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An Interview With Jonathan Gold

Jonathan Gold is an acclaimed food critic, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. He has been reviewing restaurants for more than 30 years, and his work has shaped the culinary landscape of Los Angeles.

I recently had the chance to sit down with Jonathan to discuss his life, his career, and his thoughts on the changing food scene in Los Angeles.

During our conversation, Jonathan shared his unique perspective on the restaurant industry and his passion for experiencing and writing about new flavors.

He also shared his philosophy on how to make sure that any dining experience is truly memorable. It was an illuminating conversation, and I’m excited to share Jonathan Gold’s insights with you.

Jonathan’s Background and Career Path

Jonathan Gold was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He discovered his passion for writing at an early age, and he published his first article while he was still in high school. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in English, and he graduated in 1980.

After college, he worked as a copy editor and a freelance writer while trying to get his start as a food critic. He eventually was hired as a food critic for the L.A. Weekly in 1987.

In 2002, he joined the Los Angeles Times as a restaurant critic, and he has remained in that position since then. Jonathan’s first book, “Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat Now”, was published in 2014.

His second book, “City of Gold: The Curiosity of Food and the Making of Los Angeles”, was published in 2018. Jonathan has won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2007.

Jonathan’s Thoughts on the Changing Food Scene in Los Angeles

Jonathan has been reviewing restaurants for more than 30 years, and he has seen a lot of changes in both the food scene and the restaurant industry over that time. One notable change is the increasing popularity of casual dining.

Jonathan credits the rise of casual dining to the influence of Asian cuisines, which have been rapidly growing in popularity. Asian cuisines are often extremely casual and are often served in large portions intended to be shared by several people.

Therefore, the rise in popularity of Asian cuisines has led to an increase in casual dining overall. Another notable change is the rising popularity of food halls.

Food halls are like indoor food courts where several different vendors have their own stalls, and diners can choose between different food options. They’re often located in city centers, and they provide a great dining experience to people of all backgrounds.

Jonathan’s Philosophy on Creating Memorable Dining Experiences

When Jonathan is reviewing a restaurant, he tries to focus on the dining experience as a whole rather than just the food. He thinks about everything that contributes to the dining experience, including the environment, the service, the presentation, and the overall mood.

He believes that the dining experience is an essential part of food, and it is often the most important part of the experience. If you have an amazing meal that is served in an inconvenient location or that is served by a rude waiter, then the overall experience is diminished.

While there are many restaurants that he loves, he thinks that it is important to find food that suits your specific tastes and preferences rather than eating at a restaurant because it is a popular destination for tourists or for locals.

When you eat somewhere that is tailored to your preferences, the experience is more personal, and it will stand out as more memorable.

Jonathan’s Thoughts on the Restaurant Industry

Jonathan thinks that the restaurant industry is one of the toughest industries to work in. He thinks the long hours and high stress levels associated with the industry are often underestimated.

He believes that many people are unaware of the challenges associated with working in the industry, and he hopes that his writing helps to demystify the industry and provide people with a more realistic perspective.

Jonathan’s Advice for Aspiring Food Critics

Jonathan’s advice to aspiring food critics is to taste as much food as possible. He doesn’t believe that there is any other way to learn about food other than to eat it.

He also suggests that aspiring food critics read as many reviews as possible and try to get feedback from the chefs whose restaurants they review.

He thinks that it is important for food critics to remain humble, and he believes that it is important to accept criticism from chefs and other food critics so that you can improve your reviews.

Jonathan’s Favorite Restaurants in Los Angeles

  • Baco Mercat – This is a casual restaurant located in Downtown Los Angeles. The name “baco” is an abbreviation for bacon and the restaurant specializes in using bacon in various dishes.

You can expect to find dishes like bacon mac and cheese, bacon sandwiches, and bacon pancakes at this restaurant. If you are a bacon lover, you will not want to miss out on eating at Baco Mercat.

  • Bestia – This is a modern Italian restaurant located in Downtown Los Angeles. It has earned a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, and it is often very busy.

If you are lucky enough to secure a table, you can expect to find a modern twist on traditional Italian dishes, such as pasta and pizza.

  • Gjelina – This is a casual, coastal restaurant located in Venice Beach. Venice Beach is a popular tourist destination, and Gjelina is a great place to eat if you are visiting the area and want to taste the local cuisine.

You can expect to find a variety of dishes, including pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and pastas at Gjelina.

  • Guisados – This Mexican restaurant specializes in tacos. Guisados is located in Boyle Heights, which is a neighborhood located in East Los Angeles.

Boyle Heights is home to many Mexican-American families, so it is a great place to sample authentic Mexican cuisine. Guisados is one of Jonathan’s favorite Mexican restaurants, and it is the perfect place to try tacos if you are a first-time eater.

Jonathan’s Future Goals and Plans

Jonathan loves writing about food and hopes to continue reviewing restaurants and writing about food for many more years. He loves meeting new chefs and sampling new dishes. He also loves writing and believes that it is an essential part of his work as a food critic.

He also loves teaching and hopes to expand the food writing program at the University of California Los Angeles.

Jonathan also hopes to write another book and to keep exploring the food scene in Los Angeles. He hopes to discover new restaurants and write reviews of the restaurants that he loves.

Conclusion

Jonathan Gold is an acclaimed food critic, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times. He has been reviewing restaurants for more than 30 years, and his work has shaped the culinary landscape of Los Angeles.

He credits the rise of casual dining to the influence of Asian cuisines, which have been rapidly growing in popularity. Asian cuisines are often extremely casual and are often served in large portions intended to be shared by several people.

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