Leica Flagship Store and Gallery Launch
Inspirational exhibits and a huge library make Leica the ultimate photography destination.
June 26, 2013
Art exhibitions and a library of craft books make the new Leica flagship store and gallery an inspirational experience for photographers.
Leica, the German state-of-the-art camera and sport optics brand, in collaboration with G-Star Raw Denim, debuted its dynamic new home in West Hollywood last Thursday (June 20). In addition to offering the complete line of Leica products artfully showcased in glass cases, the multifaceted new space is an ode to all things photography with a gallery of opening exhibits by Grammy Award-winning singer Seal, photojournalist and portrait artist Mary Ellen Mark, and fashion and celebrity photographer Yariv Milchan, who owes his early influence to Hollywood work. Art charity supporter Russell Simmons, actor Peter Facinelli, and actress Marcia Cross were among the many photo enthusiasts who came out to welcome the new flagship at a flashy opening fête.
Packed with photography books and artwork, the new 8,000-square-foot Los Angeles location—now the largest in the US—aspires to be an artistic haven where photography fans can find inspiration and browse. The Gallery is designed to promote the trade in an interactive setting, and features photography and exhibitions by an eclectic mix of established and up-and-coming artists. It houses a library of keepsake photography books curated by Martin Parr, as well as esteemed artwork like Yibai’s Fake Leica, a striking million-dollar sculpture. Along with a store, there is also a luxurious outdoor lounge where patrons can retreat with a book from the library, or strike up inspired conversations.
To foster the craft and establish Leica as the ultimate resource for artisans, the store is scheduled to host cultural and entertainment events, lecture series, gallery openings, and product launches in the upcoming months. All of the latest binoculars, rifle scopes, accessories, and cameras, such as the Leica M and S systems and new Leica X Vario, are ready to experience, and printing and renting services will also be offered in this one-stop photography shop. 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood
Q&A: Belvedere's Claire Smith
One of the most respected authorities on spirits and mixology talks LA drink trends and more.
June 26, 2013
Belvedere’s Claire Smith assists with cocktail creation at hotspots around the world, including LA’s RivaBella and the London Hotel.
UK-native Claire Smith began at Moët Hennessy as a brand ambassador when Belvedere Vodka was new to the company’s portfolio in 2003, and has grown with the label over the last decade into head of spirit creation and mixology. A previous champ of Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and the UK’s esteemed Battle of the Giants, she now travels internationally teaching master classes on mixology, sharing her expert recipes, and assisting with cocktail creation in some of the world’s leading venues, including LA hotspots RivaBella and the London Hotel.
We caught up with the mastermind behind the launch of Belvedere’s Black Raspberry, Pink Grapefruit, and Unfiltered vodkas to learn about staple summer ingredients, and simple mixing tips we can apply at home.
What are the most popular cocktails right now?
CLAIRE SMITH: It’s about lighter, fresh, refreshing cocktails. I’m working a lot with cucumber, and herbs like sage, rosemary, cardamom, and coriander, since all of those flavors work really well with fruit. Mango, mandarin, and all tropical flavors are big, so anything Hawaiian or tiki is going to be popular.
What trends are you seeing in the California market?
CS: We’re seeing less sugar, so to create balance with sweet and sour, cocktail creators are looking to increase the perception of flavors without having to resort to sugars and syrups. We’re using really local, organic ingredients, and also things like vinegar and salt. Not necessarily low-calorie, but a drying out of cocktails.
Why are cocktails making a comeback?
CS: I think there was a real movement away from your model bartenders, who were just there to look pretty, and a need for good places to get drinks. One of the first places to go to get a really good cocktail was The Varnish (118 E. 6th St., Downtown LA, 213-622-9999), and then a few awesome bartenders got together to develop their own bars. And now, next January, two friends of mine, Dave Kaplan and Alex Day, will be setting up the first West Coast bar show in California.
What key ingredients can anyone have on hand to make a good summer drink?
CS: Lots of ice, because a warm cocktail is a bad cocktail, and keeping fruit in the freezer is a really good trick. Things like berries freeze very well and can be used in place of ice cubes, and look pretty in a glass. And soft fruits, watermelon, pineapple, and mango are awesome to muddle with a little lime juice, a touch of sugar, and vodka.
What are some simple rules for food-cocktail pairings?
