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Friday night East LA Meets Napa hosted its annual food festival at a brand new location in downtown LA. California Plaza provided a beautiful background for the festive event. The musicians appeared to be on an island in the water, and there were two stories to hold the endless explosion of food. The VIP sections worked well there, with reserved areas on the balcony overlooking the stage.
There was a bit of a traffic jam at the entrance as a sizeable line of guests clamored for tortas ahogadas from Chago. But our favorite plate was waiting at the end of the upstairs row. As usual, Chef Hugo Molina of Seta charmed our socks off. The chef served an unseasonal dish of short ribs and polenta in a red wine sauce. Although it was a warm day, the comforting and substantial plate was one of our favorites. Competing with Chef Molina in the charm-off is Chef Edras Ochoa of Mexicali & Co. and the hot restaurant of the moment, the newly opened Salazar in Frogtown. Chef Ochoa cooked up some skate on the grill, shredded it and added shrimp and peppers, plus a spicy sauce. He heaped the seafood onto a tostada, finishing it with uni and caviar.
Is the oppressive summer heat getting you down? Are you waking up in your stiflingly hot, un-air conditioned apartment in the middle of the night, sweating, sadly pushing away your beloved pet and/or significant other because it is just too damned hot to be near them?
Here is an event that sounds cool, in all meanings of the word. La-La Land Gallery, owned by pop artist (and Sid and Marty Kroft enthusiast) Kii Arens, is hosting the art show, “Fruit.” It features such acclaimed artists as Shag, Anthony Ausgang, Janee Meadows and Ki Arens himself. A refreshing fruit stand and drinks will be provided.
My very favorite ascot-wearing dandy, musician and songwriter Kristian Hoffman (a talented visual artist in his own right), will be DJ’ing. (I don’t know whether the songs will have a fruit and/or summer theme, but judging from how many wonderfully kooky ’60s records this gentleman owns, I wouldn’t be surprised.)
“FRUIT” Thursday, July 21, 7-10 PM
La-La Land Gallery 6450 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038
Next weekend, Mercado Los Olvidados will “pop up” at pskaufman… gallery downtown, presenting art, embroidery, tintype portraits and much more (see flyer image). This delightful “Market of the Lost Ones,” named after the surrealist film by Luis Buñuel, is curated by Camille Rose Garcia and pskaufman, and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Inner-City Arts LA, which supports the arts for students across socio-economic boundaries.
Twilight Time Art Walk on Pico Blvd covers about one and half blocks of newly developed shops and galleries, and features food trucks, DJs and antique shops. John Hicks of Ahhd Art also painted a mural across the street and had a display of his home-spun art. Not only that, but samples of the Lemon Supreme ice box pie made from his Auntie’s recipe were given out to willing participants. The people attending are cross-cultural and ethnically diverse, spanning all ages from young to old.
The shops are filled with ’20s and ’30s Art Deco art, cameras, jewelry, and clothing. A cross section of music-related photographs decorate the walls. In one of the shops, I spied the talented DJ Ayiko spinning, creating a special ambiance for the night. Walking from shop to shop, we kept finding interior eye candy at places like Sleek Modern, where the owner explained that you can change the decor of your place by returning and exchanging the pieces with him for new ones. Brain Works is full of lots of thoughtful and amazing pieces to choose from. Pinky Rose boutique is filled with clothes fit for any women to wear to the dog park or to the office. Pinky and her daughter are there to cater to all of their customers’ needs. Buckram Inc. gives the homeowner choices of classic pieces made in magnificent woods.
Make sure you stop by and see this new art hangout in LA!
Photo gallery after the break
This Wednesday, the sounds of New Orleans will once again fill the Hollywood Bowl, a summer ritual that never fails to spice up LA life. This edition promises a loving tribute to the sadly departed Allen Toussaint, the great and highly prolific songwriter who penned some of the city’s greatest hits – “Mother In Law,” “Sneaking Sally Through The Alley,” “Yes We Can Can” among hundreds of others. Toussaint’s former backing band will be joined by legendary singers Irma Thomas and Cyril Neville, modern funk icons Galactic, and the esteemed Mac Rebennac, aka Dr. John The Night Tripper. Bring your umbrella and dust off your fanciest dance steps, because this feels like a night where everything they do gon’ be funky.
Hollywood Bowl 2301 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA 90068 at 8p.m. Tickets $9 – $117
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August 1st through November 27th, fans of horror, fantasy and science fiction should head to LACMA for director Guillermo del Toro’s “At Home With Monsters,” an exhibit of art, artifacts and props from his own Bleak House collection (see video). The exhibit will give fans a glimpse of del Toro’s creative process for his many movie, TV and book projects, in which he frequently draws from his detailed childhood dreams.
“Rather than a traditional chronology or filmography, the exhibition is organized thematically, beginning with visions of death and the afterlife; continuing through explorations of magic, occultism, horror, and monsters; and concluding with representations of innocence and redemption” (LACMA).
General LACMA Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and free for children and museum members. Members can reserve advance tickets online specifically for “At Home With Monsters.”
The first time I saw Diana Ross perform I was in high school. Her set at the Universal Amphitheater back then ended with an enthralling version of “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand).” I was so amped up that when the concert ended I ran down the hill at Universal singing the song at the top of my lungs. People in cars driving down were rolling down their windows to touch my hand; meeting up with my friends at the bottom of the hill, they thought for sure I was crazy, but we had a fabulous time! Friday night’s show at the Hollywood Bowl was reminiscent of that high school evening. Older, less able to walk down a big hill much less run down one, but nevertheless once again feeling amped up by what a fabulous singer Diana Ross truly is – The Boss.
Diana is a “natural treasure,” an “international treasure” and “her mom,” proclaimed daughter Tracee Ellis Ross, who identified herself as an “Emmy Award Nominated Actress” [for television show “Black-ish”] while introducing Diana Ross.