Jonathan Gold; A Poet of Food Reviews

Jackson Nielsen

For this edition of my blog, I was tasked with reading and reacting to American food critic, Jonathan Gold. Gold served as the chief food critic for the Los Angeles Times and has many reviews out there. The first I delved into was “The Devil’s Own Steak House”. This review begins with an eye catching opening about a restaurant named The Lodge. He uses this opener to uniquely describe some of the foods served. Foods such as the thick-cut pepper bacon and onion rings as golden as the bangles on a Brahmin woman’s arm. Throughout the review, you can catch glimpses of Gold’s personality that he injects into the writing to give the reader a refreshing point of view. Gold not only talks about the food but also various other details such as the people who work there and the way you must go to enter this restaurant. This gives the reader an in-depth look at the experience they might have if they choose to dine here. Never explicitly telling the reader that they should come to this restaurant, instead telling of his own experience at The Lodge. He does a fantastic job of describing the food here, using unique descriptors for each item. Items such as shrimp cocktail which features creatures the size of bananas and bone-in rib-eye, medium-rare for maximum succulence.

The next work of Gold’s that I read was “Claws and effect: Everyone’s crowding into Macau Street for the fried crab”. This review begins with another fabulous opener that drew me into the main body of work. One thing I appreciate with all of Gold’s reviews is he uses clever similes throughout to give what could be mundane descriptions an injection of vividness in the imaginations of the readers. Like the previous review I read, Gold goes into detail about his experience not only eating at restaurants, but also his experience getting inside and getting a table. Reading through this and all of Gold’s other reviews is like a food adventure. He does such a great job of making the read fun with his word choice and how he formats his articles. My favorite sentence of this article is the very last sentence where he talks about the desert at this restaurant. He coins these cookies  “as close as you may ever come to the Wonka-designed product in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that reproduced all the sensations of a three-course meal in a single stick of chewing gum”.