Thursday, September 30, 2010

Drink Out. San Antonio Winery in downtown LA.

You see signs for the San Antonio Winery all over Los Angeles County. I visited this winery with a girl friend and it was excellent.

Located downtown near Boyle Heights, this is an unlikely place for a winery, but they have some very excellent bottles available for tasting. San Antonio Winery set up shop nearly 100 years ago, and downtown sprung up around it.

One of my favorites is their almond-flavored wine. It's very dark and almost tastes more like a liqour then wine, it's an excellent after dinner drink.

At their bodega downtown you can sample bottles you're curious about buying. There's also a restaurant if you're interested in eating out here.

San Antonio Winery is located at 737 Lamar St.

-- Lauren Williams

Check It. MAC Venomous Villains Makeup Collection.

Today the MAC Cosmetics Venomous Villains collection is in stores. I first saw word of it in a magazine about a month ago, and have been looking forward to it ever since. Last week I happened upon a party at the MAC store at the Hollywood & Highland Center celebrating this collection, and it just added to the excitement of the line's release.

MAC is known for being great stage makeup--it doesn't budge under hot lights, which means it's very effective for just regular daily life. Their concealer is a staple in my makeup bag, and the cream blushes are lovely too.

This partnership with Disney looks like a lot of fun--as so much of the fun of makeup is in the packaging. While I'm sure some fanatics will collect much of the collection, I'm planning on picking up a lipstick or lipgloss to dip my little finger in the celebration of Disney gone glam.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Advance Notice. Weezer's "Memories" Tour.

Man, remember when Weezer were cool? When you'd sing River Cuomo's darn-catchy songs unabashedly because, gosh, they really meant something?

Weezer remembers too. And so they've put together a dream tour where they're going to be playing the Blue Album and Pinkerton in full on two separate nights in each city. That's right: one whole concert of "Say it Ain't So" and "Only in Dreams," followed the next night with "El Scorcho" and "Tired of Sex." YES.

But considering this isn't 1996 and Weezer has become what they have become, you'll also have to expect some "greatest hits" during the encore. And sure, you'll probably get an uninvited rush during the show of embarrassing memories of awkward junior and high school moments. But it will all be totally worth it. =W=!!!!

Tickets for the shows range from $27.50-$106.25 and go on sale tomorrow at 10am. The Blue Album will played in full on Friday, Nov. 26 (yes, this is annoyingly Thanksgiving weekend), and Pinkerton on Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Gibson Ampitheatre, located at 100 Universal City Plaza in Universal City.

-- Chau Tu

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Eat Out. Becker's Bakery & Deli.

It would seem that there's not much to making a good sandwich, but Becker's Bakery & Deli consistently proves me wrong. This little shop about two blocks from the sand in Manhattan Beach is primarily known for their tasty cookies and bakery goods, but their sandwiches are incredible.

Fresh quality ingredients on either a French roll or tasty squaw bread, they customize everything to what cheese, how much sprouts, pickles, and onions. Pictured above is my favorite The Natural, but they also have what I'm told is a mean club and roast beef and cheddar.

The sandwiches are huge and can easily feed two not-very-hungry adults. And they always put in a little surprise in the brown to-go bag from the bakery.

Becker's Bakery & Deli is located at 1025 Manhattan Ave.

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit: Becker's Bakery & Deli.

Check It. And Vinyly.

Naturally, death isn't a common conversation piece among youngsters like us, but it's always important to think ahead. You just never know when it can happen, and you'll want to go out in style, yes?

Well And Vinyly has just the right solution. The online company offers you the chance to press your precious ashes into a vinyl record, which can play anything you wish -- from a somber anthem to your life, to your own personal eulogy -- and can effectively live on in infamy after you die. You can even get your portrait drawn by National Portrait Gallery artist James Hague or street artist Paul Insect for the record cover.

Talk about immortality! Which, of course, comes at a lovely price of 3,000 British pounds -- roughly $4,700 at this point. But hey, no one said it would be cheap to live forever.

Get the spooky weird details at And Vinyly's website.

So what would your "Rest in Vinyl" mix include? I'm curious.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit:

Check It. MOCA Store.

How can I say a museum store has great gifts without sounding like a grandmother? Check out the MOCA Store and you'll see what I mean. This shop really gets it. An Elizabeth Peyton beach towel (pictured) featuring Sid Vicious? Check. Mini Robert Indiana "LOVE" statue? Check. A 10 oz. ceramic mug inspired by Pantone color charts, in Blue 286 C? Check.

From the reasonable (notebooks for $12) to the pricey (Comme des Garçons wallets for $200, and limited edition Murakami prints for $900), the MOCA Store has gifts for most occasions, especially if there's a contemporary art lover in your life.

