Saturday, February 27, 2010

Etc. Earthquake in Chile.

A 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Chile (200 miles southwest of Santiago) early Saturday. As soon as we heard about it, our attention obviously went straight to thoughts of Lauren.

Ms. Lauren Williams is fine. We are so thankful.

We're also sending prayers, good energies, vibes, thoughts, and whatever else can be sent not using the postal service, to those who didn't have such luck with and protection from the earthquake. The New York Times reports "Chile’s TVN cable news channel reported 122 deaths less than 12 hours after the quake struck."

Tsumani warnings are in effect for Hawaii and other cities along the Pacific coast, with larger waves expected in Southern California but likely nothing too noticeable.

-- the BEAT

Photo credit: Martin Bernetti/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Eat Out. Intelligentsia.

Overheard on a busy Saturday afternoon, in line at Intelligentsia Silverlake:
Boy 1: "So what's the big deal about this Intelligentsia place anyway? Why is everyone so crazy about it?"
Girl: "Oh, you'll see."
Boy 2: "Yeah, it's basically like crack."

That's one way to put it. The popular coffeehouse opened here just a mere three years ago, but quickly became a hip mainstay, later expanding to Venice on the Westside, and in the near future--the north in Pasadena.

So what's the big deal, right? I wouldn't quite liken it to an addictive substance, but the coffee here is excellent. The baristas here certainly know their coffee and tea, and are willing to spew off a billion different adjectives for any chosen variety. I tend to opt for the mocha or the cappuccino, simply because I can't resist the creaminess of their froths. They're also never too sweet (the mocha obviously being made from real chocolate) and are pretty decently priced, in terms of artisan coffee. And this time, I splurged ($2.75) on an irresistible caramel shortbread cookie with chocolate I even need to say it was worth it? Because it totally was. Leslie got the chai, pictured at top above.

The Sunset Junction was especially buzzing this afternoon, and Intelligentsia was no exception. It can be difficult at times to find a seat, but the outside seating space is still strangely nice and cozy, perfect for a day out catching up with friends. And who wants to go to Starbucks again, right? Pretend you're a coffee connoisseur and impress your friends with your hip taste--maybe you'll even get a little addicted.

Intelligentsia in Silverlake is located at 3922 W. Sunset Blvd.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: theBEAT

Friday, February 26, 2010

Check It. Feist's "My Moon, My Man" video.

Here's a video I just discovered to get your weekend started right. This video's choreography is along the lines of OK Go's treadmill video, this time with a moving walkway.

From Feist's 2007 album "The Reminder."

Happy Friday!

-- Lauren Williams

Check It. Tankfarm's 'God Save McQueen' T-shirt.

Upon the unfortunate news of the amazing designer Alexander McQueen's death, it was reported that his iconic skull scarves were selling out in his stores, among other notable pieces of his memorable lines. And unless you're Lady Gaga, it'd probably be difficult to try and afford most of his fashions anyway.

So how else can you honor McQueen? A T-shirt company named Tankfarm may be able to help you--and your wallet--out.

At $30, the self-proclaimed 'builders of the great American T-shirt' feature a vintage-looking shirt design that reads "God Save McQueen." With its British undertones, the phrase seems perfectly aimed towards honoring the deceased Brit designer. But in actuality, the shirt is tipping its hat toward a certain American favorite--a certain Steve McQueen, that is. Coincidence?

Indeed, and a lucky one for Tankfarm (and you), at that. The shirt is currently in backstock until March 15, but once you can snag one, you can honor McQueen for not only an affordable price, but with a little tongue in cheek too--just how Alexander would have liked it.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Tankfarm

Do It. Saturday Nights at the Getty.

This Saturday night kicks off the 2010 season of Saturday Nights at the Getty (formerly Friday Nights at the Getty). The performance series will begin tomorrow night, February 27, at 7:30 p.m. with Money Mark and Emily Wells. It's free, but reservations are required, and the first one is actually sold out.

Plan ahead and make your reservations for the rest of the series: March 13 (The Living Sisters), March 27 (Rana Santacruz), April 17 (Micachu and the Shapes). Eleni Mandell of The Living Sisters tied for LA Weekly's 2003 best rock/pop songwriter/composer award with Elliott Smith. They have shows coming up at SXSW, Largo, El Rey and Bowery Ballroom (with She & Him).

The Getty is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Brentwood. Parking is free after 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eat Out. Umami Burger's happy hour [Thirsty Thursdays!].

Umami Burger deserves a more food-centric post on their juicy burgers, and that will come ... but this Thursday I'd just like to point out what a fantastic happy hour they have.

From 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, at the bar, they have $4 draft beer (a nice variety of domestic and imported brews) as well as $5 "smash burgers" which are 1 oz. less than their regular menu burgers, but just as (if not more) delicious. So, for $9 (before tax and tip) you can have quite a satisfying little gourmet dinner. Or, you can just stop by for a cold beer (or two) and some piping hot sweet potato fries.

Umami Burger is located at 4655 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz.
There are also La Brea Ave. and Cahuenga Blvd. locations.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Etc. Conor Friedersdorf's Best of Journalism in 2009.

(let's hope you're right, Dave)
As members and valiant supporters of the industry, we here at theBEAT surely recognize, acknowledge and are curious about the difficulties facing journalism these days. One thing we know for sure: although journalism may be having its identity/survival crises right now, that doesn't mean the stories being churned out by its hard-working loyalists are any less wonderful, inspiring or important.

Take for example, the latest list compiled by True/Slant's Conor Friedersdorf of the best journalism of 2009. Spread across newspapers, magazines, online and, yes, even radio (go TAL!), the pieces chosen here are those of a caliber that shouldn't be ignored, forgotten or dismissed. They remind you that indeed, there was a purpose to this poor trade, and goshdarnit if it ever ceases to exist or matter.

Take some time to appreciate not only the great stories being told literally in these pieces, but also the stories of the times and atmospheres from which they originated. And no matter what, these pieces really are worth perusing.

-- Chau Tu

Check It. Clouds 365 Project.

Do you catch yourself staring up at the sky, admiring the clouds? If you do, you're not alone.

A photographic experiment, the Clouds 365 Project documents different clouds each day of the year. Blank gray skies during the winter months, and bright pinks, purples, oranges, and reds are captured by multimedia artist Kelly Delay who gets some really fantastic shots.

The above sunset scene was captured Aug. 1, 2009 in San Francisco. The images are dreamy, soft, and just the right thing for a day that seems like anything but a walk in the clouds.

There are also some excellent videos, and the Clouds 365 Project has a very clean, easy-to-use website.

-- Lauren Williams

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eat Out. Two Boots.

Admittedly, when I first heard about NYC's pizza joint Two Boots moving into the hip corridor of Echo Park, I didn't think it was a big deal. But famished after a show at the neighboring Echo and enticed by its stained glass/crazy mural decor, the pizza called to me...and I'm so glad I answered.

Just like the rest of its neighborhood, Two Boots has an extra ounce of cool. The place is small, but has a pretty sweet covered patio, and is bright and wild with a (new?) jukebox and the aforementioned mural. And yet, you still can't distracted from the pizza. There are the usual varieties like BBQ chicken (above) and the Mr. Pink (chicken and tomatoes), but take a risk with the Bayou Beast (shrimp, crawfish, andouille and jalapenos) or the intimidating Slayer we came across last weekend (above, that spicy concoction with drizzles of pesto), and you won't be disappointed. The flavors are fresh and rich, and the crust is crispy and surprisingly not greasy.

Plus it's cheap--two slices and a drink comes to $9 even--and did I mention the jukebox? Perfect for late-night eats too: Two Boots stays open until midnight on weeknights and 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Two Boots is located at 1818 W. Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: theBEAT

Check It. Faking It.

The above postcard was one of 10 an anonymous female sender says she mailed to Germantown, Md., the home of the PostSecret phenomenon. This last one though, has created quite a stir.

The author of "Faking It" is the newest internet sensation. A woman in an unspecified town in an unspecified place is keeping up her internet diary about her thoughts on converting to Mormonism despite a lack of LDS spirituality.

Over night, the blog became a huge hit and even though she only has 11 posts, the faker now has quite a following of nearly 500 followers and each post has hundreds of comments.

Getting famous on a blog about your blog? I guess that's one way to do it.

-- Lauren Williams

Advance Notice. Seth Grahame-Smith at Book Soup.

Mark your calendars ... March 2 at 7:00 p.m., Los Angeles-based author Seth Grahame-Smith will be presenting and signing his new book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, at L.A.'s best bookstore, Book Soup.

Our 16th president stood 6'4", so he'd probably have made a fine vampire hunter if he wasn't so busy being honest and freeing slaves. Just as Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet seemed feisty enough to be a believable zombie slayer, I buy that Abe would be capable of some serious ass-kicking.

Grahame-Smith is currently best known for his bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which started the trend for such books as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and the upcoming Jane Slayre, among many others (and even more to come, I'm sure).

Also upcoming at Book Soup--Ed Ruscha. More on that event later!

Book Soup is located at 8818 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood. The event is free; the book costs $21.99.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Check It. Moleskine sleeve.

I'm not going to lie. I love my Moleskine. I keep one of blank lined pages available to write whatever passing thoughts I have, and I live and die by my horizontal day planner. I ordered one just as 2009 was ending so I wouldn't have to be a day without one. That's how much I like my Moleskine.

There are also a slew of other handy pocket-sized and larger Moleskines, equipped for your writing, creating, jotting needs. There's one for watercolors and painting, writing musical notes, travelling, organizing, and, my favorite, scheduling.

In response to this boom in popularity, Moleskine covers have become pretty prevalent. The above Molecover is made for these tiny journals, and although I am interested in protecting my Moleskine (how else would I know where to be on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.?) part of it's allure is its sleekness.

It's perfectly slim enough to put in my purse without taking up too much room. A sleeve would just add bulkiness. The covers of my day planners have always lasted me the entire year, too, so for my lifestyle there isn't really enough wear-and-tear to justify such a purchase. But for those who love their Moleskines as much as I do, there are some options, like this one, and this design-it-yourself one, that can preserve your notebook for all of eternity.

I just need mine to survive this year, maybe a few more, but these new mushroom businesses seem a bit superfluous.

-- Lauren Williams

Check It. The September Issue on DVD.

