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

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day 2011!

Happy Labor Day! Enjoy the long weekend.

Grab a book (or September Vogue), and a cold drink, and relax.

Thank you, as always, for reading our blog!

-- the BEAT

Friday, September 2, 2011

the monthly BEAT: Miracle Mile/Mid-City/Fairfax. Tarfest 2011.

The Miracle Mile/Mid-City district is a peculiar one: packed with shops from Melrose to the Grove, eateries along Beverly and Fairfax, and cultural centers like LACMA, the El Rey or the New Beverly, there's a lot going on. But there's also no freeway in sight, making the area a certain kind of trek on weekends and during weeknight rush hours -- and yet one that's totally worth it.

Tarfest 2011 is sure to add to a bit of the madness, but in a good way. Presented by Launch LA, the arts and culture event is taking over Miracle Mile for much of September. First there's the art, from Sept. 16 to 29, at the Korean Cultural Center, featuring a variety of artists and genres. Then on Sept. 25, there's the free concert: taking place at the La Brea Tar Pits (Tarfest? Get it?) and featuring performances by local bands like Saint Motel and Everest. Look for more art on that day, with installations and environmental sculptures, as well as the usual array of food trucks and festival-ness. It'll be a good excuse to start checking out the area, even if it takes you a while to get there.

For more information on Tarfest 2011, click here.

-- Chau Tu

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Check It. Les Jeans de Chanel.

Lately I've been excited over Chanel's Fall 2011 metallic nail polish line, and now this!

On September 8, Fashion's Night Out in NYC this year, denim-inspired Les Jeans de Chanel will debut.

I love the flat muted tone of Blue Boy, it reminds me of soft cotton, á la James Perse T's.

Join the waitlist today, and while you're at it, blue jean baby, download Elton John's "Tiny Dancer".

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

Photo credit: Chanel