Jonathan Gold is a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic, and City of Gold explores him and his hometown of Los Angeles. The documentary looks as though it might be a real charmer, so I’m at least mildly interested.
For the most part, I enjoyed City of Gold. Leading man Jonathan Gold is an interesting character, a quirky man who legit loves being a food critic and full-on has the willingness to do it his way and his way only. So many “critics” these days are really just folks on Yelp who hammer out a paragraph, choose a 1-5 star rating and then move onto the next stop, so it was refreshing to watch Gold as he slinked about, tossed out recommendations and shared some of his processes. I also liked being able to get a different look at LA (many of Gold’s favorite spots are food trucks and shopping center hole in the walls). If you’re a foodie or you simply just love LA, City of Gold has plenty to offer you. Where it lost me though is in its last 30 minutes or so. The film stops being about food or what it means to be a critic, and it focuses on Jonathan’s upbringing and his thoughts on how LA has changed over the years. This took the doc’s charm away for me, and once that (and the food) was gone, I started wondering when the credits would hit the screen so that I could run off and get dinner somewhere.
There’s no need to be in a hurry to see City of Gold, but overall it’s a solid documentary that isn’t a waste of your time.
One Last Thought:
I’d be the worst food critic. All of my reviews would just be “It’s good!” or “It’s not good!” and, while I like trying new things, I’m not sure I’d be down to eat some of the weird items that have been consumed by Jonathan Gold.