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Friday, April 30, 2010

Etc. Las Vegas.

This weekend is a big fight weekend in Vegas, so here are some tips for fun if you're going (tomorrow or anytime).

Stay: ARIA is a new hotel and casino at the brand new Las Vegas City Center. It has a Jean Philippe Patisserie like the one in the Bellagio.

Watch: The Cirque du Soleil show Viva Elvis is at ARIA.

Watch: Floyd Mayweather, Jr.-Shane Mosley fight at MGM, Saturday May 1.

Do: Play the slot machines at the Venetian and the Palazzo.

Drink: A blended peach margarita at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville.

Shop: Bettie Page Clothing at Planet Hollywood.

Viva Las Vegas!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT



Do It. Amoeba's First-Ever Garage Sale.

If you missed out on the biggest single day for vinyl sales ever (aka Record Store Day on April 17), you still have a chance to grab some great music deals this weekend.

Everyone's favorite L.A. record store Amoeba will be hosting its first ever Garage Sale on May 2nd and 3rd. Vinyls will be going for as little as 25 cents, and you have the chance to grab some CDs and books for as low as $1.

Amoeba's promising boxes and boxes of bargains, and with the selection they've got, you're sure to find some great gems in there. For even more fun, Garth Trinidad from KCRW will be DJing, and the Green Truck and Gastrobus will be showing up to provide some grub.

And to prove they're worth your support, it just so happens Amoeba's going to have some really amazing in-stores in the coming weeks, including Broken Social Scene on May 4 (absolutely not-to-be-missed), Flying Lotus on May 6, and Fang Island on May 10.

It's time to show some appreciation for your convenient and amazing music mecca.

Amoeba's Garage Sale is happening Sunday, May 2 and Monday, May 3rd, 10am-6pm, and located at 6400 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

-- Chau Tu

Make It. Sun tea.

The above photo perfect captures everything that is wonderful about sun tea. You make it outdoors, with little effort, and you have a tasty and refreshing alternative to plain water (without sugar added, this tea is calorie free).

Grab two black tea bags (Lipton's is nice), and add to a large, glass pitcher of water. Leave in outdoors or in a sunny part of the house for a few hours. Before you know it, you have a pitcher of sun-brewed tea. I feel like you can taste the difference when it sits in the sun, versus first boiling water then letting the tea cool, but that may just be me.

I sometimes will add fresh mint and a few slices of orange, which I leave in the pitcher while it chills in the fridge.

Happy Friday!

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit: Amazon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eat Out. Reno Room [Thirsty Thursdays!].

If you love all things local, then you'll love Reno Room. This tiny bar captures a bit of L.A.'s past, once serving as the drinking home to famed-LA poet, writer, and all-around curmudgeon Charles Bukowski.

Now, the bar is a strange mix of college students and older locals, there are a few good beers on tap, including Blue Moon, pool tables in the corners, and strangely, a Mexican restaurant is both part and independent of the bar.
Coco Reno's is the wonderfully greasy Mexican restaurant within, but not really part of Reno Room. Serving up all the expected Mexican dishes, enchiladas, burritos, and hearty helpings of red rice, you can order a drink from Reno Room while still sitting in Coco Renos. They also have a nice margarita.

Reno Room is located at 3400 E. Broadway in Long Beach.

-- Lauren Williams

Advance Notice. Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis at Largo.

Largo at the Coronet is known for bringing comedians like Sarah Silverman and musicians like Jon Brion to its intimate stage, but now the venue is getting more varied by featuring authors for book events. The new initiative is starting out with a bang, presenting two of the literary world's most prolific writers.

Chuck Palahniuk
, acclaimed author of grim novels like Fight Club and Choke, will be appearing on May 13, where he will have a discussion with author Brad Listi followed by a Q&A and reading and signing of his new book, Tell-All. Tickets are $35 and include a signed copy of the new book.

Then, on June 16, L.A. native Bret Easton Ellis takes to the stage with fellow authors Jerry Stahl and Joseph Mattson, where each will read sections from Ellis' highly regarded novels on troubled and privileged youth (such as American Psycho and Less Than Zero), followed by a Q&A and book signing. Tickets are $40 including a signed copy of Ellis' latest book Imperial Bedrooms, or $25 without.

Though the ticket prices do seem quite pricey, these events aren't your usual book readings. Take a chance to delve into the minds behind some of your favorite stories, who knows what you might discover.

Largo at the Coronet is located at 366 N. La Cienega Blvd. near the Bevery Center. Tickets are available by phone at 310.855.0350.
-- Chau Tu

Eat Out. Houston's.

Last night I had dinner at Houston's. This mini chain is great because - like all chains - no matter which location you go to, you know what you're in for. Century City was the first Houston's I went to, and it remains a favorite. Other locations include Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach. The relaxing dim lighting and classic wood decor are really appealing in a restaurant. They also have a full bar. One of their best drinks, I think, is the sidecar. They make it with fresh juice and it's really delicious.

Popular appetizer choices are spinach dip (served with sour cream, salsa, and tortilla chips) and grilled artichokes. Sushi was added to the Houston's menu at least five years ago, but somehow it still surprises me that you're able to get such quality sushi at what seems to be a steak/burgers/salads place. They also do grilled fish really well - from salmon to yesterday's special, sea bass. I got the tuna avocado mango roll, which is a cut roll made with soy paper (my favorite). It's served with a trio of sauces, and also of course wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger. The flavors and textures all mix really well together.

The key lime pie at Houston's rivals any in Key West (I actually don't know that for sure, but I imagine, cause it's damn good). It's a pale natural color, creamy, sweet, and tart all at the same time, with a rustic graham cracker crust. YUM!

The bill is one of the least fun parts of the Houston's experience. All that quality doesn't come cheap. But I don't think anyone exits the big heavy doors with buyer's remorse.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: threebrownchicks

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eat Out. La Brea Bakery.

With Chef Mark Peel at its helm, La Brea Ave.'s Campanile gets a lot of deserved attention for its delicious cuisine. But at $18 for a grilled cheese and $12 for a tomato soup, it's not exactly affordable dining for most of us.

