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Dec 26, 2000 08:29 AM

Jonathan Gold, famous spy

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We got a Christmas card from friends in the LA area, who told us they discovered "Counter Intelligence" in the history section at a local Crown Books. They called it to the attention of an employee, and explained that the book is actually a collection of restaurant reviews. Apparently there had been a misconception that it had something to do with international spies. The books were re-shelved in the appropriate section.

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  1. j
    jonathan gold

    As Mr. Leff might say--``Oy!''

    Although it would be pretty glamorous, to be a spy. As long as I was allowed to conduct most of my espionage in San Gabriel Chinese restaurants.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jonathan gold

      Hello, Jonathan.
      Word is that Gold got into a tiff with the Times, where he initiated Counter Intelligence (and he had personal connections), and defected to the L.A. Weekly, where he kept the title Counter Intelligence. The Times, meanwhile, maintained that the title was their property. Thus, there are currently Counter Intelligence columns at the Times and L.A. Weekly.
      If you're interested in a place that serves goat entrails or fish-eye stew in cities or communities you didn't know existed (and for a writer who is quite readable, even if you'd never go to the places he frequents), stick with Gold. Who seems to write his L.A. column from New York, where he's a critic for Gourmet. Go figure.
      This is a compliment. I also enjoy Meredith Brody, despite my general loathing for writers who deal in the first person ("My husband, Ben, and I met George and Jennifer for taquitos"). To me, she pulls it off.

      1. re: muskrat
        Melissa Chiang

        I remember enjoying reading Mr. Gold's articles in the LA Times, and just two days ago I spotted the book at Brentano's in Century City. My friend nearly had a seizure, he was so excited about it. It is an amazingly thorough write-up of LA area (ethnic) restaurants, and a great supplement for those of us who are at times frustrated with Zagat's vague or even miserly descriptions. The only draw back (especially for poor gourmandes like myself) is that there are no price quotes. The writing alternates between dry, witty, and rather fluid prose and deserves the revered place in your glove compartment next to Zagat's.

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