In anticipation of the Sundance premiere of his documentary City of Gold, Jonathan Gold has been making some serious press rounds. There was the none-too-subtle unmasking last week, which helped to start a dialogue about true anonymity in food writing (while also letting lots of people giggle at the notion that someone wouldn’t know what J. Gold looked like), and a flurry of conversations at Sundance itself.
Now the city’s top critic is chatting it up with Grubstreet, talking about L.A.’s unstoppable food scene, his evolving role inside of it and what a change of coasts might mean for his work. Here are the eight best quotes.
His Times unveiling wasn’t initially planned with the documentary in mind: "It’s funny because it was supposed to run months ago, but let’s say the clock was probably ticking a little more relentlessly because of this."
There will be no Real Jonathan Golds of Beverly Hills: "I have been saying no to reality TV for years. Some people even approached me about being a pitchman, which I thought was the funniest thing in the world. Can you imagine me being Guy Fieri?"
No cameras while on the job: "The main ground rule at first was that she couldn’t go with me to a restaurant that I was in the course of reviewing."
Gold sometimes misses the high-end stuff: "It would be fun to go back to New York and [review restaurants] again because there’s that certain level of restaurants, the Jean-Georges and the Daniel, that just doesn't exist in Los Angeles. "
There’s also something going down in Queens: "A lot of Queens isn’t being covered to the extent that it could be. It is not glamorous, Queens, but there’s some great food."
You can’t hate on Yelp if it works: "It is probably fun to write reviews on Yelp. I found a writer for the [L.A.] Times who does stuff for us that I like a lot because she was the good writer on Yelp in Los Angeles."
Maybe we should all shut up a little bit?: "I never want to talk to a New Englander about a Lobster roll ever again in my life. And I’d prefer not to talk to a New Yorker about pizza either."
Pizza gauntlet thrown!: "There’s great pizza in L.A. Pizzeria Mozza is the second best pizza place in the country."