But don't stray far; in fact, just look next door to the La Brea Bakery. Indeed, this spot right off of Miracle Mile is the origin of the delectable baked goods you may find popping up in local restaurants and even the supermarket shelf, but what many don't seem to know is that it also serves as an actual cafe too, complete with salads, beverages and yes, hot sandwiches and paninis made with that infamous fresh bread.

The salads are pre-packaged (though I know people who have enjoyed them) and I have yet to try their coffee or teas, but this is about the bread anyway, right? And these sandwiches truly deliver. They're under the counter when you walk in, but definitely ask for them to be heated up in their panini press, and you'll be all set to go in gooey delight. Think smoked ham and gruyere with balsamic onions and arugula on a rustic roll, or marinated artichokes, ricotta and pesto on olive bread. All top-notch ingredients, all packing a flavorful punch, and at $8 each, a pretty good deal for gourmet-style eating.

While you're waiting for the sandwiches to heat up, grab a bite or two from the basket of bread samples they always have out. And if you're extra nice (which the people who work there are), you may even get to sample some of their artisan cheeses or win some extra pickles to go with your meal (like I did, above). Then head outside to grab a pleasant sidewalk table, where you might catch a celeb or two walking out from next door, if you're not too busy wolfing down your sandwich, that is.

La Brea Bakery is located at 624 La Brea Ave. in Mid-City.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: the BEAT

Etc. Mint Julep on my mind.

This Saturday is the Kentucky Derby, which got me thinking about mint juleps ...


-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: www.shoppingblog.com

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eat In. Green bean salad.

A fresh, but hearty salad, this mix of raw nuts, bleu cheese, with a light mustard dressing can either be a tasty side dish to another course, or can be filling enough for a meal itself. I've already had this for dinner twice this week, and am ready to go back to the market for more green beans -- it's that good.

My mom made this a few years ago and I loved it, so it became the vegetarian side dish at all major meals, including Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays, Christmas. You name a holiday, this was on our table.

The ingredients list here is a bit pricey, (the walnuts and a hunk of bleu cheese can get costly), but it's really a tasty dish and might be worth shelling out a little extra.

What you'll need:

A handful of walnuts, chopped
flat-leaf parsley, a bit more than just to garnish, chopped
mustard (dijon or stone ground, I prefer stone ground)
red wine vinegar (I used balsamic and it worked just fine)
extra virgin olive oil
a half pound of green beans
(A side note: Find green beans that have firm, brightly colored skin when shopping. Never get limp green beans that do not have smooth skin. They should make a cracking sound when you snap them in half before cooking. If they don't throw the bad ones away.)
salt to taste

What to do:

1. Wash the dirt off the beans and break off the rough tips. Snap them in half if they are long.

2. Toss into a boiling pot, or if possible steam.

3. While they are softening, crush the walnuts, break off a few small cubes of bleu cheese, and chop the parsley finely. Set aside.

4. In a separate small container, whisk mustard, olive oil, and vinegar together to taste. If you prefer a more tart flavor add more vinegar. Don't over do it with the olive oil. No one likes greasy beans.

5. Mix all the ingredients in a dish, starting with the dressing and topping with the nuts, cheese, and parsley. I've seen this served with red grapes, but love it too much to vary from this recipe.

6. Most importantly ...

Enjoy!

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit: the BEAT

Check It. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

How a Terry Gilliam (Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) film starring Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Tom Waits slips under the collective radar beats me, but this one apparently did. To date it has made less than $8 million, and it had a $30 million production budget, according to Box Office Mojo.

Luckily for you wise 'BEAT' readers, I'm here to tell you it's really cool, and out on DVD today.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: www.twotalkingmonkeys.com

Advance Notice. Hollywood Bowl concerts.

It just ain't a summer in L.A. without a concert under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl, and with this year's fantastic line-up of shows featuring contemporary indie bands like Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear and She & Him along with the classic Beatles celebrations and orchestral compositions (including some led by celebrated new L.A. Phil conductor Gustavo Dudamel), there's no reason to miss out.

So get to planning your summer on the right foot and take a look at this year's schedule. Tickets for most of the shows go on sale this Sunday at 10am, but there's also a presale beginning TODAY at 10am. Passwords HB10 or BOWL10 should work; let us know about any others in the comments below.

Happy summer, and don't forget the wine and blanket!

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Courtesy of Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

Monday, April 26, 2010

Check It. LAT Festival of Books.

It was another beautiful weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA. Somehow the weather always ends up being perfect on these two late April days, and it sets the mood for lots of bookish fun outdoors (and indoors at the panel sessions) in Westwood.

This was my first year participating as a non-LAT staffer, and it felt really good to be included. It was great to see the familiar faces of Steve Lopez, Patt Morrison, and Sue Horton in the green room. David Ulin, Nick Owchar, Carolyn Kellogg and web producer extraordinaire Mary Forgione all made this year's festival go better than ever.

I wrote about Bernadette Peters (pictured) and her children's book "Stella is a Star", a panel that included Warren Beatty biographer Peter Biskind, and a panel called "The Illusion of Being Ordinary" moderated by Susan Salter Reynolds that included Dylan Landis.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Do It. McSweeney's release party.

The quarterly literary mag, McSweeney's, will be holding a release party tonight that includes free ice cream and live music to kick off it's 34th issue. Ice cream, music, and literature. All in one place.

The event is set to take place at Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park. Proceeds from purchasing the $20 mag will go straight to the nonprofit writing group for kids 826LA.

Those interested in saving a seat should RSVP before heading out the door. This quarter issue includes stories from T.C. Boyle and Daniel Handler, as well as a nonfiction account about Iraq. Sounds promising.

The party is scheduled to be from 7:30- 10 p.m. tonight.

Stories Books & Cafe is located at 1716 W. Sunset Blvd.

-- Lauren Williams

Check It. 'The Clock Without a Face.'

Who doesn't love a good mystery? How about one involving the entire United States, and one you can solve yourself?! If you're quick enough, that is.

That's the premise and hook for one of McSweeney's latest releases, The Clock Without a Face. The oddly-shaped pentagon of a book is written by Gus Twiting, and takes readers to the world of the Ternky Tower, where a robbery has occurred on each of its 13 stories. Your job? Conduct your own investigations and solve the mysteries--the answers of whodunit and how are all inside the book.

