The food was terrible, the men said. Never mind that it was free. Or that they were homeless, and beggars can't be choosers. The grumbling among residents at the PATH L.A. shelter — People Assisting the Homeless — at 340 N. Madison Ave. in the Rampart area might have gone...
Palm Springs doesn't stop the party between Coachella weekends. Tachevah celebrated its second year as a free festival at The Spa Casino. Headliners Fitz and the Tantrums played with L.A.'s CLASSIXX, Coachella Valley's ONE11 and CIVX. Dancing at The Copa, listening to songs by piano man Martin Ross at Riviera and hanging at Ace Hotel & Hard Rock Hotel were all other hot spots happenings in this balmy desert area. All photos by Michele McManmon.
The weekend before Coachella, Palm Springs is taken over by an awesome all-girls party called Dinah Shore. Here are some of our favorite moments of music, fashion and pool partyin'. All photos by Colin Young-Wolff.
What is it about The Big Lebowski that triggers such devotion in its horde of acolytes? The Coen brothers' 1998 comedy has become a raging self-propelled phenomenon, and the annual Lebowski Fest celebrates all of it, from rug pee-ers to nihilists to Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. Friday's bash at the Wiltern features, naturally, a screening of the film, but there's also a visit from The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, who'll bang out a set with his band, The Abiders; an additional whimsical jolt comes via the Kyle Gass Band. Come Saturday, the party rolls on to O.C.'s Fountain Bowl, with beverages (Caucasians or a good sarsaparilla), bowling, costume and trivia contests and appearances by cast members Jim Hoosier (Liam), Luis Colina (Corvette owner), Lu Elrod (Family Waitress), Robin Jones (the Ralph's checkout girl, who will happily accept your check for 69 cents) and, like, shoe rental included with your ticket. All in all, it should be every bit as stupefying as the insidiously addictive film itself. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown; Fri., April 25, 7 p.m.; $35. (213) 388-1400. Also at Fountain Bowl, 17110 S. Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley; Sat., April 26, 8 p.m.; $25 advance, $30 day of. (502) 583-9290, lebowskifest.com.More
The Photo Independent Art Fair debuts this year, occupying Raleigh Studios as a kind of unofficial neighbor/partner to Paris Photo L.A., which is happening the same weekend at nearby Paramount Studios. But Photo Independent is far more than a shadow fair. Conceived as an artist-centered counterpart, it's dedicated to working directly with photographers who wish to present their work in a more in-depth context. While the program is international, expect a robust presence of locally based artists, many of whom, as the title implies, are operating independently from the gallery system, embracing the opportunity to take their case straight to the visually curious public. It's Hollywood, after all, a place where everyone dreams of being discovered. In addition to the dynamic exhibition programming, there are talks and walk-throughs all weekend. And what fair would be complete without a special guest artist? Andy Summers, best known from his time in The Police, has long pursued a parallel career as a gifted photographer; the fair is presenting a new series by Summers, Mysterious Barricades, in which he does what photographers do best — exploring the poetic surrealism of the everyday world as we find it. Raleigh Studios Hollywood, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; Fri., April 25, 7-10 p.m.; Sat., April 26, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., April 27, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; day pass $15 advance/$20 at door, weekend pass $25/$30, $100/$110 opening-night benefit (includes weekend pass). (323) 937-5488, photoindependent.com.More
Noted flamenco dancer Yaelisa is joined by a dozen recognized flamenco artists for an inside look at the art of flamenco. Guests will move among the backstage terrace, scene shop and stage house, all performance sites for the evening. Announced performers include Jesus Montoya, Antonio de Jerez, Manuel Gutierrez, Reyes Barrios, Tony Triana, Mizuho Sato, Briseyda Zarate, Oscar Valero, and Claudia de la Cruz.More
The shift key–challenged Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY and its director, Danielle Agami, are known devotees of Gaga. Not Lady Gaga, although her imaginative gyrations certainly qualify as dance, but the innovative movement aethestic of Ohad Naharin, who leads Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, where Agami once danced. Aimed at developing a dancer's full range of physical ability, the results, at least as personified by Ate9's eight dancers, are slow movements as detailed and liquid as a Tai Chi master, which can still explode, à la Jackie Chan, with powerful propulsive jumps and falls. Over the last year, the troupe's calling card, Sally Meets Stu, drew attention with excerpts at several local dance festivals and the full work in smaller venues. Agami raised her own profile over the year working with Benjamin Millepied's L.A. Dance Project and creating a floor-bound solo for Melissa Barak of Barak Ballet. Not bad for a choreographer and troupe that relocated here from Seattle just a little more than a year ago. Ate9's rising prospects include a move to a larger venue for the premiere of Agami's newest, mouth to mouth. With performances this weekend and next, mouth to mouth has an original score by L.A.-based composer Jodie Landau, performed live by modern music ensemble wild UP. What is it with these folks and that shift key? Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Sat., April 26 & May 3, 8:30 p.m.; $30 general, $50 VIP, $25 students, seniors & veterans. (866) 811-411, thelatc.org/additional-events/.More
Music lovers and hardcore collectors clustered in and around Los Angeles' best known record stores this past Saturday for a chance to score limited edition vinyl releases, drop dough on equipment and memorabilia and geek out together on Record Store Day. We hit Vacation Vinyl and Rockaway Records in Silver Lake (both of which had lines down the block early morning) and Amoeba in Hollywood, which had a sign-up sheet for the rare stuff and a consistently long line all day. Amoeba also played host to DJ sets and signings by Little Dragon and Cherry Glazerr, and silk-screened-to order items. Inspired by Amoeba's "What's in My Bag" design, we snapped a smattering of shoppers with their fave new music scores.
To truly understand DeSano, the new Neapolitan pizza place in East Hollywood, you must first understand a different pizza restaurant in a different city. To truly understand DeSano, you must first understand Antico. Antico opened on a side street of a residential neighborhood in Atlanta in 2009. Run by a...
Angelenos always make a strong showing at Coachella, but this year we had some of our city's best food and drink to thank for repping L.A. the hardest. We found respite from the crowds in the Craft Beer Barn, curated by Tony's Darts Away and Mohawk Bend, and sampled fare from some great L.A. chefs -- including Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market and Esdras Ochoa of Mexicali Tacos & Co -- at the pop-up restaurants in the Rose Garden VIP area and Terrace. The bites and brews proved to be a major treat for concert-goers looking for good eats. All photos by Colin Young-Wolff.
On Wednesday, Jan. 22, artist and curator Galo "Make" Canote stood outside Muzeo, downtown Anaheim's art museum. Inside sat pieces of bold graphic art, waiting to be hung. Also waiting inside were the museum's executive director and a detective from the Anaheim Police Department's gang division. Canote took a deep...
The majority of the contemporary art galleries in the Pacific Design Center have recently moved on to greener (aka more affordable) pastures, but the ones that are left are pretty good. Young Projects Gallery is still showing the best video-art program in the city, and the Art Merge Lab isn't slowing down, either, opening a new group exhibition this week that explores how artists who are not necessarily photographers yet use photography as the foundation of their work. "Reconstruct: Bryan Bankston, Julia Elsas, Joseph Lee, and Liz Steketee" brings together a set of such artists, whose works of portraiture blow straight past likeness and delve deep into the more ambiguous territory of private and collective memory, history and commerce, document and fiction. Though the works in the show deploy digital media, painting, collage and other visual strategies, they all start with photographs — family pictures, fashion spreads, vintage prints, and digital streams. Whether by accentuating or blotting out, exaggerating, inventing, or redacting aspects of the depicted figures, each of these artists finds a unique way to examine how images of identity are literally constructed from an amalgam of experiences. Art Merge Lab, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., B257, W. Hlywd.; Tue., March 18, 5-8:30 p.m.; free. Continues Tue.-Fri., noon-5 p.m., through April 25. (310) 913-1133, artmergelab.com.More
Colorful hanging blankets with acronyms on them hang at angles or lay on mattress-high surfaces at Commonwealth & Council. Riot Grrrl originator Jen Smith made these, trying to condense difficult-to-articulate emotions into stand-ins, such as the overused "LOL." You have to navigate her blankets to get to the room-sized box artist Nicolas Grenier installed in the same gallery space. When you walk inside, you're confronted with a trio of highly systematic, orange and green paintings. Informed by urban planning and color coding, they look like graphics from a well-designed environmental report, and they nicely complement Smith's very different attempt to make a popular language work for her. 3006 W. Seventh St., Koreatown; through April 26. (213) 703-9077, commonwealthandcouncil.com.More
Without art installations, the Empire Polo Club would be a fairly bleak backdrop for Coachella — nothing to look at but dusty grass and overpriced T-shirt booths. Lucky for us, Goldenvoice increased its budget for installation art this year, making the event a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. All photos by L.J. Williamson.
In preparation for Comic-Con this summer, WonderCon kicked off last weekend. We got our fix with some amazing Cosplays from Doge to Spaceballs to Game of Thrones and everything in-between. Check out all our photos from the weekend. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.
"I've interviewed a lot of nasty characters over the years," a cheerful Errol Morris says over lunch on a bright Los Angeles day. "I'm a connoisseur of bullshit." He's sampled some of the finest: Holocaust deniers, murderers swearing their innocence, a beauty queen who claims she only kidnapped and raped...
During an Ask Me Anything session held on Reddit last year, Ethan Hawke praised a fellow thespian by calling him "the only actor since Marlon Brando that's actually done anything new with the art of acting," adding that the performer in question has "successfully taken us away from an obsession...
When the twentysomething receptionist at the retirement club sighs with disappointment that she "saw [her] life differently," the irony is clear — although the setup might make you brace for a gut-punch about old age and hindsight.
Here's how low the underdogs have sunk at the start of the rousing Next Goal Wins, the latest sports doc to follow a losing team’s quest not for a championship but for dignity: The American Samoan national soccer team suffers a 31-0 loss to Australia in the credits.
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.
République is still a work in progress. Although the restaurant, a collaboration between restaurateur Bill Chait and chefs Walter and Margarita Manzke, has now been officially open for a couple of weeks, it isn't quite yet fully formed. The bustling glassed-in front area, which serves as a more casual bistro, is in full swing. Still to come is morning cafe and bakery service, as well as a more formal area in back, which should be open early next year.
With that in mind, our official review of the restaurant won't come along until we've had a chance to consider the whole, not just République's early iteration. But, being as curious as the next restaurant obsessive, we decided to take an early peek at what has probably been the most anticipated opening of 2013.
It's time to start planning your summer eating. Yes, already, because even if you've already booked your tickets to Mexico City and convinced your friends to come with you on a road trip Tijuana and Ensenada, you still have someplace to be on Saturday, June 28, when we'll be having...
If the 30,000 people who showed up a few weeks ago to wait, in cases, for an hour and a half for a single bowl of ramen - imagine Oliver Twist crossed with Beat Takeshi - are any indication, Los Angeles is still in the midst of a ramen renaissance...
Get out your gadgets: Tickets to this year's Tacolandia are now on sale. Or, more accurately, as of 10 a.m. this morning, April 22, you can access presale tickets and buy them before they go on sale to the public on Friday. Because you can't do anything these days without...