CS: Start small and keep it simple. Sweet flavors generally complement other sweet flavors. And things that are acidic work well with things that are salty or spicy. You can use some of the food pairing rules that apply to wine, how crisp, dry cocktails work well with salads and fish, and ones with a bit more body and texture work with dark meats.
Where do you go to get a good cocktail in LA?
CS: There’s a good crew of West Coast mixologists who are a little more chill and are having a little more fun with ingredients than their East Coast equivalents. My favorites are Damian Windsor at The Roger Room (370 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-854-1300), Eric Alperin at The Varnish, Aaron Alvarez at RivaBella (9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-278-2060), and Naomi Schimek at The Spare Room (7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-769-7296).
NINETHIRTY Debuts Summer Dishes
Top Chef’s Dakota Weiss introduces new farm-to-table selections at the W Los Angeles.
June 25, 2013
NY steak and scrambled eggs with gnocchi and freshly shaved black truffle, from the new summer menu that NINETHIRTY at the W Los Angeles is launching this Thursday.
This Thursday (June 27), NINETHIRTY restaurant at the W Los Angeles in Westwood welcomes the season with a revamped menu of farm-fresh dishes from chef Dakota Weiss of Top Chef fame.
The hotel bistro, which boasts a communal and bucolic vibe courtesy of long wooden tables and rustic décor, features a regular menu of market classics perfectly catered to groups. Sorted into social bites, beginning and large plates, and why not? categories, expect sophisticated plays on farm products, particularly with dishes like white corn puree with smoked queso fresco and jalapeno pistou, char-grilled thick-cut Hobbs bacon, and potato puffs with black truffle fondue.
Other highlights from the new summer menu include the cousa squash carpaccio with tempura shishito peppers and yuzu-pumpkin vinaigrette; beet cured diver sea scallops with peas, cantaloupe crème fraiche, and mint; and roasted halibut with warm avocado-yogurt soup, charred stone fruit, and black quinoa. Meat lovers might tend toward the NY steak and soft scrambled eggs, served with gnocchi and freshly shaved black truffle, or the beef bourguignon, with pappardelle noodles, roasted market vegetables, and red wine jus.
Consistent with their “eat good food with good company” mantra, NINETHIRTY sources from area farms and all-natural meat producers, and uses organic products as much as possible. 930 Hilgard Ave., Westwood, 310-443-8211
Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Benefit
Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Patti Austin, and John Legend honored on the Bowl's opening night.
June 24, 2013
The Hollywood Bowl inducted Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, vocalist and entertainer Patti Austin, and nine-time Grammy-winning singer John Legend into its Hall of Fame during its opening night concert on Saturday, June 22. Celebrities such as Angela Bassett, Arsenio Hall, Peter Fonda, and Stevie Wonder packed the legendary stadium for an evening that raised over $1 million for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music education programs.
Bassett served as the host for the event, and each honoree was toasted with a touching tribute—Hall lauded Austin, Fonda recognized the Aerosmith pair, and Wonder provided praise for Legend. The artists were also celebrated with video montages on the Bowl’s new LED screens, before taking the stage to perform.
Austin sang a medley of her classics including “Baby Come to Me,” “Lean On Me,” and “You Gotta Be.” Legend played the piano to well-known numbers like “Where Did My Baby Go,” “Again,” and “All of Me,” and was accompanied by Wonder for a surprise duo of “Ordinary People.” Aerosmith performed “Love in an Elevator,” “Dream On,” “Cryin’,” and “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.” They were joined by the other two honorees for a group finale, a reprisal of “Walk This Way” to a grand fireworks display.
Other highlights of the opening night event, which included a cocktail pre-party and dinner, were a performance of the aptly titled “Hall of Fame” by musician and Glee actor Darren Criss, music by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (HBO) led by principal guest conductor Thomas Wilkins, and a group of 65 students from the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA).
Now in its 92nd season, the Hollywood Bowl seats 18,000 and is one of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world. The Hall of Fame was established in 2000 to honor artists like Frank Sinatra, B.B. King, and Donna Summer who embody the spirit of the Bowl, and is displayed on the main floor of the Hollywood Bowl Museum.
Barzolff's 'Art by the Gram' at Here Is Elsewhere Gallery
Former French graffiti artist with celebrity following sorts his artwork by weight.