As are clues to the real-life locations of 12 emerald-studded numbers from the story. Figure out where the numbers are, and you can dig them up to claim the victory--unless someone else beats you to the punch. A real deal scavenger hunt; better get to dissecting the clues now! Good luck!

-- Chau Tu

Friday, April 23, 2010

Advance Notice. 4th Street in Motion.

Encouraging carlessness and promoting exercise, Long Beach's "Retro Row" is scheduled to host the first annual "4th Street in Motion" event May 9, as part of the Long Beach Bike Festival.

Among the scheduled attendants is the LB-based vintage bike crew the Cyclone Coasters, as well as the Long Beach roller derby team, the Retro Rollers -- it's an event open to all self-propelled commuters on wheels.

On the docket are indie films about biking set to project at the Art Theatre, bike safety and repair clinics, and alt-transportation vendors, as well as live, local bands, and a few food vendors.

4th Street in Motion is scheduled to take place between Cherry and Junipero Avenues between 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

-- Lauren Williams

Eat Out. Indian food.

If you love a good chicken tikka masala, you need a couple options of where to find it.

My top four L.A. Indian restaurants:

Flavor of India - Santa Monica Blvd. and Doheny Dr. (great spiced iced tea, lamb kebab, vegetable korma, service)

Electric Karma - West Third St. between S Sweetzer Ave. and S La Jolla Ave. (cool back room where you sit on pillows on the floor, good masala)

Nawab of India - Wilshire Blvd. and 17th St. in Santa Monica (been going here for longer than I remember, best masala sauce, and I've seen Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart here twice)

Star of India - Melrose Ave. and La Brea Ave. (very reasonable vegetarian meal for two - enough for hearty meals for two plus a full take-away container of leftovers, for about $30).

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: blog.peacockandpaisley.com

Do It. David Choe exhibit at Lazarides Gallery.

With Shepard Fairey nearly a household name, and Banksy's expectedly-controversial return to L.A. with the release of the street art doc Exit Through the Gift Shop, street art has been having its time in the spotlight lately. And it's only getting brighter, as the fantastic Lazarides Gallery opens up a huge exhibition today in Beverly Hills.

The London gallery, which specializes in 'outsider (read: graphical and street) art,' is set to present the effervescent works of street artist and L.A. native David Choe in "Nothing to Declare." Choe is a highly prolific artist who's become well-known for manic-depressive behavior, which has gotten him into some legal troubles in the past and which were well-documented in the film Dirty Hands: The Art and Life of David Choe (sorry, shameless plug). And his art is similarly disturbing, but also strangely beautiful, with fantastical and dramatic flourishes in his strange depictions of the world. It's nothing short of artistic genius, and the scale on which Choe works is something only to be seen in person (hint: this is street art after all; don't expect small, simplistic canvases).

I attended Choe's last exhibition with Lazarides, in London, and the pieces on display are absolutely thrilling. Imaginative, passionate, troubled--everything a good artist needs to be, for better or worse. If you're a fan of any type of contemporary art, this is not to be missed. Here's Choe's take on the exhibit:

“I will take all my love all my hate all my pain all my rage, all my suffering and all my skills and experience I’ve collected over the years everything I’ve learned in every medium from watercolors to oils to spray paint I’m gonna express everything I feel about this city and what it is to live and die and be born again in the city of angels….”

David Choe's "Nothing to Declare" will be shown at 320 N. Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills. The exhibit opens today and will run until May 23 (to be followed up by further Lazarides exhibitions), open everyday from 12pm-8pm.
Also, Dirty Hands will be showing at the Laemmle Sunset 5 for a special one-week engagement beginning April 30th.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Lazarides Gallery

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Eat Out. Thirsty Crow Bar [Thirsty Thursdays!].

When you want a drink, you want a drink--and in those cases, the cheap happy hour at the local dive is everything you want it to be. But sometimes, you've got to class it up and get a real, fine-tuned drink at a place worth being seen at.

The new Thirsty Crow Bar in Silver Lake is aspiring to be the latter. It's taken up the former space of Stinkers, a truck stop-themed bar with too much kitsch to be a regular dive, and cleaned up its act to try and become a full, bona-fide 1920s-esque bourbon bar. With dark interiors and a big half-circle bar, tended by pin-up-style girls and well-coiffed gents in suspenders, the ambiance is warm and inviting, in that insider kind of way (complemented further by the hipster crowd).

And with an extensive drinks menu (no food, but they'll let you order in or bring your own) of intriguing-sounding bourbons, whiskeys and ales, they've definitely got the vintage feel down. The choice cocktails are the classics: mint juleps, manhattans, old fashioneds. We figured we stick to what they know best: Leslie opted for the traditional rye manhattan, while I ventured for my usual whiskey sour (but of which they bragged, "you've never tasted a whiskey sour until you've tasted ours"), and later, a mint julep.

Service was slow for the soft-open night, but you could see that's because the bartenders were still learning their surroundings. The drinks, though, were well-crafted; I do still feel like I've had a whiskey sour before, but theirs is undeniably well-balanced. Little touches like a dark cherry at the bottom of Leslie's manhattan was a nice touch.

Again, it was a soft-open night, on a Friday, but the place was packed by 8pm. Still, with high ceilings and open windows, the bar didn't feel cramped. The bartender let me know that happy hour occurs regularly from 5-8pm, but that it only entailed $1 off all drinks. Which means your cocktails are still a high $11 (usual $12 if you didn't do the math). Not quite worth rushing over from work for.

Still, the Thirsty Crow will get its hip crowd and attention, and deservedly so, as far as we could tell. Good drinks, nice ambiance, perfect for people-watching--sometimes just exactly what you need from a bar.

Thirsty Crow Bar is located at 2939 W. Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, and its official opening is tomorrow night.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: the BEAT

Do it. TCM Classic Film Festival.

"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?"

Maybe you've seen this stylish ad campaign around town--there's quite a few of the posters on Highland and Franklin, and some bus side advertising for it as well. The TCM Classic Film Festival starts today in Hollywood (Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian Theatre, the Roosevelt Hotel Hollywood, and Mann's Chinese 6). It will run April 22 - April 25.

