thedailybeast.com – The renowned restaurant reviewer talks about giving David Chang a bad review, loving ‘the hell out of’ Kendrick Lamar, and curating the L.A. Food Bowl festival.
As Gold tries to decide between the Sisig Fried Rice and the Arroz Caldo—he chooses the former, I go for the latter—a fan approaches to tell him how much he admires his work as the city’s preeminent restaurant critic and just maybe the world.
There was a time when food critics tried to remain anonymous (even wearing disguises and using credit cards in various names), lest the chefs they were reviewing realized they were in the dining room and gave them special treatment. That ship had already pretty much sailed for Gold when he became the subject of the documentary City of Gold, which had its premiere at Sundance in 2015. His episode of David Chang’s popular Netflix series Ugly Delicious, in which he led the host and some friends on a tour of L.A.’s best taco trucks, has only solidified his celebrity.
Gold says he decided fairly early in his career that trying to stay anonymous as a restaurant critic is “more trouble than it’s worth,” adding, “I certainly can’t get away with it, I’m pretty distinct looking.”
“It really started after I won the Pulitzer,” Gold says, a bit immodestly, about the being the first reviewer to win that prestigious prize for food criticism in 2007. Someone at LA Weekly, where he was working at the time, took a photo of him getting sprayed with champagne that ended up getting posted all over town. All of a sudden he was famous on the internet.
When our food arrives, Gold casually offers me the fried egg that comes on top of his fried rice. He explains that eggs are one of the few foods he just doesn’t like. “I have had eggs that I imagine were probably the best eggs that anybody in the world were eating at that particularly moment and they were still eggs,” he says.
His writing is one thing, but Gold suspects that the real reason so many people admire him is because of the pleasure that they’ve had at the restaurants he’s sent them to. “Suddenly I’m associated with this happiness and I’m fine with that,” he says. “The converse is sometimes you’ll have a bad experience at a restaurant I recommend.” But for those who religiously follow Gold’s annual list of the 101 best restaurants in Los Angeles, that scenario is rare.
adding, “I certainly can’t get away with it, I’m pretty distinct looking.”
Yes, yes the fuck you are sir…plus fuck being anonymous man get after it Jonathan!