FROM THIS EPISODE
Vincent Williams began his career in the food industry 40 years ago, working his way up from prepping chickens on the graveyard shift for the Golden Bird company. In 2004, he began serving up his own perfected version of the fried bird at Honey’s Kettle. Williams shares the story of how Honey’s Kettle rose from being in the red at its original location in Compton to the thriving Culver City institution that it is today.
Competition and density are real struggles for any restaurant in this busy city. How do new restaurateurs differentiate themselves from the rest of LA’s crowded culinary landscape? At the age of 20, Ann Kwon took over her family’s business in Koreatown and created a niche for their sports bar and restaurant, Biergarten. It all started with craft beer and German fried rice...
In 2015, Shawn Pham and his family took out a lease on a 3,200-square-foot space and invested over $1 million to open a restaurant in Little Tokyo. Simbal served a Southeast Asian-inspired menu to rave reviews. But this February, the family made the very tough decision to shutter the business. Pham discusses the many challenges the restaurant faced that led to his decision to close.
This week, Jonathan Gold does “California food with an Italian overlay” at The Ponte, chef Scott Conant’s recently opened Mid-City restaurant. Learn why this exceptional pasta al pomodoro, of Scarpetta fame, is now back on the plates of diners at The Ponte. You can also find out what else to try in Jonathan’s LA Times review.
Veal and pork polpette over semolina pudding with
broccoli rabe pesto at The Ponte. (Photo by Camellia Tse)
The Ponte: 8265 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048 | (323) 746-5130
Andy Ricker serves his take on Thai food at five Pok Pok locations throughout Portland, Oregon, and one in Brooklyn, New York. In 2015, his noodle bar and flagship restaurant opened its doors in LA’s Mandarin Plaza. He gives us some insight into why he recently decided to cease operations at his Chinatown location.
In 1978, Michael McCarty opened Michael’s in Santa Monica before opening a second location in New York a decade later. He fills us in on the hurdles he’s cleared along the way to stay in business and explains the thinking behind his call to enact a “tip credit” and revise the tip system in California.
More From Good Food
The Great Tortilla Tournament, nixtamalization, and Guerrilla Tacos Let’s talk tortillas! Gustavo Arellano announces KCRW’s first-ever Great Tortilla Tournament, to choose the best tortilla in LA out of a bracket of 64. Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the L.A. area. And did you know that inside your tortilla is an ancient process, perfected over centuries? Also, L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls a Guadalajara taco crawl with Jonathan Gold.
Joël Robuchon, restaurant lines, and Jonathan Gold on N.W.A. This week the world lost its most highly decorated chef, Joël Robuchon. Chef Ludo Lefebvre recalls lessons he learned at the hands of this master. We also revisit Evan Kleiman and Jonathan Gold’s 2014 visit to Robuchon’s Vegas restaurant. Jean Trinh investigates how some diners in LA can stand waiting two or more hours in line. Finally, we recall Jonathan Gold’s coverage of the influential rap group N.W.A.
Omega-3s, 'Downtime' with the Redzepis, and zucchini ice cream Paul Greenberg discusses what the Omega-3 boom means for our planet and lives. Nadine Redzepi talks about cooking for culinary giants like her husband Rene Redzepi in ‘Downtime.’ Crafting a menu takes more than exceptional produce, says writer Diana Henry. Also, a tour and history of LA’s pan dulce scene. Plus: ‘City of Gold’ director remembers Jonathan Gold’s 1992 piece on the LA riots.
Remembering Jonathan Gold (1960-2018) There’s a Jonathan Gold-sized hole in the heart of Los Angeles. The Pulitzer-winning LA Times food critic died on July 21, prompting an outpouring of grief and love from around the world. For this special tribute, we gathered the voices of colleagues, friends, chefs, and listeners to celebrate the man who taught us how to eat and live in LA. We dedicate this show to our former colleague of 20 years.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Why Gustavo is doing a Great Tortilla Tournament for KCRW It’s the perennial question: Corn or flour? We’re putting 64 Southern California tortillas head-to-head in our #MasaMadness bracket to see who will win the Golden Tortilla trophy. Gustavo Arellano fills us in on all the details. Read More
Joël Robuchon: My introduction to the refined world of luxury fine dining In 2014, Evan Kleiman took a road trip to Las Vegas with Jonathan Gold. The highlight of the trip by far was an opulent dinner at Joël Robuchon in the MGM Grand: the most luxurious meal she had ever experienced up until that point. In honor of the legendary French chef Joël Robuchon who passed away this week, we’re resharing Evan’s 2014 reflection on that unforgettable meal. Read More