Longtime KABC weatherman Dr. George Fischbeck passes away

bla-2015-03-25-dr-george-fullshotABC7 announced today that longtime KABC weatherman Dr. George Fischbeck died on this morning at the age of 92.

I remember watching Dr. George and his signature bow-tie on television until he retired from ABC and enjoyed his re-emergence KCBS in the mid-to-late 1990s.

For many Angelenos, Dr. George was more than just the weatherman. He taught us about jet streams, high and low pressures and millibars. When he was giving us his forecast for the highs and lows for the next day, he’d also remind us to be good citizens and take care of each other.

He was also an ambassador of good will both on and off the set. For years, he collected toys for children at Porterville State Hospital.

Years after he retired, he gave his support to ABC7’s Spark of Love Toy Drive.

‘Paperman’ Producer Kicked Out of Oscars for Throwing Paper Airplanes

Congratulations go out to Kristina Reed, also known as wife of long-time blogging.LA’s Mack Reed not (just) for producing the Academy Award-winning Animated Short Paperman, but for getting kicked out of (and getting let back into) the 2013 Oscars.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

After Disney’s Paperman won the Academy Award for best animated short Sunday, producer Kristina Reed began throwing paper airplanes, about three or four — with kisses on them, like the ones seen in the film — from her seat in the mezzanine.

The paper planes were nowhere near the stage, instead shooting straight down from the balcony. It went largely unnoticed by the crowd, but security didn’t think the act was very sweet, kicking her out of the Dolby Theatre auditorium.

It would turn out to be temporary. After a short protest, security brought her back to her seat about five to 10 minutes later.

The story has been picked up by Gawker, HuffPo, ABC, MSN, and more.

(Photo lifted from Mack’s Facebook feed… thanks, Mack!)

Elisa Lam: Body of Missing Canadian Tourist Discovered in Downtown Hotel Water Tank


The body of missing Canadian tourist, Elisa Lam of Vancouver, British Columbia, was found in the water tank of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Lam had traveled to California by herself on January 27, en route to Santa Cruz, and was last seen by workers at the hotel on January 31.

Although Lam was scheduled to check out of the hotel on February 1, she had disappeared, despite being in daily contact with her family up until this point. By February 6, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) had released details about the suspicious disappearance of Lam and on February 7, a press conference was held about the case.

A week later, on February 14, the LAPD released a disturbing surveillance video of the 21 year old University of British Columbia (UBC) student darting in and out of the hotel’s elevators.

Earlier this week, on February 19, guests at the Cecil Hotel complain about low water pressure and a worker checks the hotel’s water tanks and discovers Lam’s body. Guests staying at the hotel had likely been bathing, brushing their teeth and drinking water from a tank in which Lam’s body had been likely decomposing for more than two weeks.

Photo courtesy: LAPD

George Tetsuo Aratani, Nisei Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Passes Away at Age 95

George Aratani, a survivor of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and later successful businessman and philanthropist who founded Mikasa and Kenwood, passed away Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the age of 95.

His legacy in philanthropy through The Aratani Foundation has supported many Japanese American organizations, but especially in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. One literally cannot walk a block in Little Tokyo without passing by a space endowed by George and Sakaye Aratani: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s Aratani Japan America Theatre; the Japanese American National Museum’s George and Sakaye Central Hall; and the Union Center for the Arts’s Aratani Courtyard.

From The Nisei Week Foundation Facebook page:

The Nisei Week Foundation mourns the passing of George Aratani who passed away peacefully today [Tuesday, February 19, 2013].

Aratani successfully launched post-World War II international trade enterprises. His first was Mikasa, a tableware company which was doing $400 million in annual sales when it was sold in 2000.

Influenced by his late father and motivated by the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, Aratani and his wife Sakaye have donated a sizable amount of their wealth to Japanese American organizations and causes.

For More Information:
Hirahara, Naomi. An American Son: The Story of George Aratani, Founder of Mikasa and Kenwood. Los Angeles, CA: Japanese American National Museum, 2001.

