Episode 431: Tejal Rao

Episode 431: Tejal Rao

Tejal Rao is the California restaurant critic for The New York Times and a columnist for The New York Times Magazine.“I've been thinking a lot about what makes a restaurant good…. Can a restaurant be good if it doesn't have wheelchair access? Can a restaurant be good if the farmers picking the tomatoes are getting sick? How much do we consider when we talk about if a restaurant is good or not? … If people are being exploited at every single point possible along the way, how good is the restaurant, really? … I worry that the pandemic has illuminated all of these issues and things are just going to keep going the way that they were.... That's what I worry about. That nothing will change.”

Thanks to Mailchimp for sponsoring this week's episode.

Show notes:



Rao's New York Times archive

01:00 "Is My Takeout Risking Lives or Saving Restaurants?" (New York Times • Apr 2020)

03:00 Rao's Atlantic archive

09:00 Rao's Saveur archive

13:00 "For Best Results, Eat This Roti Immediately" (New York Times • Oct 2020)

13:00 "Dining and Driving on the Empty Freeways of Los Angeles" (New York Times • Mar 2020)

14:00 "A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor" (New York Times • Apr 2017)

14:00 "India’s ‘Pickle Queen’ Preserves Everything, Including the Past" (New York Times • Jul 2020)

19:00 "Oysters: A Love Story" (New York Times Magazine • Aug 2017)

26:00 "I Lost My Appetite Because of Covid. This Sichuan Flavor Brought It Back." (New York Times Magazine • Jan 2021)

30:00 "The Old-School Reasons to Love Los Angeles Restaurants" (New York Times • Feb 2019)

33:00 "How Kit Kat Got Big in Japan" (New York Times Magazine • Oct 2018)

43:00 "Meatpacking Companies Dismissed Years of Warnings but Now Say Nobody Could Have Prepared for COVID-19" (Michael Grabell and Bernice Yeung • ProPublica • Aug 2020)

Illustration by Tony Millionaire


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