Films at the festival include Breathless, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Sunset Blvd., North by Northwest, The Graduate, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The King of Comedy, and Some Like it Hot, among many others. It sounds like just about the best film festival ever.

Most screenings have a special guest appearance - like Jean-Paul Belmondo at Breathless, Anjelica Houston and Martin Landau at Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Tony Curtis at Some Like it Hot. Awesome.


Most individual screening tickets are $20, discounted 50% with a valid student ID.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: www.awardsdaily.com

Eat Out. Free Mixt Greens salad on Earth Day.

It's Earth Day, so take some time out to appreciate the planet. Your reward? If you're one of the first 150 people at Mixt Greens today, you'll receive a free tote bag with a salad, packets of herb seeds and MG chef Andrew Swallow's upcoming cookbook "Mixt Salads."

I'm not sure what the free salad inside the tote bag means, but it's probably some sort of voucher. In that case, this promotion is completely worth it on that alone--Mixt Greens salads are kind of pricey ($8-$12) but notoriously HUGE, and full of fresh ingredients and fantastic flavor. The people behind the counter definitely know what they're doing as they create your salad, with just the right amount of ingredients and dressing, and you'll have a delicious salad to last you for days (really, they're huge). I'd recommend the Cowboy, which has romaine hearts, herb marinated grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, black beans, sharp cheddar, red onion and blue cheese dressing with a chipotle honey drizzle. And I don't even like black beans! But I ate every last bite of it.

Mixt Greens is located at 350 S. Grand Ave. in downtown or 5757 Wilshire Blvd. on Miracle Mile. Both locations open at 10:30am.

Happy Earth Day! Let us know of any other Earth Day promotions you might hear of by dropping us a comment below or tweeting at us.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Mixt Greens

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do It. Camping in SD.

In celebration of Earth Day tomorrow eight San Diego county parks are waiving their fees and allowing free camping April 22.

Among the participating locations are Sweetwater Summit, Agua Caliente, Dos Picos, Guajome, Lake Morena, Vallecito, and William Heise. Normally camp site prices are in the $20 range.

Seems like a totally legitimate excuse to cut out of work a bit early and celebrate California's natural wonders.

Reservations are encouraged. For an assured spot at Sweetwater Summit call (619) 472-7572.

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit: San Diego parks and rec website.

Advance Notice. LCD Soundsystem and the xx.

The post-Coachella L.A. dates for bands are starting to roll in. To start us off with a bang, there's new dates from LCD Soundsystem (see: amazing video above) and the xx.

Electro-pop minimalists the xx are bringing their gloomy-with-an-ounce-of-optimism sound to two different venues this June: they're set to play the Henry Fonda Music Box on Sat., June 5th ($22.50), and the much-larger Wiltern on Sun., June 6th ($25). Expect the young threesome to have really mastered their instruments and live skills by now; and a short set considering their debut album clocks in at less than 40 minutes (they're known to do a few covers, though). Tickets for both shows are set to go on sale TODAY at 10 a.m.

On the near-opposite side of the spectrum, party starters LCD Soundsystem to the Hollywood Palladium on Fri., June 4th ($30) and to the Fox Theater in Pomona on Sat., June 5th ($25). The mid-sized venues are perfect to get your dance on, and for whatever shenanigans James Murphy and Co. are sure to bring; everyone's been raving about "Yeah"'s epic set-ending performance this past Saturday. Both concerts go on sale officially on Friday at 10 a.m. but there's also a Goldenvoice presale for the Fox date happening TODAY at 10 a.m., and a Live Nation presale for the Palladium on tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Both shows are sure to sell out--as the just-announced Local Natives show at the Troubadour on June 4th did after one day--and with them all coincidentally occurring on the same weekend (and going on sale at the same time!), you'll have to play your cards right. Either way, though, you can't really go wrong. Summer can't come quickly enough.

-- Chau Tu

Eat Out. Coffee shop roundup.

Los Angeles has many worthy options when you're looking to grab a coffee out. From large chains like Starbucks, to smaller ones like The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and even smaller ones like Urth Caffe, sometimes it's hard to make a decision of who to give your hard-earned coffee money to.

If you need coffee immediately, Starbucks is probably the best bet no matter what side of town you're on. Sometimes it seems ridiculous how many there are, but it's also rather comforting. With a chain, you're likely to have consistency, so you know you're going to get the same quality product, and hopefully a clean accessible bathroom no matter which location you end up in. I think their soy latte ranks highest, thanks to the vanilla soy milk they use which gives it just the right sweetness.

While the Coffee Bean does a beautiful latte and a great Americano, it's their specialty drinks that make them stand out as what I'm going to call the more popular Los Angeles chain coffee shop. Ice Blendeds, Tea Lattes (Chai, English Breakfast, you name it), and a wider variety of iced tea flavors than most coffee shops gets the CB some points. They also toast a mean bagel, and the Sunset and Fairfax location has really easy free parking. It also seems to be a celebrity favorite (Perez Hilton used to work out of the West Hollywood location to celeb-spot), Demi Moore is pictured above exiting a Coffee Bean with a large hot drink.

Urth Caffe uses only organic coffees and teas, and they recently opened a location downtown Los Angeles. Their original spot (still open and always bustling) is on Melrose just west of La Cienega. Urth Caffe puts a lot of care into the way they make drinks, often decorating the top of the foam of a latte with a leaf or heart, etc. What's great about Urth Caffe is they have delicious food as well--salads, soups, sandwiches, even lasagna! Their cookies and baked goods are notable as well. If you have a little more time on your hands, and maybe even want to sit down with your latte, try Urth Caffe.

Since I live on the east side now, I need to mention these three: Intelligentsia, Alcove, and Lamill. I'm sure there are more I'm missing, but here's a quick roundup of the Silver Lake/Los Feliz favorites--Intelligentsia can have a very long line, but they do make their drinks with great care, and individually brew drip coffees (you can chose which beans you'd like for your cup). Their cups are very cute, and the beans are locally roasted. Alcove, like Urth Caffe, has a full menu of good food, and it's a beautiful atmosphere to sit a while. Lamill was voted to have the best iced coffee last year by Los Angeles Magazine, and now they serve alcohol too.

