City of Gold


City of Gold chronicles Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s deep and complex relationship with the food and culture of his city, Los Angeles. Gold has long been known for his robust writing about the hidden culinary treasures in LA; he was one of the first critics to review small family owned restaurants in far-flung ethnic enclaves with as much care as the haute cuisine establishments of Beverly Hills.

With a stroke of his pen, he’s changed the lives of countless recent immigrants cooking the food of their homes. City of Gold also explores the rigor, knowledge and compassion that makes Jonathan’s style of criticism stand apart. Jonathan Gold maps Los Angeles through his Odyssey-like quests for new food experiences so that we too can discover and understand our city. Featured in the film are Roy Choi, David Chang, and Ludo Lefebvre, as well as the chefs and owners behind some of Gold’s favorites: Jitlada (Thai), Guelaguetza (Oaxacan), Meals by Genet (Ethiopian), and Chengdu Taste (Sichuan). City of Gold offers the rare opportunity to see Los Angeles through the eyes of its foremost cultural writer, and most loyal fan.



“In the face of that reality, Mr. Gold finds intimations of perfection — meals, dishes, single bites that sustain his faith in Los Angeles and, by implication, in humanity. City of Gold is a lovely testament to that faith, worth attending to even if you think you have no interest in food, California or criticism.”

- New York Times | A.O. Scott

“The documentary does as much to demystify and yet romanticize Los Angeles as any Chandler novel.”

- New York Times | Melena Ryzik, The Carpetbagger

“Offers an almost utopian vision of urban life in which good food can temporarily transcend borders of race, class and gender.”

- Los Angeles Times | Akiva Gottlieb

“In search of fresh culinary treasures, Gold travels the hidden corners of a too-familiar city and we get to fall in love with L.A. again.”

- Rolling Stone | Peter Travers

“Gold shows us that the real work of a writer happens far from the keyboard: mostly it involves being alive to the world around us. But there's no reason to set out on an empty stomach.”

- TIME Magazine | Stephanie Zacharek

“Gabbert’s film is part portrait, part city symphony. It celebrates Gold as a fixture of his native Los Angeles and L.A. as in thrall to its stalwart guide.”

- Globe and Mail | Calum Marsh

“It’s a documentary that is ostensibly a profile of a man, but is really about the vibrant city he inhabits, beyond the Hollywood sheen and the grit of Compton.”

- Philadelphia Inquirer | Molly Eichel

“A powerful love letter to the art of discovery.”

- 4:3 | Conor Bateman

“Enchanting... illustrates Gold’s inspiring passion for the food and people who elucidate the soul of a city.”

- Austin American-Statesman | Matthew Odam