Like so many others, I was deeply saddened by the news last night that Jonathan Gold had passed away. I first came across Gold’s writing when I moved to LA in the early 2000s. Having moved there from San Francisco, a place I loved dearly, I found LA hard to even like. Then I found Gold’s book, Counter Intelligence. His amazing tale of eating at every place along Pico Boulevard changed everything for me, opening my eyes to the vibrancy of food in LA. But really, he opened my eyes to the vibrancy of LA itself, in all its diverse glory. His reviews in LA Weekly were regular reading, and his iconic annual “99 Essential Restaurants” list helped set the agenda for eating out for the rest of the year. He was a big-hearted, insanely erudite writer who opened up whole cuisines to millions of Angelenos: Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Persian…. If you had a question about where to go or what to try, Gold had the answers. He was a trusted and beloved guide through the wildly eclectic food world of the Southland. I couldn’t even estimate how many meals out over my decade-plus in LA were based on recommendations he made. He was my hero, and he was the hero of so, so many others. He will be profoundly missed.
Los Angeles Times obituary:
New York Times obituary:
Ruth Reichl on Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times: