Gates of Eatin' 

Wednesday, Apr 12 2006

Looks like grubbing is almost as popular as clubbing around Hollywood Boulevard these days; we can barely keep track of all the swanky boîtes that keep popping up. Guess the beautiful people actually do eat sometimes. Nefarious Jewelry, Flaunt magazine and Velvet Revolver hosted a private bash last Thursday at the latest celeb-endorsed chow-wow, Black Steel. The brainchild of self-proclaimed chef to the stars Chef J, it features a French-meets-Japanese vegetarian menu from investor Pamela Anderson. While the name’s inspired by the cookware (black steel pans and knives), the modern gothic-dungeon décor tries a little too hard to live up to it — not exactly inviting. We hear Lindsay Lohan showed up late, but when we were there, the only celebs were Revolverites Matt Sorum and Scott Weiland, munching sushi in a corner. Good to see Weiland chompin’, though; he looked awful scrawny to us a few nights earlier when he joined Metal Skool (we know, them again?) for a rousing version of Guns N’ Roses’ “It’s So Easy.” Sure didn’t seem like it.

We got back in black (fishnets) on Saturday for Flesh Factory, the fetish mega-event from Miss Kitty’s at Henry Fonda Theater. The dress code suggested “dominant bitches, submissive fags, pony boys and girls, latex lesbians, lifestyle lovers, pinup divas, rivet heads, gothabillys, dominant daddies, trannies and fetish freaks” — of which there were plenty. But the most mesmerizing sight had to be glitter-drenched featured performer Dita Von Teese, who brought out her carousel-horse prop for a sexy ride-and-glide-athon. We gotta give it to Mrs. Marilyn Manson; the gal is a bona fide couture muse (she’s in Vogue like every month), so the fact that she still offers performances in the less-refined world of fetish clubs (where she first blew up) deserves some props — and (riding) crops!

Most newbie bands can’t afford to make a video, but the Scion Xpress Fest program subsidized a handful of free vid productions for some lucky indie groups recently. The clips, made by college film students (the best will win $10,000), are pretty impressive, especially those for L.A.’s Something for Rockets and Monsters Are Waiting. The latter hosted a screening at theIvar Theater last Thursday, and the after-party gave us a real flashback — it was at the club in back formerly known as the Opium Den (and the Gaslight before that). It was like time had stopped; this bricky space hasn’t changed one bit. Wonder why the nightlife bigwigs haven’t swooped in? Speaking of the bigwigs, they should be vying for the Miracle Mile space that occupies theConga Room soon. The club (co-owned by Jimmy Smits, Paul Rodriguez and J. Lo) is closing its doors in June and moving downtown to be part of theL.A. Live! Entertainment Complex, which will incorporate a restaurant, hotel, awards theater, cineplex and TV studio. Meanwhile, Conga’s got a month of big events culminating in an all-star jam session at the end of May. Adios, la Conga!

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Reach the writer at llecaro@laweekly.com

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