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Jonathan Gold: LA 'Capital of the Third World'

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The man celebrates in style. Rena Kosnett/LA Weekly

Intermittently useful food community, posts a interview of LA's own Jonathan Gold today, and seems dude feels LA's restaurant spread has seen better days:

What do you think is the greatest thing about the food scene in Los Angeles? Conversely, what do you think is missing from LA's food scene? How has the Los Angeles restaurant scene changed or progressed in the past year? 5 years? 10 years?

When I first started writing about Los Angeles restaurants 25 years ago, our restaurant scene was probably the most vibrant in the world. The idea of the wonderful expense-account casual restaurant came out of Los Angeles, inspired by Spago among other things, as did American nouvelle cuisine, modern Southwestern cuisine, Asian fusion cooking, neo-Tuscan cooking, and the archetype of the ultraluxe Italian restaurant. Paris, Tokyo and New York looked to Los Angeles. But everybody else in the country has learned those marvelous tricks by now. These days, Los Angeles is, as David Rieff once famously put it, the capital of the third world, and the greatest strength of its restaurants is probably their rigor and diversity at the popular level, restaurants for whom crossover is an alien concept.

Click through for the rest, and do weigh-in in the comments: Now more than ever, is LA's restaurant scene on the decline?
· Behind the Reviewers: Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly [Eats]