MOCA Grand Avenue is located at 250 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Info: (213) 621-1710. The store is also online:

If you make it downtown, be sure to stop by Lemonade at MOCA.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Art Production Fund / MOCA

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Advance Notice. The Most Interesting Show in the World.

Can't get more promising than that right? Dos Equis is set to kick off a nationwide tour for a show featuring acts handpicked by The Most Interesting Man in the World himself. Expect fun and entertaining performances from Hungarian illusionist The Great Zimmet, Persian burlesque performer Cherie Lily, a "vocal scientist," contortionists and escape artists, as well as a show from host and well-known party starter Andrew W.K. And of course, a lot of Dos Equis.

Best part? It's free. First come first served, but you'll have to grab tickets here first.

The Most Interesting Show in the World takes place Oct. 8th at 8pm at the Avalon, located at 1735 N. Vine Blvd. in Hollywood. 21+ only.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit:

Advance Notice. L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade.

After an impromptu yet long and decadent meal (cheese plate with honeycomb, soft-shell crab with grits and fried green tomatoes, chocolate bread pudding, a sidecar, and a greyhound) at the Hungry Cat the weekend before last, with the bill arrived with a postcard invitation to a cool-sounding charity event benefitting childhood cancer research.

L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade is taking place Sunday November 7 at noon at the Culver Studios in Los Angeles. Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern), and David Lentz (the Hungry Cat) are bringing together top chefs for an afternoon of great food for a great cause.

While you can enjoy dishes by Giada De Laurentiis and Nancy Silverton, there will also be drinks by bartenders from the Varnish, Comme Ça, and of course, the Hungry Cat, among others. These are three L.A. institutions with seriously fresh, delicious cocktails.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, founded by Alexandra Scott (1996-2004) raises money for childhood cancer research. She started with a lemonade stand, and stands are still part of how the foundation operates today.

Tickets aren't cheap ($150 and up) but it's all in the name of charity--and epicurean delights.

Info:, (610) 649-3034

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: desicuisine4u

Check It. Free Community Weekend at LACMA.

This weekend LACMA is opening its doors to the members of the community for free.

Both Saturday and Sunday visitors can view the museum's exhibits on fashion, masterpieces from Mexican history, and their "Eye for the Sensual" exhibit. There will also be live performances that compliment the museum's exhibit on Mexico Saturday between 12-4 p.m. in Hancock Park and a free photo booth is on the marquee.

Timed reservation tickets are required for admittance.

LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd.

-- Lauren Williams

Monday, September 27, 2010

Check It. Weekend entertainment letdown.

We're usually pretty positive here at the BEAT--pointing out awesomeness here, there, and everywhere. Well ... this weekend, at the movie theater and on TV (excuse me, HBO) it was disappointment after disappointment.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was lacking that movie magic that pulls you in. It all just felt staged, which was really odd considering the great talents involved. Aside from The Bowery Hotel duvet cover briefly/strangely featured in the LeBeouf/Mulligan apartment, it was sadly uninteresting.

Boardwalk Empire picked up a bit this week, with Steve Buscemi leading the way. It still feels a bit long, even though this week's episode was under the hour mark.

Bored to Death was on following 'Boardwalk', and before Eastbound & Down, so I watched it. The best part was a conversation about Orangina. I do love a good cold Orangina.

And, to wrap up the weekend of less-than-thrilling entertainment--the season two premiere of Eastbound & Down. After loving season one, I had been waiting for this episode for some time. It just didn't deliver. Kenny Powers is in Mexico, has hideous corn rows in his hair, and is less funny than he was before.

Next weekend--I do have hope for David Fincher's The Social Network.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Do It. Ladies night at ClimbX.

Tuesday nights mean half off a day pass at the Huntington Beach indoor rock gym, ClimbX.

Right off Pacific Coast Highway, this is one of my favorite climbing spots. Rock climbing is definitely a male-dominated sport, and the women's half off night gets the ladies into the gym. If you don't have your equipment, rental prices for women on Tuesdays are the same though.

This is an amazing workout. Anytime I leave the indoor rock gym I feel the burn in hard-to-tone places like my forearms, and back and it's definitely more fun then an ordinary gym.

Hanging from the ceiling and partnering up with some friends who spot you while you belay up a wall beats a treadmill for me anyday.

ClimbX is located at 18411 Gothard St., Unit 1 in Huntington Beach.

-- Lauren Williams

Do It. We Are Plastic Ono Band at the Orpheum.

All right, say what you will about Yoko Ono and her relationship to the Beatles. Or her crazy performance art. Or just her crazy self. But the woman undeniably is a machine, never letting you once forget that John Lennon was a cool dude (duh) and like, there should be peace and stuff (double duh).

