Enjoy $5 Martinis at LA Bars During Mini Martini Week

Image courtesy of Kastra Elion on Facebook.

Five top LA restaurants and bars will offer Mini Martinis made from Kástra Elión vodka from October 11-16 for as little as $5 each!

If you’re unfamiliar with Kástra Elión, it’s a family-owned premium sipping vodka. Artisanally crafted in Greece, Kástra Elión is distilled from hand-picked Greek olives, then blended with curated grains.

Each Mini Martini is $8, but you can get one for an even better price – just $5 – if you print the Kástra Elión passport here and present it a

during Mini Martini Week.

Each participating restaurant and bar will offer its own unique take on the Mini Martini, so you can enjoy a variety of sippable experiences.

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FIRE! FIRE! And more FIRE! With Rammstein at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Guest Post & All Photos By Else “Evil E” Duff

One night my husband was at band practice and I was just scrolling thru The Facebook when I saw a friend post a news headline about how Rammstein’s show in England could be heard over ten miles away. I went immediately to Twitter for more news and there were reports of people thinking the stadium had blown-up, scientists at the PETRA III particle accelerator in Belgium sharing seismometer readings.

Within five minutes I had purchased tickets to their show in Los Angeles.

Can I get a – HELL YEAH!!!

If you asked me to name a single Rammstein song, I can’t. But I have seen the Rammstein documentary and now I have seen them live and all I can say is – HOLY SHIT! Continue reading

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The Cat and Fiddle Offers Afternoon Tea

When you think of the Cat and Fiddle you might think of late nights throwing back pints of Guinness, or maybe their Sunday roasts. Now you can also enjoy a civilized afternoon tea with three tiers of traditional treats. We were recently invited to try out the experience in their relatively new location. The Fiddle’s baked goods are as good as any bakery. The orange-glazed scones are proper British scones, not the cake-like pastries Americans call scones. Naturally, it was accompanied by clotted cream and their own homemade cinnamon orange marmalade, making it technically a “cream tea.”

Also stellar is the traditional Tottenham Cake, a classic sponge cake topped with pink icing. But what really blew me away was the shortbread, which was tender and buttery, but strong enough to be cut out with a whimsical cookie cutter without crumbling. As you might expect, the sausage roll, wrapped in flaky pastry, was also absolute perfection. The tea was rounded out by a trio of little crustless tea sandwiches — curried egg salad, minted cucumber with marscapone, and their tender roast beefwith a jalapeno jelly and grilled onions.

And what is tea without a hot cuppa? Served piping hot, PG Tips black English tea is the perfect accompaniment, but if you prefer you can order Earl Grey, Chamomile, or Peppermint. Hell, order a Guinness if you feel like it. Afternoon tea is offered Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 4 pm. and costs $38 per person.

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Rolling Stones Author To Visit Los Angeles

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here at The Los Angeles Beat, and I’ve been waiting for a local event that I think music fans in our fair city would want to know about.  And of course, there was that pandemic thing.  Bill German, the author of what is widely considered the most heartwarming book ever written on The Rolling Stones, “Under Their Thumb” is coming to Los Angeles for a book signing!

If you’ve read his book, you know that the timeline in it is the period in the 1980s when the band was going through what they called, “World War III”, the most acrimonious period in Stones history.  They weren’t recording, touring, or really speaking, except to sling mud at each other in the press.  In the middle of this melee walked a squeaky-clean, self-described, “Nice boy from Brooklyn.”  It is precisely that unlikely juxtaposition of innocence and drug-soaked jadedness that makes German’s account of these times so compelling.  The book is a real page-turner and is almost impossible to put down.  It’s the real-life version of “Almost Famous”

The book was updated earlier this year to coincide with the band’s 60th anniversary, and it answered all those questions that fans were left with after reading it the first time around, questions like, “What did the band think of the book?” or, “Do you still speak to Ron Wood?”  Show up for the book signing for answers to these and more.