Most baristas at all of these places are more than happy to explain their drinks and what--based on your inclinations--may most enjoy.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: www.denimblog.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eat Out. Chameau on Fairfax.

A lot of really delicious restaurants in LA are named after very unappetizing things in French (La Poubelle on Franklin comes to mind), and Chameau is no exception.

Recognizing its Moroccan roots, this delibar's name means "camel" in the language of love although it is no reflection of the quality of food in the deli.

I hate cooking Moroccan-style couscous, it requires a lot of watching and expensive spices. At Chameau you can get the real deal, infused with different flavors and peppered with nuts and raisins at a reasonable rate.

Recently converted from a posh restaurant to quick deli, Chameau is still serving up their Middle Eastern eggplant dip, couscous, and marinated olives while also making paninis, wraps, and DIY sandwiches.

Prices range from $6-$11.

Chameau Restaurant & Catering is located at 339 N. Fairfax Ave.

-- Lauren Williams

Check It. New DVD releases.

Today is a big day for DVD releases--Crazy Heart, Avatar, The Young Victoria, and The Lovely Bones. All of these were big awards season films, so it's pretty exciting that they can now be watched in the comfort of your own home.

I actually have only seen Avatar from the power list, but I'm going to check out Crazy Heart (the film 'the Dude' won an Oscar for!) as soon as possible.

If you liked Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada, she's supposed to be fantastic in The Young Victoria.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: musiccourt.files

Eat Out. Dim Sum Truck.

Admittedly, I'm not that picky when it comes down to food, but if I had to pick one meal I'd be down to eat at all times despite its wholly unhealthiness, it'd be dim sum. The small bites, Asian version of tapas is the go-to cuisine for my family whenever there's a special occasion, and I absolutely love it in all its greasy and often-fried glory.

So upon hearing about dim sum hitting the food truck craze, I was pretty excited. I tried to keep my expectations low, to much failure, but I needn't have worried--the Dim Sum truck, for lack of better word, delivered.

Dim sum was pretty much made for the food truck; small, simple portions that are filling but quick to eat. The BBQ pork buns--a personal dim sum fave--had great flavor. The buns were the perfect soft consistency, and though the pork was quite fatty, that's how dim sum should be (but be wary if you're not into that, I guess). The truck had run out of the sesame balls the first time I visited, but I was able to get them next time. They were pretty big (the order had two) and were crunchy with not-too-sweet red bean paste inside. The pork and shu mai dumplings were pretty spot on too, with a lot of texture and flavor to them.

At $2-4 for each dish, the truck is super affordable and perfect for a lunch run. It's also sure to satisfy dim sum fans and newbies alike, so start lining up already!

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: BBQ pork buns, theBEAT

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do It. A movie at the Vista.

The Vista theater in Los Feliz is great for several reasons. The single-screen theater that dates back to the 1920's is featured in two of my favorite films, True Romance (1993), and Throw Momma from the Train (1987).

Secondly, while the ArcLight now charges $15.50 for a ticket, the recently restored Vista is incredibly affordable at $6.50 for showtimes before 6:00 p.m., and $9:50 after 6:00 p.m. (less for children, students, and seniors).

Nearby, just across the street, are Uncle Jer's, a cute card and gift shop for browsing and shopping, and also a Rudy's Barbershop. There's also a cafe in the Vista building if you're in the mood for a latte.

Currently Kick-Ass is playing at the Vista - 1:15, 4:15, 7:00, and 9:45 p.m.

The Vista is located at 4473 Sunset Blvd. in Los Feliz. Info: (323) 660-6639

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: cinemasightlines.com

Check It. Refinery29's spring playlist [The Monday Download].

I've been getting a lot of spring wardrobe advice lately from one of my favorite fashion sites, Refinery29, but I was pleasantly surprised to find them dabbling in music recently too, with their tastes in sound just as fashionable as their spreads.

To wit, here's the spring 2010 playlist, curated by none other than Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste--who's just fresh off a set from Coachella this weekend, by the way. He's bringing some other favorites from Coachella into the mix too, like Jonsi (going solo from Sigur Ros) and Beach House, so this makes for the perfect nostalgia-rich wind-down from your crazy weekend (with fade outs between songs too!).

Grab that sunscreen, sit out by the pool, turn this up and say hello to spring. Thanks Ed!

-- Chau Tu

Eat In. Malaysian-style curry.

One of my favorite dishes to eat out are those that involve curry. Until recently I was a bit scared to experiment with curry, thinking that a dash too much and I would permanently sear my taste buds out of existence.

But when eating out, curry dishes are often accompanied by large, expensive feasts. This dish you can prepare at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out, customize to your preference, and is a nice hearty stew for gloomy days.

Because it's Malaysian style, it requires coconut milk, something before this recipe I hadn't tried but is a really nice (but caloric) alternative to cream.

A few new friends from Malaysia taught me this recipe and I know firsthand, it's delicious.

What you'll need:

1 coffee cup of red curry powder (I used a curry paste)
1 onion -- chopped coarsely
4-5 cloves of garlic -- chopped coarsely
1 coffee cup coconut milk
1 cup water

What to do:

1. Mix curry powder with water -- the amount of curry seemed a bit spicy, so mix a bit of curry with the water, then test the water for its spiciness.

2. Fry the onion, then garlic.

3. Add the new curry mix from step 1.

4. Mix well, and saute the new mix for 30 minutes.

5. Add coconut milk, this should help reduce the spiciness.

6. Add sauce to taste, and serve over rice.

As my new friends would say, makan makan!

-- Lauren Williams

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Eat In. A full English breakfast.

An English breakfast is more than just a type of tea. It's a satisfying hot meal always served with Heinz Baked Beans (above). The beans aren't like American Heinz beans, they have no BBQ flavor whatsoever, simply that of sweet tomato. The March 2010 issue of Bon Appétit had a great story on the food of Ireland, and that was the inspiration for this post. Much like how English breakfast and Irish breakfast teas are similar, so are the actual breakfasts.

