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The LAist Interview Premiere Edition: Jonathan Gold

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Because we are so fond of this city and all the great things about it, we here at LAist decided to focus on some of the people that make LA such a unique and interesting place. With that in mind, here is the inaugural edition of a new LAist feature. Today we introduce a new, biweekly interview series featuring conversations about Los Angeles with interesting and opinionated Angelenos, which we are kicking off off with Jonathan Gold, a true LAist who has been writing the "Counter Intelligence" food column for the LA Weekly since 1986.

Jonathan is the author of Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles, a former restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine, and has contributed to California magazine, Gourmet, and the Los Angeles Times.

(Roughly) 20 Questions for Jonathan Gold

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01. Occupation.
"Restaurant critic for LA Weekly."

02. You’re an LA native who knows this city inside out, and your articles suggest you’re quite familiar with other cities around the world. Where else have you lived?

"Where else is there? I spent a few months in a San Francisco squat once, back when I believed the sum of human happiness was to be found in seeing the punk-rock band Flipper three times a week. And I moved to New York a few years ago to eat foie gras and white asparagus for Gourmet. I’m back now, although I still spend a certain amount of time at my apartment in Brooklyn."

03. In addition to your food and dining expertise, you seem to be a serious music fan because your reviews often mention what genres and tunes are being piped in. What types of music do you least want to hear when eating out?

"Dining is a fine way to spend an evening. Listening to music is perhaps even better. But unless the person up on stage, through a miracle of science, happens to be Ella Fitzgerald singing the Duke Ellington songbook, the two activities do not go together – and I’m looking right at you, Thai Elvis.

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That being said, it is almost axiomatic that the best Southeast Asian restaurants play the worst music, often at high volume: screeching Cantopop, romantic Vietnamese piano stylings; even KOST-FM. You have to decide for yourself whether a plate of perfect murtabak is worth an hour with the contemporary stylings of Dan Hill or Bread."

Keep reading after the jump for more questions and answers.