And hell, does she have star power. Take, for example, the We Are Plastic Ono Band concert she's put together this weekend. Not only does We Are Plastic Ono Band already comprise of her and her son Sean Ono Lennon, but the shows (over two days) will also feature guest appearances by Lady Gaga, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Iggy Pop, The RZA, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Perry Ferrell, Vincent Gallo, Carrie Fisher and more.

You can't deny that this is going to be one crazy show. You're all for peace, right?

The We Are Plastic Ono Band shows are taking place over two days, Oct. 1st and 2nd, at the Orpheum Theatre, located at 842 S. Broadway in downtown. Tickets are $60-$150 for each day, and check here for more details on who's appearing on each day.

**And in case you want some more Yoko Ono, she'll be appearing this Sunday at the Grammy Museum in promotion of the new John Lennon exhibit opening next week.

-- Chau Tu

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do It. Space15Twenty Record Fair.

With the news of Fat Beats, the hip-hip record store on Melrose, closing its doors just last weekend, the light known as the physical album grows ever dimmer. But alas, there is thankfully still Amoeba.

And interestingly enough, just down the street this weekend will be another little glimmer of hope, as Space15Twenty holds its first ever Record Fair. Expect "carefully curated collections" from DJs, musicians, music bloggers and more among the mostly vinyl pop-up event. Amoeba itself will be showing off some favorites, as well as main sponsors B-Music/Finders Keepers Records, Killing Spree DJs, Origami Vinyl and more. It'll probably be on the pretentious side, but isn't that the best thing about vinyl? May it live on!

The Space15Twenty Record Fair happens this Sun., Sat. 26 from 10am-2pm, at 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood. It's free and open to the public.

**Also this weekend:
-WeHo Book Fair
-The Pixies in La Jolla
-LA Craft Beer Crawl
-Warholian exhibit at Royal/T
-Abbot Kinney Fest

-- Chau Tu

Check It. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

It's been twenty-three years since the original, and Oliver Stone is back with a sequel. Michael Douglas is in his role as Gordon Gekko, and Shia LeBeouf and Carey Mulligan bring new young talent to Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Great title, first of all.

Mulligan is Vogue's October cover girl, and in every role she takes on, she impresses. LeBeouf seems to be Hollywood's latest golden boy, and I think he deserves it. And Michael Douglas, well, he really needs no explanation.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is out today, September 24, in theaters nationwide.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Check It. Dexter season five primer.

The likable serial killer Dexter Morgan is coming back this Sunday, and judging from the trailer he's got quite a list of problems. Rita's dead, he has three children to think about, even as his friends at Miami PD seem to be catching on to him.

Based on the trailer, he just seems to be trying to evade police. There's no illusion to him and his Dark Passenger's urges and there don't seem to be any rival serial killers in sight.

Dexter's season 5 primers Sunday Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Below is the season 5 trailer.

-- Lauren Williams

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eat In. Weetabix.

I was so excited to find my favorite English cereal at Trader Joe's, I just had to share. Sometimes it's hard to find a good breakfast staple that doesn't get tiresome. Weetabix has been around since 1932, and is still going strong. It's tasty without being artificially flavored or sweet. The unusual (by American cereal standards) biscuits get soft when milk is poured on them, and you dig right in with a spoon.

A serving (2 biscuits) has 130 calories, half a gram of fat, and 2 grams of sugar. And, at $2.69 for a box that contains 24--less than a quarter (plus milk cost) for a bowl.

A wise choice for the most important meal of the day.

Weetabix is available at Trader Joe's, and shops that import groceries from the U.K.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Check It. The Pixies in La Jolla.

The gritty punk rock band The Pixies are performing this weekend in San Diego County in La Jolla.

The last leg of their 2010 Dolittle tour, they'll be wrapping up the Rimac Arena at the University of California, San Diego. Tickets are $79. The arena is huge, seating 5,000.

This should be an amazing concert, definitely something worth checking out and plenty of reason for a quick stop in San Diego.

The Rimac Arena is located at 9500 Gillman Drive in La Jolla.

-- Lauren Williams

Do It. The Warholian at Royal/T.

Part of the lasting allure of Andy Warhol were those infamous Factory parties -- who wouldn't want to be part of that scene, hang out with Twiggy and cool artists?

Our generation might finally get a chance, sort of. Royal/T Cafe, better known for being L.A.'s first Japanese-style cosplay cafe, is going mod. Starting tonight, the art space will feature Warholian, a full-on Warhol-obsessed extravaganza of an exhibit including works inspired by him and created by amazing contemporary artists like Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Richard Prince, as well as actual Warhol originals like "Dollar Sign" and "Marilyn." Whoa.

And to kick it all off? A Factory-inspired opening party, of course. There'll be DJ sets by Shepard Fairey and David J (of Bauhaus), and "dark sunglasses, photobooth, pop art, paparazzi, debauchery..." and so the list on the invite goes on. (And Barbie?) Get ready for your 15 minutes.

