It was the happiest day of Phillip Cho's life. Shortly after New Year's Day in 2005, he learned that he had acquired a fortune of $600 million — a windfall from his brother, who had won a settlement in a corporate espionage lawsuit, and who planned to give Cho access...
The Lotus and the Storm, Lan Cao's high-profile follow-up to her best-selling debut, Monkey Bridge, revisits her preoccupation with how U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam continues to reverberate through both countries, via a family saga. Reportedly the first Vietnam War novel written by a Vietnamese-American, Monkey Bridge illustrated Cao's talent for graceful prose that deftly evokes lives stranded between two worlds. Cao, who was born in Vietnam, lives here now and teaches international business law at Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University. She'll read tonight at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $27.95. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com.More
Sept. 3: Dustin Lance Black, Craig Borten.
Love books but hate literary events? That's the tagline for Reza Aslan's monthly conversation series, "The Writer's Room." The third installment happens this week — and it's an accurate hook. For starters, the event happens in a posh, glittery nightclub. There's a house band and a full bar (even a two-drink minimum). The crowd is eclectic, engaged and, frankly, a bit raucous — with the encouragement of Aslan, who conducts the interviews with irreverent verve and a side-splitting humor not frequently in evidence during his public-intellectual cable news appearances. Defining the literary community as "anyone who makes their living with words," Aslan's guest list includes journalists, poets, songwriters, scholars, comics, novelists — and, of course, screenwriters. The August edition is a double bill, as Aslan (himself a practitioner of fiction and teleplays in addition to his scholarly journalism) welcomes the screenwriters behind two of the year's most high-profile books-turned-movies: Scott Neustadter (The Fault in Our Stars) and Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey). Expect personal and professional insight, anecdotes and advice among the clinking of glasses and waves of laughter that happen when writers get real. DBA Hollywood, 7969 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed., Aug. 6, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.); $30; 21 and older. (855) 367-7969, dbahollywood.com.More
Twice each year, the MAK Center hosts young artists from outside the United States, giving them an apartment they can stay in for three months while working on a project based on Los Angeles. The spring-summer residency just ended and Copenhagen-based Maria von Hausswolff is showing the four-minute film noir she made. It delves into suicide, scandal, murder and romance. Vienna-based Björn Kämmerer made a 16mm film inspired by the "bad guy" targets used for shooting practice. 1137 S. Cochran Ave., Mid-Wilshire; on view through Sept. 7. (323) 651-1510, makcenter.org.More
Designed to demonstrate solidarity with the values and goals of the Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech, this event boasts a line up of professional and student dancers, plus LA Opera Young Artist soloists, a high school choir, a violin prodigy and a marching band. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dance-the-dream-los-angeles-registration-6951609451 to participate in the dancing which will be filmed for a documentary.More
fri 7/25 Dierks Bentley GREEK THEATRE For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country's superstars...
Visual allure often isn't a virtue we value when chasing obscure flavors in L.A.'s international neighborhoods. In fact, adventurous diners tend to appreciate the opposite: The grungier the location, the more accomplished we feel for having sought it out. Looks be damned — let the fireworks happen on the flavor...
The Los Angeles art world has been saying a collective "hallelujah" since the arrival in January of Philippe Vergne as MOCA's new director. Although some East Coast commentators condemned the appointment — citing in particular a budget crisis scandal in which Vergne resorted to selling off a number of works...
The David Smith exhibition that LACMA put on in 2011 was full of competent metal sculptures, made by the sculptor from the 1940s to the 1960s. It was called "Cubes and Anarchy," a very macho, modernist title. L.A. artist Evan Holloway, who's poked at the over-confident grandeur of modernists before, took a notebook with him to Smith's show. He sketched Smith's sculptures from the side; seen from this angle, they lose their boldness. Now, suddenly, they're compelling because they're wispy, delicate and sweet. Holloway's drawings are part of the Armory Center for the Arts' current show, "The Fifth Wall." 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; through Dec. 14. (626) 792-5101; armoryarts.org.More
Artist Tony Greene made all his work between his 1987 CalArts graduation and his 1990 death from AIDS-related complications. In his paintings, he walks this fine line between control and excess: carefully calculated rectangles surrounding yellowed images of body parts, which have been accented with cream- and rust-colored lettering that's garishly rustic. They're hanging in midcentury architect Rudolf Schindler's Kings Road House now, and they're perfect there, against the smooth, minimal concrete walls. The house gives the paintings all the seriousness they deserve, while the paintings make the house more human. 835 N. Kings Road, W. Hlywd; through Sept. 7. (323) 651-1510, makcenter.org.More
Weep at another whiff of an Elmore Leonard adaptation, one that nails down neither the peppery laughs nor the street-crime desperation that are key to the writer's work. Instead, the comedy is too broad to take the characters seriously, and the vibe is breezily aimless, a mistake in a story...
