Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Here's to 2012! We look forward to another year of blogging ... thank you, as always, for reading.

-- the BEAT

Photo credit:

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

In honor of New Year's Eve, some drink recipes from the BEAT:

... or just simple ice-old beer

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

the BEAT of the week: The Weeknd's "Echoes of Silence."

Hands down, The Weeknd's spooky, sexy and all-around down and dirty "House of Balloons" is one of my favorite albums of the year. And one of the best parts about it? It was simply just a mixtape, available on his website, for free. Yep. The best things in life really are free.

And just in time for your New Year's Eve festivities, The Weeknd's got a brand new free mix called "Echoes of Silence" to jam during your pre-partying, surely to set the mood right. You can download it here, as well as past mixtapes "Thursday" and the as-yet-untoppable "House of Balloons" here (just press the arrows on the right to scroll to the other albums).

Enjoy! And happy new year!

Visit The Weeknd's website here.

-- Chau Tu

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

Happy Holiday weekend!

How amazing would it be to see Woody Allen and his jazz band perform? He'll be at UCLA's Royce Hall January 29.

A good Bûche du Noël makes Christmas that much better.

A new Atwater/Glendale spot for microbrews.

A deliciously decadent French Toast Casserole I like to make on Christmas morning (it would be a nice start to the new year on Jan. 1 too!).

I love this Breakfast at Tiffany's sleep mask I got as a birthday gift this year - a must for long flights!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the BEAT of the week: "Battle Royale" at the Cinefamily

Cinefamily -- the nonprofit organization running the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax -- has been killing it as of late. Not only did they just finish the crazy feat of a 24-hour telethon complete with entertainment from none other than Spike Jonze, Stephen Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, Jonathan Gold, No Age, Michael Cera and more, but they've also managed to book some great films lately. Just finished was the first official L.A. run of a great -- and completely intense -- movie called We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring the always mesmerizing Tilda Swinton.

And now coming up beginning this weekend, Cinefamily is set to screen the controversial Japanese cult film Battle Royale in its first North American run ever. Ever! And Cinefamily got it for one whole week. If you don't know, the premise of the film revolves around a society where the government sends whole classes of 9th grade students to a remote island where they're forced to fight each other off to the death, one by one. And from the looks of it, the film doesn't shy away from being bloody and gory but altogether thrilling. Surely an inventive -- if not gruesomely fun -- way to spend the holidays in the winter wasteland known as L.A. in December.

And, since we're all in the giving spirit these days, why not extend that further to the Cinefamily? Members get to go to nearly every screening and event for free, and judging by what they've been able to book for the last month alone, 2012 is only yet to get better. A good gift for a friend, family member or yourself! Plus, you can get it written off in your taxes! Sad as it is, indie films are finding it more and more difficult to find places to screen out here in L.A. (of all cities!), so let's support one of the best places that still does. Become a member or donate here.

Cinefamily programs the Silent Movie Theater, located at 611 N. Fairfax Ave. in Mid-City. Check out the schedule of screenings here.

-- Chau Tu

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

Hilarious, stylish, and very New York--The Last Days of Disco.

Sarabeth's preserves really are that good--a jar would make a delicious stocking stuffer!

I admit, I'd like a bottle of Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi by Nicole by OPI.

If you're going to see a movie on an IMAX screen, make it Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the BEAT of the week: Live read of 'The Princess Bride,' with Jason Reitman.

This is going to be a fun one. The last time Jason Reitman put on one of these 'Live Reads' for LACMA, he corralled up none less than Natalie Portman, Steve Carell, Pierce Brosnan, Mindy Kaling and Ken Jeong for a reading of The Apartment, and before that he got Jennifer Garner, Patton Oswalt, Aaron Paul and James Van Der Beek to do The Breakfast Club. All the castmates are announced on Reitman's Twitter the week of the reading, and the readings were all full of fun surprises.

So this time around, Reitman's doing the '80s classic, The Princess Bride. Of course it'll be difficult to top Billy Crystal, but admit that you can't wait to hear the line "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Live read of The Princess Bride, directed Jason Reitman takes place this Thursday at 7:30pm at LACMA, located at 5900 Wilshire Blvd. in Mid-City. It's currently standby only, but worth the wait if you can get there early.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

This weekend, I'm very excited about a Tex-Mex-themed Christmas party (the invite said "Feliz Nav, Y'all!") we're attending in Brooklyn. There will be margaritas (my recipe here) and queso--and other delights from the Homesick Texan cookbook.

Another book from my mental Christmas list: The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate & Live Well (by Deborah Needleman, Domino magazine's founding editor).

