Reviews of African London Post-Conceptual Painter Chris Ofili’s “Night and Day” at the New Museum, New York City




An Ode to Blackness

CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times


Chris Ofili makes paintings that will not let us be. For more than two decades, the work of this British artist has dazzled and discomfited, seduced and unsettled, gliding effortlessly between high and low, among cultures, ricocheting off different racial stereotypes and religious beliefs. His paintings mesmerize, whether with their opulent dotted surfaces or bawdy eroticism, their perfumed colors or their riffs on established masterpieces.

One example is “Rodin … The Thinker,” a black woman in garter belt, bra and bright orange wig. Another is a St. Sebastian in rusted bronze, reinterpreted as a dark-skinned martyr who, instead of arrows, is riddled with nails, conjuring a Congolese power figure. And then there are the eccentric materials, brightly colored map pins, glitter and — most famous — elephant dung. And always, through changes in subject, technique and style, Mr. Ofili never loses touch with his belief in painting as, foremost, a sensual, accessible experience meant to engross the eye before doing much with the mind. Sometimes he challenges the basic act of seeing.

“Chris Ofili: Night and Day,” the New Museum’s  intoxicating midcareer survey of Mr. Ofili’s ambitious art, presents six distinct bodies of paintings and drawings across three floors. In a darkened gallery on the museum’s third floor hangs shadowy paintings whose images flicker amid dark metallic purples, blues and reds. This ambiguous perceptual experience is akin to looking at the paintings of Ad Reinhardt, the Abstract Expressionist master of abstract geometries enmeshed in barely differentiated shades of black. But Mr. Ofili’s fleeting motifs reveal themselves to include images, set amid tropical settings, of a hanged figure, soldiers brandishing bayonets, and a black man surrounded by white policemen.

Standing before this last, especially disturbing image, which is titled “Blue Devils,” you understand beyond a doubt that the through line in this beautiful show is blackness: as night, as history, as culture, as skin, as majesty, as terror, as paranoia, as myth. It is present in the show’s opening second-floor gallery, too, but with a playful forthright decorativeness: Here are over 100 small watercolor “Afromuses,” bust-length portraits of imaginary men and women in full face or in profile, that Mr. Ofili began in 1995. At once regal and cartoonish, they suggest an extended family of royal ancestors and a bottomless well of inspiration.

In the next gallery, a dozen paintings from the late 1990s line the wall. They depict raffish black superheroes, blaxploitation film heroines and a brown clown-faced phallus — curvaceous characters with layers of dots, glitter-strewn resin and exotic backdrops — especially the radiating loops behind the goddesslike “She.” All are surrounded by tiny collaged images from black music or pornographic magazines, and garnished with one or more clumps of elephant dung, shellacked and stuck with colorful map pins that form decorative patterns or state the work’s title.

In the early aughts, summarized in an adjoining gallery, Mr. Ofili put a political symbol — the red, black and green of Marcus Garvey’s Pan-African flag — to lavish use. The five paintings here, which represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2003, depict figures, tropical plants and flowers. In three of them, mysterious lovers (or entertainers), descendants of the Afromuses, appear in formal evening dress. In two others, female nudes recline before us. It is as if the black maid in Manet’s 19th-century landmark “Olympia” has assumed the place of her white mistress. In each of these exultant paintings, a richly decorated dung ball forms the center of an immense star that seems to bless the scene like the star of Bethlehem.

Outstanding painters inevitably expand the medium to suit their needs and the specifics of their lives, and Mr. Ofili is no exception. Born in Manchester, England, in 1968, to Nigerian parents, he emerged with the group of Young British Artists led by Damien Hirst who heated London’s art scene in the early 1990s. His approach lacked their Conceptual orientation, but this did not stop him from being included in “Sensation,” the exhibition of the advertising magnate Charles Saatchi’s collection of Young British Artists at the Brooklyn Museum in 1999.

The rest is local history: Mr. Ofili’s painting, “The Holy Virgin Mary,” caused noisy outrage. Now displayed in the New Museum show, it depicts a black Madonna, a clump of elephant dung, shellacked and decorated as always in Mr. Ofili’s paintings, replacing her right breast, which is exposed in keeping with Renaissance tradition. She is also surrounded by little putti that on close inspection turn out to be images from pornographic magazines.

Mr. Ofili’s lack of Conceptual credentials differentiates him from American black artists whose art focuses on black identity, among them Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson or Kara Walker (although he shares Ms. Walker’s upfront bawdiness). Mr. Ofili has more in common with painters who couch blackness in a fierce visuality, namely Mickalene Thomas, Kerry James Marshall, Robert Colescott and Ellen Gallagher, and with more distant precedents such as the insistent colors and forms of the American painters Bob Thompson, Beauford Delaney and William H. Johnson.

On a larger stage, Mr. Ofili belongs to a multigenerational group of painters, black and white, born primarily during the second half of the 20th century, who have sidestepped several popular wisdoms. They dismissed Minimalism’s premise that art had to be abstract, laughed at the post-Minimalist belief that painting was dead and largely ignored the Pictures Generation assertion that the only good image was a photo-based one. (Among these artists are Carroll Dunham, Nicole Eisenman and Ms. Thomas.) They turned back to Pop Art, the unfinished figurative styles of early Modernism, or non-Western art, among other sources. Mr. Ofili also rejected the early ’90s contention that painting could not be political, making it so by making it fully “out of himself,” to paraphrase Barnett Newman. It is a demanding, if not excruciating process  that most young artists today fail to grasp, much less to undertake.

On the show’s final floor, which culminates in several new paintings, riotous color returns and a final surprise awaits: looming gallery walls painted with a lush jungle in spreading violets and pale pinks. Across this ravishing expanse, nine paintings proceed from 2007 to 2014, indicating an artist growing steadily while inspired by precedents that include Gauguin and the Symbolists, Picasso in his Blue Period, Matisse, Art Nouveau and the Color Field painters and Ovid.

Building on a version of stain painting and mostly depicting couples, these works start out simply with flat blazing color and move toward mosaiclike complexity. In “Ovid-Desire,” a creature in a diaphanous gown swoons in her partner’s arms on a pink-and-black dance floor. In “Frogs in the Shade,” bright trees cast leaf patterns on the skin on the bodies of a nude couple, a reclining male entranced by the woman dancing before him.

These paintings form an impressive demonstration of headlong development, but they suggest an artist still in transition, moving toward a promising future, which is exactly where Mr. Ofili, at 46, should be right now.

The New Los Angeles (2011;2012; 2013; 2014)

The Cedd Moses award winning bar, The Varnish, at the back of Coles, a restored century old formerly run down restaurant. We enjoyed a great hot pastrami sandwich at Coles just after it opened. The Varnish was recently named best bar in America.


The Best Restaurant Bar Programs in L.A.

Despite what the New York Times says, there are plenty of great restaurant bars

October 10, 2014 Cocktails, Drinking Add a comment

Restaurant critic Pete Wells was kinda tough on New York restaurant’s bar programs in his New York Times column this week, saying that “an awful lot of the cocktails I’ve had in restaurants have landed with a splat in the ‘not good’ category.” So to convince Wells otherwise, Grubstreet came up with a list of New York restaurant cocktails “that don’t suck.” Surprisingly there were only 13 drinks.

Thirteen? L.A. could pass that in its sleep. In Los Angeles, many restaurants are taking their cocktail programs seriously. They’re hiring cocktail consultants or beverage directors, usually well-respected mixologists and bartenders, to build the bar program by handpicking the spirits, training the staff, and creating a drink menu to complement the food and the theme. Nowadays, a phoned-in cocktail menu of “classics with a twist” ain’t gonna cut it.

For this list, instead of calling out one cocktail from each restaurant, I decided to give a shoutout to restaurant bars that actually have drinks you finish involuntarily.

By the way, originally this list was up to 22 but had to whittle it down. Are there any restaurants that you think should have made the cut?

Rivera/Bestia/Acabar/Petty CashJulian Cox has the magic touch when it comes to bar programs. Trained by Sam Ross at Comme Ca, Julian’s drinks appeal to both teetotaller and pro drinkers. Unlike most restaurant cocktails which are light for fear of interfering with the food, his drinks are still flavorful and will leave liquor lovers sated. His bartenders are required to go through six weeks of training to earn a spot at one of his bars. Basically, when you see the Cox name on the menu, you know you’re good to go.

A.O.C.: Christiaan Rollich is also the man behind the bar programs at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s other successful restaurants—Lucques and Tavern—but it was his creations at A.O.C. that helped put it at the top of L.A. Magazine’s 75 Best Restaurants list, at least for me. There he makes his own…well, everything, from coffee liqueurs to pepita syrups to even bathtub gin.

Brilliantshine: If Julian Cox can create such amazingness for other bar programs, you can imagine what he’s doing with his own restaurant, which he owns with his Soigne Group partner Josh Goldman. It’s like the best of Julian all up in there with cocktails inspired by his world travels. Best part, you can enjoy his drinks during a boozy brunch, late night or before and after dinner with food by Chef Richie Lopez. (During the meal, partake of Goldman’s wine list.)

The Corner Door: While this Culver City restaurant played musical chefs, head bartender Beau du Bois has been a stalwart fixture since the beginning, making it a go-to spot for cocktail enthusiasts who followed him from his days at M.B. Post. Plus, who can stay away from those fun cocktails with unusual flavor combinations like pineapple and cinnamon-infused Campari.

Crossroads: The fact that barman Jeremy Lake can create tasty vegan cocktails is a testament to his skills. Have you checked out his vegan hot buttered rum? Trained by Julian Cox, Lake consistently puts out imaginative drinks to complement chef Tal Ronnen’s animal-friendly cuisine.

The Eveleigh: Bar manager Dave Kupchinsky has singlehandedly turned the Sunset Strip, an area usually favored by tourists and the beautiful people, into a destination for craft cocktail enthusiasts. Every Monday features a different guest bartender, every Sunday a farmers-market fresh cocktail, and of course there’s D-Kup’s seasonally updated menu.

Gracias Madre: Another vegan restaurant with an impressive bar program. What are the chances? Only in L.A. At this West Hollywood vegan Mexican restaurant, beverage director Jason Eisner complements the fun fare by the Cafe Gratitude crew with build-your-own picklebacks, 24k gold-flecked cocktails, and boozy popsicles.

Ink: If you can’t get a reservation at Chef Michael Voltaggio’s hot West Hollywood adjacent restaurant, a seat at the bar with head bartender Gabriella Mlynarcyzk is in no way a consolation prize. She will wow you with her unique cocktails which make use of inventive ingredients like housemade IPA foam, chartreuse pixie dust, and chamomile vermouth. Or for something more familiar, check out her list of classic cocktails where a Negroni is made with rapid barrel-aged gin and the Dirty Martini has sake, umeboshe plums, vinegar, and celery bitters.

Petit Trois: It’s exciting stuff to be able to have cocktails with chef Ludo Lefebvre’s French bistro fare. For a long while diners could only enjoy BYOB wine with the pop-up king’s cuisine. But now for his second brick-and-mortar restaurant which features a full bar, bartender Danielle Motor (Hungry Cat) created food-friendly and Ludo-approved drinks.

Republique: I’m usually torn between barman Erik Lund’s cocktails and sommelier Taylor Parson’s wine list here but in the end it’s a cocktail for starters and wine for the meal. Lund’s short cocktail list–categorized by aperitif, traditional, and market–changes often, keeping up with chef Walter Manzke’s menu. So if you see something on there you like now better order it before it’s gone.

Scopa Italian Roots: What happens when two skilled barmen and a chef go into the restaurant business together? You get this Venice-adjacent eatery where everything you consume makes you happy. Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix (also co-owners of Santa Monica’s new Chestnut Club) created not only a stellar cocktail menu with instant favorites like Bullock’s Wilshire as well as one of the best Palomas I’ve ever had but a rich person’s drink list expertly using high-end stuff.

Tasting Kitchen: Barman Justin Pike has shaped the program of Chef Casey Lane’s Venice hotspot eatery since it opened in 2009. His drinks are simple, approachable and excellently crafted. Sure he’ll employ cocktail trends but because they make sense for his bar, and not because they’re crowd pleasers. Back when shrubs started to hit the scene, Pike made his own since he wasn’t a fan of the farm-to-glass trend. Shrubs were a good way to add the fruit component.

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Crossroads Bartender Jeremy Lake Opens New Hollywood Bar Lost Property

Claim rare whiskies and found items at this lost-and-found themed bar

November 12, 2014 Cocktails, Drinking Add a comment

Bartender Jeremy Lake is living the dream. Over a year after taking on his first solo project creating the cocktail program at Chef Tal Ronen’s Crossroads, he teamed up with Ryan Floyd and Walter Schild of the David Myers Group (Hinoki & the Bird, Comme Ca) and partners Rhino Williams and Matthew Jacobs to open up Lost Property in Hollywood.

This brand-new whiskey bar is next door to 33 Taps on the historic Hollywood and Vine intersection. “I feel so blessed. I get emotional about it. It’s amazing,” Lake gushed. “I’m opening my own place and it’s on Hollywood and Vine.” The intimate bar takes over 33 Taps’ little-used event space which can hold 60 people comfortably. Its decor is timeless with blue couches, clean midcentury style tables and a crystal whiskey decanter chandelier. “You can come in here in the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘80s, ‘90s, today and it will all look exactly the same,” said Lake.

And even though sports attire and flip flops may reign supreme at the adjacent two-level sports bar, Lost Property will have a “just look nice” dress code and a doorman to enforce it. There won’t be a password, though.

Now, the concept of a whiskey bar isn’t new. But a “lost and found” claim check system where you can “claim” (read: spend massive amounts of money on) lost and rare bottles of whiskey is. “We’ll advertise that we have a very rare Macallan coming in and you can buy the bottle if you want to and we’ll keep it in a bag with a ‘lost and found’ tag with your name on it,” explained Lake. “Whenever you come in, you pay a little corkage and you and your friends can sip on your bottle. It’s reserved for you.” The idea is that customers will have fun getting a sense of ownership, knowing that their bottle is waiting there for them.

For the opening, the whiskey list will start out with 50 different brands ranging from a $6 Evan Williams to a $40 rare rye from Northern California, which they only have one bottle of. However, it won’t get super nerdy here with tasting notes laid out in the menu. “A whiskey geek can come in here and I’ll make them a great cocktail and we’ll talk all day long about whiskey. Or a guy who doesn’t know anything about whiskey can come in and have a great time, too,” said Lake.

Cocktails off the standard list will be priced from $9 to $15 while Lake’s more decadent “Why Not?” menu, which spotlights cocktails made with his more high-end spirits, will range from $20 to $100. Another fun aspect of the Lost Property theme takes drunk shopping to another level. “Unclaimed” scarves, hats, sweaters, etc. will decorate the walls and if you see something that should be yours you can claim it.

Or you can turn it into a fun way to buy a drink for a friend who isn’t there. Pick a knickknack and buy a drink for your absentee buddy. The bar will affix a “lost and found” tag to the item and write down the drink. Then your friend can simply come in with their claim check stub to pick up their drink and found item. Don’t worry about missing out. The bar plans to replenish the fake lost items on a regular basis through estate sales and places like Jet Rag.

Lost Property’s grand opening is tomorrow starting at 7 p.m. Hours will be Thursday through Saturday from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

redarrow Lost Property, 1704 N. Vine St., Hollywood, 323-987-4445

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A First Look at Butchers & Barbers’ Cocktail Program

Plus, how to pair the cocktails with chef Reyes’ comfort food

October 29, 2014 Cocktails, Drinking Add a comment

Leave it to Jonnie and Mark Houston (Houston Hospitality) to constantly up the bar and nightlife scene with every new venue they open. I mean, wow, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s. Next Tuesday, however, the brothers aren’t adding yet another drink spot to their growing repertoire of themed delights but rather an old bowery-style New American restaurant called Butchers & Barbers. Complete with meat hooks and barbicide jars. Tucked between Houston properties No Vacancy and Dirty Laundry in Hollywood, the 1,200-square-foot, 50-seat restaurant will feature New American cuisine by Chef Luke Reyes (The Corner Door).

So why a restaurant now? Besides courting the challenge of the food biz, Mark said it felt like a natural next step for them. “As I get older I desire an environment where I can sit down and have a conversation,” he said. “I think the next thing is breaking bread with friends, having dinner, and genuinely get to know each other.”

