Jonathan Gold was one of a kind. He was the “belly of Los Angeles,” LA Weekly‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic, a chronicler of culture, and one of the best writers and thinkers about the great city of Los Angeles. His book Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles, is a must, as were his weekly appearances on Evan Kleinman’s KCRW show, “Good Food on the Road.”
Sadly, Gold died on July 21, 2019, from pancreatic cancer. He was 57. It was a loss, not just to the writing community, but also to those who refuse to think of Los Angeles as a compilation of clichés. Instead, Gold saw the city in every plate of tacos, bowl of noodles, and dish of chilies—precisely what director Laura Gabbert captures in her 2015 documentary, City of Gold. Documentaries about famous figures are a dime-a-dozen, but there is something special about Gabbert’s portrait—as if Gabbert is slightly giddy to be sitting at the dinner table with Gold. I picked City of Gold as one of the must-sees at the 2016 Boulder International Film Festival, like it even more after revisiting it after Gold’s passing last summer, and am pleased to see that you can currently stream it on Hulu.