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Isaac Simpson

Credit: Photo by Richard Ha via Flickr

USC Lost Its One and Only MFA Candidate — Now What?

Against her better judgment, HaeAhn Kwon came from South Korea to Los Angeles to attend the embattled MFA program at USC Roski School of Art and Design. “I was already suspicious of the administration for alienating an entire year of MFA students,” Kwon wrote in a letter to the school’s......
Interior of the new Civil Coffee in Highland Park; Credit: David Maziarz

Civil Coffee Is Opening Tomorrow in Highland Park

Whether as a mobile coffee bar in Chinatown, in a stall at the food court of the Melrose Trading Post or under a tent at Coachella, Alex and Alan Morales' Civil Coffee has been popping up around L.A. in one form or another for nearly three years. The Morales' dream of......
Credit: Isaac Simpson

L.A.'s Newest Improv School Isn't Going for Laughs

From a tiny black box theater on Sunset, right next door to the nerd mecca Meltdown Comics, Ptolemy Slocum is plotting improv’s return to its freer roots.   Slocum, a character actor who’s appeared in a number of films and in HBO series including The Wire, Veep and The Sopranos, is the lead teacher......
Credit: Isaac Simpson

Best L.A. River Fishing Spot

Renewed interest in a more natural L.A. River has led to a push to make it more fishable. On Sept. 5, Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) organized the second annual fly-fishing competition on a foliage-filled section of the river in North Atwater Park. While the steelhead trout have long......
Credit: Isaac Simpson

Best Hidden Hike

Park just south of Griffith Park at the three-way intersection of Cadman Drive, Shannon Road and Griffith Park Boulevard. Walk north on Cadman, past some mansions built on the leafy hillside, and enter the woods. Keep walking and discover a path up a grassy hill overlooking the L.A. River and......
Credit: Barbara Desantis

Best Joshua Tree Getaway

Barbara DeSantis' Boulder House has become a fixture among young weekend warriors in need of serious relaxing and otherworldly exploration. Beyond the reach of the smog and behind a shield of thousands of Joshua trees, DeSantis' four-bedroom vacation home (it sleeps up to 14 and starts at $695 per night)......
Credit: Isaac Simpson

Best Street Quesadillas

Alejandra's Quesadillas are colorful delicacies that stand out like bright purple flowers among the competition of hot dogs and tacos. She takes hunks of purple masa and pounds them into tortillas on her flat-top grill, makes sure it's sizzling just right, then piles it with one of six delicious fillings:......

Best Georgian Food

As a microcosm of Southeastern Europe, Glendale is perhaps unsurprisingly home to a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Georgia. The tiny Caucasus country is squeezed between Russia and the Middle East, and its food reflects its location. The staple is the khinkali, Georgian dumplings formed from much thicker skin......
Credit: Isaac Simpson

Best Discount Swap Meet

A staple of South Central Los Angeles shopping for nearly 30 years, Slauson Super Mall started as nine or 10 small kiosks in a strip mall with a giant parking lot. Today, it occupies a massive warehouse with more than 100 stalls. From socks to quinceañera dresses, Jordans to custom......
Credit: Isaac Simpson

Best High-End Community Grocery

Pasture-raised local eggs with brown and green speckles. Homemade sausage. Baskets of colorful farm-to-store sweet peppers. Raisins on the vine. Urban Radish is every foodie's dream grocery store. Owner and passionate food enthusiast Keri Johnson envisioned it as an extension of her own pantry at home, with the added mission......