"Yo!" A black man in a filthy, yellow, collared shirt lies sprawled out in the middle of the Sixth Street sidewalk, out cold. No more than four inches from his face is a Business Improvement District officer, who shouts again: "Yo!" "Is he breathing?" asks a woman passing by, worried...
On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.
The Los Angeles Zoo is home to more than 250 animal species, many of which are rare or endangered. It's both educational and emotional to visit the zoo's beautiful inhabitants. But the experience can be ruined by screaming kids (let's face it, they're the zoo's biggest demographic). Thankfully, the fourth annual Brew at the Zoo is 21 and older, affording grown-ups an evening with their peers, including but not limited to elephants, gorillas and reptiles. Check out the new Rainforest of the Americas exhibit before sampling ales and brews from 30 local microbreweries and enjoying live performers including local indie band Indian School, the '80s-inspired Spazmatics and the retro/bluesy Jug or Nots, along with dance-music DJ Johnny Hawkes manning the decks. While local craft and micro breweries are the focus, there also will be a wide array of street food from Latin America, Asia, and the United States, including gourmet burgers, Southern fried chicken and Philly cheesesteak. Apart from making some new friends (human and otherwise), some of the evening's biggest perks include bottomless fountain drinks and a nice discount for designated drivers. Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park; Fri., Aug. 8, 7-11 p.m.; online $45, $40 for GLAZA members, $25 for designated drivers; $50 at door (if available). (323) 644-6042, lazoo.org/brew.More
The most talked-about L.A. gallery show this year, "Twin Visions: Jerome Witkin & Joel-Peter Witkin," pairs two formerly estranged identical twins, each of whom is arguably the most accomplished living artist in his genre, and neither of whom had been particularly interested in exhibiting together before now. It's an unprecedented, years-in-the-making, art-nerd wish-list show of epic proportions, and a testimony to Jack Rutberg's tenacity when art history is at stake. Despite their decades of separation, it turns out, Jerome's portrait, landscape and history paintings and Joel-Peter's hand-crafted photographic portraiture share much more than anyone (except maybe Rutberg) ever expected. Jerome Witkin produces paintings that are evocative and emotional, realistic and fantastical, eccentric and classical — and he's not afraid to take on unsettling themes, most famously his Holocaust cycle. Joel-Peter Witkin is an icon of the Juxtapoz set, whose richly detailed, large-format portraits of individuals with, let's say, unique anatomical and sexual curiosities, can be as hard to look at as Jerome's most visceral scenes. But also like his twin's, they are romantic, surreal and unforgettable. So, yeah, they have a lot in common. A new book on this landmark occasion (with the same title as the show) is the first publication examining them as a pair; it will be signed by both brothers at the gallery tonight. Aside from the profound revelations in this stylistically comprehensive survey, the interaction between these brothers' followings is itself something to behold, as Joel-Peter's alt-culture, goth and punk fan base mixes with Jerome's crowd of art historians and studio painters. Book or no book, the show is up for another month; grab your evil twin and go. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, 357 N. La Brea Ave., Fairfax; Sat., Aug. 9. 6-9 p.m.; free, book is $40. Exhibition continues Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; through Aug. 30. (323) 938-5222, jackrutbergfinearts.com.More
Long to get away to sunny Spain, with its balmy nights and fiery flamenco dancers? For the next best thing, bring some tapas, grab a bottle of Rioja and enjoy the world of Spanish dance with Forever Flamenco al fresco. For most of the year, this long-running, mostly monthly show presents a rotating cast of six to eight flamenco artists in its 40-seat home venue at Hollywood's Fountain Theater. But once each summer, Fountain Theater producer Deborah Lawlor assembles a larger cast of dancers, musicians and singers to take advantage of the Ford's two-tiered outdoor stage. This edition pays tribute to Roberto Amaral and his nearly five decades as a dancer, teacher and local flamenco pioneer. At 14, Amaral saw the legendary Carmen Amaya dance and he was hooked. At 15, he began flamenco lessons and, after high school, traveled to Spain, beginning a professional career at 17 that included a stint with the famed José Greco's company. Fortunately for L.A., Amaral settled here, continuing to perform while establishing a company and a school. With his elegant bearing and silver hair and beard, Amaral looks more diplomat than pioneer, but his passion, performance and mentoring are credited for much of L.A.'s vibrant flamenco scene. John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hlywd.; Sat., Aug. 9, 8:30 p.m.; $50/$75 ($100 VIP via Fountain Theatre). (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org.More