The Warholian opening party is tonight at 8pm, located at Royal/T at 8910 Washington Blvd. in Culver City. RSVP to with the subject "glitter." The Warholian exhibit will be at Royal/T until Jan. 31, 2011.

-- Chau Tu

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Check It. Hi-Time Wine Cellars.

If you're ever in the Orange County area, Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa is a place that definitely deserves a peak inside.

A wine, beer, cheese, spirits, and cigar specialty store, I've often heard that it easily rivals BevMo! in their craft brew selection, and offers $10 wine tastings on Tuesdays, as well as carry interesting cheeses.

Because they're a smaller store, they get special cases of brews that large-scale vendors can't offer, so they have special edition beers and wines in addition to already having a pretty impressive selection.

Hi-Times Wine Cellars is located at 250 Ogle St. in Costa Mesa.

-- Lauren Williams

Do It. LA Craft Beer Crawl.

The name says it all. If you've been craving for some lovely beers to ride you in on the autumn season -- thanks Lauren! -- then what better way to do it than a good ole fashioned beer crawl?

And this isn't just a crack-open-a-can affair here. For one, the LA Craft Beer Crawl happening this weekend will be taking place at the bars of the 213 Ventures, a.k.a. some of downtown's best -- like Seven Grand, Golden Gopher, Broadway Bar and Cana Rum Bar. Expect some class and a whole lot of attention on the brew. And speaking of the brew, there'll be over fifty craft beers represented, all chosen carefully by The Beer Chicks (they seem to know what they're talking about). And to drown it all down will be food from trucks specially picked by LA Weekly's food critic Jonathan Gold.

Tickets are on sale now for $49, which includes a 6 oz. tasting glass, unlimited tastings across all the seven bars and an after-party at Casey's with live music. A $60 VIP ticket will get you some exclusive beer cocktails and a chance to hang out with Gold himself. And while your ticket may be getting you down and dirty, some of the proceeds from it won't -- the money will help out Heal the Bay. So drink on!

The LA Craft Beer Crawl takes place this Saturday from 3pm-8pm in downtown.

-- Chau Tu

Check It. Maroon 5's Hands All Over.

For the majority of high school (and well into college) Maroon 5's debut, Songs About Jane, was constantly playing in my car. It's rare that an album is listenable all the way through, and this one was not only listenable, but enjoyable straight through.

Yesterday the L.A.-raised and based band released a new album, Hands All Over, and I'm very much looking forward to new driving music.

Maroon 5 will be playing the Greek Theatre in Los Feliz October 8 & 9.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: A&M/Octone

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Eat Out. Fosselman's Ice Cream Company [Guest Post].

I'm a simple girl, and while I've been exposed to more experimental desserts, it really just comes down to that simple scoop of ice cream.

Where else can you get that than a family-operated working soda fountain on Main Street?

Opened in 1919, Fosselman's Ice Cream Company still serves their signature homemade ice cream of up to 40 flavors. In addition, the shoppe churns out malts, milkshakes, and even vends candy (Jelly Belly first started selling their jelly beans here). With its old menu and services intact, it's really easy to get lost in the nostalgia.

Even though Fosselman's retains its old-town gem reputation, the younger generation family members have established some seasonal flavors, such as heirloom tomato in August and snowballs in December. The more Asian-oriented surrounding community has had some influence, so you can still get your lychee or taro ice cream fix if you're craving something different.

Warning: To follow up on its fairly decent prices, Fosselman's is cash-only, so withdraw accordingly.

Fosselman's is located at 1824 W. Main St. in Alhambra.

-- Muriel Nacar
Muriel is a lifetime student.

Photo credit:

Do It. West Hollywood Book Fair.

The annual West Hollywood Book Fair is this Sunday--and while it's not quite the Los Angeles Times' weekend-long Festival of Books, it's some bookish fun if that's what you're in the mood for at summer's end.

Everyone's favorite John Hughes movie sweetheart Molly Ringwald will be discussing and signing her book, Getting the Pretty Back at 1:00 p.m. James Ellroy will discuss and sign his latest work, The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women, and Aimee Bender will be part of a panel discussion titled "(I Think) I Love You: Exploring the Many Facets of Love and Desire in Fiction".

The ninth annual West Hollywood Book Fair will take place on Sunday September 26, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in West Hollywood Park, at 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. in West Hollywood. Free parking at the Pacific Design Center (8687 Melrose Ave.) Admission is free.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Eat In. Chimay cheese.

Chimay red, white, and blue label are all delicious and unique in flavor and definitely at the top the chart of European beers, but I recently learned that the Trappist monks of Scourmont, Belgium, have also been known to make cheeses since 1876.

