Adding Hot Sauce to Beer – it’s a Thing

TonysTony’s Darts Away in Burbank has always been on the cutting edge with their vegan sausages and exclusively Californian craft beers. When Pliny the Younger gets to town, there is a line around the block. If you hang out long enough, you may spot some of the regulars spiking their beers with hot sauce using tiny eyedroppers.

In the past, there have been some beers brewed with a hot pepper, but local entrepreneur Hot “Sauce” Rod found them “quite lacking,” and began to come up with hot sauces specifically created to pair with beer. Rod’s Balsamic Reduction Hot Sauce was created with desserts and beers in mind. Rod explains the process, “…the chillies go through a long, about a week to ten day, steep in white balsamic vinegar in a solar cooker then a 12 hr slow smoke and another steep before the blender and mixing.” The formula was so successful, Golden Road Brewing, Tony’s Darts Away Anniversary IPA, and Heal the Bay IPA have all incorporated the sauce into a few special casks. When Alexandra Nowell, now with Three Weavers Brewing, was at Kinetic Brewing in Lancaster, they created a brew with the Serrano Habanero and Key Lime.

We spoke with Rod about his favorite pairings. “The Prickly Pear Habanero Hot Sauce is my latest formulation and adds a nice fruity heat to an otherwise aggressive IPA and has become my recent favorite. The Red Fire Hot Sauce is also good in an IPA, but this season was not good for ghost peppers and I am about out of that and the others with those peppers. New habanero alternatives are being formulated, e.g. The Prickly Pear Habanero Hot Sauce, Habanero and POM (pomegranate) Hot Sauce, and Habanero and Ginger Hot Sauce.”

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Late Night Dining at L’Assiette Steak Frites

Steak Frites West Hollywood room  (Te-Ericka Patterson By Te-Erika Patterson of Moving to Los Angeles

When I received the invitation to sample the cuisine at  L’Assiette Steak Frites for dinner as a guest of the LA Beat, I was intrigued by the offer. Nestled in West Hollywood,  the neighborhood is known for its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. In fact, just up the street on nearby Fairfax, the neighborhood is going through a vibrant revitalization as even more businesses, shops and restaurants are clamoring for the steady stream of residents who live, love and enjoy the night life in West Hollywood.

What can a restaurant do to stand out from the crowd of fresh new businesses emerging up and down Melrose Avenue? L’Assiette Steak Frites may have the answer.

It turns out that  L’Assiette Steak Frites, which opened up just this past March, is the new kid on the block serving up an old time favorite from France. Its owner, Jacques Fiorentino, brought his favorite treat from France to West Hollywood where his restaurant serves only one dish. The Steak Frites is a platter of steak prepared sous vide and served with a heaping portion of french fries.

What is so special about steak and french fries? Well, for this non chef, who accidentally placed my carton of eggs in the freezer last week and still tried to boil them for lunch, I couldn’t have enough. Smothered in a special family recipe sauce that was gravy-like in consistency yet didn’t overpower the flavor of the steak, each bite literally melted in my mouth. Even my toothless grandma would enjoy the steak here. The fries reminded me of the fries at In & Out Burger, freshly made and delicious. The coolest part of the meal was the fact that you receive two servings at separate intervals so that the food will not ever get cold on your plate.

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In the past month alone, my hair’s experienced deep Southern humidity, beaches, airplane cabins, train cars, and now, 25-degree New England coastal ice. I had nearly settled into a bun routine until I arrived at my next destination to find a package from Sexy Hair.  I was thrilled. Their newest line, Smooth Sexy Hair, is coconut oil-based (one of my beauty staples – I always travel with a small container.) Before I started to unpack, I slathered on Smooth Extender Nourishing Smoothing Mask and left it on all night, washing the next morning with Sulfate Free Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner.  SMOOTH_Retail_SmoothExtender

The entire Smooth Sexy Hair line (which also includes Blow Dry Extender Creme, Frizz Eliminator Serum, and Anti-Frizz Seal and Shine Spray) is sulfate-free, making it not only nourishing, smoothing, and de-frizzing, but color-safe – as they are sulfate-free.   And it smells luscious! When I returned this morning’s jaunt in the woods in the cold, wintry air and took off my hat voila! No flyaway, no frizz.

Thank you again, Sexy Hair, for making these travel-weary locks look fresh and replenished.

