All the cool kids are talking about the Donut Summit

Word about the Donut Summit is spreading like wildfire over the interwebs!  They’re talking about it over at the LA Weekly’s Squid Ink; at NBC LA; and over at Food is my Nish, there’s an awesome list of Donut Summit-inspired local gourmet donut options!  So exciting!

And now, dear readers, a challenge for you:  Help me come up with some good categories that we can judge donuts on!  Here’s a few to get us started:

Best old-fashioned

Best filled donut

Best vegan donut

Best apple fritter

Best glaze

Best maple donut

Most unconventional donut

Most visually attractive donut

…and that’s all I’ve got.  I know you can do better than me!

Classic Eats #10: Quality Forever

Last Saturday was a fun, though very low-key Classic Eats. The weather was gorgeous and so was the company!

Special guest Susan (who is now a veteran Classic Eater*) and I were first at Johnnie’s Pastrami. We were met a short while later by Sarah and her son Charlie then Burns! not long thereafter. We chowed down on some classic yum yums at Johnnies: Pastrami, chili cheese fries and cole slaw.

After that there was many full bellied good-byes and Susan and I headed over to the Apple Pan for dessert. (Stopping to pick up my better half on the way.) The Pan was packed so the three of us opted to get our food to go. Outside we said hello to some other Classic Eaters who had skipped Johnnie’s for the Full Apple Pan experience.

Everyone seemed to eat well and enjoy the ambiance of these Classic Westside joints!

Click past the jump for more photos of the good food and even better company!

*Veteran status = you’ve been to more than one Classic Eats.

Continue reading Classic Eats #10: Quality Forever

Free Screening of Bruce Lee’s ‘The Chinese Connection’ tonight at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

The legendary Bruce Lee, would have turned 70 years old this year. And while it may or may not be difficult to imagine him as a septuagenarian still beating down bad guys, what can’t be denied is decades after his passing, he remains as influential as ever.

In tribute to and in celebration of the martial arts, action film and cultural icon, the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (which opened last night at the DGA), in association with his widow, Linda Lee Cadwell and daughter Shannon Lee and their Bruce Lee Enterprises, are organizing a Special Bruce Lee Program at this year’s festival tonight (Friday, April 30) at sundown at the new Madang Center Courtyard in Los Angeles’ Koreatown with a free screening and other events throughout the weekend.

The Bruce Lee celebration kicks off with a free outdoor screening of THE CHINESE CONNECTION and after party tonight and continues the tomorrow at noon with a special screening of ENTER THE DRAGON followed immediately by a panel discussion entitled, “How Bruce Lee Influenced Pop Culture” featuring daughter Shannon Lee, directors Reginald Hudlin (HOUSE PARTY, THE BOONDOCKS) and Brett Ratner (RUSH HOUR, X-MEN 3: THE LAST STAND), ENTER THE DRAGON co-star Bob Wall and musician Joseph Hahn from the rock band LINKIN PARK.

For the celebration’s finale, a special panel discussion entitled, BRUCE LEE: THE FAMILY MAN featuring Linda Cadwell and Shannon Lee and Goddaughter Diana Lee Inosanto takes place 4 p.m. Sunday at The Directors Guild of America. This event is free.

THE BRUCE LEE 70th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION is part of the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, which also features 170 films from over 20 countries beginning April 29 and ending on May 8, 2010. For more information on the film festival go to:

May 1st Rally & March: It’s Time to Stir That Melting Pot

Saturday, May 1 is the annual march for immigrants’ rights, and what more apt time to remember our giant range of melting pots than a few days after a borderline-if-not-outright illegal and horrifically anti-human law that is Arizona’s SB 1070?  Bill drafter Kris Kobach may try to defend the law as absolutely necessary, but in the end, if you can trace the origin of a law to a Nazi sympathizer (Russell Pearce) and a supporting member of the birther movement (Kobach),* well, its very likely to be a bad law.  And so, join the estimated 60,000+ individuals, families, and activists who will gather on Olympic and Broadway at 10am somewhat sharp tomorrow to celebrate our collectively diverse roots and to protest those who have the political and police power through which to channel their fears of the Other.  Road closures will start as early as 5:45am at the march assembly area (on Broadway, between 11th and Olympic), and the roads will open and close along Broadway as the march progresses northbound towards Temple.  Maybe instead of fighting it, you should get out of the car and march to your brunch spot.  March, protest and eat.  That’s how we do it in America.

