Thursday, June 30, 2011

Advance Notice. The Earrings of Madame de ... at LACMA.

In 2008, Criterion put out a DVD of Max Ophüls' The Earrings of Madame de ... Sometime after that, we watched it at home and thoroughly enjoyed. It's a classic drama / romance film that is still a force nearly fifty years after its (1953) release. A "romantic masterpiece" according to the New York Times.

Have a low-key weekend after the holiday weekend, and catch Madame de ... on the big screen at LACMA on July 9.

Saturday July 9 at 5:00 p.m. Tickets $5 - (323) 857-6010, or order online.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Dieter /

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Advance Notice. Outfest 2011.

It's been a momentous week for gay rights in New York. But while we can't yet celebrate in the same way here in California, Los Angeles is at least home to Outfest, a gay and lesbian film festival now entering its 29th year. The 10-day-long fest is aimed at exploring LGBT themes in film, features both major and indie movies, and this year is boasting some pretty big guest names. Look out for the likes of Margaret Cho, Lance Bass, and Clay Aiken to take part in panels, and even RuPaul to present an award on the opening night of the festival. Notable films like international favorite Weekend, documentary Becoming Chaz featuring Chaz Bono, The Perfect Family starring Emily Deschanel and Jason Ritter, and Dolly Parton classic The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, will all be screened, among many others. Check out the schedule here, and get your tickets now.

Outfest 2011 takes place July 7-17 at various locations around Los Angeles. Check the website for more details.

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Check It. TOMS Eyewear.

Back in November, we told you about the eyeglass company Warby Parker, who do the TOMS thing in giving a pair of glasses to a person in need for each pair purchased. Well, now TOMS themselves are in the eyewear business, and the styles are worth a look.

TOMS doesn't just give a pair of sunglasses to someone squinting in the sun--in partnership with the Seva Foundation, they do full-on eye exams (and then medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses, or surgery) and give sight to people in need in Nepal, Tibet, and Cambodia.

The sunglasses line is super appealing. They are made in Italy, feature hand-painted striped design on the arms, and come in many styles including Wayfarer-like shades, big round Nicole Richie/Olsen twin style ones, and my favorite, the classic aviators.

Check out the new TOMS store that opened this past weekend on Larchmont (143 N Larchmont Boulevard).

TOMS sunglasses range in price from $135 to $145. More info:

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Advance Notice. LA Street Food Fest.

L.A.'s food truck boom seems to have calmed down a bit now, but all that really means is that the best have stuck around. And many will surely be showing up for the grand L.A. food event: this year's LA Street Food Fest.

It's only the second year for this big foodie extravaganza, but last year's fest was an astounding success, so be prepared for a huge step up. The participants haven't even been announced yet, but they're already boasting more than 80 different street food vendors among celebrity chefs and L.A.'s own best restaurants. And what will be special this year are the different sessions, limited to 1,500 attendees each, so there won't be overcrowding, and participants will be able to enjoy their food and experience on a much more comfortable level. Two of the sessions are family-friendly, while the night one is 21+ only. But no matter what session you attend, the $60 price is all-inclusive, which means, yes: food, beers, cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks, parking, music -- everything you'll need for the event. So all you've got to do is show and eat! Hooray!

Considering its popularity last year, and the limitations set for this year, tickets are sure to sell out fast. Pick your session now and get ready to grub.

The LA Street Food Fest is taking place July 16 at Brookside Park at the Rose Bowl, located at 360 N. Arroyo Blvd. in Pasadena.

-- Chau Tu

Friday, June 24, 2011

The monthly BEAT: Hollywood. The Cat & Fiddle.

Among the clubs and glitzy restaurants, the Cat & Fiddle finds itself nestled quietly among them all. Quietly for Hollywood, at least. The restaurant takes up a huge large space with a spacious and pretty patio, but proudly calls itself a pub, which means soccer (erm, football) and other sports games being broadcast on TV screens, there's often live entertainment by bands (jazz on Sundays!) and the general sort of shenanigans you'd expect from a good old fashioned British spot. And that's what can often make it a sort of oasis in Hollywood. Gone are all the pretensions and shallowness this area can sometimes inhabit. This is just a honest-to-goodness pub. Drop into the Cat & Fiddle and you can sit back and just enjoy a cold pint, maybe even play some (free) darts or a game of pool. The waiters and waitresses and bartenders are always friendly, and ready to serve you a good serving of fish and chips, or bangers and mash.

And hey, you can still get a taste of Hollywood here: scenes from Casablanca were filmed there, when it used to act as commissary for surrounding film studios back in the day.

The Cat & Fiddle is located at 6530 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: The Cat & Fiddle

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do It. Nars event at Barneys.

If you love Nars makeup as much as I do, you'll want to be at Barneys this Saturday afternoon to meet its founder, François Nars (and maybe pick up a new, limited edition Laguna 'multiple').

Signed copies of Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself (Nars' book, published in April by Rizzoli) will be available.

Saturday June 25, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Call (310) 276-4400 ext. 5596 to pre-order a book or make an appointment with a Nars national makeup stylist, in store June 23-25.

Barneys is located at 9570 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Info:, (310) 276-4400

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do It. This Is Your Library.

We wrote about this library-lovin' event back in December, and here's just a reminder that it's still going on and still being awesome. To wit: this installment -- its third -- will feature none other than California patron saint Huell Howser! Coincidentally, his next project is called "Downtown," which hey, just happens to be where this event takes place.

Beyond Mr. Howser, you'll also get to see appearances by writer Chris Kraus and theater artist Diane Rodriguez, as well as a performance by buzz-building Amanda Jo Williams. Plus there'll be Pink's hot dogs and drinks, and all-around library-loving. Support your local public library!

This is Your Library is taking place 7:30pm tomorrow, June 23 at the the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library, located at 630 W. 5th St. in downtown. Tickets are $15 (concert only is $5).

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Check It. Travel candles.

Sometimes you need a little extra comfort from you're away from home, and travel candles are a great way to fill a foreign space with a scent, and therefore a mood, that you love.

I recently picked up this cute (and great smelling) Fleurs de Nuit travel candle at Catbird on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. The beauty of a travel candle is it's lightweight, has a lid, and is a cute small size that's just right so you don't end up wasting (or toting around) a half-candle's worth of wax.

Anthropologie also has great travel candles.

Barneys too.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Monday, June 20, 2011

Advance Notice. FYF Fest.

Although it had its share of organizational problems last year, FYF Fest is still, in my opinion, one of the best music festivals offered in Southern California. The FYF crew is always able to round up a great lineup, mixing big names with small, and keep the price for admission reasonable. And being set in downtown on Labor Day weekend? What a way to say farewell to summer.

It feels like a long ways off, but it's time to prepare now. FYF Fest 2011 was announced last Wednesday, and tickets are now on sale. For $35 (early price) to $40, it's basically a steal to see awesome bands like the Descendents, Death From Above 1979 (who made a triumphant return from hiatus this year, and completely killed it at Coachella), Explosions in the Sky, Broken Social Scene (always amazing at festivals), Dan Deacon, Guided By Voices, Cults, Japandroids, Cass McCombs, Avi Buffalo, Fool's Gold and so many more.

Get your tickets now -- it'll likely be on the road to selling out soon.

FYF Fest 2011 is taking place Saturday, Sept. 3rd at (new location!) City Hall, located at 1st and Main in downtown.

-- Chau Tu

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Monthly BEAT: Hollywood. Crabfest 2011 at the Hungry Cat.

It's that time of year! Make your reservations now for Crabfest 2011 at the Hungry Cat Hollywood. It's Sunday June 26. Arrive hungry.

A soft-shell crab dish I had there with grits and fried green tomatoes late last summer still makes my mouth water.

Bon appétit!

Info: (323) 462-2155,

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eat In. Barbara's Shredded Oats.

A little over a month ago, my great friend Ashley gave me a dry square of Barbara's Shredded Oats to try in her Hell's Kitchen kitchen. I've been hooked since--I get my fix in a little bowl with 2% milk.

It's a delicious and healthy start to the day, and available at plenty of supermarkets, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

With a box of Barbara's in your cupboard, there's no excuse to miss the most important meal of the day.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Advance Notice. Cinefamily's 2nd Annual Everything Is Festival.

If you're planning on staying in town for the 4th of July weekend, forget the summer blockbusters at your local crowded movie theater. Celebrate America with Andrew W.K., "Conan" writers, YouTube videos, Food Party's Thu Tran, weird martial arts movies, a live re-scoring of The Pelican Brief, sneak peeks at new animated features, Neil Hamburger and more. Sound random enough? It could only be the Everything Is Festival, going on at The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater.

The 2nd annual event is being put on by the Everything is Terrible! crew -- the masters of weird, crazy found footage -- and appropriately this festival is just as schizophrenic. You're sure to find something you'll dig, and either way, it's a great way to kick back and enjoy some madness surrounding you. Each screening/event is $10 each (except for Andrew W.K.'s Party Lecture for $15), or you can go for a $90 festival pass that'll get you into everything plus some fun extras. Check out the schedule here.

The 2nd Annual Everything Is Festival takes place from June 30-July 4 at the Silent Movie Theater, located at 611 N. Fairfax Ave. in Mid-City.

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Check It. Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique Summer Fragrance.

I'm a sucker for limited edition (and attractive) beauty product packaging. Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique Summer Fragrance for 2011 is on shelves, and has all the right notes. While rose isn't normally something I go for in a perfume, its orange blossom, lemon, and jasmine make this 'Classique' a perfect summer scent, with some vanilla and musk in there too for good measure. And the bottle is marvelous.

The iconic designer is currently north of the border for a Montreal Museum of Fine Arts exhibition, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, that opens Friday. The show is set to travel to Dallas next, and then to San Francisco in March of next year.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Check It. Evil Goods' California Decks.

Nothing like showing off some L.A. pride while you're cruising down the city streets. If I could hold my own on a board, I'd totally be riding on an Evil Goods California deck. Cut into the shape of our beautiful state (how hasn't this been thought of before?) and emblazoned with an L.A. decal, the skateboard is definitely the sort of limited edition goodie that's worth splurging for. I'm even contemplating just getting one to put on my wall! But whatever you do plan to do with it, get your pocketbook out quickly: they are limited edition and have already sold out of its first run. Buy your deck for $120 here (check the column on the right).

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: Evil Goods

Friday, June 10, 2011

The monthly BEAT: Hollywood. Kitchen 24.

In my opinion, you can never have too many late night restaurants. And if there were a part of L.A. that I feel needs them the most, it's probably Hollywood. You may just be coming back from a pleasant family outing to the Hollywood Bowl or a movie at the Arclight, or it may be from a crazy night at the club. No matter which way, be thankful for Kitchen 24.

As the website proclaims, it's Hollywood's only 24-hour diner and bar, and you could simply say that the Hollywood diner and bar. While serving up great diner classics like mac and cheese and burgers and all-the-time breakfast fare, the restaurant also has a mix of fancy cocktails, all served in a room full of mirrors and glitzy chandeliers. It's just the right mashup of high and low and weird and cool that Hollywood seems to encompass.

The food, meanwhile, is pretty consistently fantastic. My picks are the Jolly Green Giant omelette or the delicious Mac and cheese, paired with a manmosa -- citrus-flavored beer and orange juice. Talk about mashup, right? Oh and don't forget the homemade cupcakes!

Kitchen 24 is located at 1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood and is open 24/7. There is also another branch of the restaurant being opened soon in West Hollywood.

-- Chau Tu

Drink It. National Iced Tea Day.

Get refreshed with iced tea today, National Iced Tea day!

Our favorites:

Bottoms up!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Southern Living

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Drink It. Beverly Hills Juice Club.

My favorite fresh juice in town is from the Beverly Hills Juice Club. It's L.A.'s oldest juice bar (est. 1975), and is still running strong.

The unassuming little shop on Beverly Boulevard not far from the Beverly Center has a broad menu of delicious raw organic pressed fruit juice combinations--apple mint, apple mint coconut, cinnamon apple, apple lemon ginger, etc. My go-to is the orange coconut, but you really cannot go wrong even if you blindly pick one. They also have vegan shakes, and sell a vegan alternative ice cream, Banana Manna, by the pint.

Juices are pressed fresh daily.

A couple things to note--cash only, and closed Sundays.

8382 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles. Info:, (323) 655-8300

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Advance Notice. L.A. Film Fest.

It's that time of the year again -- the L.A. Film Fest is back. It's the annual film festival in our city, the entertainment capital in the world, and it never fails to disappoint. Spanning 10 days, from June 16 to 26, and taking place mostly at L.A. Live, this year's event will feature both big summer blockbusters (Green Lantern) to indie Sundance favorites (The Future), and unknown directors and up-and-comers to huge superstars. The only downside is having to choose which ones you can see!

So you better start now. Tickets for individual screenings are now on sale (search by film title or the schedule), and some are sure to sell out far ahead of time. Check out the L.A. Times' guide as a primer, and don't forget about the free community screenings too!

The L.A. Film Fest takes place from June 16 to 26. Check the website for all showtimes and info.

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Check It. Essie's Wedding Collection 2011.

Essie is famous for their vast selection of pale pink polishes. I have a handful of favorites, including Adore-a-Ball, Ballet Slippers, and Sugar Daddy.

Now it's June, prime wedding season, and their 2011 Wedding Collection added another favorite to my list: Better Together. It also contains a perfect classic red, First Dance (on my toes, below). A trendy pastel blue (think Hard Candy circa 1995), Borrowed & Blue, and another pale pink, Made to Honor, round out the collection.

The cute box set of four mini bottles is just perfect--I never finish a full bottle of nail polish, and it usually ends up getting heat or sun (or age) damaged about halfway through and changes color. With these convenient 5 ml bottles, nothing will go to waste.

Check out our favorite L.A. nail salons.

Happy manicuring!

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: essie

Monday, June 6, 2011

Check It. Atlas Obscura.

Ahh, June. It's beginning to feel like summer, no? In any case, hopefully many of you are beginning to plan some trips and vacation. If so, time to bookmark your new favorite travel site.

I recently discovered Atlas Obscura through the travel issue of Brand X, and I've been scouring the various city entries ever since. The site is aimed all compiling information on all the fascinating and wonderful areas of the world, acting as a great guide for the traveler hoping to go beyond the tourist traps. All the info is provided in usual wiki fashion, meaning anyone can contribute their own finds, and others are encouraged to join and edit. It provides a great first-hand account of many of these places, and also often features insider local knowledge that you might not otherwise be able to know about if you're simply traveling through. I even enjoyed the fun entries the site had compiled for Los Angeles. Take time to explore your own area, or learn about something fun in your future vacation spot. And even if you're not going anywhere this summer, visit the Atlas Obscura blog for random interesting picks and lists. You're sure to discover something new and fun.

And if you're in need of another cool travel site, Wikitravel is always a favorite go-to of mine.

-- Chau Tu

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Monthly BEAT: Hollywood. Harold and Maude Cinespia Cemetery Screening.

You don't really need us to tell you that there's a lot happening in Hollywood this June, but we're here to anyway.

For the second month of our new "Monthly BEAT" series, tinseltown is the focus, and I'm thrilled to announce that this Saturday night one of my very favorite films, Harold and Maude (1971), will be screened at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Cinespia always does a fantastic job curating the popular summer series, but this Hal Ashby gem may be the best yet.

I suggest getting in line early, and bringing board games, picnic blankets, snacks, food and drinks (cold beer from the nearby Whole Foods or a thermos of homemade margaritas).

Tomorrow, Saturday June 4, 2011

The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Gates open at 7:30 p.m., film starts at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 (cash).

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Paramount

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Do It. ColLAboration Pop-Up Beer Garden [Thirsty Thursdays!].

There's no doubt that L.A. is all about craft beer now. And that's being well-represented by ColLAboration, a quartet of craft beer enthusiasts from some of the city's most popular bars, including the Surly Goat, Blue Palms Brewhouse and the soon-to-be-opened Mohawk Bend. Ryan Sweeney, Brian Lenzo, Clay Harding and Tony Yanow have dedicated their restaurants to having the best craft brews around, and they're putting on a fun event where you can try a few.

The ColLAboration Pop-Up Beer Garden will be open this Saturday from noon to 7pm for all your beer-tasting pleasures. Check out their Facebook page for all the updated info on what beers will be on tap, but expect some old favorites and some new specialities. Each attendee will receive their own membership glass for only $10, and pours will vary from $5-6. A great deal, plus you get a souvenir! And it doesn't get much better than a good brew to enjoy a good weekend.

The ColLAboration Pop-Up Beer Garden will be taking place this Saturday, June 4 from noon to 7pm at 6100 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Get your membership glass here.

-- Chau Tu

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Do It. Adele's Los Angeles Concerts.

If you don't have Adele's album 21, buy it now.

Also--see her next week at the Greek Theatre (6/6) or the Hollywood Palladium (6/9).

Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" is on a compilation charity CD, Songs for Japan, that I picked up at a Best Buy in Montreal last week and have been listening to non-stop. Other tracks include John Lennon's "Imagine", Bob Dylan's "Shelter from the Storm", and Eminem Featuring Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie".

Los Angeles shows Monday June 6 and Thursday June 9.
Tickets available through Ticketmaster, if sold out, try Craigslist.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: