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Feb 27, 2009 12:39 PM

Jonathan Gold at Zocalo event

They usually have decent food at these events, and they're totally free.

J Gold addresses the question... can food be authentic?

Here's a way to revive this once-lively Not About Food discussion:

Mr Taster

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  1. I think I'll be having a cochinita pibil burrito at Yuca's, and I hope JGold wishes he could be, too.

    1. I'll be there too and hope the Kogi truck shows up! :DD


      12 Replies
      1. re: Dommy

        I had a near-hit experience with Kogi in little Tokyo last night... just missed their closing. D'oh!

        1. re: J.L.

          I wish there was a way to filter out EVERYTHING the Kogi guy has to say.

          And Jazz of Jitlada.. God bless her heart.. will be very VERY difficult to understand over a mic.

          1. re: TonyC

            We were at Jitlada yesterday and she was quite concerned about speaking to a large crowd.

            What a lovely meal!

            1. re: JudiAU

              She did absolutely fine... Her pasion and excitement about people loving her food came through completely, just as it does at the restaurant...


          2. re: J.L.

            We had a pretty good experience with it at the Albi room last night! I just wondered about the truck experience... :)

            1. re: Dommy

              i had the truck experience in front of the Golden Gopher 2 weeks ago and it was amazing. i am curious to try the alibi room....

              1. re: lotta_cox

                LOL! Actually the Alibi room is where I had my first Kogi experience... You HAVE to have the fries... I wanted to experience the truck though... :)


            2. re: J.L.

              what';s the deal with kogi, and why is it so popular all of a sudden?

              1. re: kevin

                It's a decent idea executed pretty darn well. There was a 1001x ways to get it wrong (See the Sushi Tacos at Mar Vista Farmer's Market) and they could have just ridden on their wave of popularity. But the tortillas are good and cooked well. The Fries are spiced and fried properly, and the meats all have a very nice flavor profile (Albeit a bit too salty). It wasn't expecting much, but as a lover of Mexican and Korean food, I think it strikes a really careful balance... :)

                1. re: Dommy

                  It's a natural combination. The tortilla is a great 'delivery device'. I found it interesting that when a lot of the "old school" Thai restaurants opened in LA, a lot of the customers were Mexican. But it makes sense. Spicy, Really good seafood, Cheap....

                  My wife is vietnamese and her favorite ethnic food is tacos. Carne Asada and Lengua are her favorites. At first she thought a tortilla was a little weird, but she really liked the meat inside. She loves Kogi as well. I'm waiting for Kogi to make a Korean Banh Mi sandwich.

                  I would eat there all the time if there was a stand-alone location.

                  1. re: bsquared2

                    what are the times and locations so far?


                  2. re: Dommy

                    apparently, gastro trucks are the rage in austin.

            3. thanks taster. will check it out, is it really free?

              very interesting.

              4 Replies
              1. re: kevin

                Yes, although it fills up FAST. and there is no guarentee you'll get in. I was caught in a major fiasco of one at the LA City library... But thankfully work closer to the Skirball so I can make it with plenty of time...


                1. re: kevin

                  I believe you'll need to make reservation.

                  1. re: fdb

                    Zocalo Tends to overbook to ensure a sold out crowd. So even if you have a reservation as Dommy did with the LA Main Library you might not get a seat

                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                      Thanks. I didn't read it carefully but they did say "Reservations do not guarantee seating." in the confirmation email.

                2. hey dommy, good seeing you at the gold standard!

                  any reports on the zocalo event? any fun nuggest of wisdom?

                  i was going to go, then the thought of the 405 at rush hour gave me a headache.

                  12 Replies
                    1. re: modernist

                      Yeah! It's so cool that they do that now :)

                      First off, Jonathan is getting better at being the moderator which made this a really well rounded discussion (Although some of us were kinda twittering about starting the talk about Nancy's House in Umbria... LOL!!) ! I think Nancy's point about how culinary training itself kinda makes things hard to be 'grandma' authentic really brought it all home. It was nice to hear from Jazz about how she now grows so much of her own ingredients (That is one thing people in the Yucatan still can not comprehend... you can GROW habaneros there?) and I think Roy really stuck up to what I posted above about the fusion just making sense on different plane...

