For a legit authority on dining out, Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold is as good as it gets. Deservedly so, since he’s the first food critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. The tandem work of Gold’s palate and prose are canonical to foodies everywhere, as evidenced by the annual gospel that is his definitive ‘Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants’ list.
So when such an esteemed voice in the culinary world drops five succinct ‘rules to live by’ on his Instagram, one must take note of such jewels and observe how they can further enrich their Los Angeles foodie experience.
Now take note food lovers, for the penultimate expert in L.A.’s food scene has laid decree:
1. If the restaurant you have been directed to lies between the Seven-Eleven and the Dry Cleaners in a dusty strip mall, then you’re probably at the right place.
Ah the humble, yet venerated hole-in-the-wall. For Angelenos, the more obscure and homely the spot, the better an inclination of it being a choice destination to satisfy your cravings.
2. The restaurants with the longest lines are either better than their competitors or fifty cents cheaper. Try and know the difference.
Crucial stuff, really. Differentiating the two is what separates ‘meh’ from ‘worth it’. If you’re going to spend your time waiting in line for anything, always make sure it’s worthy of such an effort.
3. There is no shame in avocado toast.
Look, I for one do not understand the loads of hate heaped upon avocado toast. Oh wait, never mind. That $8.00 price tag might be the culprit. But hey, if the food lord of Los Angeles sees no shame in it, then I guess the ‘worth it’ experience is out there to be had.
4. The best choice is always the restaurant fifteen minutes further than you are willing to go.
Challenging and satisfying your palate is all about the adventure. Traveling outside the boundaries of your local comfort zone is the zest of every new, unfamiliar bite.
5. The taco honors the truck.
Rule of thumb in L.A.: If your favorite taco joint is not readily mobile, then you’re doing it wrong.