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...
Shana Mabari's new Illumetric is a highlight of the West Hollywood skyline — or at least your Santa Monica Boulevard eyeline. You may have already noticed the three regal, luminous, giant geometric gems, glowing red, blue and yellow with a mysterious inner light, nestled in the median grass across from Barney's Beanery. Mabari's twin interests in art and technology have inspired several phases of her work, the latest of which finds expression in these classic futuristic forms, heirs to SoCal's archetypal Light & Space movement as well as its upbeat pop sensibility. The city's Art on the Outside program lights them up for an hour at sunset each evening to great effect. Mabari tells us she’ll be in the Palihouse bar from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., for an informal, no-host bar and indoor gathering, and then will head to the park across the street (where the Sal Guarriello Veterans Memorial is) for a public viewing reception. Palihouse, 8465 Holloway Drive, W. Hlywd.; Tue., Sept. 9, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; free. (310) 994-1690, shanamabari.com.More
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
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.
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Where Roy Choi goes, people will follow - this has been well-established. Because if the legions of the hungry are willing to follow his Kogi trucks when they alight in deserted motel parking lots or alongside Orange County topless clubs, it stands to reason that they will go where theyMore
Much of young chef Miles Thompson's food astonishes. In the crudo section, a shimaji dish with miso, blood orange and kiwi is bright and standard if you like fruit with your fish, but the live scallop tartar knocked me on my ass. Served with strawberries, black truffle and elderflower vinaigrette,More
On a barren corner of Broadway and Olympic in downtown L.A. sits Alma, chef Ari Taymor's fantasy-come-to-life. Taymor makes beignets with seaweed and tofu, a totally next-generation donut that is as fun to eat in its fried umami glory as it is tasty. Sablefish, lightly smoked and slick, comes onMore
Where my favorite osterie in Italy find purpose in the repetition of classic dishes, in menus that may not change for decades, Gino Angelini is by nature a creative chef who likes to mark dishes as his own. A regular at his restaurants could tell the difference between Angelini's saltimboccaMore
The first thing you should know about Animal is that it is practically a shrine to bacon, which appears everywhere on the short, seasonal menu, up to and including a chocolate dessert. The chefs, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, former Food Network stars who call themselves the Food Dudes, areMore
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
The menu at South Pasadena's Aro Latin is a cultural mishmash that encompasses both chef Rocio Camacho's Oaxacan cooking and owner Karan Raina's Indian heritage. So there's chicken with mole poblano, but also ribs cooked with coconut milk and served with fresh mango. Here you might come across the bestMore
An Attari sandwich is close to a perfect thing, a length of toasted French bread, a layer of main ingredient, and a dressing that includes fresh tomatoes, a handful of shredded lettuce and a smattering of spiced, supertart Iranian pickles that somehow manage to give the impression of a goodMore
The menu at Baco Mercat reads almost like a graduate exam in culinary poststructuralism, mixing flavors from Italy, France and western China, Georgia (U.S.) and Georgia (Eastern Europe), Tuscany and Peru. Josef Centeno's take on posole includes a chile-red pork broth, crisps of beef and pork and house-made noodles thatMore
In some respects, Chef Jose Centeno's Bar Ama is two restaurants in one. The first serves giant mounds of guacamole, oozy bowls of queso dip and gut-bomb enchiladas smothered in cheese. It's slutty Mexican-American food made with better ingredients than is typical of the genre but with the same emotionalMore
At Bestia downtown, Chef Ori Menashe's presenting rustic Italian dining, often taken to its cheffy extremes. Instead of beef tartare, there's beef-heart tartare; rather than the trendy but now widely accepted sautéed chicken livers, there are chicken gizzards. They're served with beets for a Halloween-worthy effect, a plate smeared withMore
Surprisingly, for the most part the food at Kevin Bludso's new Bludso's Bar-&-Que in Hollywood is a pretty amazing representation of what you might get at a barbecue shack — in the South or in Compton. The meats are smoky; the sides taste honest. Collards are funky and imbued withMore
Bludso's is known for its barbecue beef brisket, which comes in a foam and foil container, dripping with meaty juices. The small, Texas-style joint, with simply a counter and few stools, is big on brisket ribs, rib tips, hot links, chicken. The Texas Sampler ($25.50) is a plate that canMore
Braised meats play a major roll in many of Chef Funke's dishes, and several mellow, soothing ragus appear each night — perhaps lamb over fat yellow pappardelle, perhaps tight rolls of strascinati with supple, juicy duck. Aside from pasta and bread, Bucato's menu features sputini, which translates approximately to "snacks,"More
On Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock, this charming neighborhood restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine is many things: a deli, a market, a fantastic breakfast spot, and a Mecca for one of the best dishes in town, the duck carnets taco. With outdoor patio dining and friendly service, you can dineMore
Elvirita is a small double storefront just up the hill from El Mercado and across the street from a big cemetery. A decade or so ago, the original Cemitas Poblanas, a café in the same location, was probably the first Puebla-style restaurant in Los Angeles, the first place specifically devotedMore
It has always been worth the drive south of USC to the Mercado la Paloma, if only to order a few of chef Gilberto Cetina's fantastic cochinita pibil tacos. After Cetina closed his Macarthur Park restaurant and the little market stall became the only place to get his Yucatecan cuisine,More
On what must have been my thirtieth or fortieth visit to Chung King, the redoubt of ma po doufu, smoked chicken leg and house-smoked Chinese bacon stir-fried with fresh chiles, I was introduced to a new dish, beef in small pot. Or rather, the dish wasn't new - it hadMore
San Gabriel ValleyMonterey Park/ Alhambra/ S. Gabriel
The Church Key in West Hollywood bills itself as an "American dim sum" restaurant, with Steven Fretz in the kitchen. Falafel croquettes and pig ear Cheetos make the rounds on dim sum carts, and if you take up the offering, the card on your table is stamped to tally whatMore
Ricardo Diaz's Colonia Taco Lounge in El Puente might teach you a lot of things: the possibilities of cauliflower, how to fall head over heels in love with a flour tortilla, how to eat far too much and somehow still want more. Let's begin with the tortillas: Would it beMore
There are steamed shrimp, shrimp with black pepper, and shrimp battered and fried to tempura-like crispness. If you can get past the name, there are even shrimp cucaracha — tiny, thin-shelled creatures, deep-fried whole, which do in fact curl up into insect-like objects that have the odd brown gloss ofMore
At Chef Michael Cimarusti's West Hollywood restaurant, executive chef Sam Baxter has created a menu of incredibly straightforward, classic American seafood dishes. There's a lobster roll, served hot or cold on an excellent brioche roll, made with giant chunks of tender lobster meat, the sandwich relying on barely anything otherMore
If you are of a certain bent, you have probably spent many mornings milling around the parking lot outside the original Din Tai Fung, checking off too many items on the clipboard menu issued with your queue number, waiting for your shot at a steamerful or three of the renownedMore
In Mexico City restaurants like El Huarache Azteca may be thick on the ground, but in Highland Park, there is nothing like it on a Saturday afternoon, a cramped storefront filled with families guzzling house-made horchata, tepache and watermelon drink out of huge foam cups, hovering over the few oilcloth-coveredMore
Until a local website praised its carne asada, El Parian was best known for its birria, Guadalajara-style roasted goat in broth, and when you sat down at one of the well-battered tables, the waitress didn't offer you a menu, she asked whether you were having a full order or wereMore