Qualified as semi-hard in texture, these cheeses can be found at specialty stores or ordered online.

-- Lauren Williams

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eat In. Fall beers.

Now that summer's over, the citrus-y heffs and golden and pale ales don't have the same appeal as spicy, yeasty reds and amber ales. Fall time has some of the best beers with a bit more flavor, but before the winter's stronger, sometimes overpowering brews. Here are four ideal fall beers.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale -- Amber in color, this is a tasty, spicier beer with a bit of a bitter taste. Rogue is one of my favorite brewing companies, and this is one of their classics.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest -- Sam Adams is one of the best domestic, large-scale breweries, and their October seasonal is consistently spot on with tons of flavor, but a bit more smooth then the Dead Guy.

Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale -- Blue Moon's with a wedge of orange are a summertime classic, and this definitely qualifies as an autumn one. The flavor of pumpkin is definitely present, but largely as an aftertaste. This has a richer taste, then the light citrus-y summer brew, but definitely smoother then some more bitter, amber ales.
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale -- I've mentioned this before, this is something I actually look forward to all summer, definitely qualifying as my favorite fall-time seasonal. There is definitely a strong pumpkin taste along with plenty of spice, but the taste of beer is definitely not hidden by the strong fall flavors.

-- Lauren Williams

Check It. The Flaming Lips' Black Cab session [The Monday Download].

In my opinion, one of the best ways to pinpoint the bands and musicians who are truly talented are by observing them in their vulnerable moments, without the electronics to amplify their sound or the fancy lights on stage. Put them in situations where anything can happen, and listen to their true voices come through.

La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows are my favorite experiment with this, but I've just discovered another fun project. It's called Black Cab Sessions, and it simply puts bands and musicians into the back of a British black cab and let's them perform. It's super fascinating to see the musicians work with their unplugged sounds. Here's the latest Black Cab Session, from the Flaming Lips:

-- Chau Tu

Check It. Boardwalk Empire.

HBO's Boardwalk Empire premiered last night, and it was a beautiful hour and fifteen minutes. The episode was directed by Martin Scorsese, but was mainly just setup for the season. We meet Lucky Luciano and Al Capone, as well as Steve Buscemi's Nucky Thompson. Buscemi, who directed some Sopranos episodes, is as great as ever on the small screen (although, "it's not TV").

The show airs Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. on HBO, and encores at 10:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. If you have HBO East on the West coast, check for showtimes three hours earlier as well.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: HBO

Friday, September 17, 2010

Do It. Vaudeville at the Alex.

This Sunday the Alex Film Society is presenting a night of vaudevillian inspired performances and a series of short silent movies.

The theater is a beautiful art deco building that is in great shape, a lot like The Wiltern in design.

This is an event I would look forward to all year, and I'm kicking myself that I'll be out of town for this one. Past events have had comedic acts, magic, and 1920s style sing-alongs.

This year's event is a matinee only, at 2 p.m. this Sunday. Tickets are $20.

The Alex Theatre located at 216 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale.

-- Lauren Williams

Do It. The Town.

Aside from an Indian feast tonight, and plenty of sleep tomorrow and Sunday, my big weekend plan is to see The Town. I was fortunate enough to catch a conversation with Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner about the new release at the L.A. Film Fest in June, and have been looking forward to seeing it ever since. If masked nuns in habits carrying machine guns isn't a scary image, I don't know what is.

The Town is playing at all three ArcLight Cinemas, as well as many other theaters nationwide.

A good suggestion for a pre or post-film meal: Umami Burger (Hollywood) is in walking distance from the ArcLight Hollywood, at 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Do It. Pay what you want to see the Freakonomics movie.

No doubt about it -- it's expensive to see a movie these days. So when the chance to see a movie for whatever price you want -- in this case, from a penny to $100 -- it's surely worth taking. And if you get to take part in the movie's own research, even cooler, right?

It'd only be possible with one film: Freakonomics. A documentary film inspired by the popular book by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, Freakonomics in comprised of a number of vignettes by filmmakers like Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and Seth Gordon (King of Kong), who all try and portray Freakonomics' economical/social theories. Given the popularity of the book and the writers, the portrayals on film are sure to be intriguing.

And you can see it all for a penny! Or whatever price you want. Because the film is giving audiences in major cities -- including L.A., of course -- that chance in exchange for finishing a survey. It's nine questions long, and basically just asks you demographical stuff and whether you will buy popcorn at the movie, so it's not exactly personal. Supposedly, it'll be used as part of Freakonomics research. So help out some social science and get to see a movie for your own price, simple as that.

The free screening will take place on Sept. 22 at your local Landmark Theatre. Here's the survey to get your ticket.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Drink It. Arrowhead Sparkling Water [Thirsty Thursday!].