Aside from the beans--fried eggs, bread (toasted or fried), sauteed mushrooms, grilled tomato, and sausage (or "banger") and/or bacon are also part of the feast. The beans and English sausages can be found at specialty shops (such as the Tudor House or Continental Shop--both in Santa Monica), imported, and the rest of the ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! This breakfast is not a formal tradition, like an afternoon tea, so as long as it's all served hot, you're doing it right. Like brunch, it can be served through the early afternoon.

Tea is the drink of choice of course, and the hearty meal is enough to sustain you for hours of hard work (or weekend lounging).

If you'd rather go out than make this at home, the King's Head in Santa Monica does it very well.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: britishpages.org

Friday, April 16, 2010

Do It. Record Store Day.

So you may not be in Coachella this weekend, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some great music. Tomorrow just happens to be Record Store Day, which sets you up for a ton of great limited-edition releases to get your hands on, plus a few special live appearances and performances. Here's the round-up of a couple key ones, and be sure to check recordstoreday.com for more.

-Rhino Records, 235 Yale Ave. in Claremont: fun indie popsters Yo La Tengo perform

-Amoeba Hollywood, 6400 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood: pre-order the Smashing Pumpkins' new disc tomorrow in-store, and you'll receive a wristband for an intimate show at Space15Twenty with the band later that day; a meet-and-greet with Slash (for those who purchased the new album last week); T-shirt screening by Dangerbird Records and Family Industries; book singing with KCRW DJ Gary Calamar; and a DJ set with Spinderella (from Salt n Pepa!)

-Origami Vinyl, 1816 Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park: free beer and free show with One AM Radio, Lou Barlow + The Missingmen, Dum Dum Girls, Male Bonding and Adam Harding at noon; plus a free Origami Vinyl/Altamont tote, a comic book and a 7", and the Coolhaus truck on the scene.

-Record Surplus, 11609 Pico Blvd. in West L.A.: 20% off all merchandise, and appearance by Captain Vinyl (!) and the Canter's Deli truck on hand from 11am-2pm

Support your local record store! There's nothing like finding that fantastic out-of-print release or seeing that intimate show, and it's really only your local record store who can give that to you.

-- Chau Tu

Do It. Coachella alternatives.

Don't feel badly if you're not heading to Indio this weekend, here are some L.A. alternates for fun this weekend:

The Joneses - the new Demi Moore/David Duchovny film that's had some great reviews, is on at the ArcLight Hollywood.

Micachu and the Shapes (pictured) at the Getty. Saturday at 7:30 p.m. the Rough Trade-signed UK-based band will perform for free at the Getty Center. Free, but reservations required.

Silver Lake's new bourbon bar, the Thirsty Crow, is having a soft opening. Call ahead to make sure - (323) 661-6007; located at 2939 W Sunset Blvd. If you're in the mood for a mint julep or an old fashioned, this is your spot.

Finally, the Brewery ArtWalk is both Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in downtown Los Angeles (2100 N Main St., 90031). Admission and parking free, and over 100 artists participate.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Olly Hearsey

Advance Notice. Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

The LA Times Festival of Books is one of those things in Los Angeles you plan your year around. Want to go out of town? Maybe later, the LA Times Festival of Books is next weekend.

This year, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is scheduled to be April 24-25, and will be featuring over 400 celebrated authors, and tons of exhibitors, you can peruse the UCLA campus, maybe pick up a new book, and listen to your favorite author read and discuss their latest bestseller.

Tickets to panels are $1 through TicketMaster (not including the "nominal" TicketMaster fee), but participating Ritmo Latinos and Macy's will be giving away tickets for free. You can also pick up free panel tickets at the Beverly Center.

There's also the "Panel Pass," where for $30 you get first dibs on five panels and a poster.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is scheduled to be held April 24-25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

-- Lauren Williams

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eat Out. El Carmen [Thirsty Thursdays!].

When I'm in the mood for a good margarita, this is where I go. I discovered this West Third Street gem years ago, and have even had a birthday party here. El Carmen is a small well-decorated dark bar on a prime strip of Third (near the Grove). The decor is mostly tequila bottles, and portraits of masked Mexican wrestlers. There's the long bar on one side, and small tables on the other. They have a menu of small bites, which includes a delicious mashed potato taco, which is in a hard shell and topped with fresh salsa and sliced avocado. Delicious.

But what El Carmen is really all about it the margarita. It's not too sweet, not too sour, has just the right strength, and has a pure taste to it that I can best describe as the margarita equivalent of Fiji water, if that makes any sense. Monday through Friday they open at 5:00 p.m. for a happy hour till 7:00 p.m., and the quality of drink you get for the price I'd say is the best deal in town. Unfortunately on weekends, they're not open till 7:00 p.m. and there is no happy hour.

The waitresses are always nice, and the bartenders are knowledgeable. There's fruit-infused tequila for sipping, and a piña colada-margarita sort of hybrid called the Mexican Painkiller, which, if you like coconut, is a good runner up to their stellar margarita.

Blended (oh so blended - you'll be impressed with the chunk-free beauty of it) or on the rocks, you can't go wrong at El Carmen.

El Carmen is located at 8138 W Third Street in Los Angeles.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: thehappyhourtour

Advance Notice. OC Mud Run.

For those a bit reluctant to race, climb, and run through mud this may be best as a spectator's sport. In a test of strength, balance, and I'd say tolerance, contestants are asked to run through a series of obstacles on either a 5K or 10K course April 24 as part of the Eco Mud Run Tour.

Spots are still open for those wishing to take part in the run, but for those who just wish to watch thousands of grown ups racing through mud the event will be held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

There will also be tons of earth-friendly merch at the Mud Run expo.

If OC is too far, another run is scheduled for Aug. 21 in LA at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

The OC Mud Run will be held at between 7 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

-- Lauren Williams

Do It. See these Coachella bands.

I don't need to tell you, but Coachella starts tomorrow. And I'm sure that you've been mulling over those set times list for hours now, planning your trek. It's impossible to see everything you wish you could, and if you're going to this, you probably don't need yet another recommendation, but I'm going to give some to you anyway.

