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On what would have been Gold's 58th birthday, Los Angeles is hosting a sprawling tribute to the late restaurant critic. 

Maria Yagoda
July 27, 2018

A week after Jonathan Gold's death, Los Angeles is celebrating the late restaurant critic and his immeasurable influence on the city. On Saturday, which would have been Gold's 58th birthday, L.A. will host a citywide tribute, and the town, quite literally, will turn gold. Landmarks from L.A. City Hall to the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel will light up to honor the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, who died of pancreatic cancer after a July diagnosis.

According to a release detailing the event, the Los Angeles Times will light up its new building in El Segundo at sunset, and after sundown, the following landmarks will illuminate: L.A. City Hall tower, the Wilshire Grand Center, The Broad, US Bank Tower, Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain in Grand Park, Natural History Museum, pylons at LAX, and Pacific Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier. "Additional venues and events, including The Wiltern, the Ford Theatres, The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Chinatown Summer Nights and the Fairplex in Pomona will also display messages and projections in Gold’s honor, with more to be confirmed and all welcome to participate," reads the statement.

Gold, the longstanding Los Angeles Times food critic, died in Los Angeles on Saturday at the age of 57, and his loss has been mourned throughout the food community by writers, chefs, and just about everyone who lives in L.A.

"He helped lifelong Angelenos venture to neighborhoods within their own city to which they had never been, much less dined; eastside to west, South Central to the Valley, and back again," Gowri Chandra wrote in F&W. "Through his columns, first at L.A. Weekly—he started there in the 1980s as a proofreader and music writer—and later at the L.A. Times, he reviewed Guatemalan, Northern Thai, and Keralan restaurants in the way that other critics only wrote about Eurocentric food. And somehow, he managed to do it without being exotifying."

Gold is survived by his wifeL.A. Times arts and entertainment editor Laurie Ochoa—they met at L.A. Weekly—and a daughter, Isabel, 23, and a son, Leon, 15. The Gold-Ochoa family has asked that, instead of flowers, those wishing to honor Gold’s life could consider gifts to the following nonprofits: L.A. Regional Food Bank, Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Heal the Bay or Al Otro Lado. 

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