Best Basement in Chinatown - 2011
Basements in Chinatown have character. Dank and unfinished, most feel like they could have been speakeasies or covert crime dens in eras past. But the Pepin Moore gallery on the far end of Chung King Road has a particular below-ground charm. Upstairs, the space is split into two narrow rooms. Each has its own staircase leading down to an open, concrete-floored area perfect for impromptu dance parties and video screenings, and Pepin Moore has hosted both since moving in at the end of June 2010. The real gem, however, is a DJ booth the size of a walk-in closet behind the west stairwell. With a tiled floor, neon blue lighting, mirrored walls and fake flowers "planted" under each of four benches, the booth practically glows. L.A. artist Andy Ouchi designed it four years ago for a performance he held when the space still belonged to the gallery China Art Objects. Now the booth's been repurposed as a hangout and sometime screening room. See a film as psychedelically spooky as Justin Lowe's More, which screened here in March, and you'll feel you've floated into another hemisphere. 933 Chung King Road, Chinatown. (213) 626-0501, pepinmoore.com.