The September Issue, or, as some call it, "the real 'Devil Wears Prada'", is available on a 2-Disc DVD today. The Vogue documentary is insightful not only into the guarded world of American Vogue's Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, but also into how an issue (specifically, the September 2007 issue featuring Sienna Miller) of a top magazine is put together.

In the film, I didn't find Wintour to be as awful as she's often portrayed, although she's not exactly what one would call a warm person. She's reserved yet speaks her mind unapologetically. The film shows her as a hard worker who knows what she's looking for each month. She's clearly doing something right, so good for her! Getting to "know" Vogue's longtime creative director Grace Coddington was a great part of The September Issue. Coddington is behind many of the magical fashion spreads in the magazine, and has a great-to-watch working relationship with sunglass-wearing, Starbucks-loving Wintour.

The DVD has over 25 deleted scenes with over 90 minutes of extra footage.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Advance Notice. Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl.

Seeing Paul McCartney perform in the beautiful, open air of Coachella last year was an unforgettable experience, to say in the least. Believe me, the sir can still rock it, and if you have any interest in Macca, the Beatles, or just simply music itself, seeing this man perform live is something that just needs to be done in a lifetime.

Don't miss your next chance when McCartney hits the Hollywood Bowl (a can't-miss experience in and of itself) on March 30th. The public onsale begins this Sunday at 10am, but Fan Club members and American Express users can get their tickets today at 10am. And try to control yourself.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: haha, thanks Ticketmaster

Monday, February 22, 2010

Eat Out. Malo makes Monday a fun day.

Just east of Fountain on Sunset (next to the Elliott Smith wall) is a little Mexican restaurant called Malo that gets packed on Monday nights for their taco night.

Many restaurants go for Tuesday Taco nights, perhaps simply because alliteration can be fun ... Don Antonio's dollar taco night is the place to be on Wednesdays, but Malo is very wise--I think--to take on Mondays. Nobody likes Mondays, but knowing there's something fun to do on Monday night makes the morning (and day) a little better.

Malo's has delicious margaritas and their taco night has a great selection, including eggplant and potato ($1), and lobster ($5).

Malo is located at 4326 W. Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Check It. The Strokes in the studio [The Monday Download].

Welcome to a new BEAT feature: The Monday Download. Stay tuned for fun videos, great songs and other interesting links to start off your week on the right foot.

There is something about Julian Casablanca's recent debut that seemed to bring a renewed, hopeful anticipation to the return of his original band, The Strokes. Was it because we sensed something better was on the horizon? Or do we simply yearn once again for those simpler riffs and that undeniable NYC swagger?

Either way, I was super psyched to come across this recently unearthed video of, yes--The Strokes in the studio! Mr. Casablancas does seem to be missing from the reunion, but we can still take delight in drummer Fab Moretti's playfulness with a newly(?) shorn Albert Hammond Jr., and an awesome new tune I believe is called "Nikolai Broke the Zoom"? Plus, great narration.

In the meantime, we can also reminisce with these. We can't wait to have you back, Strokes.

-- Chau Tu

Eat Out. Mishi's in San Pedro.

Those craving a taste of old Europe in Southern California look no further: Mishi's Strudel Bakery & Cafe in San Pedro has excellent pastries from the Old World that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

On the menu are over 15 varieties of strudels, including two intriguing savory strudels of cabbage and spinach, nearly 10 different crepes (or as Mishi calls them, panqueques), and a medley of teas and coffees that are quite extensive.

Located in old fashioned downtown San Pedro, Mishi's is surrounded by old timey shops and is close enough to walk to the port of Los Angeles.

The pastries are authentic, with crisp, flaky bread outside the strudel and warm fillings. You can also get a few to go. The chai latte here is also superb. If he's not busy bustling around his store, you can also meet the pastry master Mishi who hails from South America, despite his European heritage.

Prices range from $3-$5.

Mishi's Strudel Bakery & Cafe is located at 309 W. 7th Street in San Pedro.

-- Lauren Williams

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Check It. Teuscher Chocolates.

I discovered these incredibly tasty gourmet chocolates while strolling alone on Boston's Newbury Street. Later I discovered there's a Los Angeles location, in Beverly Hills.

Teuscher's signature chocolate is the Champagne truffle. It's a soft chocolate truffle, with a slightly firm thin hard shell and powdered sugar dusted on the outside. The best part is the Champagne cream center--made with Dom Perignon if you can believe it. The Zurich-made delights are considered by many (including Oprah!) to be the best chocolates in the world.

A 2 Champagne truffle box is $7.95, a 16 Champagne truffle box, $41.50.

Teuscher Chocolates of Beverly Hills is located at 9548 Brighton Way in Beverly Hills.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Tesuscher

Friday, February 19, 2010

Check It. Vampire Weekend's "Giving Up the Gun" video.

Nothing like a good cameo start off your morning. My future hubby Jake Gyllenhaal is no stranger to making surprise appearances in fun, fantastic all-star music videos, but when Ron Howard shows up to party, you get a bit overshadowed.

This time around, Gyllenhaal gets his time to shine--and takes advantage with an amazing pants rip-off. Other notable celeb pop-ups: a grungy (but quite adult?)-looking Joe Jonas, a stoic RZA, Lil Jon shilling out advice, and of course, the boys of Vampire Weekend, who strangely look more pretty than usual.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Pitchfork

Check It. Andrew Weiss Gallery.

