Late in 2013, I wrote an article outing Jon Carpenter, a prodigious filer of hundreds of lawsuits against small businesses in Los Angeles, as a convicted child molester who never did his prison time. In March, nearly four months after L.A. Weekly's story, the wheelchair-bound Carpenter traveled to Zurich, Switzerland...
Perfect for those looking to stock up for Burning Man, there's the famous Venice Love Shack. With its cool, eclectic, weird, artist-community-meets-thrift-store-meets-yoga-studio vibe that epitomizes Venice Beach, the Love Shack is just one of those places you have to see to believe. Luckily, we took pictures. All photos by Star Foreman.
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
Downtown L.A. and many venues and restaurants around town will host the fourth annual L.A. Food and Wine Festival, a massive event that features many local and national chefs. If you have the time and the cash for the marquee events, there are plenty: cooking demos by Iron Chef Morimoto at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion; wine seminars; a cocktail event by Julian Cox; more demos by Lorena Garcia, Graham Elliot, Scott Conant and many others. Check the website for more information and the long list of what's coming. .More
Hosted by Hart Pulse Dance Company, this annual fest, billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, presents more than 60 dances in hip hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly, and pole dancing. Each of the four shows has a different line-up, but some groups repeat. The opening show includes A.D.E., Katie Jane Hagen, Stella Melina, Hideen Entropy Movement Project, Hazel Clarke, Maha and Company, Kaleidoscape Dance, Samantha Loui & Cindy Sheng, Embark Dance Theatre, Jessica Harper, Elena Sophia Kozak, Compass Dance Company, OdDancity, Fuse Dance Company, and the host company. For the full festival line up and tickets: www.hartpulsedance.com.More
Ahoy, mateys! Get thee to ye olde Port of Los Angeles for Tall Ships Festival L.A., a five-day boating festival that pays tribute to a time when ports such as ours welcomed not just shipping containers and the occasional cruise ship but also majestic vessels called "tall ships" — classic boats with traditional, complicated rigs. From battleships to schooners to the World's Largest Rubber Duck (yes, really), this year's lineup promises something for everyone. The kid-friendly event includes a Friday-night screening of The Little Mermaid, projected on the sails of the Freda B. Live bands and cannon demonstrations will provide daily entertainment, while those willing to shell out some extra cash can actually ride on one of the museum-quality ships. And because every good captain knows a fed crew is a happy crew, plenty of food trucks, including the Lobsta Truck and Luckdish, will be in attendance. Los Angeles Waterfront, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro; Wed., Aug. 20, noon-8 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., Aug. 21-22, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 23-Sun., Aug. 24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; $7-$85, free viewing for kids under 4. (877) 4FLYTIX, tallshipsfestivalla.com.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...
Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles became a ramen paradise over the weekend as part of the Japanese cultural festival Nisei Week. Everything was hot -- from the food, to the weather, to the scene. All photos by Danny Liao.
Compton-bred, hip-hop bard Kendrick Lamar is singing in his catchy, laid-back way: "All my life I want money and power / Respect my mind or die from lead shower." A lithe guy who's high on life, or maybe high on something else, is strutting along the L.A. River. He is...
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
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
Dungeons & Dragons characters seduced D&D fans at Peepshow Menagerie's
monthly theatrical burlesque show this weekend at Fais Do Do. Game Master Micah Cover along with Patrick The Bank Robber hosted the epic quest of heroes and monsters on their role playing adventure. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
Genius is hell, both for the blessed and those stuck in the shadows, cursed to spend a lifetime smashing their heads against the glass. In its presence we find ourselves dwarfed and dumb, like moths. We know we're before brilliance we can't comprehend — and we know we'll never have...
Jennifer M. Kroot’s To Be Takei is an affectionate portrait of the hardest-working member of the original cast of Star Trek, George Takei. That’s pronounced tuh-KAY, not tuh-KAI, as so many have misspoken it over the years, including but not limited to William Shatner, whose strained non-relationship with Takei —...
Picture a high school civics teacher with a great love for Ken Burns and access to people such as Prince Charles and the Dalai Lama — but no ability to ask them interesting questions — making his first documentary on a laptop's built-in software.
Martial arts period drama 14 Blades'cartoonish action scenes are so energetic that it's hard to believe they weren't directed by master choreographer Woo-ping Yuen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Drunken Master).
Vital and vigorous even when its characters feel scraped of vigor/vitality, Philippe Garrel's latest finds boho Parisians facing the ends of marriages, affairs, and the feasibility of bohemian existence itself.
Ever wonder about the meaning of that surreal mural near the corner of Figueroa and Avenue 61 in Highland Park — the one with the Aztec calendar stone, Quetzalcoatl's acid-green plumage and an infant in a blue orb?
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Varieties of lox, smoked sturgeon, whitefish and sable, among others, are all important cultural delicacies which date back generations to European countries, specifically Russia. Immigrants brought with them their methods of smoking food and made a huge culinary impact that can still be tasted today in many trendy brunch spots around town or posh hotels in Beverly Hills. "There's a ton of history with smoked fish, especially with the czars and the royal factor of it," says Micah Wexler of Wexler's Deli.
