Between the impressive appetite and David Crosby mustache, we always figured Jonathan Gold could toke everyone under the table. But the critic clarifies that he hasn’t been zooted since the last time he hung out with Snoop Dogg and his fifteen pitbulls, a scenario that sadly doesn’t even make Dogg’s list of the top thirteen most notable times he got high. After loitering around an Encino parking lot clutching a wine bottle, Gold’s trip to Starry Kitchen and Laurent Quenioux’s clandestine cannabis pop-up dinner begins and soon he is wincing over a cocktail bearing the “strong whiff of bong water.” Egads. So, who’s the first to jump out the window thinking they can fly?
Alas, not this time, as the critic admits, “The kitchen was sober as an operating room…” Hmmm, are we having fun yet? As for the food, the devil’s weed doesn’t really pronounce itself in anything but an epazote puree beside a bowl of nettle and monkfish porridge and Gold thinks you can find better Chinese food, spareribs, and silky chicken in The SGV. Even the author of The High Times Cookbook has trouble sussing out the sensi in Quenioux’s dishes, which sound typically novel despite holding out on the herb.
Like many a drug transaction before this one, the crew appears to feel a better buzz in anticipating the event than in actually scoring their supper, as they’re left unmoved by both the powers and flavors of cannabis. Gold exits the meal “unbuzzed but smiling, unarrested but guilty,” and hopefully gave his homie Snoop a call soon after.