Not many people can work it for the camera the way Marilyn did. The Andrew Weiss Gallery in Beverly Hills has the world's largest archive of Marilyn Monroe original photographs.

The gallery also features Picasso, Chagall, Matisse ... but I think the 1930s to present Hollywood fine photography is the real draw.

What's better than a gallery stroll on a rainy Saturday afternoon?

The Andrew Weiss Gallery is located at 179 South Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills and is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: "Here's to You" by Bert Stern, at the Andrew Weiss Gallery

Do It. Jason Reitman guest-programs the New Beverly.

He made one of the most moving films of last year, and now Up in the Air's writer/director Jason Reitman's ready to show you some of his favorites.

Reitman's picks as guest-programmer at the New Beverly this next week won't be as serious as his Best Picture Oscar nominee, but that doesn't mean they aren't awesome. Case in point: a Matthew Broderick double feature tonight and Saturday of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Election. YES. Follow that with Shampoo and Boogie Nights on Sunday and Monday, and Breaking Away and Bottle Rocket on Wednesday and Thursday. So many good movies!

Plus, Reitman himself will come to introduce and discuss the films on Friday, Sunday and Wednesday. Make sure not to ask him any of these questions, though:

The New Beverly is located at 7165 Beverly Blvd.

-- Chau Tu

Video credit: Film School Rejects

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eat In. The perfect sangria [Thirsty Thursdays!].

It's almost March and all the foodophile's know, it's almost cherimoya season. Cherimoya, also known as the custard apple, is native to the inter-andean valleys but has made its way to Mexico and California and despite it's ugly appearance, this is one tasty fruit. It has a very subtle flavor, so for something like sangria, I would use it by itself.

Using one fruit in sangria can really bring out the flavor of the fruit, and I've come to prefer using one type of fruit rather than several. It also means you have to buy less at the store.

I've had strawberry sangria (best with a merlot), which is excellent.

What you do, is dice the fruit into small cubes/pieces and sprinkle with sugar. Let the fruit sit in a dish for about an hour (this is no short process). The fruit will create a syrup in the bowl while it's resting. In the meantime sprinkle some sugar in the bottom of a pitcher and add hot water half way up the pitcher to dissolve the sugar. Wait until that cools, before adding the wine or fruit. Do not add fruit or wine while the water/sugar mixture is hot.

For a cherimoya sangria, use a sauvignon blanc. Let it cool in the fridge before enjoying. Be careful, though. Because of the amount of sugar in this concoction it makes for a nasty hangover.

-- Lauren Williams

Advance Notice. PaleyFest.

Lost, Modern Family, Dexter...many could argue that television is in one of its greatest eras right now. So what does it take to be behind such great television?

Listen to the creators, producers and actors speak for themselves. This year's PaleyFest features great, in-depth discussions with the talent from some of TV's best shows right now, including those three aforementioned plus other fan and critic favorites like Glee, The Vampire Diaries, Breaking Bad and Curb Your Enthusiasm (Larry David in person?! Come on!). It's a can't-miss experience for any fan.

The festival doesn't start until Feb. 26, but you should get your tickets now--Lost and Glee's discussions are already sold out.

-- Chau Tu

Do It. Alice in Wonderland event.

If you're as excited about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland as I am, you're probably going to want to clear your calendar for Friday evening.

In the Hollywood & Highland Center's courtyard, a concert event is taking place Friday February 19 at 5:00 p.m. There will be live music performed by artists featured on the film's "Almost Alice" soundtrack (available March 2), including Family Force 5 and Never Shout Never.

Director Tim Burton (Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetle Juice, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) will be there, as well as "select members of the movie's cast". Considering the film's awesome lineup, who knows what's possible? While I can't imagine Johnny Depp will be there (but he could be!), Burton's wife Helena Bonham Carter (the Queen of Hearts), L.A.-based Anne Hathaway (the White Queen), and/or Australian newcomer Mia Wasikowska (Alice) may show up. Exciting stuff. Oh, and it's free!

If you can't wait till the film's March 5 release, with the purchase of a 3OH!3 T-Shirt from the center's Hot Topic and soundtrack pre-order, you'll not only get a ticket (well, a wristband) to a 3D sneak peak of the film following the event, but a band meet-and-greet and access to a prime viewing space during the show.

Note: Surprising as it may be, Hot Topic has some pretty cool "Alice" merchandise.

If a trip to Hollywood isn't in the cards for you tomorrow night, watch the festivities live online at

The Hollywood & Highland Center is located at 6800 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Advance Notice. Wine and art at LACMA.

Wine and art. What two things go together better? With their Renoir in the 20th Century exhibit currently open at LACMA, the Miracle Mile museum will be pairing wine's from Renoir's native land in Southern France with a viewing of his art.

For $55 non-members ($50 for members) get a glimpse into the works of the great artist's last three decades of paintings, and at the same time discover great wines from Southern France and Provence where his wife lived. Cheese and bread will also be provided.

The event is set to take place March 20, 5th floor of LACMA West.

LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard.

-- Lauren Williams

Drink It. Katie Lee's Mai Tai.

