Taste of Mexico this Saturday Sept 27th! ¡Vamos!

Chichen Itza's cochinita pibil tacos. So flavorful.This Saturday Taste of Mexico will celebrate regional cuisine at La Plaza De Las Culturas y Artes, the square adjacent to Olvera Street. Taste of Mexico consists of 2 events, the Farmers Market Family Picnic from 12pm – 4pm followed by Dinner, Drinks and Dancing from 7pm – 11pm.

Sample food from some of the best Mexican restaurants in LA, like La Monarca BakeryGuelaguetza, Las Maravillas de Hidalgo, El Coraloense C/O Leonardo’s Ceviche Co, Compañía de Café, Mexicali Taco & Co, Casa Oaxaca Culver City, Ceviche Project, Torta Company, Mariscos Jalisco Mexikosher Candela Taco Bar and Lounge Colonia Taco Lounge and Loteria Grill.

The Farmers Market Family Picnic is a daytime cookout that highlights the “fresh and seasonal flavors of LA’s Mexican cuisine.” Besides unlimited food tastings from participating restaurants, you can anticipate churros, fruit carts, a michelada beer garden by Montejo, Guelaguetza’s Miche Mobil, a fresh cocktail bar by Centenario Tequila, and live entertainment by cumbia DJ collective Dinamita. Entry includes cooking demos and the farmers market. A few of the vendors booked for the farmers market are Las Palmas and Tampico Spice. All for only $35.00. All ages welcome.

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Rich’s Argan Oil Elixir

richrichI love skin and hair oils. Oils used to have a bad name until a few years back, but for me – going from the desert to humid New England in a month – travel has made my skin and hair do all kinds of wonky things (I nearly forgot all about humidity frizz.) When Rich Hair Care’s golden bottle showed up last week I was thrilled: dry desert hair meets airplane cabin and lands in seacoast humidity is taking its toll.

This little French marvel has been a  Tatler Beauty Award winner for the past two years and with good reason: a few drops of this highly-concentrated elixir is all I needed to tame that humid-flyaway/salt air hair while giving it shine for days. It doubles as a leave-in treatment, which works beautifully – no stringy or greasy locks, just incredible softness and glistening, smooth hair. (I mixed some into a hair mask as well which gives it a great boost.) I’ll also rub a bit into my cuticles to make ‘em super-soft. Along with Argan Oil, sweet almond and olea europaea (olive) are in the mix, which all add up to protecting color while strengthening and conditioning.

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Good Times for a Good Cause at Alex’s Lemonade 2014

Giada DeLaurentiis' Fusilli with Tres FagioliThe sun emerged from the clouds just in time to shine down on the grassy picnic for LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade at UCLA’s Royce Quad Saturday. Guests mingled with celebrity chefs as they sampled savory bites and sweet treats. There is always a special vibe at Alex’s that is different from other annual food events. The picnic theme and kid-friendly atmosphere help to make it feel like a big family reunion. Or maybe it is the inspiration from Alexandria “Alex” Scott, a little girl with cancer whose front yard lemonade stand grew into a foundation that raised over a million dollars during her lifetime.

Chef David Lentz of Hungry Cat, one of the founders and hosts, wowed as usual with a sumptuous raw bar including oysters, mussels, shrimp, and uni sprinkled with sea salt. Another founder and host, Suzanne Goin of Lucques, AOC and Tavern presented a hearty porschetta with blistered cherry tomatoes, feta salsa verde and grilled toast.

Chef Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena created a single bite that exploded with flavor and literally stopped me in my tracks. A single duck agnolotti with gorgonzola dolce, pickled huckleberries and fennel plated like modern art proved the restaurant worthy of its place in Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition. Chef Kalman told us they are filming now, and the winner will be selected before the January air date.

Photo essay after the break

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‘Jimi: All Is By My Side’ Brings Hendrix to Life at a Pivotal Moment

(L-R) André Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix, Tom Dunlea as Mitch Mitchell and Oliver Bennett as Noel Redding in the drama/biopic “JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE” an XLrator Media release.  Photo credit: Patrick Redmond.

(L-R) André Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix, Tom Dunlea as Mitch Mitchell and Oliver Bennett as Noel Redding in the drama/biopic “JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE” an XLrator Media release. Photo credit: Patrick Redmond.

For many of those who knew something of Jimi Hendrix’s ascent to rock stardom, it seemed that he burst on the scene at Monterey Pop Festival, coming over from England where he was starting to gain fame and went from there. However, there is more to the story than that. Jimi: All Is By My Side covers Jimi’s life from playing in clubs in New York through his move to England and the recognition of his immense talent. Like other movies about musician’s careers such as Ray and I Walk the Line, it does not sugar-coat his life. Instead, it shows the development of Jimmy James, guitar player from Seattle into Jimi Hendrix, rock superstar.

Andre Benjamin brings to the screen an interesting portrait of Jimi. He’s got the voice down, he’s got the singing down and most importantly, he seems natural in his acting. As with several rappers, he seems to have made the transition to acting rather well and Jimi could well be the role that allows him to gain the recognition he justly deserves. Jimi in the movie is not the wild, flamboyant performer he became and Andre plays him as quiet and even a little nerdy with his love of science fiction. It is a Jimi Hendrix not that many are familiar with but at the same time a portrayal of a man who had immense talent but often times did not know how to show it.