If you haven’t read the book, Saturday, October 15th is going to be your lucky day, because Bill German will be at the Musichead Gallery on Sunset from 1pm to 3pm, signing books and regaling the crowd with readings from the book and kibbitzing with fans.  Admission to the event is $30 and it includes a signed copy of the book.  This is a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes with The Rolling Stones.

More information can be had by clicking here.


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There’s a New Tequila & Mezcal & Bar in Newport Beach

A new outdoor bar devoted exclusively to tequila and mezcal recently opened in Newport Beach. Located on a waterfront patio offering views of Newport Bay, The Tequila Bar at A+O Restaurant|Bar is an excellent place to savor difficult-to-find agave-based spirits while escaping the heat and bustle of LA.

The Tequila Bar is part of  Balboa Bay Resort. Recently named the #1 Resort in Newport Beach by U.S. News & World Report, Balboa Bay Resort is both luxurious and approachable. It’s the only Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond Luxury Waterfront Resort in Newport Beach.

The sips aren’t the only thing that make this bar special. The expansive waterfront setting is a perfect spot for watching a gorgeous sunset, relaxing in the ocean air, and toasting some of your favorite people in front of gorgeous fire tables.

The collection of dozens of tequilas and mezcals includes numerous limited editions and rarities. Sip one in the form of a one-ounce shot or enjoy one of five tequila and mezcal flights. Mezcal flights are offered in gorgeous shot glasses made of pink Himalayan salt. Flights range in price from $50 to $1000, and you can share a flight with a friend if you’re so inclined.

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Grandmother of Pearl – Roxy Music at the Kia Forum

Phil Manzanera, left, and Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music perform at the Kia Forum. Photo by Matthew Becker, used with permission.

Roxy Music’s 50th Anniversary Tour, which had its final performance in North America last night at the Kia Forum, has at its heart a somewhat fascinating premise. It is less of a roaring, victorious affirmation that “we’re back,” than a question to the artists on the stage. That question is, “now that your lead singer’s distinctive voice has been diminished to little more than a whisper, what kind of show can you possibly put on?”

And the answer turns out to be, “we’re going to let him whisper all night long, and make the best of it.” When you have the right band, the right catalog, and the right whisperer, you can make quite a bit out of that.

Bryan Ferry’s unmistakable voice has always been a major part of this band’s magic, and there was no getting around the fact that in this iteration, he’s lost a lot of that remarkable instrument. But he still whispers in tune, and has adjusted his phrasing to suit his new way of doing things. A lot of the songs were re-set in lower keys. Someone pointed out that there were no songs from the monumental 1973 album Stranded in the set list at all, which surprised me until I realized, most of those are among his most croony, gymnastic vocal performances. There would have been no way to pull off a tour de force like “Song For Europe” today. Continue reading

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Honoring a Queen: Kelly Clarkson Gets Her Star Near a Walgreens

Guest Post and Photos by Else “Evil E” Duff

I can walk pretty quickly down to Hollywood Blvd, yet I rarely catch the Walk of Fame star presentation ceremonies. For one, it’s almost always impossible to see. But it’s really because when I saw Mark Hamill get his star and he said, “May the force be with you,” I swear on Peter Cushing’s grave that a nerd next to me just fainted dead away, so kinda hard to beat that. (I checked on him, he was fine.) Anyway, I was out of my knee pills and Kelly Clarkson was getting her star near Walgreens on Hollywood Blvd, which also seemed like the perfect excuse to hang out with Kasey Bomber.

Bomber and I meet on Hollywood Blvd between Walgreens and the Ovation Theater which they may still refer to as the Dolby Theater but certainly no longer Kodak. Whatever. I’m not exactly on the press list for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and was kinda just going off what I saw on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Intsa, That’s also where someone commented that the ceremony was the same time as the broadcast of the Queen’s funeral and inquired if the event would go on. No official response was granted but I responded with: “dude, priorities!” Continue reading

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Review: Snow Days Pizza Bites

Photo by Karin E. Baker for The LA Beat.

If you love the hot, gooey indulgence of pizza rolls and their ease of preparation – but not the unhealthy ingredient list – you should probably give Snow Days Pizza Bites a try.

Snow Days Pizza Bites evoke memories of the frozen pizza rolls many of us scarfed in our youth while playing video games or watching MTV. Though reminiscent of frozen pizza rolls like Totino’s, Snow Days Pizza Bites are an elevated version of the classic snack. They’re loaded with good-for-you ingredients, all of them organic and natural.

The grain-free crust is made with cassava flour. If you’re not familiar with cassava, it’s a tuberous vegetable that, when ground, makes a tasty, gluten-free wheat substitute. Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: A Deeper Shade of Black and White

The Killing” (1956, Kino Lorber) Stanley Kubrick documents the rise and fall of a crew of hardluck thieves who watch their carefully planned robbery of a race track (Bay Meadows in San Mateo) fall to pieces thanks to greed, lust, and plain bad luck. Kubrick’s arthouse photography and a script co-written by hardboiled noir fiction great Jim Thompson that fairly drips with venom and mordant musings are the key selling points of this low-budget crime drama, but it’s the cast that really delivers the doomstruck perspective: comprised of noir vets (Sterling Hayden, Elisha Cook Jr, Marie Windsor), granite-jawed types (Jay C. Flippen, Ted DeCorsia), babyfaces Coleen Gray and Vince Edwards, and assorted weirdoes (Timothy Carey, Kubrick regular Joe Turkel, wrestler Kola Kwariani, and briefly, Rodney Dangerfield), their remarkable faces and presence set the tone for the rogues’ galleries that populated a half-century of noir that followed (see “Reservoir Dogs,” “The Usual Suspects,” etc.). Kino’s Blu-ray offers a new 4K Ultra HD remaster of the film with Dolby Vision and bundles it with a new commentary track by noir historian Alan K. Rode.

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Don’t Miss LA Times’ Food Bowl this Weekend!

The Team from Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken at LA Times Food Bowl. Photo by Elise Thompson.

After seriously missing the L.A. Times Food Bowl for the last few years, we are so excited that they are bringing back Night Market this weekend!  Presented by City National Bank, the L.A. Times Food Bowl’s Night Market is back at the Paramount Pictures Studios backlot. Enjoy unlimited pours, cocktails, and tastings from more than 40 restaurants,  plus, exciting cooking demos. cooking demonstrations.

“Saturday Night Flavor” brings you global cuisines tomorrow night, Sept. 24th., from 7-10 p.m. If there’s one thing we love here at the LA Beat, it’s dumplings, and Times Food Columnist Jenn Harris has curated a Dumpling Crawl with dimsum and more from restaurants like CHD Mandu, Go Go Gyoza, Hui Tou Xiang, Lunasia Dim Sum House, and Monta Factory and more. A few other restaurants offering plates are LA Beat favorites Black Market Liquor, Park’s BBQ, Pasta Sisters · Poppy + Rose, and HomeState. Celebrity chef and author Jet Tila will present a Thai Food cooking demo., and Jenn Harris: Times Food Columnist and host of the new video series “The Bucket List: Dumplings!” Jenn Harris will explore the international world of dumplings.

L.A. is known for its brunches, and the Food Bowl brings you “Backlot Brunch” on Sunday, Sept. 25, from 2-5 p.m. Dessert god, Duff Goldman, of “Ace of Cakes,” will present a baking demonstration that is not to be missed. A bunch of our favorite restaurants and bakeries will be delighting us with their irresistible trats, including B Sweet (Hoping for some ube treats!), Gabi James, Here’s Looking at You (Please bring biscuits!), Howlin’ Ray’s  Little Fatty, Lunasia Dim Sum House, Jitlada Southern Thai (Oh, how we have missed Jazz!), and Tacos 1986.

All-inclusive tickets are $185. Whether you like wild cocktail parties or genteel Sunday brunch, the Food Bowl has something for you. We like both…see you there!

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