*see also here and here.

Photo of a Los Angeles manhole made in Mexico courtesy Dan Hontz via the Metblogs Flickr pool.

Guess The Amount: Frond Memories

So yesterday was a leeeetle breezy around Los Angeles way. Not only did I get to harrowingly experience what it’s like to have repeated head-on and t-bone collisions with some pretty powerful gusts while biking to/from work, but when I got home last night cursing the wind like an escaped mental patient my wife Susan told me to go check out the backyard where I found this gift bestowed by the younger and shorter of our two palm trees (click to enlargify; Ranger Dog added for scale):

This morning at the breakadawn in respect for local, state and federal fire codes regarding matters of ingress and egress and because I couldn’t leave the backyard in such a horrible state, I  relocated the tangled mass of fronds off the central walkway in a far more orderly mass against the fence, and in doing so counted each and every one of the fuckers.

So how many do you think there were?

UPDATE (5.1): And the total number of fallen palm fronds is…? 106! Which makes Babamoto the closest overall with a guess of 121.

Drive, She Said

From L.A. Observed I just discovered that journalist, Miss USA 1994, model, actress, blogger, and the mayor’s main squeeze, Lu Parker, found herself teaching a 16-year-old girl presumed to be Villaraigosa’s daughter, how to drive.  It’s all going pretty typically until at one point during the lesson Parker admits on her blog to doubting her safe-driving abilities while amazingly showcasing her multi-tasking skills as a distracted motorist:

“How can I be a defensive driver behind the wheel,” she writes, “when I’m texting friends, checking email on my blackberry, or even putting on makeup?”

How indeed, Lu? How. The. Fuck. In. Deed.

Arizona: What Does a Californian Need to Know?

I don’t spend much time in Arizona. I think I have, like, three friends there, which admittedly is more than I have in most states that don’t hug one of the coasts. And overall there’s not much I like to do there. There’s great hiking, of course, and surprisingly good hummus at a restaurant in Flagstaff whose name I can’t recall. But given the current state of Arizona politics, I don’t have a problem getting my outdoor activities and Middle Eastern cuisine locally.

Your situation, of course, may differ. Maybe you have family in The Copper State; maybe you do business there; maybe you have a weekend cabin near Oak Creek Canyon. I don’t know. But you probably already know that, in the midst of the new anti-immigration law recently passed there, traveling through Arizona just got a heck of a lot more interesting. As residents of a border state, Californians have a lot to be concerned about.

Continue reading Arizona: What Does a Californian Need to Know?

An Evening With Women at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center

This post is for you if the following three statements describe you:

(1) You have nothing to do this Saturday night, and would like to hang out at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with Gina Gershon, Heart, Renee Zellweger and Sarah Silverman.

(2) You have an urge to help the LA Gay & Lesbian Center provide a variety of women’s services.

(3) You have $300 to donate.

Yeah? You fit the criteria? Then you’re in luck. Tickets are still available for the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s Evening With Women, an annual event aimed at raising funds for the center’s women-specific services. That includes health education and prevention, mental health services and career development classes, as well as services for both homeless youth and seniors.

The price tag is high, but the event is packed with personalities; in addition to the celebrities mentioned above, the event will include entertainment by songwriter Linda Perry and dinner by chef Jamie Lauren, whom Top Chef fans will recognize from the show’s fifth season. And if you can’t afford the 300 bucks but would still like to go, $99 will get you the “Recession Lounge Special,” where you can hobnob with other charity-minded folks.

You can buy tickets here.

Judgment Day Comes For John McGraham’s Killer

Last October, a year after the horrific Mid Wilshire-area murder of John McGraham I posted that I was still awaiting justice.

