The LA Times Food Bowl, a Monthlong Culinary Celebration, Begins This Week

The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl is back with a monthlong celebration of LA’s vibrant culinary culture!

Now in its fifth year, the 2021 edition of the Food Bowl will feature both in-person and virtual events. Read on for some highlights from the event lineup.

Exclusive Screening of “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain”

Though the much-anticipated new documentary “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” won’t be released theatrically till mid-July, Angelenos can see it on June 26 during an exclusive LA Times Food Bowl screening at DTLA’s Exposition Park. The film includes plenty of archival footage featuring Bourdain, previously unseen footage from “Parts Unknown,” and new interviews with friends and colleagues of the maverick chef/author/travel documentarian. As befits a night focusing on Bourdain’s legacy, tickets to this Night Market Cinema event, taking place outdoors, also include stellar food. Savor your choice of a meal from four standout LA restaurants: Tacos 1986, Jon & Vinny’s, A’s BBQ, or Bridgetown Roti. You’ll also enjoy a sweet, creamy treat from Wanderlust Creamery, one drink ticket, and water from Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. You can find more information here.

Gold Award Dinners with Guelaguetza, July 12
Named for the late, great Jonathan Gold, the Gold Award will be presented by Gold’s wife, LA Times Arts & Entertainment Editor Laurie Ochoa, on July 12. Ochoa will preside over two live, multi-course dinners featuring live music and drinks at Mexican restaurant Guelaguetza. Located in Koreatown, Guelaguetza was lauded as “the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country” by Gold and won a James Beard Award in 2015. A platter of assorted moles, vegan tlayudas, unlimited micheladas and horchata, and hot cocoa with a side of mezcal are some of the meal’s high points.

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Livestream Review: Voivod Presents Nothingface – Tune In For Dimension Hatross This Sunday

Midway through metal legends Voivod’s live-in-studio performance of the album Nothingface that streamed last Sunday afternoon, it occurred to me that the band’s long-expressed desire to become a Psychic Entity, freed from the limitations of the body’s ability to travel, was actually happening. From their Canadian Hypercube, they could now transmit their presence as a blistering live act into thousands of living rooms at once so that we, starved of physical interaction with any musicians for too long, might feast upon their essence and gain relief and inspiration. Ain’t that progressive?

No, Voivod did not invent the streaming concert, but they sure did a proper job of it with this show, once it got going. As fans gathered around their screens on Sunday afternoon, anticipation built and built until… our Vimeo links all went dead and stayed that way for about 14 minutes. Fortunately no one was injured in the melee that took place on the band’s Facebook page (lots of “We are connected…NOT!” jokes) during this alarming, but brief, delay. Continue reading

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watt’s picture of the week – monday, may 31, 2021

“then came the last days of may” and here’s the dodson house at 859 w 13th st here in my pedro town, los angeles historical monument #147 and originally at seventh st and beacon on vinegar hill… named after james h dodson, his wife rudicenda’s folks built it in 1881, they were the powerful sepulveda family and it was a wedding gift… the junior high me and d boon went to from 1970 – 1973 was named after her. I don’t know when the cow arrived…

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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The AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival Returns on June 6

A gourmet food and wine event whose proceeds help support children and adults with disabilities, the AbilityFirst Food & Wine Festival returns on June 6.

This year’s fest is a virtual, at-home event featuring an online auction, chef demonstrations, drink pairings, and moving stories from AbilityFirst participants and their families. 

Participating chefs and restaurants include such culinary luminaries as Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe of Osawa, Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Gale’s Restaurant,  and Chef Jonathan Quintana of The Raymond 1886. These gourmet meals will be accompanied by a handcrafted specialty cocktail from 1886 Barman Nathan Baker, along with special wines and dessert. 

VIP Ticket Holders, table hosts, and sponsors will receive an exclusive VIP Beer Pairing from Golden Road Brewing, along with gourmet dinners prepared by top regional chefs, drinks, and dessert. Parting guest gifts will be provided by Pasadena’s Mi Piace.

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Movies Till Dawn: Past in Present

Giants and Toys” (1958, Arrow Video) Desperate candy manufacturing exec Hiroshi Kawagachi hitches his company’s tumbling fortunes on spokesmodel Hitomi Nozoe, an enthusiastic young girl with dreadful teeth who becomes a national sensation that quickly eclipses his control. Sharp-witted and visually striking satire from prolific Japanese filmmaker Yasuzo Masumura lands numerous hits on the relentless drive and moral abandon of postwar business (in his country and elsewhere), which steers the film into increasingly absurd waters; much of its targeted humor has been done elsewhere, but not as cleverly, or with such technical skill (the sound of a failing cigarette lighter becomes a portal into characters’ thoughts) – and the idea of big business, advertising, and manufactured icons as quicksand remains relevant after 60 years. Arrow’s Blu-ray includes detailed commentary by film scholar Irene Gonzalez-Lopez and an intro by Japanese film historian Tony Rayns, among other extras.

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The Ford Amphitheatre Comes Alive

A crowd attends a show at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre

The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre (photo courtesy LA Philharmonic)

The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre is a wonderful, intimate, 1,200 seat outdoor venue located in the Hollywood Hills. Founded in 1920, the Ford stage has been graced legends from all corners of the performing arts–from the Ramones to Pharoah Sanders to John Houseman, to name just a few. That said, it can both geographically and figuratively be said to operate in the shadow of the Hollywood Bowl. Up until now, anyway; the 2021 season is the most ambitious in recent memory. Now being programmed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ford’s calendar in every way rivals the Bowl’s.

Shows for the first two weeks of the season are free, beginning on July 30th with a pairing of indie band the Marías and a collaboration between the dance company Contra-Tiempo and the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. A chamber ensemble from the Philharmonic performs an outstanding program of 20h century music a few nights later on August 3. Father John Misty will perform two concerts with the LA Phil, September 23 & 24 and also free. For a few dollars more, Mexican acoustic guitar virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela, traditional Bowl favorites, play September 17 & 18. And how does an evening of spoken word and music with Patti Smith on September 3 sound? I think I might have buried the lede there.
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12 Fun Things to Eat & Do This Memorial Day Weekend

ROCA Pizzas. Photo courtesy of ROCA.

Angelenos are emerging from their Covid-induced cocoons and Memorial Day Weekend is upon us. Whether you’d like to marvel at nature, try a new food pop-up,  listen to live music, or savor vegan Mexican dishes or some BBQ, we have a few ideas to bring some fun to this long weekend.

Spotting butterflies always feels a little magical. Now see a plethora of butterflies at two Los Angeles butterfly pavilions. SOAR is a tropical butterfly pavilion at South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes Peninsula, while the Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum in DTLA features hundreds of butterflies, native plants, and lots of natural light to help ensure excellent views of these delicate creatures. Entrance to the Natural History Museum’s Butterfly Pavilion is $6, while SOAR is $22 (price also includes garden admission). Info on SOAR and on NHM’s Butterfly Pavilion

Enjoy a daycation or staycation at Downtown’s Hotel Figueroa. The beautifully restored Downtown hotel, first opened in 1926, has a new ‘Summer is Not Dead’ package that includes two complimentary cocktails, late checkout at 2 p.m., and a coffin-shaped pool float to take home (inspired by the hotel’s famed coffin-shaped pool). While you’re there, lounge by the historic pool, and savor ceviche, tacos, and margaritas at Veranda Al Fresco. Conversely, you can buy a day pass for the Hotel Figueroa through ResortPass.  Day passes begin at $35 a day and include a reserved poolside lounge chair, pool access, high-speed Wifi, towels, and $5 valet parking with validation. More information

The Hotel Figueroa’s coffin-shaped pool. Photo courtesy of Hotel Figueroa.

