My friend Jonathan Gold

IMG_5481It’s hard to come up with the right words to explain what a man like Jonathan Gold meant to me, let alone what he meant to Los Angeles. I mean, we are talking about the greatest American Food critic, whose writing even won him a Pulitzer Prize. But I want to try to put some words together.

I feel like I got my “golden” ticket” invitation into the food community directly from Jonathan. His 101 Best Restaurants list started out as my road map to experience new restaurants, learn about different cuisines and dishes out of my comfort zone, and finally get to know and love the city I am native to: Los Angeles. It fueled my passion to do something creative, and eventually led me start Jessie Eats!

It’s amazing that social media can bring strangers together to create true friendships. @thejgold is probably the twitter handle I have tweeted the most (and I’ve tweeted @jtimberlake PLENTY of times!) But unlike Justin Timberlake, Jonathan always responded back! Whether it was a “like” or an #askjgold answer, I felt like my twitter conversation mattered and was appreciated.Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 5.49.33 PM

It wasn’t until I met Jonathan face to face years ago, that I truly felt acceptance into the food world. I introduced myself with my name & an explanation of who I was, and without hesitation Jonathan responded, “I know who you are.” And that was it! It’s silly how this simple recognition made me feel like my voice & opinion mattered.

“Food binds people together, it’s the great connector.” –Phil Rosenthal

But I felt welcomed by Jonathan to continue many conversations to come, which were always full of joy and excitement surrounding food! Over the years, Jonathan personally dared me to try new things… maybe for his own entertainment to see if I would actually do it, or to really encourage me to go out of my comfort zone. You better believe I ate the suggested Coco Tai Pla (fish kidneys) on my birthday at Jitlada so that I could be, as he put it,  “hardcore.” Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 8.33.56 PMHe has not been shy to review my “bad” choice of making deviled eggs for Thanksgiving celebration, he was quick to avoid topics like his thoughts on Vespertine before his review came out just as a teacher might do with a student, & he personally made sure to “hook me up” with passes to my favorite LA Times food event: The Taste.


These little shared conversations and moments are why I love this food community so much. We SHARE! Chefs put their hearts and souls into creating and sharing special dishes with their diners. And we, in return, hopefully share them with our loved ones, while creating a memory of a shared experience. Although I never dined with Jonathan Gold, I felt like I have every week because his writing made the reader feel like you were sharing his meal and experience with him.


I may not have perfect words to speak of my friend Jonathan, but I do have something that I think first led me towards Jonathan’s writing: a heart (although broken at the moment) and a huge passion for food!

Thank you Jonathan for being my friend, believing in me, and sharing your food experiences.




Jessie Eats: Portland

I had such a fun trip to Portland. Here is just a few places where I enjoyed eating! Everything else I will post in the notes below!

Where I Ate & Visited In This Episode
Pine State Biscuits: Reggie Deluxe
Portland Farmer’s Market
Tov Coffee & Tea: The Nectar of the Gods
Fried Egg I’m In Love: Yolko Ono
Multnomah Falls

Other places I enjoyed on my trip include:
Castagna Restaurant
Blue Star Donuts
Tasty N Alder
Powell’s City of Books

Jessie Eats Most Memorable 2016 Moments

Say what you will about this past year, but 2016 has held some amazing (and some crazy) Jessie Eats memories! Enjoy some extra bites and never before seen footage & videos below!

Starry Kitchen Illegal UndergroundIMG_8876.JPG

One of the reasons I love social media is because it brings people together. I can connect with chefs of favorite restaurants & become “friends” with like-minded foodies. So when Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen messaged me with an invite to resurrect the Illegal Underground Starry Kitchen in his home for one night only, I was in! I had a great night eating Starry Kitchen staples of Thi Tran’s menu (including my favorite the chile crab,) bonding with strangers over our shared passion of food, oh yeah and posing for the Starry Kitchen cookbook (the whole purpose of the night).


What do you do when your entire NYC trip is cut to one night only? You spend it at Daniel! This is probably my most memorable meal of 2016. Daniel is the type of restaurant you go to celebrate your 30th wedding anniversary. When the reservationist asked me what I was celebrating, I told her a date night with New York!

Everything is perfect and elegant from the ballet-like flawless service, to the wine pairings, to the stool that seats your purse, to the foie gras flambéd table side, down to the multi course tasting menu that took my breath away at every bite.

But the most memorable moment of the meal is when I had the opportunity to tour the kitchen. Words cannot describe how special that once in a lifetime moment was for me. Below is the never before seen footage of my night at Daniel.

IMG_6008Tinder Sushi Date at Sushi Zo

Yes… “Memorable”… but for all the wrong reasons. Lesson learned, stop swiping right for chefs on Tinder!

Enough said, click here to read the full details if you missed it.


img_2113The Cronut

I knew I was going to NYC for only a couple of days, and could not wait to try the famous talked about Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery. I imagined the drama and the excitement, the lines, the anticipation of waiting. What I didn’t realize is that there would be no line, and it would be a seamless easy transaction, (not so great for an episode of Jessie Eats.) Then a magical New York Moment took place: just me, the city, and an incredible dessert that all put together brought me to tears. To watch the full Cronut video click HERE.

