Patricia plays keyboards at Miceli’s in Hollywood on Sundays, from 5:30 on. She wanted me to spread the word that she’ll also be playing for the next three Thursdays. You may catch her doing warm-up yoga in the ladies’ room before her performances.


Posted in Attractions, Beauty, Live Music | Leave a comment

Lucha Punk Gallery Art Circus Tonight!


Posted in Live Music, Sports, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Upcoming Golden Foodie Awards Highlight Orange County’s Best Foods, Restaurants and Chefs

Enjoying wine at the Golden Foodie Awards. Photo courtesy of the Golden Foodie Awards.

Enjoying wine at the Golden Foodie Awards. Photo courtesy of the Golden Foodie Awards.

Coming up on September 28, Orange County will host the Annual Golden Foodie Awards. Pam Waitt, the President of the OC Restaurant Association said, “The Golden Foodie Awards are something that’s so different from anything that’s ever been done, because we are honoring and celebrating the independent restaurants and the chef-driven restaurants. The Golden Foodie Awards specifically only honor that”.

Pam continued, “It is something that’s really great for the chefs and it’s important in that it celebrates REAL food with real people that are cooking in the kitchen. It’s something we really feel strong about because they work so hard and this allows a democratic voting to take place and the people to decide their favorites”. This event, including only Orange County restauranteurs, highlights the excellence of the vibrant Orange County restaurant scene. Continue reading

Posted in Cocktails, Events, Food, Restaurants, Upcoming Events, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Live Review: Taiko Nation At Japan America Theater

Sen-Rai at Taiko Nation 2014. Photo by Kim Nakashima, used by permission.

Sen-Rai at Taiko Nation 2014. Photo by Kim Nakashima, used by permission.

Like a lot of Westerners, I first became aware of the art of Japanese taiko drumming in the late 1980s, courtesy of the group Kodo. A PBS documentary about the group had become hugely popular, and I went to see a show of theirs in Princeton, NJ that I still remember as one of the most transfixing and utterly unique live performances I’ve ever seen. Today, taiko groups are popping up all over the world, and the Taiko Nation concert at Japan America Theater – the centerpiece of the 2014 World Taiko Gathering happening in LA during the preceding week – presented excellent groups from England and Australia in addition to the expected guests from Japan (including one former and one current member of Kodo) and LA’s own TAIKOPROJECT.

As so often happens when specifically Eastern traditions start being adopted by primarily white groups, subtle differences in approach start to emerge. Exeter’s Kagemusha Taiko performed a rhythmic rendition of the traditional”Sir Roger De Coverley” in 9/8 time, and you could imagine yourself in a pub, surrounded by bodhrans and pennywhistles. TAIKOPROJECT is always looking for a collaboration, having appeared with Stevie Wonder, Justin Bieber and Kanye West among numerous others, and they straddle the East-West balance the most delicately of all the groups. TaikOz, from Sydney, incorporated impressive dance moves into their routines, which seemed kind of odd at first, but a little old-fashioned showmanship never hurt anybody. The dynamic complexity of the music kept it at least a few steps ahead of Stomp! territory at all times. Continue reading

Posted in Live Music, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beauty, Tiki Oasis-Style

Tiki Oasis gets bigger and better every year! Their beauty events – Beauty Bungalow and  Glamour Pin-Up Packages, respectively – are off the charts. Take a look and get your tix/make appointments before they sell out. Here’s just a few of the beauty-related events lined up:

Penny Starr, Jr.

1 pm: The History of Lingerie with Penny Starr Jr.

Penny Starr Jr. will take you on a journey from the destruction of the corset, the development of the brassiere, to the burning of the bra! Open to both men and woman to attend. This class is meant for those 18 and older. Live models.

