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Good Food on the Road
4 minutes | Sep 21, 2018
A lifetime of friendship with Jonathan Gold
Novelist Jervey Tervalon met Jonathan Gold when they were both in high school. They became great friends, sharing many fantastic meals and adventures over the decades. Tervalon recalls their long friendship and reads a poem dedicated to the late food critic. Longtime friends Jervey Tervalon and Jonathan Gold. Photo by Jinghuan Liu Tervalon. Adventures in Life and Food With JGoldBy Jervey Tervalon 07/29/2018 I knew you since high school, hanging in your Mom’s library at Dorsey We both kicked it on Hollywood corners Saw the black dude with curlers and shower cap Miming to opera records, and them freaks And those bookstores Remember a lifetime later you started calling Me your young friend though I was 2 years older And we started to roll through your LA and I learned You ate everything. We were at another place where Hollywood agents ate. And the salmon mousse tasted weird salt that wouldn’t dissolve, you said it was fine Until you tried it and said, don’t eat it That’s not salt, it’s glass; the jar had imploded Damn…so weird and on the way home you made That right on La Cienega and the police pulled us Over and you had those expired tags and went all Falstaff On those rollers and one touched his gun and Then they towed the truck and we were stuck. Under a freeway overpass at midnight in a gangster hood Until Laurie rescued us. Remember that time I was on the phone with Jinghuan in China You noticed police behind us Expired tags no thing at all Until they ordered me out the truck at gun point handcuffed Us both on Beverly Blvd, I politely suggested That your were a famous food writer, you whispered Don’t bother they won’t listen Finally they realized that you weren’t an escaped Felon who shot at cops and they let us go to That seafood joint Remember those tasteless fat olives that were really water-bugs And that cold fresh blood soup? Remember those not so great crickets and that Mescal bar at 4am in Guadalajara where we LA writers enjoyed Tapatío generosity Remember the Rose Parade at Sumi’s, and that frigid horizontal rain, Our brood riding in the truck bed to and fro and there we ate cinnamon Rolls while Elise and Leon broke into a break dance then home for Black-eyed peas to celebrate the New Year Remember Santa Barbara where Jinghuan and I were to be married and you were the best man and Signed your name where hers was supposed to be and The justice of the peace thought we were getting hitched Remember awards and books And travels and endless brilliant meals at your House. Remember the travails and happiness of Family and friends. Remember that you belong to Los Angeles to us All In your singular herculean generosity We remember it All and we will remember you. As we look at Los Angeles and ourselves through Gold eyes. And I remember the truth: I never ate better than at your house.
4 minutes | Sep 7, 2018
Zach Brooks: The impact of Jonathan Gold's review of Vespertine
When Vespertine topped Jonathan Gold’s annual 101 Best Restaurants list last year, it left many readers baffled. How did the man known for championing strip-mall cafes put chef Jordan Kahn’s conceptual dining experience above the mom-and-pop shops he frequented? Smorgasburg LA’s general manager Zach Brooks remembers how Gold’s review provided a balance to all the extreme opinions swirling around the restaurant in the first few months after it opened. But don’t ask him if he’s eaten there. The white asparagus at Vespertine. Photo by Jeff Elstone. Vespertine: 3599 Hayden Ave, Culver City, CA 90232
4 minutes | Aug 31, 2018
Tien Nguyen: Jonathan Gold on Nha Trang
"San Gabriel noodle shops are a particular interest of mine, as you have probably determined — a subject I deem to be worth a lifetime of study,” wrote Jonathan Gold in his 2011 review of Nha Trang in San Gabriel. As an Asian-American writer, Tien Nguyen says she was delighted by Jonathan’s firm rebuttal to those who thought he spent too much time in the San Gabriel Valley. Nguyen also talks to Evan about Nha Trang, a tiny restaurant specializing in Central Vietnamese noodles such as bun bo hue and pho ga. Nha Trang: 311 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel | (626) 572-7638 *This segment originally aired on Aug 31, 2018. KCRW is re-sharing it this weekend to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Jonathan Gold's passing.
4 minutes | Aug 24, 2018
Jonathan Gold's 2007 review of Jitlada
In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold rediscovered Jitlada, proclaiming it “the spiciest Thai restaurant of the year.” Jitlada had been around for ages and was known as the first "nice" Thai restaurant in Hollywood. Just a year prior to Gold’s visit, the restaurant was bought by a family from Southern Thailand who revamped the menu to include their region’s classic dishes, some of the the hottest in all of Thai cooking. It’s no surprise Jonathan Gold was a regular patron. Mussels in green curry at Jitlada in Hollywood. Photo via TheDeliciousLife/CC. Jitlada Thai Restaurant: 5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd | 323-667-9809
4 minutes | Aug 17, 2018
Daniel Hernandez: Jonathan Gold on El Parian
When L.A. Taco editor Daniel Hernandez was living in Mexico, he met up with Jonathan Gold and his spouse Laurie Ochoa. The couple was in town for Feria Internacional del Libro, the second-largest book fair in the world, which showcases the literature of a different Latin-American country each year. Hernandez led the couple on a taco crawl through the streets of Guadalajara, where they sampled the region’s famous birria, or spicy goat stew. When Gold returned to Los Angeles, he drew upon that experience for his LA Weekly review of Guadalajara-style restaurant El Parian. Hernandez reads an excerpt from Gold’s review.L.A. Taco editor, Daniel Hernandez. Photo by Zocalo Public Square/2009. El Parian: 1528 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 | (213) 386-7361
4 minutes | Aug 10, 2018
Mona Holmes: Jonathan Gold's 1989 story on N.W.A.
Before Jonathan Gold turned his attention entirely toward food, he was primarily known for his music writing. Eater reporter Mona Holmes recalls the first time she read Gold’s richly detailed feature on N.W.A. that he wrote for the LA Weekly in 1989. She shares a passage about the musicality of the group’s single, “Straight Outta Compton.” Mona Holmes remembers reading Jonathan Gold’s cover story on landmark rap group N.W.A. in 1989.
4 minutes | Aug 3, 2018
Laura Gabbert: Jonathan Gold's 1992 piece on the LA Riots
“City of Gold” documentarian Laura Gabbert discusses her favorite piece of Jonathan Gold’s writing: his meditation on the Los Angeles riots in 1992, titled “A Neighborhood Just West of Downtown.” Documentarian Laura Gabbert spent five years trailing Pulitzer Prize-winning. Credit: Laura Gabbert.
4 minutes | Jul 27, 2018
Carolina Miranda on Jonathan's review of Simon LA
Carolina Miranda talks with Jonathan Gold at the USC Annenberg School of Communications in 2017. Courtesy of Carolina Miranda. As the world mourns the loss of Pulitzer prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold, we wanted to recall some of our favorite pieces that he wrote. Carolina Miranda is an arts and culture writer for the LA Times. She joins Evan to talk about the magical prose of “L.A. Simonized,” Jonathan’s 2006 review of the now-shuttered restaurant Simon LA near the Beverly Center.
4 minutes | Jun 29, 2018
Jonathan Gold praises Travis Lett's dive into Japanese gastropub fare at MTN in Venice
These temaki (hand rolls) are among the stars of Travis Lett’sIzakaya menu at MTN. Photo by Ashley Randall. Travis Lett is credited with defining Venice’s culinary identity with his modern Californian restaurants Gjusta and Gjelina. However, the James Beard Award-nominated chef recently turned his attention to Japanese izakaya fare with his latest Venice opening, MTN. LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold believes that Lett’s rigorous attention to craft and tradition is authentically Japanese. Although he says the temaki, Dungeness crab ramen, and expertly poured beers are not to be ignored, he was most impressed by Lett’s deft touch with vegetables. MTN: 1305 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 | (424) 465-3313
4 minutes | Jun 22, 2018
Jonathan Gold turns up the heat at Chongqing Special Noodles
It’s no secret that LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold loves Sichuanese cuisine, particularly that of the city of Chengdu. But this week, he’s breaking down a different kind of Sichuanese food that makes his mouth burn and smile at the same time: Chongqing-Sichuan cuisine. The former chef at Best Noodle House in Rosemead left to create the San Gabriel establishment Chongqing Special Noodles. His pulled noodles come in a variety of widths and shapes, but many dishes share a vibrant red color and adventurous spice level. Pro-tip from Gold as well as all the panelists from last month’s Sichuan Summit: always order the twice-cooked pork. The noodles at Chongqing Special Noodles might make you see red (if you aren’t a fan of Sichuan peppercorns). Photo by Nick Liao.
4 minutes | Jun 8, 2018
Remembering Jonathan Gold's favorite food flicks
In movies, food can represent many things. The documentary “Udon” depicts noodle making as an all-consuming obsession. In the 1995 rom-com “Christmas in Connecticut,” two unlikely lovers are brought together in the kitchen. And in the Wes Anderson film “Grand Budapest Hotel,” a baker uses her patisserie as an opportunity to help a love interest escape prison. In each of LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s recommended films, food is the active ingredient that brings people together. Find out what else made the list! *This segment originally aired on June 8, 2018. KCRW is re-sharing it this weekend to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Jonathan Gold's passing.
4 minutes | Jun 1, 2018
Jonathan Gold finds magical nostalgia at Freedman's in Silver Lake
Siblings Amanda and Jonah Freedman, chef Liz Johnson, and co-owner Nicholas Papadatos in front of their east side delicatessen. Photo by Louis DeCaprio. When LA Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold first stepped into the new eastside delicatessen Freedman’s, he was delighted to find modern, inventive takes on Jewish staples from head chef and Noma alum Liz Johnson. The tableside sliced brisket, fried chicken skin sandwiches, cured fish on bagels, and what Jonathan describes as the “only good black-and-white cookie” he’s ever eaten will keep him returning for more. Freedman’s: 2619 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 | (213) 568-3754 Sliced tableside, the brisket at Freedman’s is unbelievably luscious. Photo by DYLAN + JENI.
4 minutes | May 25, 2018
Jonathan Gold finds breathtaking fare while dining in Tokyo
“What’s the closest I’ll ever come to drinking a tree?” An answer to this question isn’t what Jonathan Gold expected to find at Narisawa in Tokyo. Alas, the LA Times food critic found himself sipping from a wooden jigger filled with oak-flavored water just before dining on what Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa calls “Satoyama Scenery,” a plate made from raw wood, topped with moss-like garnishes, accompanied by small speakers playing audio from the nearby forest. Before this innovative chef made his way to California for the LA Food Bowl, Gold thought he should fly to Tokyo and try Narisawa’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Gold was also moved by the exquisitely aged fish at Sushi Kimura, an eight-table sushi house south of Tokyo. “Satoyama Scenery” is one of the Japanese mountainside-inspired dishesavailable at Yoshihiro Narisawa’s Toyko restaurant. Photo courtesy of Narisawa.
4 minutes | May 18, 2018
Jonathan Gold enjoys Nayarit-Sinaloan style ceviche at El Coraloense in Bell Gardens
Fresh ceviche tostada topped with crema and pineapple. Courtesy of El Coraloense. Fresh ingredients like shrimp, fish, and abalone are overflowing at El Coraloense in Bell Gardens, and LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold says the generous portions and vibrant seafood keep him coming back. Although he says the aguachile shrimp plate is covered with a brown sauce and the shrimp look like some prosthetics effect from "Alien", Gold concludes the family-friendly eatery is bringing wonderful Nayarit-Sinaloan style ceviche to the greater LA area. The aguachile at El Coraloense may have an interesting appearance, but the flavors are mouth-watering. Photo courtesy of El Coraloense. El Coraloense: 6600 Florence Ave. Bell Gardens, Ca 90201
4 minutes | May 11, 2018
Jonathan Gold recounts the LA Times Food Bowl's Sichuan Summit
Yu Bo hosts a food demo at the LA Food Bowl “Sichuan Summit.” Photo by @JenJPhoto The LA Times Food Bowl is the largest food festival the city has ever seen. Events run throughout May, and Jonathan Gold is often at the center of all the fun. On May 4, the Food Bowl hosted the “Sichuan Summit.” Gold moderated a panel featuring legendary chef Yu Bo and writer Fuchsia Dunlop. The event also brought together some of the best Sichuan chefs from Los Angeles to collaborate on a a meal. Gold also talks about the Food Bowl’s Night Market from May 16 to 20, an open-to-the-public event where eaters get to mingle with their favorite chefs.