However, when you sit down at a restaurant and order some lox, you don't always know where it's coming from. Most of the time it's not even sliced correctly. Supermarkets carry pre-packaged smoked fish containing preservatives and high levels of salt. If you really want to know what you're getting in terms of smoked fish, you need to head to a specialty market or appetizing store, the term made famous by Russ & Daughters, New York's Lower East Side smoked fish institution.
With the recent phasing out of the famous Barney Greengrass name at Barney's in Beverly Hills and the new festival circuit documentary, The Sturgeon Queens, about Russ & Daughters, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to find great places in L.A. for smoked fish.
Coffee geeks in Pasadena have had it good for some time, between Jones Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia and now the new Copa Vida in Old Town. This spring, they'll be getting even more espresso love, thanks to Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar, opening in this spring on East Washington Boulevard and Hill, in the northern part of town near Altadena.
Hidden in Plain Sight is a new series in which we take a new look at an established restaurant. In our lust for newness and our obsession with "bests," the fantastic unsung places that make up the bulk of our city's dining sometimes get overlooked. Here we aim to acknowledge, examine and (often) celebrate those places.
The Cuban sandwich is one of those food items that inspires great controversy. If it isn't quite "authentic," can it even be considered a success? What exactly makes it authentic? Can you add salami? Lettuce? Tomato? (The standard answers are no, no and no, but try telling that to the residents of Tampa, FL.)
Word is beginning to come down from the social media-sphere that Storefront in Los Feliz is shuttering. After a few unconfirmed and seriously clandestine hours, it now appears certain that chef-owners Zak Walters and Chris Phelps will be closing up the popular deli space immediately.
On May 28, the FDA will lift the USDA ban on imported Italian cured pork products. This means we'll finally get to enjoy artisanal salami from parts of Italy like Emilia-Romagna and Piedmonte. Although according to The New York Times, it remains to be seen how much will be made available to us, given the cost of certification (upwards of $100,000).
Still the sentiment seems to be that we'll be saved from bad meat. While we wait to see how this will affect Italian delis, restaurants and purveyors in the long run, we're standing by some of our favorites for made-to-order Italian American cold cut sandwiches. Turn the page for our 6 favorites, listed in alphabetical order.
The pastrami sandwich at Langer's Delicatessen is legendary. So delicious that it made our "100 Favorite Dishes" list. So distinctive that Nora Ephron deemed it "the finest hot pastrami sandwich in the world." So beloved that Angelenos regularly queue up for a taste -- and out-of-towners bemoan their loss.
But there is a solution for those hapless souls: FedEx.
Dozens of food writers and chefs, many greater than ourselves, have said it before: Langer's Delicatessen doesn't just have some of the best pastrami in Los Angeles, but possibly the world. A recent trip to New York, which included a spectacular but ultimately second-fiddle pastrami sandwich from Katz's Deli, served only to prove this rapidly spreading hypothesis.
Located on the eastern edge of MacArthur Park, surrounded by street vendors selling everything from fresh tostones to bootleg DVDs, Langer's is a relic of old Los Angeles. It's waitresses are charmingly brash; the doors shut at 4 p.m. sharp. They don't make 'em like this anymore.
While many comics get their material from headlines, L.A. comedian Seth Front draws his inspiration from another source: deli menus. For the past two years, Front has crisscrossed the country giving talks on the culinary history of American Jews of Eastern European descent, using delicatessen foods as markers. From immigrant pushcarts on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1880s, to hip new venues, Front traces the journey of beloved foods like knishes, pastrami and latkes.
Last weekend, Front was on his home turf, at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, where the big crowd ate up his combo platter of humor and history. And afterwards, appropriately, they noshed at Canter's Deli truck, which Front describes as "a pushcart of the 21st century."
The son of a reform rabbi, Front, who previously worked in the film industry, says he had an epiphany "at a place where good things always happen to Jews. A Chinese restaurant."
The motto at Art's Deli in Studio City is "Every sandwich is a work of art." The deli, which has changed little since it opened in 1957, serves all the Jewish deli classics: creamy chopped liver, rich matzoh ball soup.
Almost immediately, Anya Fernald knew that Grand Central Market was the perfect place to open a second retail outlet for Belcampo Meat Co., her insanely ambitious butcher shop in Marin County. "When I first walked into Grand Central, I had a feeling of being in a market from the turn...
Sticky Rice Sticky Rice, the vibrant stall serving Thai street food, comes to Grand Central Market courtesy of chef Johnny Lee and partner David Tewasart, the folks behind craft-beer lounge Spirit House Bar in Monterey Park. Sticky Rice was the first of the new class of vendors to move into...
While the city sleeps, Tomas Martinez is wide awake. By 4 a.m. the day's work has begun at Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, the stall at Grand Central Market he's run for nearly two decades with brothers Manuel and Jesus. Four in the morning is actually late for Martinez. When the...