It was a lucky shot, some say of Nick Ut's famous Vietnam War photo The Terror of War, or Napalm Girl, as it is more commonly known. Less lucky, of course, was the little girl in the photo, Kim Phuc. She was running down the street, naked, after a napalm...
On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
The 11th annual "hybrid vision" New Original Works Festival at REDCAT debuts eight new pieces, a varied batch of multidisciplinary works by mostly early-career artists intent on shaking up creative traditions. For the first weekend of three, the festival kicks off with a bill featuring choreographer-dancer Wilfried Souly in Saana/The Foreigner, a solo to live music by multi-instrumentalists, while the Rosanna Gamson/World Wide dance troupe's Still interprets "the neuroscience of dreams." Finally, with a 20-member cast, a choir and chamber orchestra, Overtone Industries' ICELAND is an experimental opera/work of musical work conceived and directed by company main man O-Lan Jones in collaboration with singer-songwriter Emmett Tinley. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Thu., July 24-26, 8:30 p.m.; festival continues through Aug. 9; $20, $16 for REDCAT members/students, $14 for CalArts students/faculty/staff; three-weekend festival pass $40. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org/event/nowfest-2014-week-one.More
Best known as the NOW Festival, the 11th annual celebration of new original dance and other performing arts opens with dancer Wilfried Souly collaborating with Senegalese Kora player Amadou Fall and multi-instrumentalist Tom Moose, choreographer Rosanna Gamson and her troupe World Wide with Still, and contemporary opera from Overtone Industries. Next Thursday, program II opens with Carole Kim’s multi-media work with dance by Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg, table-top puppetry by Marsian De Lellis and new dance and music by d. Sabela grimes. Program III closes the series with a new theatrical work by John Fleck and new dance by Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY.More
She is considered by many to be the reigning ballerina dancing today and he is equally stellar. Established stars in Russia, they left to guest with American Ballet Theater and others, mostly in the classical ballet. Originally scheduled for January with a classical emphasis, in the interim the program took on a more contemporary mode with works by big-name modern choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Ohad Naharin and Arthur Pita. On a prior visit, Osipova and Vasiliev were ferocious in a contemporary pas de deux. They don't just do tutus.More
Grab your dancing shoes and head downtown to join choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance for this year's National Dance Day. Founded by SYTYCD's Nigel Lythgoe and Dizzy Feet Foundation, its free events will have feet flying in several U.S. cities. In L.A., the Music Center is a co-sponsor for an all-day event inviting everyone, no matter their age or agility, to enjoy the chance to dance as the action moves from Grand Park to the fountains to the Music Center Plaza. But first! Go online (musiccenter.org/ndd) to learn the routines, which range from easy to advanced. Then on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., join the dancing throngs in Grand Park led by Lythgoe and SYTYCD choreographer Chris Scott. At noon, cool down at the Grand Park fountain as Baby Loves Disco hosts a family-friendly dance party, or mosey over to the Music Center and spend the afternoon learning repertoire in specific styles from top-notch local companies including CONTRA-TIEMPO (urban Latin, from 12:15 to 1 p.m.), Lula Washington Dance Theatre (contemporary/Afro-Cuban, from 1:15 to 2 p.m.), and Culture Shock (hip-hop/street dance, from 2 to 3:15 p.m.). Now in its third year, the day brings so much fun, it's easy to forget that its goal is to highlight the health and wellness benefits of exercising through dance. Dancers know that already; National Dance Day lets the rest of us in on the secret. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn., and the Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., July 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; free. musiccenter.org/ndd.More
Zachary Hose was born and raised in southeast Tucson, Arizona, an area plagued by poverty, gangs and drug cartels. Tempted by addiction, in constant trouble with the law, he somehow persevered. Today he's better known as experimental electronic musician Zackey Force Funk. A month before the release of new album...
The Southwest Semifinals of the US Air Guitar Championship were held last Saturday at the historic Troubadour Club in West Hollywood. The event determined who would compete as regional representatives at the 2014 National Finals in Kansas City on August 9th. The colorful contestants (many of whom opted for elaborate codpieces) were judged by comedians Kristen Schaal and the Sklar Brothers. The top score was awarded to crowd-surfing guitarist Kingslayer, the mother of a teenage son who also competed wearing little more than an American flag bathing suit. All photos by Gustavo Turner.