Photo credit: CalPoly Pomona, The George and Sakaye Aratani Japanese Garden

Kylan Arianna Wenzel Is First Transgender Woman Allowed To Compete In Miss California Pageant

Regardless of the outcome of the 2013 Miss California USA pageant, when Kylan Arianna Wenzel takes the stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium representing Century City, she will make history as the first transgender woman to compete in the U.S. pageant since a rule change in 2012 allowed transgender competitors. In order to compete in this year’s pageant, Kylan moved up her gender reassignment surgery my six months, quit her job, and has been preparing for the pageant.

According to her webpage:

Kylan Arianna Wenzel was born on October 14, 1986 in Daegu, South Korea. She was born to a German-American father, and a South Korean mother. She has a twin brother, and was primarily raised by her father and step-mother.

At the age of 2, her family was stationed at Clark Air Base, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. In June of 1991 the air force base was evacuated when the volcano, Mount Pinatubo erupted. She arrived in the United States for the very first time that summer.

Being in a military family, she moved often. She has lived in towns and cities throughout multiple states. Thatcher, Arizona is where she finished her last months of middle school before heading back to Seoul, South Korea to attend high school. Although being somewhat isolated in another country, her high school offered unique opportunities. She was able to visit surrounding countries numerous of times through school events. Upon graduating high school, she relunctantly[sic] accepted admission to the University of Washington in Seattle despite her heart being set on an education in London.

After Seattle, she moved to California to pursue a career in entertainment.

She finally had her gender reassignment surgery in August of 2013[sic]. She hopes to eventually become a TV Host/Journalist. Kylan is currently pursuing her dream in winning the Miss Universe title.

In addition to standing for equal rights— she believes that same-sex couples should have the right to marry– she is also a supporter of LiNK, which brings awareness to the Human Right Crisis in North Korea.

Comedy Zen: Jokes of Fury features funny, multicultural comedians

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9Sj-LAigp8[/youtube]

A one night only comedy showcase– Comedy Zen— features some of the funniest and finest multicultural comedians working today. While some of the headliners are from out of town, I’m especially excited about Steven Ho, a Hollywood stuntman you may recognize from Conan O’Brien’s show(s) when he was on NBC.

  • Come see why Steven Ho was the most booked guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He is a professional stuntman at the A-List level working with stars like Tobey Maguire, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo Dicaprio.
  • Joe Wong hails from Boston and was a scientist researching answers for the mysteries of the field. Then he discovered stand up and has never looked back. Joe is the “All American Immigrant.” Even though some Asians might find him to be a novelty act for the white man, we give him full support as an artist mastering a difficult craft, which is the art of laugh inducing. Joe has taken command of this and his appearance on Letterman or the Presidential dinner invitation is proof of this.
  • Jay Phillips was one of VARIETY Magazine’s 10 COMICS TO WATCH and his recent film credits include the #1 weekend opener SEMI-PRO opposite Will Ferrell, PROM NIGHT with Brittnay Snow, and BABY MAMMA opposite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. His stand-up credits include Def Comedy Jam, The Late Show, and Lafapalooza. You can see him at http://jayphillipslive.net/.

Hosted by Hasan Minhaj, comedian, actor, and writer based in Los Angeles, portions of all shows will be going to the American Lung Association. There will be one show on Friday, December 3, 2010 (at 8:30pm) and will be held at the Downtown Independent Theater (251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 90012). Tickets are $20, but 8Asians (another site I contribute to) is doing a ticket giveaway.