2:15 pm: Pin Up Clothing Poolside Fashion Show


1 pm: Beat Girl Hair

Sponsored by Dr. Rubin’s Pomade

Learn the secrets of the perfect 1950s’ Beat Girl Hairstyle with resident Tiki Oasis Hair Expert, Lady Borgia. This is combination lecture and hands-on class and will cover styles for both short and long hair

2:45 pm: Pin-Up Makeup: Create the Perfect Cat Eye

Co-Sponsored by A Pin Up’s Closet and Madame Madeline

Want to learn how to perfect the classic Cat Eye? Join retro makeup artist Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll Makeup & Hair as she shares her professional tips and tricks. Participants will receive a custom boudoir bag containing a pair of cat eye sunglasses from A Pin Up’s Closet and Bullseye lashes courtesy of Madame Madeline, as well as goodies from Fox and Doll and San Diego’s own Cat Eye Club.

4pm: Pin-Up Makeup: Finishing Touches

Sponsored by Stiletto Pin Up Cosmetics

Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll Makeup & Hair will teach you how to get the perfect brows and red hot lips.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saint Martha’s Restaurant in Koreatown Dedicates a Special Dinner to the Feast of Saint Martha on July 29

Saint Martha's interior. Photo courtesy of Saint Martha restaurant. Photo by Mike Kelly and Ryan Phillips.

Saint Martha’s interior. Photo courtesy of Saint Martha restaurant. Photo by Mike Kelly and Ryan Phillips.

There is a lot of talk going around town now about Saint Martha, the new dining destination in Koreatown. Saint Martha is an intimate, 38 seat restaurant, located two blocks from the historic Wiltern Theater. On Tuesday, July 29, Saint Martha will partner with the Koreatown Youth and Community Center to celebrate the annual Feast of Saint Martha. The restaurant features an exposed kitchen and original artwork as well as repurposed paintings from the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

Mary Thompson, General Manager and Sommelier at Saint Martha, explained a little about the restaurant and it’s dedication to the community.”We’re a new restaurant in the heart of Koreatown and it would really be self-centered of us not to consider our community and look to do outreach. In the spirit of Saint Martha, we wanted to honor her feast day, and not just have a party, but have a menu with a purpose. For us to give back to the Korean Youth and Community Center really made a lot of sense. They reach out to youths, families; they have tons of programs and they are right in our backyard. for us, it was a no-brainer, we really want to reach out and be a part of that”. Continue reading

Posted in Food, Interviews, Restaurants, Upcoming Events, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oko Cafe: Sumo Meets Anime

okoOko Cafe seems to mostly emphasize the drink options, which cover teas, milk teas, smoothies, slushies, bubble teas, mojito teas, ice milks, over their food, which tends to be snacky versions of Udon, Tempura, Hamburgers, fried potato variations, chicken wings, Okonomiyaki/savory pancakes, Ra-men.

The inside theme is based on Sumo- (soo moh) wrestlers who are usually king size in terms of their muscles & girth.  All their food titles include Sumo- to imply that the amount of food is large as well as their taste being big in flavour.

The interior is a “funky” mixture of whimsical cut outs of Sumo- wrestlers where you can pose behind them since there is a cutout for your head to be placed for photo opps.  The farther walls are lined with various boxes of supplies strewn here and there. Another wall has papers plastered on it with performance times and names for the Sumo Challenge. There is definitely a kicked-back feeling, although the combination of the loud mixers and music can get pretty noisy.

The counter is usually manned by cute little Japanese anime waitress types wearing daisy dukes. So if you like to see some “tail” while ordering a Ra-men Bun, a Smoothie, or Milk tea to up your appetite & get the salivary glands going, the viewing is included in the purchase.  Not that that would interest me, but I’m just sayin’ for those who want to be in the know.

Continue reading

Posted in Food, Restaurants, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Antiques Row: Bearded Lady Vintage


This little cottage in Burbank holds big surprises. Bearded Lady Vintage set up shop on the edge of Magnolia’s antiques row about a year ago. It is not your average grandma’s pearls and doll shop. Kiko and Erick, who are friendly and knowledgeable, carefully curate their wares with an eye towards the unusual. They may still carry pearls and dolls, but they are more likely to carry Victorian hair jewelry and creepy Nancy Ann Storybook dolls.