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Bob Dorough Performs Schoolhouse Rock Monday

If you were a kid any time during the 70s and 80s, the odds are you watched “Schoolhouse Rock,” a collection of animated educational films that aired between Saturday morning cartoons. The catchy jingles, along with charming animation by Tom Yohe have made the series a beloved memory from many a childhood.

Monday night at 8pm Cinefamily will present  Bob Dorough at the Echoplex. Dorough will be playing the popular classics that he wrote and sang, such as “Three is a Magic Number,” and “The Shot Heard Round the World.” In the past he has also performed numbers he wrote that were sung by other performers, like “Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla” and “Conjunction Junction.” Performing with Dorough will be Jennifer Leitham on bass, John Chiodini on guitar, and Herman Matthews on drums.

First conceptualized by advertising agent David McCall to help his son with his homework. “Schoolhouse Rock” started out as a children’s record, and an animated version soon sold to ABC as 3-minute sponsored segments. 37 episodes of “Multiplication Rock,” “Grammar Rock,” “America Rock,” “Science Rock,” and the obscure and the quickly obsolete “Computer Rock” were recorded. The show was later reprised adding “Earth Rock” and “Money Rock.” Tickets are only $20, so get yours today. Knowledge is power.

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‘Chill’ starts today at the Queen Mary, Bringing a California Christmas Experience to Everyone

Queen Mary stacks lit 3 MCU. Photo by Edward simon for The Los Angeles Beat.Today, Christmas season starts in Southern California, as ‘Chill’ opens at the Queen Mary. The theme this year is a ‘California Christmas Experience’, so besides ice slides, ice skating, tubing and other fun things, guests will be able to enjoy the holiday “Chill Style” as a California Christmas. JJ Wickham, the Creative Director for ‘Chill”, told me that “there will be 2 million pounds of ice everywhere! We’ve got a larger than life ice sculpture of a ‘Surfing Santa’. We’re also doing an area decorated as Christmas on the Beach, we’ve got a 50 ton sand sculpture being built and that will play into the holiday Christmas theme on the beach as well”.

Walking into the Ice Kingdom, it starts off with a traditional poinsettia entrance complete with seven-foot tall toy soldiers. From there, though, things get ‘California style’ as a Surfin’ Santa appears shredding 20-foot tall ice waves. There is a fairytale kingdom for the kids, an ice replica of the Queen Mary with ice slides and even a forest of penguins. A little further down is the Glacier Glide, 2 stories tall, 100 feet of pure ice that our guests can go up and tube down the slide. There are six lanes of ice tubing there. This definitely adds a California “freeway” to the tubing world!

Next area starts off as a traditional feature back East, but adds a Chill twist to it. “We’ve got a 6500 square foot ice skating rink and there is definitely going to music. This year, we’ve got a live ‘beat bay’ in the middle of the ice to entertain people, so I don’t know how ‘old fashioned’ it will be, but it’s a lot of fun! We’re also having themed nights, so the DJ will be playing themed Christmas music on the ice for everybody to skate to”. Continue reading

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Movie Review: “Run” Screening at AFI FEST Presented By Audi

RUN  Assa

Director Philippe Lacôte got everyone’s attention when he was introducing his film “Run” by saying that this wasn’t a political movie. Strangely, in the opening scene, the main character, Run, is committing an assassin of the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Ivory Coast in a Church. By the very nature of the opening scene juxtaposed against the director’s statement it forces one to consider what type of movie this could possibly be. “Run” is a bit of the onion, story wise, as it peels away in layers of flashbacks sequences and in unexpected twists in the story that hold you the length of the film.

Run GGAfter the assignation Philippe Lacôte’s “Run” offers the back story in a series of primal, visceral, lusty episodes that weaves all the causals in Run’s life leading up to the brutal execution of the Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister. As an orphan in the Ivory Coast Run’s one desire was to become a “Rain Maker” like his mentor Tourou. After serving as an apprenticeship Run fails a critical test that flings his life into unimagined circuitous directions. This failure by Run offers unique opportunities for story telling and directorial choices that reference moods inspired by other directors like Federico Fellini and Francis Ford Coppola. Run’s adventures with Greedy Gladys, a professional eater, his association with the militia Young Patriots are influenced Fellini. Coppola is referenced in Run’s redemption scene set in a jungle stream with his mentor Assa. The images of Run and Assa filtered through the hanging foliage (vibes of Apocalypse Now) with Assa, his last and most significant male role model, is filled with sense of ritual and patriarchal anointing. As the story intertwines together towards the end, it becomes very apparent this isn’t a story about a the political intrigue, but rather a story built around competition, resentment and ultimately revenge.

