Culinarian Evan Kleiman is the host of KCRW’s Good Food and a veteran of the Los Angeles food scene with a keen interest in food policy. In the green room before helming the panel at the Zócalo/UCLA event “What’s So Bad About GMOs?” Kleiman confessed that she isn’t all that interested in fancy meals—and that she ate a cold burrito for breakfast.
Q: What salad dressing best describes you?
A: The salad dressing that I ate every day of my life and that I served for 30 years in my restaurant. I called it the Angeli Forte dressing. It was on the Insalata Forte. It was olive oil, aged red wine vinegar, a ton of garlic, and a handful of parmesan cheese. It’s tart and strong, but mellowed with umami. When I was a child my mother made it with Wesson oil and green shake cheese.
Q: What year, past or future, would you time travel to if you could?
A: I think I’m very much a person of now. But if I had to, it would be the ‘40s, strangely enough. I’m good in a crisis.
Q: If you could legalize one crime, which would you choose?
A: Wow, that is a really good question. Libel.
Q: Who is your favorite Rolling Stone?
A: My favorite Rolling Stone was Brian [Jones] but he left us way too early. I would have to say Keith Richard because he’s so wizened. He’s like a gnome.
Q: What did you have for breakfast today?
A: For breakfast today I had the remains of a chile relleno burrito that I couldn’t finish for dinner last night. I ate it cold out of the refrigerator.
Q: What’s the strangest question your fans ask you?
A: Well, my fans always ask what fancy restaurant I went to, which to them isn’t strange but to me it is because I’m not really a foodie. I don’t go to super fancy restaurants.
Q: Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail?
A: People leave voicemails?
Q: What’s your favorite plant?
A: There cannot be a favorite plant! I love sequoia trees.