Results tagged “Jacy Young”

LAistory: The Cocoanut Grove

The Cocoanut Grove, a supper club where the rich and famous dined and danced, opened 3 months after the Ambassador Hotel, in April 1921. It was designed in Moorish style. The palm trees that decorated the room were rumored to have come from the Rudolph Valentino film, The Sheik and they had stuffed monkeys hanging from them. The ceiling was painted midnight blue and sparkling stars were strewn across its firmament....

LAistory: The Ambassador Hotel

As late as 2005, the Ambassador sat on twenty-four acres of land on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown. It was set far back from the street and had the haunted look of old castles. It drew the eye as only someplace ruined, someplace steeped in history can. Blinded, it was worn with crumbling at the edges, bound by a perimeter of chain link fences. It was a fabulous ghost and it could have been a...

LAistory: The Ennis House

In Los Angeles, we knock things down. We build them the way we like them. We believe in creating a world the way we think it should be. It's this ethic that has destroyed some of our more famous landmarks, Pickfair was dismantled by Pia Zadora, the original Brown Derby may, at the time of this writing, be a dry cleaner. In a place where people come to reinvent themselves no one has much...

LAistory: Hollyhock House

Photo by erinpk, via Flickr. Hollyhock House is a wonder wrought by Frank Lloyd Wright for our fair city. Though old Frank was a dick in person, he was unquestionably one of the more prominent architects of the twentieth century. Usually associated with his midwestern "Prairie Houses" (very influential in the arts and crafts movement, they were extended, low buildings with sloping roofs and deep terraces and overhangs. These, incidentally, were also an early...

LAistory: Pickfair

Pickfair in its glory days. As any fan of LAistory knows, Los Angeles is a city of vanished places. We tear free of the past, and generally, whatever comes next, is not as fabulous or interesting as what was there before. The same holds true for the property called Pickfair. Superstars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks purchased the property at 1143 Summit Drive, in the San Ysidro Canyon in 1919. It was fifteen acres...

Bread, Butter, Cheese, Victory!

Stay classy! Saturday was a spectacular day, full of sun and wind, and for the lucky among us, it was also full of grilled cheese sandwiches. Los Angeles State National Park is practically in the shadow of downtown. Parts of it was still green, though few people in the ever growing line to get in probably didn’t much notice. This was the First Seventh Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational (yes, you read that right.) Started...

LAistory: Fatty Arbuckle's Plantation Cafe

from City of Culver City's website After Fatty Arbuckle's career was deep-sixed by one of the biggest scandals of its day, he tried his hands at a few things, not the least of which was Fatty Arbuckle's Plantation Cafe. Built at 11700 Washington Boulevard in Culver City, across the street from the site of Arbuckle's elementary school. Lavishly decorated by the head of the MGM art department, the cafe opened in 1928 with star...

LAistory: Tail O' The Pup

Tail O' The Pup in better days, from their website. We in Los Angeles like our big food. Big, architectural, junk food that is. Perhaps the king of big food is the Tail 'o the Pup, a hot dog stand designed in the shape of a hot dog in a bun. Already moved once from its original location where the Beverly Center now stands, the Tail O'the Pup was declared by the City of...

LAistory: Los Angeles Alligator Farm

Unfortunately, you were born too late. You missed the alligator farm. At the turn of the century, the Lincoln Heights neighborhood popular as a weekend get away for Angelenos. In 1907, Francis Earnest and his partner, Joe "Alligator" Campbell opened an alligator farm (It was right next door to their ostrich farm. I'm not kidding.) With 2000 alligators and a smattering of turtles, iguanas and snakes, the farm offered such attractions as watching the...

LAistory: Who Killed William Desmond Taylor?

William Desmond Taylor William Desmond Taylor lived the kind of life that would be tough to live today, in our era of numbers and cards and facial recognition software. In the end, he paid a steep price for that life and so did Hollywood. Maybe he even lived many lives. He was an antiques dealer, panned for gold, he spent time in either the British or Canadian armies during World War I. He was...

LAistory: Dan the Miner

Photo used with permission of M. London. In 1849, a flood of people came to California to cash in on the gold rush. They spent years bent over rivers, sifting for gold. Sometimes they made a fortune. Others, they came away empty handed. In this town, perseverance can really pay. Or sometimes it just gets you even more screwed. The “Dan the Miner” Statue has stood in Carthay Square since 1925 and has certainly...

LAistory: Carthay Circle Theater

All cities have the things they’ve plowed under. In Los Angeles, we still have whole neighborhoods that are named after things that aren’t there anymore. The Carthay area is named after a legendary movie palace, the Carthay Circle Theater. Other areas are also named after movie theaters, like Picfair, but Carthay Circle was considered on par with Grauman’s Chinese and second to none. A first run, road-show house, Carthay Circle was built in 1926,...