2010 ID Film Fest in Little Tokyo This Weekend

The 3-day 2010 ID Film Fest kicks off tonight in Little Tokyo and it features a weekend of Asian/Asian American films and workshops. Opening with the Los Angeles premiere of the critically acclaimed film Kit Hui’s Fog (starring Terrence Yin and Eugenia Wan), the festival will also feature Hirokazu Koreeda’s much talked about film Air Doll is as the festival’s Centerpiece film. Ian McCrudden’s The Things We Carry will close out the three-day movie feast.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZP09jrDN-Q[/youtube]

“Los Angeles is a postmodern collage of cultures and identity,” says founder/filmmaker Quentin Lee. “Even within the broader umbrella of the ‘Asian American’ community, there are Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian Americans. Further diversifying the community are the divisions between first generation immigrants and those who were born here. A crisis of identity is inevitable and necessary even though we fantasize a more utopian unity. ID Film Fest is proud to present contemporary works that examine, explore or celebrate the identity crisis in our diverse global Asian community.” This year’s ID Film Fest filmmakers and actors will include: PJ Raval, Jessica Sanders, Brent Anbe, William Lu, Feodor Chin, James Huang, Kerwin Berk, Hirokazu Koreeda, Kit Hui, Ming Lai, Eugenia Wan and Terrence Yin.

Some of this year’s ID Film Fest free programs (for audiences) will be the “The Filmmaker’s Crash Course Session,” providing 7-15 minute crash courses pertaining to the business and artistry of filmmaking. More interesting events include the “Battle of the Pitches 2” where filmmakers will get a chance to participate in a live screenwriting pitch session with industry execs. The finalists for the “API Pilot Shoot Out” will present trailers of their work in competition.

Alongside the public programs, the Asian American Independent Feature Conference (AAIFC) is another component of ID Film Fest. A one-day think tank and networking conference for a select group of 30 filmmakers on the state of creating Asian American independent feature content will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2010.

A program of the Japanese American National Museum, ID Film Fest was founded in 2008 by filmmakers Koji Steven Sakai and Quentin Lee to screen compelling Asian and Asian American works that have not yet had a chance to show in Los Angeles. ID Film Fest will run October 8 through October 10, with all events taking place at the at downtown Los Angeles’ National Center for the Preservation of Democracy located at 111 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. For more information on the festival and ticket information, please visit the ID Film Fest 2010 site.

Menu Mining: Shanghai Pan-Fried Dumplings at Kang Kang Food Court

Names can be deceiving and although Kang Kang Food Court has the words “food court” in its name, it’s not like the food court you’ll see at your local mall. But in concept, Kang Kang is like a food court in that it has a huge selection of food– it’s a small restaurant in a shopping center in the SGV with a giant “fast food” menu featuring hundreds of cheap and delicious items from all over Taiwan and various regions of China.

If you come here, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices, but I’ll make it simple for you– it’s the Shanghai pan-fried dumplings/buns that this place is really known for. The Shanghai Sheng Jian Bao (上海生煎包) is Kang Kang’s signature dish; you can see patrons chowing down on them at every other table. And as the banner over the doorway proudly proclaims, it was one of the L.A. Times’ Top 10 Recipes of 2009.

These gems are filled with pork, wrapped in a thin dough, pan-fried to perfection and topped with black sesame seeds and green onion. When cooked, the pork filling creates a hot “soup” that fills the inside of the bun. But be warned! Your first instinct may be to take a giant bite into a piping hot dumpling. If you do this, your bun will explode into a hot mess and the inside of your mouth will be instantly scalded! Trust me, I’ve seen it happen. I’ve also been the victim of squirting bun soup juice, so be kind to your fellow eaters and learn the method to eating them so that you don’t lose the soup (the best part!).

The first thing to do is to be careful not to poke a hole in the dumpling while you’re picking it up with your chopsticks. Once you’ve picked up the dumpling, rest it on the spoon (which you’re holding with your other hand) so you can take a small bite on the top of the bun (just enough to make a hole in the dough). Then slowly (carefully) suck the soup out of the dumpling– or if you like to play with your food like I do, up-end the dumpling soup into our soup spoon. The buns are served with a black rice vinegar so after the soup is gone, you can then dip the bun into vinegar and carefully enjoy the rest of the hot dumpling.

