At a party at the True offices on Wilshire, three dudes have just finished pitching an app. They look like design students, with black vests and matching haircuts. One of them boasts that the founder had a chance to be the sixth employee at Instagram. But when the founder starts...
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.
Even as the latest Step Up movie returns street dance to the screen, this year's installment of the annual J.U.i.C.E. Hip-Hop Festival returns street dance to the stage. The inventive dance organization with the unwieldy name of Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy has the good sense to go by its acronym, and the good sense to keep putting together this summer gathering of local and international street dancers. Now in its sixth year, the festival lineup promises a full evening of street-dance styles, with performers Jacob "Kujo" Lyons, Harry Weston, Breeze Lee, Emiko Sugiyama, Marie Poppins & Pandora, Toogie & Boogie Frantick, The Physical Poets, Lady Cultura, Millennium Dance Complex Tokyo, Open House, Versa-Style Next Generation, and Hok from Quest Crew. The preshow features one-on-one b-boy and b-girl battles at 7 p.m., with the final battle onstage just before curtain (to participate, go to fordtheatres.org/en/about/probreakingtour), as well as DJ Kenzo, host L. Scatterbrain, graffiti and spoken-word artists. Plus, Mari Koda, better known as Jenny Kido from the Step Up movies, will be there for a meet-and-greet. John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m.; $30-$50, $15 students, $12 children. (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org.More
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
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.
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).
The little girl who appears to live at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd. has been playing cowboys and Indians. She's set up an all-out, hand-to-hand battle on the living room floor. Little figurines face each other. Some stereotypically shirtless Native Americans crawl along the carpet. A cowboy stands watching from the...
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
Opening reception Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m.
"Neckface: Drinking on the Job" is a show a year in the making — and it sounds like one hell of a year. Inspired by the tenaciously seedy bar culture of his new hometown of L.A., this tagger/painter/phenom immersed himself in alcoholism (and related unsavory behaviors) for an extended bender, during which he somehow managed to work furiously on his art. The result: the dark, witty and hilarious pieces created for this much-anticipated installation. Using a method akin to the surrealists' automatic drawings, Neckface basically worked nightly in a fugue state, awoke to discover the surprises he left for himself in the studio the evening before, and then refined and elaborated on them before starting the process all over again. Well, maybe refined is not the word. Neckface is, after all, known for his exceptionally vulgar, sassy and sophomoric yet insightful observations on human nature — and his new barfly compatriots did not skimp on the material. New Image Art Gallery, 7920 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m.; continues Tue.-Sat., 1-6 p.m., through Sept. 13; free. (323) 654-2192, newimageartgallery.com.More
Pin-up girls, beatnik boys and tiki lovers from L.A. and beyond made a splash at San Diego's Crowne Plaza Hotel, which hosted the annual Tiki Oasis event, this year themed "Beat Tiki" with a groovy "60s beat" thrust. The wild weekender took over the grounds with colorful cocktails, non-stop pool and room parties, fashion shows, seminars, shopping and live entertainment including burlesque, bands and more.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania the Flying Morgans had a Beatle prom this last Friday to celebrate Molly, Bonnie and Gary's Birthday with 400 of their closest friends. All photos by Star Foreman.
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 —...
Should grown-ups be spending their time reading young-adult novels, at the risk of missing the supposed riches of fiction written for actual grown-ups? A recent essay in Slate groused about the legions of adults who long ago graduated from the 12th grade but still devour YA fiction at the expense...
Picture a high school civics teacher with a great love for Ken Burns and access to people like 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.
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Whether you think of 4/20 as a celebration for an oppressed minority or just another day for layabouts to get high, this weekend stoners across the country got baked. So from the east to west, from states with legal access to medical marijuana to states without, here are the highest people across America.
Taco Bell has never been a stranger to remixing existing ideas and ingredients into new product offerings. It's the natural consequence of having only five basic fillings to work with: Sometimes, you've gotta get inventive. The latest launch, however, marks the first time that Taco Bell has cross-pollinated across both its own menu and the menu from other chains.
Meet the "Quesarito," a quesadilla-wrapped burrito previously available only as a so-called "secret menu" item at Chipotle, provided you could hit the chain during an off enough hour that someone behind the counter wouldn't throw you right out the door for messing up their system.
