Jonathan Gold, Food Critic Who Celebrated L.A.’s Cornucopia, Dies at 57

He made a subspecialty of one street in particular. Ms. Reichl, who hired him at The Times as well as also Gourmet, recalls his telling her from the 1980s which he had eaten every taco on Pico Boulevard. which was not just tacos. Eventually he wrote about his fascination with the street in a 1998 article which began, “For a while in my early 20s, I had only one clearly articulated ambition: to eat at least once at every restaurant on Pico Boulevard, starting with the fried yucca dish served at a pupuseria near the downtown end as well as also working methodically westward toward the chili fries at Tom’s No. 5 near the beach. which seemed a reasonable enough alternative to graduate school.”

In 2016, Ecco Press bought his proposal for a memoir which Mr. Gold called “a culinary coming of age book, I guess.” which was to be called “Breakfast on Pico.”

Jonathan Gold was born on July 28, 1960, in South Los Angeles, where he was raised. His mother, Judith, was a school librarian who had been a magician’s assistant. Irwin Gold, his father, was a probation officer assigned to supervise Roman Polanski as well as also Charles Manson, among various other offenders. Jonathan later recalled eating Rice-A-Roni every Tuesday night as well as also spending much of his childhood in his room, playing the cello. When he was old enough to fall under the influence of completely new wave, he plugged in his instrument as well as also sawed away at which from the short-lived local band Overman.

With cello proficiency in his favor, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles. Although he got his degree in music history, in 1982, he had a sideline in art; he took a class with as well as also worked as an assistant for the guerrilla performance artist Chris Burden. For a brief time, Mr. Gold thought of himself as a performance artist, too. “A naked performance artist, to be specific,” he told an interviewer. His materials for one piece were two bottles of Glade air freshener, a pile of supermarket broiler chickens, a live chicken at the end of a rope as well as also a machete wielded by Mr. Gold, who wore only a blindfold. The chicken survived, as well as also may have come out of the ordeal in better spirits than Mr. Gold, who later said, “The few minutes after an art performance are some of the most depressing from the globe.”

While he was in college, Mr. Gold walked into the office of LA Weekly, an alternative paper, where he was soon reading proofs as well as also pitching big, doomed ideas about the zeitgeist. For a time from the 1980s, he was the newspaper’s music editor, as well as also by the 1990s he was better known as a music journalist than a food writer, contributing long articles to Spin, Details as well as also various other magazines. While reporting a Rolling Stone article about the emergence of gangsta rap, Dr. Dre as well as also Snoop Dogg gave him a nickname: Nervous Cuz.