watt’s picture of the week – sunday, august 1, 2021

great blue heron near timm’s landing in my pedro town this morning at the crack of dawn… happy august!

photo by mike watt

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Todo Verde & Other New Food Options Coming to The Ford Amphitheater

Todo Verde Nachos. Photo credit: Lindsay Kreighbaum

Planning to see Patti Smith, Rodrigo y Gabriela, or another great show at The Ford this season? Aka The John Anson Ford Theatre, The Ford launches its 2021 season on July 30, as the Beat’s own Ted Kane wrote about recently. The Ford has just announced its new culinary partnership with Jocelyn Ramirez of Todo Verde.

One of the top vendors at Smorgasburg LA, Ramirez is known for creating flavorful, healthy plant-based dishes inspired by her Mexican and South American roots.

At Todo Verde at the Terrace, Ford attendees will be able to purchase three types of tacos: jackfruit carnitas con pipian verde, mushroom y mole, and chorizo-spiced-seared mushroom. Also available: hearts of palm ceviche; mulita  (house-made cashew cheese melted between blue corn tortillas with house-made plant-based “chorizo,” cashew crema, and pickled red onion); nachos made with house-made plant-based nacho cheese and plant-based “chorizo” or jackfruit, plus cashew crema and pico de gallo; and poblano mac y cheese made with cashew queso.

Also available: black rice horchata, strawberry rose agua frescas, craft beers from Tijuana and San Diego, natural wines, and plant-based cheesecake and pudding.

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A Rosé Garden is Opening Today in Venice

Photo courtesy of Bev Wines.

Feel like sipping wine in the sunshine? Then head to Venice, where female-owned canned wine company Bev opens their first tasting room today.

The beach-adjacent location on Windward Avenue will offer Bev’s six wine varietals (rosé, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, pinot noir, sparkling white wine, and sparkling rosé) for $8-10 a can.

Each can of Bev wine has no sugar, just 3 carbs, 11.9% ABV, and is 8.4 oz. (the equivalent of a glass and a half of wine).

The location is also offering yoga classes on Saturdays and Sundays. You can use the code FIRSTTIME for 40% off your first class.

The rosé garden is open Thursdays and Fridays from 2 p.m. to sunset and from noon to sunset on Saturdays and Sundays. Bev’s Rosé Garden is located at 72 Windward Avenue in Venice.

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Movies Till Dawn: Vintage Distractions

“My Little Chickadee” (1940, Kino Lorber) The lawless Western town of Greasewood City is no match for the twin Dionysian forces of saloon singer and free thinker Flower Belle (Mae West) and garrulous con man Cuthbert J. Twillie (W.C. Fields), especially after both join forces in arranged matrimony. Former Keystone Cop and frequent Fields director Edward F. Cline’s Western spoof is by no means a high point for either of the leads, who apparently clashed over script control and Fields’ real-life dipsomania (as well as studio interference over their mature brands of humor), but as with pizza and many other inherently satisfying things, even minor West and Fields has its merits. West and Fields are afforded more than an ample share of quotable lines (West: “Two and two is four and five with get you ten if you know how to work it”; Fields: “Tell me, prairie flower, can you give me the inside info on yon damsel with the hothouse cognomen?”) and get fine support from, among others, inveterate scene-stealers like Margaret Hamilton, Donald Meek, and Ruth Donnelly (though the less said about vaudevillian George Moran’s Native American sidekick, the better). Kino’s Blu-ray offers a 4K restoration which is undoubtedly the best presentation of this film to date; commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson addresses many of the behind-the-scenes stories about the film as well as West’s career and contentious relationships with the censors (Fields is more or less an afterthought here) and trailers for other Fields and West titles.

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Dusty Hill, Bass Player/Vocalist For ZZ Top, Dead at 72–A Driving Memory

Dusty Hill and Rev. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top

Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top

Dusty Hill, the bass player as well as one of the vocalists for blues-rock giant ZZ Top, died today at his Houston home. This brought an interesting memory to me. Around 2005, I took a cross-country trip with a friend to see a new house that he had bought in Fairhope, Alabama. Taking Interstate 10, the most direct route from my Long Beach, CA home, we passed into Texas in the early morning; and were still crossing the state by late afternoon.

By that time, we were hungry; and shortly passed into Flatonia, Texas (population, 1,408). I spied a place named Joel’s BBQ, a real Texas BBQ that had some great smoked brisket and Texas sausages. We pulled in, smelling the delicious smoke before we even got inside. Sure enough, there were some wooden bench tables and a small cabinet of sides. Plus, a 20 foot long smoker visible in the back, with the traditional Texas Star on it. Sure enough, the barbecue was the real deal. It was a nice break to the trip.

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A Generous Helping of ‘Lunch,’ Served at the Moroccan Lounge and Nuart

Lydia Lunch. Photo by Jasmine Hirst.

Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, 1980 solo debut “Queen of Siam”) comes to Los Angeles direct from her home in New York, where The Wrinkle Room & Moroccan Lounge will present An Evening of Spoken Word & Music Performance featuring Lunch, Sylvia Black, Gregg Foreman, and other special guests, Thursday, July 29, 2021.

The event is in promotion of the Los Angeles premiere screening of Beth B’s documentary on Lunch, “Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over” (2019), which will show at The Nuart this Friday, July 30, and Saturday, July 31, 2021.

Black, a musical collaborator with Lunch, is best known for her version of “I Put A Spell On You” featured in the Netflix hit series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and her recent tour with Telepopmusik.
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Tiki Oasis is Now A Town and Country Affair in San Diego

Tiki Oasis 2019 “Catch The New Wave” at the Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley San Diego. Photo by Billy Bennight.


San Diego will be a not-so-quiet village as Tiki Oasis celebrates 20 years of all-things-tiki this week, from Thursday, July 28 through Sunday, August 1, 2021.

Billed as the “largest Tiki event in the world,” this year will be five nights and four days of live music, fashion shows, sunset dinners, disc jockeys, educational seminars, an art exhibit, book signings, a bustling Marketplace, and lots of lounging poolside with tropical cocktails by top mixologists, and more.

The annual festivities have moved to the Town and Country Resort, Mission Valley’s first hotel, which recently completed a $70 million dollar renovation adding polish and mid-century modern splendor. Continue reading

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Fellow Reopens with an Updated Dining Experience

Fellow’s dining room. Photo credit: Ryan Tanaka

Westwood fine-dining restaurant Fellow recently reopened with a brand-new experience for diners. Angelenos seem to be enjoying this updated dining experience, as there was a palpable sense of excitement in the air during my visit.

Fellow is located in a historic building that was home to international grocery store Jurgensen’s back in the 1930s — in fact, the side of the building still retains the Jurgensen’s ghost sign. In later years, the space housed the now-defunct but once über-popular Moustache Cafe.

Fellow unveiled all-new food and drink menus in June. The kitchen is headed by a big-deal chef, while the staff is loaded with drink specialists of every type. Whether you’re a fan of cocktails (non-alcoholic and otherwise), wine, beer, even water, a team of experts in all of these libations is on hand to advise you.

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Pop-up Alert: Get Free Tacos at “El Rey’s Taco Tuesdays” Through July 22

Image courtesy of Fortnite/El Rey’s Taco Tuesday.

Savor free tacos at El Rey’s Taco Tuesday, a new food pop-up in West Hollywood.

A collaboration between taco fanatic LeBron and the makers of the hugely popular video game Fortnite, El Rey’s Taco Tuesday was created in honor of LeBron’s recent partnership with Fortnite on their Icon Series. “El Rey” is a nod to LeBron’s nickname, “King James.”

Open to the public and continuing through Thursday — from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — the pop-up offers three different types of complimentary tacos: carne asada, chicken tinga, and barbacoa mushroom. You can pair your tacos with signature Slurp Juice. You’ll also encounter photo ops, interactive experiences with Fortnite characters, live DJs, and more.

Visit “El Rey’s Taco Tuesdays” at 8175 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood.

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$3 Falafel, The Return of Tiki Ti, Delicious Little Tokyo & More Food & Drink News

Aloha Cafe’s Spam Musubi. Photo courtesy of Go Little Tokyo.

$3 falafel sandwiches and $4 falafel bowls? No, that’s not a typo. Washington DC-based chain Falafel Inc. has just opened its first LA location. Everything is vegan or vegetarian, fresh, all-natural, and locally sourced, and nothing costs more than $4. To make it even better, every meal you buy at Falafel Inc. helps to feed a refugee in need, thanks to their partnership with World Food Programme. Other menu items include za’atar fries, tabouli salad, and hummus. Donating a meal to a refugee for every $10 spent, Falafel Inc. is located at 933 Broxton in Westwood Village.

Tiki Ti is back! The beloved Los Feliz tiki bar that always makes for a good time has opened its doors again after a 16-month closure.  People waited as long as five hours to get into the wee drinking hole on reopening night. Tiki Ti , which turned 60 this year, has pared down its drink menu from 90 or so cocktails to about 30, but longtime faves Ray’s Mistake and Oogabooga are still on the list!

National Tequila Day is Saturday, July 24. If you love the agave-based spirit, you might want to join the Cocktail Crawl & Block Party happening in Downtown Santa Monica on that day. Participating bars include Lanea, Cult, and The Craftsman. VIP tickets are $25 and include 2 cocktails, a JAJA tequila tasting ticket, food and drink specials (including $8 featured cocktails), DJs, and live music. Tickets can be purchased here.

Go Little Tokyo’s annual Delicious Little Tokyo event returns. Now in its sixth year, Delicious Little Tokyo offers authentic Japanese food experiences, including two themed foodie tours on July 17 and a virtual tour of Little Tokyo culinary landmarks ($5 suggested donation) on July 22. Are spam musubi and cold tsukemen calling your name? Delicious Little Tokyo continues through July 25. You can find more information here.

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