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My Day at the Los Angeles County Fair

IMG_7438.JPGI think the last time I had been to the Los Angeles County fair I was nine years old. My 13-year-old cousin wanted to go to the fair and I decided that would be a great thing to do. I got tickets in advance and was able to search “retailmenot” for various discounts to get those tickets. So instead of being $19 each we only paid $11 each. The online ticket also included a ride discount from being $50 to $35, that included two free games.

We wound up using the ride discount after I had purchased 200 tickets for $50 and realized that it took less than an hour to go through that. So I went back and got the discounted ride tickets. Although we didn’t get one, I did notice that many people had opted to buy the $25 per person fast pass which basically enabled them to skip the lines.

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Southland Tales: Wild Bill

Photo by Erik Essington

Photo by Erik Essington

In my eleventh grade year of high school, I’d already been into the “punk scene” for, about, three years, a guy from one of my classes, Bill, got into punk and wanted to start hanging out with the “punk” guys from school. So, one Saturday afternoon I got dropped off at Bill’s house, and he played some music, and started pulling out some Flipside magazines – talking about which bands he liked, on and on like that. I started to get a bit bored, and was going to head out, and then Bill says “You want to do some crazy punk stuff?” I admit I was curious, so I said “what do you have in mind?” Bill said “follow me,” and I followed him over a couple of fences, up a tree or two and finally up the side of a building and on to a rooftop. Once there, I was like . . . now what? Bill then ran to the side of the building, and came back with an arm full of oranges. Orange trees were growing alongside of this building. So, I sat down on the edge of the building, and waited for the show. Bill started crawling on his belly military-style, until he got to the edge of the building, once there he started beaming oranges at any car that drove by. Now Bill came from a relatively upscale neighborhood in Encino, so the cars he was nailing were BMW’s and Mercedes. Fifteen minutes of this — sirens came blaring. Which made Bill extremely excited (he was possibly ADD or ADHD which is ADD in HD) and he tells me not to worry he has this planned out. He just yelled to follow him, and we went down a drainpipe, through a school gymnasium, over some other fence and finally into his backyard.

Once we got into his house I asked him what was that all about? He said he was hoping to “hang out with somebody who down for some real punk rock stuff.” I just shook my head, and asked “how was that punk rock?” And Bill says “Punk rock is about going ape-shit!” I told him “Bill, I’m not an authority, but tossing oranges at your neighbor’s cars isn’t exactly punk rock.”

Bill was pretty bummed. We didn’t hang out again. About ten years later my brother and I bumped into him, he was working at a Blockbuster Video on Ventura Blvd. in Encino. He was a funny enough guy.

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Scenes from the Ventura Blues and Brews Festival

Gary Hoey and AJ trade licks. Photo by Edward simon for the Los Angels Beat.

Sunday’s Blues and Brews Festival in Ventura featured lots of great BBQ, plenty of good beer and some of the best blues around. The unique design of the Mission Park venue worked great, putting two stages across from each other so as soon as one act finished, the crowd just turned their chairs around to the other stage and the show continued. The fun started with Jonathan “Boogie” Long and the Blues Revolution, followed by Michael John and the Bottom Line, Gary Hoey, Tangled Underfoot, Sister Sparrow and finally the headliner, Tab Benoit. Both Tab and Jonathan paid homage to their home state, Louisiana.

Tab Benoit on stage. Photo by Edward simon for the Los Angels Beat.

A photo essay follows after the jump.

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Deadbeat Dad


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Live Review: “Dead Men Walking” At The Viper Room!

Photos By Billy Bennight for the Los Angeles Beat

Photos By Billy Bennight for the Los Angeles Beat

There’s never been a time that The Viper Room has disappointed as a live music venue in my experience. There was the time That Bow Wow Wow played their first gig in 20 plus years where Anthony Kiedis and Billy Corgan were in attendance. That night it was the long awaited reunion of Annabella Lwin and the other member of Bow Wow Wow. There was the time Ronnie James Dio was hanging out in the down stairs bar at a corner table with his band mates and this delicious blond in a micro mini crawled, with her bum up – in a wheeling and dealing fashion as she crossed their table to set down next to Ronnie, good times! Then there was the time my date flashed everyone in the downstairs bar, but then constantly complained of Steve Jones slapping her bum to me, while I watched Tim Polecat come out of the closed liqueur store next door with a case of beer for the after party. While these are all over the top “Rock N Roll” antics, it portrays the energy and excitement of some of the really great shows that have inhabited The Viper Room. So when the opportunity to see one of my all time heroes, Captain Sensible of The Damned, and to watch him palling it up with other musical greats like, Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats), Mike Peters (The Alarm), Chris Cheney (The Living End), Duff McKagan (Guns and Roses) in the super group “Dead Men Walking” it was a call to action. This caused me to have a fever, a fever that could only be broken by seeing the Captain tear it up on The Viper Room stage!

Photo Gallery After The Break

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Photo Gallery: Chinatown Moon Festival 2014

confetti harvest


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