Sharp-eyed that she is, my wife Susan found the tiny Anna’s Hummingbird nest built upon a branch no thicker than an index finger high up in the camphor laurel tree whose boughs spread across our front yard. And so of course I brought out the camera to capture its occupant as she came in for a landing this gorgeous Sunday morning (click for marginal biggification):
This information is all just starting to roll in but it seems on Friday night the LAPD swarmed and attacked a group of cyclists on Hollywood Blvd. In the video above you can see an officer kick a cyclist as he rides by, and when the person filming it shouts at the officer he gets tackled and thrown to the ground. There are many other reports coming in on BikeSide LA some claiming officers drove cruisers into a crowd of cyclists, and that they stuck batons into the spokes of passing riders causing people to fly off their bikes onto the street. I wasn’t there, I didn’t see anything myself, but this sounds extremely messed up.
As the Donut Summit approaches (June 13th! Super soon!), we are turning to you, dear readers, for help! We want to make sure that a fairly comprehensive range of LA’s donut shops are represented at the summit, so, if you’re coming, please comment below and let us know where you’re planning to bring your donuts from!
Below the jump is our working list of local donutteries: those with an asterisk beside them have been claimed by Metrobloggers, but all of the rest are fair game! And we are well aware that this list is currently far from complete, so if your favorite donut haunt isn’t on the list, that’s a-ok: just comment below and let us know which local donut purveyor you want to add to the list!
Chego is the Korean equivalent of umami; I think the rough English translation of both words is bomb ass. Because that is what Korean rice bowl joint Chego! is, from the food prepared with heart to the service sprinkled with TLC to the décor filled with kitsch. We will take each of those high points in order.
Heart in a Bowl.
Roy Choi is known as Papi to some, better known as the Kogi guy to all. Chef Roy is the guy whose food started the food truck revolution in this city with the pretty damned awesome Kogi BBQ truck. From there, a food truck explosion. Yet, I bet that after the smoggy dust is settled in a few years, Kogi will be the only one of a very few with gas left in its tank. Why? Simple: the food is delicious, you can’t really get what they’re selling anywhere else, and Roy’s not trying to rip you off. A fat short rib burrito is $5; some of the best sliders in this city are paired and offered at $5. Affordable sophistication for masses – that’s how the Kogi truck rolls.
I mention all this to say that Chego is at once the same and very different from Kogi. The same because Chef Roy is still aiming towards affordable sophistication – Chego’s tagline, after all, is “Chillax peasant food for the soul.” And yet, different, because where Kogi mashes Korean staples with Mexican street cuisine, Chef Roy focuses on Korean comfort food, period. These are rice bowls, pure and (somewhat) simple. The flavors are unabashedly bold, multilayered, and, where appropriate, hot. The menu amusingly states that dishes are rated “PG13” for spiciness. Don’t say they didn’t warn you.
When I was a wee punk girl, I had a mix tape (oh yes, my cubs, I am indeed that old) that ended with the Buzzcocks‘ “Something’s Gone Wrong Again,” except cassette recording being the inexact science it is, I’d misoverestimated the amount of time left on the tape, and the song was cut off part way through. I played the hell out of that tape even so, and it was months before my best friend heard the song on vinyl and realized it wasn’t supposed to be like that. The line between artful choice and silly mistake is a thin one sometimes.
Fast forward…here we are decades later and the Buzzcocks are one of those bands that remains awesome. Art school punk rockers, auteurs of the unrequited love song, the Buzzcocks make the kind of music you put on and sing super loud in your car by yourself even though the people in the cars next to you are staring in when you belt out the lyrics to “You Know You Can’t Help It” or “Orgasm Addict.” If this sounds familiar to you, you’ll be thrilled to hear that not only are the Buzzcocks at the Nokia a week from Saturday but they are playing all of the songs off of Love Bites and Another Music in a Different Kitchen as well as other material. Yippee. Seriously it’s like punk rock Santa is coming.
You want to sit on Santa’s lap? Just leave a comment telling us about a time when something went wrong again for you. Winners will be selected randomly. Make sure you leave contact information when you post your comment or I won’t be able to reach you, which would give you more to sing about, but would suck nonetheless.
In the run-up to the June 8 California Statewide Direct Primary Election, I have been getting bombarded with printed material in the mail, probably three pieces per day on average. And it’s damned confusing. A bunch of candidates vying for the same position (such as Assembly Member), often with very similar-sounding positions. Tit-for-tat attack pieces sent on alternate days by candidates and the special interest groups who oppose them. What’s a voter to do?
For starters, do a little research. Check out the websites of the candidates for their stated positions and their records. See who endorses and opposes them. Enlighten us here through your comments. Check out your Voter Guides if you have been sent them. Then read the fine print on some of those special interest group pieces. Often, the groups with the loftiest-sounding names (Citizens For a Fair Economy, Moms For Health Care Justice, Girl Scouts for Puppies) are primarily backed by big corporations which may not have your interests in mind.
We’ve all had a meal ruined by a parent who served up their kid a sugary soft drink then allowed to run loudly unrestrained in the restaurant. Or just cry uncontrollably while being smacked to STFU. Rudy’s here in Monrovia added a request to be considerate and mind your kids to the front of their menu. I’ve gotten comments its rude to do so. Was it?
Pic by me with the trusty phone cam, does get bigger with a click.
When Goldenvoice told me Fitty was coming to town, I couldn’t pass these up. I’d say expect some cool guest cameos along with the rap-impresario personality he’s fostered since his grittier street tapes debuted in the early oughts.
Wanna go? Give me your favorite rap lyric. My favorite is by Dr. Octagon: “I would have been completely dead had it not been for the Shark Man.”
A couple of years ago, on the spur of the moment, my sweetie Dan and I hopped into the car for an adventure and ended up at Lightning in a Bottle up in the Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez area. It was an amazingly blissful weekend, filled with great music, in-depth ‘green’ talks by cool speakers, great performance art and all around groovy goodness. And fun. Lots of fun, which can be hard to come by in the daily grind of living in the city. Best of all, we ran into so many friends and made a hella lot of new ones, who we still hang with to this day! After a couple of years of annual fun communing at this spectacular three day event, last year it suddenly disappeared. Poof. I was bummed.
Well, now Lightning in a Bottle is back and looking wilder and better than ever. But instead of the oaks of Santa Barbara, this year’s event takes place in a park on the outskirts of Irvine. Yeah, I thought that too. Irvine? But there’s a beautiful park there called Oak Canyon, full of rolling hills and oaks. Looks really tranquil. (that won’t last long!) There’s even a lake to camp by. The infamous radical art group The Do LaB puts on this event (as well as Lucent L’Amour) and they always deliver.
One of the things I like about it is the plethora of music genres. From DJ’s who rock the house, to live music that gets you on your feet, it’s all there. There’s even Kirtan and meditative music performances. This year the line-up includes: DJ Garth, Sandra Collins, March Forth Marching Band (not to be missed!), Govinda, Beats Antique and many, many others. There’s also a boatload of Performance Art, Dance and mind-blowing installations and best of all, some really wonderful workshops. Everyone from Daniel Pinchbeck to Bellydancing. If yoga is your thing (it is for me) there are classes and workshops every day in their Temple of Consciousness. I’m pretty psyched about the whole thing. If you go, bring an open mind and get ready for a blast! You can go here to buy tickets for the whole event… or just get a day pass to check it out! Very tribal.
Well the first four are behind us: 10 Bridges, then Watts Happening, then the Frank Lloyd Wride, followed by last week’s 70-mile Two Rivers trek to Seal Beach and back. But there’s one more Saturday left in May and I’ve saved what I hope is the best for last. Full of history and mystery, the Black Dahlia/West Adams Ride will feature landmarks of triumph and tragedy as we work our way back in time and across town:
We’ll head out from Silver Lake to the Biltmore Hotel, the last place Elizabeth Short was seen alive. From there here’s some of what we’ll bike to and see:
St. Vincent de Paul Church
Chester Place/Doheny Mansion
2nd Church of Christ Scientist
Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Residence
Diamond Widow Murder Site
Leimert Park Site where Elizabeth Short’s remains were found
Black Panther Mural
Marquis Residence (“Six Feet Under” House)
Medal of Honor Recipient Walt Ehler’s Post-War Residence
Marvin Gaye Murder Site
After visiting the cemetery there’s a change in itinerary. Originally I was planning to go grab a lunch of my favorite tacos at the awesome El Parian in Pico-Union before heading back to Silver Lake, but since Bike Town Beta (some more info here) is taking place that afternoon in the neighborhood surrounding Pan-Pacific Park, I’m heading over there instead and see what’s up with that.
As usual, we will gather Saturday morning at SilverSun Plaza (Sunset Boulevard & Parkman Avenue, Silver Lake) for a 10 a.m. departure. The route (mapped here) between Silver Lake and Pan-Pacific Park is about 23 miles. If I had to guess I’d say it’s going to take somewhere between four to five hours to cover all those places along the way. Hope you can join me.
I usually don’t take very kindly to being charged over $4.50 for a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. I’m Vietnamese, you see, and if there’s one thing I learned from the pink bagfuls of banh mi sandwiches that my mom brought home every week or so it’s this: if you’re paying more than $4.50 for one, it must be special.
Starry Kitchen is a little Vietnamese fusion (in the best sense of the word) eatery across from Casa downtown in California Plaza. Like all great places, they started in their apartment kitchen; like all great comebacks, they had to go underground for a bit (the state got wise to their game) before they could rise again, this time with an actual restaurant space and official-looking Department stamps of approval and licenses and whatnot. Thi Tran is the chef-turned-Kitchen Ninja, who mashes the foods of my childhood with the foods of my adulthood: banh mi stuffed with Malaysian chicken curry; tofu balls that are Kermit the Frog green because of the tofu is rolled in celadon-shade Vietnamese glutinous rice and deep fried to deliciousness; lemongrass chicken that is pure home-style Viet. Nguyen Tran is the trusty host who greets you at the counter and explains the menu to you: choose a protein from their weekly rotating menu; choose a vessel in which to put said protein (banh mi, wrap, or salad – I’m partial to the banh mi); and, if you like, add a side or two or three (when those crispy kimchi cakes go back on the menu – order them). Then he rings you up, sends you on your way, then comes around to tell you excitedly about something else on the menu that you must try the next time you come in, because 1) it is really good; and 2) there will be a next time.
A little bit more about Starry Kitchen, including details on the dinner service, after the jump!