CITY OF GOLD

— by Jeff Schultz

Delicious. Yes, it’s primarily a profile of L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold, the first such writer to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. But the documentary’s co-subject is Los Angeles itself and the marvelous ways Gold evokes our megalopolis through its chow. If you’re familiar with Gold’s reviews, you know him as the most democratic of gourmands — a man for whom a taco truck, a mini mall, or a hole in the wall is more likely to yield taste bud heaven than the usual temples of fine dining that were once the sole purview of newspaper restaurant writing. That, coupled with his shy yet open and amiable personality, makes him a perfect guide as he cruises in his Dodge truck from the San Gabriel Valley to Koreatown, Alhambra to Hollywood, and anywhere else where there’s something exciting to be found on a plate. By the time the movie ends, we’re not only hungry, we’ve also gained a new way to define the city, summed up beautifully at the end in an elegiac reading (at Skylight Books) by Gold from one of his lovelier pieces.

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