4 minutes | Apr 27, 2018
Jonathan Gold eats clay pot rice at Nature Pagoda in San Gabriel
Four mixed herb with black chicken soup from Nature Pagoda in San Gabriel. Photo by Stan Lee. Jonathan Gold has been eating at Nature Pagoda for over a decade. Once he got around to reviewing it, Gold found that the restaurant is the only place in the San Gabriel Valley specializing in clay pot rice. The variety of clay pots they offer is rather remarkable. Diners can order pots with fresh chicken and lily flowers, or fresh frog, as well as herbal soups made with crocodile meat. But the most important part of the meal, according to Gold, happens at the bottom of the pot. Nature Pagoda: 312 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776 | (626) 570-8333 Preserved meat claypot rice at Nature Pagoda. Photo by Stan Lee.
4 minutes | Apr 20, 2018
Jonathan Gold steps into David Chang's orbit at Majordomo
Jonathan Gold calls David Chang’s galbi-seasoned smoked short rib a remarkable dish, though “a commitment” for the diner at $190. Photo by Andrew Bezek. Majordomo is Momofuku founder and chef David Chang’s first restaurant in Southern California and possibly LA’s most talked-about opening of the year. Jonathan Gold prefaces his review of Majordomo by noting that he and Chang have a prior history. For instance, he’s been featured in multiple episodes in Chang’s Netflix series Ugly Delicious and once even wrote for Chang’s now-defunct food magazine, Lucky Peach. Gold nonetheless puts his game face on, recounting the highlights from Majordomo’s Korean-inspired menu. Hear more about David Chang's inspiration for Majordomo in our special extended interview from March 31, 2018. Majordomo: 1725 Naud St., Los Angeles | (323) 545-4880
4 minutes | Apr 6, 2018
Jonathan Gold tries the exquisite sushi at Shiki Beverly Hills
Back in Japan, Morihiro “Mori" Onodera studied under famed sushi chef Jiro Ono (the subject of the 2011 documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”) and has the chops to prove it. After his Michelin-starred LA restaurant Mori Sushi closed in 2011, loyal fans have awaited his return to the sushi counter. Now at Shiki Beverly Hills, Onodera and his omakase menus recently left Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold in quiet awe of the chef’s careful hand and exquisite simplicity. Although the restaurant is large, the exactitude displayed in each of Chef Mori’s dishes gives sushi connoisseurs the five-star dining experience they are hoping for. Chef Mori Onodera and Executive Chef Nao Sugiyama at Shiki Beverly Hills. Photo courtesy of Shiki Beverly Hills. Chef Mori Onodera returns to the sushi bar at Shiki Beverly Hills, after a seven year hiatus. Photo courtesy of Shiki Beverly Hills.
4 minutes | Mar 30, 2018
Jonathan Gold visits the freshly reopened Noma in Copenhagen
With Noma’s reopening came its reimagining. Photo via Wikimedia. Chef René Redzepi appears to be a maniac for reinvention, starting with how the world sees and eats Nordic food. With a brand new space and menu that spotlights seafood customary to Denmark, Redzepi is interested in expanding the Scandinavian culinary conversation. Although this fine dining establishment has been called one of the most influential restaurants in the world, Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold says it’s Redzepi’s “restless soul” that pushes the menu’s evolution. Gold also says Noma could have easily stayed “that restaurant that serves pickled rose petals to rich tourists.” But thankfully, Redzepi refuses to stagnate. Noma: Refshalevej 96, 1432 København K, Denmark The Oyster and the Ocean at Noma in Copenhagen. Photo by Sarah Aukerman.
4 minutes | Mar 23, 2018
Jonathan Gold eats his veggies at The Exchange in DTLA
Chef Alex Chang is rethinking Israeli classics at The Exchange,courtesy of Freehand LA. Chef Alex Chang spearheads the vegetable-centric menu at The Exchange, located inside the Freehand Hotel in downtown. When reviewing a new restaurant, LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold tries to order something different each visit. But at The Exchange, Gold could not stop himself from ordering the diced avocado with herbs and toasted seeds every meal. Gold also says the new restaurant has the best schug, the spicy Yemenite herb garlic sauce, in all of LA. A Middle Eastern spread, in the heart of Downtown LA. Photo by Rick Poon. The Exchange: 416 W. 8th St., Los Angeles, CA 90014 | 213-395-9531
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