CITY of GOLD – review


Writer Director Laura Gabbert brings us a documentary about Jonathan Gold.  Who is Jonathan Gold? He is the first food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize who currently writes for the L.A. Times.  Laura takes us on a grand adventure following Jonathan throughout the city of L.A.

Laura follows Gold as he goes about he daily job going to food places and critiquing them for the Times.  Yes, Gold visits the high – class expensive restaurants, but he is better known for the small eateries in the little neighborhoods.  Think some of the original eateries on the Hill here in St. louis, but with a twist.  gold2

Gold likes to visit the ethnic small restaurants that serve lamb, grasshopper, ox penis, and even octopus tacos.  We begin this documentary watching Long haired Jonathan looking at a blank computer screen that is missing a few keys.  He looks like someone who is gathering his thoughts, and then after a few false starts at writing his critic his mind and hands go off and he types all of his thoughts onto that older Lap-Top.

We learn how he first started out as a writer for music, playing the cello in a  band, and even rocking in the studio with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg for the production of Doggystyle.  He was trained in classical music style, but lost his passion for music and where music left him Food took over.  gold3

He loves the small venues no matter if it is a food truck, or on of those ethnic eateries I wrote about earlier.  He thinks these are the places that are most important in the cultural make up of L.A.  While watching this I could only think about our city and the hill, the Bosnian area, and even the loop and all the cultural eateries we have that I have never visited.  gold4

Yes, Gold has power in the L.A, area if he gives you a bad review most likely your restaurant will not survive the year.  As I do when I really like a flick he puts all his feelings into the article when he loves the food.  He does like most of the places we visit with him in the documentary, but he does use the term garbage when discussing a place he has visited in the past, but we don’t see.  

I grade City of Gold a B for the documentary that it is.  I enjoyed watching Gold put so much passion and enjoyment into what he does everyday, eat food, and critic it.  The way he can bring what he tastes onto the paper when he likes or hates the food.  He has the knowledge and passion that only some critics dreamed they had when it comes to writing about food or movies. 

Brad Watts

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