Stinky TofuIMG_8886.JPG

As a foodie it is important to have an open mind and to try everything! Even if it means tasting something that your gut knows you won’t like, but still do it for the sake of the episode! I think it’s safe to say that I can check Stinky Tofu off of the list. To watch the full 626 Night Market video click HERE

Howlin’ Ray’s

I have never reacted so hard in a Jessie Eats episode as I did with the spicy chicken at Howlin’ Ray’s! My friend Scott knew I would fail eating the mildest of flavors, and his prediction came true. Yet, I cannot wait to go back because that burn tastes so good! See the unedited final moments of the spicy chicken aftermath below. For the full Howlin’ Ray’s video click HERE

Making It Up As I Go Along

What many of you may not know is that I am a one-man band. I am the creator, star, producer, director, editor, publicist, and cameraman on every shoot. That being said there is a LOT to learn and make up as I go. But that is a part of the fun. I’ve learned a lot from mistakes, and have used them to my benefit. I mean how do you think the lyric “so good, so good, so good” came about?! At the end of the day, doing this makes me so happy! Plus any excuse to eat and be surrounded by food is always a yes for me!

Support From Friends, Family, & Fans

Having said above that I am a one-man band, I will now contradict myself. I could not do what I do, or enjoy eating and exploring new restaurants without the support of others. Bottom line: food brings people together, and that is shown with every step of my journey. Thank you for holding my camera, paying for my food travels, giving me advice & tips, and continuing to watch and support Jessie Eats! More videos to come in 2017!


Foodie Find: Little Izaka-Ya Plate

Tinder profile picture where I look so casual drinking rose by the water…

Being a single woman in the year 2016, I am currently Tinder. Believe me, if I knew of a better way to “put myself out there” I would be actively doing it. But sadly the late night swiping video game is one of my many attempts to meet someone.

Being a foodie, my kryptonite is a man in a chef coat. Without thought I will always swipe right. Most recently I matched with a guy that not only was chef, but recognized me from social media.  “I know you!! You are a foodie! My restaurant follows you on Instagram.”

Done! A man in a chef coat who is recognizing ME! Sold! He told me that it was sushi night and that he was going to take me to a place “that would change my life.” This place being Sushi Zo!

A few highlights from Sushi Zo

For those of you who don’t know this restaurant, Sushi Zo is an Omakase ONLY spot, which means you put full trust in the sushi chef and never order. You will never receive a roll covered in mayo, but you’ll be handed piece by piece of the finest slices of fish from all over the world. It is a beautiful experience, and one that is lots of $$$

I admit, the Omakase experience at Sushi Zo DID change my life. I have never dined like this before, and was completely happy in my sushi dream moment consuming perfect fish. Sadly, the main thing that changed my life was my outlook on men and dates as my Tinder Chef unexpectedly had me pay the hefty fee when the bill came.

Why do I share this with you? Because later that week, still humiliated at the amount of money I spent on a TINDER DATE that will go nowhere when I can’t afford to pay less than that for my health insurance, I found myself in a different sushi happiness with a $20 lunch!

If you are from Los Angeles, you would be out of the know if you didn’t know Katsu-Ya, whether it be the original mini mall Ventura Blvd spot, or the new clubs all over. Their spicy tuna on crispy rice, baked hand rolls, and albacore with crispy onion are staples when ordering, and for me it has always been a spot for a special night out.

Little Izaka-Ya Plate for lunch

Imagine my delight when I went to THE LITTLE IZAKA-YA (part of the Katsu-Ya family located in Sherman Oaks) for lunch and realized all of my favorite things and more were in a $20 “LITTLE IZAKA-YA PLATE” lunch special. Done and done! (Which makes this my newest “Foodie Find” to share with you!) I got to enjoy Yellowtail Sashimi with Ponzu & Jalapeno, Albacore Sashimi with Crispy Onion, Whitefish with Granny Apple Carpaccio, the famous Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna & a Baked Crab Hand Roll, allowing me to leave fulfilled and not broke!

I don’t need a man to show me a great dining experience, I can create my own!

(But I mean, is it so hard to find a nice, sarcastic, good looking guy, with a passion for food and wine, central AC, & an HBO Go account?)

Disclaimer: Sushi Zo really is an amazing spot, I will just go back the next time for my one year wedding anniversary with FILL IN THE BLANK TBD MAN.

Foodie Find:Sushi Tsujita

IMG_5645As a lifelong resident of the valley, I never purposely go out of my way to travel to the west side. It’s just too far! This has become an issue since more and more places near Santa Monica have been stacking up on my restaurant wish list. But when a job takes me that way, I take advantage!

I was in West LA by Sawtelle Blvd and intended to grab Tsukemen (a dipping ramen) at TSUJITA LA ARTISAN NOODLE ANNEX, but of course the line was already an hour wait! (I point this out to secretly also recommend going to the Annex to grab this ramen dish, which is so good!) Luckily I remembered TSUJITA has a sister restaurant with a fun lunch special just down the street. Thank you late night yelp/menu obsessions!

SUSHI TSUJITA is mostly known as an Omakase place with dinners ranging from $140-$180. This is important to point out since you know that means the quality of the fish they prepare is going to be amazing!

My Foodie Find is the Bari Chirashi Bowl (a sushi box costing only $18).IMG_5644

This sushi box is filled with seasoned sushi rice, diced cucumbers, and assorted pieces of salmon, shrimp, and other marinated fish all collaged together, and sprinkled with Ikura (salmon roe). The lunch also comes with miso soup, making it the best $18 I’ve spent in a while!

Even though my chopstick technique is on point, my server advised me to use the spoon to scoop everything up, resulting in perfect bite after perfect bite!

(It also doesn’t hurt to report the clean bathroom with a heated toilet added the extra touch haha!).