June 24, 2013
Last Tuesday (June 18), French artist Barzolff celebrated the addition of his “Art by the Gram” collection to his first US exhibition at the Pacific Design Center. Fans such as Entourage actor Adrian Grenier and Leonard Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, came out to see this groundbreaking assemblage of 15-year-old drawings that the artist radically chopped, weighed, and sorted into 1-, 5-, and 10-gram sachets. The iconoclastic display is part of his larger “Write a Book About What?” show, which will run at the PDC’s Here is Elsewhere Gallery through August 2.
Recognized as an icon in the Parisian street art circles, Barzolff is a former French graffiti artist who left his mark on the late ‘90s as “Numéro 6.” A multifaceted artist, he is also a prestigious film school graduate who received countless accolades for his video, animation, and advertising work. This latest show for the now LA-based Barzolff features giant baroque paintings, plays on depth using stereoscopy, and animated video installations, alongside the new exhibit. 8687 Melrose Ave., Space B222, West Hollywood, 323-217-2237
Michael Stars, Babakul, & LUCE Join Malibu Country Mart
Cool California clothes and luxury home décor come to the upscale Malibu shopping center.
June 24, 2013
One of Southern California’s premiere shopping destinations, Malibu Country Mart, is getting three new additions to its six-acre space of 67 retail, dining, and service occupants. This Saturday (June 29) will see the opening of clothing brands Michael Stars and Babakul, and LUCE della Citta home décor, in neighboring suites. 3835 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu
What We're Reading
LACMA's Art + Film honorees, Tony Soprano's most memorable mob moments, and more.
June 21, 2013
James Gandolfini earned acclaim with his portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano.
In honor of Emmy-winning actor James Gandolfini, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 51, The Hollywood Reporter reprises the scenes that made Tony Soprano one of the most beloved mobsters of our time. [The Hollywood Reporter]
As summer heats up, cool down with these three cold noodle dish recommendations in Koreatown. [LA Weekly]
LACMA announced this week that British artist David Hockney and filmmaker Martin Scorsese will be honored at LACMA’s third annual Art + Film Gala on November 2. [LA Times]
Now that picnic season is upon us, Refinery29 suggests five of LA’s most scenic parks and gardens, as well as the fashion looks they’ve inspired. [Refinery29]
With Hey Bartender playing all week at the Sundance Sunset Cinema, a bevy of LA bartenders weigh in on how accurately the documentary depicts the cocktail evolution. [LA Mag]
Photograph by Getty Images
Bouchon's Sunday Dinner and a Movie
The Beverly Hills bistro kicks off Sunday Suppers and its summer Movies in the Park series.
June 21, 2013
Bouchon Beverly Hills welcomes back its annual Summer in the City series this Sunday, June 23, featuring Sunday Night Supper Soirees and biweekly Movies in the Park.
Chef Thomas Keller’s family-style Sunday dinner will be served weekly all summer long. This three-course, prix-fixe ($45) stars his classic French roast chicken dish, along with market accompaniments like fresh vegetables and mesclun greens salad, and sweets such as beignet doughnuts, peach melba, and fruit crumble. Kids can sample mac and cheese and croque madame from the new les enfants menu, and fried-chicken fiends are advised to return for their famous Fried Chicken nights starting June 24 and running every other Monday throughout the summer.
As an alternative, you’ll also be able to order from the restaurant’s new summer menu, which is launching today (June 21) to coincide with Summer Solstice. Try creative interpretations of French classics, like fresh salads of seasonal berries and melons from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, daily-caught fish from the Santa Barbara coast, or the herb-roasted eye of the rib steak with caramelized shallots and French fries.
For the Movies in the Park portion, stop by Bouchon at 8 pm every other Sunday through Labor Day starting this week, when a drive-in-sized screen and outdoor seating will transform the bistro into an open-air theater. Grab a pre-movie cocktail and signature truffle popcorn at Bar Bouchon, or a sweet treat from Bouchon Bakery at the plaza, to enjoy while you watch family favorites like Mary Poppins, Moulin Rouge, Wreck it Ralph, and Enchanted.
Sunday Supper dinner reservations begin at 5:30 pm, and parking on Movies in the Park nights will be complimentary all evening. 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-271-9910
Weekend Recommender: June 20-23
Shop Tommy Hilfiger's Surf Shack, bid on a classic car, and celebrate music the French way.
June 20, 2013
Over 350 luxury autos will be auctioned off in Russo and Steele’s first SoCal event at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina.
