Southland Tales: In-N-Out

Photo by: Michael Essington

Photo by: Michael Essington

A couple of months ago, my wife, boy and I took a trip out to Calabasas. The wife needed a few books from Barnes and Noble and Calabasas is one of the last places on Earth to house a B and N.

On the way back from the bookstore we pass an In-N-Out Burger. The boy suggests we do lunch there. We pull in, drive around back and park. The wife and boy walk up a little hill and grab a table. I order, wait and bring the food over.

Halfway through the meal I saw a guy speed into the parking lot, park, jump out and come storming over to the eating area. He was in such a hurry that he didn’t even close his door. He rushes up the steps and stops at the first trash can. He yanks the top off of the trash can, places it on a nearby table. He combs through the receptacle a bit. I leaned over to my wife and said, “I think this guy lost his keys or something.”

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This Little Piggy: Cochon 555 Brings its Porcine Bacchanalia to LA this Weekend

Image courtesy of Cochon 555 (Galdone's Photography)

Image courtesy of Cochon 555 (Galdone’s Photography)

If you follow any chefs or foodies on social media, you have probably been seeing pictures of Cochon 555 as it tours the country on its mission to promote heritage breed pigs. Its wild 3-day feast showcases the best local chefs in the area promoting the good food movement. This weekend, Cochon 555 will present dinners on Friday and Saturday nights, plus a culinary competition on Sunday that has local chefs putting it all on the line for bragging rights.

Heritage breeds were popular back when pigs were raised outdoors on family farms. Most Americans have only ever tasted new breeds of CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation) caged pigs. The pork from heritage pigs is more flavorful, more tender, and healthier. The meat is heavily marbled, making it able to sustain high-temperature cooking. Best of all, heritage pigs are raised responsibly, without the heavy use of antibiotics and growth hormones common in big factory farming. This weekend the chefs will be utilizing whole hogs raised on local farms including Cook Pigs Ranch, Walnut Keep, Old Reminisce Farms, DG-Langley Farm, Rainbow Ranch Farms and Marin Sun Farms.

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Santa Anita Winner’s Circle 4th Annual BBQ A Day of Great BBQ and Exciting Horse Racing

Smokin Mo's Trophy winning team receiving trophy from Ben Lobenstein. Photo by Ed Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

Smokin Mo’s Trophy winning team receiving trophy from Ben Lobenstein. Photo by Ed Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

As the sound of horses running mingled with the aroma of great barbecue wafting in from the infield at Santa Anita Park, the Santa Anita Winner’s Circle 4th Annual BBQ Championship on Satuday, March 21st proved to be a day where not only BBQ teams and horse racers were winners, but also the record-setting crowd who got to taste excellent BBQ from many great teams and vendors. When the smoke had settled, Smokin’ Mo’s BBQ were christened the Grand Champions with a sterling performance. Even kids had their own Kid’s Que event, officially sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society, who worked along with the California BBQ Association to provide top-notch judging for the event.

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MEMENTO MORI: A Last Dance with Death at La Luz de Jesus Gallery

"Memento Mori" -- Paul Koudounaris

Death reigns in “Memento Mori”,opening and reception April 3, 8-11 PM, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Hollywood

“Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us” is the new book from Paul Koudounaris, the world’s leading photographer of the visual culture of death. The exhibition of the same name will open with a book signing on Friday, April 3, at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Hollywood, on view through April 26.

Koudounaris, who took his doctorate in the art history department of UCLA, has traveled the world for more than a decade documenting the use of human bones in sacred contexts. The author warns that “Memento Mori” will complete his trilogy of works on human remains (his two prior books on the subject are “The Empire of Death” and “Heavenly Bodies”, all Thames & Hudson).

Dubbed “Indiana Bones” by the UK press, bone-vivant Koudounaris does more than meticulously document a global cultural anthropology of death which is rapidly disappearing as pre-industrial traditions, so to speak, die out. His graceful writing also places universal human loss into compelling and relevant context, challenging contemporary society’s sanitized, euphemized and emotionally anemic attitudes toward the inevitable.

