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Morning Brief: Sriracha Alternatives, National Mental Health Number, Thursday With 'Soul'

red, orange, yellow and green chilli peppers in bowls
Assorted chilli peppers.
(Marcos Paulo Prado/Unsplash)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Tuesday, July 5.

I hope you had a safe holiday weekend. Unfortunately, not everyone did. We can’t even seem to get through a long weekend without bad news. Early on the Fourth of July, a gunman killed at least six people during a parade in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago. Also, a shooting in Sacramento just blocks from the Capitol killed an assistant high school football coach and wounded four others, the second mass shooting there this year. This all comes after we learned a 25-year-old, unarmed Black man named Jayland Walker suffered about 60 wounds after as many as eight police officers shot at him as he fled a traffic stop by foot last week in Akron, Ohio. Police released body camera footage Sunday. There’s just way too much happening in this country right now and I know it’s weighing heavily on all of us. At times like this, I always feel a little bit helpless about what to do. Today, it feels like the best thing I CAN do is try to soothe (or spice up?) our souls a bit by talking about cooking. In this case, with Sriracha sauce.  

Okay, now raise your hand if you are a Sriracha connoisseur? No, all right, maybe you’re just a little fan like me (I know, I need to get with the program). Well, if we are in the same boat, we need some help when it comes to surviving this nationwide Sriracha shortage or “Hot Sauce Apocalypse,” like my colleague Gab Chabrán calls it. 

And Gab, our associate editor of food and culture, is JUST the person to help us all out. He put together this list of sriracha alternatives. Want to try the “Real Thai Sriracha”? Try this mayonnaise-based chili sauce called Shark. OR maybe you’re a ginger lover like me. If so, you might want to try Oscar Ochoa’s recommendation called Blazing Fists of Fury. There are so many choices in this story to try!

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Whatever you do try for the first time, please let me know. I would love to try it out myself. You can tweet me your suggestions. Just letting you know, I like a medium spice - Jalapeño-based
would be great.

As always, try to stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • At Fourth of July celebrations in L.A. this year, some expressed concern for democracy.
  • What was described as a “rowdy street takeover” ended in a fatality early Monday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times. 
  • ICYMI: The future of the Cinerama Dome is looking a little brighter after the pandemic forced the closure of the ArcLight and Pacific Theater locations.
  • Hundreds of counselors in LA are gearing up for the launch later this month of a new mental health crisis helpline. The national number 988 will automatically tie into the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Advocates hope dialing it will one day become common practice for those in need. 
  • The anti-vaccine movement has adopted the phrase “My Body, My Choice”, which for years has been the rallying cry of abortion rights supporters. Here’s how it happened, and how the abortion rights movement has responded.
  • If you were one of the many people affected by airport delays and flight cancellations this weekend, there’s more to it than the usual suspects, like gas prices. A pilot shortage has been building up for years.

Before You Go...Your Choice between Eating Good Food for the Soul, or Getting Wild Wining and Dining at the Zoo

UCLA First Thursdays

For FREE.99: 

Okay, y’all. I got a couple of week events for you to try and BOTH are happening this THURSDAY. Free this night up.

What better way to spend a lovely, L.A. Thursday night outside than watching jazzy, zany Disney/Pixar movie Soul with your loved ones while eating good food? Bring your family, some popcorn and your comfiest weighted blanket to UCLA’s First Thursdays Summer Edition on Broxton Avenue. It’s at 7 p.m. this Thursday. And guess what? The FIRST 250 attendees get a special giveaway! Oooh I wonder what it’ll be. I low key might go to this myself. See more details here.

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You’ve probably been to the zoo to hang out with the glorious elephants, but have you ever wined and dined where the wild things are? No? Well here’s your chance, my friend! The L.A. Zoo is holding a Sustainable Wine+Dinner Series on Thursday. Enjoy gourmet farm-to-table meals, expert wine pairings AND conversations about conservation and sustainability. This sounds really fascinating. If you still have $175 after paying your bills on the first, check this out. Also, please let me know how it goes! Here are more details.

We’ve got a list of other good events to check out here.

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