You hear Jonathan Gold’s name tossed around quite a bit in the L.A. food world. Maybe you’ve enjoyed reading his award-winning restaurant reviews (seven James Beards and a Pulitzer) for the Los Angeles Times or the LA Weekly over the years, or perhaps your copy of his book—Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles—has become your personal Thomas Guide for ethnic eats. Then, of course, it’s entirely possible that you prefer taking your dose of Vitamin J as an audio supplement, listening in as he joins Evan Kleiman on KCRW’s weekly Good Food program.
However you get your fix, you’ll be pleased to know that he’s now tackling another medium. Looks like Mr. Gold is on his way to the silver screen, with production already underway on an as-yet-untitled documentary about his career. The Hollywood Reporter… uh… reports:
“’I loved [director Laura Gabbert’s] film Sunset Story,’ about a retirement home for political progressives, Gold says in a statement. ‘So when she approached me about making a film using me as a prism through which to look at food as a prism looking at Los Angeles, it sounded like a good idea. And you wouldn’t believe how fetching I look in a burqa.’”
Cool enough as this news may be on its own, it also came to light the day after a new poll conducted by The Daily Meal named him the nation’s top restaurant critic:
“The Daily Meal polled dozens of the nation’s most notable chefs and restaurateurs and asked them to vote on America’s best-known critics. Twenty critics were rated on a restaurant review scale of zero to four stars (four being a glowing review) based on four criteria: culinary knowledge, prose style, integrity (perceived), and likability.”
Papa J-Gold took the highest honors, with a score of 2.97 out of a possible 4 stars. Turns out it not just diners who like him; chefs do too. One judge (all remained anonymous) commented that Gold was “perhaps the best of them all[:] art, food, politics, and music in one smooth stream.” This was certainly reflected in the scoring, as he took first in three out of the four judging categories, getting narrowly defeated in “prose style” by one Mr. Jeffrey Steingarten. (Hat tip as well to the Los Angeles Times’ S. Irene Virbila for snagging the #10 spot.)