Dr. Paul Koudounaris – “Memento Mori” – Exhibition and book launch                                 La Luz de Jesus Gallery – 4633 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles (323) 666-7667   Opening reception- Friday, April 3, 8 – 11 PM

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Brian Walsby: Punk Rock Based Stage Personas

Walsby punk singers

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Offbeat L.A.: Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam- A Surreal Easter Passion Play at Vasquez Rocks

Jesus converts the peasants at Vasquez Rocks (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Jesus converts the peasants at Vasquez Rocks (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Angels on the mountain, or is it a 70s Swedish pop band? (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Angelic manifestations or a 1970s Swedish pop band? (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

No matter what your spiritual leanings, you have to admit that some of the pomp and circumstance that goes into celebrating religious holidays is quite magical. Whether gussied up for the masses or stripped down to the bare essentials, belief can literally move mountains or cause the bloodiest of wars. Whether you are Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Pagan or a member of a UFO cult, there is something to be gained from appreciating and respecting it all. That is one of the reasons I thoroughly recommend that you check out the amazingly otherworldly Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration Passion Play.

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Tonight Might Be Your Last Chance to See David Cassidy on Tour in California

There are still tickets available to see David Cassidy at the beautiful Art Deco Saban Theatre (Formerly the Fox Wilshire). According to his official website, this may be David’s last tour in California due to the difficulty he has traveling.

The set list will include Cole Porter’s “Night and Day,” a song David remembers his dad teaching him to sing in the car when he was around three years old. David is also expected to play “Sweet Little Angel” as a tribute to BB King, one of his early inspirations. As a solo artist, David has had hit singles including “Cherish,” ”Could It Be Forever,” and ”How Can I Be Sure,” which will probably be grounding the setlist. The band’s guitarist, Dave Robicheau,  is the former guitarist and backup singer for Davy Jones. At a recent stop on this tour, the band played the Monkees’ “Day Dream Believer” and “I’m a Believer.” David Cassidy also knows to give the audience what it wants, and he sings some Partridge Family hits, such as “Come on, Get Happy,” “I Think I Love You,” and “I Can Feel your Heartbeat.”

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Cops4Causes’ “Golden Ticket Show” Honors Luc and Stacia Robitaille Along with Memorable “Divas Las Vegas” Performance Hosted by Frank Marino!

Photo Courtesy of Bill Dow

Photo Courtesy of Bill Dow

What do theatrically inclined kids, female impersonators, wolves, LA County Deputy Sheriff Christopher Ladavazo, and Judy Tenuta all have in common? They are collectively present symbolically and/or physically at the Friday March 13th “Golden Ticket Show”!

It is a festive night at the fore of the historic Avalon Theatre (formerly The Palace) right across the street from Capitol Records as caring citizens the city over, police officers and their spouses, and all manner of altruistic actors and celebrities aim to alight the red carpet: All this in support of LA County foster youth and families, and in honor of Luc and Stacia Robitaille for their tirelessly related work in conjunction with Cops4 Causes’ “Golden Ticket Show”!

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LA Opera’s Costume Sale! Saturday March 28th!

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“Hungry, Still” at the Pretend Gallery

Lisa Sitko's Apple Pipes

Lisa Sitko’s Apple Pipes

“Hungry, Still,” opening Monday, March 30th, from 7pm to 10pm at the Pretend Gallery, is the first in a series of events that will link the art gallery with restaurant and foodie culture. Food/Art collective Stiff Peaks promises that the centerpiece of the evening will be a sculptural buffet from which guests will be invited to eat and “discover the sensual and morbid intricacies of the table, including surprising and inedible components.” Meaning, try not to break a tooth on a fake suckling pig. $5 suggested donation. The exhibit includes Lisa Sitko’s ceramic “Apple Pipes” and works on paper by Jacob Tillman.

In an attempt to understand art, we spoke with Jonathon Hornedo about the event.

Who and what are Stiff Peaks?

Anna Barrie and Gary Campbell are the team behind Stiff Peaks. You can find them on Instagram @stiffpeaksla The gallery is also on Instagram @PretendGallery

What statement is the artist trying to make?

There is no single artist behind the buffet. Rather, it is a collaboration between the gallery and Stiff Peaks. Work by artists Lisa Sitko and Jacob Tillman will be absorbed into the buffet and on the gallery walls.

If we’re saying something, we mean to present ourselves as a dual platform for art to operate on. We hope that this first event in our series shows this clearly. (dual platform = gallery + food)

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