It’s hard to pin this shop down to any one category, but they tend to carry old comic books, slides and slide projectors, unusual medical devices, cool restored furniture, keys, typewriters and a particular type of taxidermy. Twenty years ago I neglected to buy an Edward Gorey pop-up book. I have had my eye out for one ever since. I have combed bookstores, EBay, and countless antique shops. Bearded Lady actually had my holy grail! And in excellent condition, too. This is the place to find lost items and other treasures that you didn’t even realize you were missing.

  • 3005 W Magnolia Blvd Burbank, CA 91505
    (323) 696-5219
Posted in Books, Comics, Science, Shopping | Leave a comment

Petit Trois is Everything You Hoped For

Nicoise Pan Bagnat

Petit Trois opened today next to the uber-successful Trois Mec. The restaurant was the dream of Ludo Lefevre. He longed for the little neighborhood eateries of his French homeland. Along with partners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun, Trois Mec), he took over the Thai restaurant next door and crafted his little slice of heaven. From the gold leaf in the window to the black and white checkered floor, he has recreated a bit of Paris.

When I first heard the rules enforced at Petit Trois — closed weekends, no telephone, no reservations, credit card only, 18% tip added, first come first served, I have to admit I was worried that it was going to be a pain in the ass. I came prepared with comfortable shoes and a bottle of water ready to face a long line. I even parked a city block away. My worries could not have been more unfounded. There was plenty of street parking, and no wait at all for a stool. The server was pleasant and efficient, and the kitchen ran like a well-oiled machine.

Chef Sydney Hunter was brought on board (Petit Quatre?) as chef de cuisine. He formerly worked as Ludo’s sous chef at Bastide and L’Orangerie. The lunchtime menu consists of two sandwiches, which will vary. Today was all about the Nicoise Pan Bagnat and Jambon-Beurre. While it is strange to have two meal selections and seven cocktail selections, if you’re going to make sandwiches of this caliber you don’t really need to do anything else.

Continue reading

Posted in Cocktails, Food, Restaurants | Leave a comment

Aquarium of the Pacific: The Bryde and Blue Whale Harbor Breeze Viewing Excursions Begins!

Photos by Billy Bennight for the Los Angeles Beat

Photos by Billy Bennight for the Los Angeles Beat

The last time I embarked on a whale watching excursion it was the time of year when the Grey Whales were migrating. I was then keenly interested this round in seeing the Bryde and Blue Whales on this Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze cruise kicking off this season’s Whale viewing excursions that embark from Long Beach. The trip started in earnest when the captain fired up the engines to the new 150 passenger Triumphant to cruise out to the deeper waters and to see big beautiful whales.

Our journey lasted about 3 hours. We found a pod dolphins in one spot when we first headed out between Long Beach and Catalina, but no whales. We then headed towards the coast line of Rancho Palos Verdes. This is where the ocean shelf drops off dramatically and the Krill swim deeply. This is where the Blue whales dine on these tiny crustaceans. We found a pod of Bottle Nosed Dolphins swimming about but we were still lacking in the whale department. There was a quiet sense of desperation and disappointment brewing in that moment. Of course, the fresh sea air and the open beauty of the ocean was stirring and uplifting all on its own. The Triumphant was speedy and comfortable. It was far roomier than its predecessor and offered great viewing opportunities on all sides. When we arrived at our final destination itt was almost instantaneous when we settled at our new destination we saw the spray of a large Blue Whale. She dropped down on a dive and we waited for arrival some 8 minutes later. The was quiet till another Blue Whale emerged to our rear blowing a large spray into the air as we cooed at the sighting.

Photo essay after the jump!

Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Photo Essays, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment