The good and the bad: Gold is disappointed that upscale cooking seems to be missing at the moment, but he's still pleased with the foodie street culture that he helped champion in the first place:
I like trucks, taco tables and pop-ups as much as the next guy, but I was really hoping to find evidence pointing to a resurgence in fine dining, powered by exposure to complex cooking on food television, and the vast numbers of people coming out of training programs like Cordon Bleu or the CIA. Alas, I did not.
Instead, when I looked at the new heroes of cooking in America, I kept seeing Lukshon's Sang Yoon, Kogi's Roy Choi and ramen-slinging David Chang of New York's Momofuku: Asian-born guys classically trained in European techniques, working in great American kitchens, who decided to redirect their imagination toward street food. Their dishes have a directness of flavor, and their high-low juxtapositions still have the ability to shock, even in a world where pandan leaf and calamansi lime have become nearly as common as salt and pepper.
Nice to see plenty of our favorites on the list, including classics like Border Grill; neighborhood haunts like Good Girl Dinette, Little Dom's and Oinkster; our favorite pizza joint, Casa Bianca; and everyone's fave spicy Thai spot, Jitlada. But as usual, there are plenty of spots to try. Do yourself a favor and save a copy of the Gold list in your car -- you'll be happy you did.