Blogging (in) LA: Street Gourmet LA

Pablo Aya and El Gladiador

Loyal reader Evan commented to suggest we feature Street Gourmet LA as one of our Blogging (in) LA sites, and Evan’s clearly not the only fan. Street Gourmet won LA Weekly‘s Best Food Blog award a few weeks ago. Big ups for that. Stiff competition in this town, where food blogs seem to outnumber political blogs by some substantial factor. Street Gourmet specializes in Latin-American food, covering not just LA but Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and elsewhere. Bill explains the blog’s focus this way:

Why street food? Because it’s profoundly delicious when you arrive at the right place, and it’s the most common dining experience we share among humans. Street food is the first restaurant experience of organized societies.

But really, I’m just a zealous messenger. I’m happy to share the delights and pleasures of a rapturous afternoon at Ensenada’s La Guerrerense, a random Argentine parrilla that will blow your mind, one of the best night’s of my life at a Brazilian temple of north-eastern cuisine right next to a favela,or coming across perhaps one of the best tacos LA has ever tasted.

It’s not just the focus that distinguishes Bill’s blog, however; it’s the writing. He’s an entertaining writer with a voice of his own. Take his most recent post from which this picture is pinched. How can you not want to read a post that begins with this sentence: “I have no idea how we ended up at a torteria made famous by a giant sandwich developed by a luchador (wrestler) after two weeks of relentless, gluttony, but there we were”? And the rest of the post lives up to its opening hook. Bill’s posts are thorough, informative, and fun. Thanks Evan, for the recommendation, and thanks Bill for the great blog.

All In All It’s Just A ‘Nother Dick With A Wall

Los Angeles Magazine June 2009

As far as I’m concerned Antonio Villaraigosa walled himself off from me way back a few months before his first election in 2005. First he started posting election signs that phonetically spelled out the pronunciation of his last name (ELECT Vee-ahh-ray-go-sah!) to help educate those who were obviously having trouble wrapping their tongues around that contrived conjunction of his and his then-wife’s last name. Shortly after that, he led me to vote for Hahn when he decided to pander to the animal activist vote and kneejerkedly blurt out his support for closing the elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, as if that’d be the most important order of city business to get to the moment after being sworn in.

Then came all his missteps and failures and that silly affair with that TV news reporter and the divorce and more missteps and more failures, which just built the divide between him and me all that much thicker and higher.

In fairness, the wall came down a bit shortly after his re-election when I’m guessing his Hummer-lovin’ transportation deputy Jaime de la Vega had someone phonetically spell out “bicycle” (bye-sea-cull) for ‘Tonio and after practicing it diligently he actually said the word publicly for the first time. Shortly after that revelation someone got a picture of him astride a borrowed fixed-gear at a community event in Baldwin Hills, and that endeared me him a little more to him me. Then, as we all know, that high was followed by the low of him pedaling along Venice Boulevard where he took a bone-breaking tumble trying to avoid an inattentive cab driver. But from that near-disaster came his understanding that supporting bikes on the streets and cyclists’ rights to safely ride them there would be a lot easier and more positive a pet project than, say, taking over the school system or running for governor, or spending more time out of the state campaigning for a presidential candidate, or dating other local news reporters… well, scratch that last one.

And my belabored point is? Belabored more after the jump.

Continue reading All In All It’s Just A ‘Nother Dick With A Wall

Drifting in L.A…most unusual spot ever for a most unusual sport

Love the drifters out there though I have to admit I don’t like it when they do it around me.  Scary stuff if you don’t stay in the lines and put others at risk.  Imagine the consequences of not staying in the line for this drifter high atop the US Bank Building in L.A.

I doubt anyone has seen drifting that outrageous outside a publicity stunt.  My most outrageous was a knucklehead who did it in front of me on the 210/605 interchange.  What is your most interesting drifting you have witnessed?

What’s Really Going on with the 405 Closure?

countdown to closure
Taking down a bridge... yeah, sure.

So the impending “Carmaggedon” is quite the buzz topic these days, with a 53-hour road closure basically threatening our very way of life here in LA. Haha just kidding—we’ll still be able to drive around aimlessly in other parts of the city, we’ll just have to avoid that ten-mile stretch of the 405 for a couple days.

