Hanukkah Treats & Celebrations in Los Angeles

Photo courtesy of Wise Sons.

Latkes and brisket and kugel, oh my! Hanukkah 2021 begins on Sunday, November 28. See below for recommendations for places to celebrate in person or virtually, and where to get brisket, latkes, noodle kugel, matzo ball soup, and rugelach for Hanukkah dining.

A Jewish deli that began in the Bay Area to great acclaim, Wise Sons recently opened its first LA outpost in Culver City. Celebrated for both its classics and elevated takes on standard deli dishes, Wise Sons offers numerous options for Hanukkah catering. Try their chicken broth with matzo balls, braided challah, potato latkes, roast chicken, cinnamon or chocolate babka, and rugelach. You can place your order online. Place your order no later than 9 am. two days before delivery.

The Original Farmers Market will celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of a giant menorah every night throughout Hanukkah. In addition, two kid-friendly activities will take place here on Sunday, December 5: The Chanukah Pajamikah! Show with Doda Mollie at 1 p.m., followed by Hand-On Chanukah Activities with PJ Library from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

2nd & PCH, a coastal urban village in Long Beach, is hosting a  free Grand Chanukah Extravaganza on Sunday, November 28, the first night of Hanukkah. First, a  menorah lighting will take place on the 2ND & PCH grand staircase at 4 p.m. led by Rabbi Abba Perelmuter. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia will speak after the lighting. Lively entertainment will include a stilt walker, a three-piece band, and Chanukah crafts for the kids. Light pre-packaged refreshments and chocolate gelt will be served.

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Movies Till Dawn: Wholesome Holiday Entertainment

“Prisoners of the Ghostland” (2021,RLJE Films) In a post-apocalypse Japan which has reassembled itself as a crazy-quilt hybrid of its feudal era and the American West, the cowboy-hatted leader (Bill Moseley) of a small town sends bank robber Nicolas Cage after his granddaughter, who has fled into dangerous territory known as the Ghostland. The quest, which is already fraught with danger due to the mutants and other creatures that stalk the Ghostland, is made exponentially more urgent by explosives dotting Cage’s leather suit, which are set to detonate if the girl is not retrieved in a certain time frame. Visually ripe sci-fi actioner by eclectic director Sion Sono delivers a bonkers premise and plenty of oddball flourishes (a town populated by living mannequins), which liven the overly familiar (see: “Escape from New York’) and underbaked premise. Cage, whose success-by-excess formula has propelled him through numerous (and lesser) films, underplays his role, which may or may not be a good thing for audiences. RLJE’s Blu-ray includes a making-of featurette.

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AULCIE, a Documentary Film About the Rise, Fall, and Rebound of African-American Maccabi Tel Aviv BasketBall Club Player Aulcie Perry


AULCIE, a documentary film about the rise, fall, and rebound of African-American Maccabi Tel Aviv BasketBall Club Player Aulcie Perry was written and directed by Israeli Academy Award winner Dani Menkin of Hey Jude Productions(“39 Pounds of Love” and “Is That You?”) and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg (“Above and Beyond”) and Sports Emmy Nominated Jon Weinbach (“The Last Dance”).

In this companion to Menkin’s 2016 sports documentary “On the Map,” we learn more about Aulcie Perry, a player from Newark, New Jersey whose dreams of playing NBA basketball were crushed when he was the last player to be cut by the New York Nicks in favor of someone with more experience. As uninitiated viewers see in the beautifully crafted opening sequence, instead of playing in the NBA, “he became a basketball legend in Israel…”

What many American viewers of “On the Map” don’t know but learn along with viewers unfamiliar with the story of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 1977 European Championship win against the Soviet team is that Aulcie Perry “then disappeared.”

After two European Championship wins, a storied but doomed romance, and a conviction in an Israeli court, Aulcie Perry was deported. His mentor and Maccabi Tel Aviv General Manager Shmulik “Shamluk” Machrowski was torn apart. For Shamluk, it was like losing his own son. For Perry, things were about to get worse. During a visit to Amsterdam in 1986, Perry heard a loud knock on his hotel room door. Before opening it, he looked through the peephole. “The whole floor was police,” he says. Interpol. There to execute an international warrant. The charge? Conspiracy.

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watt’s picture of the week – tuesday, november 23, 2021

fixer-upper here in my pedro town… symbol for my life?

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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Tokyo’s Legendary Ramen Nagi Now Open in LA

Original King Ramen with pork belly at Ramen Nagi. Photos by Karin E. Baker for The LA Beat.

A legend in Japan, Ramen Nagi opened its first Southern California location in Century City earlier this month.

After years of running guerilla-style ramen shops in borrowed bar spaces and training in renowned Hakata ramen shops, Chef Satoshi Ikuta opened his first Ramen Nagi location in Tokyo. There are now 35 Nagi locations around Asia.

Ikuta is acclaimed as a true ramen master. Made with proprietary ingredients, his broths convey great depth of flavor.

You’ll find a traditional tonkatsu broth here, along with less conventional broth options like Black King (with calamari ink, blackened garlic, minced pork ball, and black sesame), Green King (a fusion-style tonkotsu enhanced with fresh basil, olive oil, parmesan, and chashu pork loin), and Red King (loaded with garlic, chili oil, cayenne, and a ball of miso pork).

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Where to Get Thanksgiving Dinner in Los Angeles

Thanksgiving Feast at Raymond 1886. Photo credit: acuna-hansen.

Thanksgiving is around the corner. If your favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations, see below for our list of some of our favorite places for autumnal feasting in LA, no cleanup required. Whether you’d like to dine by a pool beneath swaying palms or in a K-Town dive with a nautical theme… at one of Eater’s Best 11 Restaurants in the country or you’d like an assortment of vegan options… we have you covered.

Bridgetown Roti

We’re big fans of Bridgetown Roti’s Caribbean flavors at The LA Beat, and we’re not the only ones: Eater just named them one of the 11 Best Restaurants in the entire country. Bridgetown’s Thanksgiving specials include jerk turkey legs ($20), whole macaroni and cheese pies ($35), and vegan or protein mini patties ($28-52).

Cafe Gratitude

Plant-based sides and pies, all made in-house, can be ordered from Cafe Gratitude for pick up at any location (Arts District, Larchmont, or Venice) on Wednesday. Truffled Porcini Gravy ($18), Cranberry Roasted Butternut Squash and Garnet Yams ($35), French Lentil and Butternut Squash Loaf ($35), and Maple Miso Brussels Sprouts ($35) are among the Thanksgiving specials offered.


Burbank’s Castaway restaurant features stunning views of Downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley. A favorite for decades — particularly since its $10 million overhaul a while back — Castaway is now as noted for its food as for its views. Castaway’s elaborate Thanksgiving brunch begins with a platter laden with seafood, charcuterie, ricotta tartine, and more. Main course options include three types of eggs benedict, turkey, chicken & waffles, and more. Finish with an elaborate, four-item dessert platter. Brunch is $89 for adults and $35 for children.

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Salma Hayek Gets Star on the Walk of Fame

All photos by Brian Donnelly

Salma Hayek received the 2,709th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a rare evening ceremony. Speakers included Adam Sandler, Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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New Documentary Examines the History of Italian Cuisine in Los Angeles

Chef Angelo Auriana from “La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: An Italian & American Story”

If you’re an LA history nerd, you won’t want to miss “La Cucina Italiana in Los Angeles: An Italian & American Story.”

This new documentary traces the emergence and evolution of Italian-American cuisine in the City of Angels from the late 19th century to 2021.

Interviews with culinary figureheads including Nancy Silverton, Piero Selvaggio, Gino Angelini, Evan Funke, Angelo Auriana, Francesco Zimone, and more shed light on the fascinating stories behind Italian food in LA.

Did you know Olvera Street was once also known as Wine Street? How San Antonio Winery, LA’s oldest winery dating back to 1917, managed to survive Prohibition? That Frank Sinatra’s visits to Villa Capri in Hollywood helped spread the popularity of Italian food in the US? That burrata cheese was unknown in the United States until very recently, when Nancy Silverton asked Mimmo Bruno, a Southern Italian cheesemaker living in LA, to produce burrata like she ate in Italy?

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Ruta and Tenuta Shine at 30-Year-Anniversary of Silence of the Lambs!

HM Held Judy Tenuta and Ruta Lee..

Judy Tenuta, Journalist Harrison Held, and Ruta Lee goof around at the beautiful Hollywood Museum for the 30th anniversary of The “Silence of the Lambs!” Judy was out for her first excursion since kicking cancer’s ass!!! Ruta has recently written the best seller “Consider Your Ass Kissed”! And, according to the now platinum tress wielding founder of Judy-ism, incumbent upon their ever burgeoning friendship (symbolizing the bread enrobing this bodacious Harrison Heldian sandwich, in turn, symbolically HOLDING them together) should it have led to wholly matrimony, Lee’s new married namesake would yield something stunningly Seussian: Ruta Tenuta!

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Happy 31st Amoeba!

Amoeba Records. Photo courtesy of Marc Weinstein. Used with permission.

Amoeba Music is 31 years old today! It may have moved locations, but its spirit lives on. Here is a message from founder Marc Weinstein, “My partner Dave and I started Amoeba 14 years after I started working in Record Stores…so it’s been 45 years for me (lol) –> SO MANY of the greatest Music Freaks on the planet have worked with us – far too many to thank here.”

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