The food menu accommodates every kind of appetite. For snacking at the bar, there’s popcorn seasoned with roasted garlic, rosemary, and thyme oil. For something absolutely indulgent and hearty there’s the 34-ounce côte de boeuf. And even though these are shared plates, they’re the hefty family-style portions. “You have to be very cautious about ordering too much,” said Mark. “You want to make sure you order and don’t overstuff yourself because you might not be open to going out after.”

To go with the dishes, Houston Hospitality Beverage Director Joseph Swifka didn’t just complement the masculine feel of the restaurant with the use of heavy, brown spirits but designed a drink menu of eight food-friendly cocktails. With house-made infusions and syrups as well as fresh produce, the drinks don’t overshadow the food yet still manage to have interesting, sophisticated flavors. “I wanted to have a couple of drinks with sherry involved just because sherry pairs nicely with food in general,” said Swifka. “There’s also on the lighter end of things, nice acidity to balance some of the flavors and to cut through richer dishes that we have.”

If you’re looking to do your own cocktail pairing with dinner, he recommends starting with the Lillian Gish (name may change) or the Good Ol Laurel, a take on a gin and tonic. Both have “a nice brightness and acidity to get your palate moving.” While the mellowness of the Ava Gardner, thanks to the toasted hazelnut and honey, makes it a fitting sipper during the meal. And to finish up, go for the Battle Potomkin which “could stand in the place of a very strong cup of tea or coffee.”

Groups of friends can order up a barrel of cocktail, which won’t be used to age but rather as a serving vessel for four people or so. “They’ll go out to the table and they’ll be able to use the spigots to pour their own drinks.”

In terms of the beer situation here, there are six beers on tap and only one bottle and one can as that space behind the bar is very tight. The selection, although limited, hits all the major notes, from a light white ale to IPA to richer, darker beers by producers like Angel City, Ballast Point, and Saint Archer. As for wine, the list is primarily made up of Rosenthal wines. “They’re mostly French right now, but again food-friendly but pretty elegant stuff,” said Swifka.

Butchers & Barbers will be open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 6 p.m.

Butchers & Barbers, 6531 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-461-1464

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L.A.’s Best New Bars

Where to drink this fall

By Katherine Kims

Best New Bars in Los Angeles 2014

Illustration: Libby VanderPloeg

With a new season comes the arrival of many recently opened places to quench our thirst, perfect for going classy in Hollywood, drinking seaside in Santa Monica or spending a late night in West Hollywood.

Whether you’re in the mood for fancypants cocktails, wines by the glass or beer on draft, here are the best new bars to spend a night out.

① Brilliantshine, Santa Monica
Most L.A. cocktail bars seem to start with Julian Cox. The barman behind Petty Cash, Bestia, Picca et al. recently debuted his Santa Monica flagship with partner Josh Goldman. The theme: seaside saloon. Grab a stool at the charming old-timey bar (think: vintage piano, brass fixtures) and order a Rome with a View ($10)—Campari, dry vermouth, soda and a lime wheel—or Spread Love, It’s the Brooklyn Way ($12) with rye whiskey, China-China bitters, dry vermouth and maraschino. There are Peruvian bites, too—we love the shrimp ceviche ($11) and lobster uni rice ($21). You can even post up for the night on the alfresco patio.

② Grandpa Johnson’s, Hollywood
Keep it classy with a taste of Old Hollywood. Blink and you’ll miss the unmarked entrance. Once inside, the Art Deco bar reveals wall-to-ceiling chevron panels, white marble tops, mirrored walls and a swanky 24-foot-long brass bar. The cocktails are just as fancy, dressed up in Darjeeling syrup, rose water and guava purée. Toast to T-Bizz ($14), named after owner Johnny Zander’s grandfather, made with bourbon, ginger syrup, apple cider, amaro, lemon juice, bitters and a lemon wedge.

③ The Nice Guy, West Hollywood
Continuing on the throwback theme, the Nice Guy serves cocktails with a side of mafiosa. Translation: red-sauce shared plates, old-school cocktails, booths (even a family chef’s table) and a sultry songstress. Go for a Moscow Mule ($15) served in a proper copper mug—you can upgrade to a punch bowl ($350) like a boss—or Mother’s Milk ($15), a frothy mix of vodka, house-made chocolate milk and soda water. Also of note: a dedicated whiskey menu, because that’s what men do.

RELATED   Zoe Nathan’s Santa Monica »

④ Grain, Playa del Rey
As the name suggests, whiskey is the order of the day. Ask for it straight up, on the rocks or in a cocktail at Playa Provisions’ bar. Your evening will go something like this: oysters followed by clams casino and a lobster roll on an outdoor patio, then a visit to the back room for a night cap. There are more than 60 whiskies from 21-year Elijah Craig Kentucky bourbon ($22) to Nikka Taketsuru Japanese whisky ($28). And even bar bites are made with the brown spirit—don’t miss boozy bourbon milk and warm chocolate cookies ($8).

⑤ The Chestnut Club, Santa Monica
This Santa Monica bar is serious about one thing: cocktails. With Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni of Black Market Liquor as the duo also behind the scenes (err, bar), the drinks here are worth a visit alone. But the lofty, den-like watering hole also has a relaxed neighborhood hangout feel, with comfortable leather booths. The mixed drinks are simple: All 13 list no more than five ingredients. And beer geeks can get into the impressive craft brew list, ranging from local barleywines to double IPAs.

⑥ Murph’s, Sherman Oaks
This Americana-themed bar is the latest to rouse the SFV after-hours scene. Designed to look like a 1930s gas station, Murph’s offers 11 local brews on tap (pulled from wrench handles) and even more by the can. If cocktails are calling, we suggest a standard Oil Change ($10)—a mix of bourbon, ginger and honey—or a rum-laced vanilla Coke float ($10) layered with bitters and vanilla liqueur. Fuel up with bro bar food such as a pimento cheese-topped burger ($14) and spicy fried chicken sandwich ($14). Bonus: Get $20 off your first Uber ride to make the trek back over the hill.

⑦ Bacari PDR, Playa del Rey
Winos can belly up and cheers at this beachside bar. And for good reason: Happy hour brings half-off wines by the glass and $10 liters of sangria, and “open bar” ($20) means 90 minutes of limitless red, white, champagne and sangria (and beer, too). If that doesn’t whet your taste buds, the kitchen slings grilled pizza ($8) and tapas-style cicchetti. Order individual plates ($8) or sample a trio of tastes ($21) ranging from crab crostini to lamb-stuffed eggplant with lemon garlic emulsion.

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  • Refinery 29 – Best New Restaurants in Los Angeles, November 2014
  • Freds
    Situated atop Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, Freds couldn’t have a more chic locale. The terrace offers top-notch views of the Hollywood Hills, while the menu sources local, fresh ingredients unique to California. In other words, you need to try this spot, pronto.

    Freds at Barneys New York, 9570 Wilshire Boulevard (at North Camden Drive); 310-276-4400.

  • Butchers & Barbers
    The brothers behind hot spots Pour Vous, Harvard & Stone, and No Vacancy have ventured away from the nightlife realm to open their first restaurant, Butchers & Barbers. Located smack-dab in the middle of Hollywood, the restaurant opened just last week. Hurry up and try it now — before word of its deliciousness gets out.

    Butchers & Barbers, 6531 Hollywood Boulevard (near North Cahuenga Boulevard); 323-461-1464.

  • Kye’s
    Whether you’re vegan, Paleo, gluten-free, or just appreciate a health-conscious meal, you gotta check out Kye’s in Santa Monica. The restaurant’s tagline — “Super tasty superfoods to go” — sums up the fare perfectly: It’s delicious, it’s healthy, and it’s quick. What more could you want?

    Kye’s, 1518 Montana Avenue (at 16th Street); 310-395-5937.

  • Stir Market
    A restaurant, market, wine bar, and cafe hybrid, this place is pretty much a one-stop culinary shop. Inspired by European food halls, Stir Market just opened its doors yesterday(!), so head over now to take the first peek.

    Stir Market, 7475 Beverly Boulevard (at North Gardner Street); 323-879-8283.

The Springs
In addition to being a 100% raw, organic, and vegan restaurant, The Springs also boasts a yoga studio, wellness center, and organic juice bar. So, really, you can just chill here all day long.

The Springs, 608 Mateo Street (at Mesquit Street); 213-223-6226


  • The Oyster Gourmet
    The newest resident of downtown’s Grand Central Market, The Oyster Gourmet comes complete with a crazy-cool, oyster-inspired bar that you need to see to believe.

    The Oyster Gourmet, 317 South Broadway (near West 3rd Street); 213-624-2378.

Bowery Bungalow
Nosh on Mediterranean, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisine at this two-week-old Silver Lake spot, which is housed in a super-cute yellow cottage (complete with a white picket fence). Standout dishes include baba ganoush, chickpea falafel, and Moroccan couscous.

Bowery Bungalow, 4156 Santa Monica Boulevard (near North Hoover Street); 323-663-1500.



L.A. Story: Where to Eat Now

The 10 must-try restaurants in the City of Angels this summer

By Katherine Kims

Best New L.A. Restaurants 2014

What’s cooking at Roy Choi’s POT? Hot pots, of course.

From Roy Choi to Ludo Lefebvre, and from Downtown to Venice, Los Angeles is flush with new restaurants to try this summer. We’re crushing just as hard on Choi’s latest venture, the unpretentious POT, as we are on the impressive rotating chef lineup at Fifty-Seven.

Here are ten noteworthy spots worth braving L.A.’s notorious traffic for:

POT, Koreatown
L.A.’s culinary hero, Roy Choi, continues to make headway with his sixth brick and mortar inside the Line Hotel. The Korean restaurant/bar/cafe is all about casual, unpretentious and fun. Diners tie on floral-patterned bibs and dig into one-dish hot pots—try the Boot Knocker ($25 small, $45 medium, $56 large) or seafood-loaded Fisherman’s Wharf ($39, $72, $96)—supplemented with more traditional dishes to share such as kimchi fried rice ($10). Bonus: The ’90’s soundtrack blares everything ffrom Boyz II Men to Bone Thugs.

Night + Market Song, Silverlake
Part two of Kris Yenbamroong’s cult Thai hit, Night + Market. Here, the Northern Thai menu continues with classics such as sweet and spicy “party wings” and sour Isaan-style sausage. The family-style additions are just as spicy and bold: pork blood-flavored luu shuk ($10) soup topped with cracklings and crispy noodles; and Bangkok mall pasta ($14) charged with salted fish, garlic, bird’s eye chile and green peppercorn.

③ FiftySeven, Downtown
Inside the old Heinz loading dock, the restaurant and downstairs bar is home to a rotating list of in-residence chefs. It’s only been open since March, but this Arts District restaurant has already seen David Nayfeld of Eleven Madison Park and Thomas Keller-trained Joshua Drew at the helm. For the summer, Farmshop’s former executive chef uses farmers’ market ingredients in dishes like local, ink-braised squid with beet greens, green garlic aioli and puffed buckwheat ($14). (Look out for 15-year old wunderkind Flynn McGarry June 23, July 21 and August 11, when he’ll be cooking a nine-course dinner, priced at $150 per person.)

④ Faith & Flower, Downtown
On the other side of Downtown, this glam restaurant’s bar is a scene in and of itself. Suede banquettes and sleek touches pave the way for chef Michael Hung’s menu of French-leaning dishes. Unexpected surprises like deviled eggs with kimchi ($6) and confit carnitas pizza ($17) keep things fresh, while an extensive list of cocktails keeps the night loose.

République, Mid-City
The old Campanile space returns to its roots as a fine dining destination, serving beautiful dinners at night and equally beautiful baked goods from the bakery. Stop in mornings for viennoiserie, tarts and dough baked, rolled, fried and sweet; and start dinner with housemade bread with salted Normandy butter ($5) or, better yet, wood oven pan drippings ($5). The rest of the menu reads like a French bistro’s—escargots en croûte, steak frites—but with seasonal ingredients. It’s all made by the talented Walter Manzke, formerly of Church & State and Bastide.

Superba Food + Bread, Venice
Superba Snack Bar expands its local approach to food, both in its ingredients and its devotion to Venice, with a restaurant-slash-bakery. The all-day menu options rotate from kaya toast and hotcakes for breakfast, subs and salads for lunch, a mid-afternoon selection of tartines, to a full menu of not-too-fussy large plates for dinner. Don’t miss weekly specials like rotisserie half duck with duck fat-braised radish ($29), and, of course, try the bread and pastries.

Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores, West L.A.
Chef Brian Dunsmoor of The Hart and The Hunter brings his Southern roots to plates like chicken-fried rabbit ($29) with spiced local honey, cilantro and sesame seeds, and Sea Island red pea and Carolina gold rice-mixed Hoppin’ John ($15). There’s also a fried chicken plus beer combo for happy hour, and a roster of stick-to-your-bones comfort foods (beignets, cornmeal pancakes) for brunch.

Pine & Crane, Silverlake
Pine & Crane keeps it in the family by using produce sourced from the owners’ own farm for its Taiwanese dishes. The service is fast-casual, which translates to unfussy food in a modest, minimalist setting. But the spot-on Chinese options mean legit dan dan noodles ($7.50) and pork dumplings ($5) without having to trek to the SGV.

Petit Trois, Mid-City
Trois Mec may be the hardest (ticketed) reservation in town, but come mid-summer, Angelenos can stop into its sister restaurant from Ludo LeFebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (the duo behind Animal and Son of a Gun). The theme is classic French, with options like croque monsieurs, escargots, steak tartare and crème caramel. The look? That of a brasserie outfitted with an open kitchen counter, checkered floors, etc.

⑩ Alimento, Silverlake
Zach Pollack strikes out on his own from Sotto to the Eastside. Pollack sticks to what he knows best: handmade pastas, sugo and rustic Italian cooking. The indoor-outdoor space completes a nice trifecta of neighborhood food options—L&E Oysters and LAMILL are close by—come the end of June, when doors finally open.

Read more:






11 Key Restaurant Openings In Los Angeles

Feb 4, 2014 12:00 pm

Sandwiches, super omakase and the Egg Slut indoors

By Joshua Luriestatic
The busy dining room at Josef Centeno's new tasting menu only restaurant Orsa & Winston.
The busy dining room at Josef Centeno’s new tasting menu only restaurant Orsa & Winston.

The last four months have been a boom time for the Los Angeles dining scene. The culinary wealth extends from LAX to downtown and hits appear at all price points, from  breakfast sandwiches to a “super omakase” at an exclusive chef’s counter. We’ve done our homework. As in, eaten some serious meals. And with that here are 11 of the most promising openings from the past four months in L.A. County.

Orsa & Winston
Chef Josef Centeno, a well-known grinder who seems most comfortable in the kitchen, steps into the spotlight at Orsa & Winston, which features a refined combination of Italian and Japanese cuisines and a more open design that keeps the main man front and center. The menu changes daily and gets as ambitious as diners will allow, from a four-course family-style menu that costs $50 per person to seats to a “super omakase” meal at the chef’s counter. The menu is highly seasonal, but you might catch dishes like koshihikari rice with uni and Pecorino cream or pork loin with chicken liver mousse and huckleberries. Centeno already captured the attention of Angelenos with Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá in the Old Bank District, and Orsa & Winston is likely to keep it. 122 West 4th Street, Downtown, 213-687-0300,

The Factory Kitchen
This concrete and steel showpiece in the downtown L.A. Arts District features flashes of color from reclaimed wood tables and fire red chairs. Matteo Ferdinandi is running the front of the house while longtime Valentino chef Angelo Auriana is at the stove at this Italian-to-the-core restaurant. House-made pastas have been early hits, including marjoram-speckled corzetti stampati with veal and tomato sauce. Really though, plenty of people would visit just for the focaccia calda di recco al formaggio, thin focaccia stuffed with crescenza cheese and dressed with arugula and Ligurian olive oil. 1300 Factory Place, Downtown, 213-996-6000,


The Egg Daddy sandwich includes an all-beef patty and cheddar with a fried egg on a brioche bun.

Egg Slut
Chef Alvin Cailin and co-owner Jeff Vales generated plenty of interest by serving refined egg dishes from a truck. Now they’re running an open-air counter in downtown’s increasingly epic Grand Central Market. Sure, they’re still serving breakfast options like coddled eggs with bacon-braised cannellini beans and crostini. Also, The Fairfax — a sandwich with scrambled eggs, onions, cheddar and Sriracha mayo on house-baked brioche. But the duo’s also added steak and eggs served with crispy potato pave; egg salad tossed with honey mustard aioli and served with arugula on Texas toast. There’s even talk of a burger with coffee bacon jam…of course topped with a fried egg. Wonder if Burger Coffee Bacon Slut is going too far? 317 Broadway, Downtown,

L.A. Chapter
Sadly, Ace Hotel founder Alex Calderwood didn’t live to see the opening of L.A.’s Ace Hotel, which has inspired triumphant praise since reviving the United Artists building on the south end of downtown’s historic Broadway Theater District. On the ground floor, chef Ken Addington and business partner Jud Mongell of Brooklyn’s Five Leaves have opened L.A. Chapter, a two-tiered restaurant that features checkerboard tile floors, copper tables and serves three seasonal meals daily. Yes, they’ve imported the Five Leaves Burger, which hosts grilled pineapple, pickled betters, egg, harissa mayo and Lindy & Grundy beef. 929 South Broadway, 213-623-3233,

LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal
A long LAX layover is no longer dreaded thanks to the influx of new dining options at the retooled Tom Bradley International Terminal. The multi-tiered deck in the Villaraigosa Pavilion food court, named for L.A.’s previous mayor, now houses chef-driven restaurants like Border Grill (modern Mexican from Mary Susan Milliken and Susan Feniger), Larder at Tavern (seasonal sandwiches and salads from Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne), and ink.sack (Michael Voltaggio’s reimagined sandwiches). Fast casual options include 800 Degrees (wood-fired pizza) and Umami Burger. Petrossian’s caviar emporium adds a luxe touch, and Vanilla Bake Shop delivers a sweet finish.

Din Tai Fung
Persuasive developer Rick Caruso convinced Frank Yang to expand his family’s Taipei legacy at The Americana at Brand, a 15 1/2 acre mixed-used development in downtown Glendale. Din Tai Fung already dominates the doughy San Gabriel Valley arms race with weekend-only soup dumplings, pan-fried rice cakes, airy steamed buns and more. So it was good news when this location opened closer to downtown. In Glendale, Yang’s upped Din Tai Fung’s game with juicy pork dumplings studded with shaved Italian truffles, potstickers and a full bar. Poon Design has also cranked up the ambiance, including towering wooden doors, overhead wood slats, jumbo box chandeliers and an exhibition kitchen fronted by rings that resemble dumpling steamers. Thankfully, DTF kept playful touches like a cartoon dumpling character, which greets diners at the reception desk. 177 Caruso Avenue, Glendale, 818-551-5561,


République already boasts one of the city’s finest selections of fresh morning breads and pastries.

Classically trained powerhouse Walter Manzke and talented chef/wife Margarita joined forces with restaurateur Bill Chait to replace famed Campanile with a multi-faceted restaurant and bakery. The airy space features a counter up front, which hosts pastries by day and oysters by night. High-top tables and detailed tile work give way to an open kitchen, communal tables and high ceilings. In terms of the menu, the well-traveled couple’s culinary offerings are by no means limited to France. République is already one of the best L.A. places to find morning pastries, seasonal salads, oak-cooked meats and inventive dishes like ramekins of escargots with puff pastry and garlic butter; or beignets with porcini mushrooms and Parmesan. Margarita Manzke’s desserts include stupendous panna cottas, tarts and bombolini. A seasonal bar program from Erik Lund and a varied wine list from beverage director Taylor Parsons rounds it all out. 624 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, 310-362-6115,

Mud Hen Tavern
Susan Feniger of Top Chef Masters, Food Network and Border Grill fame, joined chef/partner Kajsa Alger in flipping STREET into an everyday neighborhood hangout. The space now features an inviting patio, a more welcoming bar with high-top tables, comfortable booths, craft beer and cocktails. The menu still embraces global influences, including multi-textured tuna ceviche, and Greek-inspired lamb meatballs anchored in tangy tzatziki, though Mud Hen does feature a Cheeseburger with Lindy & Grundy grass-fed beef. After all, the name evokes Feniger’s childhood in Toledo, home of the Mud Hens minor league baseball team, so some things are all-American comfort. 742 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, 323-203-0500,

Scopa Italian Roots
A culinary wave is washing over the Westside, starting with Venice, and now extending to Marina del Rey. One chef riding the crest is Antonia Lofaso, who teamed with Black Market partners Mario Guddemi and Salvatore Aurora and bartenders Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix on Scopa, who draw on the chef’s Italian roots. The glass-fronted space features brick walls, communal wood tables, and a backlit bar. Of course the bar is clearly visible, since Livigni/Moix are one of the most accomplished bartending duos on the West Coast. Lofaso’s sprawling menu can get pretty inspired at places, whether it’s a stuffed shells flavor bombed with duck sausage, ricotta and tomato sauce. There’s also rigatoni with oxtail and bitter dandelion greens, as well as a seared T-Bone served with salsa verde. For dessert, request Livigni’s favorite Amaretto, which drinks like a liquid cookie. 2905 West Washington Boulevard, Marina del Rey, 310-821-1100,


Floral custom tile flooring and communal tables are part of the dining room at East Borough.

East Borough
Chloe Tran & John Cao have opened an upgraded “Fraîche Vietnamese” restaurant in Culver City with restaurateur Paul Hibler and chef Jason Neroni, partners in the American Gonzo Food Corporation culinary incubator. This builds on the success of Tran and Cao’s more casual and small Camp in Costa Mesa. Sandwiches and salads are featured at lunch, and more ambitious fare is available at dinner, including head-on blue shrimp with tart pomelo in a funky crab paste butter bath. Neroni, also the chef at Venice’s Superba Snack Bar, has finally brought phocatini to Los Angeles, al dente pasta dotted with fresh herbs, oxtail, hoisin, sambal and onion. A large format pork shank slow cooked with Vietnamese spices and served with Sriracha, butter lettuce and sliced pickles for wrapping. For dessert, think bittersweet Vietnamese coffee…budino. Tran, a longtime designer, built the space with floral custom tile flooring and communal tables. 9810 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, 310-596-8266,

Warren’s Blackboard
Until chef Warren Schwartz opens The Frontyard this spring in North Hollywood’s Beverly Garland Hotel, the accomplished chef (Saddle Peak Lodge, Westside Tavern) is operating a sort of food & drink workshop complete with blackboard menu at night. Popular early selections include popovers, based on grandma’s recipe, sliced open and layered with mushrooms, bacon and pencil-thin asparagus spears; a bone-in braised lamb shank with orange gremolata and house-made pappardelle. White Boy Fried Rice is stir-fried with Spam, broccoli, egg and sambal, just like Schwartz makes for family at home. 4222 Vineland Avenue, North Hollywood, 818-255-7290,

Joshua Lurie is the L.A. based founder of Food GPS.



Downtown: The 11 New Bars You Need to Know About

Drinking downtown has never been better

Photograph courtesy of Bar Jackalope

Downtown L.A. has been getting more love than usual, not just from Angelenos but the rest of the nation. (Thanks, GQ and Bon Appetit!) And amazingly it continues to grow and develop. To think it all really started gaining momentum back in 2007 when Cedd Moses first opened Seven Grand. Cut to seven years later and we have a boom of new watering holes, underground and overlooking the city, to add to the mix of already successful bars, sealing the deal that DTLA is THE place to do an epic barhop. Either take the Metro in or book a room at one of the many hotels.

Bar Jackalope at Seven Grand: This new bar-within-a-bar, which opened in January, only accommodates 18 drinkers, emulating those intimate whiskey bars you find in Japan. In fact you can’t just saunter in from Seven Grand outside. Rather, you flick a light switch to get instructions on how to get in. Once in, enjoy the selection of 120 different whiskies, including rarities like Pappy and Balvenie Tun 1401 or the three classic whiskey cocktails. Ballers may choose to purchase a bottle of their own and store it in their very own whiskey locker at the bar.

City Tavern DTLA at Figat7th: This downtown outpost is, frankly, bigger and better than its Culver City sister what with more space, more taps and a thoughtful and extensive cocktail program created by Brent Falco and Cari Hah (both formerly of Cole’s Red Car Bar). Thanks to their cocktail menu, you’ll probably end up staying here from happy hour, when you can get a decent cocktail for $5 to $6, through dinner for a desserty Grown-Ass Milkshake, to close with a flight of Manhattans.

The Continental Club: From the folks who brought you The Room in Hollywood and The Association comes this basement bar which opened two weeks ago beneath Bar Ama. Meant to resemble the sort of gentlemen’s club you’d find in London it holds 300 stylish attired guests. Sip on fancy-pants cocktails like the Rolls-Royce or a “ferociously shaken” Sloe Gin Fizz.

Crane’s Downtown: The first of two new downtown bars with “Crane” in its name, this one is where Crane’s Hollywood Tavern moved and opened in November. Take the steps down til you come across a massive door leading into an old bank vault. Thankfully, it’s not a speakeasy, but rather a chill, upscale dive bar. Here you get no frills, just straight-forward drinking.

Honeycut at the O Hotel: True, this discotheque/craft cocktail bar opened in October of last year but it still bears mentioning. It’s where bartenders go to boogy down and lay back. With one room dedicated to a carefully crafted drink and the other a fun selection of cocktails on tap, you can’t go wrong.

Nest at WP24: Wolfgang Puck’s new 4,100-square-foot venue, which takes the place of the WP24 lounge on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, opened just this month. Stop by for a bar bite like tiny dumplings or a dinner of crispy black pepper pork belly but definitely stay to explore the 300-wine list. Or there are cocktails like the Bourbon Buddha with sage, Buffalo Trace, Aperol, lemon juice, and simple syrup, and the Bird of Paradise with 209 Gin, lemon juice, orange wedge, simple syrup, and club soda.

Peking Tavern: Rounding out the basement boozeries, this Chinese gastropub is located in the basement of NCT Lofts and boasts to be “Home of the Bai Jiu Cocktail.” For those unfamiliar with this pungent Chinese liquor, best tread lightly. Definitely an acquired taste but you can ease into it with their Peking Coffee, a mix of Bai Jiu, coffee and horchata liqueur. Or try out their Peking versions of an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan, both made with Peking bitters.

Tom’s Urban: Taking the place of ESPN Zone in L.A. Live and opening just this week, this gigantic two-level sports bar is the place to go if you want to catch the game, any game, on one of the 80 TV screens. For your immediate drinking needs, there are cocktails on draft by barman Joel Black (Comme Ca).

Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel: Everyone keeps talking about this gorgeously, romantic new poolside roof bar at the stunning Ace Hotel. It’s definitely THE place to take that special someone, aka the person you want to get it on with. Just make sure to come early to avoid the long line. The cocktails here are twists on tropical cocktails, showcasing aperitifs, gin and whiskey.

Wendell: Former Bukowski dive bar hang Craby Joe’s was made new again, openinglast October. Even though it’s sleek with its dark wood and long, polished bar, it’s still all about chill drinking for the neighborhoodies rather than the next big cocktail trend. Settle in and order up a tasty craft brew or a canned Schlitz while pondering the fact that you’re under the roof where U2 filmed that “Where the Streets Have No Name” video.

Wolf & Crane: This Little Tokyo bar, which opened in December, celebrates the Japanese trend of highball bars and features 10 different highballs, simple cocktails made with booze and soda. You’re in a hurry to get your drink on, then this is the place.



Restaurant News As 2014 Arrives, Downtowners Hunger for These New Restaurants

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 5:00 am

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Foodies had plenty to chew on in Downtown Los Angeles in 2013, with a number of buzzed-about restaurant openings. It seemed that every time you threw a bread roll you hit a celebrity chef working on his or her own place in the Central City.

It appears that the momentum will continue in 2014. The new year is slated to feature fresh ventures from old faces, expansions of already popular L.A. joints, potential rising stars and everything else on the food spectrum.

In short, Downtown diners are already looking at a plethora of new eateries, even if some are still in the early planning stage. Here’s a look at some of the hottest restaurant arrivals slated for the coming year.

Lucky 57: Beau Laughlin has had plenty of success with West Hollywood gastropubs The Hudson and The Churchill. Now, he has set his sights on fine dining in the Arts District. Fifty Seven is scheduled to open at 712 S. Sante Fe Ave. — at the old Heinz loading dock, near Italian hotspot Bestia — in the first quarter of 2014. It will offer a unique conceit: The kitchen will feature a rotation of chefs from around the country who stop by, do their thing for a few months, then give way to the next big name. First up is David Nayfeld, a veteran of New York’s lauded Eleven Madison Park.

Market Madness: The Dec. 23 opening of DTLA Cheese at Grand Central Marketis just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the venue’s foodie revolution. Up next are three new eateries: Wexler’s Deli, Olio Pizza and Oyster Gourmet. The former comes from chef Micah Wexler and partner Michael Kassar (both from the shuttered Mezze in Beverly Grove) along with Pitfire Pizza co-owner David Sanfield. The restaurant is aiming for a February opening and will serve old-school deli classics such as house-made pastrami, corned beef and smoked salmon. Olio Pizzeria is an addition to chef/owner Bradford Kent’s restaurant of the same name in Beverly Grove, and will feature wood-fired pies and appetizers. Oyster Gourmet, meanwhile, is the brainchild of oyster expert Christophe Happillon. He has been wowing eaters with impeccable shellfish at pop-ups in several restaurants (including Downtown’s Perch) and farmers markets throughout Los Angeles.

Check, Please: It’s not every day that you eat a burger with ketchup “leather” and a kombu-infused revision of cheap American cheese. Then again, Plan Check isn’t your average restaurant. Come the spring, Downtowners will no longer have to trek to the Westside or Fairfax to get their hands on owner Terry Heller and chef Ernesto Uchimura’s inventive food. Instead, they’ll just head to 1111 Wilshire Blvd. in City West, where Plan Check’s third location will be on the ground floor of a recently opened apartment complex. Expect stellar burgers, beef-fat fries and smoky fried chicken.

Pub Love: Plan Check is not the only gastropub moving across town. Culver City favorite City Tavern will be opening in the FIGat7th shopping center by the end of January, joining a slew of new eateries; like neighbor Mendocino Farms, it will have its own large standalone spot near the mall’s bustling food court. This City Tavern will be twice as big as the original location, with enough space for a cocktail lounge and patio. The menu will feature comfort-food classics such as grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, along with new options, among them a selection of chilled seafood.

Flying High: From the we’ve-been-waiting-for-this-one-for-years corner, there’s Redbird. Chef Neal Fraser has long influenced the Southern California dining scene, both at his own restaurants (BLD and Grace, which shuttered in 2010) and at others through his consulting work. He’ll be returning to the kitchen at Redbird, which will open — at an unspecified date — in the rectory next to the old Vibiana cathedral. Fraser’s wife and business partner Amy Kroll took over management of the space last year and Fraser is partnering with Bill Chait (who helped open Bestia and Rivera, among others) on the venture. As for the food: “It will be as fine-dining as we can make it,” he told Zagat in April. “Not small plates, not a bistro, not a gastropub.”

Due (Middle) East: Bestia chef and co-owner Ori Menashe has made the Italian restaurant one of the toughest reservations in all of L.A., but he’s working on something decidedly different for his next project: He hopes to open a Middle Eastern restaurant, also in the Arts District, by the end of 2014. Though it might seem like an odd transition, the new joint will pay homage to his favorite comfort foods — Menashe was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Israel. Expect dishes with the rustic-but-modern aesthetic found at Bestia; Menashe has mentioned wood-fired tagines (stews), house-made pita breads and Middle Eastern-spiced charcuterie.



Top 5 Nightclubs in Los Angeles


Courtesy of AV
Courtesy of AV

Where are the hautest spots to party in the City of Angels? It’s a tough job, but we’ve done the digging for you. With great fanfare, we present our picks for the top five nightclubs in Los Angeles. Get ready to put on your dancing shoes!

