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City of Gold

HD   R Closed Captioning

Laura Gabbert

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About the Movie

In this richly penetrating documentary odyssey, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold shows us a Los Angeles where ethnic cooking is a kaleidoscopic portal to the mysteries of an unwieldy city and the soul of America. Combing through colorful neighborhoods in his green pickup truck, Gold is sniffing out his next strip-mall discovery—whether Oaxacan grasshopper soup, hand-cut tonkotsu ramen, or a particularly unctuous pad see ew. As piping-hot platters are served up, so are stories of immigrants whose secret family recipes are like sacred offerings pledged for the opportunity to build their American Dream. With eternal curiosity, razor-sharp intellect, and existential longing, Gold is a culinary geographer taking us where no critic has gone before.


Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 58
  • Fresh: 53
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 7.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: "City of Gold" transcends its modest methods, largely because it connects Mr. Gold's appealing personality with a passionate argument about the civic culture of Los Angeles and the place of food within it. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Mar 10, 2016

Fresh: 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. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Mar 10, 2016

Fresh: 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. – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine, Mar 10, 2016

Fresh: A tasty primer on the man, the eater, the critic and the city. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Mar 11, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

so well done!

We really enjoyed this movie, which is in equal parts a love letter to food, to Los Angeles, and to critical writing. I thought it might be boring or slow, but it was interesting and engaging throughout. I'll see LA with new eyes the next time I'm home to visit my parents. (And I'm going to try the restaurants around here that I've been walking past for years.)

Gold is godfather of good eating!

As a New Yorker I wasn't that familiar with Jonathan Gold until I saw this movie and it became readily apparent that he single handedly changed what we think fine dining really is all about. He is also responsible for the success of things like the Food Network, HGTV and reality show personalities like Anthonys (Bourdain and Zimmer) though he does it much much better. The film is also a great ethnographic study of how cities grow and diversify. Amazing film on so many levels.


Not for food lovers nor real people. They act like they have authority to judge when they have no real credibility. No real substance. We’ve seen this film a hundred times in other/better docs anyway.

City of Gold
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2016

Customer Ratings