The Words and Wisdom of Jonathan Gold (a.k.a. food critic of the Los Angeles Times)
A food writer reveals the local ethnic restaurant isn’t just a cozy place to eat; for millions of new immigrants, it’s the modern-day highway to the new American dream and a reflection of who we are
If sprawling boulevards lined with ethnic restaurants up and down the sidewalk define the cultural boundaries of our greatest cities, then food writing and the art of criticism have become our culinary cartography.
In Los Angeles, one of the world’s undisputed food capitals, that makes restaurant critic Jonathan Gold the city’s Ferdinand Magellen. Voyaging atop his exploratory palate and innate gift for empathy, and later persuaded by the scribe of his fondest recommendations and “Best of….” lists, when we read Gold’s words we’re taken on a circumnavigation around the globe, sometimes without ever leaving the same zip code.
Within this seemingly endless urban checkerboard of combustible cultures, a city where where a fabulous new Korean restaurant is typically be wedged in between a Dunkin Doughnuts and a Dollar Store, distances in and around Los Angeles aren’t measured in miles. Distances are measured by time — as in the amount of time if takes to drive from one place to another. Even a seemingly short drive of just a couple of miles can take an hour or more during the busiest time of day, and in LA, at whatever the hour, it always seems to be the busiest time of day. This fact of daily life and living has made the automobile here, more than in any other city, the extension of one’s personality and an advertorial moxie.
MEET TERRENCE CHAN:
Were I to chose one word to describe Terrence Chan, that word would be…. genuine.
Terrence is one of the most genuine people I have ever met and known.
Arguably above all characteristics, Terrence is genuinely curious — about almost everything. He’s genuinely humble. He’s genuinely giving. He’s genuinely focused. He’s genuinely dedicated. And, he’s genuinely good at whatever he pursues, if not great at just about everything he truly sets his mind to accomplishing.
I first met Avi Rubin at the Maryland Live! Casino about three years ago.
We were shooting a high-stakes live cash game for “Poker Night in America,” on CBS Sports. At the time, we were looking for interesting non-professional poker players who might add some personality to the game to be featured on national television.
Since the casino is located within a short driving distance of both Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD, I knew we’d attract several fascinating people to our game who, aside from loving poker, were highly accomplished and in some cases were at the top of their respective fields.
From the instant I saw his photograph, I knew that Rubin looked familiar, and I was right. He’d appeared as the expert on a recent episode of “60 Minutes,” on the subject of network security issues in electronic voting, which was a hot topic that was being considered at the time. Come to find out, he also served as a consultant to the White House. Naturally, choosing Rubin to be on the show was an instant affirmative, given his background and unusual stature.
I’m fascinated by the creative process. Watching unfiltered talent in the raw and witnessing art evolve can be far more intriguing than sampling the perfectly-polished end product. Sometimes, it’s just as interesting to watch the baker at work than to taste the cake.
Sir George Martin baked up and frosted as many rock n’ roll masterpieces as anyone else during the 1960’s, and that’s quite a statement given what a creative period that was in popular music. As the longtime producer for The Beatles, Martin consistently infused the group with new sounds and unprecedented methods of instrumentation which had never been used before by pop musicians. Some of the techniques would have been unthinkable were it not for The Beatles’ own curiosities matched with Martin as the perfect tutor of influence. The lanky and straight-laced Martin looked more like a barrister than the megaphone for the counterculture. Martin consistently pushed the Fab Four to new creative heights, obliterating old precedent with each new album release, which sometimes mystified the groups fans and risked proven commercial formulas.
We’re all going to die sometime — hopefully a long while from now and not in too much pain.
When that happens, someone we do not know, who we’ve likely never met before, will determine our cause of death. The overwhelming majority of deaths in this country occur from sicknesses and other natural causes. Some die from accidents. Others are suicides. However, some deaths arouse suspicions. A small percentage even involve foul play — even murder. That’s where the science of forensic pathology comes in. These experts with strong stomachs and a formadible fortitude examine bodies, collect the evidence, and ultimately make determinations which can sometimes produce far broader implications, not just for survivors of the deceased, but for society, as well.