Indeed, it was more than LA that suffered a loss on July 21 last year. The world lost the perspective of a mind who saw and tasted and wrote and shared with such genuine empathy. It takes a certain level of compassion to redefine the role of a food critic. It takes a certain level of stubbornness and admiration to be able to bring taco trucks to a stage normally reserved for white-tablecloth restaurants. A man who fell into food writing by accident and became the one who elevated food writing to a Pulitzer-worthy pursuit.
I wonder if it could have happened anywhere outside of LA, which still in a way embraces a Wild West attitude toward tradition. Perhaps it was a magical combination: a city rich in culture that was so easy to ignore, and a man who paid attention to the everyday details around him. Who listened and learned. Who moved through space in a different way than the rest of us: attentively, respectfully.
LA is best seen at the street level. After all, we spend way too much time seeing the world through our cars. And Mr. Gold knew this. There’s something to be said about a man who uses Pico Boulevard as his case study. Many others might have gone for Sunset or Santa Monica. Wilshire, perhaps, but certainly not Pico.