I've kept it simple for you, though, keeping it to one pick a day, with other 'throwaway' suggestions at the end (I've stayed away from the main stages though; you should have those handled). Coincidentally, the main picks are all on the Gobi stage, and they mostly lean away from the usual rock, but variety is all what festivals are about, right?

Friday
Gil Scott-Heron, Gobi stage at 6:55pm
You may not know his name, but all your favorite musicians do. Proof? He's the guy behind "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." Seriously. People scoffed at the amount of legends at last year's Coachella, but this is the one not to be dismissed.
Also: Sleigh Bells, Yeasayer, Little Dragon, Fever Ray

Saturday
Flying Lotus, Gobi stage at 10:45pm
Atmospheric beats that'll wind you down after that druggy madness taking place on the main stages. L.A. native who makes songs like movies, and hey, he's the nephew of jazz great Alice Coltrane (and John Coltrane). He also recently opened up for Thom Yorke's new band, Atoms for Peace.
Also: John Waters, Girls, Beach House, Dirty Projectors, Devo

Sunday
Local Natives, Gobi stage at 2:10pm/Mayer Hawthorne and the County, Gobi stage at 3:20pm
Okay, this was a tie, but they follow one another and will both be awesome. Also both already mentioned by me before, but Local Natives have got amazing drumbeats and beautiful, arching harmonies to go for days (even Ed from Grizzly Bear's a fan!) and Mayer Hawthorne will swoon you off your sweaty feet.
Also: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Matt & Kim (for all out partying) or Florence & the Machine (for aesthetic value)

-- Chau Tu

Do It. Enjoy Tax Day deals.

It's April 15, which means if you haven't even glanced at your taxes yet, you're probably screwed. But you still technically have until 5pm to run to post office, so get moving!

For the rest of us, it's time to celebrate by spending our tax returns on some fun deals happening today. Feel free to drop us a comment about any other deals you might know of, and/or follow our Twitter for more during the day.

-Starbucks: This is partly an Earth Day promotion I presume, but bring in your reusable coffee tumbler and get a free coffee.

-P.F. Chang's: Tax relief discount of 15% percent off everything.

- Cinnabon: Tax Day bites with 2 free mini cupcakes from 6-8pm.

- T.G.I. Friday's: Ultimate Tax Break weekend until Sunday with Tea Party cocktails and gift card specials

- Rush Street: Tax Day happy hour with $5 premium cocktails and $3 wine and well drinks

- BLT Steak: 50% off drinks

- The Tar Pit: A special Income Tax gin cocktail for $6

- Bigfoot Lodge West: W-7 whiskey drink for $6.

*-Jamba Juice: Not tax-related, but buy 1 get 1 smoothies in honor of its 20th birthday

Tax on!

-- Chau Tu

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Check It. 'Real Women Have Curves.'

Last week, the play-based-on-a-movie Real Women Have Curves debuted at the Long Beach Playhouse's stage. Based on the 2002 movie featuring Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, this play is about a young woman working in an East LA factory, filled with full-figured women sewing clothes together, forming bonds and going beyond body type.

Touching upon such perennial themes as immigration, identity, and gender this movie lends itself well to a play adaptation.

Real Women Have Curves is $22 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday matinee.

The Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St. in Long Beach.

-- Lauren Williams

Advance Notice. Shakespeare in the Park.

Summer nights in L.A. are simply made for sitting outdoors, and adding a little culture sure doesn't hurt either. That's why Shakespeare in the Park, the annual summer fest in which the Independent Shakespeare Co. puts on free outdoor performances, is such a grand idea. The plays have become so popular in recent summers that they're being moved to the larger venue of Griffith Park this year, sure to make an even more picturesque time.

Shakespeare in the Park will remain free when performances begin July 8 (with Othello), but the company does need funds to put on those plays pro bono. To help out, catch the one-night-only show of Two Gentlemen in Verona on Sunday, May 16. Not only will you be able to see the performance in the festival's new venue, but it's a great way to kick off the summer just right, and make sure the rest of the season is filled with just as many wonderful shows. Tickets are $25 per adult, for $50 for two adults and children.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: examiner.com

Eat Out. Caffe Latte.

Maybe you've seen this place. You've probably driven by it--on Wilshire's Miracle Mile--a hundred times and never thought twice. Let me tell you, it's worth a try.

On weekdays, they're open early, and make a nice latte (as they should), so it can serve as a good alternative to Starbucks if you want to change it up. Breakfast and lunch are what Caffe Latte is known for. So far, I've just had their lunch, they make tons of great salads, including one with spinach and sliced chicken breast. As it's located on Wilshire just east of Condé Nast's L.A. offices, the unassuming strip mall cafe got on the radar of The New York Observer (for being a Vogue favorite).

If you're looking for a satisfying break from the surrounding fare (Trimana and Wahoo's), step in to Caffe Latte, sit down at a table and order an iced tea. Soon you'll be served with a little plate of irresistible warm mini poppy seed muffins, and as you read the menu you'll have trouble deciding what to get--the sign of a place you'll go back to.

Caffe Latte is located at 6254 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: notfortourists


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eat Out. Perfect Pairings.


With such a plethora of wonderful food options here in L.A., it can be easy to splurge. But now, with this trend of food + charity, you might not feel so bad about it in the end--and you get a great meal!

The latest foodie do-gooder out there is Perfect Pairings, a campaign that invited chefs and restaurants all over the city to pair up a few food and beverage items, and then sell those meals with a portion of the proceeds to go to Meals on Wheels. The beverages don't have to be alcoholic, and sometimes the dishes they're paired with are part of a pre-fixe menu or the chef's signature specialty.

So far, more than 50 restaurants are participating, including some of L.A.'s bests and favorites. Chef Neal Fraser at Grace, for instance, is pairing his 7 Year Itch pre-fixe menu, and that includes the infamous and absolutely delectable doughnuts for dessert. Chef Suzanne Tracht is pairing up Jar's signature pot roast with Dashe Cellars' Zinfandel 2007. And Chef Nobu Matsuhisa has his Whitefish Tiradito for two paired with Matsuhisa vodka martinis, among other dishes.