Unless your idea of fine dining includes eating a room-temperature slab of grey beef from a warming tray at a highway rest stop while sitting in the stuffy sleeping compartment of your semi, the cold sweat prickling your skin as you pray to come down smoothly from the benzadrine you've been taking to stay awake for three days to make your next pick-up, you probably haven't had occasion to eat at Carl's Jr.
While the "Breakfast Burger" may not be a new menu item, it's often overlooked in the avalanche of biscuit-based breakfast options at the chain, each overflowing with double portions of meat, double portions of sausage, or double portions of bacon and sausage. All those biscuits are distracting. You can get an omelet on your biscuit. You can get guacamole on your biscuit. You can get strawberry jam on your biscuit. You can get gravy, ham, or another biscuit on your biscuit.
But tucked away among all these insipid biscuits lay another option, a quiet bit of gut-thunder peeking out between the orange juice and the hash brown nuggets, a breakfast item that answers the question no one has been asking since the dawn of time: "How can cheeseburgers be eaten for breakfast?"
Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell
It's no secret that Taco Bell is the industry leader when it comes to fast food innovation. The chain's Doritos Locos line, a natural coupling (and teenager's fever dream) that finally paired "Doritos" and "tacos" in eternal matrimony, has been an unqualified hit for the chain, generating over a billion dollars in sales and creating over 15,000 sour cream gun-wielding jobs nationwide. The chain followed the success of the Doritos Locos line with an innovative new breakfast selection that has earned Taco Bell favorable reviews and sent other fast food franchises scrambling to keep up.
But the restaurant's recent horrifying misstep may be enough to shake customers' newfound faith in the franchise to its very foundation.
Until 2012, the Indian bhut jolokia (or ghost chile) was the hottest pepper in the world. With about 300 times as much heat as the humble jalapeño, the pepper grows naturally in the town of Tezpur, in Northeastern India. It's not widely used as a flavoring agent for food in that part of the world, however. Instead, mashed bhut jolokia is smeared on village fences as a deterrent for wild elephants, or used as a chemical agent in hand grenades and pepper sprays used by Indian authorities to control mobs and riots. It's not food. It's a toxin.
It makes perfect sense, then, that Jack in the Box would choose it to top a chicken sandwich.
We confess to sometimes not giving the Jack in the Box chain the attention it deserves; maybe it's lingering prejudices after the widespread E. coli outbreak in the early 1990s that killed a few children and hospitalized, well, everyone else. Or maybe it's just that we don't seem to share other people's enthusiasm for 50-cent soy-protein-and-American-cheese tacos from a drive-thru that doesn't specifically focus on drive-thru tacos.
No matter the reason, when we see that generic Jack in the Box logo, we feel very little urge to pull over. Until now. With the release of the new Blazin' Chicken Sandwich, we've had to reconsider everything.
When it comes to encouraging rabid fast food fetishism, the humble Del Taco chain very often fails to get the respect it deserves. It's hard to imagine why; when it comes to the world of dirt-cheap Mexican food that you can order by the sack without ever leaving your car, most of the conversation instead seems to revolve around Taco Bell, Del Taco's bathsalts-addicted half-brother.
Oh, sure: Tacos made of Doritos and waffles stuffed with scrambled eggs may grab all the headlines, but it's Del Taco that keeps quietly chugging along, blurring the lines between fast food and fast-casual with typically higher quality ingredients, more attention to detail, and more of a resemblance to actual food - provded you don't delve too deeply into the vagaries of the dollar menu.
After decades of putting an emphasis on quality, however, Del Taco is finally joining the modern-day fast food landscape, and making up for lost time by spinning off a few wackadoo ideas of its own.
The menu at Subway has historically been designed to serve two groups of people: those who believe that good sandwiches are defined not by flavor, but by "customized" arrangements of flavorless meat and cheese, differentiated only by texture and temperature, and those who further believe that physical fitness can be achieved through their consumption.
For the first time since the chain was founded in 1965, however, Subway is willfully turning its back on the "healthy" image it has so carefully cultivated, and is promoting a sandwich covered in melted cheese, enchilada sauce-soaked shredded chicken, and topped with a layer of Fritos brand corn chips.
Why the sudden about-face? It's a move most likely inspired by the goings-on over at Taco Bell, where strategic brand partnerships with other junk food companies have yielded staggeringly successful results (most notably in the form of the profoundly addictive "Doritos Locos" line of tacos). It's as though, with slumped shoulders, Subway has finally had to acknowledge that all anyone really wants to eat anymore is vaguely spicy hot goop with corn chips crammed in the middle.
In 1962, Cincinnati, Ohio-based McDonald's franchisee Lou Groen had a problem. His local clientele was close to 90% Roman Catholic, which was causing his restaurant to founder mightily on Fridays and during Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter during which Roman Catholics abstain from eating meat.
In those days, when your McDonald's franchise was struggling, you didn't noodle around with middle management. You got on the phone with old McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, himself. Sympathetic to the struggles at Groen's store, Kroc rather famously came up with a proposition. They would, as Groen had asked, begin testing a new fish sandwich to help the store get through those Friday rough patches.
Kroc also insisted, however, that the restaurant also test his solution. Kroc thought the answer was to feed Catholics his "Hula Burger," a slice of grilled pineapple with cheese on a cold bun, and demanded that both items be placed on the menu. Whichever sandwich sold best would be rolled out to the nationwide menu, and would become the first non-hamburger addition to the McDonald's menu. Lou Groen's Filet-O-Fish sandwich won in a landslide, saved his struggling franchise, and McDonald's went on to sell approximately 300 million of the sandwiches per year.
Now that several various fast food restaurants are starting to roll out their annual fish sandwich promotions for Lent, we did what any reasonable person would do. We went and ate them all. Here's what we observed in the mysterious world of fried fish sandwiches, helpfully ranked here from least to most delicious.
Taco Bell's army of food scientists may be the most creative minds currently at work in the back rooms and laboratories of the fast food industry. Following the staggering, game-changing success of its Doritos Locos line of tacos, Taco Bell hopes to raise its status as an innovator even further into the realm of "diabolical genius," on par with the kinds of criminal masterminds who make their homes in underground caves and plan elaborate hot air balloon heists featuring armies of trained flightless birds. How, you may ask? With two bold new additions to the drive-thru menu.
Saturday, Nov. 16 was "National Fast Food Day," which might have been confusing if you live in America, where every day seems to be fast food day. Nevertheless, we thought it was important to mark the occasion of this day -- and every day, really -- not with cards, gifts, or an awkward phone call, but with an exploration of eleven McDonald's "hacks" that will change the way you order from the most popular fast food chain on Earth, while making you appear more attractive and sexually capable to the opposite sex.
Ready to step up your drive-thru game? Here are some of our favorite tips for maximizing your McDonald's experience:
This week, the biggest names in food blogging have been breathlessly reminding us that the McDonald's McRib sandwich is available yet again, for the month of November. The boneless sandwich with "rib" in its name, introduced in 1981, was never one of the chain's big hits; sales suffered, and the sandwich was officially "retired" in 1985. It returned several times in the 1990s, for promotional movie tie-ins, and on the regional level in barbecue-friendlier states.
Rumors about the sandwich abounded each time it would reappear. Rumors that it was made of kangaroo meat. That it was only introduced seasonally, or during the heady boom times of a pork surplus. But everyone could agree that it just wasn't very good.
All summer long, cocktail-loving Westsiders have been eagerly anticipating Brilliantshine, the new spot from prolific mixology masters Julian Cox and Josh Goldman, and it's finally here. On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the watering hole will officially open its doors in the Santa Monica courtyard behind Tinga, former home of the popular...
Remember last week when we got all giddy over the fact that L.A. had more restaurants than any other city on Bon Appétit's list of 50 nominees for the title of Best New Restaurant in America? Well, today the final list of the ten best new restaurants in the nation...
Have you ever had a seven-minute egg? Wait. Have you ever heard of Nevada County? Well, it’s between Sac and Tahoe, and if you’re up for about a seven-hour road trip and you're willing to believe me that this place is nicer than Tahoe, and about an hour closer, well,...