Warning: Obnoxious restaurant opening soon

This heads up comes via the folks at Curbed LACafe Gratitude is coming to LA. Now, unfortunately I’m familiar with this raw food establishment as there is one is San Francisco a block from Jason’s house. We went there once, and talked about how annoying it was for the next month. While the food was OK, if a bit overpriced, their schtick will make you want to hit yourself in the face with a brick. See, instead of the menu saying “cinnamon bun” or “espresso” items are named with affirmations – items are called “I am joyful” or “I am delighted”. To make this worse there is no translation, so you have to read the item description and try to figure out what the hell the item is. For instance a veggie burger would be called “I am thankful: a handmade veggie patty with fresh lettuce and tomato between two whole oat buns” or something like that, so you have to reverse engineer the menu to figure out what you are ordering. But it gets worse, you have to order playing their little game. At least in SF when I said “I’ll have an espresso” the server responded “you mean you are delighted?” I said “What?” and he replied “If you want to order ‘I am Delighted’ then you are Delighted.” I refused to jump through the hoops and the server wasn’t pleased. (I think the staff must have had a drum circle or made dream catchers in the evening to cleanse the negativity I brought to the place) When they brought out our order it was the same thing, they’d say “you are enlightend” as they put the food in front of us. Needless to say we never went back, and I was happy knowing that was all the way up in SF. But now there will be one here to annoy folks in LA. I am not impressed.

To Everything, Turn Turn Turn…

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Of the various sense memories I can readily recall from my tot years there’s a couple prominent ones, both from establishments on Beverly Boulevard within a couple blocks of each other. One is the steamy smell of corn tortillas that wafts when you lift the top plate off them at El Coyote where I was ogling the puffy-dressed waitresses’ ambundant displays of decolletage and throwing back maraschino-cherry laden Roy Rogerses before I could walk. The other is the sight of the tires that spin endlessly around beneath the Town Tire Co. sign at Beverly at Gardner across from Pan Pacific Park.

From the moment I first saw it (probably in my mom’s old Corvair coming back from El Coyote) I was mesmerized by the wobbling tire that would never lie down and be it day or night I would always look to it whenever we’d chance to pass it by. In fact, I’m pretty sure the end of my childhood can be pegged to the moment I looked for it and suddenly quit seeing its visual trick anymore. Somehow it went from something magical whose effect was similar to what happens in the last moments of a coin spinning on a tabletop, to just two tires attached to each other at an angle being rotated by an unseen motor. And that’s how it’s stayed ever since — or at least it did until July 29 when Town Tire closed after 43 years and the power that supplied the spin to the display was shut off for good.

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/10/tt2-thumb.jpgHaving only recently learned of the neighborhood landmark’s closure and because I’m the sentimental sort, I showed up there this past weekend hoping for posterity’s sake to grab some video of the tires rotating, but I was way too late for that. Instead all I got was this picture (at right; click to slightly biggify) of the tires motionless for the first time in my life and I wasn’t too surprised to find myself a bit melanncholy. Sure, I know that one thing you can always count on in L.A. is its changing cityscape… but still, it’s tough not to count on some stuff and expect it’ll always be there, and I couldn’t help but be a little surprised and saddened when it suddenly isn’t anymore.

Goodbye, Town Tire.

Spider Pavilion

Giant Orb Weaver

To quote Sir Walter Scott, “What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” In this case the deception I am referring to is that which has been forced upon us throughout our lives by books, movies, television, and our parents, namely that spiders are dangerous, poisonous, evil creatures who live life only to terrorize us. The truth about spiders is that out of the roughly 38,000 species of spiders in the world, only 27 are poisonous, and only two of those actually live in California. None of those poisonous species are at the Spider Pavilion exhibit at the Natural History Museum

Continue reading Spider Pavilion

When hinges creak in doorless chambers…

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/10/hauntedhousehh-thumb.jpgThe Halloween season has officially begun.

