• Posted by Califia Suntree on June 22nd, 2011, 9:26 AM

    When Jonathan Gold speaks, we should listen. He was the first food writer to win the Pulitzer (in 2007, for his work at the L.A. Weekly), and this May he was honored by the James Beard Foundation with the prestigious M.F.K. Fisher award for his compendium of Los Angeles’ “99 Essential Restaurants.” For this month’s issue of Sunset magazine, he went head-to-head with San Francisco magazine restaurant critic Josh Sens, arguing for Los Angeles’ culinary supremacy. In a battle of wits that evoked artist Sandow Birk’s classic “In Smog and Thunder: The Great War of the Californias,” Gold of course won.

    But an even better read is Gold’s other contribution to Sunset–the “10 Worst Food Trends.” His cantankerous list made my heart flutter with commiseration over maddening restaurant trends like paying for tap water, overly-laden cocktails, and anything sous vide. Most of all, I cheered at his call-out of truffle oil (which is synthetic and tastes like BO smells), and of chefs who insist on serving endangered fish species. “A chef careless enough to leave vulnerable species on his menu is unlikely to mind his pots with the diligence one might prefer.” No one could have said it better.


  1. June 23rd, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Califia – I gotta beg to differ re truffle oil. The good kind, that is (eg. the kind I bought here: http://marisolio.com/olive-oils/black-truffle-oil/). It can really add a touch of scrumptious earthiness. I use it at home with a liberal hand.

  2. June 23rd, 2011 at 11:58 am

    You’ll have to make me something to convince me! I’ve never had truffle oil that tasted like anything but chemicals. Perhaps that company’s “closely guarded proprietary process” yields tastier results…

  3. June 25th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    It’s not made from truffles.

  4. August 1st, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Masha, I know what you’re talking about. Because they fuse the black truffles with olive oil during the pressing process, before filtering and all that. I’m on an all-natural kick and they popped up. So Caitlin, you’re kinda right.

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