Doesn't it just look so refreshing? You know sometimes when you're really thirsty, but you're dying for a Diet Coke rather than a glass of water? Well here's a healthy compromise.

I think everyone tries to 'drink more water', but it's easy to forget to drink a whole lot, especially with some many delicious drink options available. I've recently gotten back into an old favorite of mine, Arrowhead sparkling water, in the lime flavor. It's tasty, 100% natural, and calorie free. The ingredients are simply: mountain spring water, natural flavors, and CO2. Arrowhead is a great water in general, as it's true spring water that's very reasonably priced.

Arrowhead water is widely available throughout Southern California.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Do It. Venice Art Crawl.

By now, everyone (or at least it feels that way) knows about and heads out to downtown's monthly Art Walk. But if you want to try to avoid the ridiculous crowds and maybe even get to appreciate some art, head west for the Venice Art Crawl tonight.

With its quirky and free-spirited atmosphere, Venice seems like the perfect setting for an art crawl, but the every-third-Thursday-of-the-month event actually only began last month. Still, it already seems like it's growing to be a big one this time around, with a list of what looks like hundreds of artists expected to participate. Plus, many of the artists will be showing off their works in fun pop-up galleries, so expect creative art spaces in unusual spots.

And of course, the best part of it all is that it's free. So take some time to breathe in that seaside air, enjoy that scene that is Venice, and get ready to see some great art (and remember, it's just a crawl!).

For more info, check out the Venice Art Crawl website.

-- Chau Tu

Check It. Park[ing] Day LA.

Tomorrow parking spaces are being turned into parks all around Los Angeles and the world. Sept. 17 will be the fourth annual Park[ing] Day LA, which was created to stimulate discussion about use of public spaces as streets rather then beautifying the city as parks.

You can add your own park by adding it to the Park[ing] Day map. Among the places taking part in the festivities is my favorite LB bookstore {open}.

A good excuse to get out and check out LA's newly beautified streets!

-- Lauren Williams

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do It. Tim Gunn at Borders Century City.

Tim Gunn (of Project Runway and Tim Gunn's Guide to Style fame) will be at Century City's Borders on Thursday night discussing and signing his new advice book (peppered with fashion industry gossip), Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work.

In the spring of 2007, Gunn released the popular Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style.

September 16 at 7:00 p.m. Borders is located at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. in Century City. Info: (310) 552-1411,

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Eat Out. Alibi Room.

It's not always easy trying to chase all those food trucks trolling around L.A. Upon a recent craving for some Kogi BBQ, my friend and I discovered that none of the four graffiti-ed trucks were actually in L.A. proper, and we weren't interested in driving down to South Gate or Encino. Thankfully, the dudes behind the food truck craze got smart and covered their bases with a brick-and-mortar Kogi installation at the Alibi Room.

The Alibi Room, under normal circumstances, is your normal fancy neighborhood bar. Located on Washington Blvd. on the other side of the 405 from downtown Culver City, it's kind of in a random spot, but still attracts a nightlife-stylish crowd by 6pm on a Friday. It looked to be the place where you can get your night started, before heading off to more lively locales. Why anyone would want to get drinks there, though, puzzled me: the custom cocktails were tasty and creative enough, but definitely still way over-priced at $10. Draft beers are $7, and there are no happy hour options.

So in theory, it must be only the Kogi that's keeping the Alibi busy. But with unique specials like calamari tacos and the burger, the trip for the Kogi alone is worth it, mostly for those who have already waited out in the various truck lines and know all the specials by heart. The prices, at $5-$9, make sense, and the flavors and Kogi fun are all still there. Become a regular and you can keep up with Chef Roy Choi's weekly specials. Maybe not as fun as following the trucks, but you don't have to worry about the lines. Just remember to drink somewhere else.

The Alibi Room is located at 12236 Washington Blvd. in Culver City. Take note that Kogi BBQ is only available Mon.-Sat. from 6pm to midnight.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Alibi Room

Do It. LA County Fair.

Those interested in seeing some horse racing, eating heart-stoppingly-delicious food, and checking out some animals have 19 days to head over to the Los Angeles County Fair, which will be wrapping up Oct. 3.

Among the attractions at the fair are The Wine & Spirits Marketplace, The Bark Park where talented dogs put on performances, a carnival, circus, a flower and garden pavilion, and an exhibit of Our Body: The Universe Within which has actual human bodies on display.

Also, OK Go is scheduled to be performing at the fair on its final day, Oct. 3.

If you plan on attending on a Friday, admission is free if you bring five cans of food for Ralph's food drive. Regular admission for those 13 and over is $12 on weekdays, and $17 on weekends.

The LA County Fair is at the Fairplex in Pomona at 1101 W. McKinley Ave.