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The Dream Syndicate at The Echoplex Saturday 11/22 – Language, Logic and Punk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo here we are, over halfway through November. Less than six weeks left in 2014. With the looming arrival of Hanukkah and Christmas, perhaps some druid ceremony or another, or simply the turning of the last page on the calendar come December 31, the softer souls among us will use this time to contemplate confession, atonement, repentance and the chance to start again. But some of the (more interesting?) others will, like Camus’ stranger, prepare themselves to stare the future in its face and dare destiny to make the first move. And THAT party will be this Saturday (November 22, 8:30PM) at the Echoplex with The Dream Syndicate taking the stage for what will most assuredly be one of those shows of which you are either going to say “One of the very best things to happen in LA all year” or “I can’t believe what I got sucked into doing instead of seeing that one!” I’m gonna choose the former.

After a 20 plus year absence, minus a couple of stateside one offs and a European tour in 2013, one of the seminal bands of the post punk / new wave movement is returning to the city where so much of their music was made. The Dream Syndicate brought guitar driven energy and the exuberance of life to everything they touched. And they did it with a combined sense of literacy and provocation that more than one artist who shared that era or came after sought to emulate – if not downright copy. What very few of them understood, much less captured, was the sensibility of a tough and empathetic rhythm section setting a heart thumping, sensual foundation against which an immensely talented lyricist/composer/musician and a crazed, risk taking guitarist would break the world into fragments and reassemble it in a way that left a listener leaving a show ready to ask life some impertinent questions of their own. Continue reading

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Eureka! American Grill Opens a New Location In Irvine, Bringing Locally-grown Produce, Scrumptious Dishes, Craft Beers and Spirits

Platter with Bone Marrow Burger

Eureka! the American resteraunt dedicated to local produce and meats as well as small batch whiskey and beer, has been quite successful in its concept for locations. When they opened their first OC spot, in the Bella Terra Shopping area in Huntington Beach, they opened at the foot of a residential building, creating a place for residential neighbors as well as shoppers and just people going out. With their new Irvine location, they have taken the concept even further, opening in the University Center. There, within walking distance of the University of California, Irvine, Eureka! again shows its desire to be a loca-centric place and not just a stopover for shoppers. They are also one of the very few places I’ve seen where you can group these words in a realistic description: reasonable, upscale, unpretentious, fun and delicious.

With the moderate climate in Irvine, the first thing people notice is that Eureka! has embraced the outdoors. There is a large patio, in fact the largest of Eureka’s thirteen locations, seating anywhere from couples to large groups surrounding an impressive water and fire fountain. For colder evenings there are also heaters to warm everyone. In addition, the low wall makes this patio an ideal place to people watch. Business people in ties and dresses, UCI students in hoodies and shorts, moms with kids going to the dance studio, there is lots to watch at University Center.

Patio with buidings and fire fountain in BG. Photo by Edward Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

A Photo Essay follows the story.  Continue reading

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watt’s picture of the week – thursday, november 20, 2014


yesterday down at the l.a. harbor I noticed some boulder re-arranging going on at the angels gate lighthouse and was hoping when I brought my kayak “zaby” through they might be done w/that but nope, not the case and I don’t wanna bumrush or get in the way so I’ll try paddling through the breakwater opening saturday…

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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“Kurt Cobain: The Last Session” at Morrison Hotel Gallery


This Saturday, November 22nd, the Morrison Hotel Gallery in West Hollywood will host a book signing by photographer Jesse Frohman for his new book “Kurt Cobain: The Last Session” (Thames & Hudson) from 6 to 8pm. Frohman shot Nirvana for the London Observer’s Sunday magazine in August 1993 while they were in New York for their concert at the Roseland Ballroom, and this turned out to be the last formal photo session before Cobain’s death.

According to the gallery’s website, “Over the course of ninety photographs, Cobain seems an almost feral creature, by turns gentle, playful, defiant, suffering, or absorbed in his music. There’s a diverse range of shots of Cobain with fellow band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl and on his own, posing, performing, and greeting fans.”

The book, which will also be for sale at the gallery, includes the original London Observer interview with Cobain by Jon Savage (“England’s Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock”) and commentary by Glenn O’Brien.

Image courtesy of The Press House

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