Two comedies I'm hoping to see this weekend: The Sitter, and Young Adult. And maybe a rental of The Hangover Part II on DVD, if the video store has any left.

The LudoTruck will be at Echo Park's Sunset Beer Company tomorrow night, 7:00 p.m.

Get some Scoops ice cream afterward for a sweet start to the weekend, the brown bread flavor is really interesting and delicious!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the BEAT of the week: David Lynch at Amoeba.

The L.A.-loving David Lynch has always been known for the striking sound design in his films, but now he's expressing his noise skills in another way: a solo album. Crazy Clown Time is Lynch's first official album, after having written lyrics for others and curated compilations (2009's Dark Night of the Soul). One of the songs features the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O on vocals, but otherwise Lynch takes the lead on the album, a strange, electro-poppish sort of creation.

You can ask Lynch about the album yourself when he makes an appearance at Amoeba tonight. He'll be signing Crazy Clown Time (and one other item, if you wish) and will surely be entertaining should you have some time with him. Get there early -- Lynch loves L.A., but L.A. may love him back even more.

David Lynch will be signing at 7pm tonight at Amoeba Hollywood, located at 6400 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

A cute film about young love, by a young California director--Like Crazy. It's showing at the ArcLight and the Landmark, among other Los Angeles-area theaters.

Another easy-on-the eyes college (and beyond) romance--One Day--came out on DVD this week. Just after its star Anne Hathaway's real-life engagement.

Alicia Silverstone, of Clueless fame, and now one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers on, is hosting a live chat on Tuesday December 6 at 4:00 p.m. PT. Join in!

Keep your hair soft and manageable this winter with Kiehl's Formula 133.

A signed copy of Marilyn: Intimate Exposures would make a great Christmas gift for any fan of the bombshell--and really, who isn't?

Marilyn's favorite face soap: Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Soap (Audrey Hepburn was a fan, too).

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the BEAT of the week: Short Order.

Now, I have yet to try out Short Order, the new restaurant from L.A.'s beloved Amy Pressman and Nancy Silverton, since it only just opened a week and a half ago, but I guess that's not really excuse.

Because still, it's surely one to recommend. It's been 30 years in the making for Pressman and Silverton, both of whom once worked at Spago, and the latter moved on to help build Mozza. Short Order also boasts a cocktail menu created by the award-winning mixologist Julian Cox.

So expect some big lines as you wait outside the Original Farmers' Market on Third Street. Once you get in, though, be prepared for some delicious burgers, corndogs, melts, salads and custard shakes -- all artisanal and handmade. What more can you ask for?

If you make it in sometime soon, report back! I'll be in line.

Short Order is located at the Original Farmers Market at 6333 W. Third St. in Mid-City.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Short Order

Friday, November 25, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

My six-year-old linen Pottery Barn duvet cover finally got so worn/thin it tore, so I'm in the market for a new one. Ever since spotting it in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, I've loved the idea of the one from The Bowery Hotel (above) at home.

Speaking of The Bowery, my take on a pasta dish from their restaurant, Gemma.

And more food talk -- what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers.

If you're looking for something gripping to read -- Joan Didion's Blue Nights.

Two films to see this weekend -- A Dangerous Method, and The Artist.

Confession: I tried a chia seed Kombucha (I was so excited to see a grape flavor on the shelf, even the abundance of seeds didn't stop me!) today and was NOT into it. Recommendation: stick with the original.

Bazaar magazine Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey will be at Book Soup on Sunday afternoon (4:00 p.m.) discussing and signing Harper's Bazaar: Greatest Hits.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! Whether you're volunteering, cooking a feast at home, eating out (in Palm Springs, maybe!?), or taking it easy on the couch and watching Thanksgiving movies, enjoy!

Check back tomorrow for our picks of the week, from Los Angeles and beyond.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the BEAT of the week: Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities.

This Thursday, many of us get to celebrate all for which we are thankful with a beautiful, gut-busting meal. But as we all know, there are people out there who aren't as lucky. Take some time out this week to consider the little things you can do to make a big difference in others' lives.

Echo Park Now has a great round-up of local volunteer options for the holiday. There's the Echo's Gobble Gobble Give, where you can bring in a food dish, toiletries and blankets and clothing on Thanksgiving Day. A Place Called Home is taking pie donations. The L.A. Regional Food Bank needs help with food sorting.

It can take a couple hours but will be well worth it in the end. If you've got some time, you can lend it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and don't forget it's the season of giving.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

I didn't have much interest in seeing The Descendants based on the trailer, but after reading and hearing lots of good things (it's a New York Times Critics' Pick), we caught it this afternoon, and I highly recommend it.