LAistory: Sowden House

Ken Kesey told us that “Some things are true, even if they never really happen.” What if a woman was never killed in a house that looks like it might gobble you up if you’re not careful? What if that crime felt true? Then where are you? Well, the answer is, of course, Los Angeles. The Sowden House was built in 1926, for artist and photographer, John Sowden. He wanted a startling space with...

LAistory: The Outpost Sign

Photo by Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives Hiking through the Hollywood Hills, one finds a lot of garbage. There's the usual bottles and cans of various types, old bits of carpeting, couches, bones, bicycles, even old cars sometimes. They all have (little h) history. Someone had to truck it up there and leave it, either to get rid of it, or to live in it, whatever. But very little has (capital H) History to it. Though...

LAistory: Griffith Park

It all started with the ostriches. Well, not really, but don't you think it should have? In fact, Griffith Park started with a curse. When the original owner of Griffith Park, Don Antonio Feliz died of small pox in 1863, he left his extensive land holdings to Don Antonio Coronel. Subsequently, his blind, destitute 17 year old niece, Dona Petronilla, cursed the land -- great misfortune would come to whoever owned it. One by one,...

Forrest Ackerman, Dead at 92

Weeks ago, we warned that Forrest Ackerman, coiner of the phrase sci-fi, adventurer and keeper of the science-fiction flame, was ailing. On Thursday, December 4th, he finally succumbed to congestive heart failure. If all of us only did half of what he's done for what he loved the world would be a significantly better place. He was boundless in his energy and enthusiasm. Some time ago, in a note to Ain't It Cool News' Harry...

LAistory: The Brown Derby

Los Angeles drifts and crumbles under the feet of progress. Gone are the streetcars, the original Schawb's, such hangouts at the Coconut Grove and Chasen's. The Brown Derby was once one of the crown jewels in the LA restaurant scene. There were a number of locations, but there are three that stand out. One was located across the street from the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard (this was the shape of an actual hat), the...

LAistory: Fatty Arbuckle

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle had the dubious distinction of being the movie business' first scandal. Born in Kansas in 1887, Roscoe Arbuckle (who only used the name "Fatty" professionally, and otherwise detested it) was catapulted to fame in Mack Sennett's Keystone Cops movies. He made famous the "pie in the face" gag so familiar to many of us. For a larger gentleman, he was an astonishingly graceful tumbler, and was said to have a lovely singing...

LAist In the Kitchen: Pasta with Mushroom Sauce

Pasta with mushroom sauce usually means cream. That's pretty rich and kinda boring, so I decided I would try to make something that was more like the Italian version. 2 tablespoons of porcini mushroom olive oil 3 or 4 leaves of fresh basil, or 2 pinches of dried 1 clove of garlic, minced About a quarter of a white or yellow onion, minced 5 or six crimini mushroom caps, finely chopped 1 cup of white...

Ailing Ackerman

Forrest "Forrey" Ackerman, the nearly 92 year old coiner of the term "sci-fi" and honorary lesbian (for his work as "Laurajean Ermayne") is said to be ailing. "He wasn't sounding very strong," Harry Knowles said in an entry on Ain't It Cool News, "It hurt to hear his voice." Ackerman helped to bolster the burgeoning sci-fi community by publishing the inspirational journal, Famous Monsters of Filmland. He is a publisher, author and literary agent (to...

LAistory: The Platinum Blonde

Just like there was an original "It" Girl, there was also an original "platinum blonde." Jean Harlow was born Harlean Harlow Carpenter on March 3, 1911 in Kansas City Missouri. Her father was a dentist from a blue collar background, while her mother was from a rich family. These were only the beginnings of their differences and her mother grew very unhappy in the marriage, eventually turning most of her attention to her daughter. Harlean...

LAistory: Spanish Kitchen

Old Spanish Kitchen photo used with permission by eyetwist via Flickr Some ghosts (though it's a little late in the season for it) aren't what you think. They aren't wailing waifs or glowing skulls. They're a restaurant called the Spanish Kitchen. I'm not talking about the Spanish Kitchen on La Cienega -- decorated like there's a South America Land in Disneyland and it's in it, though they have a sign that is an authentic...

LAistory: Houdini's House

What better way to celebrate Halloween than to talk about Harry Houdini, the greatest magician who ever lived. He died on Halloween in 1926 and on that day for 10 years thereafter, his wife tried to contact him by holding seances. He starred in a few early movies even -- mostly silent pics and serials. And he lived here for a time, though he was based mostly out of New York. These days, magicians...

Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing

Five years ago today, on October 21, 2003, Elliott Smith died. The intentions behind his death still not been confirmed, but some time that day, Elliott met the Big Nothing. Born Steven Paul Smith in Omaha, Nebraska, he grew up in Texas and Oregon. In high school, he began calling himself, "Elliott" as he felt that Steven was too "jock-like." The changing of his name was a pattern that he repeated throughout his life. He...

LAistory: The It Girl

We talk about "It" girls in this town. There's a new flavor every week. It could be Mischa Barton, Scarlett Johansson, or Sienna Miller. We all kind of know what that means. A young starlet, largely untried but definitely gorgeous and sexy. But did you know that the phrase comes from one "It" girl? The original was the one and only Clara Bow. Clara Bow was an original Hollywood legend; born into the tenements of...

Autumn Treasures

We don't get much autumn in LA. Mostly, things get hot and then the Halloween stuff comes out. Everyone gets a little worn out on the notion of endless summer. But there are delights to be had. More apples appear on the scene (and in desserts), there's the county fair, and some of the better Italian restaurants start serving truffles. Granted, it's not cheap, but shared with the table, one dish can be a delectable...

LAistory: Walk Like an Egyptian

Photo by Jacy/LAist Unlike its unsubtle brother, the Grauman's Chinese, The Egyptian is set back from the street. You just might miss it if you aren't paying attention. It's a delicate place, a secret from the roar of Hollywood. Instead of being taken over by some mall, it has been carefully restored. It was designed by architects Meyer & Holler for Sid Grauman. It was example of the Egyptian Revival Style. The original emergence...

LAistory: Something Smells at the Train Station

This story didn't happen at Union Station. It was about four years too early for that. But at least in reading the story, we can imagine that it happened there, as all good noir stories should. It was 1931, and something fishy was going on. The train from Phoenix had pulled in on time, now all the luggage was gone, except two trunks -- that stank so badly, the porters wished it was fish. It...

LAistory: The Fred Harvey Room

While we're talking about train stations, a man by the name, Fred Harvey forged a partnership in 1876 with the railroads to open chains of hotels and restaurants along the railways, they continued to be built and operated through the 1940s, though Fred Harvey himself died in 1901. They became a civilizing force in the wild west. Food was served on china, and coats were required in the dining rooms. It's thought that blue...

LAistory: Union Station

There are few places in Los Angeles where you can feel the history, where if you squint hard enough, you could easily be in the 1930s, and yet that have a key place in Los Angeles' future. That place is Union Station, one of the most beautiful buildings in our city. Most of it is open to the public and it's central to anyone who wants to take a train, bus or subway (which makes...

LAistory: The Ugliest Building in Los Angeles

In 2007, Curbed LA named Hollywood and Highland the ugliest building in Los Angeles. From many (if not most) angles, they have a point. But In the center of this ode to modern consumerism is a secret, a reference to the glamor and debauchery that are Hollywood's past. It started, as all the best secrets do, a long, long time ago. In 1916, D.W. Griffith made Intolerance, his response to the widely maligned Birth of...

Photo Essay: Goodbye, Double Dutch Dinette

I live on the Westside. I like it pretty well. It's cooler (temperature-wise) and a little less...precious than the Eastside. I like the Eastside -- it attracts a higher number of cooler (and less expensive) bars, restaurants and boutiques. It's just a fact. Sometimes, I take a 'staycation' and spend the day over there. But when I want a little of that without circling the whole city on the freeway to get there, I go...

Rush Street: WTF?

LAist is into Rush Street, the new eatery in downtown Culver City. Even I've had a good time there. But the last time I went was pretty unforgivable. It was mid-afternoon, and we had a hankering for some butterscotch pudding, which we still hadn't experienced yet. We stopped by Rush Street, where they seemed to be suffering from a serious case of popular-new-restaurant-itis. We were told that they would not serve us (even though...

Photo Essay: Bus Tour of the Dump

Every day we make trash. We do it without thinking. Our refuse is barely a part of our lives. But all around us is a separate, secret culture, created to care for and dispose of this garbage, a world of silent signs and messages that we don't even see. But without it, our lives would be impossible. We would be surrounded by stinking refuse and vermin, able to think about nothing else. The Center of...

Photo Essay: Comic Con Bingo 2008

Love it or leave it, you have to admit that the San Diego Comic Con brings out the ten year old kid in all of the attendees (including, this year, many entertainment types, who ran around the floor pleading, "I want it. I WANT IT.") Here are some pictures of life in and around last weekend's con, some great displays, awesome costumes, even a couple of panels. This year there were significantly fewer slave Leas,...

Satisfaction in Downtown Culver City

Last Wednesday, I spent happy hour at Ugo Wine Bar in Culver City. The week before, we spent it at Bottle Rock (where I've had a great time on the weekend), which was disappointing. It was loud, the service was slow and the food was expensive. Ugo Wine Bar was exactly the opposite and it was such a pleasure. We thought it was Vinum Populi, and it used to be, but these days, it's...