Lucha VaVOOM to The Mayan Theatre on Thursday night with a dose of their Sexy, Hot, Summer FUN! show to a packed house. With all the girls, guns and muscles what could go wrong? All photos by Timothy Norris.
It's a question for the ages: Why isn't there any good food in Malibu? The query is based on a generalization — certainly, there are some good things to eat in Malibu — but the pickings are notoriously slim. (VICE recently dubbed the place "a culinary wasteland.") For such a...
Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
On June 28th, more than 40 of L.A. and Mexico's hottest taco makers gathered at El Pueblo de Los Angeles downtown to showcase the best of Southern California's taco scene. Curated by the World's First Tacorazzo, Bill Esparza, Tacolandia attendees enjoyed music, drinks, a tequila tasting and of course, plenty of taco goodness. All photos by Anne Fishbein.
The most impressive thing about Drumroll by Steve McQueen, the video artist who became an Oscar-winning director with 12 Years a Slave, is the way in which it gives an almost omniscient view of a big city without making that city seem any less dense and unwieldy than it is...
Emmy season is the perfect time to focus our attention on the beautiful costumes that make our favorite shows come to life. After all, what would Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones or Mad Men be without the costume designers who make those far-off worlds believable? Once a year, the FIDM Museum & Galleries' "Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" exhibition gives these costumes the spotlight. Curated by Mary Rose, president of the Costume Designers Guild (as well as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which presents the Emmys), the exhibit allows up-close and personal access to 75 designs otherwise only visible on the silver screen. Pick your favorites before the Emmys air on Aug. 25, or come back after watching the show to marvel at the winning designs. FIDM Museum, 919 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; thru Sept. 20; free. (213) 623-5821, fidmmuseum.org.More
The first Queer Biennial is a national survey focusing on the current moment in out/queer/LGBT visual culture — a salient idea, and one that's sure to be expanded upon in the future. Though its curator, Ruben Esparza, and its first venue, Coagula Curatorial, are both L.A. institutions, the Biennial has elements planned for New York, Mexico and Europe and includes artists from the American West, East and Mid, and even a little bit of Canada. Contributions come from bondage-friendly photographer and director Rick Castro; jewelry designer and metalworker Angela Gleason; filmmaker, writer, photographer and mixed-media artist Bruce LaBruce; photocollagist and neon sculptor Lili Lakich; and portraitist, muralist and illustrator Miguel Angel Reyes. Musicians and performers include Themegoman, Crystal Powers and Devan M, along with photographer and indie-erotica provocateur Dave Naz; Austin Young, champion of transgender fabulosity in photography, performance, film and public spectacle; and conceptualist and curator Esparza, whose pun-laden mixed-media work mashes up commercial and alternative cultural signifiers. As you might expect, the exhibition (and related happenings both at the opening and during the July 26 Perform Chinatown festival) is provocative in its ideas and inclusive in its style, with artists sharing only a sensibility that Esparza describes as "not shying away from sexuality, identity, the body and all-around queerness." What you might not have anticipated? The familiarity and accessibility on display here. After all, the show is fundamentally just about the human experience. Coagula Curatorial, 974 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Sat., June 28, 7-11 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Wed.-Sat., noon-5 p.m., through July 26. (424) 226-2485, queerbiennial.com.More
Ambassador of Americana Charles Phoenix and Dominic's Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale hosted a jubilee featuring skating stars and world champions performing in a variety of costumed musical acts. The best part? An post-show all-skate party! All photos by Star Foreman.
Mood Indigo is bitter candy, a heartbreaker that uses sugar as a trap. The director, Michel Gondry, has a brilliant, contradictory brain. He's a swoony pessimist, a big-dreaming romantic who believes in love at first sight but never lets his films end with a kiss. Instead, his idea of a...
Wish I Was Here, partially funded with money raised through Kickstarter by actor and second-time director Zach Braff, isn't nearly terrible enough to satisfy all the grumblers who are hoping to see it fail. When Braff couldn't secure traditional financing for the film, he appealed to the fan base he'd...
Sure, you can watch Oscar Wilde on a stuffy indoor stage, but isn't it more fun to traipse through the verdant grounds of UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library for a theatrical, plein air garden party?
When the sign went up a few months ago for Wood on the corner of Sunset and Silver Lake Boulevard in Silver Lake, the neighborhood chatter was mainly about the incredibly phallic nature of the name and logo. If the name was meant to evoke the wood-burning oven to be employed, and the logo a fat-handled pizza slicer, the combination of the two splayed large on a banner outside the building conjured something else entirely. Now open, the name and logo combo can still be seen together on the restaurant's menu, but outside a neon sign with the name only makes at least the exterior of the building a bit less scandalous.
It turns out that Wood has some notoriety beyond its giggle-worthy signage, which is that it's owned by the Oscars pizza delivery guy. Edgar Martirosyan - who earned 7.5 minutes of fame by delivering pizzas to the Oscars and subsequently being summoned to The Ellen DeGeneres Show to collect his tip - owns Wood, along with his brother Erik. The two have been in the pizza business for years, but this is their first foray into higher-end Neapolitan-style pizza.
Beer, sausages and sunshine. Is there anything in life that goes together better? It's these three components that make up the bulk of the business plan at Picnik, the new restaurant in Pasadena from chef Eduardo Ruiz (also of Corazon y Miel). The restaurant is in partnership with Jack and Karen Huang, the owners of Bar Celona and Sorriso, also in Pasadena.
The property, which sits at the western end of Old Town Pasadena's retail strip, is actually a number of restaurant spaces surrounding a large outdoor patio space. In order to get the most out of this arrangement, Ruiz and crew have come up with an interesting model: to ask other vendors to set up shop in the space Picnik doesn't need.
So around the courtyard, other options are slowly cropping up. Some will be pop-ups, some more permanent. So far there's a Bulgarini Gelato stand (operating on weekends for now), and Zona Rosa Coffee, which began serving over this past weekend. There are also plans for cocktail pop-ups in the small upstairs bar space, beginning in a couple of weeks. The first will bring the bar team from Corazon y Miel on Monday nights for Punch at Picnik, which will feature exotic punch offerings by the glass and bowl. Punch will officially debut in two weeks.
But perhaps most exciting is Ktchn, a breakfast operation from Felix G. Barron, who has been popping up in the Gorbals space on weekends for a couple of years now.
There are few dishes in the universe that could accurately be described as "haunting," but fesenjan, the Persian walnut-and-pomegranate stew, is one such dish. When done right, there's something about it that is almost eerie in its seductive powers. It tastes like some sort of delicious potion that a beautiful witch might consume to keep herself young.
The world (or at least the United States) is riddled with versions that are too sweet, or that hold back on the bitingly bitter walnut edge. So it was gratifying to find a terrific version at Kashcool Kitchen, a Persian restaurant that opened just a few days ago in Woodland Hills.
But if anyone's going to teach us that it's quite possible to have both gimmick and substance, it'll be Fleischman. The first good sign was bringing on chef Robbie Richter, who was the original pitmaster at New York's Fatty Cue. The second good sign is that on first look, the food is pretty damn tasty.
The Mexican pulled pork sandwich at the Torta Company
As a concept for a fast food chain, it's pretty amazing the torta hasn't already been widely commodified. With all the appeal of a sandwich but much of the allure of a burrito, in many ways the torta is a perfect candidate for the drive-thru, or at least the food court. But tortas have thus far remained mainly the purview of small family shops.
You can see the world-domination ambitions behind the Torta Company, the new project from Jimmy and Andrew Shaw. The brothers, who since 2002 have grown their Loteria Grill from one to six locations, have opened the first outpost of the Torta Company at Taste, the food court inside the Fig at 7th shopping center downtown. The Torta Company, which is adjacent to the newest Loteria Grill, began serving to the public last week.