-- Lauren Williams

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eat Out. Nicky D's Wood-Fired Pizza.

Nicky D's Wood-Fired Pizza is a cozy neighborhood pizza place in Los Feliz/Silver Lake that's truly delicious. It's along a stretch of Rowena Avenue that's also home to The Coffee Table, Blair's, Edendale Grill, and L.A. Fire Station #56. The structure used to be a house, but now is a multi-level restaurant and there's also patio dining out back.

My favorite menu item is the Blonde Bunny pizza--Ricotta, Goat Cheese, Romano, and Mozzarella, with a Roasted Garlic Olive Oil Base (pictured). This goes fabulously with the Hoegaarden beer they have on tap. The more classic pizzas, like pepperoni, or vegetable/meat combinations are really good too.

Once while picking up an order, I had the pleasure of meeting Nicky himself, and he was a really nice guy. He proudly chatted to me about the pizza oven, the history of the building, and was just genuinely pleasant. This just added another reason to keep going back!

Nicky D's is located at 2764 Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake. Open 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Info:, (323) 664-3333.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Do It. The Moth StorySLAM.

If you've listened to This American Life recently, you might have taken note of the live storytelling segments they've started to broadcast as one of the acts, usually the last in the show. The often funny and reflective pieces are actually part of The Moth, a non-profit storytelling organization based in New York that aims to bring live storytelling to audiences all over the country.

The live sessions are sort of a mash-up of stand-up comedy and literary reading, without so much of the awkwardness or pretentiousness usually associated with the two. Usually it's just one person on stage, telling their personal story, so although it is a performance, there is a sense of intimacy. Just like TAL, the stories work to help people understand things in a new light. Listen to a sample of stories here. Past notable performers include Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, Lewis Black, Jonathan Ames, Tim Gunn (yes! That Time Gunn) and Salman Rushdie.

The segments on TAL are great, but seeing these stories told live takes the meaningfulness behind the stories and the people who are brave enough to tell them to a different level. And you've got your chance tonight, as The Moth sponsors its one of its three L.A. StorySLAMs tonight at Busby's East. The StorySLAMs consist of ten stories/storytellers, limited to five minutes each, that follow a certain theme. The stories are scored by three audience member judges, who at the end of the night pick a winner to face off in a later GrandSLAM. Tonight's theme is "Inspired," and who knows, maybe it'll inspire you to get up on The Moth stage to tell your own tale.

The Moth StorySLAMs occur at Busby's East (5364 Wilshire Blvd.) every second Tuesday of the month, El Cid (4212 W. Sunset Blvd.) every third Tuesday of the month, and the Air Conditioned Supper Club (625 Lincoln Blvd.) every last Monday of the month, at 7:30pm for $8.

-- Chau Tu

Do It. Free seasonal coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Today between 4-7 p.m. participating stores of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf will be offering a free 12 oz. seasonal drink of either Cinnamon French Toast or Pumpkin latte or ice blended drink.

Seasonal coffees are one of my favorite aspects of fall and you can't beat a free coffee. Stores at campuses, casinos, Ralph's supermarkets, and military bases are not included in the freebie.

-- Lauren Williams

Monday, September 13, 2010

Check It. Fashion Week runway shows broadcast live.

Since most of us Angelenos can't make it out to NYC for the ever-hyped Fashion Week, the internet has finally given us a hand. Many of the major fashion designers showing this week will be broadcasting their runway shows live online, and The Cut has a comprehensive list of where and when here (note: times there are EST, so remember to think 3 hours ahead). See ya on the runway, Marc!

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: A look from rag & bone, courtesy of and Imaxtree.

Check It. Sad Don Draper [The Monday Download].

Last week's Mad Men episode was by far one of my favorites from the entire series -- it epitomized everything that truly is so great about the show, even down to the fact that I can't even describe why I like it so much. It's just a good show, you know?

But if there is anything I can actually pinpoint as a great asset of the episode, it was the amazing acting by Jon Hamm and Elizabeth Moss, as Don and Peggy, respectively. Not to spoil anything, but Don breaking down with Peggy was such an earmark moment, and one that should not be easily forgotten.

It was a somber moment, but not one that can't be taken lightly, either. Enter tumblr. The image-blogging site has produced many a viral joke in recent times, and Don Draper is its latest victim. "Sad Don Draper" popped up impressively soon after the episode, but it grew quickly and has made for some classic gems. My favorites are towards the beginning, so keep going back and enjoy the Monday distraction.

**For more Mad Men tumblr fun, here's "Pete Campbell's Bitchface."

-- Chau Tu

Advance Notice. Mulberry for Target.

Target's designer collaborations just keep getting better. On October 10, the Mulberry for Target line launches, and it's stylish and affordable. The high-end British line's leather bags go for about $1,000--but the Target collection's five pieces are all under $50.

Mulberry bags are classic--basic colors and shapes, made of quality leather and hardware. Kind of like a British version of Hermés. Not the kind of bag that you just carry for one season.

Fashion "It" girl Alexa Chung is such a Mulberry fan that they've named a cross-body bag after her. Other fans include Kate Moss and Naomi Watts.

Target is located at 7100 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, and other locations nationwide. Info:

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Check It. Curly hair products.

Those with curly hair know the upcoming humidity in fall and winter can make your locks a frizzy unmanageable mess. Here are three products that have helped manage my curly hair.
Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious products work wonders for curly hair. I first discovered B&B after a haircut at Rudy's when I went there for a trim. Rudy's almost exclusively uses B&B products, which smell great and their curl conscious creme works well for taming and defining crazy curly hair. The $27 price tag was a bit high though.

I've usually shunned hairsprays for curly hair in favor of creams to avoid having a "wet look" or a crunchy curl. The John Frieda Curl Perfecting Spray is very good at keeping hair soft, but still defined. It's a good product for various types of curly hair. A friend of mine with very tightly wound curls uses this and so do I, and my curls are looser and need more definition then taming.

One bottle of John Frieda Dream Curls -- Curl Perfecting Spray costs about $7, and can be found at Target.

Matrix Contouring Milk is also very good for curls. A small dab on your hands after combing your hair, this gives curls lift and shape, but isn't too heavy. It probably isn't strong enough for very tightly wound curls, though. One bottle is about $17.

-- Lauren Williams

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do It. Fashion's Night Out.

L.A.'s best shops and boutiques will be staying up late tonight in honor of Fashion's Night Out, a worldwide event celebrating the best in fashion with special deals and surprises all over. Being a star-studded fashion capital itself, expect some great events right here in L.A., including:

- Samuel L. Jackson (?!) hosts an exhibit at Giorgio Armani from 6:30-8:30pm, at 436 N. Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills
- Also at Rodeo Drive, play a fashion trivia game with real-life pieces, like Kelly Osbourne, at 6 pm (next to a Ferris wheel?)
- Justin Timberlake promoting his William Rast line at both the Century City mall and the new Santa Monica Place
- Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh (he also soundtracks all the Wes Anderson movies) and "Rachel Zoe"'s Taylor Jacobson will be at the Fred Segal at 8100 Melrose Ave.
- Rachel Bilson and Rashida Jones expected at the 3.1 Phillip Lim party on 631 N. Beverly Blvd.
- and skateboarder Rob Dyrdek will be on the red carpet at the Beverly Center (8500 Beverly Blvd.), which will have free parking and shuttles to other FNO events

Check out more events on Fashion's Night Out site, and have a stylish time!

**Also this weekend:
- Fashion-related: did you get a hold of Alexa Chung x Madewell yet?
- Not fashion-related: Sound of Music all weekend at the New Beverly, the second-to-last weekend of the Dennis Hopper exhibit at MOCA, Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre I'm Still Here opens at the Landmark

-- Chau Tu

Eat In. Pumpkin products.

The fall is the perfect time for some nutty, pumpkin flavored products. I love pumpkin around the fall time. Here are three of my favorite pumpkin products. I can see certain things not tasting good with pumpkin, but the below products have a really exceptional flavor with a bit of the squash and spice flavor.

Pumpkin coffee -- Cost Plus World Market has a really excellent blend. Usually I hate flavored coffees, but the flavor of coffee is really well complimented by the nutty, spicy flavor of pumpkin. I usually cut the flavor by doing half breakfast blend, half pumpkin spice coffee.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix -- Nice, spicy, fluffy pancakes. These have a lot of flavor, and are a tasty alternative to regular buttermilk on a fall morning.
Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale -- Buffalo Bill's makes excellent seasonals. In summer, it's their orange blossom cream ale. I actually like this beer better. It's spicy and goes well with the taste of hops and yeast that beer has. You can find this at Ralphs and BevMo!.

-- Lauren Williams

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eat Out. The Crocker Club [Thirsty Thursdays!].

The Crocker Club was a recent find on a first Thursday Art Walk in downtown LA. Styled to look like an old bank, there's a vault where patrons can sit and sip their cocktails. Above are a lemon drop and a very tasty apple martini that might even give Hank a run for his money.
This place has very cool low lighting, and you have to walk downstairs to enter the bar. There are also tinny two-person rooms that come with a door for some privacy that may have been security deposit box rooms in a past life.

As with many LA bars, mixed drinks average about $10 each. Even when it's crowded, like on an art walk night, this place has a very relaxed, lounge-y atmosphere.

This is definitely one of the many excellent bars that are cropping up downtown.

The Crocker Club is located at 453 S. Spring St.

-- Lauren Williams