Michael Bergeron
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City of Gold

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Genre films hold a special attraction for fans of said genre. The two most popular types of genre films, the ones that fans will see no matter what, are horror films and foodie films.

The latter category can not only stimulate your thought process, perhaps the best compliment a film can have, but also encourage one to want to go immediately to a restaurant or food truck immediately following the end credits.

Such is the case with City of Gold, a documentary profile of Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold.

Gold, whose articles also include explorations of punk music, is like a zen master of culinary skills. To hear Gold explain the preparation and ingredients of, say, exotic Thai food is to be put on the path of righteous eating.

About two reels into the film I realized that Gold was the basis of the Oliver Platt character in the foodie feature Chef (d. Jon Favreau). Additionally Roy Choi, also seen playing himself in Chef, makes an appearance in City of Gold. It was Choi who made food trucks a staple of the LA scene.

Gold himself seems to have visited every food truck in the City of Angels, in addition to every ethnic restaurant in every strip mall in the nation’s second largest city. This Gold guy covers the waterfront.

You don’t even have to be a foodie to enjoy City of Gold. There’s a whole philosophy of living and enjoying the arts that runs as a subtext to the dishes on display.

City of Gold opens at the Sundance Cinemas this weekend.

— Michael Bergeron