It's been said before, about other restaurants and cafés and stores, but when sitting on the outside patio of the new Ace Hotel's restaurant, L.A. Chapter, there's a real sense of a future downtown L.A. that has yet to fully come to fruition. Located near the corner of Olympic and Broadway, the Ace resides in the old United Artists Theatre, and the restoration of this absolutely stunning piece of architecture gives a glimpse into the treasures that lie behind the boarded-up façades of some of these old downtown buildings, which have gone unused for so many years.
The Ace's interior is by far its greatest asset, but the collection of brass-topped tables and black-and-white chairs on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant space is a great place to marvel at the grungy grandeur of the surrounding buildings. It looks and feels very much like a Paris café but with an L.A. backdrop.
The list of places where you can eat lunch at downtown's Grand Central Market is growing by the day, or so it seems. Apart from the multiple stands that have been serving Chinese, Mexican and Middle Eastern food for years, the new crop of places that signal the market's resurgence continue to open. Horse Thief BBQ and Eggslut are going strong, and Wexler's Deli looks like it will be open any minute.
The most recent great lunch I've found is at DTLA Cheese, the cheese counter that opened in late December. Owned by Lydia and Marnie Clarke, who also own Cheese Cave in Claremont, DTLA Cheese has plenty of picnic supplies, a varied range of domestic and imported cheeses, and all manner of jarred and pickled things to accompany those cheeses. The counter service is exuberantly helpful, and they're happy to let you sample whatever you'd like.
Jeffrey Saad is a chef with a lot of TV time under his belt. He was the host for three seasons of The United Tastes of America on the Cooking Channel. He was the first runner-up on The Next Food Network Star. He came in second place to Marcus Samuelsson on Chopped All-Stars. His website says of him, "Jeffrey Saad is a rising star ready to ignite the globe with his inspirational cuisine." For now, at least, he is hoping to ignite Studio City with his new Mexican restaurant, La Ventura.
La Ventura, which opened in mid-December, is certainly an attractive spot. The light airy space is punctuated by pops of bright color: a yellow wall here, yellow metal barstools, red flowerpots and a huge metal green light fixture hanging over the center of the room. On one of these oddly gorgeous winter afternoons, the patio, which sits along Ventura Boulevard, was a fantastic spot to eat lunch.
If the crowds at The Greyhound on opening night were any indication, Highland Park was ready for a neighborhood bar like this. On Thursday night, owners James Bygrave (an original partner in Father's Office), Matt Glassman and Ryan Julio opened the doors to their new "bar and grill" on Figueroa Street, and by 9 p.m. it was standing-room only in the large space that used to house a pupusaria.
There's absolutely no remnant of that pupusaria now. The room, which encompasses a long bar running down one side, a number of clubby booths taking up the bulk of the space, and a shuffleboard in back, feels like a big-city college bar. It reminded me of drinking spots in Boston, circa 1999. There are big screen TVs playing sports above the bar, and they even have those faux-Tiffany stained glass light fixtures that speak to a certain era of college bar drinking.
The turnaround between when Susan Feniger closed Street, her street food–inspired restaurant on Highland Avenue, and opened Mud Hen Tavern in its place, was incredibly quick by restaurant standards. In just over a month, the restaurant was transformed from its stylish and colorful former self to a wooden-walled, rustic-feeling, neighborhood pub.
It's quite a change, and one that makes the restaurant feel totally different. The indoor space now is anchored by a bar that takes up the whole length of the back of the room. Most of the seating is outdoors, under an awning, and the flow from indoor to outdoor is fairly seamless.
Tales of the Cocktail, now in its 12th year, has a reputation for being the drunken bacchanal to end all parties. Held in New Orleans every July, the five-day event brings tens of thousands of bartenders and drinking enthusiasts to a city that already delights in excess. It's a recipe...
Despite the obvious wealth of Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley, it’s always worth it to take a moment to appreciate what is truly an incredible landmark in the world’s culinary sphere. There is, maybe, one other area outside of China that serves Chinese food as wonderfully diverse and...
Time to hoard the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (if you don’t already). Hershey’s, the No. 1 candy producer in the United States, on Tuesday raised its prices 8%, and that will affect Reese’s, Kit Kat, Hershey Bar, Almond Joy, Mounds, York Peppermint Patty, Kisses and every other piece of chocolatey...