To keep track, blogging.la has added a new “Halloween” category so you don’t miss out on any of the October festivities here. I’ve also begun tagging events at Upcoming.org with “HalloweenLA2006” so you can easily find creepy events to attend all of October (if you have or know of any other events that fit the theme, please add the tag).

I’ll be posting all months about the supernatural and assorted horrific topics related to the City of Angels, and strongly encourage our readers to offer ideas and suggestions in suggest a stort (see the button at right) or comments.

To get things started…

Do you live in or know of haunted houses in Los Angeles? Do you have a great local ghost story to share? If so, please email me at [email protected] or drop a line in the comments here. Prizes, TBD, will be given out to anyone who can give me the chills…

(photo by aisipos on Flickr)

Does this mean I have two dogs?

For the past month I’ve been wondering if a coyote is living in the yard. Twice I’ve found dead rats (well, technically they were only half-rats, something had chewed off the head and front legs) in the past month. My dog has also been acting very territorial in her own back yard, marking particular spots on a regular basis.

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Today I got confirmation that there is definitely a coyote in my yard. He hardly cares that I’m there. He was munching away on some grass in the corner of the yard near the carport. I came back in the house, got my camera and he was still there. I took some photos and scared him off into the further recesses of the yard. But it’s fenced so I don’t think he can get out (the driveway is the only way out).

Should I do anything about it, besides warn the neighbors that have cats they let out during the day that there’s a non-nocturnal coyote? I’m kinda happy I have at least two fewer rats in my back yard.

Just In Time For Monday Lunch

Driving down Sepulveda yesterday, avoiding the 405 traffic on the way home from the Getty, I noticed a new food establishment on Sepulveda: Zankou Chicken

I know Zankou is an L.A. establishment, but not a Westside thing. Instead, we have our California Chicken Cafes in Santa Monica and in Venice. That’s where I go to get my quarter chicken with a side of butternut squash. But I went to Zankou one weekend in Pasadena, and suddenly I realized that there’s a reason the legend of Zankou is heard west of the 405: it’s outstanding, addictive stuff. That garlic sauce is one of the best food substances ever created.

Now there’s a Zankou’s on the Westside, at Sepulveda and Santa Monica. There’s a first-timer’s review at la.foodblogging as well, for those wanting a ground up review. For those of us on the Westside, who previously only had access to Zankou’s when visiting the Eastside, this comes as good news. It’s a little far from Venice, but now that particular rotisserie chicken is a lot closer than it used to be.

What You Say?

I’m trying something new with this post, if you like it, I’ll keep it up. As you know the comments are a big part of this blog and sometimes tell an entirely different story than the original post. The best comment threads include folks who know what they are talking about voicing their opinions and backing up their arguments. So, I thought it might be cool each week to take a look back at some of the most commented on discussions in the last 7 days.

  • The Future of LA Mass Transit? – Wow, this on is really making a fuss. Damien Goodmon put together a map proposing what an efficient train map of LA *might* look like, if the city was actually focused on making it happen. The comments initially started with people doing backflips thinking about the utopia LA would be is this wad a reality, then came the naysayers and then came Damien himself to argue the points of contention. As of this moment there are almost 40 comments on that post and a great deal of info is being put out there to conside.
  • Is There an Arclight Experience for Live Concerts? – We all know their is no better movie watching experience than Arclgith, but Cybele points out that concerts are seriously lacking in a lot of these areas. Comments are back and forth on how to get this experience, and if anyone should even expect it.
  • Studio 60: Go Get Your Own Building – Some creative photoshopping has taken an iconic LA theater and turned it into a faux studio for a new network show. Is this good, bad, interesting, stupid, or does it even matter? Verdict is still out on this one.
  • Costco Lostco (aka Tough Bananas) – Snappy answers for pushy sales people. Dickish or deserved?
  • Naked man runs through Starbucks, eats pastries, gets shot by rubber bullets – The title says it all folks. Interestingly, this is also the most e-mailed post on the entire metroblogging network right now. I’m sure that says something about our readers, but not entirely sure what.

So, let me know what you think – is this worth while posting. Do you even care. Hello?