Is it Just me? re: J Gold - LA Weekly -
Is it just me?
Don't get me wrong I really enjoy reading Jonathan Gold's reviews (plus I like how he agreed with me of early negative assement of Ramsay's place) but lately everytime I read his column it features places I have no interest in stepping foot into.
food mentioned from this week's review
-- "transcendent green-papaya salad"
-- "salad made with chopped grilled catfish, toasted rice powder, lime juice and chile"
-- located at 13019 E. Rosecrans Ave., Norwalk, (562) 921-2124 -- is this in CA - I never even heard of "562"??
from last week review:
-- "There are sautéed cephalopods of every description, jjigaes of half the creatures in the sea and a credible interpretation of gamjatang, the famous potato-and-pork-neck soup." -- huh?? this doesn't sound good
I know -- maybe it's me but read my past post I like all types of food - and trying interesting things -- but I don't know something's not working for me
Just garnering opinions
Speaking for myself, a lot of these things sound great to me! They're certainly specialized tastes, there's no denying that, but I think a lot of what makes Jonathan Gold a good spokesman for the LA food scene is that these reviews introduce people to the idea of eating things they might not have thought about eating, but then might get curious about. (Along with enough of a description of what to expect to make it non-daunting)
I don't always agree that his choices for particular dishes are the best places around, but they strike a good balance of accessibility, English-friendliness, and tastiness :)
I'm a little confused by the point / reasoning of your post; you state "I like all types of food - and trying interesting things", but yet you get down on J Gold for featuring "places I have no interest in stepping foot into."
The first place you demean is the reincarnation of Renu Nakorn, a previously highly thought of Thai restaurant that used to be THE standard for Issan food in Southern California, if not the Country. And being in the 562 area code should not be foreign, unless your geography does not extend to the Long Beach / Cerritos / Seal Beach area.
So yeah, it probably is you- a lot of the appeal of Chowhound is not just reviews of all the "great" restaurants, but also those harder to find, hole-in-the-wall gems that make for interesting eating- and I think Gold is trying to do his part by mixing in places of all levels into his reviews.
But to each his own- a difference of opinion does help to stimulate discussion.
Poor La Mirada, always gets left out of the 562 conversation :(
It's funny to me, someone who has a 562 cell phone, a 213 work number and a 323 home number, how the entire area code could be foreign. It's still in LA county.
I think Jonathan Gold is also famous for trying things not only are relatively unknown, but very traditionally influenced. He'll eat the goat-head soup, or the pig cheek, or the stir-fried insects. He'll find the places that aren't dumbed-down or gentrified for the uninitiated and help make those places accessible.
Yep, it's just you. Those things sound very much like dishes I'd like to try and those restaurants places I'd like to go.
Green papaya salad -- which when well done is a treasure to behold -- is as ubiquitous in Thai cuisine as coleslaw is in the US. This is not something weird and obscure and offputting.
Just you, then.
Well, if a different area code denoted a 40 minute drive down a crowded freeway, wouldn't it possibly put you off? Despite my unadulterated love for Thai food, it took me many years to finally get to Renu Nakorn. And I'm embarrassed to say I've never had Indian food in Artesia. Sometimes life, traffic and the price of gas keep even the most devoted Chowhounds from experiencing everything in their entire periphery.
"Area code 562 is a California telephone area code which was split from area code 310 on January 25, 1997. It is the area code for much of the Gateway Cities region of southeastern Los Angeles County, California, including Long Beach and surrounding cities such as Cerritos, Lakewood, Downey, Norwalk, and Whittier.
Originally this area was part of the 213 area code. When the first split of 213 happened (on November 2, 1991), the region became area code 310, then split again to become the 562 area code."
As for the food in the reviews, I'm with you ~~ not a thing he mentioned is anything I would want to eat, let alone drive on the freeway to eat.
Okay. First off, ya gotta leave the West Side once in a while. Norwalk is where it's at. Near Whittier. You know where that's at, right?
Second, that salad sounds awesome. We went to Renu Nakorn. While I had some differences with JG, I am going back- my meter has to be off, not his.
JG goes out and tries stuff like that as a trailblazer. In the Japanese underworld, he would be called a 'mapmaker', showing us the path. He rocks.