Saturday, March 19, 2016
Foodie Films: City Of Gold
We had the chance to view an advance screening of the new documentary CITY OF GOLD this week and absolutely loved it. It's the story of Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic and self-professed lover of the city of Los Angeles. His approach to dining is more like that of an anthropologist rather than a journalist as he delves into the culture behind every meal he consumes. What is revealed to the viewer is a patchwork of immigrants and others celebrating diversity, and, in fact, life through the joy of their traditional food. This is Gold's universe. His writing, needless to say, is thoughtful and dreamy.
A soft-spoken, interestingly eccentric intellectual, Gold also reveals the key to truly great restaurant reviews: the stories behind the food and the realization that food has an emotional component and visceral connection to all of us. Mundane reviews tell us the ingredients, the name of the "mixologist" and a basic laundry list of information, throwing in a word or two that most people have never heard before to prove some worth. Great critics give us the story behind all of that and the true reason to celebrate the cuisine. They don't talk down to us. They subjugate their hefty egos. Gold also gently slides the lid off the sham of anonymity (he offered up his identity publicly a while back) and shamelessly admits that he was taken with the idea of "eating on someone else's dime."
Having been to Los Angeles and seeing the preview with a friend who spent time there as well we both had to admit that in our visits there we had never seen this Los Angeles. And it motivated us to return and visit these places, savoring every bite and moment as we plan to discover new finds in our very own city. Great film.