Planning your Thanksgiving menu? Order delicious pie(s) from Susina Bakery.

A simple Thanksgiving side dish, Green Beans with Lemon and Brown Butter, a Tori Ritchie Tuesday Recipe.

The Kardashians (Kourtney and Khloé anyway) will be at the Grove's Barnes & Noble tomorrow night for a signing of their new book, Dollhouse.

Latest great Target / designer collaboration: Harajuku Mini by Gwen Stefani. I just wish this dress came in my size!

Clarins and FEED Projects sets at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's (great gift ideas).

Demi Moore's divorce statement. I hope she keeps the house.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the BEAT of the week: IAMSOUND at the Ace Hotel.

So it's fall. That doesn't mean you're not in need of a vacation. How about a little mini-trip to the desert?

This weekend before Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse for an escape. And hey, there's actually something going on in that desert land of Palm Springs this weekend beyond the bingo games. Local record label IAMSOUND is hosting a showcase at the always-hip Ace Hotel this Saturday and Sunday, urging everyone to come poolside and enjoy some good tunes. In the lineup is one of my favorite new up-and-coming bands, Electric Guest (the frontman is Jorma Taccone's brother!), as well as Sean Bones and Fidlar. And there'll be some DJing, too, of course, with maybe some surprises?

Best part: the showcase with the bands is free for everyone, and the daytime DJ sounds by the pool come with a $16 swim pass. So all you've got to do is get yourself to the desert! As if you needed any more prodding.

The IAMSOUND Showcase takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the Ace Hotel, located at 701 E. Palm Canyon Dr. in Palm Springs.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

This weekend in Las Vegas, part-time Hancock Park resident and World Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao (above, training with Freddie Roach at Hollywood's Wild Card Boxing Gym) will fight Juan Manuel Márquez III. My money's on "PacMan".

As the holidays approach, a great card shop (locations include Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Thousand Oaks).

J. Crew has some really fun bright colors (including vibrant flame and vintage violet)!

HBO's "Enlightened", so good--hilarious, with heart.

Immortals and J. Edgar at the theater this weekend.

Beautiful dark nail polish from NARS' Holiday 2011 collection.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the BEAT of the week: Hedi Slimane's "California Song" at MOCA.

To put it modestly, Hedi Slimane is one of the most well-respected and most admired names in the fashion industry. He's helped build the modern fashion houses of Yves Saint Laurent and Dior Homme, and quite singlehandedly created what is the slim silhouette so common nowadays in menswear. But Slimane hasn't stopped there: he also designs album covers (Daft Punk), and writes and photographs (Vanity Fair).

His striking photography is getting its first proper West Coast show beginning this week, with the "California Song" exhibit at the MOCA Pacific Design Center. Divided into two parts, the installation will include a photo diary focused on California artists, musicians and youth culture, as well as a section with sonic, motion-photography. Select California bands, including L.A.'s own No Age and Ariel Pink, are also contributing music for the exhibition. Those two bands are slated to perform in the opening for the show on Nov. 11.

If you're familiar with any of Slimane's work, you already know that this exhibit will be beautiful and moving and distinct -- stark yet classy. You can take a peek at Slimane's photography here, in the meantime, but being able to see the work up close and personal will definitely be an experience of its own.

Hedi Slimane's "California Song" will be showing Nov. 12-Jan. 22, 2012 at the MOCA Pacific Design Center, located at in West Hollywood.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the BEAT of the week: AFI Fest.

Los Angeles' longest running international film festival returns this week, and the lineup of films is, as usual, quite spectacular. Look out for screenings of highly anticipated movies like The Artist, Shame, Into the Abyss, Melancholia and Butter, alongside acclaimed shorts and foreign films. Tickets may be a bit hard to come by for a lot of the popular films, but ticket packages -- like $100 for access to all Special Screenings -- are still available and can be a good deal.

Stay tuned to the website for more details.

AFI Fest takes place Nov. 3-10 at various locations around the city.


And speaking of a film screening at AFI Fest this week -- Roman Polanski's Carnage -- the two lead actors, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz, are set to appear at LACMA this week. The intimate event is sure to bring some new insight into how they work and how they create the amazing performances they've become known for (Waltz is a Oscar winner, Reilly was Oscar-nominated) -- plus, considering Reilly's comedic background and Waltz's deadpan humor, there will probably be some good laughs too. They'll be interviewed by New York Times writer-at-large Charles McGrath.

A Conversation with John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz takes place this Saturday, Nov. 5 at 3pm at LACMA, located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. in Mid-City. Tickets are $25 and available here.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

It's an exciting week in the food world (and for anyone with a sweet tooth!), Christina Tosi's Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook is now available. On Tuesday November 8th she'll be doing two Los Angeles signings--one at 2:00 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Williams-Sonoma, and another at 5:30 p.m. at Roy Choi's Chego.

Another sugary item--between now and November 20th, any large drink from participating Carl's Jr.s comes in one of four Immortals collector's cups. I sure wouldn't mind looking at Henry Cavill (or Mickey Rourke for that matter) while enjoying an ice cold fountain Coke.

I love these boots for fall.

A sweet and under-appreciated movie starring Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin.

It's officially cold season, double up on Emergen-C packets--Raspberry and Tangerine flavors combined in water for one powerful and refreshing dose of Vitamin C.

There's still time to buy Magic Pink Ice from Arcona during October for 25% of the sale to be donated to Cancer and Careers. You really can't go wrong with any Arcona product, and this hydrating gel is one of their best.

Happy Halloween (I'll be drinking pumpkin ale and watching scary movies)!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Clarkson Potter Publishing

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the BEAT of the week: Henry Rollins at Book Soup.

Love him or hate him, Henry Rollins is a pretty enigmatic guy. From hosting a radio show on KCRW to doing his spoken word performances to music blogging for the LA Weekly, Rollins has become anything but predictable.

And so his next venture, turns out, is a book of photography. Occupants features photography from the man himself, taken all over the world, including far-off places like Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. And as expected, the photos -- accompanied with writings by Rollins -- are stark and honest, providing a deeper commentary.

Hear Rollins tell the stories behind his photos when he appears for a signing at Book Soup this Thursday. Beyond being able to get a signed copy of the book, having the chance to listen to the man speak in person is definitely going to be entertaining and fascinating in and of itself.

Henry Rollins will be signing his new book,
Occupants, on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7pm at Book Soup, located at 8818 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Henry Rollins

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Click It. BEAT picks of the week.

My part of the new blog format is a weekly roundup of cool things, from L.A. and beyond, currently on my radar. Please click the links to explore, and I hope you enjoy ...

I've wanted an Ork city map poster for awhile now, and thought a Brooklyn one would make sense in my new Williamsburg apartment ... yet the Los Angeles version still feels more like home

On my nightstand: the Chateau Marmont Signature Candle (a great gift for someone special, or to treat yourself!)

Listen to (Los Feliz resident) Ryan Adams' Ashes & Fire (released last week, his best since 2001's Gold)

If you love Mario Batali's Mozza group of restaurants on Melrose and Highland, pre-order Molto Batali: Simple Family Meals From My Home to Yours

Also tonight: Thrillist's Bergamont Station Art Crawl (and open bar, and food trucks)

For the weekend: check out the new West Hollywood Library (and murals by artists including Shepard Fairey)

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the BEAT of the week: Dia De Los Muertos at Hollywood Forever.

In my new weekly post, I'll be sharing what will be called 'the BEAT of the week' -- my pick for what's coming up soon here in L.A. (and maybe a bit beyond) that's surely worth a bit of your time.

We kick it off with what has surely become a regular yearly attraction for many: Hollywood Forever Cemetery's Dia De Los Muertos festival. Also known as The Day of the Dead, Dia De Los Muertos is the Mexican holiday celebrated after Halloween to remember and honor those who have passed on. The festivities generally include building altars and shrines complete with photos, candles, incense and more; and then there's also music, dancing, storytelling and feasting to celebrate 'with' the dead.

It's a tradition extra special here thanks to L.A.'s large Hispanic demographic, and the perfect venue is found in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (and in fact, Hollywood Forever claims it is the only cemetery in the country that opens itself for such festivities). This year -- its 12th -- the event will include musical performances by Astrid Hadad and Ruben Albarran, as well as a grand procession for the holiday. Everyone's encouraged to dress up -- especially in the traditional painted skull face known as Calaca.

It's a great way to indulge and learn about an ancient ritual, while also getting in on the spooky festivities of Halloween early -- and really, there's no better place to do it in L.A.

Dia De Los Muertos takes place this Saturday from 12pm to 12am (there are three ticketing times, click here for more info) at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. Tickets are $10.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Ofrendas Inc.

**Check back on Thursday for Leslie's weekend list!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Etc. Changes.

Hi, readers! We're working on some fresh new ideas - please check back next Tuesday morning, because we're excited to share with you. Thank you, as always, for reading.

-- the BEAT

Photo credit: Entertaining Six or Eight

Monday, October 10, 2011

Do It. L.A. Beer Float Showdown at LA Beer Week.

Well as a great follow-up to Leslie's latest post -- it's LA Beer Week (but isn't it always?). Actually, that's a misnomer, considering the event is set to last two weeks, and takes place in Los Angeles and Orange County. But either way, it's set to be a celebration.