One of the bigger headache will be for those out-of-towners who don’t know to avoid the 405 if they’re arriving at LAX that weekend. Or for people trying to have a wedding that weekend.

Wait a minute, though. Ten miles of freeway? For a bridge demolition? Seems like a bit much to me. Why can’t they let us get any closer than that? Does this seem a little hokey to anyone else?

Knowing there are plenty of people out there who are determined to find out the truth behind the lies we’re told, I went to my trusty old series of tubes to get some answers.

But alas—there were no deeper answers to be found! Can it be that no one has any insights as to what they might really be doing on the 405 over the weekend of the 16-17 July? Constructing new underground viaducts for the lizard people? Israeli scientists doing killer shark exercise at the Skirball? A perfect setup for some Thomas Crown shit at the Getty?

Since the usual truth-seekers haven’t offered any ideas about what’s going on with the Sepulveda Pass, I ask you, dear readers: What do you suppose might actually be important enough (bridge demolition? ha!) to divert traffic for two days?

Win Tickets to The Hollywood Bowl for 4th of July!

4th of July 2007 by Jodi

We are giving away tickets to the Hollywood Bowl’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular!

This year’s extravaganza features America’s favorite blue-eyed soul duo, Daryl Hall & John Oates, performing with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by Principle Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins (he’s wonderful!)

The evening will be capped off by the always impressive Hollywood Bowl fireworks. I’ve been to many, many fireworks shows at the Bowl and have been amazed and delighted every time. Every Angeleno should experience it at least once!

Leave a comment below and you might be the lucky reader chosen to win a pair of tickets to this year’s Hollywood Bowl 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular!

Congrats Edgar Ybarra! I hope you enjoy the show! It should be fantastic!


Tickets to See The Dropkick Murphys!

I have a bunch of Tickets to give away for The Dropkick Murphy show July 1st at the Fox theatre in Pomona!

Yeah, Pomona. Yeah, I know. But it’s Dropkick! With The Tossers, She’s A Kreeper and The Parkington Sisters!

Plus, and I don’t KNOW yet, but MAYBE, I might have some tickets to see them at The Hootenanny, with The Reverend Horton Heat and The Murder City Devils, July 2nd!! Now THAT is going to be an Awesome show!

Now here’s the thing: I really don’t know if I have the Hootenanny tickets to give away. If I do, you don’t get to choose, you might get one show, you might get the other, you may very well get both. Enter by leaving a comment on this post.

But understand this, and I’m serious here, anyone who posts that they are only interested in one show or the other is immediately disqualified. You makes your post, you takes yer chances. All entries must be in by Thursday, which happens to be my Birthday.

So, post in the comments to enter the contest and GOOD LUCK!

Following the Mob

The handmade sign on the front door of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger‘s former home on 3rd Street in Santa Monica reads: “Go Away. People Live Here”. That’s the message I’d like to send to mobsters in Los Angeles and across the country. But they seem to keep popping up near where I live, or vice versa.
Continue reading Following the Mob

Big Tujunga Canyon Is The Latest Reason Why I’m Proudly & Forever A Tourist In My Own Town

I’ve been up Big Tujunga Canyon once in my life. Or rather down it. Near the end of the last century, I rode in a Hogs for Dogs Ride put on by the Pasadena Humane Society, and I was part of a huge, mostly Harley caravan that went up Angeles Crest Highway to its intersection with Big Tujunga Canyon and came back down to civilization. Being on two wheels along such winding roads in close proximity to other motorcycles in front, beside and behind one, strictly limits how much of the breathtaking scenery one can absorb.

So it was that research on a project this past Thursday afternoon took me to Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga and afterwards for a drive up into the canyon in hopes of generally locating a long-gone 130-year-old homestead’s location. With the road practically to myself I drove up slowly, stopping frequently to stand drop-jawed at how dramatic and gorgeous is the canyon.

Big Tujunga Canyon
A bend in the river (click to embiggenate).

The above snap doesn’t really do the scene justice, and neither will any more words about it. So I’ll just finish with: if you haven’t been, go. And if you have been, go back. I know I will.



Blogging (in) LA: Things To Do In LA

Anarchists, dinosaurs, and vinyl toys–TTDILA covers it all. The front page of the site explains:

Things To Do In LA was created out of not being able to find something to do in LA. It was created out of missing cool events that you would hear about later or because you didn’t read a certain post. It was created because you don’t know every place to visit in the city. There is always something to do in this city.