Russo and Steele Classic Car Auction
Thursday, June 20, 6pm (cocktail benefit); Friday, June 21-Saturday, June 22, 10am (auction)
Bid on luxury cars at Russo and Steele’s first SoCal auction at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. Gates open at 10 am on Friday and Saturday; at noon, over 350 European sports cars, American muscle cars, hot rods, and custom cars will be auctioned off in the two-day event. A bidder reception will be held at 3:30 pm on both days, and a preview cocktail party the Thursday prior will afford potential car bidders a sneak peek. General admission for the auction is $20; $150 for the cocktail party, which includes dinner and dancing to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. More information and tickets can be found on russoandsteele.com. 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, 602-252-2697
Riviera 31 Lounge at Sofitel Los Angeles presents Fête de la Musique
Friday, June 21, 8 pm
Join a worldwide celebration of music and the French arts at the Sofitel’s authentic music soiree. Experience Edith Piaf music sung by Maria Elena Infantino, festive French Can Can dancers performing a routine by Zen Arts, and a Mediterranean menu of small plates by chef Marius Blin of Esterel restaurant. Since its inception in France in 1982, World Music Day is celebrated on June 21 throughout the world with public and free performances and concerts. 8555 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-358-3979
Tommy Hilfiger Surf Shack Pop Up Bus
Saturday, June 22, 11 am-7 pm; Sunday, June 23, 11 am-6 pm
Tommy Hilfiger’s limited-edition Surf Shack collection is coming to Venice Beach. Shop the beachy line at a two-day mobile pop-up shop at The Brig on Abbot Kinney. The Los Angeles events will kick off the summer traveling bus tour, which continues on to Chicago and Toronto to celebrate the new surf wear. 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
The “Art Party” Launch at the Daniel Maltzman Gallery
Saturday, June 22, 7 pm
Browse pop surrealist Daniel Maltzman’s new collection of LA-inspired contemporary paintings, as well as select works by local artists such as Erin Bobo, Dani Dodge, and Kristine Schomaker at his Beverly Hills gallery launch. 268 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-613-3825
The Hungry Cat Santa Monica’s Pacific Coast Seafood Fest
Sunday, June 23, 3-8 pm
The Santa Monica Canyon branch of David Lentz’s Hungry Cat restaurants will host their first annual all-day Pacific Coast seafood feast and music fest. A $65 prix-fixe menu includes the chef’s picks of starters, sides, and shared entrée platters, featuring fresh local seafood dishes like Pacific Coast ceviche, chorizo-stuffed squid, ridgeback shrimp, and steamed Santa Barbara rock crabs. A dessert of fruit cobbler and thirsty cat libations will also be included. Reservations are required by calling the restaurant at 310-459-3337 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 100 W. Channel Rd., Santa Monica
Rock & Reilly's New Midweek Menus
The Sunset Strip rock den unveils a weekday menu of upgraded pub grub and drink pairings.
June 20, 2013
Rock & Reilly’s Irish pub on the Sunset Strip is a go-to stop for international brews and over 57 types of whiskey, but beginning this week, the bar is unveiling themed midweek menu offerings and accompanying drink pairings.
On Taco Tuesdays, the pub’s rock and roll vibe will shift south of the border to channel what they’ve dubbed a Rock & Rodriguez taqueria. A taco bar will feature gourmet tacos, including the Irish Taco, with corned beef, sauerkraut, carrot pickles, and salsa roja. Along with endless margarita options, the accompanying Taco Tuesday tequila special will offer Rock & Casamigos, a concoction of Casamigos Blanco, agave nectar, and lime juice.
Slider Night Wednesdays will star Reilly’s meatball slider, made with the chef’s special beef blend, amatriciana sauce, smoked mozzarella, and fresh basil. Mix and match three different sliders for a special price, and wash them down with Wednesday night’s special brew, Smithwick’s.
Thursdays are reserved for comfort food, and Reilly’s reinvents a classic for Grilled Cheese Thursdays. Opt for American cheese on country white, or pick the western chili sandwich with Reilly’s home-style beef chili, sharp cheddar, and pickles on pumpernickel bread. The paired wine for Thursday is Pascual Toso Estate Malbec.
Food specials will start at 4 pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and items will switch up weekly. All offers will supplement Reilly’s traditional Irish fare and beverage menu, which boasts the largest selection of Irish whiskey in Los Angeles. 8911 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-360-1400
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.