As expected, there'll be a slew of fun festivities revolving around drinking the brew, but one particular highlight will surely be the L.A. Beer Float Showdown. Is there anything more fun than a beer float? Then take into account that you'll be pairing up the best in brewmasters -- from the Tustin Brewery, Firestone Walker, Beechwood BBQ, Eagle Rock Brewery and more -- with some fun chefs, like Thi Tran and Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen, Top Chef alums Ilan Hall and CJ Jacobsen, and Laurent Quenioux, and you've definitely got a showdown. What kind of crazy concoctions will they come up with? Gotta show up to find out.

The L.A. Beer Float Showdown takes place this Saturday, Oct. 15 from 1pm-4pm at Eagle Rock Brewery, located at 3056 Roswell St. in Eagle Rock. Tickets at $35. And click here for more info on the rest of LA Beer Week.

-- Chau Tu

Friday, October 7, 2011

Drink It. Fall beers.

Cheers to fall beers!

While Oktoberfest festivities are coming to an end, liquor stores and supermarkets are well-stocked with Oktoberfest and Pumpkin brews. Sam Adams, a master of seasonal varieties, makes a truly delicious Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Other BEAT favorites include Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale, Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, and Shipyard Brewing Co.'s Pumpkinhead Ale.

More pumpkin.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Samuel Adams

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Do It. Wernerfest!

There's no denying that German filmmaker Werner Horzog is a strange, strange man. But his arresting personality has lent itself to intriguing filmmaking that's unlike anyone else's. From documentaries to dramas to action films, Herzog can do it all -- even 3D, as Leslie saw back in April.

Herzog's work is quite extensive, and surely even most fans haven't watched a great majority of his work. But novice or expert fan, Wernerfest is the best excuse to dive right on in. The 12-hour film marathon takes place this Saturday, Oct. 8, from noon to midnight and features 13 of Herzog's early and classic works. There's his 1978 Nosferatu, his debut short Herakles, and even yes, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe. Stay the whole time or just watch a block -- it's only $10! And Herzog himself might be making an appearance too -- surely don't want to miss out on that.

Wernerfest! A Marathon of Werner Herzog Discoveries takes place this Saturday from noon to midnight at Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100 in Miracle Mile.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Check It. Drive.

Drive is the best movie I've seen in a long long time. An unexpected end-of-summer treat, Ryan Gosling is at his absolute coolest as a stunt driver / getaway driver in Los Angeles. The film is beautifully shot, and I think Angelenos will especially appreciate the opening driving scene. Carey Mulligan is perfect as Irene, a subtle and sweet neighbor down the hall. There's so much to love about Drive. See it! Now playing at the ArcLight Hollywood (my favorite), and other theaters worldwide.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: via Collider

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Eat Out. DineLA restaurant week.

At long last, it is that time of year again. DineLA restaurant week is back in full force, and you better get your reservations in soon. Some of my picks for this year: Santa Monica's Josie Restaurant (as a fancy preview to the new and less expensive Josie Next Door), Lukshon (from the mind behind Father's Office), the buzzworthy Picca (don't miss the mindblowingly smooth Avocado Project).

Check out the whole list here, and happy eating!

dineLA restaurant week is Oct. 2-7 and Oct. 9-14.

-- Chau Tu

Monday, October 3, 2011

Check It. Striped tops.

I have been stripes-obsessed for quite some time now. It's great to see that this trend is still in full swing for fall, judging by J. Crew's current collection. Stock up this week with a free shipping offer on their women's tees and knits - offer though Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. EST.

The Long-stripe boater tee pictured is $72. Their Vintage cotton stripe shoulder-zip tee ($42.50) in 'spicy cinnamon' would be perfect gear for casual fall cooking nights with friends and good red wine.

Gap's Supersoft striped crewneck T is also a great basic striped top. Petit Bateau's Women's marinière too.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: J. Crew

Friday, September 30, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Miracle Mile/Mid-City/Fairfax. Oktoberfest at Wirsthaus.

Fall is, in fact, here now, and October is just around the corner. So time to celebrate!

One of L.A.'s newest German restaurants (among a slew of others), Wirsthaus, just kicked off its Oktoberfest festivities. Expect live music, fun costumes (lederhosen!) and, of course, great food and drink specials. The fun ends on Oct. 8th, so take advantage while you can.

Wirsthaus is located at 345 N La Brea Ave. in Mid-City. Check their Facebook for more Oktoberfest info.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Wirsthaus

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eat In. The Mozza Cookbook.

Mozza is easily one of L.A.'s most quintessential restaurants: you can't sit a table without being able to reach out and touch any one of Hollywood's major leaguers (but please don't, because that would be weird), and the delicious cuisine there is the work of superstar restauranteurs Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich.

As such, it's not always easy to book a table at the establishment, and it probably isn't always easy on your wallet. But now you can bring Mozza right into your home. Silverton's own The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles's Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria was just released yesterday, and features many of Mozza's most beloved dishes, from the fried squash blossoms with ricotta to fresh ricotta and egg ravioli with brown butter to fennel sausage, panna, and scallion pizza.

I'm salivating just thinking about it! So if you happen to master some of these amazing dishes, you know who to invite over (hint: me!). Happy cooking!

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Advance Notice. Ellen DeGeneres at Barnes & Noble.

Ellen DeGeneres is one of my favorite comedians, and I'd love to meet her. I saw her once on La Cienega in a silver Porsche and that was exciting, but going to a book signing would be so much fun!

Luckily for Los Angeles, Ellen will be at the Grove's Barnes & Noble next Tuesday night celebrating the release of her new book, Seriously ... I'm Kidding.

If you haven't seen Ellen DeGeneres - Here and Now, rent or buy it ($6.99 on amazon) immediately.

Tuesday October 4 at 7:00 p.m. Wristband distribution with book purchase begins at 9:00 a.m. day of event. Info:, (323) 525-0270

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Grand Central Publishing

Monday, September 26, 2011

Do It. Eagle Rock Music Festival.

Another weekend, another great chance at seeing live entertainment for cheap in L.A.!

This time around, it's the Eagle Rock Music Festival, featuring performances from especially good local acts like Flying Lotus, HEALTH, Mia Doi Todd, Nosaj Thing (the entire Low End Theory stage is fantastic), Shadow Shadow Shade, Rooney and more for just a $5 suggested donation. It's all going down this Saturday, Oct. 1 from 4pm-10pm, right on Colorado Blvd. L.A. couldn't be more good to us music fans.

The Eagle Rock Music Festival takes place this Saturday on Colorado Blvd. between Argus & Eagle Rock Blvd. in Eagle Rock.

-- Chau Tu

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Miracle Mile/Mid-City/Fairfax. Films at LACMA.

We tell you about film screening at LACMA here and there, but even I often forget to check out what's upcoming at the Miracle Mile museum. There are currently several must-see films in the near future on their calendar ...

Tuesday September 27 at 1:00 p.m. $2 general admission

Tuesday Oct 1 at 1:00 p.m. $2 general admission

Tuesday Oct 13 at 7:30 p.m. sold out, but check craigslist. Special guests Bruce Robinson, Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, and Amber Heard

Sunday Oct 16 at 8:30 p.m. Free tickets; only available to Film Independent, LACMA Film Club, and New York Times Film Club members. Special guests Elizabeth Olsen and Sean Durkin

Info:, (323) 857-6010

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Friday, September 23, 2011

Eat Out. Wurstküche Venice.

The westside outpost of favorite Los Angeles sausage restaurant Wurstküche is now open! Green chilies and cilantro (chicken & turkey), and mango jalapeño (chicken & turkey) are my favorites, and there are some great vegetarian sausages too, including smoked apple sage. The exotic options include duck, rabbit, rattlesnake, and alligator!

Don't miss the fries--with the white truffle oil glaze! And a Chimay White on tap.

625 Lincoln Boulevard in Venice, Calif. Kitchen open 11:00 a.m. till midnight, bar open till 1:30 a.m. (213) 687-4444

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Advance Notice. Jane Birkin at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

Serge Gainsbourg been in the L.A. mindset a lot lately, with the recent star-studded musical tribute at the Hollywood Bowl late last month and the release of the biopic Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. Come December, though, it's time to take the focus off the man.

Because now it's Jane Birkin's turn. The original muse, as far as I'm concerned, Birkin became well-known in the late '60s after duetting with Gainsbourg on the unforgettably sexy "Je t'aime... moi non plus," and also starring in the film of the same name. They collaborated again on Histoire de Melody Nelson and had a daughter together (the now actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg). Birkin became a cultural icon, and the Birkin bag by Hermes that was designed especially for her is now beyond classic.

And Birkin continues to perform. On Dec. 3rd, Birkin will be making her first appearance in L.A. in seven years at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex. It'll surely be a pleasant, sexy stroll down memory lane as you witness the beauty and talent of a true icon.

Jane Birkin will be performing on Sat., Dec. 3 at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, located at 5151 State University Dr. at Cal State L.A. Tickets are $35-$45.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Luckman

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eat Out. Chick-fil-A Hollywood.

It was exciting enough when the USC Chick-fil-A opened in L.A. Now there is going to be another one right in the heart of Hollywood!

Opening Thursday September 22 at 6:00 a.m., Sunset and Highland - 6750 Sunset Boulevard

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Chick-fil-A

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do It. Abbot Kinney Festival.

For those of you still mourning the end of summer -- I include myself in the bunch -- here's another last gasp. The Abbot Kinney Festival, always set on the last Sunday of September, is the best last chance to hit the seaside and not feel so chilly about it.

Although you should probably bring a sweater, because you're bound to out and about for a while. This year's festivities boast a great musical lineup, including the currently buzzy Thundercat; locals Kisses and Mia Doi Todd; as well as Hanni El Khatib and Tom Brousseau. The stages are set to go all day, from 10am-6pm. In between sets, be sure to check out the plethora of food trucks, the beer gardens, and the tons of booths offering sustainable and green goods (it is Venice, after all).

Enjoy the last hurrah!

The Abbot Kinney Festival takes place on Sunday, Sept. 25 along Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice. The entire event is free!

-- Chau Tu

Friday, September 16, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Miracle Mile/Mid-City/Fairfax. Ooh LA L.A. Festival.

Time to practice your French, fellow Angelenos -- the Ooh LA L.A. Festival is coming to town. The third annual French music event is the only one of its kind and caliber in Los Angeles, and it takes over the El Rey for three days at the end of this month.

The big highlight is Nouvelle Vague's performance on Sept. 29, when the French band known for taking on rock's classics and giving them a sultry twist tackles a new challenge: a musical directed by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. It's called "Dawn of Innocence," and although I'm not too familiar with his work, here's a video preview of a past collaboration between the two.

Sept. 30 will feature a performance by the collective Tinariwen, and on Oct. 1, Birdy Nam Nam will be joined by DJ Cam and Feadz. Check out more info here.

The Ooh LA L.A. Festival takes place from Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the El Rey, located at 5515 Wilshire Blvd. in Mid-City.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do It. TOMS party at the Viceroy.

We're big fans of TOMS, and of fun parties, here at the BEAT.

Tonight, there's a TOMS party at Santa Monica's very cool Viceroy hotel. Check it out!

Buy a pair of the super comfortable slip-ons and have them decorated by one of the talented Los Angeles artists in attendance.

1819 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. Tonight - September 15, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: TOMS

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do It. The Whistleblower book signing at Barnes & Noble.

Rachel Weisz gives a remarkable performance in one of her many recent films, The Whistleblower. It's truly disturbing and scary, not in the Dream House sense, but because the horrors you see on screen really happen, every day.

The film is inspired by true events--the life of Kathryn Bolovac, an American police officer who went to post-war Bosnia as part of the U.N. International Police Task Force and discovered a mess of human trafficking, sex scandal, and government corruption.

You can check out more on the film here. Read more on human trafficking / modern day slavery (27 million worldwide) here and here.

Thursday September 15 at 7:30 p.m. 189 The Grove Drive, Suite K 30. Info:, (323) 525-0270

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do It. St. Vincent at Space 15 Twenty.

All right, start planning now. You officially have an hour and a half -- or less -- until 10:30am, when you can officially buy St. Vincent's new album, Strange Mercy, at Amoeba in Hollywood, and in turn, receive a free ticket to see her perform live tonight at Space 15 Twenty.

Whew. Kind of a handful, but totally worth it. The woman is something to be seen live -- with her doe-like but always-in-a-daze eyes combined with her mad guitar skills. And Strange Mercy is already probably my favorite album of hers yet, getting more intellectually complex in her tunes and lyrics than ever before. Plus, who can beat a (sort of, considering you do have to buy the album) free concert?

St. Vincent's Strange Mercy will be available for purchase at 10:30am at Amoeba Music, located at 6400 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. It's one ticket per album, limit 2 to a person. The free concert will take place at 6pm tonight at Space 15 Twenty, located at 1520 Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood (basically across the street from Amoeba).

-- Chau Tu

Monday, September 12, 2011

Check It. Restless.

There's just something about the way Gus Van Sant sees and portrays love. The filmmaker's line of work over the past few decades has been varied, from Mala Noche to Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho to Milk, but there are always those moments, those glimpses of love that make it a unique Van Sant work, through and through. He's able capture love in ways that are vivid, raw, sometimes even surprising. Without you even expecting it, those moments stick with you long after the credits have rolled.

Van Sant unabashedly tackles the subject of love head-on in his latest film, Restless. The story, written by first-time screenwriter Jason Lew, follows the teenage romance of Enoch Brae (played by first-time actor and son of the late Dennis, Henry Hopper) and Annabel Cotton (Mia Wasikowska), a relationship bookended by death. It's first love, always doomed, but beautiful nonetheless.