Things To Do In LA tells you what’s going on, and places to go.

TTDILA is a curated events list, clearly not guided by PR hack spam but rather by what seems exceptional, interesting, fun, and noteworthy. If you’re at all into video games, anime, local art, horror movies, or geek/fringe culture you should check out Things To Do In LA. Know this: TTDILA wrote to us at to ask if we were doing another Doughnut Summit this year before we’d even gotten around to asking ourselves the same question. Jonathan, the brain and muscle behind TTDILA is on the ball. He does the research for the rest of us. Without TTDILA, for instance, I wouldn’t have known about the Anarchist Book Fair or the Dead Flesh Fest this Saturday. I’m not sure if I’ll go to either, but being a fan of both anarchism and exploitation I’m glad to know about them regardless. Reading TTDILA is like having your own personal social secretary/concierge, except you’re on your own in terms of making reservations and dealing with double booking.

Doomie’s Closed Until Further Notice

Doomie's Facebook Post re: closureWhat’s with the luck for vegan/vegetarian restaurants around here lately? After magnanimously opening their doors on Tuesday night for a party for one of my best friends (in spite of being closed to the general public), Doomie’s tweeted today that they will be closed until further notice. According to their Facebook page, an electrical fire is the cause for the closure, but they will still participate in the upcoming Vegan Beer Fest.

Best wishes for a speedy re-opening, Doomie’s.

Countdown to #Carmageddon2011

As you may already have heard, the 405 freeway will be shut down between the 10 and the 101 on July 16 and 17.  The MTA is so excited about this closure that it has given us a fabulous “I-405: Countdown to the Closure” clock that tells us exactly how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds we have until Carmageddon 2011.  When you’re not watching the seconds of your life flipping past your very eyes, check out the information on the closure, alternate routes, and general advice from officials to just stay away from the Westside (as if you needed a reason) (oh, snap) during that weekend.

Yellow HOV Sticker comes to end 7/1/11

Yellow HOV sticker
Yellow HOV sticker

The party is over in the HOV (Carpool lanes) 7/1/11 for those using the yellow HOV sticker and riding single.  This blogger for one is glad to see it come to an end and move them to the regular lanes where us that have a full car don’t have to be stuck behind them while they putz along hypermiling in the carpool lane.  There is a movement afoot to try and extend it, but according to this DMV press release the party is over.

Comment below and get free admission to Art in the Streets Mondays

Actually, in all honesty, admission to the Geffen’s Art in the Streets is free every Monday thanks to a donation by Banksy, a street artist whose ability to garner publicity never ceases to amaze and impress this blogger. So this Monday, I set out with a couple of friends to take advantage of Banksy’s largess. The exhibit was larger than I’d thought it would be and it was crowded enough that there was a line at the gift shop and a guard monitoring admission. (I bought nothing. I might have considered a skullphone tee-shirt even at the rockstar prices, but they had no girl cuts.) But I digress. The exhibit itself was really great.
It spanned everything from early tagging on train cars by railroad employees to LA car art to reconstructed cityscapes complete with animitronic taggers and a dummy homeless guy sleeping in a doorway. All it lacked was the urine smell. (This is not a suggestion, MoCA–just an observation.) The exhibit runs through August 8, and I hope I’m able to get back to see it again before it goes. Do note: Art in the Streets is at the Geffen, not at MoCA’s Grand Street location. Also note, you can easily take the metro. The Gold Line stops just a couple of blocks from the front door.

Highlights from the exhibit after the jump. Continue reading Comment below and get free admission to Art in the Streets Mondays

No 4th of July Fireworks for Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey 4th of July
Marina del Rey 4th of July reveler from apparently cash flush 2009

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors (see top link under “News and Press Releases”), “[t]here will be no fireworks display this year in Marina del Rey in celebration of Independence Day on Monday, July 4, 2011 due to budget curtailments.” That has got to be a big disappointment not just to locals who enjoy the big fireworks show from the Marina Boat Channel, Burton Chace Park, Venice Beach, and Playa del Rey, but also to many other Angelenos who braved the local driving and parking nightmares in previous years to see it too.

Continue reading No 4th of July Fireworks for Marina del Rey