Counter Intelligence by Jonathan Gold (2000) I picked up a copy of this book a few years ago and read a little here and a little there—I'll never read it from cover to cover, but I'll probably read a lot over and over. It's essentially a guide to Los Angeles restaurants, focusing on cuisine diversity, which also, often, means affordable. An 18 year old guide is hopelessly outdated, but Gold's writing is so enjoyable, informed, and intelligent, I read it first of all just to learn about how to write, and second, to learn about varieties of food. It's organized alphabetically and indexed by cuisine's country of origin. I'm sure you know that Jonathan Gold died last month; he was considered by many the best at what he was doing, and he was my favorite writer about food. You can find endless writing by him online, of course. His focus was the greater Los Angeles area, really endless in its immensity. Another reason I have for reading this, and other restaurant guides, is I like to track down listings in older guides to see if the place is still there, or what has replaced it. I document some of this exploration on a sadly neglected blog called Restaurant Time Tunnel; if I get around to reviving it, I'll put a link on the title/news page of this website. If I ever make it out to Los Angeles again, I'll have this book with me, re-read much of it, and hunt down some of the addresses. I suppose for some time, for me as well as his many fans, any trip to LA will be a kind of Jonathan Gold pilgrimage.
Books I've Finished Reading