Anyone who moves to Los Angeles starts hearing about Jonathan Gold right away. They'll soon learn that he writes food criticism for the Los Angeles Times, and did so previously for the Los Angeles Weekly, before which he did an earlier stint at the Times. But they'll also learn that, in his writing, he delivers much more than food criticism, no matter how rigorously he does that part.
As a man who has spent decades willingly his butt out to areas like Pacoima, Covina, or Orange just to taste a dish just like they make it back in Guangdong, Baku, or Addis Ababa, he understands just what it takes to experience a city barely comprehensible in its vastness and diversity.
Having battered our copies of Gold's 2000 book Counter Intelligence with the kind of re-reading usually reserved for holy texts, we Angelenos look forward to City of Gold, Laura Gabbert's documentary on the critic, and thus on Los Angeles itself.
You can watch the teaser of the film, which recently premiered at Sundance, at the top. Just above, Gabbert talks about how Gold's work changed her whole perception of Los Angeles. At Indiewire, you can watch a clip from City of Gold showing the man himself at work, reviewing the downtown taco truck Guerrilla Tacos. "You're not going to find cooking like this anywhere but L.A.," he writes — which makes me thankful indeed that, later today, I'll be taking my lunch break in this town.