LAistory: Pink Lady of Malibu

On October 28, 1966, commuters between Malibu and the Valley were surprised by the image of a large, running depiction of a naked woman. Sixty feet tall, painted in pink house paint, she was quickly dubbed The Pink Lady. At first, there was much speculation as to the artist and the purpose of such an image. Due to the subject matter, it was assumed to be a man. It turned out that this mysterious image...

Innovation Isn't Always the Answer: SugarFish

I am a big fan of Sushi Nozawa. It was the first place I ever had sushi (I know, I'm lucky!) and I've always thought that his reputation as the "Sushi Nazi" is unwarranted. Now that Japanese style Omakase (where the chef prepares what he thinks is best from the day's catch) is more widespread, I've hoped that he would lose the reputation, but it hasn't been the case. Fortunately, Nozawa also has a...

Home is Where the Peaches Are

Time for a little more cuisine of the obvious. For a couple of years now, each summer has a Ben & Jerry's flavor I like best. 2006 was Oatmeal chocolate chunk with cinnamon ice cream, chunks of oatmeal cookies and dark chocolate. Last summer, it was brownie batter. The brownie batter made the chocolate deepen the chocolate flavor. This year, I surprised myself. A friend gave me the idea of peaches and ice cream--went to...

LAistory: What's in a Name?

LAistory is a series that takes us on a journey to what came before to help us understand where we are today. So far we've been to Val Verde, Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe, a house in Beverly Hills, Echo Park's Bonnie Brae House, Marineland of the Pacific, and Grand Central Air Terminal, and Wrigley Field. Los Angeles. L.A. The name is so familiar. Whenever major cities in the U.S. are named, Los Angeles is...

Celebrating the Sun at Beechwood

Some of us are feeling a little sunned out these days. But no one is ever tired of sunsets. The day is beginning to cool and suddenly everything turns gold, then the sun is gone and the thick summer twilight rules, with its astonishing array of colors. It's tough to find a place in LA to enjoy sunsets, with a laid back attitude and good food. Beechwood is one of those places. If you go...

Skratch the Itch

Skratch in Culver City | Photo by Jacy Young/LAist Skratch is a new entry in that great thing that's happening in the middle of Culver City these days, with fresh, original food served up fast. Though a lot of restaurants LA are jumping on the organic bandwagon with mixed results. Culver City has a number of the better places on its roster. Skratch has a menu of eight or ten items that it serves...

LAistory: In Southern California, Killer Whales Can Fly...or not

Photo by Gary B. Edstrom via Wikipedia LAistory is our new series that will take us on a journey to what came before to help us understand where we are today. We began with Val Verde, the "Black Palm Springs", then journeyed to Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe, then to a house in Beverly Hills and then to Echo Park's Bonnie Brae House. Now we're off to Palos Verdes to a water park closed for...

Happy Meals: Honeybaked Hams Toluca Lake

Happy Meals, a new semi-regular series where I, an LA native, revisit places I ate as a kid, indulge in food and nostalgia, and see what's changed and what hasn't. When I was a kid, we lived near Lake Hollywood, so Honeybaked was about three minutes from our house. My earliest memories of the place was picking up sams there and heading to the beach. I developed my beach taste on the east coast....

Truth and Consequences: Little House in the Ghetto

Los Angeles is a place where, to put it mildly, it's a little hard to tell the truth from the lie. Are you really standing inside a giant ice cave? Or are you down on Stage 6 again? People come here to reinvent themselves. And sometimes they begin to believe that story they've told everyone. Then they write about it. In February of this year, Margaret B. Jones, foster child, incest victim, gang member...

LAistory: All That's Left is the Story

LAistory is our new series that will take us on a journey to what came before to help us understand where we are today. We began with Val Verde, the "Black Palm Springs", then journeyed to Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe, and now we're looking at where a house once stood in Beverly Hills... The piece of property at 9755 Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills sat empty for a good twenty years. I have some...

LAistory: Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe

LAistory is our new series that will take us on a journey to what came before to help us understand where we are today. We began with Val Verde, the "Black Palm Springs" and now we go to Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe. This December 16th, it will have been seventy-three years since Thelma Todd was found dead at 29, in the garage of her home. The car she was sitting in was still on....

Every City Has Its Mysteries

It started, as many good things do, with the internet. In the early aughts (what all the cool kids are calling the '00s these days), a group of people assembled in an imaginary space to collect and trade cheesecake photos taken in the late nineteen forties to the early nineteen sixties. As the site describes it, this is not pornography; it is "young ladies in various modest states of undress." (Though let's not fool...

Osteria Mozza: Still a Big Deal

On March 5th, I called Osteria Mozza to make a reservation for April 5th (they only take reservations a month in advance.) I thought I would call at lunchtime when they would first be open. A critical mistake. Turns out that the reservation line for both Mozzas opens at 10 am. I could get 5:30 or 9:45. Not being a New Yorker, I took the earlier time. Thanks to Daylight Savings, it was full...

A Tale of Two Loaves

I was just in New York. I lived there for a few years in the late nineties. New York is full of great stuff, as is LA, but one of the things I miss most, on coming home, is the bread. In New York, you go to a market (usually little, individually owned markets), who get loads of delicious bread all the time. This bread is nearly anonymous, but always delicious and all different...

Found In LA: Crappy Apartments

Palms is lousy with apartments, though I've never thought of them as particularly crappy. Both the buildings have recently had a bunch of work done, new paint, new fencing, and as a finishing touch, new signage. See the other building after the jump....

The Cure

There is some kind of hellish cold going around that's sent people from all over running to their doctors for a z-pack (to the uninitiated out that that would be pack of Zithromax, the antibiotic du jour these days.) But what if you're trying to stick it out and fight it off with a wing, a prayer and some echinacea? There's always chicken soup (especially if you've got someone to bring you some to you!)....

Goodbye Dutton's: Thanks Beverly Hills!

My first memory of Dutton's is of the one in the valley, hot on those unairconditioned summer afternoons, the faintly sour smell of the paper. It was crowded, a little uncomfortable, and yet it was a place that was full of treasures. A place where a kid could wander -- completely by accident, into the Literature section and discover something magical. After my family moved to the Westside in the early nineties, Dutton's became a...

Wake Up LA: Bread and Porridge

Bread and Porridge has gone through a number of changes since LAist last reviewed it in 2004. It still retains its tiny dining room, decorated simply in red and white with lots of little country decorations about. They bought the space next door and stocked it with brown leather couches and ottomans, newspapers and a coffee counter and now it's become the perfect place to wait for brunch. Because wait you do, my friends, 20...

DineLA: Ugo: An Italian Café

I like to think of myself as a person who does what they say they're going to do when they say they're going to do it. So it was that, two days after spending the afternoon in the bathroom with the stomach flu, I found myself walking into Ugo: An Italian Café to partake of their DineLA menu. I've been there before, and generally Ugo is a solid though not particularly creative Italian option...

I'm Showing You Mine...

As you may have guessed, we're focussed on breakfast this month. And this February is a chilly one. Last week we were cycling through storms like planes landing at LAX. When it's like this, you need a little something extra for breakfast in the morning to keep you warm. And, since having different kinds of grains is good for you, oatmeal is just the ticket. Everyone likes theirs different -- some people like it...

Dahlia Noir

Nowadays, fairy tales have been cleaned up (and often outfitted with boring pop culture referential comedy that mitigates the timelessness of the stories) Cinderella's evil sisters don't cut off parts of their feet to fit into the glass slipper. The little mermaid lives happily ever after instead of sacrificing herself to save the life of her beloved. These stories were made to tap into children's deepest fears, to give weight to the shadows the...

Pencils Down, Bitch!

Let's spend a moment on this Jay Leno fracas that's going on. Jay was a big supporter at the beginning of the strike. He walked off his show and stopped by the strike lines the first couple of days with some food. Eventually, he paid a bunch of the people on the show. There's no denying that it was real nice of him. For some reason, all the late night guys came back this...

WGA Strike: A Disambiguation

The holidays are over and many of us have to resolve ourselves to getting back to work and responsibilities. Everyone except the writers, anyone who works in the production of tv and film and of course, the AMPTP. Except they are at work. It was just before Christmas that Nikki Finke reported that the moguls (which is who the AMPTP are. The name is misleading - there are few, if any, actual producers involved)...

WGA Strike: Day 37: A Survival Guide for Viewers

So most of the shows are either about to run out or have run out of new episodes (raise your hand if you're sad that there wasn't an Office Christmas show this year!) What will you do instead? I could suggest that you knit quilts for poor children, invent a plausible substitute for gasoline, start that novel you've been thinking about. But you're not going to do that. You're going to watch tv. So let's talk about what you can do to not get caught up in the increasingly noxious diet of reruns and reality tv.

WGA Strike: Day 36: The Writer's Guide on How to Survive the Strike

There are a lot of people out of work right now. A lot of people who are looking for odd jobs. Not all of them are obligated to walk in picket lines twelve hours a week, or are the object of scorn and derision by other people who are out of jobs. Here are some tips to survive, with your soul intact (provided you still have it!)

WGA Strike: Day 35: Story time!