                      I honestly wasn't expecting much from Jimmy since I had read lots of articles about him before. But his inspiration of Tacos and Movie did stike me as very true... Although as the daughter of someone who grew up in both worlds in Mexico city... I had to smirk at Roy's little comment about him hanging around different class of Mexicans... LOL!!! It's even more ironical that at the end of the night I actually ended up at Loteria in Hollywood (Not my idea...) and found what I've also found. Wonderfully prepared mexican food...lacking soul... *sigh* Well, at least their cafe the olla rocked.. :)

                      Anyway, all in all, I enjoyed the night and I finished half a sock... ;)


                      1. re: Dommy

                        Oh and the Kogi truck was not there... :(


                        1. re: Dommy

                          dommy you were there? so was i... ran into a few bloggers i know but i would never have picked out the chowhounds by sight!

                          1. re: rameniac

                            Yup! I have a connection with Zocalo so I like to go these events. :) I'm usually the girl in the back crocheting...


                          2. re: Dommy

                            ... But I can't wait for Jazz to pay off her mortage and publish that cookbook... LOL!!

                            1. re: Dommy

                              Hi Dommy,

                              Nice! Jazz from Jitlada is going to publish a cookbook of her Thai recipes? Any rough ETA on publishing date?

                              1. re: exilekiss

                                No... She was joking around that everyone always asks her for recipes and she wants to share them and plans to share them, but she can't just yet... She made a vague mention of putting some money in the bank first... LOL! Everyone was understanding...


                          3. re: Dommy

                            Hey Dommy, saw you for a minute but by the time I finished a conversation you were off.Yeah, the panel was great and J.Gold is getting better.

                            I have issues with many of the things that were said.It was a narrow observation about authenticity.I think authenticity is a snapshot of what's happening now in that location, but always changing.But, it's not maggi vs. fresh ingredients.Silly.

                            Yes, the whole Jimmie Shaw thing was funny.I too felt him on his taco discussion.Ingredients and sourcing alone don't make great food either.Loteria Grill is a place you would definitely find in Mexico, but it reminds me more of a clssy airport restaurant. Tradition with chef styling, wonderfully prepared, but lacking soul. And, soul isn't Maggi or a bullion cube!

                            Jazz's story was great, and I felt for Roy.Wants to be an artist, but is becoming a business.Major props to EricM, didn't know 'twas he who traslated the southern menu.

                            1. re: streetgourmetla

                              Drat! I had no idea you were going to be there... :( Sorry to have missed you!! My life is one big blur with a couple of good bites inbetween now a days... going to these things is just about the only time I get some good knitting on... LOL!!

                              Anyway, SO true about the Maggi = Authentic... Thank you for agreeing with me RE: Loteria... Last night I had what looked to be beautiful guacamole... A beautiful flavorful avocado was used... but it was lacking a citrus tang... a whisper of heat... What use is a rich buttery avocado if it's now allowed to play with these flavors... ARGHH!!! I've said it before... I'll say it again... Infuriating...



                              1. re: streetgourmetla

                                "I think authenticity is a snapshot of what's happening now in that location, but always changing."

                                you know street, i totally agree with you on this point. i didn't know if it was brought up as i walked into the panel about 30 minutes late, but the whole authenticity thing is relative if you consider the big picture. even uber-traditional dishes that have been around hundreds of years had to start and evolve from some amalgam of influences.

                                in that sense tho, i do think that "authenticity" can server as a GENERAL guide or measuring stick for quality. if a dish is tried and true and has been around long enough to be considered "traditional," at least that means its good enough to have staying power.

                                1. re: rameniac

                                  Hey rameniac.No, it wasn't discussed.It's absolutely a general guide and a measuring stick for quality. Cochinta Pibil, made with pork brought over by Europeans in authentic Yucatecan. There are small differences in interpretation in Mexico, and when cochinita is made in Sinaloa it takes on a noticable difference, yet still mexican. thise who know, like Dommy, can recognize that tradition as easily as falling off a log.It can be from a carreta in Merida, or on a beautiful angular plate in Polanco.Some dishes evolve, whole cuisines evolve, and some things stay relatively static.Some times all these things happen at once.

                                  Korean tacos will come authentic someday when there are 200 Kogi trucks running around the US.They may not resemble the current prototype as made by Roy Choi, but if they stay they will become part of a cuisine.Maybe, mexicans will adopt them like tacos arabes, or Baja fish tacos which were made possible by Japanese tempura technique, brought to Ensenada by Japanese merchants and fishermen.The Japanese immigrants in Mexico are making a huge contribution at this moment in time, especially in Baja, Sonora, and Sinaloa.Sushi roll stands are replacing taco stands in Hermosillo, Sonora.

                        2. the zocalo yesterday was pretty cool. nancy's, jimmy's, roy's and jazz' stories of how their place of business came about where very nice to hear. jonathan was a hit too

                          the only down fall of the evening was when the audience had an opportunity to ask the stand questions, that part was extremely painful