The belly of Los Angeles. @LATimes restaurant critic.

Jonathan Gold reviews Lasa, a temporary Filipino restaurant with long-range ambitions — We are here once again at the Far East Plaza, the modest Chinatown mall that is home to the recently reviewed Howlin' Ray's, Pok Pok Phat Thai and Chego, among other players in the current food movement. We are in Unit 120, the self-described restaurant incubator space, run by Alvin Cailan, whom you may know from Eggslut.

At Frogtown's Salazar, Jonathan Gold finds a Sonora barbecue joint, steakhouse and evolving tortillas — The story of Salazar begins with a tortilla. Or at least I think it begins with a tortilla, because it might also begin with an old auto body shop tricked out into a restaurant, a grill that creaked into being when a gas line couldn't quite be permitted, or a laissez-faire outdoor arrangement of tables, chairs and desert plants that resembles the Texas "Mad Max"-style trailer-centered joints you find in South Austin more than it does pretty much anything in Los Angeles.

Din Tai Fung closes original shop in the SGV, opens flagship in the Westfield Santa Anita mall — I was, I confess, expecting to see a lot of mournful faces in the line outside the original U.S. Din Tai Fung in Arcadia last weekend, only a few hours before it was scheduled to shut down for good.

Enchilada Month! — If you have been to La Casita Mexicana , you have probably tried one or another of the enchiladas, which rank among the very best reasons to hop in the car and drive to Bell.

Jonathan Gold reviews Kali Restaurant: It's too much of a good thing — When you walk into Kali, maybe at the end of a short stroll from the Paramount lot down the street, one of the first things you see, perhaps even before you have registered the dining counter or the kitchen, is the giant grinning pig's head behind glass.

Jonathan Gold reviews Howlin' Ray's Hot Chicken — What happens when you take your first bite of Nashville hot chicken, say the Howlin' Hot fried chicken at Chinatown's Howlin' Ray's? You burn your fingers for one thing - the bird is just out of the fryer, and you'll probably want to tear the quarter-chicken in half for easy eating - as a good bit of the red seasoning paste will work its way up your fingers and under your nails.

Jonathan Gold's 6 favorite Asian fried chicken joints in the L.A. area — Does Los Angeles live by Nashville hot chicken alone? No - not as long as there's a universe of Asian fried chicken too. Max's Restaurant - Is Max's the Coco's of the Philippines? Yes, Max's is kind of the Coco's of the Philippines, the Glendale outlet of a biggish, aggressively normal chain that...

Jonathan Gold's Taco Tuesday: Carne asada tacos at Loqui — Northern-style tacos with grilled meat and flour tortillas are the coming uptown thing in the Los Angeles taco universe. Expect to hear a lot more from us in the next several weeks on Sonoratown, Sonoritas and especially Salazar, whose chef Esdras Ochoa may have jump-started the norteño trend at his Tacos Mexicali Taco & Co.

Inside the grand Hollywood restaurant Paley, Jonathan Gold takes amused small bites — The last time I visited Paley, a bored parking attendant waved me into a Do Not Enter lane, through a maze of narrow passageways and down to a cavernous lower level where mine was pretty much the only car. An elevator whooshed me up to an unfinished office floor of a glass-and-steel building.

Bulgogi cultists, rejoice: Jonathan Gold finds first-rate Korean barbecue at Gwang Yang — Have you ever encountered Korean food? Then you have tasted bulgogi . Bulgogi is essentially marinated, thinly sliced beef tossed on a grill until it crisps and caramelizes. Bulgogi is what you find in chain-mall bibimbap , stuffed into Kogi BBQ tacos, and layered onto rice bowls at church carnivals.
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Jul 26, 2016

@hels Nobody but a monster even contemplates dressing on the side.

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