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City of Gold 

Wednesday, Mar 23 2016
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Laura Gabbert's documentary City of Gold is both a portrait of Pulitzer prize-winning food critic and all-around polymath Jonathan Gold, and a culinary travelogue of Los Angeles, which Gold describes as "less of a melting pot than a great glittering mosaic." Its many cultures and districts, some of which are more familiar-sounding than others — people north of the Grapevine who don't watch reality TV may not have heard of Tehrangeles, for example — are represented by food trucks, mom-and-pop joints, and other street-level eateries that have historically been ignored by food critics. The picture also ruminates on what it means to be a critic in the age of Yelp, when anything that's remotely nommy gets labeled "Amazing!" City of Gold isn't quite as mouth-watering as other recent foodie documentaries such as The Search for General Tso or Deli Man, which may speak more to this writer's own palate than anything else, while digressions about his musical background are a bit less interesting. (Yet another middle-aged white man talking about how punk rock changed his life, yawn.) But the picture does allow him to wax rhapsodic about Eddie Hazel's 10-minute guitar solo in Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain," and there are those of us who've long known that it is indeed one of the greatest instrumental recordings of the 20thcentury — and that it goes wonderfully with a Korean taco.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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