Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Do It. AFI's Great American Movie Quiz with Alex Trebek.

If you're ticking off those last things to do before this summer ends and you don't have a barbecue to hit on Sunday, it might be the perfect excuse to head to the Hollywood Bowl. It's not your regular classical concert or even one of those contemporary concerts they've been having -- nope, Sunday night is The Big Picture: AFI’s Great American Movie Quiz Hosted by Alex Trebek.

How does that not sound amazing? Participate in the ultimate sort of movie trivia put on by the foremost film expert (AFI), hosted by the foremost kind of host. And the questions will be answered/performed live by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, as film clips are shown on screen. Perfect for the movie buff, or the non-movie buff (because hey, you'll learn something!), or just everyone in between looking for an inventive night out.

The Big Picture: AFI’s Great American Movie Quiz Hosted by Alex Trebek takes place this Sun., Sept. 4 at the Hollywood Bowl, located at 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood.
Tickets are still available (ranging from $16-$168) and can be bought here.

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do It. Gainsbourg And His Girls at the Silent Movie Theatre.

A couple years ago, I read what a fan Beck is of Serge Gainsbourg's Historie de Melody Nelson, and high-tailed it to Amoeba to get a copy.

This past weekend, there was a Serge Gainsbourg Tribute concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Performers included Beck, Zola Jesus, Victoria Legrand of Beach House, Sean Lennon, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, among others.

These days, it seems more Americans may know who Charlotte Gainsbourg (21 Grams, I'm Not There., Antichrist) is than her late famous French father, but a new documentary is in town to change that. Many of his numerous muses are featured in the film--Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Hardy, and Vanessa Paradis.

611 North Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Tickets $10. Info:, (323) 655-2510

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: France 3 + Morgane Productions

Monday, August 29, 2011

Do It. Barnsdall Park Friday night wine tasting.

It's pretty depressing: the end of summer is nearing. The sun is setting earlier, the Cinespia screenings are ending, and so too are the Barnsdall Park Friday night wine tastings.

That last event is a new discovery of mine, and I'm pretty bummed about its pending end, but you all still have one more week to enjoy it. For $25, you can support the nonprofit Barnsdall Foundation, which oversees community projects, and then enjoy a fun night of wines from the nearby Silverlake Wines. You'll get a cute souvenir glass and a total of four pours under that price as well, and you happen to get to enjoy it with one of the best views of the city. Seriously, the sunset scene there is amazing. Chill to the DJ music and grab food from the participating food trucks. And for just $15 more, you can take a guided tour of the famous Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House. A great sendoff for summer.

The last Barnsdall Park Friday night wine tasting this season takes place this Friday at Barnsdall Park, located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz. Get your tickets here.

-- Chau Tu

Friday, August 26, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Silver Lake. Sunset Junction Street Fair cancelled.

Earlier this month, we told you about the annual Sunset Junction Street Fair that should have been this weekend in Silver Lake, but has now been cancelled.

Apparently the festival organizers owed the city a bunch of money from last year and had not come up with enough for this year.

It's a shame to see a tradition (since 1980) die. Check out Randy Lewis and Margaret Wappler's Los Angeles Times article about the community's mixed emotions about the news.

Have a look at past lineups here.

Alternate suggestions for weekend fun: see Our Idiot Brother at the ArcLight (who doesn't love Paul Rudd?), check out Seventy 7 Lounge (check Twitter for entry password), read a good book, if you still haven't seen Midnight in Paris, see that instead of Our Idiot Brother.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Jonathan Leibson/FilmMagic via

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Check It. Seventy 7 Lounge.

Thanks to Thrillist, I know about this awesome-sounding bar that opens tonight.

Seventy 7 Lounge is the latest "secret" watering hole in town, in the same vein as the very cool La Descarga rum bar on Western. Look out for the neon "cocktails" sign, and check their Twitter page day-of for the password needed for entry.

Once in, enjoy vintage-style decor and creative cocktails like the Moulin Rouge and Velvet Underground, and/or Hoegaarden on tap.

The password for tonight is "prohibition".

3843 Main Street in Culver City. Info: (310) 559-7077,

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Thrillist

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Check It. Andy Warhol x incase.

These days, it can be really difficult to stride the fine line of honoring art by commercializing it, or doing it a disservice. The Andy Warhol Foundation, thankfully, is doing it all right. It hasn't been scared to put Warhol's enigmatic art out in this world, but it also hasn't done it too much. And that's mostly because it's chosen the right sort of classy projects.

Like this one. This collection could be the sole reason for wanting an iPhone 4, or for returning my beloved DODOcase. Available as cases for your laptop, iPad, and iPhone, the Andy Warhol x incase collection is the perfect way to bring some Pop Art into your life. The designs include Elvis (one of my most favorite Warhol pieces), Camouflage, Flowers and Cow Wallpaper. And the best news: they're all pretty affordable and in the normal price range for designed cases, with the iPhone cases starting at $40 and iPad cases at $80. Some pieces are only available for preorder right now, so get on it now in case you miss out on this great collaboration.

I wonder what Andy would think of an iPad?

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Check It. Lulu Frost for J. Crew.

As a big fan of art deco design, of J. Crew, and of classic yet fun jewelry, I am loving the new Lulu Frost for J. Crew line.

My favorite is the thin deco bangle in navy, but everything is really great and wearable, from the crystal and resin earrings to the pendant necklaces.

Princes range from $45 to $135.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: J. Crew

Monday, August 22, 2011

Advance Notice. Batman/Batman Returns at the Aero.

With all the recent hype surrounding the filming of the latest Dark Knight movie, it may be the perfect time to take a step back and remember the classics.

Besides these newest movies, my favorite Batman film would have to be Batman Returns. Tim Burton as superhero film director does still, even now, seem strange, but it all works out perfectly. Danny DeVito as Penguin quite possibly could be the best casting move ever -- those claws and that devilish snarl still give me nightmares today. And of course, there's Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman -- Anne could only wish.

In case you need a refresher, Batman Returns will be screening alongside its predecessor, Batman, on Sept. 23 at the Aero in Santa Monica. The event is intended to honor the release of the memoir by Michael E. Uslan, a man who's been credited as producer on every Batman film since Batman. The Los Angeles Times' Geoff Boucher will be holding a Q&A with Uslan before the films.

Batman/Batman Returns will be screening on Sept. 23 at 7:30pm at the Aero Theatre, located at 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Buy tickets here.

-- Chau Tu

Friday, August 19, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Silver Lake. Berlin Currywurst.

It's official: L.A.'s got a sausage obsession. (Keep your mind clean.) With the recent openings of restaurants like Wirtshaus on Fairfax and Papaya Dog a la New York alongside our established institutions like Wurstkuche and those bacon-wrapped dirty dogs found so conveniently on sidewalk corners late at night, there hasn't been this much excitement about sausages since Dodger Dogs.

But let's escape the L.A. hype for a bit and take a detour to Berlin -- via Silver Lake, of course. Nestled right on the Sunset Junction, Berlin Currywurst opened up earlier this year with an emphasis on simplicity: owned by an extremely nice husband-wife team; just a few benches, tables and chairs; and an easy menu of the German street food fave.

Currywurst isn't a usual dog-and-bun deal. Here you'll choose your sausage -- wursts of chicken, pork, beef, tofu -- then choose your heat level. The sausage comes cut up in pieces doused in homemade organic sauce based in ketchup and curry and your level of heat. There's bread on the side for you to dip in, and the option of delicious fries with jambalaya seasoning and onions.

Simple, cheap ($6 for just the currywurst, add $3.50 for the fries) and absolutely delicious. A ton of flavor and heat that smolders softly at first, but effectively by the end. And the perfect primer for Pazzo Gelato next door, setting the pace for making Berlin Currywurst a Silver lake must.

Berlin Currywurst is located at 3827 Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: the BEAT

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Check It. White Vinegar fix.

Back in the early days of the BEAT, Lauren wrote about the wonders of white vinegar as a household cleaning agent. Last night I tried vinegar in laundry for the first time, and it worked!

We had a couple plush Ralph Lauren Home towels that just wouldn't shake a musty odor, even after plenty of washing and thorough drying. I did a little research online and a common fix seemed to be washing towels in hot water with a cup or so of white vinegar (inexpensive and widely available in supermarkets), then re-washing with detergent right after.

My towels came out like new! Soft and fresh. I was thrilled with the results. If you have any towels or clothes that maybe sat in a damp pile for too long and picked up a stink, try vinegar to get rid of it.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: the BEAT

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Do It. LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast with Jonathan Gold.

LA Weekly's food critic Jonathan Gold puts on his annual Gold Standard event every spring, featuring his picks for the best of L.A., and it's always a huge success. Now he's narrowing it down and focusing on just one basic food groups: Pancakes.

Alas, you're surely not to get just simple flapjacks at the LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast happening later this month. With participating restaurants like Warszawa, Salt's Cure, LAMill and Playa, the menu promises to be fun, inventive and still completely delicious.

Having brunch with J. Gold! We're a lucky city.

The LA Weekly Pancake Breakfast
takes place 11am-2pm on Sat., Aug, 28 at Vibiana, located at 214 S. Main St. in downtown. Tickets are $25 each and are available here.

-- Chau Tu

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eat Out. Bouchon Bakery Beverly Hills.

I've never had better brioche than from Bouchon Bakery (these rolls from Bon Appétit are a close second).

Beverly Hills is lucky to be the newest location (joining Yountville, Calif., Las Vegas, and New York City) of Thomas Keller's flawless bakery chain.

Bouchon Bakery also makes a great latte to go with your baked goods. If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, I highly recommend going for the tuna Niçoise sandwich, on ciabatta, with Bibb lettuce.

Opens tomorrow. 235 North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills. Info:, (310) 271-9910

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Stefanie Keenan / Los Angeles Times

Monday, August 15, 2011

Check It. Attack the Block.

It's a peculiar thing watching Attack the Block while being aware of all the riots and madness going on in London and surrounding whereabouts right now. There's a youthful grittiness that's almost all too real in this film, and can hit particularly hard if you think about it too much.

Thankfully, there's enough fast-moving action, witty remarks and just plain heart to distract you and have you enjoy this fun-filled adventure of a film. Attack the Block was directed by first-time director Joe Cornish, a friend of Edgar Wright (who also produced the film), and it's obvious that Cornish looks up to Wright's fast-cut storytelling pace. It's refreshing, keeps the movie young and holds well with the script's banter.

I went into the theater not knowing much anything about the plotline, and I think other moviegoers should do the same. But if you're curious, the basic story follows a group of British teenagers as they encounter a pretty crazy, out-of-this-world (wink wink) night. I was extremely impressed by the cast of actors -- many of them young and new and right of the gate (similar to Super 8 earlier this year; the kids are killing it!). They really help to bring you into this South London world, and you strangely might not ever want to leave.

Attack the Block is playing at the Arclight theaters, L.A. Live and other theaters.

-- Chau Tu

Sunday, August 14, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Silver Lake. Broome Street General Store.

A fantastic new addition came to Silver Lake this summer--the Broome Street General Store. They serve New York's Gimme! Coffee, and make a mean scone too.

From Rifle Paper Co. cards to Morris Kitchen ginger syrup, this is the best west coast place for great east coast goods!

2912 Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake, (323) 570-0405,

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Broome Street General Store via facebook

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Check It. Umami Burger's upcoming expansion.

We love Umami Burger here at the BEAT, so we're thrilled to hear the news that there's major expansion planned, in partnership with SBE Group. First, a flagship location at the Grove will open this fall, and then 35 more locations will open nationwide within the next three years.

My favorite is the truffle burger, cooked medium (vs. the standard medium-rare) and I hear the truffle fries (how decadent!) are pretty fantastic, too.

We told you about the Los Feliz location's great happy hour last year, and it's still a solid bet, especially on a warm summer evening.

Congratulations, Umami! My hometown burger hero.

The five current locations are listed here.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / for the Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eat Out. Paradis.

I think I've found my new favorite ice cream spot. And considering the vast variety of ice cream and frozen yogurt and gelato places that L.A. has to offer, I know it's pretty bold just to pick on favorite. But Paradis has completely won me over.

Paradis is a popular chain of shops in Denmark, offering homemade and freshly made ice cream. It only opened its first store in the United States (in Montrose) about two years ago, and earlier this year, it opened its second location, in Los Feliz Village (replacing a former Pinkberry). And it's prime to keep on expanding (in case you too get addicted).

The shop offers about 20 flavors at a time, with the usual chocolate and strawberry as well as coffee chocolate chip and Ferrero Rocher (which just happens to be my combination pictured above). And if you're in the mood to go all the way, opt in for chocolate marshmallow to put on top -- it looks devilishly delectable. Either way, though, the ice cream you'll enjoy will be incredibly smooth and creamy, and the flavors amazingly on point without being too sweet. It'll be difficult to go back to any other ice cream after Paradis, trust me.

Paradis is located at 1726 N. Vermont Ave. in Los Feliz.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: the BEAT

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do It. Celebrate Kate Spade and Current/Elliott in Century City.

This event at the Century City Kate Spade shop on Thursday night sounds like a lot of fun! Creative director Deborah Lloyd is hosting, celebrating the 'Westward' collection, which is a collaboration with Current/Elliott designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott.

I first heard of Current/Elliot a couple years ago when a lot of fashionable celebrities (Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes) were wearing their "Boyfriend" jeans. They're bringing their laid-back west coast style to the typically preppy NY-based line, and it's working--for me anyway, but that could just be the Malibu in me. There are six styles, ranging in price from $245 (wallet) - $1,295 (duffle).

Meet the designers and shop the collection Thursday night!

Thursday August 11, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Kate Spade Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard (in the mall).


-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Kate Spade

Monday, August 8, 2011

Do It. Amoeba's Monday Movies at Space15Twenty.

Free movies every Monday at 8pm, all month at Space15Twenty. Grab a burger at Umami and sit back and enjoy the show, or stop by early and check out the racks at Urban Outfitters, What Comes Around Goes Around or Hennessey + Ingalls. Since Amoeba is sponsoring the screenings, be prepared for music-themed movies: this week it's an advance screening of Magic Trip : Ken Kesey's Search For A Kool Place, featuring never-before-seen-footage; next week it's a fun mix of Beastie Boys films and music videos.

Check out the rest of the lineup here.

Amoeba's Mondays Movies are screening at Space15Twenty, located at 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood.

-- Chau Tu

Friday, August 5, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Silver Lake. Sunset Junction 2011.

For August's edition of the monthly BEAT, we're focusing on Silver Lake, which actually just so happens to be my own new neighborhood. It's a land oft-known/ridiculed for its hipsterism, but that mainly just means there are a lot of newer, younger places popping up around town that, while carry a hype machine, could be worth your visit.

But there are also some institutions already in place, a la Malo, Intelligentsia, and of course, the Sunset Junction Music Festival and Street Fair. Taking place at the end of the month at -- where else? -- the Sunset Junction, the musical lineup includes bands and artists both local and not, both big and small. Think Bobby Womack, the Melvins, Hanson (yep), Art Brut, the Butthole Surfers, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dum Dum Girls, alongside the Soft Pack, Lesands, Hands, Oh Darling and more. And then there's the market and food and fair stuff and general fun galore.

Tickets are only $20 per day, get them here.

The Sunset Junction Music Festival and Street Fair takes place Aug. 27-28 at Sunset Junction, located at 3700 to 4300 Sunset Blvd. (between Edgecliffe Dr. and Fountain Ave.) and 4000 to 4200 Santa Monica Blvd. (between Sanborn Ave. and Hoover St.).

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Do It. Breakfast at Tiffany's cemetery screening.

There's a Cinespia cemetery screening this Saturday night that you won't want to miss: Breakfast at Tiffany's. Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly is beyond charming in this iconic role.

Arrive early, and bring plenty of food and drink--melba toast and cottage cheese (Holly's go-to), martinis, or croissants and good coffee.

I also highly suggest the book.

Saturday August 6 - gates open 7:00 p.m., film at 8:30 p.m. $10 cash at entry gate.
6000 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Info:

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Paramount, via

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Do It. See Andy Warhol's 'Soup Cans' at MOCA.

There's nothing quite like seeing a Warhol in person. And though you've surely seen his iconic Soup Cans printed in books and magazines or on the Internet, seeing the intricate detailing of all the names and labels on the cans in person makes the art piece really something else. It brings a deeper appreciation to the little things, the simpler things. Beauty in what is, even if it's just your dinner for the night.

Andy Warhol's Soup Cans is being shown until Sept. 19 at MOCA, located at 250 S. Grand Ave. in downtown. This is the first time the entire collection has been shown in L.A. since its original showing (at the Ferus Gallery, 49 years ago).

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit:
Andy Warhol Foundation/MOMA

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Check It. National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

National Ice Cream month may be over, but today you can celebrate an entirely (ok, maybe not entirely) different holiday, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.

Tofutti Cuties chocolate ice cream sandwiches are a really satisfying and guilt-free treat. They are great for vegans, or people with allergies, as they are dairy-free. Even as a non-vegan myself, I really enjoy the flavor, just like I enjoy some soy chocolate milk once in awhile. Each sandwich has 6 grams of fat - a far cry from some ice cream bars out there.

If you'd rather go the more traditional route, there's always Klondike. Or Diddy Riese if you're at all near Westwood Village.


Tofutti Cuties are available at supermarkets, such as Gelson's, HOWS, select Ralphs, and at natural foods stores.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Tofutti

Monday, August 1, 2011

Check It. 'Stroked' [The Monday Download].

Warning: this post will probably make you feel very old.

The Strokes' Is This It is now officially a decade old. TEN years. !!! It's been ten years since you first heard those oh so familiar and now oh so classic first chords of "Last Nite," ten years since Julian Casablancas oh so distinct mumble-drawl caught your ears, ten years since you couldn't get this New York, too cool for school, leather jacket- and skinny jean-wearing dudes out of your brain. A lot has been said about the garage rock revival that The Strokes helped to revolutionize those years ago, and a lot more has been said about what has happened to them since.

But neither here nor there, it's time to reminisce. Or maybe even better -- pay tribute. Stereogum's put together another one of their cover compilations, this time honoring none other than Is This It. And as usual, they've got some pretty great names and bands contributing, from Real Estate to The Morning Benders to Peter Bjorn and John to Owen Pallett. Everyone's got their own feelings about cover songs, but either way, they do serve their purpose: making you rethink the original in a new and fresh way. And the notes the musicians gave on The Strokes and their songs are pretty interesting as well.

Worth your time and listen -- at least until you're ready to spin the original again. Listen and download here.

-- Chau Tu