The possibilities are endless
! So go out and enjoy some great food and wine (or whatever cleanses your palate) during this month-long campaign, and feel great about it too. Look for the fork and bottle logo (above) on the menu, and you're set to go.

-- Chau Tu

Check It. Dodgers home opener.

The Dodgers home opener is one of the best days of the year in Los Angeles sports-wise. There's a feeling that spring has arrived, summer is coming, and there's fresh hope for a winning season for the boys in blue. All this today at 1:10 p.m. in Elysian Park.

And then there's the food. An all beef Dodger dog, a bag of Lay's potato chips, and a cold American beer is my all-time favorite ball park meal, but every year the food at Dodger stadium seems to get better. There's the classic Dodger dogs, premium drinks, and now a giant Victory Knot pretzel complete with beer cheese dipping sauce. Check out the Los Angeles Times' Daily Dish blog for more new Dodger dishes. The giant pretzel is meant to serve four, so give it a try if you're going with friends.

Play ball! And Bon Appétit!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Do It. Picking good produce.

With the changing of seasons comes the changing of produce. But how to choose a good apple, citrus, melon versus a not-so-fresh one? Here are a few pointers in picking out the freshest, ripest fruits and veggies.

For citrus, you always want small pores, shiny skin, vibrant color (true of all produce really), and you want to be able to smell the fruit. A heavy citrus also means it's juicy on the inside, but you should eat it soon after purchasing it.

Shininess and brightness in color are pretty important in all produce selection. Never get anything with dull or wrinkled skin -- that means it's on the way out the door. Firm skin means it will last a few days in the fridge.

Melons too should be heavy and make a kind of hollow sound. I believe if a melon doesn't have a "bouncing" or hollow sound when you knock softly on it, it means the flesh inside is a bit sandy and too soft in texture.

-- Lauren Williams

Monday, April 12, 2010

Check It. DVD releases.

Tomorrow marks a few exciting DVD releases, including Gone with the Wind on Blu-ray. All 238 minutes of it. I'm pretty interested to see how the Blu-ray quality shows through all the rich colors.

Pirate Radio, which didn't get great reviews and I ended up avoiding seeing, will be on DVD (and Blu-ray) tomorrow. With recently finding out it was written and directed by Richard Curtis (writer of Notting Hill and writer/director of Love Actually) it's suddenly more desirable in my book. Not to mention that Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Nigh star in the 1960s-set Brit flick.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: www.tvworthwatching.com

Check It. Kid Cudi's music videos [The Monday Download].

Now that his acting debut How to Make It in America has finished its season on HBO, are you missing Kid Cudi yet? You shouldn't, because he's got a slew of videos to keep you company in the meantime.

Admittedly, it was the rapper's "Day 'n' Nite" video that first got me interested in his music; his cool, laidback style in the cut proved he wasn't just out to be another club-banger, but a more thoughtful (and stylish) and playful wordsmith. His immediate cinematic follow-ups were pretty to the norm, from the live concert footage to the Hype Williams-biting (but still cute). His latest ones, though, have been a lot more fun.

The first is typical music video fare, with the hot girls and the senseless, fun theme, but the fact that Cudi's actually doing a music video to the remix of one of his songs is pretty sweet. Definitely playful, and a great to-the-beat cut from the video editor.

Here's the winner though: an alternate version, as it seems, of "Pursuit of Happiness." The song originally got a lot of hype because of the unexpected collaboration with MGMT and Ratatat, and now, this video finally brings the partnership to visual fruition (or at least, for the latter). Plus--visual effects!

So his videos can be hit or miss, but they're entertaining in the least, and hey, he ain't bad to look at it either.

-- Chau Tu

Check It. LB's Grand Prix.

If you're a "car person" then this weekend you'll be in heaven. April 16, 17, and 18 there will undoubtedly be a constant humming coming from the city of Long Beach because of the 33rd annual Grand Prix.

Those of you who aren't big car lovers and hate the noise, should probably start planning on being out of town now. During the Grand Prix this place turns into a zoo, with people coming from all over the country to watch cars zoom around Shoreline Drive past the Pike, aquarium, and lagoon.

No matter where you live in Long Beach, you will hear the buzzing of these race cars zipping past the finish line.

Parking anywhere in Long Beach during Grand Prix weekend is simply undoable, so if you're from LB and want to check out the race keep your car at home.

Basic 3-day passes to the Grand Prix start at $85; Saturday-only admittance is $57 and Sunday-only admittance starts at $68.

-- Lauren Williams

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Eat Out. Gallagher's bottomless mimosas.

Tomorrow marks a long standing tradition at Gallagher's Pub & Grill in Long Beach: Bottomless mimosas. Starting at 10 a.m. every Sunday morning, Gallagher's has $6 mimosas that only end when you say to. A well lit, large restaurant decorated in Irish green and white, Gallagher's is a nice place for weekend brunch or lunch out.

Not just for St. Patty's Day, Gallagher's has a relaxed atmosphere on the weekends serving up excellent breakfasts and has a mean omelet. Definitely a great place to wrap up the weekend.

Gallagher's Pub & Grill is located at 2751 E. Broadway in Long Beach.

-- Lauren Williams

Friday, April 9, 2010

Advance Notice. Flight of the Conchords at the Hollywood Bowl.

It was quite the bummer hearing the news last year that Flight of the Conchords had ended its illustrious run, but it seems our favorite Kiwis aren't leaving us Southern Californians completely in the dust.

Indeed, they'll be heading back to us Sunday, May 30th (perfect for the Memorial Day weekend!), playing a show at the awesome Hollywood Bowl nonetheless. A little wining and dining under the stars with Bret and Jemaine? You can't pass up this hot date.

Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Flight of the Conchords

Do It. When You're Strange.

It was at Sundance last year, and now it's in L.A.

Writer/director Tom DiCillo's Doors doc "When You're Strange" is narrated by Johnny Depp and made with only footage from 1965 and 1971. Yeah, just take a minute to think about that awesomeness. Depp said it was "an honor to have been involved." Laemmle's Sunset 5, today through April 15.

When You're Strange is also playing at Laemmle's Encino and Pasadena theaters.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: www.ioncinema.com