Feast on BBQ and cocktails from Messhall Kitchen. Los Feliz favorite Messhall Kitchen, known for its Carolina-style BBQ and cocktails crafted with house-infused spirits, is offering two special BBQ platters for Memorial Day Weekend. The Biggie Platter offers a pound of pulled pork, a whole kitchen dry rub wings, and a smoked ribeye for $99, while the Smalls Platter features a 1/2 pound pulled pork, 1/2 a rack of baby back ribs, 1/2 chicken, dry rub wings, and a smoked ribeye for $69. Each platter also comes with house pickles, sweet rolls, pit-baked beans, cheddar mash, brussels sprouts, and coleslaw. Both are available for eating in or to-go. In addition, a new cocktail, the Bob Hope, is available to go on Memorial Day. This 16 oz. serving makes four cocktails, comes with a bag of ice, and is $45. Four other cocktails (Negroni, Boulevardier, Brown Derby, and house special The Amanda) are also available to go for $22 (two cocktails) or $40 (four cocktails). More information

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POP to Stage Bizet’s Don Procopio

A scene from Pacific Opera Project's Don Procopio

A scene from Pacific Opera Project’s Don Procopio, courtesy POP

Following the success of last month’s Trouble in Tahiti, the Pacific Opera Project is returning to Heritage Square Park the weekend of June 4-6. The company will be staging the first known west coast production of Don Procopio, an comic opera by Georges Bizet of Carmen. While the piece may be unfamiliar to most opera goers, the cast includes many singers who have excelled in previous POP productions, including soprano Rachel Policar and company stalwart bass-baritone E. Scott Levin, who will be sure to leave his comedic imprint on the piece. The title role will be filled by Ben Lowe, making his company debut.

Don Procopio. 8PM, June 4, 5, 6, 2021. Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031. Patrons are encouraged to arrive at 7:00 to picnic. Tickets start at $15. Be advised that as of this writing, Saturday, June 5th, is sold out. For more information and to buy tickets, visit Pacific Opera Project online.</a

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SB805 the “Save the Performing Arts Act of 2021” Will be Coming to a Vote Soon

Danny Glover, Edward James Olmos, Fabrizio Guido, French Stewart, Susan Rubio, Vanessa Claire Stewart, Michelle Krusiec, Josefina Lopez, Kate Linder, and Joe Spano supporting Senate Bill 805 (SB 805) “Save The Performing Arts Act Of 2021” Press Conference. All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

On Wednesday, May 19th, Democratic State Senator Susan Rubio hosted a press conference in support of her Senate Bill, SB805, “Save The Performing Arts Act Of 2021” in Boyle Heights at the Josefina Lopez’s Casa 0101 Theater with a group of activists, influencers, and Hollywood star power.

“Save the Performing Arts Act of 2021” is a bill that will provide infrastructure support and funding for small non-profit performing arts organizations and individuals in marginalized communities across California. This support will include 51 organizations and individuals throughout California. SB805 will establish the Small Nonprofit Performing Arts Paymaster which will provide a low-cost payroll and paymaster service for SNPAC (Small Nonprofit Performing Arts Companies). The goal of the legislation is to establish the Performing Arts Equitable Payroll Fund to ensure that SNPACs can pay all workers minimum wage, particularly workers in marginalized communities. The idea is to support and stabilize local performing arts communities which are incubators for playwrights, actors, designers, directors, and other artists as well.

Photo Gallery after the Break

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‘Summer Sounds on the Plaza’ Returns to The Original Farmers Market This Week


Live music returns to the Original Farmers Market! ‘Summer Sounds on the Plaza’ begins this Thursday, May 27, and will take place every Thursday and Friday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. through June 25.

Come to shop or dine, then stay to hear music from a variety of genres, including flamenco guitar, ’20s ragtime, R&B, Latin jazz, ’30s swing, calypso, and more.

The acclaimed ragtime/swampy blues/New Orleans jazz band California Feetwarmers’ much-anticipated return to the Farmers Market happens on Thursday, June 24.

These performances are free of charge and take place at Farmers Market Plaza in front of the iconic clock tower.  The Original Farmers Market is located at 3rd and Fairfax.

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