Jonathan Gold, the only restaurant critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize passed away this weekend. It’s a tremendous loss for the city of Los Angeles and the world. He made a sprawling, compartmentalized city seem a little friendlier by exploring different cultures, all defined by their food. As food writer Ruth Reichl said, “He was really writing about the people more than the food.” But, oh, how he wrote about food. Reading his reviews was like watching a concert pianist in action. His use of sensory details, similes, and metaphors was something most of us can aspire to but will never match. I’ve picked out a small sample of his writing and posted it below. I also added a link to his book, “Counter Intelligence.” Happy reading and Happy eating.
Best Jonathan Gold lines:
“The thick prime rib steak sings with the flavors of blood, age and char; the tagliatelle with white truffles perfumes half the observable universe when its glass dome is whisked away.” Spago
“If you’re into that sort of thing, the braised chicken feet in abalone sauce are as soft and juicy as a lover’s tenderest sighs, and the casserole of crab roe is suave.” Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village
“A chile relleno is served on a sloppy, juicy bed of ground-pork sauce that tastes a bit like Texas chili but also twists around toward an Italian ragu. The cultural oscillations put you off balance; you never know quite where you are with the dish.” Baco Mercat
“A bowl of soontofu looks less like food than like a special effect, a heaving, bright-red mass in a superheated cauldron, which spurts geysers, spits like a lake of volcanic lava and broadcasts a fine red mist of chile and broth that tints anything within six inches of the bowl a pale, lustrous pink.” Soontofu