It's not surprising that the film has caught some of Van Sant's devotees off-guard since premiering at Cannes earlier this year -- it's probably his most blatant movie yet, this simple coming of age tale marked by first love. And teenage first love is difficult to portray without seeming contrived or overdone. The script does have its rookie moments, but Van Sant ultimately saves it, quite simply because there's really no one better at getting to the heart of youth in turmoil.

For one, Van Sant captures innocence beautifully in the film, helped further by a whimsicalness in the twosome's affinity for vintage fashion. The contradiction of old styles and the actors' fresh faces parallel the struggles of the characters, as they attempt to take hold of adult realities while also discovering the beauties in growing up. Hopper, especially for his first feature, was pretty fantastic in his control -- it's an understated role, of one always quietly in mourning, and he held it well. Wasikowska was beyond a perfect fit, exuding confidence and strength within a frail exterior. She really takes control of the film, and you really can't take your eyes off of her.

Restless may not be a daring film, per se, but as may often happen with Van Sant, you may be surprised with what sticks with you.

Restless opens in selected theaters this Friday.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Friday, September 9, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Miracle Mile/Mid-City/Fairfax. Eat Out.

Chau and I both used to work in the Miracle Mile section of Los Angeles, and you better believe we found our fair share of great eateries. Any time of day, this relatively unassuming stretch between Beverly Hills and downtown Los Angeles has some delicious options.

Between around 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. a ton of famous L.A. food trucks are parked out front of the Variety Building (5900 Wilshire), and the 5750 Wilshire offices (which includes E!).

The Counter (for a custom burger and a quality milkshake)

Mixt Greens (healthy made-to-order salads and sandwiches)

Caffe Latte (well-made espresso drinks, breakfast, muffins, soup, hearty salads, etc.)

Tawanni Thai (very decent strip mall Thai food, their tofu yellow curry was my go-to favorite)

Luna Park (good happy hour specials, pleasant little outdoor sidewalk area)

Stark Bar at LACMA (for creative cocktails and small plates)


-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Do It. San Diego Music Thing.

Summer may soon be over, but you've still got an excuse for a road trip this weekend. The San Diego Music Thing -- great name, right? -- looks like pretty much the closest thing Southern California may get to its own SXSW, and while it isn't exactly boasting something along the lines of a Death From Above 1979 reunion, it's still got some cred. A few L.A. highlights include Abe Vigoda, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Exene Cervenka (from X), and that's alongside some 150 other bands over the two-day event. Plus there'll be speakers straight from the heart of the music industry, offering their insights and probably some fun stories to boot.

Best of all, an all-access pass -- meaning every concert and speaker panel -- is only $45 right now (or $50 the days of). For both days! It's a pretty sweet deal. And if you just want to check out the bands alone, it's only $20 a day.

Musical road trip sounds pretty good now, huh?

The San Diego Music Thing takes places this Friday and Saturday at The Lafayette Hotel, located at 2223 El Cajon Blvd. in San Diego.

-- Chau Tu

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Advance Notice. Moby at Book Soup.

Moby (an Angeleno who lives in this awesome Hollywood Hills castle) has a new album and book out, and on Monday he'll be at Book Soup for a signing. There are a few fantastic reviews on Amazon, so if you're already a Moby fan, or just curious about what he's been up to recently (other than eating/hanging out at Oaks Gourmet), check out Destroyed.

Monday September 12 at 7:00 p.m. 8818 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Info:, (310) 659-3110

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images North America via

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do It. The GOOD 30-Day Challenge.

Now that you've taken off that wonderful holiday celebrating your labor, it's time to get down to some real work. The ever-positively-refreshing GOOD magazine is urging everyone take part in its GOOD 30-Day Challenge over the course of September. The big theme? Connecting with people. Here's what the mag has to say about it:

With the internet age not only upon us, but so intertwined into our lives that living without the web seems impossible, sometimes we forget to talk to each other. Sure, we tweet, text, Facebook, Google+, Gchat, and AIM constantly—it's not that we don't communicate. But how often do we actually talk?

So it's time to connect -- IRL, so the kids say (that's "in real life," in case you needed that defined). Already, day one has challenged people to send someone a postcard. A real, snail mail postcard. Ain't that cute? A great way to reconnect with an old friend, and share some news in a quick and easy way. Day two? Have a conversation with a service employee.

It's a wonder how much a little consideration can bring so much good. Do your part, and check out each day at 5:30PST every September day for your next challenge, and follow-up with #30DaysofGOOD.

-- Chau Tu