It’s kind of ironic that the Shanghai Sheng Jian Bao are not made before 11am at Kang Kang because they are actually a common breakfast food in Shanghai. They’re also often sold as dian xin (點心) (or snacks) and are rarely found as a dish in a main meal in China. But at Kang Kang, they can be the centerpiece of a meal.

My suggestion is to come in, order a combo from the food line (you’ll see when you get there), order the Shanghai pan-fried dumplings at the cashier when you pay for your food and enjoy the combo items while they pan-fry your dumpling goodness. If you can find a table, eat there instead of ordering them to go– the dumplings are better fresh (though they do travel well), and you get tea with your meal if you eat in. A 3-item combo (which comes with rice and soup) + an order of 8 pan-fried dumplings will run you $11. And you’ll probably have leftovers!

And although Kang Kang also does a decent Xiao Long Bao/XLB (小籠包), if you’re here for the pan-fried dumplings, don’t make the mistake of ordering the steamed dumplings which are also sometimes called “Shanghai Dumplings” at other restaurants. (Well, if you’re hungry, you can order both!)

If you have room after all this, check out their shaved ice bar / drink menu. Perfect for hot days in L.A.

Kang Kang Food Court (Pacific Square)
27 E. Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801
626-308-3898
CASH ONLY

This is a post in Blogging.LA‘s Menu Mining Series.

Pasadena Weekly Column Draws Criticism for “Racist Remarks”

I hate invoking the R-word. And I certainly hate directing that word at people. So before anyone gets on my case for calling someone a racist, let me just say that I think there is a difference between someone actually being a racist and someone doing/saying racist things (though some may ask “What’s the difference?” — a topic for another post!).

But after reading an article (Hearing is not believing, 8/26/2010) in the Pasadena Weekly written by Jim Laris, its former publisher and owner– who evidently has a regular column called Cigar Smoke published in the Pasadena Weekly every other Thursday — I don’t know if there is another word other than “racist” to describe his article, except maybe “unfunny.” The article seems to be trying to telling an “amusing” story about how the sound from his TV/cable box seemed to be coming out in Chinese, but it has drawn the ire of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), who issued a Letter to “Pasadena Weekly” for Racist Remarks.

Again, I just want to make clear I’m not calling Mr. Laris a racist. But I wonder if he had any consideration how the following excerpts might sound to Chinese-speaking (not all of whom are from China or “commies,” by the way) or South Asian people: [emphasis is mine]

  • …we started to hear the Chinese guy Kung Powing in Chinese.
  • It made me exclaim to Marge [his wife], “Holy communist plot, what is happening?”
  • Nat King Cole singing “Oh Holy Night” in commie would have killed me.
  • Should I call Charter? Well, I would probably get some Indian techie guy and when I told him I was hearing Chinese coming out of my TV and then it switched to Nat King Cole, he would hold his hand over the speaker of the phone, and turn to his buddy in Bombay and laugh his tandoori-ass laugh and regain his composure and ask me, “Sir, vat is a Nat King Cole?

Ok, so I get that he’s trying to be funny. He makes reference to his wife calling him “Couch Potato Face” and to imaginary conversations with the late Richard Feynman. But as a former publisher and owner of a publication based in the San Gabriel Valley– one of the largest concentrations of Chinese American populations in the nation– is it really a good idea for him to say things like “kung powing in Chinese” or refer to the language as “commie?” And exactly WHAT is a “tandoori-ass laugh?” Who is trying to be– Joel Stein?

What do you think?

LA’s Greatest Landmarks: Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert HallFor the uninitiated, the name Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDCH) conjures up images of– well– Disneyland. But even though Lillian Disney made the initial gift of $50 million to the Music Center in dedication to her late husband with additional funding coming from the Disney family, this building is really not Disneyesque at all. Though it bears the name of Disney, many other individual and corporate donors, as well as The County of Los Angeles (which agreed to provide the land and significant additional funding to finance the concert hall’s six-level subterranean parking garage) are credited to bringing LA’s newest landmark (on this particular series, anyway) to life in 2003.

Designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry, WDCH is the newest addition to the Music Center and home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (REDCAT), which features experimental dance, theater, music, film and visual arts exhibitions, is also located in this complex.

Walt Disney Concert Hall at night

There’s no doubt that one of the most controversial parts of the building is the architecture itself. The shiny, metallic curves of the building jut out of the downtown landscape– unmistakably taking a spot as an L.A. landmark since it opened. I admit it– I hated this thing as I watched it being built in the late 1990s. I thought it was horrifically garish and I thought it was hilarious when the reflective qualities of the surface (plus some of the concave sections of the building) turned out to act like a parabolic mirror– causing a “heat ray effect” to the condos nearby and creating hot spots on adjacent sidewalks of as much as 140 degrees (F). In 2005, the bright glare of WDCH was literally dimmed when the metal panels were sanded down to a more “matte” finish.

Maybe I just needed some time for my eyes to adjust to the glare, but admit I no longer see this building as an eyesore. And I’ve even gotten to know it and love it– outside and in.

Acoustically speaking, WDHC is amazing. One of the things that won me over was how the architectural elements of the new hall affect its acoustics. First and foremost, this building is a concert hall and the work of the architect, as well as acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, reflect this.

By the Numbers:
• The Hall contains 12,500 pieces of primary steel, which weigh over 11,000 tons
• Over 30,000 architectural drawings were produced to build the Concert Hall
• A 750,000-lb. crane was needed to erect the steel support structure
• 300 tons of bolts and welds were used
• 18,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured, including two roof slabs 15 inches thick
• Eight skylights were designed with glass three inches thick to keep the interior naturally bright

Walt Disney Concert Hall interior & organThe design of the hall includes a large concert organ, which was completed in 2004 and despite some of our positive and negative experiences with it, there’s no doubt that there’s no other organ which looks like this in the world. The organ is so complex that it took a full year to tune.

But my personal favorite thing about WDCH is that even if you don’t have the time or the money to attend the concert, you can still go and do free things there. Aside from taking pictures of the stunning building (ok, so you need a camera for that), you can take a free audio tour of Walt Disney Concert Hall and garden along with the Library of Congress/Ira Gershwin Gallery, the only permanent Library of Congress exhibition outside of Washington DC. According to Frommers, “the 45-minute self-guided tour is narrated by actor John Lithgow and includes interviews with Frank Gehry, Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel, and acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, among others. One big caveat is that you see just about everything except the auditorium: There’s almost always a rehearsal in progress and the acoustics are so good that there’s no discreet way to sneak a peek. The audio tours are available on most non-matinee days from 10am to 2pm (be sure to check their website for the monthly tour schedule).”

The debate of whether or not the Walt Disney Concert Hall “fits” the downtown landscape still rages on— but in my mind, there is no doubt that it is a landmark which will come to define Los Angeles– and its arts– for decades to come.

Check out the other posts in our L.A.’s Great Landmarks series.

Photo credits: Walt Disney Concert Hall: Mash Down Babylon/Devon Hollahan; WDCH at night: lightmatter/Aaron Logan; WDCH interior & organ by Will Campbell

‘Fabric,’ a play about of human trafficking and slavery; based on the 1995 El Monte story

Fifteen years ago in El Monte, California, law enforcement officials discovered 72 Thai nationals confined in an apartment complex ringed with barbed wire, lured to this country with promises of achieving the American dream. Under conditions of forced labor and slavery, some of the victims had been confined for as long as seven years. A seven-member Thai family led by a ringleader known as the notorious “Aunt Suni” was apprehended at the scene. The story made national and international headlines as the first case of modern-day slavery since the abolishment of slavery in the United States.

Written by Los Angeles playwright, Henry Ong, “Fabric” is the only known dramatization of the 1995 Thai garment workers’ slavery case. Company of Angels, Los Angeles’ oldest professional non-profit theater company, in association with the Thai Community Development Center (CDC), opened “Fabric” to sold-out audiences and standing ovations this past weekend.