In Which we Discover how the Golden Girls helped make stuff we like Have you ever written anything? I don't mean like a letter or a note, but something long, something good. Sure, you think you could. A lot of people do. But unless you're actually writing something, you're not a writer. Writing is really time consuming. It's not just about fun and ideas. It's about forcing yourself to sit down, get off the phone,...

WGA Strike: Day 34

Heath is out of town this week, so I thought I would take up the reins covering the strike. Yesterday, I was at Heath's stomping grounds -- Warner Brothers. Though I'm hearing from below the line friends that the negotiating committee should table the reality and animation writers issue as well as the no-strike clause (which would keep us from supporting other unions when they strike), it's hard to trust that doing that would...

Hollywood Future Past

On November 27th, the striking members of the WGA held a rally on Hollywood Boulevard. As I walked towards the rally from my car, I could feel the sound of the helicopters beating down around me. It was one of those silver fall afternoons, the sky distant like winter, but it was still warm. Walking up a side street, all the different Hollywoods crowded up around me - each taking its turn in a...

Farm Boy: Mini Photo Essay

Farm Boy Palms (probably also known as Farm Boy Culver City) is finally open. With a pretty substantial workload, I haven't had time to go there a lot, but I did manage to take some pictures. They have loads of fruits and vegetables, all described on their handwritten cards as "sweet and fresh." The sushi looks about on par with Ralphs, and they have fruit flavored yogurts with all the Pinkberry trimmings....

What I'm Thankful for

I'm thankful for my family, even when they're "challenging." I'm thankful for my husband, who for some reason has signed on to sleep beside me, watch lots of tv, do the dishes and read every draft (even though he won't see movies more than once.) I'm thankful to be lucky enough to pursue my passion, so few people have that luxury! I'm thankful for Los Angeles, where the sky is big and the horizon...

The Problem with Joe's

I've been pretty excited about Joe's Pizza opening in Santa Monica, so today, we forded crowded, traffic heavy Santa Monica to get a slice. Their new LA outpost is a small storefront next door to a place that sells t-shirts to tourist. The space is spare, functional, white, with a marble counter set in front of the small kitchen. By the time we got there, it was fairly crowded, and we had to wait...

Almost Good Enough to Eat

It was a sunny morning when I decided to stop by Jamaica Cakes on Pico. I'd heard good things, and I was ready for something sweet. They had some great looking chocolate espresso cupcakes, looking almost like muffins, with just a dollop of cream cheese frosting, and red velvet, but no others. Still, there was a pleasing assortment of cookies and a number of breakfast pastries. I wanted that chocolate espresso cupcake, but went against...

We Go to Echigo

I love the idea of tapas--the leisure of sitting down to a meal, getting a good drink and having someone bring you small yummy things to eat. But somehow, tapas never turns out to be as good as it sounds. In fact, my husband has declared that tapas are "crapas" and refuses to go. So when I get in that mood, we go to Echigo. Echigo's not for everyone. It's one of those no salad,...

Some of the Most Haunted Places Don't Exist

We've been combing the internet and other mediums for weird haunted LA things. And quite frankly, we've come up a bit short. Maybe it's the enormous amount of sun we get here. Maybe it's that celebrity is a sort of a cheesey fame that doesn't lend itself to the goose flesh and various other willies that come with a good ghost stories. Seeing Marilyn Monroe in a mirror, the notion of club kids encountering...

The "Boo"sevelt Hotel

These days, the Roosevelt Hotel is all about partying. After the painstaking restoration of its Spanish-Moorish lobby, with its hand painted beams, tiled floors and leaded glass windows, the hotel is home to the Tropicana Bar, where guests get in free till 9pm (How generous!) and long lines develop of the young and the beautiful. They don't hold a candle to the older residents of the hotel though. The Roosevelt is rumored to be...

Melting Your Brain

Nothing causes more craziness in Culver City these days than a new place to have lunch. You'd think the Beatles had come to town. Those guys at Sony make lines that wrap around the block. In a few months, the lines calm down and then the rest of us can come in. I've been to Melt Down a couple of times now. It's a small place with an open kitchen and mostly outdoor seating,...

Griffith Park - Cursed!

When the original owner of Griffith Park, Don Antonio Feliz died of small pox in 1863, he left his extensive land holdings to Don Antonio Coronel. Subsequently, his blind, destitute 17 year old niece, Dona Petronilla, cursed the land -- great misfortune would come to whoever owned it. One by one, Coronel's family died from misfortune and disease. He left the land to his wife, who married again only to have her husband try...

Everything Old is New Again

There are a lot of places you can go to feel "LA." For most people, it's a surface thing--to see the glitz and the glamour, maybe eat alongside some celebrities. You can go to Mozza, Katsuya, Geisha House and see the stars and eat great (well, except at Geisha House), but for some of us, Hollywood is a past as well as a present. And for us, Musso & Frank's perseveres. As the diners...

