There has been something of a media frenzy lately surrounding Jonathan Gold as we approach the weekend of the last Gold Standard? Mr. Gold was nabbed by the Los Angeles Time's new Saturday Calendar section which will include food, and other leisure pursuits. There are those who thought, "will their be a Gold Standard this year?" "Will there be a Gold Standard at the LA Times next year?" It appears the Gold Standard has become a floating rate currency for the time being. But never fear, it's ON this Sunday, March 4th at the Petersen Automotive Museum, from 1pm-5pm. And folks, there will always be a Gold and a Gold Standard, because the only Pulitzer Prize winning food writer is bigger than all of this.
Jonathan Gold has always been about painting the LA cultural landscape with a broad brush, from our top trends and hot spots, to our deepest ethnic enclaves, to the landmark bites and sips. He's led the second wave of ethnic food journalism here in town and is a big part of why LA stands alone as the greatest cultural dining center in the US.
Last year I was invited to the Gold Standard, for what turned out to be one of the top three local food events I attended in 2011. It was well organized, lines flowed easily, and a bunch of you forgot to get refills because I was able to get pours of wine at will. No waiting. No please, keep eating, I got this.
There will be 4 types of restaurants that you can expect at this event: the latest attractions like Short Order, Sotto, Picca, Ink, Baco Merkat and Playa; the cultural gems that you won't see at other events like Kobawoo House, Tsujita, Chichen Itza, and Mayura; established LA giants such as Animal, Providence, and Mozza; and those landmark places that first excited us about LA dining like Guelaguetza, Bulgarini Gelato, Loteria, Border Grill, Meals by Genet, and Jitlada. It's all good and it's all Los Angeles. Click here for a complete list of this year's participating restaurants.
Let's look at some highlights from the 2011 Gold Standard.
We got a taste of Picca last year, the restaurant that would propel chef Ricardo Zarate into the national spotlight. It's the hottest ticket in town right now, and Picca and yet to be opened Mo Chica on 7 will return for this year's event.
Waterloo and City was another new kid on the block. They served a memorable fatty dish of creamy, chicken livers.
There won't be many subordinates running the booths here. Last year this fancy delicacy from Providence was served by none other than Michael Cimarusti himself. I give Jonathan Gold an A+ in Klout for being influential about chefs.
And there were some final performances, too. Nastassia Johnson's Manila Machine did its final gig, much to our regret. The pretty face and driving force behind that successful food truck is still around, but we sure miss those tasty Filipino eats.
And, there was Bistro LQ and that lusty, cheese cart. Fortunately, Laurent Quenioux has been popping up at Starry Kitchen in downtown LA, and despite the closing of Bistro LQ, he's still going strong.
Thi will be there again this year cooking up something tempting from the ever popular Starry Kitchen, and her husband, Nguyen, will be around doing the necessary things people in banana suits must.
La Casita is required comida mexicana in LA.
Have you been to Jitlada? OK, well, it's a good thing you made it to the Gold Standard, because this is old school 99 essential restaurant status.
Jimmy Shaw is back again to serve up his DF style taqueria delights from Loteria Grill. Don't be fooled--Jimmy is straight up paisa! He's the real deal.
The Lopez girls should have their own show, and they do, it's called Guelaguetza. This is the Oaxacan family that began what is the third most significant Oaxacan dining scene in the world. After Oaxaca, and DF, LA is the place for clayudas, and mole. Take that Rick Bayless!
Elegant Ethiopian from Meals by Genet, a place that has been talked about on food talk boards for years. This is one delicious page right out of Counter Intelligence.
Injeera with doro wat, from the heart of Little Ethiopia.
Gold Standard 2012
Sunday, March 4
1 to 5 p.m.
Petersen Automotive Museum
$75/person. Click here to purchase.
Things I’ve Written This Week - An Illustrated History of Ramen [First We Feast] Delicious Meats On Sticks In Los Angeles [KCET] Best Taco Joints in Los Angeles [Food Network]