Fabric is presented by Company of Angels, inside the Black Box at The Alexandria, 501 S. Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles, and will run through August 8. Performances are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 4:30 p.m. Tickets at $20 can be purchased at www.companyofangels.org.

Founded in 1959 as an artists’ cooperative, Company of Angels recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, making it the oldest non-profit professional theater in Los Angeles. The theater produces works that reflect the diversity of Los Angeles and the issues the City faces.

Thai CDC was founded in 1994, one year before the El Monte slavery case, with a mission to advance the social and economic well being of low and moderate income Thais and other ethnic communities in the Greater Los Angeles. The issues of human trafficking and slavery are an integral part of Thai CDC’s work as a majority of trafficking cases involve Thai nationals.

FABRIC
by Henry Ong

Co-Directors: Marlene Forte and Tchia Casselle
Produced by Kila Kitu, Joyce Liu, Henry Ong & Deborah Geer
Assoc. Produced by Gregory Gately
Starring: *Jennifer Chang, *Feodor Chin, Jolene Kim, *Dian Kobayashi, Jully Lee, Rudy Marquez, *P.J. Marshall, Eddie Mui, *Diana Toshiko, Ben Wang, *Jeff Watson, *Andy Hamrick
*Member of Actors Equity Association

JULY 8 – AUGUST 8, 2010
Friday, Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 4:30pm
$20 General
$12 Students & Seniors
Box Office: (213) 489-3703 / [email protected]

Lighting Design: Christopher Singleton
Sound Designer: Dennis Yen
Stage Manager: Amelia Worfolk
Set Design: Luis Delgado

Location:
Company of Angels
inside The Black Box at The Alexandria
501 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Want to check it out, L.A. folks? 8Asians is doing a ticket giveaway on their site this week.

Win tix to see Rocco Deluca headline at the White Light White Night benefit this weekend

This weekend, the South Bay plays host to the annual gala known as White Light White Night, benefitting the nonprofit Walk With Sally, which works to mentor and support children who have parents with cancer. This year, White Light White Night features So Cal native Rocco Deluca as the headlining musical guest.

With South Bay cuisine and 360° views of Los Angeles, this event is where white attire-wearing guests will be able to sample appetizers and foods from various renowned LA eateries and imbibe wines, beers and spirits all provided by local businesses. With an exclusive performance by Rocco DeLuca, the event will be hosted on the evening of Saturday, July 10, 2010 at the South Bay BMW lot and rooftop in Torrance. That’s right – the concert and event are being held on the roof!

General tickets cost $100 per person and VIP tickets, allowing access to the silent and live auction (offering one‐of‐a‐kind products and experiences including tickets to sporting events and lavish vacation packages), cost $150 per person and can be purchased online.

Walk With Sally is dedicated to providing mentoring support programs and services to children of parents or siblings with cancer through free of charge mentoring support programs and services that provide an emotionally safe environment for children to share their difficult experience with someone who has suffered the same.

Walk With Sally is also generously giving a pair of tickets to a lucky Blogging.LA reader! Just leave a comment on why you’d like to attend this event– you could tell us your favorite Rocco songs, list the eateries you’re most excited to try, or even share a personal story of cancer in the family. A winner will be selected by 3pm on Friday, July 9 and will be added to the guest list.

5.4 Quake Hits So Cal

I first suspected an earthquake might have been happening when I felt a tiny shaking while I was sitting at my desk.  Then some stronger shaking occurred and I looked at my Twitter stream.  All my friends in L.A. were tweeting “EARTHQUAKE.” It was good as confirmed.