Ackermansion!

It's October and you want to do something spooky and cool but, cheap, and not too scary? Or maybe you're a crazy sci-fi horror fan? Well, you know, all the cool kids go to Ackermansion, where owner, waxwork and proprietor, Forrest Ackerman -- coiner of the term "sci-fi" -- will show you his peerless collection of memorabilia of that genre including Bela Lugosi's cape from the Dracula films, the girl robot (you know the one...

Thai One On: Thai Original BBQ

Tucked away in Thai Town, Thai Original BBQ is in the former home of a Taco Hell, back when they were little buildings instead of the other side of a KFC. The BBQ moved in and swanked up the joint with marble tables and a large tropical fish tank. It's clean and small and nearly empty at about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon (cross town traffic was a killer!) Our waitress had colored contacts,...

Underworld @ The Hollywood Bowl, 9/9/07

People often say that Los Angeles isn't a great audience to play to. Everyone kinda stands back, detached. I've seen it happen, but I don't believe in it. And the Underworld show on Sunday night is just the kind of night Los Angeles isn't known for. And I'm pleased to say that I was a part of it. But before we continue, a public service announcement: Do not park at the dirt parking lot...

Listen to Your Eyes

Like many Americans, the first time I heard Underworld was in Trainspotting, the 1996 Danny Boyle movie when "Born Slippy.nuxx" plays over the ending. Eleven years on, I still explain Underworld this way, and some people remember it. I think that's a testament to both the song and the movie. In the fall of 1998, I bought the single for "Cowgirl/Dirty Epic". It was already four years old, but sounded current. And it (specifically,...

A Farm Boy in the City

For almost a year now, the southern corners of National Boulevard and Overland Boulevard have not had anything on them. Now, in the last week, they're bustling with activity. On the eastern corner, where there was once an Arco, a plywood fence has gone up (now it's festooned with posters) and on the western corner, where the stripped Blockbuster still advertises the video release of The Omen remake last October (saw it, not great)...

A Tale of Two Pizza Places (Well, Five Really)

When I started this article, I was happy. Pizza happy. I had misread an entry on EaterLA and thought John's Pizzeria was opening a Santa Monica location. (I wasn't the only one.) To qualify this, let me explain my connection with John's. My husband (a pizza connoisseur ) and I go to NYC about once a year, and usually, the night we fly in, we check into our hotel and go straight to John's....

Farmer's Market Fresh

Nothing draws me into a restaurant like the promise of an original menu of Farmer's Market fresh vegetables and organic meats prepared with originality and talent. Unfortunately, that's sort of the flavor of the month among so many LA restaurants these days, which means that a number of these places are pretty mediocre. But this was a party that Josie Le Balch started when she opened Josie seven years ago, and she's still among...

A Treat for Trekkies

We live in a beautiful age for nerds. Just like your favorite superheros, you can never be sure that something is dead. Star Wars returned after 20 years of relative inactivity (though it's questionable whether or not that was a good idea). Jean Grey, though currently dead, has died in so many forms that it's impossible to believe she won't return. You can't keep popular series like Buffy (or even unfairly unpopular series like...

Rocking at Bottle Rock

At 9 o'clock on a summer Saturday night, Bottle Rock is hopping. People are throwing parties there, grouping the tall tables together and sharing from the small plates menu that features seasonal fruit and vegetables and artisan cheeses and charcuterie. In fact, the whole place is lit with the comfortable scent of grilled cheese. The music is full of feel good guitars, that seem vaguely recognizable, even when you don't really know the song....

An Evening at Fraiche

I knew it was going to be a good night, when we walked out of the thick twilight and into Fraiche and the Arcade Fire was playing. I had made the reservation three weeks before, and even then, they did not have seven or seven-thirty available, so I settled for 6:45. Far be it for me to cast aspersions, but there were other empty tables around the entire time we were there. We were...

The Oasis of the Communal Table

Every day the weather reports call for heat - if we're lucky it's eighties and nineties, if we're not it's up around the century mark. Sometimes, it seems like it's almost too hot to eat. Fortunately, Pain Quotidien has a plan for you. They're making an excellent gazpacho as this summer's special soup. It's finely blended and garnished with a little pesto, some julienned radishes, cucumbers and mangos. (It sounds like a lot more...

Brunch in Culver City

Don't go to S&W Country Diner on the weekends. It's hours are from 8 to 3, so there's never a time that's not brunch time, and so there's never a time that the joint isn't packed with groups of people standing around on the sidewalk waiting for a table. S&W is rumored to have one of the finest brunches in the land. I've been there quite a few times, but usually for lunch. I...

