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Ode to Señor Oro: 99 Praises and a Prize Ain’t One

Okay.  I lied.  Again.

I tend to do that a lot on this bLog.

Though I can easiLy think up at least 88 off the top of my head, for your sake and my sanity, I shaLL limit it to my Top 10 Things I Ruv About JGoLd.  The 99, of course, is in reference to KoGi making Jonathan GoLd’s 99 EssentiaL L.A. Restaurants a few weeks back.  And we are super proud and fLattered to have made it onto the list.

I’ve been meaning to post on waxing poetic on JGoLd for a whiLe now, but have been distracted by a baziLLion other bright and shiny things — KST, Beth’s new chocoLate tres leches, the muLtipLe trips to the ICU for our trucks and the like.  But now that the dust has settLed and I’ve just received word that there wiLL be an opportunity to actuaLLy rub eLbows with him in person, it just made sense to post on it now.

Ok, dudes.  Ya ready?

10 Things I Ruv About JGoLd


photo courtesy of NewsMeBaby

1) He LIKES food!!! There are far too many peopLe onLine who caLL themseLves “foodies” but spend 90% of their time hating on what they ate-ing.  A person doesn’t need to go on and on about what’s wrong with a dish to prove that he or she knows something about food.  If there’s anything JGoLd’s taught me earLy on it’s this: don’t hate, appreciate!

2) Speaking of appreciation, there are some supposed heavy movers and shakers that didn’t make his 99 list and what others may caLL “questionabLe” choices — at least according to some “serious” food peopLes.  But the thing they don’t get is that whiLe YES, it’s important that there’s something great to eat at those 99 anointed restaurants, but it’s just as important to go to a pLace where the food is so obviousLy made with love. And if not love, then spunk.  And if not spunk, then a sense of humor.  One wiLL be hard-pressed to find a restaurant heavy on technique and devoid of any souL crawL upon that list.

3) HE LOOKS SO FRIGGIN MISERABLE WHENEVER HAPPY, SMILING FOOD BLOGGERS TAKE THEIR PICTURES WITH HIM. If I had the time to write in a thought bubbLe, it’d say something like, “SHOOT ME.  NOW.  PLEASE.  Just not with that camera.”  I get it.  Or, at least, I think I do.  He’s a food writer, not a super modeL or ceLebrity.  Hi-LA-rious!

photo courtesy of MattatouiLLe

There’s just this utter look of DISDAIN.  AHAHAHAHAHA.  Does it NOT remind you of this picture?


photo courtesy of Comedy CentraL — or whoever happened to take this shot for the CoLbert Report

4) He is quite loveLy in person.  Very affabLe and genuine — even if I onLy had but 3 minutes to taLk to him.

5) He’s not a critic in the traditional sense. He doesn’t loathe food, he doesn’t exalt it.  He enjoys it, just like an everyday you and me.  Whenever I read his writing, I never get the sense that he’s keeping tally of what is GOOD and what is BAD.

6)  If he doesn’t understand a new dish, he’ll be the first to admit it. Unlike some online reviewers, Gold will try something he doesn’t initially like a bazillion times to make sure he understands what makes the dish tick.  He doesn’t fault the cook or the chef if he just doesn’t get it. If anything, he’s learning along with you, always open to updating or tweaking past assessments and perceptions of a particular dish or food item.  I mean — he’s listed JitLada probabLy a jiLLion times, but it’s never compLeteLy copy and pasted from a previous articLe.  He doesn’t phone it in.

7) Pretentiousness is something that just doesn’t exist in his writing. I never feel wrong for hating a dish he loved or loving a dish he didn’t particularly care for.

8 ) More than teaching me about food, he is plugged and tuned into what it means to be Angeleno, whether you’re kicking it on Abbot Kinney or hanging out at a strip mall in the San Gabriel Valley.

9)  More than adoring the idea of JGoLd, I respect the work of JGoLd. I fancy the cut of his jib, the spring in his step. It’s where price tags are a non-issue (HeLL YEAH that bowL of ramen was onLy 6 bucks.  And it was DELICIOUS.) and ambiance can be banged-up stainLess steeL bowLs of icy nengmyun and the smeLL of BrasiLian barbecue permeating from your pores 3 hours into a food coma.

10)  And who eLse can describe a proper moLe negro as being “black as midnight, black as tar, black as Dick Cheney’s heart”? He’s most definiteLy a writer’s writer.

Yep!  Thass about it.  And whiLe I know I couLd have incLuded aLL those accoLades attached to his name, to be honest, they’re not why I luff and shaLL continue to luff his writing.

Care to pay your respects to Señor Oro? He’s got a reguLar coLumn HERE, a reguLar spot on Good Food THERE and you can probabLy meet him in person at this fancy schmancy cocktaiL party OVER YONDER. Last I heard, they stiLL had a few tickets left.

And, since I’m on a budget (I’m paid in TACOS, dudes!), I’d encourage for aLL y’aLL to snap them up, conversate and masticate — and then get back to me on the detaiLs.

ALrighty.  Off to bed.  I am EXHAUSTIMACATED.  Must get up earLy to run errands and heLp poor Beth keep up with those chocoLate tres leches orders!

Love, tacos and intentionaLLy horribLe grammar,
Aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice

0 Responses to Ode to Señor Oro: 99 Praises and a Prize Ain’t One

  1. Felicia says:

    Hello !
    I’m new to the Kogi experience but my first time yesterday was awesome and I can’t wait to go back for more (uh, yeah I’m up with the cravings). 😉
    I love your love, your tacos, and your writing style.
    This is a cool post and #6 is an especially winsome reason to check out Mr. Gold.
    Thank you! Peace, love and NOM,
    ~*~ Rainfairy Felicia
    PS: please hook up Torrance with some of that Chocolate Tres Leches tonight! Xoxoxox

  2. scrambles says:

    $300 is a bit stiff for my budget, but I bet the event will be worth every penny! Zocalo is a great program, and Gold & Co are sure to be curators of an awesome event.

  3. guest says:

    Did you properly credit these photographers? Or ask them for permission? If not, please put them down.

  4. Disco says:

    I love jgold because many years ago after moving to LA i liked it for all of the usual reasons but it didn’t quite feel like a home. Then I picked up Counter Intelligence and discovered the many reasons to love this city.

  5. Dan Warren says:

    I going. Providence. Mozza, and Cut all in one place. I CAN TASTE THE GLORY

  6. eric says:

    @guest
    Do any of these images belong to you in particular? Or perhaps do you know any of the individuals who may have taken these photos. We’d love to give credit where credit is due.

    If any of the photographers do have any issue with the photos posted up and their use and can give us proof as their originators, we will gladly take them down without a fuss.

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