My favorite celebrity chef, Katie Lee, has a Chinese New Year menu on her website that includes crispy orange beef, chicken lettuce cups, and Chinese five-spice kettle corn. These refreshing-looking Mai Tai cocktails are the drink of choice for the Year of the Tiger.

Recipe, per Katie Lee:

1 1/2 oz. white rum
2 oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. grenadine
juice of 1/2 a lime

Shake ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with an orange slice (mini silver parasols optional).

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Eat Out. Milk.

Sometimes, it's the items not bolded or pictured on the menu that really end up taking the show. Milk does quite a bit to live up to its cute and appropriate name, but it's got a few surprises up its sleeve too.

Sitting on the corner of Beverly and Poinsettia, Milk is a bakery/ice cream parlor which always seems to be buzzing with activity. Step inside the mostly white interior and you can't help but be enticed by the shop's pastel-colored and adorably crafted goodies. I first got roped in by the alluring-sounding milkshakes, and while the giant, creamy concoctions do in fact deliver, a milkshake is a milkshake. And a milkshake shouldn't cost $6-$7.

You can spend those precious dollars instead on just getting a scoop of ice cream or on the other treats of the bakery. The goods are freshly baked everyday, so are sure to vary, but the cupcakes and cookies are generally pretty delicious. Leslie's mentioned that the moon pies could be better, though.

But our pick for your Milk bill? The food. Strange to suggest for a place which you might not even realize serves hot entrees in the first place, but check out the ever-changing chalkboard of daily specials on the left wall and you might find a few delightful surprises. The orechiette pasta with pesto and chicken, for one, is totally spot on. The portions are huge and rich with fresh flavors of roasted tomatoes and pine nuts.

Plus, actually eating a meal will make you feel better about all the dessert you'll probably can't help but consume afterward.

Milk is located at 7290 Beverly Blvd.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: theBEAT

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Eat In. Happy Pancake Day!

This is a recipe from my boyfriend's (Hank, of apple martini fame) sister, Khaki, who lives in New York. She got it from her good friend Chef Brendan McDermott (of the Brooklyn Kitchen).

Puffy Pancakes:

2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
tsp. nutmeg

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all the above ingredients together. Heat up a cast iron skillet or pot on stovetop. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in the pan on medium heat. Once melted, pour in batter and leave there until it starts to bubble on the edges. Remove from stovetop and put in oven for 15-20 mins. Remove from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar, fresh fruit (or shaved chocolate, almonds, anything you like!).

Khaki tried a savory version as well, "and it came out like fresh hot pita bread. I just subbed the butter with olive oil, put in rock salt instead of nutmeg, and after it was halfway cooked I topped with feta. Then we used it to dip in hummus!"

Have breakfast for dinner tonight to celebrate Pancake Tuesday (if you didn't already have some this morning), or save this link for Sunday morning!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Khaki Bedford

Check It. Vintage movie posters & new DVDs.

A great coffee book table for film lovers is out this month, Starstruck: Vintage Movie Posters from Classic Hollywood. It includes the image above, from 1941's Citizen Kane and the forward is written by the great Martin Scorsese, which makes it a legit film book as far as I'm concerned.

Also: on DVD today, Coco Before Chanel (in which Audrey Tautou does a beautiful job of playing a young Coco Chanel) and British director Steve McQueen's Hunger, starring Michael Fassbender. Hunger is about the last weeks of the life of 27-year-old Irish republican hunger striker Bobby Sands' in 1981.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Abbeville Press

Do It. Colin Firth at the Aero.

If you read our review but still haven't seen Colin Firth's latest amazing role, here's another incentive: you can watch the film and see the man discuss it in person right afterward.

That's right: Mr. Firth will be on hand at the Aero Theatre tonight to discuss his Oscar-nominated role in A Single Man. It's your chance to get his take on what the fuss is all about, and to probably end up swooning over him anyway.

The discussion will then be followed by a rare screening of Firth's first big film role, in 1984's Another Country, which co-stars the also-dashing Rupert Everett, Cary Elwes (!) and (apparently in a small role) Daniel Day Lewis?! Brilliant.

The Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, and the A Single Man/Another Country double feature begins at 7:30pm, with the Firth discussion in between the films.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

Monday, February 15, 2010

Check It. Topo Ranch.

When it's cold outside, sometimes you just want to wear your cozy clothes. Forget the cute flats and tight jeans, it's just too cold for all that. Local brand based in Venice Beach, Topo Ranch has made wonderfully soft tees, vees, and yoga clothes with creative prints that mean you don't have to forego style for comfort.

Their creative prints include scenes of the west, reflective of the pioneering past of the Topo family ranch. The organic cotton is so soft, and their new "porch wrap" is a great light, but warm wrap for winter evenings.

Typical tees and vees go for $38. Merch can be bought online or at their Venice Beach store at 1219 Abbot Kinney.

-- Lauren Williams

Etc. Happy Presidents Day.

Happy Presidents Day, BEAT readers! Especially for those of you who have today off of work!

In case you're not heading out to see Valentine's Day, here's a suggestion for a holiday-appropriate (sort of) piece of cinema--David Gordon Green's (Snow Angels, Pineapple Express) 2000 Southern-set drama, George Washington. It was a film festival favorite and NYT Critics' Pick then, and is now available as a Criterion Collection DVD. If you like Terrence Malick (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line) that's a good hint you'll appreciate it.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Advance Notice. Ira Glass at Royce Hall.