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643 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 652-2012

Greystone Manor Supperclub

Hollywood’s hottest stars come to party at Greystone Manor. Dinner service from sbe’s executive Chef Danny Elmaleh begins at 6 pm, but late night is when the club is at its best. The beautiful people come out to play and party in the old Hollywood-style venue, whose interior can best be described as neo-Renaissance meets neo-Gothic décor.glamour and decadence. Like the best of its peers, its door is tight. Unless you’re one of the Hollywood elite, get there early for a shot at glory. Booking a table for dinner or reserving bottle service should also do the trick if you’re not into an early bird special.
9229 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 274-7500

Bootsy Bellows

Bootsy Bellows is the best new club to hit Hollywood in ages. Under the direction of owners David Arquette and John Terzian, the Sunset Strip spot is a mixture of vintage cool and complete whimsy. It’s nearly impossible to get in the door, but should you be one of the lucky few, you’ll be guaranteed to have the best time of your life.
8713 Beverly Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048 (310) 274-7500

Hooray Henry’s principals John Terzian, Brian Toll and Markus Molinari have created a brand new British-themed club called Hooray Henry’s, and it’s a smashing good time. As conceived by John Sofio of BUILT Inc., Hooray Henry’s is like an aristocratic English manor with the modern touches only an Angeleno could enjoy. Dance the night away while imbibing hip Brit-themed cocktails like the bourbon-based “Royal Fashion” and gin-soaked “Oxford Lad.”
1645 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 871-8233

The Sayers Club

The Sayers Club has credibility because it’s so unassuming from the outside. Though it’s hidden behind a hot dog stand, don’t be fooled: this hot spot attracts some of the biggest names — and DJ’s — in Hollywood. The nightclub is bigger and better after undergoing a revamp in 2013; it took over an area that formerly housed Papya King and converted the space into a dark and masculine den of relaxation with pre-party snacks for pizza lovers courtesy of its new wood-burning oven. Haute!
1601 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (310) 334-9619

AV Nightclub

AV nightclub may be located inside the historic 1920′s Marion building, but trust us, its interior is completely modern. There are three platforms for go-go dancers, aerial rigging for theatrical performances and staging for dancing behind each table. If you think this sounds like a party you want to be at, you’re right.




Your Handy Guide to the 2014 LA Art Book Fair

;;; designed this LA Art Book Fair car freshener that smells citrusy fresh! (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless otherwise noted)

LOS ANGELES — Shannon Michael Cane knows he has big shoes to fill as the new director and curator of the highly anticipated second edition of the Los Angeles Art Book Fair (LAABF). “Taking over the fair from someone like [artist and curator] AA Bronson, who is a mentor to me, is a lot of pressure to see what you can do to improve it,” Cane told Hyperallergic.

Some of the 15,000 people that attended the 2013 LAABF. (image via Printed Matter)

A native of Australia, Cane has worked at Printed Matter in New York for the last six years after extensive experience as the independent publisher of They Shoot Homos Don’t They?, a cult classic zine that was part of the surge of queer zine making a decade ago. Cane was invited by AA Bronson back in 2007 to exhibit at one of the first New York Art Book Fairs (NYABF), and he found the experience exhilarating, as he was able to meet his zine and artist-book idols all in one place.

Cane is also a perfect spokesperson for the rise of a scene that is smart, diverse, and global. His enthusiasm for artist books and zines is obvious, and probably comes from his own experience of learning about the power of community through the page. ”I’m trying to keep what people love about the fairs that AA produced but slowly putting my spin on it,” he said.

Curator Shannon Michael Cane with Farra's mural inside MOCA's Geffen Center, where the LAABF is taking place.

While the New York incarnation of Printed Matter’s popular art book fair has continued to grow, attracting a whopping 27,000 visitors over three days in 2013, the Los Angeles fair is still coming into its own, even if it’s clear that Angelenos are hungry for the event (15,000 people attended last year). Roughly 650 applicants applied for the 260 spots available at the 2014 edition, and the publishers range from blue-chip galleries (including Gagosian) and antiquarian booksellers that have no websites or shops to the $150 zine booths that welcome exhibitors who would probably never have access to such a vast pool of potential readers in any other way.

A visitor to last year's LAABF peruses the colorful material. (via Printed Matter)

What binds all these diverse exhibitors and visitors together is a love of books — more specifically, artist books and zines, or as Cane characterizes it, “art for the page.” ”Art books are retaliation towards the gallery system,” he explained, adding that people who can’t get gallery shows have often turned to alternative outlets to communicate with an audience. “It was a reaction against the gallery system, as artists said ‘I want something I can give to people — an object but it’s not a catalogue of my work. It’s more than that.’”

But book sellers will not be the only draw this coming weekend, as the 2014 LAABF will also feature an exhibition of queer zines curated by Philip Aarons and AA Bronson, Fabulousity, an exhibition of ephemera and photographs by Alexis Dibiasio about 1980s and ’90s New York club kid culture, a conversation between LA-based artist Piero Golia and Andrew Berardini for the duration of the fair (presented by Gagosian, the entire dialogue will be transcribed in shorthand by a court stenographer), and so much more.

A view of the large MOCA Geffen Center during the 2013 LA Art Book Fair. The large warehouse space will also be the location of this year's LAABF. (via Printed Matter)

One of popular features of the NYABF that’s coming to LA is the Classroom, which has a full schedule of programming organized by David Senior, bibliographer of the Museum of Modern Art library.

“The Classroom has functioned at the NYABF as a change of pace to the bustle of fair. People can listen for an hour to someone read or an artist’s talk about their practice or a recent work. It also usually has a few zany performances to keep things fun and irreverent,” Senior told Hyperallergic.

“In LA, I’ve sort of followed the same idea. We created a pretty packed program with a lot of different artists and publishers, while also emphasizing the community of people that are out here working with this genre of artists’ publications. And this takes on a wide range — I am excited to hear Martine Syms read from her screenplay Most Days on Sunday, as well as Anna Sew Hoy in discussion with the writer Laurie Weeks. These are some highlights that feature individuals from the LA community.”

Hyperallergic will be reporting from the LAABF all weekend, but until then we’ve compiled a short list of some choice events to check out.

Thursday, January 30

6:30–7:30pm: Donelle Woolford kicks off the 2014 Whitney Biennial (yes, seems random) with a re-creation of Richard Pryor’s 1977 comedy routine from his short-lived TV show.

7–8pm: Artist Jack Pierson signs his latest book, Tomorrow’s Man, Lynn Valley 9, presented by Presentation House Gallery and Bywater Bros. Editions.

Friday, January 31

1–2pm — Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW) leads a casual conversation (which I guess means it is non-hierarchal) about the use of the word “feminism” and why people shy away from it.

4–5pm — Artist Laura Owens will be in conversation with Ooga Booga’s Wendy Yao about their recent book collaborations. Owens is one of those rare artists who has fully integrated artist books as an important part of her body of work.

Saturday, February 1

11am — Dynasty Handbag, the performance-arty-leotardation-comedy-psychic-meltdown-voiceover-stretchpants/antipants-lezbiananationalarmy vehicle of Jibz Cameron, will put on a show that is sure to raise questions about the role of art and comedy … and probably make you laugh out loud.

2–3pm — Psychologist Dr. Alan Castel will discuss his research on human memory and why we remember some things while choosing to forget others. Related to the release of Michael Schmelling’s Land Line from J&L Books, Castel will also discuss metamemory (our thoughts about our own memory) and its influence on memory.

3–4pm — Johan Kugelberg, an author/curator and proprietor of Boo-Hooray, will discuss the problems and possible solutions of archiving counter-culture narratives. Kugelberg has created university archives for Yale, Cornell, Oxford, and Columbia on punk, hip-hop, May 68, Living Theatre, Larry Clark, and Angus MacLise, among others. He is currently working on the Printed Matter archive.

Sunday, February 2

1–2pm — Martine Syms‘s “Most Days” is what what she calls a “Mundane Afrofuturist sound work” that will be released on vinyl next month. The piece by an artist who considers herself a “conceptual entrepreneur” looks at “what an average day looks like for a young black woman in 2050 Los Angeles.” She will be reading from her sci-fi anti-adventure.

1–3pm — Artists and special surprise guests will read from More Than You Wanted to Know About John Baldessari (eds. Meg Cranston and Hans Ulrich Obrist), a new two-volume publication from JRP | Ringier. This event requires an RSVP, which you can do here.

3–4pm — Aram Saroyan is most famous for his minimalist poem “lighght,” which caused NEA-related controversy back in the 1960s, and his four-legged “m” poem, which was cited by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s shortest poem. He will be launching the second edition of his Complete Minimal Poems, which collects his renowned works into one definitive volume. Saroyan will give a rare reading of these works at the LAABF.

Hyperallergic is a media sponsor of the LA Art Book Fair.



The Best New Restaurants In LA, According To The Pros (PHOTOS)

2012-08-16-Screenshot20120816at4.00.54PM.png  |  Posted: 09/10/2013 7:04 pm EDT  |  Updated: 09/10/2013 8:05 pm EDT

This story comes to us courtesy of Refinery29.

With new restaurants popping up everyday, deciding where to eat dinner in LA is no small feat. So, we’ve turned to the pros! Ahead, six influential local foodies give us the scoop on their favorite new restaurants, which tasty trends are getting them excited, and why Los Angeles is such an exciting place to be hungry right now. We hope you’ve got an appetite…

connie and teds

Who: Ellen Bennett, Founder, Heldley & Bennett Aprons

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“Connie & Ted’s is definitely my favorite restaurant! It looks like a giant boat parked in the middle of West Hollywood. The quality of the ingredients is at the level of Providence, but it’s way more casual.”

Food trend predictions:
“It seems like everyone is revolutionizing the typical ice cream!”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“The coolest thing about the LA food scene is how the farmers and their produce are becoming the stars.”

Connie & Ted’s, 8171 Santa Monica Boulevard (at Crescent Heights Boulevard); 323-848-CRAB.

tar and roses

Who: Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, Founders, Spoon Fork Bacon

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“Tar and Roses in Santa Monica! We’re both big fans of cheese and charcuterie, and this place definitely specializes in it. The space itself is cozy and the brick walls are a nice touch.”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“What makes the L.A. food scene so exciting right now — and always — is that it’s such a multiculturally influenced city that there are constantly new and different foods to try. It’s impossible to get bored with so many fun and unique options.”

Tar & Roses, 602 Santa Moinica Boulevard (at 6th Street); 310-587-0700.

moon juice

Who: Kat Odell, Star of Bravo’s “Eat Drink Love” and Editor of Eater LA

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“This is actually more of a shop/cafe, but I am over the moon for the new Moon Juice in Silver Lake. I love the celestial meets clean-hippy aesthetic and energy. The space is studded with crystals, there’s a refrigerated case up front with a rainbow of cold-pressed juices and nut milks in fun flavors like ‘tomato-watermelon’ and ‘pumpkin-seed ginger,’ and chef/owner Amanda Chantal Bacon is serving a sophisticated raw snack menu with the likes of strawberry geranium bars. I am by no meats a raw foodist — or even a vegetarian — but her healthful snacks are the kind even carnivores will appreciate.”

What’s your favorite current food trend:
“I have to say, as over-saturated as the ‘cronut’ trend is at the moment, I love me some fried dough! My favorite iteration has been from ConfeXion in Pasadena. It makes a serious brioughnut, which is glazed and topped with maple bacon.”

Moon Juice, 2839 Sunset Boulevard (at Silver Lake Boulevard); 213-908-5407.

bar ama

Who: Matthew Poley and Tara Maxey, Chefs/Owners, Heirloom LA

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“We love Chef Josef Centeno’s restaurants downtown, Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá. And, we can’t wait for his new place Orsa & Winston to open. His food is playful, but not experimental. It’s food you can eat everyday.”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“The fact that chefs are growing some of their own produce on their rooftops, in their parking lots, and even on their counters!”

Bar Ama, 118 West 4th Street (between Main and Spring streets); 213-687-8002.

the hart and the hunter

Who: Talamadge Lowe, Founder and Drinkist, Pharmacie LA

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“I love The Hart and The Hunter. Being from the South, I’m a sucker for fried-chicken skin and pimento cheese! And, even though it is a beautifully designed restaurant, it feels like a quiet little hole-in-the-wall discovery.”

What’s most exciting about the LA food scene right now:
“Two things: The availability of just about anything and everything from produce to sprits as well as the inclusive nature of the city’s bars and restaurants and caterers. It seems like everybody knows just about everybody. I love that!”

The Hart and The Hunter, 7950 Melrose Avenue (at Fairfax Avenue); 323-424-3055.


Who: Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg, Chefs/Owners, Spork Foods

Favorite new restaurant In LA:
“Crossroads is our new fave. We love the space because it’s clean, modern, and elegant. It shows food lovers a mature side of vegan cuisine that Los Angeles hasn’t seen yet. The menu changes seasonally, which we enjoy!”

What’s your favorite current food trend:
“We are constantly inspired by DIY techniques, and have even experimented with making our own scorpion-pepper-infused vodka and home-made bourbon vanilla extract.”

Crossroads, 8284 Melrose Avenue (at Sweetzer Avenue); 323-782-9245.


Eat 5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away

By Jeff Miller

Los Angeles

  • Honeycut, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away
    Joey Maloney (Honeycut)

Nobody likes a know-it-all. Unless that know-it-all is providing valuable information about five new LA spots you most definitely want to check out. Everybody likes that guy… right? RIGHT?! Check out the newest deliciousness to open in LA so that YOU can be that likable know-it-all…

  • 643 North, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away
    Moretti Photo

    643 North
    Gastropubbing-up the normally traditional Downtown ‘hood, this new hops-packed grubbery is letting you lay a base with fennel sausage pizza and ossobuco ravioli before you move onto craft beer flights… that ironically make it far more difficult for you to lift off the ground.

  • Phillipe, Beverly Hills-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away

    Beverly Hills
    It’s ba-ack!! After closing its Mid-City location more than a year ago, the longtime power-meal Chinese resto’s back in Beverly Hills, serving up signature dishes like their Peking duck, pan-crispy salmon, and “nine seasons spicy prawns”, which’re delicious Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and wait, what are the other five seasons? We didn’t pay attention in Earth Sciences.

  • Honeycut, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away
    Joey Maloney

    This collab between the 213 dudes (Las Perlas, 7 Grand, etc.) and the NY bros behind Death And Co. is a decidedly Manhattan-esque underground lair sporting pool tables, an extensive cocktail list, and a second room with bottled drinks and a light-up dance floor… so tread carefully if you’re epileptic.

  • Orsa and Winston, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right awayOrsa & Winston
    The Bar Ama and Baco Mercat guy’s at it again, this time with a small, fixed-menu-only joint named after his dogs (but not his dawgs, ’cause then it’d be called, like, Ted and Brent’s). The menu’s got some Asian influences with dishes like rice w/ uni & Pecorino cream.
  • Stumptown, Los Angeles-5 sweet new spots you need to hit right away

    You know how anyone you meet from Portland’s all like, “we have coffee that’s way better than anything you’ve got in LA”, and you’re like, “there’s no way that’s true”, and then they make you some Stumptown and you’re bashed over the head with caffeinated amazingness? Yeah. Now they have a store here.


The Best New LA Bars To Check Out This Fall/Winter

October 29, 2013 6:00 AM

Los Angeles is home to many bars, but finding the perfect watering hole to call your own is no easy challenge. Whether you’re looking to class it up with a view or just enjoy that classic SolCal vibe, we have a newly-opened bar that’s perfect for you. Be sure to check out our Fall E.S.P. Guide to guarantee a great night out on the town. By Rex Sakamoto

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

Pearl’s Liquor Bar
8909 West Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 360-6800

There’s nothing classier than a pearl, and this spot is nothing short of classy. A three-level, expansive slab of sophistication that’s straight out of the 1920’s, Pearl’s features a scenic front deck overlooking Sunset Strip and supreme handcrafted cocktails for which even Mr. Gatsby would travel to LA. Opened late summer. 8909 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

(Photo credit: Alen Lin)

6507 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 460-6667

After opening last September 2013, this plush cocktail lounge is already the hottest place to be on Sunset Boulevard. What used to be a dingy lingerie bar has been transformed into a swanky space adorned with comfy leather couches, circular chandeliers and photos of naked ladies. Yep, the high brick walls are covered in artsy full frontal nudes of women. So grab your friends and join the party.

(Photo credit: Las Palmas Furniture Warehouse)

(Photo credit: Las Palmas Furniture Warehouse)

Las Palmas Furniture Warehouse
1714 N. Las Palmas Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-0171

There’s always a party at this recently opened crazy neighborhood dive bar filled with remote controlled sumbarines, piñatas, glowing neon signs and Simpson posters. Imagine bashing a piñata, while sipping on a couple of beers. Pretty cool right? If you need to take a break from all the action, head out to the patio and enjoy a few mint juleps and Berry Manilows (blueberry vodka, soda, lime). With all the action, there’s never a down moment.

(Photo credit: Frank Ishman)

(Photo credit: Frank Ishman)

Dirty Laundry Bar
1725 Hudson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

From the men who brought you No Vacancy & Pour Vous, the Houston Brothers bring you the brand new Dirty Laundry Bar. During the prohibition it served as the personal speakeasy for silent film actor Rudolph Valentino. In order to preserve the speakeasy atmosphere, the 1,500 square foot space hosts an exposed brick ceiling, deconstructed light fixtures and black leather couches.


NYTimes T Magazine

Accommodations | A New Hotel in L.A. Celebrates its Koreatown Surroundings



October 21, 2013, 2:00 pm Comment

Clockwise from left: Chef Roy Choi at Pot; a guest room overlooking Koreatown; the hotel's sleek exterior.Photographs by Adrian GautClockwise from left: Chef Roy Choi at Pot; a guest room overlooking Koreatown; the hotel’s sleek exterior.

A stately yet unstuffy hotel injects style into the vibrant Los Angeles neighborhood.

In L.A.’s golden age, when streetcars clanged past urban orange groves and Carmen Miranda was Hollywood’s nod to ethnicity, the high life thrived on a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard near Vermont Avenue. Today, a generation after gang wars and riots sapped the life out of this district, it has re-emerged as the lively epicenter of the city’s Koreatown, bustling with restaurants, nightclubs and shops. The area has long been off the tourist map, but this is about to change with the opening of the Line in November.

The hotel’s creator, Andrew Zobler, is the man behind the Beaux-Arts-style NoMad Hotel in Manhattan and the cheap-chic Freehand Miami hostel. But the Line, designed by Sean Knibb, is something different for both Zobler and Los Angeles. Korean-American culture — or at least a high-end permutation of it — is the 388-room establishment’s organizing theme. ‘‘There is so much good stuff coming out of Korea today, and nobody has really captured that in a hotel,’’ Zobler says. Setting out to educate himself on Korean culture, he encountered the celebrated chef Roy Choi, who will preside over the hotel’s two restaurants: Pot, which serves a new take on hot-pot cuisine, and Commissary, a vegetarian eatery. The 24-hour thrum of the neighborhood inspired Zobler to make the hotel an all-hours social hub. There will be a late-night bakery, a newsstand that never closes and a nightclub that stays open until the wee hours, called Speek, created by the twin brothers Mark and Jonnie Houston, who grew up just four blocks from the hotel.

A version of this article appears in print on 11/03/2013, on page M256 of the NewYork edition with the headline: The Scene: Koreatown Cool.


Drink An editor’s guide to drinking around town

By Jeff Miller

Los Angeles

  • An editor's guide to drinking around town

Los Angeles has long been marketed as the birthplace of the Moscow Mule, so perhaps its fitting that there are hundreds of fantastic drinking establishments here willing to help you make an ass of yourself. Unfortunately, the urban sprawl means a self-guided crawl is a dicey situation, which is why local editor Jeff Miller is here with his picks for the top places to get your booze on.

Best Club: Clubland is fickle around here. By the time you’re reading this, it could already be closed, but I was impressed when I was recently at The Emerson Theater, a glittery, gilded room that feels sufficiently majestic to justify the wallet-emptying cost of bottle service.

Best for Work: The Montage in Beverly Hills has a slightly-hidden bar called Ten Pound directly above Scarpetta. You should make a reservation first, but, once you’re in, it feels like an old boys’ club: huge leather couches, a massive Scotch menu (they’re exclusively Macallan, with all the pricey, ancient, partner’s-expense-account-ready blends that entails), and a private patio for making discreet calls.

Best for Partying: Hollywood’s recently renovated Three Clubs is an old-school gem: a two-pronged bar with a classic-feeling LA lounge on one side, and a darkened dance floor room on the other where DJs push everything from oontz-tacular electronic jams to 90’s hip-hop. It’s a great place to party because it walks the line: you can dance your ass off with a cute girl, then actually seal the deal next door. Bonus: no (or very cheap) cover.

Best Drink: I’m a big fan of letting bartenders go nuts, and no one does it better than the guys at The Varnish, who — through their booze-addled haze — have somehow retained an encyclopedic knowledge of alcohol and how to mix it. The only problem is that it’s different every time, and after you’ve had a couple it can be hard to remember what you drank and which one was better than the last.

Best Cocktail Bar: The Houston Brothers — a pair of identical twins — kind of have this category on lock. La Descarga is a rum-centric Cuban speakeasy with a cigar lounge; Harvard & Stone‘s rear R&D room’s where barmen from all over the world head to get nuts; and Pour Vous has an extensive list of fresh, fruit-forward cocktails and, um, an actual train in the backyard, so they all tie for first, second, and third.

Best Beer Bar: Another tie! Both Blue Palms and The Surly Goat are manned by hops lovers who’ll talk to you for hours about the difference between an IPA and a double IPA, if you’ll let them. Bonus points to The Surly Goat, though, as last time I was there the TVs were screening Reservoir Dogs.

Best Wine Bar: Though their Hollywood location didn’t make it (R.I.P.), the Westside is still lucky to call Bodega their own. Knowledgeable staff, heavy pours, and inexpensive options make this longtime favorite a, uh, longtime favorite.

Best Local Beer: I recently visited Angel City‘s now-open-to-the-public Downtown brewery and tried their Eureka! Wit out of the tap. It’s simple, it’s refreshing, and it has unusual complexity. They can definitely count me as a fan.

Best Brewery: No question on this one: Golden Road keeps blasting out winner after winner (their 16oz cans of smooth-drinking Hefeweizen are my favorite part of seeing a band at the Bootleg), and they’ve created a mini bar empire as well, as the owners are also the behind Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, and Mohawk Bend in Silverlake.

Most Local Place (aka Where Locals Hang Out): Every single neighborhood in LA has at least one stellar dive where you can find 63-year-old wizened barflies and recent college grads discussing the best route for avoiding police checkpoints. The Drawing Room, Tom Bergin’s, The Backstage in Culver City, the Chimneysweep in the Valley — I could go on. But I won’t.

Best Place to Day Drink: I’m partial to the patio at El Coyote. They make a mean margarita, the tortilla chips and salsa duo never stop coming (insider tip: mix ’em together!) and they’ve got the perfect combo of shade and sun. That said, if you want something more unique than Cuervo and marg mix, the back patio at Eveleigh has wood tables, foliage on the walls, an odd birdcage in the back, and housemade cocktails on par with anything you’d find at a more dedicated cocktail bar.

Best Jukebox: Koreatown’s HMS Bounty isn’t just one of the best nautically-themed dive bars in LA — it’s also the only nautically-themed dive bar in LA. And it has a sick jukebox. Sinatra? Check. Obscure punk rock? Check? THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK? Yep.

Best Outdoor Spot: On a sunny day, there’s nowhere I’d rather throw one or five back than Ray’s & Stark at LACMA. Their bar snacks — flatbreads, charcuterie, and more — are top-notch, their modern-artsy chairs are equal parts pretentious and lounge-y, the drinks are proper and strong, and their live jazz on Fridays is actually, like, bee-pop-a-bop good (as opposed to “wanka-blllepabap” unlistenable).

Hottest Girls: If I can jump to the conclusion that you like college girls (safe conclusion), then Happy Ending in Hollywood, The Lab at USC, and either location of Busby’s are sure bets for eye candy. If your tastes could be better described as “aspiring actresses”, The Churchill will do juuuuuust fine.

Easiest Place to Get Laid: Head West, for sure. The Basement Tavern in Santa Monica has a ventilation problem, which means that all the girls in there are shedding clothing and inhibitions nightly, and Venice’s well known cougar hangout James’ Beach is an in-at-1:15, in-and-out-and- well, you get the idea, by 2:15.


10 Great Los Angeles Bars With Truly Excellent Food

By Erin Lyall
Published Mon., Oct. 7 2013 at 7:00 AM

Erin Lyall
Deviled Eggs at Library Bar

There’s a thin red line — or perhaps a fuzzy purple one — between restaurants with good bar programs, and bars with good food. This is a list of the latter: The following are drinking establishments in which you don’t feel guilty pulling up a chair just to have a drink, but where the food is much better than it needs to be. These are the perfect places to head after work when you’re starving — to meet up with your friend who already

ate. No one’s going to look down their nose at you if you just order a glass of wine and pick at your friend’s fries.There are a gazillion bars in town that serve a good burger. But on this list you’ll find burgers and dogs and nachos — as well as salads, sushi, mole and charcuterie. It’s bar food, elevated. And there’s a nice bonus when you eat dinner in bars: Happy Hour. Many places will slash prices on booze and bites, potables and provisions, spirits and snacks. Keep reading for the best of the bunch. We know there are more bars in town than days in the year, so if we’ve missed your favorite, add it to the comments section!

Chris Jolly
The interior at El Carmen

10. El Carmen
El Carmen is a tequila bar serving stick-to-your-ribs Mexican fare. The tables are bar-sized; the lighting is dim-to-dark; and the menu, a thick little booklet of 16 pages, only dedicates two of those to food (the rest is the tequila list). But the guacamole is top-notch, the tamales are rich and creamy, and the tacos (particularly the pork taco) more than serviceable.During Happy Hour here (Monday thru Friday, 5-7 p.m.) eleven bucks will get you a freshly squeezed margarita and a platter of tacos with rice and beans. Plus, this place is just cool. There are Mexican wrestling masks on the ceiling and Mexican wrestler portraits on the walls and you have to walk through a velvet bordello curtain to get in. It’s fun. You want to be there. So go. 8138 W 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 852-1552.

Erin Lyall
Greek Nachos at Pour Haus

9. Pour Haus Wine Bar
Tucked into the Warehouse District, just beyond the bistro fare of Church & State, you’ll find an industrial little wine bar serving food that’s filling and flavorful and far better than you’d expect from their teeny little kitchen. During Happy Hour (4-7 p.m. daily) there are six food options for five bucks: bruschetta, oxtail tacos, white flatbread pizza topped with artichokes and olives, papitas bravas (roast baby potatoes with aioli), a grilled vegetable sandwich, and the insanely addictive Greek nachos.Crispy pita chips are topped with melted feta, roast eggplant, tomatoes, olives and a tangy tzatziki sauce; you’ll wonder why no one thought of these before. Pour Haus serves beer and wine, including generously poured $10 wine flights, and every patron gets a bowl of truffled popcorn to start their evening. Come for a bottle, stay for a plate — the Mediterranean-influenced menu pairs beautifully with fermented grapes. 1820 Industrial St., Los Angeles; (213) 327-0304.

Erin Lyall
The deli counter at Spring St.

8. Spring Street Bar
Compared to so many East Coast cities, Los Angeles is woefully short on delis. Good news, meatball sub fans — one of our better delis is located inside a bar! Take that, New York! At Spring Street Bar, a high-ceilinged, casual spot of bar stools and communal high-tops, the back corner is dedicated to a cold cuts case and a toaster oven. From that humble spot emerge warm, crusty sandwiches like prosciutto and burrata, Cubano, roast beef, and a killer veggie melt of smoked cheese and avocado.You may not think you’re hungry but once the table next to you puts in an order, the smell alone will inspire you to get one of your own. Don’t worry, they’re big enough to share — but be aware, you need to order at the bar, and keep an ear out for the bell meaning your meal’s up. Wine, booze, and a good rotation of interesting draught beers will round out the experience. Ding! 626-B S Spring St., Los Angeles; (213) 622-5859.

Erin Lyall
Fried chicken at The Prince

7. The Prince
You have out of town guests staying with you for the weekend, and you want to show them something uniquely L.A.? Take them to The Prince. It’s got Hollywood street cred (with cameos on Mad Men, The New Girl, and Chinatown), it looks mid-century swank (with red leather banquettes, a horseshoe bar and funky carved lights), and it serves Korean food. No kidding. The thing to get here is the deep-fried chicken — fried Korean-style, with no batter. A whole bird is spatch-cocked and served with Korean chili paste and picked radishes, all crispy skin and moist meat and salt.Pair it with some kimchi fried rice, maybe a seafood pancake, and some galbi for a full meal. The Prince has beer and soju but also a full bar, and during Happy Hour (’til 8pm) all drinks are half off; be aware that like most Korean establishments in town, you’ve got to ring the tableside doorbell to get service. Bonus: This may be the one bar in town in which you can snack on spicy sea snails. How’s that for “Welcome-to-LA” impressive!? 3198 1/2 W 7th Street, Los Angeles; (213) 389-1586

Villains Tavern
Salad at Villains Tavern

6. Villains Tavern
The first time you drive up to Villains Tavern, you think you’re lost: it’s out in some weird Gotham City no-man’s-land that is kind of Little Tokyo and kind of Downtown L.A. and kind of the “warehouse district” but seems way too dark and scary and then BAM you arrive. And there is this strange place that looks like a circus-tent-slash-New-Orleans-Victorian bar and you’re like “what is this place,” but then you get one of their incredible cocktails (like the Bluebeard: Jameson, blueberries, lemon, cranberry and egg whites) and you’re like “OK, I can get behind this.”And then you look at the menu and order some things that sound interesting and then you are totally pleasantly surprised when a burger with bacon marmalade, spicy roasted corn on the cob topped with cayenne and cotija, and a bowl full of Bourbon-bacon caramel corn make their way to the table. And you eat your above average meal while listening to above average live music and drinking above average libations and you think “I’m in heaven” but then you look around at all the red lighting and steampunk décor and you wonder if maybe you’re just having a really good time in hell. 1356 Palmetto St., Los Angeles; (213) 613-0766.

Erin Lyall
Bacon-wrapped dates at Library Bar

5. Library Bar
Hidden behind Sixth Street Tavern, Library Bar has a speakeasy-ish vibe: dark, book-lined, candlelit, sultry. Cocktails, wine, and beer are top notch — muddled, mixed and poured by well-trained (and well-dressed) bartenders. Yet the beautiful people populating the mirrored bar and the leather couches are looking good and eating well – dipping into garlic fries, pork belly skewers, chorizo sliders.The bacon-wrapped dates are salty and sweet, oozing sharp blue cheese hot from the oven. There are deviled eggs, roast artichokes, and edamame tossed with lime juice and flakes of sea salt. Go big with a burger or pork belly sandwich, or go decadent with grilled cheese made with buttered raisin bread, apricot jam and three kinds of dairy. Just wipe your fingers before you start thumbing through those hardcovers on the shelves behind you. 630 W 6th St #116A Los Angeles; (213) 614-0053.

Adam O’Connor
The York

4. The York on York
The York just might be the Cheers of Highland Park. It’s the perfect neighborhood spot: there’s usually a game or an old movie on the TV, and there’s usually no trouble finding a seat. Local artists hang their work up by the bar, and it’s the kind of place where the bartender won’t just remember your name — she’ll remember your drink.But next time you pull up a stool for a beer (and they have a serious selection), do yourself a favor and pair it with an impeccable burger, juicy and oozy with melted cheese, or a bowl of mussels — spicy, garlicky, and served with grilled bread. Fries are crisp, hot, light on the grease, and ideal to share with friends (for a slightly more “healthful” snack, go for the fried garbanzos, tossed in cayenne and lemon). On weekends you can brunch to cure your hangover with croissant French toast or eggs Benedict — just don’t be surprised if you find yourself hanging out there all day. 5018 York Blvd., Highland Park; (323) 255-9675.

Erin Lyall
Grilled Artichoke at Laurel Tavern

3. Laurel Tavern
Bustling at nearly every hour of the day, Laurel Tavern is one of those great neighborhood joints that feels like the place to be. Once you’re in the door, the energy is infectious. It’s casual — you seat yourself, and have to walk up to the bar to order both booze and food — and convivial, with people chatting between tables and standing out on the sidewalk. They’ve got a dozen beers on tap, wine by the glass and craft cocktails; but pay close attention to the chalkboards on the wall.Listed there you’ll find a range of things to nosh on: from the light (a fabulous marinated/grilled artichoke, beets with burrata, grilled shishito peppers) to the substantial (chorizo fondu, patty melt, bbq ribs). They’ve got five yummy burger options, and claim to have the best one in the neighborhood: we’ll let you be the judge. 11938 Ventura Blvd, Studio City; (818) 506-0777.

Erin Lyall
Taco Tuesday at Mission Cantina

2. Mission Cantina
Mission Cantina is tough to characterize, but right there on their website they qualify themselves for this list: “The Mission is a bar with fresh homemade Mexican food.” Mission is in fact a tequila bar, an impressive gothic-looking cave with bottles stacked all the way to the ceiling. But it’s got some of the best Mexican food in this part of town, including chile rellenos, enchiladas (verde & rojo), and a rich chicken mole poblano, deeply flavored with chocolate, spice and spiciness.They also serve tamales on the weekend. But the day to go is (Taco) Tuesday — when their tacos are a dollar apiece: carne asada, carnitas, chicken, potato and veggie. Top a couple of those carnitas tacos with onions, cilantro and salsa, pair it with one of their top-notch jalapeno margaritas. Life doesn’t get much more bueno than that. 5946 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood; (323) 469-3130.

Erin Lyall
Trout Toast at Black Market Liquor Bar

1. Black Market Liquor Bar
This relative newcomer to Ventura Blvd. (opened in 2011) is fast becoming the local favorite, filling up quickly and staying busy ’til closing time — 2 a.m. every night of the week. The room is vaguely reminiscent of a tunnel, long and dark under a curved ceiling of inlaid brick. Candles flicker on every table, booths ring the walls, marble high tops cluster in the center of the room, and a polished wood bar hugs the length of the place. There’s a full bar, a list of “fancy drinks,” two-dozen beers and an interesting wine list — but the real stunner is the food menu.Follow your gut. Want a few beers and guy food? Dig into the homemade dill potato chips, the sweet-spicy kimchi chicken wings, or the highly addictive fried cauliflower. On a date? There is very little sexier than the ricotta gnudi, sautéed in a brown butter sauce (eaten over flickering candlelight with a few glasses of wine). Smoked trout toast is a thing of casual beauty — and a good indicator of chef Antonia Lofaso’s skill in the kitchen — open-faced baguette strewn with hard-boiled egg and pickles, served on a cutting board. Still hungry? They’ve got a deep fried fluffer-nutter for dessert. ‘Nuff said. 11915 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; (818) 446-2533.


Vogue Daily — Trois Mec

“Our place is more like a little kitchen,” Lefebvre says of the 900-square-foot open layout. ” (Vogue magazine)

Trois Mec is the hottest new restaurant in LA, with three superstar LA chefs at the helm.

Photographed by Austin Hargrave


6. Create

Create, a new 20,000 sq. ft. gallery in Los Angeles

8. Willie Jane

Willie Jane, a beautiful new Southern style cooking restaurant in Venice, CA by Govind Armstrong.

3. Vanguard

Vanguard, a new nightclub in Los Angeles

10. Le Ka

Le Ka, a new French inspired artisan restaurant in downtown Los Angeles


Much good news is on the way in terms of the continuing range of offerings in downtown Los Angeles. The Grand Central market already has six new vendors; several others are on the way, including Olio pizza, who is bringing in an oven from Italy and who will only cook by fire. The Medallion building, originally designed to showcase wholesalers and discounters, has changed course. Now they’re planning for ten restaurants to move into their 125 million dollar space, plus a 27,000 square foot farmers market, instead of trying to lure a supermarket. And check this out – the Alamo Draft House from Austin, Texas is opening an eight screen independent film showcase. You will be able to order food and drinks at your seat.

Sticky Rice brings authentic Thai street food to Grand Central Market

 Hinoku & The Bird has opened in a plus new Century City Los Angeles condo tower, whose penthouse is owned by Candy Spelling.
The New York Times did a phenomenal advance review of it in January 2013. It noted:
“The cocktails, by the Milk & Honey mixologist Sam Ross, are as refreshing as the food.”
Lobster Roll (Photo by Dylan + Jeni)
Hinoku & the Bird – some dining options.

Le Grand Fooding comes to MoCA Geffen from Paris in April, 2013.

Chi Spacca is the latest restaurant in the Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton, Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza LA Italian food empire.

Baryard Restaurant in Venice is one of the best new places that have opened in LA in 2013.

Barnyard Venice exterior. Its chef worked at the French Laundry in Napa.

Superba Snack Bar in Venice is also adding to the how new LA dining scene.

Bestia is one of the most months in advanced booked new Italian restaurants in California. Its in downtown Los Angeles.


A sample of Bestia’s in-house salumeria offerings.

A dish at Bestia.

Figaro Bistro has opened in downtown LA.

alma new american french 952 s broadway los angeles ca is getting superior reviews from LA’s genius restaurant critic Jonathan Gold. He says there is no one cooking like Alma in LA, its on its way to being a global destination restaurant.

An example of Alma’s cooking.

Over 15,000 Attend Inaugural LA Art Book Fair at LA’s MoCA Geffen museum

Artist A.A. Bronson’s LA Art Fair was covered by the NYTimes T magazine. There were 220 exhibitors from 21 countries. There were small showcases of exceptional collections of art books that I found fascinating, particularly the one featuring Yves Klein and his International Blue. The LA books fair received a huge amount of press from New York.

The book fair attracted thousands of people from all parts of Los Angeles. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

The book fair attracted thousands of people from all parts of Los Angeles. (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic). The entire museum’s space was given over to the first annual LA Artist Book Fair. We went on Sunday afternoon and it was packed. Afterwards we ate in nearby at an amazing noodle bar. So many choices – most directly from Japan.


The main lobby of The Geffen, on the second day of the Book Fair before the rush (over 15,000 visitors in the three-day fair).


In late 2012 and early 2013, LA will experience a new wave of most remarkable new restaurants. (photo)

Bestia, an amazing new Italian restaurant that will open in the downtown LA arts district. It will feature 30 kinds of salumi and an Acunto pizza oven from Naples, Italy.

–Le Grand Fooding Announce LA Event

By FDL on September 24, 2012

The team at Le Grand Fooding, publishers of the Le Fooding Restaurant guides and organizers of food events in New York, Paris and Milan, have announced plans to stage a food event in LA.

The team have recently held their fourth annual New York event – this time with a focus on upcoming chefs and say that tell the LA Times that they picked Los Angeles because it’s just a lively as New York but still very different from the Big Apple.

Known for throwing quirky events that mix social and dining experiences perfectly with some of the worlds best chefs, Le Fooding has built a solid reputation over the years. With New York offices now opened and the announcement of an LA event in the works – it’s seem there’s a Le Grand Fooding revolution taking place State sid

Campanille Exterior - H 2012

“Republique, a concept from acclaimed chef Walter Manzke and prolific restaurateur Bill Chait, will replace the Cal-Mediterranean restaurant at the landmark 1929 address originally owned by Charlie Chaplin.Beginning in 1989, chef/owner Mark Peel and his then-wife Nancy Silverton, who now nurtures industry hotbed Mozza not too far away in Hancock Park, helped define a quintessentially L.A. sort of white-cloth yet rustic Cal-Mediterranean menu that would eventually emerge as one of the most dominant trends in the city’s restaurant culture in the 1990s.”

the historic property was  first built for Charlie Chaplin in 1929


Jeremy Fox Launches Barnyard Restaurant In Venice

“Los Angeles, CA(July 17, 2012) – Chef Jeremy Fox, formerly of Ubuntu and Manresa, is readying Barnyard Venice for a 2012 opening. In his first solo project since Ubuntu, Fox’s Barnyard will showcase his own interpretation of peasant cuisine, offering shareable plates of rustic, seasonal fare. Says Fox, “Barnyard will be a product of everything I have learned on my cooking journey. Not only do I look forward to exploring the flavors of the Mediterranean and North Africa, and incorporating elements from my childhood in the South, but to continuing the voyage as the Barnyard menu evolves.” Barnyard is located at 1715 Pacific Avenue in Venice.””About Jeremy Fox
Jeremy Fox opened Ubuntu in 2007, where he was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef 2008, Bon Appetit’s 2009 Best Chef, and received James Beard Best Chef Pacific Award nominations in both 2009 and 2010. In Fall 2009, Ubuntu became the first modern vegetarian restaurant to receive a Michelin Star. Prior to Ubuntu, Jeremy spent five years working for his mentor, Chef David Kinch, at Manresa, eventually rising to the position of Chef de Cuisine. During his tenure, Manresa received two Michelin Stars and four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. Fox has also staged at the Michelin three-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and the widely acclaimed St. John, both in London, as well as the Michelin two-star De Snippe in Belgium. Since leaving Ubuntu, Jeremy has been working on a vegetable cookbook for Phaidon Press and has consulted for restaurants including Plum, Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie & Wine, Freddy Smalls, and Paper or Plastik Cafe.”

Plan Check restaurant and Bar, West Los Angeles

  • Redefining Classic American Food with Plan Check's Ernesto Uchimura
  • Plan Check restaurant and bar just got the review of the century (10.20.2012)  for its technology driven modernist cooking ultra burger by Jonathan Gold in the LA Times. Gold also mentions that Plan Check may have more Japanese whiskey than all of the other restaurants in LA combined.

    “Plan Check (West Los Angeles) – Industrial atmosphere, small batch liquors, and wagyu burgers.” (Text and Photo by Blackbook/Los Angeles)

New Los Angeles restaurants and bars, July 2012

Kitchen 24 downtown LA ( photo)

Perch restaurant and bar downtown LA ( photo)

The Parish downtown LA true 2 story gastropub (photo: Longrada Lor)
We went to The Parish for Sunday dinner at 6pm during opening week. The tomato soup and wonderful toast with Grafton cheese started the evening, along with cocktails. Broth infused tasty clams and other dishes followed.
The dining area is on the second floor of a Flatiron shaped building on South Spring street. The bar is also on the second floor and was packed even at this early hour.


Departures magazine names n/naka one of the Top 1- World’s Top Tasting Menus for 2012


© Zen Sekizawa

n/naka, Los Angeles

At n/naka, the tasting menu is modeled after kaiseki, the Japanese analogue to a multi-course haute cuisine dinner. Chef Niki Nakayama’s Modern Kaiseki is a 13-course affair that showcases her inventive twists on traditional kaiseki progression, which specifies a first course of “something common and something unique,” a second course of a “main seasonal ingredient presented as an appetizer,” a third course of sashimi and more. At n/naka, these specifications yield dishes like Maine lobster tartare with uni butter and California sturgeon caviar, and Muscovy duck houba yaki with foie gras. The meal comes with similarly diverse beverage pairings—sake to start, Portuguese port to finish and wines in between.


File:Stumptown Coffee Roasters window.jpg
Stumptown Coffee is expanding to LA.

Pour Vous bar, Hollywood

“The space is separated into four main parts: a lengthy marble bar to the left, w/ antiqued mirrors and a steampunk-ified vintage espresso maker rejiggered to pour four tap beers; a sunken seating area to the right, w/ plush velvet couches and a fireplace under a domed skylight; a formerly working train trolley (!) that’s been refurbished into a backyard smoking area” Thrillist

oysters at Pour Vous
Wolfslair Biergarten, Hollywood

“This dark-wooded biergarten kinda feels like that taxidermy-wolf bar in Hostel where the kids talk about how much fun they are having in Europe before they have much less fun being killed.” Thrillist


The Wellesbourne in West Los Angeles

Picture brass reading lamps, a bar menu printed on textured paper, oversized bookshelves jammed with books and guest checks issued in miniature novels…”

Los Angeles Brewing Company
AV nightclub, Los Angeles / Photos: Genie Fitzgerald

The Blue Whale jazz club is LA’s hottest. Located on Astronaut street in Little Toyko.

Parc bar, Beverly Hills

“It’s that living room-y space located across from Scarpetta on the ground floor of the Montage in Beverly Hills with sweeping vistas of Canon Gardens. Each evening at Parq,  different musical genre such as jazz, R&B or blues and a fresh lineup of talented local and regional artists are featured. From 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. nightly, you can settle in with a glass of wine, Champagne or a classic cocktail and enjoy house-made charcuterie, beef and Fourme d’Ambert sliders or fresh farmer’s market produce. Get this! They even offer fresh, hand-crafted sushi.”


Black Hogg, in Silverlake neighborhood, Los Angeles from Chef/owner Eric Park (The Spotted Pig, Eleven Madison Park in New York City)

Little Bear Belgian beer bar in east of downtown Los Angeles is rolling. (Photo: Savory Hunter blog)

Umamicatessen’s Soft Opening, DTLA (Photo: Darin Dines/Eater National Flickr Pool)

Burger Demand in Los Angeles Grabs Hold in New York Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg
Customers eat lunch at UMAMIcatessen in Los Angeles.

Beautiful Pork @ PIGG, UMAMIcatessen

TOP 1: Burgers Ozark (CA, MO)
2: Finchville (KY)
3. Iberico de Bellota (Spain)
Bottom 4. Iberico de Bellota paletta (Spain)

bacon and dipping sauce from PIGG. It has an off the chain selection of tastes of the worlds finest hams from Spain.

For years Water Grill was the only Michelin starred restaurant in downtown LA. Now its has completed a $1.5 million upgrade and is more fabulous and phenomenal than ever.

Fresh seafood displayed at the bar counter at the Water Grill in downtown LAGovind Armstrong’s new Post & Beam is the first truly upscale restaurant and cocktail bar in Central Los Angeles, south of the Santa Monica (10) freeway in a predominantly African-American community. Nearby is one of the wealthiest black communities in the U.S. in Baldwin Hills.

Pasta at Post & Beam in Central Los Angeles

Beacher’s Madhouse at the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood

“And fourth, saving the wildest for last is Beacher’s Madhouse — a revolutionary Vaudeville-inspired theater on the hotel’s lower level, with European influences and echoes of the Folies Bergére. The venue extends 3,000 square feet, featuring a mirrored passageway, a 1920s-inspired main stage, antique brass accents and red velvet curtains. Eighteen VIP banquettes of various sizes are available throughout the theater including an exclusive birdcage booth with seating for 20. Concessions and catering are offered to guests as they enjoy the performances and order drinks from the Beau Joie Flying Midget bartender mixing up cocktails at the fully operating Midget Bar.”

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Beacher’s Madhouse Theater, Thompson’s Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Artisan House Interior - H 2011
Artisan House joins Botegga Louis and many new restaurants coming to the quickly transforming Broadway corridor.

Artisan House
Officially opening today, this massive, high-ceilinged complex full of reclaimed marble on the ground floor of the Pacific Electric Lofts in the Historic Core is remarkably ambitious. The sit-down restaurant serves foie gras terrines just a block from Skid Row. The bar finds mixologist Elden McFeron III, a vet of The Bazaar, whipping up margaritas cryo-frozen with liquid nitrogen. And the market annex sells made-to-order deli sandwiches—as well as gelato, wine and more—until 2AM (and an hour later on weekends). 600 S. Main St., L.A., 213.622.6333, (Hollywood Reporter)

Oldfield’s bar

Pattern Bar opened in the fall of 2011 on  9th/Main in Downtown LA

batch-restaurantBatch, a new gastropub in Culver City.

Batch Restaurant & Bar is now open in Culver City offering artisanal food and handcrafted cocktails in a sophisticated and lively environment.

Short Order is one of several new LA gourmet burger bars. They recently added a selection of savories by Walter Manszke, whose won restaurant, Republique, is on the most anticipated new dining destinations in LA. It will be downtown.

Golden Road Brewing , Los Angeles

Chicago has seen the rise and collapse of brewpubs since the late 1980′s. The now famous Goose Island (an actual tiny island with a superb brewing facility and lively bar and restaurant in Chicago) hails from that time and is a standard-bearer today. The Chicago Beer Society’s Real Ale Festival started in 1996 and was closed in 2003, when the were forced out of business by the liquor commission who said they had to license the former steel factory they used each year as a year round tavern. The festival closed and relocated to San Diego. Chicago’s global beer bar – the Map Room – opened in 1992. The Chicago Beer Society was formed in 1977. Ray Daniels Cicerone Certification Program has so far produced 38 Certified Cicerone’s in Chicago and 8 in Greater Los Angeles. The 6,000 square foot The Publican (Belgian beer and grub bar, every waiter and bartender is a certified beer server (level 3 in the Beer Cicero education program, with Master Cicerone and Certified Cicerone being levels one and 2. There are now 2 Master Cicerone’s in Chicago). Unbelieveably, and unlike in the past, when major breweries were out to destroy the smaller breweries, Goose Island has been absorbed into Anheuser-Busch In Bev, yet Goose Island remains a true artisanal brewer with its full arsenal of flavors. Chicago is building neighborhood breweries to compliment the rise of their city’s culinary programs to being at the upper strata of American cuisine. Since it was city-based breweries that did not ship out their beer that were at the start of the American beer industry, what we have then is a return to the same place that the industry started, but this time, actually producing product in America that has already been on this planet for somewhere between 700 and 2000 years, depending on the place of the earth you choose as a starting point.

Ray & Stark bar, LACMA

Cook’s country is one of the most rewarding new artisan restaurants in LA.

Handsome Coffee Roasters

A sneak peak at the new flagship store in LA’s downtown Arts District

by Julie Wolfson in Food-Drink on 15 February 2012 / Coolhunting


For the last few months, the corner of 5th and Mateo in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles has been abuzz with activity as the WoodSmithe team puts the finishing touches on Handsome Coffee Roasters‘ flagship store. Handsome has made a splash in the specialty coffee world since they announced that Tyler Wells and Chris Owens would be teaming up with World Barista Champion Michael Phillips to launch the coffee company of their dreams.


With the space nearly ready to open its doors, the collaboration between the roasters and the builders—who also happen to be neighbors—seems like a natural one. Also in on the operation is Na Young Ma’s Proof Bakery, whose pastries will be served alongside the coffee.


“Frank Gehry Designing New Jazz Bakery Theater in Culver City” (Curbed LA)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012, by Adrian Glick Kudler

“Current site photo via Culver City Times The Jazz Bakery is getting a new permanent home in Culver City and it’ll be designed by Frank Gehry, who we don’t often see around these parts anymore. The jazz nonprofit has been itinerant since 2009, when it lost its lease in the Helms Bakery complex, but about a year ago it got a $2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation and made a deal with the Culver City Redevelopment Agency for a piece of land on Washington Blvd., next to the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Last night, the city council signed off on the land deal (probably in advance of the redevelopment agency apocalypse going down tomorrow), reports the Culver City Times. The Jazz Bakery will get the land for free on the condition that it goes ahead with plans for a “premier live performance state of the art jazz venue with two hundred and fifty (250) seats, ground level lobby, a jazz museum, black box performance area and a bakery/café with outdoor dining,” as described by the staff report on the matter. The Bakery plans to hold about 250 shows a year. According to the CC Times, the whole project will cost $10.2 million, so the Jazz Bakery will be holding a capital campaign to supplement the Annenberg grant.” (Curbed)

LA To Get Film Museum next to LACMA in 2016

Film News

Posted: Tue., Mar. 27, 2012, 4:45pm PT

Academy adds to future museum (Variety magazine)

Ruby slippers just one recent acquisition

The recently acquired ruby slippers are just one centerpiece for the future Academy museum. The recently acquired ruby slippers are just one centerpiece for the future Academy museum.
The Acad collection includes sketches from “There Will Be Blood.”
“The Acad collection includes sketches from “There Will Be Blood.”

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gathered for a recent staff meeting at the Pickford Center in Hollywood, the group had the opportunity to see a piece of movie history that impressed even the most senior executives: a pair of ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”

It was the first time since AMPAS made the acquisition in February that anyone within the org had seen the shoes, and everyone celebrated with red velvet cupcakes embellished with tiny, garnet-colored shoes.

The footwear unveiling was a tangible sign of how much closer the org is getting to opening the decades-in-the-making Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the centerpiece of which will be Dorothy’s magical shoes. The Academy recently named execs to run the museum, which is targeted to open at LACMA’s May Co. building in 2016.

“The experience of seeing (the slippers), especially in a crowd, puts everyone in touch with their inner film geek,” said Anne Coco, graphic arts librarian.

The high-profile pair of shoes is just one of the recent additions to the Academy’s massive collection of scripts, press clippings, biographies, costume sketches, movie posters and personal papers, amassed over more than eight decades, that will provide fodder for a wide scope of exhibits when the museum opens.

The library is also processing late-2011 donations from producer Stephen Chin, who gave the library several kung-fu movie posters, and Chicago-based real estate developer Dwight Cleveland, who provided rare film posters from his collection.

“The library is the history of our country, the history of our culture,” Hudson explained.”

Berggruen builds collection for Los Angeles (excerpted)

The German collector shelves plans to build a Berlin museum in favour of long-term loans to the US

By Gareth Harris. News, Issue 231, January 2012
Published online: 05 January 2012

Berggruen is focusing on German and West Coast artists, including Chris Burden, whose Metropolis II (right) is already on loan to Lacma from the collector

The private collector and billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, son of the late German-Jewish art dealer and philanthropist Heinz Berggruen, is set to follow in the footsteps of the collector Eli Broad by sending several works on long-term loans to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma), where Berggruen is a trustee. “I’m building up a collection for Lacma,” he says, “focusing on German artists such as Thomas Schütte, Martin Kippenberger, Gerhard Richter and Joseph Beuys.” Works by West Coast artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman and Mike Kelley from Berggruen’s collection are also due to end up at the museum. “Los Angeles is still a developing cultural centre and that’s why one can make a difference there,” he says.27 Jan 12

A ‘very special’ city.

“I find L.A. super vibrant. The city is not always considered a serious place, but it has a lot of serious creativity,” he added. “Notwithstanding its problems, California is the idea center of America. If you take away Hollywood and Silicon Valley for the last 20 years, you would have a different world. If you erased New York, I hate to say it, if you erased Frankfurt, even London, the world would not have changed.”

LA MOCA Teams with YouTube for Art Video Channel

By Stephanie Murg on January 23, 2012 9:51 AM

Get ready for MOCA TV! The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles has teamed with YouTube to create a new video channel for fresh contemporary art and culture programming. The online programming venture, part of YouTube’s new original programming push, is expected to debut in July with an identity designed by L.A.-based Studio Number One. “Contemporary art is the new international language, unifying leading creators across art, music, fashion, film, and design,” said MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who has always struck us as a natural VJ. “MOCA TV will be the ultimate digital extension of the museum, aggregating, curating, and generating the strongest artistic content from around the world for a new global audience of people who are engaged in visually oriented culture.” Slated for the MOCA TV line-up? Global art news briefs, programs focused on the latest collaborative projects (art and music, art and fashion), looks inside artists’ studios, the street art beat (natch), and an interactive education series called MOCA University. The musem has tapped social media company theAudience to help get the word out about MOCA TV as the launch approaches.

The Bordello is now the One Eyed Gypsy!

The re-model looks gorgeous, and I’m glad to see they haven’t lost their steam-punk circus vibe! They just added an old-school fortune-teller, a love-o-meter, and two skee ball machines that distribute tickets redeemable for drinks & food! And they didn’t leave out the grub, The Brite Spot guy will be slinging an extensive fried menu (corn dogs, sweet potato tots, funnel cakes, deep-fried Chocodiles, etc.) as well as share-eats like a reuben pizza with sauerkraut, corned beef, and thousand island.
The Escondite burger bar in downtown LA

United Artists Theater to Be Ace Hotel

photo by Gary Leonard

United Artists Theater

Posted: Monday, January 23, 2012 7:45 pm | Updated: 3:53 pm, Tue Jan 24, 2012.

By Ryan Vaillancourt, Staff Writer | 0 comments

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Oregon-based Ace Hotel has confirmed plans to open in the historic United Artists Theater on Broadway.

The hotel chain’s plan calls for 180 rooms in the former office building’s 13 floors, and it will include a 1,600-seat entertainment venue in the structure’s namesake theater. The plan also calls for a pool, restaurant and bar in the edifice that has not been fully activated in decades, according to the office of 14th District Councilman José Huizar.

The Broadway landmark had long been owned by the University Cathedral, a congregation made famous by its late founding pastor, Dr. Gene Scott. The church has maintained the building, which was built in 1927 by United Artists founders D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.

The building was the tallest privately owned building in Los Angeles until 1956, Huizar’s office said.

King & Grove Coming to LA, Possibly with Two Hotels

Where: Los Angeles, CA, United States
December 23, 2011 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Lanyard key chains at Ruschmeyer’s, a King & Grove Hotel in Montauk.

Downtown LA blog Brigham Yen found out earlier this month that indeed King & Grove would open up inside the old Hotel Clark near 4th and Hill Streets in downtown’s Historic Core district (and just a few blocks away from the intended Ace Hotel.) A rep for King & Grove confirmed the scoop but was not able to release any further details. Still, Brigham Yen had noticed some renovations going on at the hotel including a new pool deck and some new orange curtains.

But one hotel might not be enough for King & Grove as the blog now says that the old Trinity Auditorium at 9th and Grand Ave in downtown could possibly be a second King & Grove hotel as well.

Breaking News: Hotel Clark to be Reborn as King & Grove Hotel in Downtown LA

Posted on December 2, 2011 by | 14 Comments
“King & Grove is a new lifestyle hotel brand defined by modern luxury with eclectic influences. Dedicated to creating intriguing hotels that are sophisticated yet accessible, King & Grove is launching a collection of iconic destinations themed by a sense of nostalgia delivered through thoughtfully crafted environments. With an emphasis on immersive service, King & Grove hotels will feature honest and aspiring restaurants and bars, progressive retail, and unique amenities.”After sending an inquiry to King and Grove asking about their involvement with the Hotel Clark, I received a reply back from Jennifer Foley Shields, VP of Media Relations for King and Grove Hotels, “The Clark will become a King & Grove property, you are correct. At this point, I’m not able to provide any further detail.”Examples of King & Grove’s hotels:

King & Grove Hotel in Miami South Beach (Photo: King & Grove)
King & Grove Hotel in Montauk, New York (Photo: King & Grove)
King & Grove Hotel in Montauk, New York (Photo: King & Grove)
Downtown bar“NEW COCKTAIL LOUNGE THE AVIARY Calling The Aviary Chicago’s best cocktail lounge is needless and obvious, considering the oceans of ink already expended on this months-old Fulton Market bar, but it must be said: This brainchild of Alinea’s chef, Grant Achatz, and his business partner, Nick Kokonas, is the most ambitious, fully realized, innovative twist on drinking the city has ever seen. One sip of its take on an old-fashioned (In the Rocks, $18), which requires the drinker to crack a bourbon-filled egg of ice with a miniature slingshot, and we were hooked. Not to mention attentive, polished service; a gorgeous room blissfully devoid of false Old World charm; and finger food straight out of the Alinea playbook.”

Aviary molecular cocktail lounge from Chicago will be expanding to LA

Macao Trading Co. is one of New York City’s most fun bar.restaurants that is coming to LA

“Bagatelle has long been a St. Tropez-infused phenomenon in New York, feeding the city’s elite for years. Now emerging hospitality group Brand Essence and industry leaders The ONE Group will bring Bagatelle’s legendary dining experience to the West Coast with a multi-room indoor/outdoor establishment located in the heart of West Hollywood. Created by design firm Studio BRASA, the 2,700 square foot restaurant’s motif resembles the salon of the Parisian apartment of an international jet setter. Bagatelle’s patrons will be treated to seasonal, French-Mediterranean menu offerings by Chef Scott Quinn, whose inspiration and experience are sure to provide a lively and fine dining experience for L.A.’s globetrotters, foodies, celebrities and tastemakers.”



Bardot supperclub at the Avalon in Hollywood

Bardot at the Avalon, Hollywood

The Spare Room lounge, inside the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel

A decade ago Los Angeles seemed unconcerned with the new American phenomenon of artisan and craft beer bars, Belgian beer bars, artisan cocktail bars, adventurous upscale dining. It was only six years ago that the Los Angeles Times ran articles where local restaurants said there were only 500 serious diners in LA, and that group moved from new restaurant to new restaurant, causing the recently hot place to go under. The same newspaper chronicled the rise into the heavens of the new Las Vegas restaurant scene,  while slamming much the restaurant scene here at the time. Las Vegas,which is no doubt the most stellar today in the West at the uppermost levels of dining, as it now offers a dazzling array of European and America Michelin starred chef driven dining destinations, seems to have educated the palates of Angelinos as to the degrees of playful elegance that a truly global restaurant could offer its guests. Perhaps because of this influence of the Los Angeles palate, a new world of exceptionally good restaurants is now in Los Angeles as never before. Over the past couple years LA has gained authentic Noodle Bars from Tokyo, high-end steak houses and Italian eateries from New York, and finally we in LA now have several of the most coveted cocktail and beer bars in America, with several more planned, including one by a LA entrepreneur who promises to bring to LA a bar that he considers the best in the world. Los Angeles of course has benefited tremendously from the New York cocktail world expanding into the warm weather climate without a beach of downtown Los Angeles. I have to say that this is the first time I have been as excited about going out in LA to a great new bar or restaurant, as verses planning on have a phenomenal time in San Francisco and spending quiet evenings in LA to rest up for another trip to a mecca for entertainment like Miami Beach or New York City.

The Writers Room, enter via the back of historic Musso & Franks, Hollywood. The bar is named after the major fiction writer’s meeting place that the space once inhabited. (photo: Vogue Daily)

So here now refer to you some of my choices for the best of the new Los Angeles, 2011.

(Please note that this post will grow throughout 2011)

Downtown Los Angeles breaks into the extensive beers selection beer store with the beautiful and dark woods of 8th’s Street Bottle shop. “The 8th Street Bottle Shop will be housed just inside the entrance door at Golden Gopher whose rare 1903-issued liquor license provides for on site and packaged liquor to go sales. ” Beer Chicks Los Angeles

Sunset Beer in Echo Park promises to grow to over 1,000 different bottles of beer, giving LA a real neighborhood place to pick up something special, just like in Portland.

The sensational Total Wine and More has entered the Southern California adult beverage market

Total Wine and More has raised the everyday experience of buying beer, wine and spirits in LA/Orange County region. It has to be the case that the emergence of artisan and craft beer bars and haute cocktail lounges in Los Angeles over the past two years is the reason Total Wine and More saw there was a market in LA for their level of shopper. The largest store is in Tustin, at 50,000 square feet, yet even the Northridge store blows away every other place in town, from variety to price. Total Wine carries all the truly deluxe bottles of tequila, and has $2,000 gorgeous bottles of wine. The store has several hundred kinds of artisan and craft beer, possibly as much as the incredible Berkeley Bowl gourmet low-priced – yes – it’s true! supermarket in Berkeley, California, where we make twice a year trips just to shop and bring home countless provisions not available to us here in LA. When people here first visit Total Wine and More they start calling their friends and telling them they’ve got to get over there now!  Total Wine and More has in store ads saying they are crushing another beverage store here, from the handsome look of Total Wine as compared to the LA low rent warehouse way of selling product, to astounding variety, to pricing that blows the competition away.

Steingarten in West Los Angeles has 20 beers on tap and a menu of exotic meats to devour

In the coming months watch for several new craft beer bars in LA, including Beer Belly in Koreatown, Mohawk, a 10,000 square foot bar in Echo Park, and Smith House, in Century City (West LA), which will have 120 beers on tap. Steingarten has opened in West Los Angeles. The LATimes reports that the Houston brothers will also be opening a German beer hall in LA.


Mohawk Bend patio, Echo Park

Mohawk Bend, restaurant and bar interior, Echo Park

The second venture from owner Tony Yanow and manager Paige Reilly of Tony’s Darts Away fame, Mohawk Bend debuts in April in newly hipsterized Echo Park. The 10,000-square-foot facility is an ode to beer and farm-fresh California cuisine, with half of the menu (and the kitchen) dedicated to vegan fare. (But don’t expect a pushy, green-fiend staff; “We like to open the vegan door but not push anyone through it,” says Yanow.) For herbivores, there’s mochi-crust pizza; meat-lovers will relish the duck-pork Dork Burger. Every palate will savor the whopping 72 taps—including five nitro faucets and two hand pumps—pouring strictly Cali brews, like house favorites Hangar 24 Orange Wheat. 2141 Sunset Blvd. (Draft magazine)

The Hemingway lounge in Hollywood has ten thousand books on its shelves and is known for its strong cocktail program. Future plans for this lounge are to open a Cuban  coffee and African tea lounge next door.

Las Perlas, Cedd Moses mezcal and tequila bar in downtown Los Angeles

“Those who want ready-to-go ice for their cocktail should reach for Névé ice (available at Barkeeper in Silver Lake). Founded by former barman Michael Dozois of Seven Grand, Névé delivers perfect Collins and Rocks Glass cubes to consumers and bars anywhere in the United States.” (Seven Grand is also one of Cedd Moses’ collection of high quality LA bars.)”

Villains Tavern, on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles.

Villains Tavern opened in 2010

The Tar Pit opened in 2010 with beverage direction from the Pegu Club in New York. (Photo: Caroline on Crack)

The bar at the Tar Pit

La Descargas bar, on Western Avenue in East Hollywood, by the Houston Brothers. This is the first bar they transformed for LA.

Harvard and Stone bar, East Hollywood, by the Houston brothers, opened in March 2011

Library Ale House, Santa Monica, California

Wood and Vine, Hollywood
L.A.’s Smart Summer Art Hang: Ray’s Restaurant & Stark Bar

Stark bar at LACMA is one of the hottest new bars in Los Angeles

Bar concepts

Only about a decade after the Belgian beer bar boom happened in New York and San Francisco, downtown Los Angeles will finally be getting an authentic Belgian beer bar called Little Bear. Royal Clayton’s was in this space during the time that Walter Manske manned the stoves at across the street Church & State, which while he was there was the most sensation restaurant in Los Angeles. The bar will feature L.A.’s first certified beer cicerone. Chicago has three and also has a full on 3 tier cicerone training program that is providing core educations to hundreds of first tier Chicago bar helpers. (10.21.11)


The Gin Palace, a new bar planned for downtown Los Angeles

New York’s new gin palace will be fancier than this one.

“Ravi DeRossi, co-owner of an East Village mini-empire that includes Desnuda, Mayahuel, Cienfuegos, and Death & Co., is opening a new spot called Gin Palace, a spin on the original Victorian dive bars.

Gin Palace will be an upscale spin on the louche enterprises where Victorians boozed up. It will focus on gin, with a majority of cocktails made with the spirit. As for food, DeRossi says that he’ll offer “hundreds” of kinds of tea sandwiches, served on three-tiered silver platters.”

Legendary New York barmen Alex Day and David Kaplan, of Death & Co. bar NYC, have plans to open either an LA Death  Co. or another establishment or both. They are already in Los Angeles, reconfiguring cocktail programs across the city.

By summer LA will have two authentic currywursts that will be open late for the all night party crowd.


Manhattan Beach Post gives LA its first authentic dining destination restaurant a block from the Pacific Ocean.

At Manhattan Beach Post, we loved out entire meal. This restaurant and Playa on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles gave us our two most rewarding meals in LA this year. Please make sure to order the cheese and bacon biscuits….

…and the asparagus dish – which transported us into Paris. One could only wonder what LA would be like were our oceanfront dotted with restaurants and bars of this caliber.

Son of a Gun restaurant, a new seafood palace, whose parent restaurant Animal received mountains of national press for its creativity with pork dishes. Bon Appetit just named Son of A Gun one of the top 10 new restaurtants in America for 2011.

Picca will be Richardo Zarate’s highly anticipate modern Peruvian restaurant.

Picca will be a “contemporary anticucho, ceviche, causa and cocktail concept.” We are certainly looking forward to this experience, especially because of the extraordinary food we had at Moi Chica on South Grand Ave. in South Los Angeles. Picca will be in The Townhouse, along with Sotto, in LA’s West Side. There are reports that Moi Chica, Zarate’s original LA restaurant sensation, will reopen in a downtown LA setting. We have waited years in LA to have upscale food of this kind.

Lukshon, the just opened luxury Pan Asian restaurant from LA’s first serious quality cult burger bar, Father’s Office. One of our favorite dishes is the spicy chicken pops, get some!

Lukshon, second interior

Playa, the global Latin cuisine inspired new restaurant on LA’s West Side. Its parent Restaurant, Rivera, in downtown LA, is just as memorable an encounter. (LATimes photo)

Sotto’s Ferrara pizza oven from Naples, Italy is only one of 10 in the U.S. It is the first in Los Angeles.

Lazy Ox Canteen, Little Toyko, downtown Los Angeles. Go for the lamb burger! This restaurant garnered major press in LA when it opened in 2010.

Waterloo & City, one of the top new gastropubs in Los Angeles, it serves a contemporary take on British pub food.


Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles is the best pizza we’ve ever had. It is one of the places that has brought LA to a new level of casual yet superior dining experience. At sometime this year, the third Mozza will open in Newport Beach. The image here is of a projected 3,500 sq. ft restaurant for Pizzeria Mozza Newport Beach. It will have all of what the LA version has, with an updated Mozza-to-go.

Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen food network television program will cause his soon to open LA restaurant, will make his upcoming LA restaurant an instant sensation. This television showing of his working method, his interest in employing the latest in food technology devices, and his excellence in transforming high concept into exquisite new dishes, will make his projected 60 seat LA restaurant concept fill up with reservations like few other places have experienced in Los Angeles.

The Daily Truffle reports that “Michael Ovitz will open Ink (with Michael Voltaggio of Top Chef) is his old restaurant space which housed Hamasaku.”

There are also reports that Thomas Keller will open his Ad Hoc restaurant in Los Angeles.

Bastide veteran Paul Shoemaker (the greatest restaurant contemporary LA’s histor with multiple star chefs) has announced plans to open an artisan pizza parlor and craft beer bar that promises to be “Father’s Office meets Pizzeria Biano in Phoenix

The owners of Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry – perhaps LA’s best breakfast, certainly it is awesome! is opening an artisan pizza parlor and bakery in Santa Monica later this year. So of a sudden the West Side will have a real artisan pizza scene.

This coming July 2011, on Venice, California’s Abbott Kinney boulevard, already one of the hottest scenes in all of Los Angeles, Local 1205, a 3,500 square foot gourmet market. I spoke to my partner about how we in LA are not getting true gourmet food encounters like never, yet we still have miles to go before we catch up to San Francisco and the Bay area, whose restaurant, pizza and artisan cocktail bar scene is on fire. It will really be really nice to not have to go up Northern Cali to get some satisfaction.

“His partner is Steve Carlin, founder of the Bay Area’s Oakville Grocery and Napa’s Oxbow Market, and project manager of SF’s Ferry Building Marketplace and the recent organic market addition in the city’s airport.” (The Feast)
a nearly 24-hour emporium that combines retail and sit-down eat-in options. The 3500-square-foot space will have sidewalk seating, a juice bar, a patio, a raw bar, and will be similar to Dean and Deluca and other famed gourmet Bay area/New York City food emporiums.

“The food will be half organic/Slow Food movement, half rich, luxurious, snotty food”—by which he means oysters, caviar and foie gras. Smoked fish, bagels, charcuterie, cheese, Portuguese-style pizza, sandwiches, rotisserie meats, frozen custard, and flowers will also be on offer.” (The Feast)

Local 1205 will be at 1205 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, and will be open daily from 7 a.m. – 4 a.m.  [The Feast]”

Ken Friedman, co-owner of New York’s West Village (with April Bloomfield), Michelin starred British gastropub The Spotted Pig, has promised his Mom who lives in San Diego that he will be opening a major seafood restaurant in LA by the end of the year. My partner and I fell in love with his white-hot restaurant in the Ace Hotel in New York City, The Breslin, which is named after the original name of the building that  too cool The Ace Hotel now resides in. The hotel features a Stumptown Coffee café and a new seafood dream of a restaurant  called The John Dory. I have covered this in another blog post about a trip to New York. By the way – the best slice of pizza I’ve ever tasted was a smoked black olive pizza that my daughter ordered at Pulino’s, which is a recently opened a Friedman establishment on The Bowery. As it turns out, Mario Batali’s restaurant group is also partnered in with Friedman and Bloomfield, which may explain why Friedman is expanding to Los Angeles at this time.

In a November 2007 New York Observer interview, Friedman said this about gastropubs: “Pub means public house. In England, it was where the poor people went, and the animal hanging outside the door [as it does at the Spotted Pig, in place of an actual sign] was because they couldn’t read. It was literally, ‘Meet me at the pig at eight!’

Friedman said this about his Los Angeles plans: “For some strange reason there are very few seafood places here even though we’re on the ocean. We’re at a certain point where we can open restaurants in places we want to be, like London or San Francisco or L.A.. ”  (Paper magazine, April 2011)

Friedman also recently noted that Los Angeles is on the ocean, it seems to not be engaged in eating from the sea. Many others have observed this, but may not take into account the orgy of sushi bars in LA, that are part of growing LA’s fixation of Japanese products, from cars to sushi bars and now to robata bars and beyond.


Michael Voltaggio’s ink.sack



The Factory Place Arts complex will be expanded with 8,00 sq. ft. 140 seat restaurant space in a 1920’s warehouse called Republique that will be home to former Bastide Chef Walter Manzke. The bistronomy inspired Republique restaurant will have a curated good and full baking department via his  wife, called the Factory Baking Co. The Los Angeles Times reported on August 22, 2011 that “The Manzkes took several Paris trips that included visits to restaurants such as Le Comptoir, Chateaubriand, Spring, Frenchie and Chez Dumonet.”

I went to The Tasting Kitchen for my birthday earlier this year. Both it and the next door Gjelina are two of my top special occasion restaurants in LA (actually on ultra cool Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach). So when I read that The Tasting Kitchen was opening what they are describing as “a true gastropub” – this got my attention on the spot and it will soon be on my dining calendar. Scheduled to open at the end of 2011. The Tasting Kitchen’s crew is from Portland. They ran the best restaurant in the city when they were in town, called Clark & Lewis. When their newest venture opens, it will mark the warehouse arts district downtown Los Angeles as a major new dining hotspot of LA.


From Chicago’s Bill Kim we have a noodle bar concept called Belly Pop that will open in downtown Los Angeles. Kim’s Belly Shack in Chicago was  food world sensation when it opened, and has since garnered a Michelin Bib Gourmand award. Studio City has already been blessed with Ramen Jinya, an authentic noodle bar from Japan, which itself has expanded to the  Japanese restaurants district of Sawtelle avenue in West LA, but this one has a liquor license. Nearby yet another direct from Japan noodle bar import has opened, called Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle. It is part of a Tokyo based chain and is the first U.S. location.

los angeles: tsujita restaurant opening

© tsujita – artisan noodles anyone? (photos by Superfuture magazine online)

“if your craving for good noodles is as regular as ours, and you live in los angeles…lucky you! artisan noodle restaurant tsujita hails from tokyo and has just opened a rather spectacular new branch in california, the first one stateside. designed in a clean contemporary yet japanese style, tsujita’s most striking interior feature is an intricately designed ceiling installation of sorts.

crafted by japanese designer takeshi sano, it’s poetically inspired by clouds surrounding izumo shrine in japan’s shimane prefecture, using 25,000 drum stick-shaped wooden sticks. obviously tsujita serves noodles or ramen, but also a wide range of typically tokyo-style japanese fusion food. you just have to drop by and taste it yourself. location: 2057 sawtelle boulevard [west los angeles].” Superfuture magazine online


“Why did you choose L.A. for Lindy & Grundy?

Erika: Amelia is born and raised in Los Angeles, so we would come visit her family here a lot, and we saw that there was a great need for a whole animal, sustainable butcher shop. We try to source as close to L.A. as possible. Everything other than our lamb comes from a 150-mile radius of our butcher shop.” from Cool Hunting’s interview of Lindy & Grundy.”

Sabatino & Co. Roma supplied several of Americas top restaurants with truffles. Soon the store will open in LA and offer truffles as well as gourmet foods and products from Italy. This  certainly makes up for LA/OC not having a Dean & DeLuccas

The news of the year in food for Los Angeles is that the world’s largest Italian gourmet food emporium, Eataly, will be opening in LA, in the Fairfax district. Eataly has several eating stations, and will be making fresh pasta daily. There will be an astounding array of prepared meats, wonderful rustic breads, and so much more. The NYC Eataly opened last fall. It has a free-standing restaurant that is mobbed. It is about to open its 4 part craft beer bar on the roof of its building on at 24th street and 5th avenue in Manhattan. It will be amazing to watch LA go from having none of the major gourmet markets to having one of the top places on earth. There are already three Eataly locations in Japan, and five in Italy.  Perhaps now we’ll also get a Berkeley Bowl supermarket from Northern California, which would be a dream.

Eataly in Turin, Italy (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)

Eataly NYC bread station

Eataly NYCs fresh pasta station (photo AliceQFoodie)

Performing Arts venues arts

In 2011 several new performing arts venues opened or broke ground in Los Angeles. Already the performing arts scene is more dynamic than ever, with several major events happening in a single month, so much so that LA now has a dedicated Dance Calendar. In the past two years alone I’ve seen Pina Bausch Dance Wuppertal, the Berlin Phiharmonic, the Munich Symphony, Kidd Pivot Frankfurt dance company, the Wooster Group at Redcat Disney (three different tremendous experimental theater plays!), and a lot more. With these new venues LA will be able to have wall to wall performances.

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, CA

Valley Performing Arts Center, Cal State Nortridge

Performing arts hall, Cal State Northridge

The Broad Stage, Santa Monica College



New York’s Perry Rubenstein gallery has announced that it will relocate to LA into a 7,500 sq. ft space in fall 2011.

“I’m bringing to Los Angeles the perspective of someone who has lived and worked his entire life on the Atlantic seaboard,” says Rubenstein. “Los Angeles is a new center. It looks today the way New York looked compared to Paris after the war.”

Rubenstein is one of many New York art world personalities who is convinced that Los Angeles is post-war New York City. This is of course the time when NYC overtook the 300 year old Paris artworld  and became the new center of Western world international art. What is interesting is that NYC has been talking about LA for over 60 years, first as a no place, then a place with potential that always seemed to fizz out. Now it is being seen for the first time as THE PLACE WHERE CONTEMPORARY ART COMES FROM IN AMERICA.

In 2011 LA’s first art parade will tale place in downtown LA, courtesy of West of Rome, the LA nonprofit visual arts presenter.

LA really separated itself from the rest of the West Coast in 2011 with recent announcements of their being the first LA Biennale in 2012. Yet the major news is in 2011, with LA finally getting a layer of its own art history on paper, with the 50 some exhibitions planned that open as early as late September 2011. The major shows will be at the Getty and MoCA, with several other equally significant but smaller group shows throughout Southern California in 2011 and 2012. In the fall of 2011 LA gets the first West Coast version of the Armory Show with Art Platform Los Angeles. The Pulse Fair of Miami and NYC is also expanding to LA and will put on a huge exhibition during the same time as Art Platform Los Angeles. There are also more powerful artist run spaces in Los Angeles than at any time in its history. These spaces are serving as both project spaces for artists yet serving as commercial galleries but without the backroom storage. They are promoting the artists they show to an international audience that now visits LA monthly, as LA is now unquestionably one of the most important centers of art production and exhibition in the worl

May 2011:

London based contemporary art collector and curator Kay Saatchi moves to Los Angeles to be at the forefront of the new LA art scene. Over the next month more press reveals her plans to create major exhibitions of LA art, which she also will be collecting.


The Swiss/US based HUB Foundation announces an exciting new exhibition program in Los Angeles that will use multiple venues in winter 2012. (from the Artnewspaper, London)

LA Art collector Dean Valentine launches Bowmont Art, in 7,000 square feet of space at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Initial plans are to showcase his collection, and to have performances, talks and other programming.

summer 2011:

 L&M Arts talks about their expansion to Los Angeles (from Artinfo)
“Why did you open in LA

DL: There’s a creative energy there right now, and a fabulous number of talented artists living there. Not just young ones. If you think of the living established artists there, you think of Ed Ruscha, Baldessari, Charles Ray, Paul McCarthy, Barbara Kruger—they all live in LA. There are museums with an energy that’s quite unique. The creativity is comparable to what New York was like at the time of the [abstract expressionists]. Plus, we found a gorgeous building—it’s very beautiful.

RM: I was there last week, I was so proud of just standing in front of that building. I felt like it was one of my kids.

And the focus of the LA gallery is the primary market?

DL: Absolutely. It was a natural evolution of the gallery. There’s always been a major interest in contemporary art. We had done some primary shows: Bob was the first to do a major Jeff Koons show. But in New York, the market is saturated. You have to enter into a big fist fight to work with some of the artists. In LA, that happens less.

How is the market in LA?

RM: The only totally honest thing to say is that we see a tremendous amount of interest. We did one traditional show just to give a feeling of the range of what we do: a De Kooning show that I’m very proud of with great works on paper from 1947-52. But nothing was for sale, so the market could have been phenomenal and we wouldn’t have known one way or another.”

New York/Miami art fair veteran Fountain Art F announces it’s participation in Pacific Standard Time. Art Platform LA Weekend for 2011.

The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, to be built in downtown Los Angeles, opening in 2013

Art Platform Los Angeles will be the first major new art fair in LA. It is the creation of the same folks who own and put on The Armory Show in New York City, and the Volta Show. It promises to be an exciting time, from its gala opening on September 30, through the shows closing October 3, 2011. It opens along with Pacific Standard Time, which will see over 60 California arts institutions showcase the history of the Los Angele art scene from 1945 through 1980. This is an unprecedented event for Los Angeles.  The Getty museum’s history of LA painting and sculpture of the aforementioned period will be traveling to the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. The Blues show at MoCA on historical African-American artists in Los Angeles will travel to three other venues and will have a full compliment of ancillary events and a catalog. With Art LA 2011 providing showcdates, this brings the total number of artfairs that will be in LA in the fall of 2011 to four.

artLA brings the experience and knowledge of the Los Angeles landscape garnered over the past two decades, to the service of its exhibitors and collectors.

The Marriott Ritz Carlton at LA Live is nine blocks from Art Platform-LA and overlooks the Pulse tent on LA Live’s parking structure. The breathtaking fourth floor lobby atrium frames the entrance to artLAWe offer 25,000 square feet of column-free floor space with 25’ ceilings joining with 15,000 square feet of additional exhibition space which will house anchor booths, installations, book publishers, museum and vendors in addition to a private café for the fair.”


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