Today justice came. McGraham’s killer, 31-year-old Benjamin Martin, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of parole.

From the article:

Martin reportedly disliked homeless people lingering near the barber shop where he worked. A co-worker later told police he had seen Martin shout at the homeless to move away from the shop, sometimes striking out at them.

A customer said that he saw Martin on a separate occasion chasing McGraham down 3rd Street, hitting him with a bag of towels and kicking him in the back. The barber yelled, “I don’t want to see you around here again,” according to the customer.

When the manager of the barber shop learned of the attack, Martin was fired. Three months later, prosecutors said, Martin returned to the area with revenge on his mind.

That was the night of October 9, 2008. On the south side of 3rd Street at Berendo Martin confronted McGraham. Dousing him with a bucket of gasoline Martin set him on fire with a flare and fled. Residents came to McGraham’s aid and tried to douse the flames but it was too late. He died at the scene of his burns.

McGraham’s gruesome end brought the diverse community together to grieve the loss of the troubled man who had been a fixture of the neighborhood and to demand his killer be found. Three months of investigation later Martin was arrested and charged with one count of murder with special circumstance; allegations of murder by torture and murder by means of lying in wait, making the monster eligible for the death penalty.

I am much more satisfied with this sentence.

Jenette Bras Tea Party and Sale This Saturday


Jenette Bras (where the alphabet starts at D*) is having a tea party this Saturday, May 1st to celebrate their 1st anniversary. You are invited!

All bras and knickers by British brands Freya, Fantasie, Fauve and Elomi will be 15% off. Spend $100 and you’ll be entered into the raffle to win a babydoll by Twist called “Teatime.”

The special guest at Tea will be Frederika Zappe, fit specialist from the above English brands.

The best part: Not only do you get tea and goodies to nosh and beautiful bras to try on and buy, but 15% of the day’s proceeds will be donated to the “Jenette Bras Supports The Girls” campaign. Jenette Bras is partnering with CASA Glamour Gowns (who give girls in foster care in Los Angeles donated prom dresses) to provide beautiful bra support to go along with the dresses.

Not only will you get some gorgeous support for your own girls, but you can provide support for LA’s gorgeous prom girls.

Jenette Bras 1st Anniversary Tea Party
Saturday May 1st

4308 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, 90029
Call to RSVP: 323-665-7490

Or sign up on the Facebook Event page here.

*If you don’t know what this means, this is not the bra store for you, but tell all your well endowed friends about it!

Win Tix to Rogue Wave Tomorrow at the El Rey!

This is one of my favorite recent discoveries to date. I first heard “Asleep At Heaven’s Gate” in late ’07 and could have sworn blind they were from Wales or something, but in fact their rippling, lush, orchestral post-rock sound comes from Oakland CA. We’re giving away a pair of tix to their show tomorrow, and to win, just leave a comment telling me your favorite new music you can’t stop listening to. I’ll contact the winner by email tonight, so be sure to keep your eyes on your inbox.

Info on the show is here; photo is by miscellania. on flickr via a Creative Commons license.

Spring Has Sprung, Only 2.5 Years Late

Meets shoots and leaves

Shortly after I moved to California, I went to Home Depot one cold winter night and bought some plants for my balcony.  One was a Birds of Paradise.  It has always been one of my favorite plants, because it looks like a creature.  I also love the orange and blue color combo (“opposite colors,” for those who know about such things).  And it felt like a local plant, because I see so many of these in the area.

But for the past two and a half years, my Birds of Paradise were one color: green.  All I got were the leaves and stalks, no flowers.  I had watered them and used Miracle Gro, but otherwise am a bit of a black thumb.  After the first year, I went back to the guy at Home Depot (who, by the way, claims and is said to be extremely knowledgeable about plants) and asked, “what’s up with my no flower flowers?”  He said that Birds of Paradise can be temperamental when brought to a new home (they are creatures, after all), and that it was perfectly normal for them not to have flowered after a year.
paradise found? after the jump