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Jonathan Gold

Jonathan Gold (born July 28, 1960) is an American food critic who currently writes for the Los Angeles Times and has previously written for LA Weekly and Gourmet. He is also a regular on KCRW's Good Food radio program. Gold often chooses small, ethnic restaurants for his reviews, although he covers all types of cuisine.

Jonathan Gold
Old white man with a smile on his face
Born (1960-07-28) July 28, 1960 (age 57)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Food critic
Spouse(s) Laurie Ochoa (m. 1990)
Children 2
Awards 2007 Pulitzer Prize



Gold started out at the LA Weekly in 1982 as a proofreader while he was studying art and music at UCLA, and by the mid-1980s became one of the paper’s most popular writers.[1] He was music editor for the Weekly in the 1980s, and held a number of other positions with the paper. With the encouragement of Weekly founder Jay Levin, he started his Counter Intelligence column in 1986 as a way of exploring Los Angeles' ethnic neighborhoods, places that often go underreported in other papers. He took the column to the Los Angeles Times from 1990 to 1996, while also writing reviews of high-end places for California and Los Angeles magazines, as well as music stories for Blender, Spin, Rolling Stone, and Details. In 1999, he left Los Angeles to become the New York City restaurant critic for Gourmet, and was the first food writer to be honored as a National Magazine Award finalist in criticism by the American Society of Magazine Editors. In 2001, he moved back to Los Angeles, where he revived Counter Intelligence for the Weekly while continuing to write for Gourmet. In 2012, he returned to the Los Angeles Times.[2]

In 2007, Gold became the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize.[3] His work is profiled in the 2015 documentary film City of Gold, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Personal lifeEdit

Gold was born in Los Angeles; his father was a Jewish probation officer and his mother was a Christian Scientist teacher who converted to Judaism. While a freshman at UCLA, he worked briefly at a kosher restaurant owned by Steven Spielberg's mother, Leah Adler. He is married to Laurie Ochoa, former editor-in-chief of the LA Weekly; they have two children.[4]

Jonathan Gold's younger brother Mark Gold was the long-time president of the Santa Monica-based non-profit organization Heal the Bay and is now the associate director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.


  • Gold, Jonathan (2000). Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles. LA Weekly Books. ISBN 978-0312267230. 


  1. ^ Goodyear, Dana (9 November 2009). "The Scavenger". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. 
  2. ^ "Jonathan Gold rejoins The Times". Los Angeles Times. 5 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Jonathan Gold of LA Weekly". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Nathan, Joan (27 June 2012). "L.A.'s Jewish Top Foodie". Tablet. 

External linksEdit