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...
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
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
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
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
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...
If you know painter Joe Goode, who road-tripped to L.A. from Oklahoma in 1959 to make his go as an artist, you probably know his drawings of torn paper or paintings of blue skies. They're pretty nonchalant and usually modestly sized, so it's surprising to see how big and majestic the new paintings in his "Flat Screen Nature" show at Kohn Gallery are. They're two-tone expanses of color painted on sheets of fiberglass. Even though you could tumble right into those deep blues, Goode's still not taking himself too seriously. Every piece has weirdly ragged edges and the titles are jokes: Honk if You See Jesus for one with a ghostly shape near the bottom, or Coming Attraction for one that looks like a big-screen sunset. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; through Aug. 29. kohngallery.com.More
An enormous steel structure, like a giant birdcage by Escher, rises up from the grounds of Materials & Applications, an independent, progressive design studio off Silver Lake Boulevard. Architect Warren Techentin's installation, La Cage Aux Folles, presents nested helixes in a complex system of small lines and hyperbolic dimensional math, which occupies sculptural space and explores traditions of simple-shelter and decorative architecture — but it turns out it's also a stage. It opened in April with a series of performances that occupied and activated the space in ways linked to its name's semiotic origins: cage and folly, as in "inside and outside, captivity and protection, function and ornament, shape and line, stasis and dynamism." The installation remains open every day through Aug. 29, but this weekend, La Cage welcomes Matt Kivel to celebrate the release of his appropriately named and suitably experimental new album, Days of Being Wild. Known for his complex, subtly asymmetrical, lyrical style, Kivel's work rather echoes the spirit and form of the cage; his afternoon also features solo sets from Sophia Knapp and Kevin Morby (Woods, The Babies), plus beer by Craftsman Brewery. Materials & Applications, 1619 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; daily thru Aug. 29. (323) 739-4668, emanate.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...
Get Editors' Picks of the best things going on each week, full restaurant listings, last night reviews of concerts, events, and nightlife, slideshows by the city's best party photographers, hundreds of local event listings every day, and much, much more.
Chef Eric Greenspan is running a little leaner these days. The always-quotable chef was, when we last spoke at his sky-high dining venture The Roof on Wilshire in September, working on rebuilding his empire and dropping some weight — without losing his comfort-food sensibilities, mind you.
As of last week, he might be running a bit meaner, too.
Maybe he's just got a lot on his plate right now. Maybe it's the burning need to climb back into the L.A. food ring in a real way. Or maybe it's because every media piece about his new grilled cheese restaurant opens with a snarky line that pokes at how long the place took to open. Whatever it is, chef Greeny is fired up.
This past Sunday, April 12, was National Grilled Cheese Day, and on that day, the Final Grilled Cheese Invitational took place at Los Angeles Center Studios in downtown L.A. Or maybe it wasn't the last one. A few slices of crispy buttered bread with molten cheese can be mighty addictive and this annual event is even more so. With four heats of roughly 50 teams competing for the coup de grâce in one of four categories, it was a hearty, heady, orange-tinged afternoon, and one people won't soon forget.
Somebody, somewhere, declared April 12 National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, which seems like a reasonable excuse to celebrate one of the best sandwiches going. This year though, that date will be tinged with sadness, since it is also the swan song for L.A.'s own Grilled Cheese Invitational. Like last year, it will be at Los Angeles Center Studios from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and tickets, now on sale, start at $25.
After a long and effulgent run, founder Tim Walker, the Grilled Cheese King, has decided this is the final year for bread-butter-cheese-victory. But don't panic just yet, there's still time to sign up to compete, judge, volunteer or just attend - and gorge at - the ultimate cheese-fest.
Do you, as many of us do, mark the passage of time by restaurants that have opened and closed throughout Los Angeles? If so, you may have been flipping through your calendar, trying to figure out when in hell Eric Greenspan's grilled cheese storefront is going to settle in for business. And now, with the Foundry on Melrose undergoing a months-long revamp, you may have begun wondering about Greenspan himself. Where is the man, so loud and confident on your television and with his cooking, hiding out? These days, Eric Greenspan is a man of many questions.
As Greenspan will be the first to tell you, he also has all the answers. From a corner booth at the chef's other L.A. restaurant, the Roof on Wilshire, he opened up about the past few months, his future expansion -- and a very personal reason for slowing down and doing things right.
So, apparently YouTube has a food channel called Tasted. Who knew? And they do tons of programing, mainly in the Food Network/Bravo style -- that is to say, jaunty music, quick-cut editing and shows with names like Dude Food.
One such show, Star Chef Secrets, this week features Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose, talking about his award winning grilled cheese sandwich and demonstrating how to make it. This involves an alarming amount of butter.
Beer pairing has the same transformative effect on food as wine, but the transformation is entirely different. Pouring a liter of lager with your wings won't exactly result in a Michelin three-star meal, but superficial flavors will fall in line like Tetris pieces to build and unlock even bigger, more harmonious flavors. The depth and subtlety of some beers can't be released without a corresponding bite of curry, or piquant sauce, or pungent cheese.
The habit of ordering a drink before you've looked at a dinner menu can undermine your pairing possibilities. (Unless you're settling in for multiple rounds.) Anticipate your food cravings and order a beer for pairing to upgrade your dining experience from the tepid mediocrity of a Coldplay ballad to the irresistible fun of a Childish Gambino rhyme.
The Heywood grilled cheese sandwich at Heywood Grilled Cheese Shop
The 16th-century writer John Heywood loved cheese. So, in addition to collecting a number of heady epigrams in his book of proverbs -- "Out of sight, out of mind," "Haste makes waste," and so on -- he also wrote verses about reading books and eating cheese. And thus it makes sense we now have Heywood Grilled Cheese, a shop that honors Mr. Heywood's love with high-quality specialty cheese in sandwich form.
The idea for the shop was, as co-owner Michael Kaminsky says, was a bit hazy. Kaminsky and his other business partners -- all former or current residents of Silver Lake who also work in the music industry -- signed the lease to the space next to Lark on the corner of Micheltorena Street and Sunset Boulevard, excited to open a shop in their favorite neighborhood but not knowing what, exactly, this shop would be. As one of the partners had a background in gourmet cheeses, the group decided to use their new space to reinvent the cheese wheel, so to speak, and offer grilled cheese sandwiches using the type of high-quality, specialty cheeses you would serve on a cheese plate.
What this year's Grilled Cheese Invitational brought in quantity was not only saturated fat and carbohydrates but flair, with a vegan twist. There was plenty of exhibitionism on display yesterday at the Rose Bowl -- from the bearers of the Kraft-singles skirts to the stilt walkers of March Fourth Marching Band.
Eyebrow-raising ingredients in the Missionary and Kama Sutra categories included quail egg, habanero pepper, SoyRizo, masala, squid ink and octopus. But the real shocker of the day was when the Frickin' Figgin Vegan Sandwich took first place in the Honey Pot (amateur) category. To veteran grilled cheese lover and founder of the GCI Tim Walker, a sandwich winning for sandwich's sake (which happened to be vegan) was "an event horizon at the Grilled Cheese Invitational." Turn the page for this year's results.
It's difficult to decide what to say first about this new product, called Toastabags and created by the Dutch company Boska, a toastable sandwich bag that supposedly simplifies the process of making grilled cheese sandwiches. Because, you know, they're so hard to make already. So maybe we'll just quote @gastropoda, whose tweet was what led us to a discovery of the product in the first place: "One more reason my big fear is reincarnation: Evolving world too inept to grill cheese." Exactly.
Tomorrow marks the 10th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational, held this year at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Undoubtedly there are a few devotees out there who can attest to sandwich superiority, having frequented the event over the last decade. Competitor registration is closed and it's too late to be a judge, but for those of us stumbling upon the occasion for the first time, here's a look at what's between the bread.
Last night I made my national primetime television debut—which, as a print journalist, are words I specifically went to school to avoid ever having to say. But as much as I've tried to hide behind my bylines, pseudonyms and nom de plumes, it was only a matter of time before...
The first time you enter Surati Farsan Mart is a potentially overwhelming experience. The place resembles a Jewish deli more than a restaurant, and during peak hours, the line can stretch out the door. The clientele are loud and almost entirely Indian. There are more women dressed in saris than...
Popsicles are having a moment in the spotlight, just in time for the next heat wave (otherwise known as our permanent summer). More sophisticated than the classic ice pops bought off your local ice cream truck, this new breed of frozen treats showcases luxurious ingredients (Valrhona chocolate), farmer’s market finds...