For his wondrous skills of storytelling and an unbeatable combination of intelligence and genuineness, This American Life's valiant leader Ira Glass is one of my most favorite people in the world. (Plus, look at him, he's a stud.) And if he isn't one of yours yet, get on the boat already! You won't look back.

Here's another chance: Glass is bringing his live show "Radio Stories & Other Stories" to UCLA's Royce Hall on March 27th for two separate editions, one at 7pm and one at 10pm. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am--but note, you have to be a KCRW member to purchase (and you really should be subscribing anyway).

I saw this show back in 2007 at USC, and it was incredibly fun, insightful and inspiring. Glass, alone on the stage with his sound devices and players, brings all the great stories and moments that make This American Life fantastic and adds his own personal experiences into the mix, making everything intimate and personable. He'll also be taking questions at the end, but try to refrain from going on and on about your unabated love for him (I know it'll be difficult).

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: This American Life

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Lunar New Year!

May your Year of the Tiger be filled with much love, prosperity and happiness! Thanks always for reading!

-- theBEAT

Friday, February 12, 2010

Advance Notice. Stefan's on Montana.

The Top Chefs have been all about Los Angeles lately--season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio over at the Dining Room at the Langham, season 2 champ Ilan Hall over at The Gorbals--and we'd surely be mistaken to try to leave the outspoken, L.A. resident and season 5 runner-up Stefan Richter out of the fun.

Richter, who's already actually taken part in the L.A. gang with his recent takeover of L.A. Farm, is opening yet another restaurant in the Santa Monica area, this time over on Montana Ave. Straightforward, just like Richter himself, the name of the eatery will be 'Stefan's on Montana.' According to Eater LA, it'll serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with dishes inspired by his native Switzerland, and will officially open on Monday.

He may not have won the big prize on the show, but for his L.A. love, Stefan's sure got a special place in our hearts.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Stefan's Catering

Check It. To Haiti With Love T-Shirt.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America has come up with a stylish way to help Haiti. A limited edition Peter Arnell-designed T-Shirt will go on sale Tuesday at retailers across the country, including J. Crew, Barneys, Nordstrom, and James Perse, among many others.

The "Fashion for Haiti" shirt is $25 and the proceeds will benefit the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. A number of designers (Tory Burch, Vera Wang, Diane Von Furstenberg) appear in a public service announcement that urges viewers to buy the T-Shirt.

I don't love the design, but it's for a good cause, and the "to Haiti with love" idea is nice.

There's also a FEED Haiti Bag now available ($35) from FEED Projects, proceeds buy 50 school meals for children in Haiti.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: CFDA

Check It. How to Make It in America.

For those young, hip and living in Los Angeles, Entourage can be a fun, mindless show to watch: you recognize all the hot spots Vince and the crew hit, and you catch all the names they effortlessly drop. And thanks to a few funny cameos and some too-true storylines (James Cameron making bank off of a ridiculous movie, what?), the show had its great moments.

But now it's New York City and How to Make It in America's turn. NYC's had a round of I Spy and name-dropping with Sex and the City, but this time we're dealing with the truly in-on-the-know: the twenty-somethings struggling right in the heart of the city, just trying to make it.

How to Make It in America
follows Ben, an artist who's given up his big-time dreams to working for the Man (a.k.a. Barneys), and his friend Cam, a dreamer with a lot of talk (and subsequently, heart). They're young and struggling, but getting by on young adrenaline and ambition, and if they just play their cards right, they might have the chance to make something of themselves.

There's no denying the Entourage tone of the series (the shows have the same exec producers): it's Vince and his friends before they hit L.A., before they get caught up in the glitz and glamour and lose their souls to ridiculousness. The characters of How to Make It are what will make or break this show: if they can remain genuine, I think people will want to continue following. So far, Bryan Greenberg as Ben is a good start; he's got a great contemplation to him that beats anything Adrian Grenier has ever tried to do with his hair. And Kid Cudi is a character! Cool artsy parties in huge lofts owned by Nylon writers is pushing things a bit, though.

Decide for yourself when How to Make It in America (ugh, is there any good way to shorten this title? Maybe this is a bad sign) premieres on HBO on Sunday at 10pm. Or, watch the pilot right now.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: How to Make It in America

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alexander McQueen (1969-2010).

“He was making this dress on the model with one piece of material. With some pins he made this exquisite dress out of one flat piece of material, with drapes around the front and this tight bodice. I said to him, ‘Did you just do that?’ And he said, ‘What?’ ”
-- Philip Treacy, friend of Alexander McQueen

See some of McQueen's best runway shows over the years here.

Eat In. Hank's Famous Apple Martinis [Thirsty Thursdays!].

A couple of years ago, my blogging girlfriend and I realized that we love apple martinis and we had to find out how to make the perfect one. At any bar, or while waiting for a table at P.F. Chang’s, I would create some rapport with bartender. Casually, so as not to alarm him/her and have him withhold any information, I would inquire “What do you make these with?” The bartender would always reply with some variation of vodka, Sour Apple Pucker, and sweet and sour (or Sprite).