In nearly every society around the world, fruit holds cultural significance, whether as a token of hospitality, sympathy or simple good will. The communal implications of pomiculture are what inspired the artist collective Fallen Fruit to beginning mapping L.A.'s public fruit trees a decade ago. The group is behind a new installation at the Skirball Cultural Center, even as it plans a public Urban Fruit Trail with 150 trees near MacArthur Park. One of Fallen Fruit's most beloved events is the Public Fruit Jam, and after a two-year hiatus, the community-building activity is back, inviting families, friends, couples and singles to Old Town Pasadena for a hands-on experience. If you have a surplus of home-grown, organic and/or store-bought edibles with seeds, bring your own fruit and take part in this community-building activity to learn how to make some tasty jam. Drop-in sessions last about 45 minutes, with groups of three to five people finishing with jam they can either keep, trade or hand over to a tasting table where others can sample their freshly made foodstuffs as well. One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley, Pasadena.; Sun., Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; free. (626) 564-1066, onecolorado.com, fallenfruit.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...
We've got so many restaurants, you could eat at a different joint every day of the year -- and probably the rest of your life -- and never go to the same place twice. It would be impossible (both physically and financially) to try them all, but luckily, you have us. Check out The Year in L.A. Food (So Far).
Touring the art collection of Cliff and Mandy Einstein, a longtime ad man and a former tennis pro, is a crash course in world-class collecting. You learn that if you want a collection that impresses contemporary art's biggest patrons (the Rubells from Miami, Dakis Joannou from Athens), you have to...
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
L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight just scolded MOCA for lending a massive, multicolored, shaped painting by iconic Frank Stella to Honor Fraser Gallery in Culver City, for its historical show on color field painting. He was right that the museum wasn't necessarily doing its part as a steward, making choices that would keep the painting as secure as possible. But the gallery is behaving entirely like a gallery, angling to get the best objects with the most cachet on its walls and keeping them there for just a fleeting moment. The Stella painting, called Ctesiphon I and made up of lots of linked half circles, looks different on walls that so often feature brand new, unmarred work than it looks in the museum space. It's a little raggedy but still majestic. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Aug. 2. (310) 837-0191, honorfraser.com.More
Sam's Hofbrau presented "Sam Tripoli's Rock N Pole Championship" this week at The Viper Room. Paired up karaoke singers and pole dancers competed for a nice cash prize and Hollywood Hustler gift bags. Entertainment included a special appearance by porn star Tera Patrick, serving as judge, and performing a burlesque number. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
It's no secret that SoCal knows what it's doing when it comes to make-up and costume design, (hello, Hollywood!) so it makes sense that we would also have the world's best cosplay. Here are our picks for the best of 2014 (so far).
In Calvary, Brendan Gleeson plays a Catholic priest who plods through a rustic Irish village that's more brutal than beautiful. The beach is gray, the waves are choppy, and the wind whips his ankle-length black cassock as though every step were a fight against nature. In some ways, it is...
He couldn't have known it at the time, but James Brown's debut recording and first chart hit — made in 1956 with The Famous Flames — is a question that contains its own answer. The lyrics to "Please, Please, Please" speak, pretty obviously, of sexual desire. But Brown's voice is...
There was a whole lot of singing, drinking, cheating and crying this season on the ABC drama Nashville - but no baking. Which kind of surprised us, considering that lead character Rayna Jaymes has a lime green KitchenAid mixer sitting on the counter of her designer kitchen. If we had gone through all the heartache she did, we would have consoled ourselves with copious amounts of cookie dough.
KitchenAid mixers also made guest appearances this year on other TV shows. There was a bright yellow one on ABC Family's Switched at Birth, an aqua one on TLC's The Little Couple and many more on Food Network shows. In fact, rarely on air do you ever see another mixer brand. Product placement certainly plays a role, and set designers no doubt are attracted by the brand's sleek look and 30-plus colors.
Two KitchenAid mixers with floral designs, one orange and the other electric blue, really grabbed our attention. You can spot them on Ree Drummond's Food Network show, The Pioneer Woman. We queried KitchenAid and were told by a spokesperson: "This specific stand mixer is not sold through KitchenAid, nor was it customized by KitchenAid."
We learned that both floral mixers are creations of artist Nicole Dinardo, who turned a hobby into a thriving business called Un Amore Custom Designs, after she experimented with painting a mixer eight years ago.
We love our Dutch oven. Really love it. It never argues over $85 billion budget cuts or sends Kardashian-sighting Tweets. And it makes one hell of a cassoulet. But we recently wondered, by sudden necessity: Is that Le Creuset lifetime warranty that we've all heard so much about really legit? "Defective cookware will be replaced free of charge, or replaced by a similar product or one of equivalent value if the product is no longer in production," according to the company website. They are promising a brand new pot.
Wait. The fine print. This is a "limited" warranty from a big corporation; we all know how this story likely ends. But last month, despite our better judgment, we shipped our pot to the company's headquarters in South Carolina. Besides, replacing it cold turkey at a (corporate) cooking shop would set us back $300. And we'd shown our patriotic support for the U.S. Post Office for the entire year (Did we mention the pot weighs a ton?), Saturday service or not. Now we got to wait five weeks to find out what that "lifetime warranty" really meant.
On our quest for the perfect pizza crust, we've broken pizza stones (more than one), tried all of the mock pizza oven tricks (Bricks!) and talked with chefs like Jeff Mahin over at Stella Rossa about our unfulfilled crust expectations. And now, the Baking Steel.
Baking pizza on steel is an idea Mahin turned us onto when he shared his own crust revelations. While experimenting with pizza recipes at home while Stella Rossa's pizza oven was being installed, he decided to toss a steel slab from the hardware store into his oven. "I was thinking [steel] is like a sauté pan: The thicker the sauté pan, the better it holds heat," he says. "Why not try it in the oven?"
Baking Steel founder Andris Lagsdin stumbled upon the same idea after reading a newspaper review of Modernist Cuisine. Nathan Myhrvold includes the suggestion to make your own pizza stone out of a steel sheet in the book. Or, if you happen to work for your family's steel manufacturing company, as Lagsdin does, you could launch a Baking Steel Kickstarter campaign to manufacture a line of pre-seasoned baking steels. Presto. Very heavy -- and very good, if a bit pricey -- baking steels. Get the review after the jump.
Deidre Pujols (right) handing out samples of her cookware in the Dominican Republic
While Anaheim Angels first baseman Albert Pujols was hitting his 450th home run last year, his wife, Deidre Pujols, was knee-deep in calderos, the Dutch oven of Latin American cooking. The price tag comes with a good cause: Proceeds from her new cookware line, Pujols Kitchen Cookware, benefit poverty-stricken families around the world by providing meals and other necessities. The couple's Pujols Family Foundation already assists impoverished families in Albert's native Dominican Republic (Deidre traces her culinary roots to Mexico).
The cookware includes various sauté pans, a glass baking dish and assorted kitchen tools (spatulas, spoons, ladles), but the stars here are the calderos ("cauldrons") in various sizes.
Get more after the jump, including Deidre's pollo guisado, the spicy Dominican chicken stew that she calls "home run chicken" for its purported effects on her husband.
If you're a fervent canner and preserver, twiddling your thumbs until that next Master Food Preservers class begins, the plastic Re-CAP Mason jar lid (a pour cap lid for your Mason jars) might be just the diversion you need.
Bonus: While you're waiting for your lids to arrive, the website is filled with "wide mouth" jar lid updates and FAQs to get the ideas flowing ("My spout lid is tight, what can I do?") as well as a brief history of the mason jar. And -- Are you ready for this? -- a link to the original patent documents for the Mason jar (inventor Karen Rzepecki is currently awaiting patent approval).
If you've ever fancied yourself the next George Foreman Grill inventor but don't have the cash or engineering know-how to give it a whirl, Quirky could be your ticket to Home Shopping Network fame. The company is a social media-influenced product developer with a wide range of kitchen gadgets. For $10, you can submit your product idea and Quirky's "global community of 220,000 members weighs in and collaborates on every aspect of product creation, from sketch to store," according to a company representative.
Well, presuming your revolutionary new knife sharpener is one of the two products on average that company executives select weekly to undergo the community design process. Founded in 2007 by 20-something Ben Kaufman, the company receives as many as 1,500 idea submissions a week. Product inventors get a sales cut (pretty small when you read the fine print), as do the "community influencers" who had a hand in changes to the final design. Kitchen products include the Mercado Farmers Market Bag ($24.99). Get the review after the jump.
Even before the The Ninja arrived on our test kitchen doorstep, friends offered their unsolicited opinions about modern slow cookers. "Anything with Ninja in the name sounds like it could be cool," said one. Another: "Why would anyone need a high-tech slow cooker?" We tend to agree with the latter, as our basic hand-me-down electric crock has always worked fine on those days best suited to the slow-simmering of pinto beans. Still, the idea of a tech-savvy Dutch oven is intriguing on days when we can't stay home and watch that simmering pot.
Judging by the cookbooks recently released on the subject, we're also in the midst of a slow cooker revival. Among them: In The Italian Slow Cooker (2010), Michele Scicolone inspired us to think of a slow cooker not just as a time saving appliance, but as a way to maximize flavor. America's Test Kitchen documented the Slow Cooker Revolution last year, and Kendra Bailey Morris has a Southern recipe-themed slow cooker cookbook due out next year. Scicolone, Morris, Lisa McManus: if you're reading this, we'd love to hear what you look for in a slow cooker. In the meantime, did we think the $200 Ninja (!) was worth the price?
Over the weekend, folks of all stripes landed in Orlando, Florida for Star Wars Celebration VI, the ultimate Star Wars fan convention that undoubtedly was more fun than the Republican National Convention will be this week. Of course, where there are Star Wars geeks, there are ingenious Star Wars-themed kitchen gadgets. Case in point: A slick Death Star Tea Infuser sold by ThinkGeek during the event, and now available on its website.
"Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age," Obi-Wan Kenobi said, introducing Luke Skywalker to the lightsaber, the Jedi's weapon of choice. Which brings us to Kotobukiya's line of Star Wars Lightsaber Chopsticks, not as clumsy or random as a spork, an elegant utensil, if you will, for a more civilized eating age. Unlike the real lightsabers in the fictional Star Wars universe, however, the original version of these chopsticks did not light up. This was, in the word of Kotobukiya, a "fail."
For guitar amps, gently-used "attitude tees" and vintage poster art, eBay is that ephemeral, endless Target in the sky. Most of us also know by now that there is no better source (save a millionaire foodist's estate sale) for odd and esoteric kitchen gadgets. Whether you're looking for a new addition to your "technemotional" cooking armory or some weird granny cookware, eBay spills forth with dazzling options. Read on for five you might want to place a bid on.
There are few things in life better than a good pancake, but if that pancake portrays a scenic landscape in full color and is followed by hors d’oeuvres and whiskey cocktails, things just got better. This is exactly what’s happening at Marine Projects this coming Saturday, Aug. 2, as they...
Firenze Osteria, Fabio Viviani's North Hollywood restaurant, will close tomorrow, July 31. The restaurant will reopen some time in the future with Viviani as chef, but with new ownership. Viviani opened Firenze in late 2009, right after his initial ascent to fame on Bravo's fifth season of Top Chef. At...
In the six years since Blue Palms Brewhouse opened on Hollywood Blvd., just east of the tourist-trap chaos at Highland Ave., much of the neighborhood has changed. The Music Box next door is now called The Fonda Theatre. Bars and clubs along the stretch have come and gone with the seasons. And the...