After The Princess Bride made Robin Wright a star, she shocked Hollywood by saying no. No to The Firm and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. No to Jurassic Park, Dirty Dancing, Born on the Fourth of July and Batman Forever. She even said no to the cover of Vanity Fair...
Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen's animated Thunder and the House of Magic kicks off with an unconscionable act of cruelty: A family abandons a cat on the street, leaving him to desperately dodge traffic.
Drive down this shabby and otherwise forgettable stretch of West Adams Boulevard on a Friday night and you might find a mob of boisterous fans wearing sexy wizard costumes in a line that stretches halfway down the block.
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The cheese-and-charcuterie-intensive inspiration for L.A.'s new generation of wine bars, Suzanne Goin's pan-Mediterranean A.O.C. is a fantasy of a modern small-plates restaurant, the kind of place you drop into for a glass of Friulian Tocai and a plate of sliced prosciutto, a Cairanne and some bacon-wrapped dates with Parmesan -More
Fish, man — raw fish — from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market and jetted right to you, careful slabs of yellowtail, tuna, fluke, sprinkled with salt and drizzled with olive oil, Italian sashimi on a pretty glass plate. Il Grano’s crudo, Italian sashimi, hasn’t the pleasure in it that you’ll find at,More
The latest restaurant project from the O.C.-based team that brought us Dakota, Whist and Meson G is a bordello-style, flocked-wallpaper saloon with a big list of wines by the half-bottle, the chance to have Red Hawk or Crescenza on your cheeseburger instead of ordinary cheddar, and big Chinese takeout containersMore
You may be familiar with the sensations provided by good prosciutto or Kentucky ham, but Ibérico ham is something else entirely. Slightly chewy, it dissolves slowly into a rondelay of flavors - hazelnuts, sweat, caramel, smoke, amber, and Parmesan cheese. Advocates of the Spanish ham say that the fat isMore
With rams' heads mounted on the walls and display cases of Native American artifacts, Bigfoot West sometimes seems like a museum, but it's actually one of the Westside's hippest bars. Whereas the Bigfoot Lodge, its sister location in Atwater, has more of a kitschy vibe, with sasquatch signage and aMore
Bistango is a fusion of fine wine, gourmet food, contemporary art and sophisticated architecture. The candle-lit bar offers a view of a small stage that accommodates R&B, Latin and jazz bands. Well-known for its list of more than 400 wines, Bistango also features a full bar and a modest offeringMore
The Blind Barber is all business in the front -- an old-timey barber shop that offers classic hair cuts, shaves and trims -- and party in the back, a dark speakeasy that serves up craft cocktails and nine different types of gourmet grilled cheese. Tucked into a strip mall behindMore
A neon Pac-Man ghost outside the door lets you know you've arrived at Blipsy Barcade, the Koreatown bar lined with vintage arcade games. From Double Dragon to Paperboy, retro video games ping away beneath the DJ-supplied soundtrack -- which could be anything from frantic cumbias to oldies rock. The barMore
This restaurant is a steak oasis, where the meat is aged for about one week to break down the sinew-making it tender-while being marinated in head chef Jorge Guttierez's secret concoction before being charbroiled to delectability!More
Based in a former 1930s warehouse, this brick-walled performance space hosts theater, music, dance and film events in a medium-size theater, which is adjoined by a more bare-bones bar. The beer-and-wine bar specializes in such bottled beers as La Fin du Monde and Delirium Tremens, alongside tap favorites like ManifestoMore
Hops and yeast. These two substances, which we tragically take for granted, find their spotlight at this delightfully understated bakery and brewery. Discretely located in a seemingly stagnant Huntington Beach warehouse strip, Brewbaker's allows you to create your own blends of mouth-watering beer and nosh on a slice of freshlyMore
Camilo's started out as a catering company on York Boulevard in Highland Park - the small attached cafe was added almost as an afterthought. But the good Cal-Mex food and neighborhood-friendly prices caught on with everyone from starving artists to thriving yups, and in no time, the cafe had outgrownMore
La Habra's toniest (read: priciest) restaurant: Nothing on the dinner menu is less than $15. Fancy-prepared American food in an English-pub setting (though it's quite a bit larger than a typical English pub).More
It's hard to miss this longtime fixture on Catalina Island. The Catherine Hotel is just about 100 yards down the road from where the ferry boats dock, at the bend where the aptly named Crescent Avenue begins its lazy curve along the Avalon waterfront. Although the Catherine is indeed aMore
The various Cedar Creeks offer similar menus featuring prime rib, rack of lamb and homemade desserts. The Brie-and-pecan-stuffed chicken breast comes with a creamy pear-sage sauce that draws out the fine, nutty flavor of the pecans. The large butterflied scampi is served with capers and diced Roma tomatoes. And theMore
This tacky Mexicali spot took over Le Bar, a Latin drag queen hangout in 2005, and it's been the casa of choice for Silver Lake's too-cool-to-shampoo scene ever since. A life-size painting of Willie Nelson greets patrons near the bar, where, under a thatch hut roof, the bartenders (most areMore
If you fancy yourself a bit of a badass, too edgy to succumb to the wiles of your average bottle-blond stripper but not above ogling pretty girls in general, Cheetahs is probably for you. Thanks to the tattooed, punk rock, Suicide Girl vibe of the place, you can feel likeMore
Forest green booths line one wall and a smattering of Betty Boop memorabilia (gifts from owner Bette Barlotta's regulars) collect dust behind the bar at Tee Gee, but everybody's favorite visual element has to be its crusty lime green ceiling complete with gold glitter specks. Ceramic lamps, brown wood panelingMore
When chef Tom Colicchio's original Craft opened in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood, it was a fantasy restaurant, a place where customers were invited to construct their meals from scratch, or rather from gleaming copper pots of prepared meats, sauces, starches and vegetables all ordered à la carte. At Craft inMore
Angelenos have always been suckers for programmatic architecture, eager to eat chili in a chili bowl or munch on doughnuts under a 40-foot cruller, drink beer inside a bucket or consume fried chicken inside an abstracted KFC container. The giant milk bottle on Slauson and the big thermometer in BakerMore
They offer a huge menu selection, including American dishes; you'll want to try the enticing fettuccine Alfredo, lasagna, shrimp and pastas. The chicken Parmigiana melt sandwich and the calamari steak will create lasting memories in your stomach. Plus, they sell Fernet Branca, which will cure your cholera.More
Dirty Laundry, a Houston Hospitality bar located beneath an unassuming apartment building in Hollywood, might be the epitome of the speakeasy trend. Once you've found your way to the hidden staircase near Hollywood and Hudson, ring the correct buzzer (you can find the answer via Dirty Laundry's social media), andMore
The District Lounge's 'cue is serious, and Reverend Morton's Savory Bar-b-que Savior Sauce-a relishy, sweet glop the District crew administers judiciously to all meats-could score a ribbon in a Kansas City cook-off. The tri-tip's middle is pink, its skin charred yet juicy, and it arrives about eight lengths to anMore
For most of its existence, Dominick’s was famous as the Hollywood restaurant that never looked open, a weathered, low building, neon permanently unlit, across from the small amusement park that later became the site of the Beverly Center. It was, or at least had a reputation as, the original RatMore
How many izakaya are there in Los Angeles? How many grains of sand lie upon Zuma Beach? Ebisu, named after the nightlife-intensive Tokyo neighborhood, comes from the people behind the splendid noodle shop Daikokuya, which introduced Little Tokyo to the pork-rich tonkotsu style of ramen. Like Daikokuya, Ebisu, fitted intoMore