The Jonathan Gold Interview: Part Deux

August 15, 2018
- Extracurriculars
Author - Katherine Fox

You asked and we listened. That’s right, we’re hitting you with another installment of our Jonathan Gold interview.

You know, the interview that was wonderfully executed within the confines of the Gold-helmed LA Times AMA. If you haven’t caught part one of our J Gold interview yet, you best be clicking and reading before you enter part deux. Now go enjoy the wisdom of LA’s finest critic and foodie to have ever existed.

What’s your favorite food-related movie?

The obvious one, unfortunately. I mean, Tampopo is really hard to beat. But I also admire Chef, Udon, Eat Drink Man Woman, La Grande Bouche, Tom Jones, and those squishy Miike things that always involve cannibalism in one way or another. Also: Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck, which is wonderful.

Something with chocolate please, today. Also something with alcohol. They can be in different places, but both feel necessary on this day of days. [EDITOR’S NOTE: This was from the day after the 2016 election]

I’ve mentioned it in this space before, but I think the best chocolate dessert in town at the moment may be the rye-crust chocolate pie at Odys & Penelope on La Brea. And there’s a full bar!

We all know Oprah loves bread. So if Oprah were in town and you had to take her to get one bread/bread item in the city, where would you go?

I wish I knew more about Oprah and her bread preferences. Really I do! My tendency would be to go first to the country white at Gjusta, which is my go-to bread at the moment (except when I’ve gone with Clark Street), but I think the most emblematic L.A. bread at the moment may be the Sonora wheat boule from Kenter Canyon in the Hollywood Sunday farmers market – a pleasingly crackly crust, but a dense, elastic, mildly sour crumb, and it will stay pretty fresh all the way back to Chicago if she doesn’t finish the loaf. Excellent grilling bread too.

Hello! Where would you take each of the presidential candidates out to dinner if you got the pleasure of dining with Clinton, and were forced to take Trump out (not that I’m biased or anything)?

Ms. Clinton is known to be disposed to spicy foods – the hot sauce in her bag and everything – so I’d probably tend in that direction. Spicy fried chicken is probably too obvious, so nix Gus’s and Howlin’ Ray’s. Chengdu Taste would be a possibility, as would Jitlada, but there might be a smack of the state dinner about it. So – maybe Sapp Coffee Shop? I think she’d like the boat noodles, and it might give her a bit of street cred. As for Mr. Trump – I can’t even think of a taco bowl in town at the moment, although I’m sure there is one. He likes fast food – maybe we could have his limo do the drive-thru at Chano’s or Lee’s Sandwiches

Do you listen to any music in particular when you’re cooking at home?

I like to listen to the Lakers game when I’m cooking. This fall, my meals have had a slightly painful edge.

I am putting together a “taste of Los Angeles” care package to send to someone who has moved away. I’ve gotten about as far as SQIRL jam. Do you have any recommendations on food goods to include that might travel well?

SQIRL jam is always great in care packages from Los Angeles. So are the salted caramels from Little Flower, the walnut oil from La Nogalera at the Santa Monica and Hollywood farmers markets, and maybe a jar or two of mole negro from Guelaguetza.

It’s a bit early, but I’m gearing up for Jewish Christmas (aka movies + Chinese food). What restaurant should I take the family to for dinner?

On Christmas, maybe the lines will be shorter at Chengdu Taste. We can only hope.

If you had to eat from Taco Bell, what would you order?

Crunchwrap Supreme. Is that even a question?

Have you ever felt, upon further reflection or perhaps someone challenging you, that you were wrong in any judgments in a review?

Weirdly, not that often. I mean, when I’ve visited, say, Singapore I may have a somewhat different idea of Hainan chicken rice than I did before, but the L.A. versions I like tend still to be the same. But I change over time too. And I still wince a little when I think of a mean review I did of Chasen’s a long time ago, which didn’t kill it but didn’t help. The vegetables did seem canned, the famous chili was bland, and the banana cake tasted like something you could have picked up at Ralph’s, but I didn’t quite understand its aesthetic until years later. I hope I’ve matured.

My sister and I have a very busy night planned of ordering takeout and watching the OJ documentary. We’re around the Culver City area. Where should we get takeout from?

If you’re watching OJ, you sort of owe it to yourselves to get takeout from the Cannibal, don’t you? The sandwiches are decent – or get steak tartare and feel the blood.