Sweets for Santa Monica

Santa Monica seems to be the epicenter of cupcakes these days, now that there are not one just one (Yummy Cupcakes one block closer to the Promenade) but two cupcake places there -- four on the Westside, if you count Susie Cakes in Brentwood and Butter Cake Bakery on Pico. Vanilla Bake Shop is dessert caterers Amy and Jeremy Berman's first bakery, and it's very charming. A lot of people in this town are...

A Little "Cooking" from Cuisine of the Completely Obvious

I know, I know, but it's been a long week, and my original post idea turned out to be closed. Anyway, on with the food! One of my favorite foods is the tomato. Not these anemic orange Franken-tomatoes you see at the market, bred for durability rather than flavor. Even their redder brethren, those red, viney ones still get mushy, and taste is secondary. But now we are in the high season of tomatoes!...

The Greens, So Tender

In the Culver City cultural gold rush, Tender Greens (like Beacon) got there a little before the party started. (For those of you who have no resources other than LAist, people are just starting to get tipsy at the party.) And, as the line going out the door attests, Tender Greens is a great place for salads (and a couple of soups and dinners like yer ma used to make - meat, potatoes and...

Pinkberry, Schminkberry

Now that I've got your attention, I've got a problem with yogurt. My problem isn't limited to Pinkberry. In fact, it's more of a yogurt in the market problem. The problem is that when you buy yogurt, you mix in that stuff at the bottom and it's just too sweet. I don't want to pretend that my yogurt is some kind of fruit mousse. Somewhere about the time they decided that yogurt was good...

Don't go to the Bloom Cafe!

I'm a little hesitant to tell you guys about Bloom Café. Brunching is not a leisure activity in this town. The idea of brunch is always calm, meeting up on a weekend, yummy breakfast, savory lunch foods. Coffee, laughter, companionship. But the reality is lines and waiting, grumpy stomachs, languishing hangovers. It's not pretty out there. At the Bloom Café, you can remember what brunch is really about. The clientele at this Picfair location...

Not Bad, Malo

There is a song in the early summer evening air and it's a song of hipsters, small yummy tacos, and very, very strong drinks. I live a considerable distance from Malo, but it's always a great place to meet up with people before going to the Greek. Malo is on Sunset Boulevard, the décor is dark, iron is very much in evidence, there are lots of curtains. Outside, the décor is minimal, with a...

Not All the Stars Shine So Brightly

Among the chaotic jubilance that is Melrose, All'Angelo unassuming. I usually tell people it's near Azami Sushi Café (also a great place to eat) but it's still easy to miss. When you get inside, it's not flashy like Geisha House or Table 8 or a lot of super hip places. No, at All' Angelo, they save the flash for the food. One of their stars is hard to see - in a small stretch...

Surprising Sandwiches (and Other Stuff)

A late lunch at the Century City Mall's Bread Bar proved quite refreshing. It's Friday of Memorial Day Weekend and everything is jammed, but Bread Bar was pretty empty and we got seated right away. We ordered iced teas, a ham sandwich and some chicken soup. Everything was really good. I've heard that the salads come a little under-breaded for a place called the Bread Bar, and indeed, most of them seemed to come...

Summer on the Horizon

So here we are, the week before Memorial Day and we're starting to see summer fruit at the Culver City Farmer's Market. There's the first apricots, nectarines and peaches, along with high season cherries (which peak between Mother's Day and Father's Day) and lingering strawberries. Whole Foods already has saturn peaches and cherries, though their charging nearly nine bucks a pound, whereas at the Farmer's Market you get something around a pound for five....

The Magic Number

What happened, Bar Marmont? We used to be so good together... You were a classic, attached to a piece of Hollywood history, whimsically decorated (butterflies!), not too trendy, but very hip. I understood your dalliances with movie stars and other celebrities. Just as long as they would stay away from me, and I could still get in, it was all cool. You have to admit, we had some fantastic times - intimate candle-lit dinners composed...

Hungry Cat -- Old Hat?

A cluttered stretch of Sunset Boulevard, crowded with stores and neon, billboards and cars, the sidewalks studded with gum, marked with the spray-painted symbols of different bands who've played Amoeba, seems a place ill suited to the food of a blue New England day, a little warm with a nice breeze, the air has that sweet salt tang to it. But to find the best seafood in town, Los Angelenos know better than to...

Why Winchell's

Why Winchell's when it could be someplace with some buzz, like Frittelli's in Beverly Hills, or Donut Man in Glendora or Stan's in Westwood? Or at least someplace with huge fake donut on it? Well, in the interest of full disclosure, I have never been to any of those places. You could even say that my donut credentials are a little weak. I've had Krispy Kreme, I've had Honey Dew, and Dunkin Donuts, I've...

1