorations of his native Los Angeles helped his readers understand dozens of cuisines and helped the city understand itself, died on Saturday in a Los Angeles hospital. He was 57.The cause was pancreatic cancer, said Margy Rochlin, a close friend.

In more than a thousand reviews published since the 1980s, Mr. Gold chronicled his city’s pupuserias, bistros, diners, nomadic taco trucks, soot-caked outdoor rib and brisket smokers, sweaty indoor xiao long bao steamers, postmodern pizzerias, vintage delicatessens, strictly omakase sushi-yas, Roman gelaterias, Korean porridge parlors, Lanzhou hand-pulled noodle vendors, Iranian tongue-sandwich shops, vegan hot dog griddles, cloistered French-leaning hyper-seasonal tasting counters and wood-paneled Hollywood grills with chicken potpie and martinis on every other table.

Unlike some critics, Mr. Gold never saw expensive, rarefied restaurants as the peak of the terrain he surveyed, although he reviewed his share of them. Shiki Beverly Hills, Noma and Alinea all took turns under his critical loupe. He was in his element, though, when he championed small, family-run establishments where publicists and wine lists were unheard-of and English was often a second language, if it was spoken at all.

Click here for Jonathan Gold’s 2017 “101 Best Restaurant List”