Of course, it’s not really confirmed until a seismologist at USGS has reviewed the quake findings:

Magnitude 5.4 – SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Date-Time Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 23:53:33 UTC
Wednesday, July 07, 2010 at 04:53:33 PM at epicenter

Location 33.417°N, 116.483°W
Depth 11.7 km (7.3 miles)
Region SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Distances 22 km (13 miles) NNW (332°) from Borrego Springs, CA
23 km (14 miles) SE (131°) from Anza, CA
33 km (20 miles) NE (52°) from Lake Henshaw, CA
41 km (25 miles) SW (215°) from Indio, CA
45 km (28 miles) S (174°) from Palm Springs, CA
94 km (58 miles) NE (41°) from San Diego, CA

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles)
Parameters Nph=122, Dmin=10 km, Rmss=0.26 sec, Gp= 29°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=4

Don’t forget to fill out the “Did you feel it?” shake survey and check out the Shake Map!

Joz’s Virtual & Remote Submission for the Donut Summit

Woe is me! I missed the biggest donut event in L.A. because I am on vacation in Hawaii*.

In honor of the Blogging.LA Donut Summit, we (Yoshi, Scrivener, and I) decided to go malasada taste-testing in Honolulu. Malasadas (or malassadas) are Portuguese confections which consist of yeasty dough that is deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. (Sounds close enough to a donut to me!) They made their way to Hawaii with the Portuguese laborers who were working on the plantations.

We started at Leonard’s Bakery, arguably the best-known malasadas around. Here is me with the first malasada– a regular one that just came out of the deep fryer and was rolled in granulated sugar. It was warm, airy, and delicious!

in addition to the regular malasada at Leonard’s, we got a filled malasada. The guava malasada is the current flavor of the month, so naturally, that’s what I got. (This is unabashed food porn. Cover your eyes if you’re uncomfortable looking at such oozy-goodness.)

After we stopped off at Leonard’s, we went off to Champion Malasadas, which is what some locals consider the “better” malasada place. When we arrived, we were the only customers there. The owner, Joc Miw, cheerily greeted us at the cash register and wanted to know how many malasadas we wanted so he could fry them up freshly for us. Aside from being 10 cents cheaper each (60 cents at Champion’s versus 70 cents a Leonard’s), the regular malasadas at Champion were eggier than those at Leonard’s, which I liked. While still airy, the Champion malasada was slightly more dense (substantial?) than Leonard’s.

These are the malasadas from Champion:

This was the custard-filled malasada at Champion’s, which cost $1 and was pre-fried and sitting in a chilled display case, so it wasn’t warm/freshly fried. You know what? It was still good! It was admittedly different than the guava-filled one that we tried at Leonard’s, not just because the filling was a different flavor, but because this one was fried in advance, the consistency was less airy and a little more doughy.

Honestly speaking, the guava filling at Leonard’s wasn’t as good as I’d hoped and I actually liked the creamy filling at Champion better. But because the filled malasada at Leonard’s was freshly fried, the malasada dough itself was not as good at Champion. I’m going to declare this one an official tie because the filling was better at Champion and the dough was better at Leonard’s, but I’d have to have another round where BOTH were freshly fried to be able to declare a winner.

So, what’s the verdict of Leonards vs. Champion malasadas?
With regard to the regular malasadas, while they are both really good (when fresh out of the fryer), I personally have to give the slight edge to Champion over Leonard’s because I liked the eggy flavor better– some people may not like this like I do. That said, Yoshi thinks that Leonard’s is the better of the two because of the texture and taste. In the car, @Scrivener said it was a tough call because they were both good– the Leonard’s suprising him because they were better than he had remembered because he doesn’t usually have them fresh. I think @Scrivener is most accurate when he says “they are quite different. hot out of the fryer, they’re both quite wonderful.”

So I guess between us, there was no winner. My recommendation is that if you’re in Honolulu, go to both and see for yourself. If you can’t decide, flip a coin. Either way, you’re in for a treat.

When I get back to L.A., I’m doing a malasada crawl. I hope it won’t be totally disappointing.

*Thanks for indulging in my non-L.A. related post– but if you don’t know what malasadas are, now you do and you can find them in L.A., too! And when I go to next year’s Donut Summit, I know what I’m bringing!