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...
With more than 60 performances on offer in hip-hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly and pole dancing, the Mix Match Dance Festival returns with its annual terpsichorean tasting menu of local dance troupes. Billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, the Hart Pulse Dance Company–hosted event has some repetition in groups and dancers over its four days, but each of the four shows has a distinctive and different lineup. Friday's groups include Ashley L. Jones, Lexi Stillanos, Hazel Clarke, Kelela Batinga, Diane McNeal Hunt's Elevate, Merge Dance Theatre, Amaterasu Dance Company, Gabriela Hernandez Cardenas, J.J. Dance, Brooklyn Hughes Melton, Julianna LaRosa, Sara Kempa-Leon, OdDancity, Rosie Trump (With or Without Dance), Reach Dance Academy Burbank and the host company. Now in its eighth year, Mix Match Dance Festival is a weekend of shows offering an unmatched chance to measure the temperature of current SoCal dance. For the full lineup and tickets, go to hartpulsedance.com. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Thu.-Sat., Aug. 28-30, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 31, 2 p.m.; $17. (661) 755-2182, brownpapertickets.com/event/239532.More
The Los Angeles Times kicks off its annual food festival, the Taste, on Labor Day weekend. The folks from that paper's Food section join local chefs for a weekend of discussions, cooking and cocktail demos, wine seminars — and actual food and drink. Among the many activities: cooking demos by Nancy Silverton, Jimmy Shaw, John Sedlar, Karen Hatfield and Casey Lane, among many others; a butchery demo by Amelia Posada; Russ Parsons chats with Thomas Keller; Jonathan Gold and Betty Hallock host a mixology demo; and a farmers market cooking panel with Roxana Jullapat, Jessica Koslow and Josiah Citrin. A weekend pass goes for $299; tickets for individual events run from $175 down to a kids' brunch for $5. Check out the website for details and to buy tickets. (LAT subscribers get a $25 discount.).More
Game lovers will be gathering at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport over Labor Day weekend for Gateway 2014. Part of the Strategicon family of holiday weekend gaming events, this four-day convention features tournaments, demos and more, for board game lovers and card sharks alike. A full roster of events is planned every day right up until Monday afternoon, so check out strategicon.net for the schedule. For those who want to simply play with friends, head to the library. It's stocked with old favorites and more recent titles. Whether you're looking for something with zombies, Cthulhu or Dungeons & Dragons, there is something here you can take on loan for a few hours. Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Blvd., Westchester; Fri., Aug. 29-Mon., Sept. 1; $60 weekend pass ($50 in advance), day pass $30 (Sat.-Sun.)/$15 (Fri., Mon.)., $5 kids under 12 with adult admission. strategicon.net.More
Just as organizations such as A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives have been busy digitizing Super-8 and 16mm home movies, instructional films, and other forms of celluloid ephemera, Everything Is Terrible (EIT) is dedicated to finding the most god-awful casualties of VHS and virtually every kind of media thereafter. Everything Is Festival is a series of public screenings showcasing some of the most mind-glowingly bad shit out there. This year's fun, five-day film fest, Everything Is Festival: The 5th Dimension, kicks off with EIT's very own Memory Hole, a visual assemblage of rejects from America's Funniest Home Videos, which offers a window into America during the last quarter-century. Ticketed presentations include the 1991 amusing atrocity Samurai Cop (with star Matt Hannon in person!) and the sophomore edition of The Most Outrageous Video Games. Other highlights: Barry Hansen aka Dr. Demento's favorite finds, as well as the Found Footage Battle Royale, a community invitational for anyone hankering to share their own funny and/or disturbing under-recognized gems. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Thu., Aug. 28 to Mon., Sept. 1 (various showtimes); opening night free. All other screenings $12/$15, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.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...
There's a story, reported in memoirs and elsewhere, that in 1976, when Martin Scorsese filmed The Band's farewell concert, Neil Young played his hit "Helpless" with a rock of cocaine in his nostril. A drawn-out effort purportedly followed to edit this cocaine out of Scorsese's documentary The Last Waltz. Artist Scott Benzel's installation Magnified / Erased (2014) includes a big, black-and-white image of a cocaine flake blown up to impossible proportions, with a small TV monitor on a cart in front of it playing zoomed-in footage of Young's nose. Something's happening in and around that nose, but it's hard to tell what. The installation is one of the highlights in the genuinely elegant show about history as myth, curated by Eric Kim at Aran Cravey gallery. 6918 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; through Aug. 30. (323) 591-0036, arancravey.com.More
Gretchen Bender, who died too young in 2004, was obsessed with mass media, mainstream movies included, calling it all a "cannibalistic river." She had a great urge to get out ahead of the current or reroute the river in some way. When she made People in Pain in 1988, she put titles from movies that hadn't come out yet (Full Metal Jacket, Fatal Attraction) on shiny, black sheets of vinyl crinkled so that they looked like trash bags, then lit the title with blue neon from behind. Two parts of People in Pain are in "Bad Influence" at Michael Thibault Gallery, a cynically flashy show of artworks from the 1980s, which proves skepticism can be seductive. 3311 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; through Aug. 30. (323) 487-1644, michaelthibaultgallery.com.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...
Supernatural teen angst and romance are in the chilly air of fashion photographer–turned-filmmaker Carter Smith's (The Ruins) brooding and mostly naturalistic psychodrama, ripped from the pages of Christopher Barzak's young-adult novel One for Sorrow.
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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
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
Factory Kitchen, a Northern Italian trattoria from chef Angelo Auriana and Matteo Ferdinandi, features an open kitchen largely dedicated to hte making of pasta. Auriana focuses on deceptively simple sauces and preparations that allow the noodles to shine. There are long, wide, parsley-studded noodles with meaty wild boar cooked withMore