After settling on all the right brands we began experimenting with measurements. Here are the staggeringly fantastic results … 3 oz. Grey Goose vodka, 1 ½ oz. DeKuyper's Sour Apple Pucker, and 1 ½ oz. sweet and sour mix.

Instructions: Fill a martini shaker with chopped or shaved ice and pour the three ingredients in. For best results make one at a time, otherwise you will get a more watered down drink as the ice melts. Shake well and serve in a chilled (from the freezer) martini glass.

-- Hank Bedford

Do It. Vineland Drive In.

One of the last standing traditional drive ins in Los Angeles, the Vineland Drive In in the City of Industry is a must do for any Angeleno, and a great Valentine's date possibility.

Strangely located in the, well, industrial part of town it is a far drive east for many LA residents. But the charms of an old time drive in are all there. Staying in comfort of your car, tuning the radio to the right station, running in to the concession stand. And, a lost charm of many theaters, this drive in has double features.

For the same price admission as most solo shows in conventional theaters, drivers can pull in and watch two movies one after another, making it kind of a long night.

Run by the large movie chain Pacific Theaters, this movie theater has most large, current movies and pairs them pretty well. Alvin and the Chipmunks? Tooth Fairy. Edge of Darkness? The Book of Eli.

The one that that can be a problem is leaving. Cars get packed in pretty tight and getting out takes about 10 minutes -- the same amount of time that it would take getting out of a crowded theater.

Also, the Devil's Night Drive-In in downtown L.A. will be playing Sid and Nancy for a downright romantic Valentine's evening.

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit: Yelp!

Check It. Tweet Museum.

Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not much a fan of Twitter. Do I really care about what happens every single second of your day? I don't, because you're probably not that interesting.

Many celebrities do happen to think they're interesting, and having a Twitter somehow further validates this. And granted, sometimes I do like knowing what John Mayer is thinking about at certain moments in time. Okay, maybe not, BUT if I did, I'd want Tweet Museum to illustrate it for me.

I don't know much about this recent discovery of mine, except that it seems fairly new and it is completely awesome. Odessa Begay has taken random tweets from a fair set of celebrity Twitter-ers (Twits? Twats? I've had this annoying boggle before) and created her own accompanying visual illustrations, tongue-in-cheek of course. Above? Inspired by Mayer's rather drab tweet: "Christmas on December 25 is merely a suggestion. It can come anytime between the 25 and 31. And it's happening now." I'm impressed by Begay's creativity with that one.

Begay says on the site that she only updates every Tuesday, and considering it only started in January, there aren't many Tweet-illustrations to browse through yet right now. This one's going in the bookmarks, though: ready to visit anytime I need a good chuckle with Nick Jonas and unicorns.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Tweet Museum

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Etc. TED Talks.

I first got introduced to TED by my friend Joel, who sent me a video of a brain scientist talking about her stroke, and how she lived through the experience knowing every single thing that was happening in her brain at that moment. In her words, "In the course of four hours, I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information." (And yep, that's her holding a real brain up there.) The talk was simple, personal and mind-blowingly (pun not intended) enlightening; the kind of lecture you wish you could get every day in school (but probably didn't/don't).

But now you've got TED. The non-profit began as a conference to bring together those in Technology, Entertainment and Design, and over the course of 25 years has featured speakers such as Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Richard Branson, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Moshe Safdie and John Hodgman, just to name drop to a few. Basically anybody who's done innovative work in those fields above has spoken for TED at their annual, nearly impossibly-to-get-into conferences--one of which is going on right now in Long Beach, and welcoming the likes of James Cameron, Andrew Bird, Valerie Plame Wilson and Bill Gates.

But don't feel left out. TED's motto is "Ideas worth spreading," and they stand by it by posting up intellectual and awe-inspiring videos every week. I've yet to be able to peruse all 500 currently on the site, but some of my favorites are J.J. Abrams, Dave Eggers and Malcolm Gladwell. Spend some time on the site, and you're sure to find something that touches you.

Time to get inspired, BEATs!

-- Chau Tu

Do It. 'Seven Chances' Valentine's Matinee.

A silent film set in 1920's Los Angeles--Buster Keaton's "Seven Chances" is a perfect comedy to see on Valentine's Day, and it's playing at the Silent Movie Theatre on Sunday evening. Keaton (The General, Steamboat Bill, Jr.) is great visual comedian. He directs and stars in this 1925 hit presented by the Cinefamily. It's just 56 minutes long, so you can still make that dinner reservation.

February 14, 6:00 p.m. screening

Tickets are $12

The Silent Movie Theatre is located at 611 N. Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Make It. Using a register [A budget].

So maybe I'm stuck in the Dark Ages where people read books by candlelight and only lived until they're 35, but I have begun to use a check register. Or, more appropriately, I have begun to record all my transactions in my Moleskine. (I love my Moleskine. That should be a post itself).

But keeping a register has really helped me keep track of my finances. Being one of the last remaining human beings to not use online checking, I need to keep track of my daily transactions, and keeping a running tally of my checking amount has helped tremendously.

It is a bit cumbersome to whip out a notebook each time you buy something, but if you make a mental note and write it down later, it gives you a more exact figure to be able to budget for.

And, when you're not near a computer it's kind of nice to have a written record of what you have spent and exactly how much you have. If you use a notebook or Moleskine you can keep important receipts in it too.

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Do It. Kill Bill double feature.

Tonight at the Egyptian Theatre, at 7:30 p.m.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & Kill Bill: Vol. 2

General admission tickets are $11

The Egyptian Theatre is located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Eat Out. L.A. Street Food Fest.

Impressing your sweetheart for Valentine's Day can be difficult when you're on a budget, but thanks to this year's L.A. Street Food Fest, it looks like you may be in luck.

The 1st annual fest takes place this Saturday, rounding up some of the best and well-known roving food trucks that have been all the rage in Los Angeles lately into one easy, concise space. Participants like ice-cream sandwich makers Cool Haus, breakfast specialists The Buttermilk Truck and the French fry extravaganza known as Frysmith will be dishing out exclusive 'tasting menus' at $1-$5 all day over at the L.A. Center Studios. There's a $5 general admission fee which includes a free drink ticket.

As you're digesting your food, you can take a peek over at the Unique L.A. exhibits, which will also be setting up shop at the festival. You can pick up some recycled vinyl pieces from DoubleDipped or some accessories from Stylesmith as an extra V-Day gift.

The event is first-come, first-serve, and considering how popular these trucks are these days, it'd be best to show up early. Remember to bring cash, and look out for a celebrity chef pop-up to come truckin' along too.

The L.A. Street Food Fest takes place 11am-5pm on Feb. 13 at the L.A. Center Studios at 500 S. Beaudry Ave.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Komodo Truck

Check It. Arcona Skin Care.

Arcona is my all-time favorite skin care line. I was introduced to it in college when suddenly the skin on my forehead broke out and nothing I tried was helping clear it up (maybe that's TMI, but Arcona helped). I've been a loyal fan ever since, recommending it to anyone I know who struggles to keep their skin spot-free. It's sold on their website, at their Santa Monica Studio, and at several beauty boutiques such as Planet Blue. The Toner Tea Bar is my favorite product, and the Magic White Ice and Mineral Magic hydrating mist follow closely behind.

Arcona was founded in Los Angeles in 1989 by a woman named Arcona. The products are natural, smell amazing, and actually work! Read more about it here.
What sparked an Arcona blog post, was an email I received this morning from them about a 50% off deal ($30 to $15) on the White Tea Eye Makeup Remover. I thought this would be a great first product to try for anyone who may be interested in the line.
The ARCONA Studio is located at 425 Broadway in Santa Monica.
-- Leslie Anne Wiggins
Photo credit:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Check It. Bettie Page Clothing Hollywood.

As dirty as parts of Hollywood Blvd. are, there are some treasures along it--Musso & Frank's, the Egyptian Theatre ... and Bettie Page Clothing, which opened last summer.

When I read this Los Angeles Times Image blog by Monica Corcoran (who is now writing a "Mad Men" fashion book with the show's costume designer, Janie Bryant) in December 2008, an appreciation of the late bombshell's style, I knew I had to visit the store (then, only in Las Vegas, where I just happened to be going later that month.) It was very cool, but at the time I wasn't in the market for a new dress.

With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought I'd point out this potentially hidden treasure to anyone searching for a girly getup. They also carry a variety of accessories, including Tres Noir sunglasses, which come in several pretty shades of red. Holly Madison and Leighton Meester are fans.

Bettie Page Clothing is located at 6650 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Check It. Quentin Tarantino at the Egyptian.

Quentin Tarantino will be in conversation with Variety's Todd McCarthy tonight at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre. It's a double-feature evening: Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds. If Travolta's Vincent and Uma Thurman's Mia Wallace's dancing date at Jack Rabbit Slim's doesn't get you ready for Valentine's Day, I'm not sure what will.

I haven't yet seen 'Inglourious', but am looking forward to being able to see it on the big screen after skipping it when it was first in theaters.

Tarantino should make it an exciting event, we'll let you know what happens!

This event is sold out.

If you want your Tarantino fix on the big screen, The Egyptian is holding a Kill Bill: Vol. 1 & Kill Bill: Vol. 2 double-feature tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. We're waiting till 2014 for Vol. 3.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Etc. Recapping the Super Bowl + commercials + a puppy bowl.

(cutest baby ever)
It's the Monday morning after the big game, and somehow you missed out--too busy going to noise-rock shows and watching British noir, right? Have no fear, because the BEAT's got the recap for you right here:

1. The underdog New Orleans Saints won, 31-17, thanks in the end to third quarter onside kick and an intercepted pass from the Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning. You'll be hearing a lot about 'Mardi Gras starting early this year' and the phrase 'Who Dat?' being uncomfortably used in formal arenas for the next couple of days.

2. And of course there were those really expensive commercials. You can hopefully watch all the worthy ones--including yes, one that includes David Letterman, Oprah and gasp! Jay Leno--if they don't get taken down from Videogum.

3. There was this, too. (SFW, but probably not for your dignity).

Happy Monday!

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Do It. Echo Park Art Walk.

Today, till 6:00 p.m. If you like art, and a Saturday stroll, this is a great idea for this afternoon, especially if you have an umbrella easily accessible, and perhaps some rain boots too.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: