Flavors of Los Angeles Returns May 5
Premiere culinary tasting event in Santa Monica benefits the American Liver Foundation.
April 30, 2013
Chaya executive chef Shigefumi Tachibe, seen here at Flavors of Los Angeles in 2010, will return to cook tableside for guests at this year's event.
Tickets are still on sale for the annual Flavors of Los Angeles tasting event, taking place Sunday, May 5 at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel at 5:30 pm. The event offers LA foodies the rare opportunity to enjoy a decadent five-course meal prepared tableside by one of the area’s top chefs, including Mathew Woolf of Gordon Ramsey’s The Fat Cow, Shigefumi Tachibe of Chaya, Mirko Paderno of Oliverio, and Wonny Lee, the esteemed executive chef of Hamasaku. Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Liver Foundation.
The evening will kick off with a cocktail hour, pairing chilled vodka creations from American Harvest with a selection of freshly shucked oysters by resident shellfish guru Christophe Happillon of the Oyster Gourmet. Guests will also enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres by each participating chef as well as wines from Kiamie Wine Cellars.
Attendees will then be seated at their assigned tables, where a chef will prepare a personalized five-course meal with wine pairings, set to the soft sounds of jazz music by pianist Scott Oakley. The toques in attendance range from LA personalities to a few newcomers, including chef Phillip Frankland Lee, who will open Scratch Bar @ Tiago in May, and chef Anthony Zappola, who is heading up the kitchen at the recently-opened The Royce Wood Fired Steakhouse within the Langham Pasadena.
The event will also feature a silent auction comprising covetable items like a trip to wine country, a helicopter ride around the city, or a hockey stick signed by LA Kings captain Dustin Brown. Tickets for the evening begin at $275 and can be purchased online at go.liverfoundation.org. 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-670-4624
2nd Annual Hilarity for Charity Event
Seth Rogen and his wife hosted an event to support Alzheimer's research.
April 29, 2013
Stars like Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Black, Nia Vardalos, and Kate Flannery joined Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller at The Avalon for their second annual Hilarity for Charity event on April 25. The laughs-filled fundraiser raised over $400,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Rogen served as the evening’s host, and introduced a number of comedic and musical acts, while guests enjoyed comfort foods like pizza, BBQ, and keg beer. Early on, Jackson surprised Rogen on stage by sharing touching stories about how Alzheimer’s affected his family. Guests were then treated to side-splitting acts by funny folk band Garfunkel and Oates, and comedians Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, and Rob Riggle, among others.
There was even room for laughs amid a live charity auction led by Billy Eichner, who snuck in a few jokes as he took bids for a glass of water. The entertainment concluded with a surprise performance by the Backstreet Boys, who serenaded the crowd with some of their classic hits, while Rogen danced alongside them.
Santa Monica Celebrates Spring Jubilee
Downtown Santa Monica hosts a spring festival that coincides with city-wide Brit Week.
April 29, 2013
Great Britain native Louise Roe on the red carpet for the BritWeek launch April 23.
To celebrate the spring season, Downtown Santa Monica and Santa Monica Place have joined forces with BritWeek to create a brand-new festival—Spring Jubilee Celebrates BritWeek (Saturday, May 4, 10 am-9 pm; Sunday, May 5, 10 am-8 pm). This weekend-long soiree complements BritWeek, a cultural event that brings English traditions, music, and theater across the pond now through May 6.
An exclusive Downton Abbey Vintage Party kicks the Spring Jubilee off on May 3, hosted by the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Downton star Laura Carmichael and executive producer Gareth Neame will be honored, while guests are invited to don their ‘20s finery and enjoy classic music, craft cocktails, and fancy finger foods. Tickets starting at $75 benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters and are available on britweek.org.
The festivities continue at the Third Street Promenade on May 4 and 5, with entertainment and educational programming, including a performance of the entire Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album by music legends Peter Asher, Denny Laine, and Terry Sylvester (Santa Monica Place’s Center Plaza; May 4, 7-9 pm). Renowned British brands like Jaguar and Boots will also be showcasing their latest collections, while clothier Duncan Quinn will cruise around Santa Monica in a mobile double-decker tailoring bus all weekend long.
Although the celebration is clearly focused on all things UK, there is also an emphasis on environmental awareness. Eco-conscious vendors will be scattered along the Third Street Promenade, and the jubilee will host a competition among some of the area’s top landscape architects to create the best environmentally-friendly and sustainable urban tea garden.
Throughout the week, Anglophiles can enjoy other BritWeek happenings like a British music festival at Spaceland, Sarah Danays’ exhibit “Fabergé Gothic,” or a performance by Daniel Bedingfield at the Viper Room. A full list of BritWeek events can be found at britweek.org.
Photography by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Sue Wong Launches Great Gatsby Line
The LA designer's Fall 2013 collection is a tribute to The Great Gatsby.
April 29, 2013
Esteemed Los Angeles designer Sue Wong recently unveiled her ‘20s-inspired Fall 2013 collection at a Great Gatsby-themed soiree at her Los Feliz estate, The Cedars. The evening brought together celebrities like Thomas Jane, Kelsey Grammer and his wife, Kayte Walsh Grammer, Ryan McPartlin, Lauren Mayhew, and Jen Lilley, all decked out in 1920s styles to pay homage to the line’s Jazz Age inspiration. In addition to a showcase of Wong’s dazzling designs—which complemented her estate's classic Art Deco interior—the evening included a performance by Israeli opera star Michael Peer, and beverages by Hula Girl and Hint Water.
Both a bridal line and a collection of eveningwear walked Wong’s runway. Flapper-like looks in blush and black tones included fringed skirts and feathered headpieces, while styles with an Old Hollywood feel featured dramatic layered skirts and embroidered overlays. Consistent with all of Wong’s collections, many of the dresses were embellished with hand-beaded accents, and Art Deco shapes dominated the patterns. Meanwhile, the bridal looks were most notable for their unique necklines—from a plunging v-neck to the more modern strapless cut.
Photography by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Sue Wong
What We’re Reading
Inside The Great Gatsby with Baz Luhrmann, Marilyn Monroe sculpture to be moved….
April 26, 2013
Baz Luhrmann, director of The Great Gatsby, promotes the coming-soon film in Canada.
Time to plan a weekend getaway: it’s your last chance to view the Marilyn Monroe sculpture in downtown Palm Springs. The work is being relocated, but not before they laud the star with a month-long celebration leading up to what would have been her 86th birthday. [LA Times]
Or, keep your journey closer to home by witnessing Highland Park’s upward expansion at Sonny’s Hideaway, an opening-soon restaurant by chef Jimmy Everett of New York’s esteemed Marea and Eleven Madison Park. [Grubstreet Los Angeles]
Check out this unique space-inspired fashion spread Los Angeles Magazine did with the Push Girls—a group of LA-based women battling paraplegia and quadriplegia featured on a new Sundance Channel show. [Los Angeles Magazine]
Speaking of creative style, we’ve been anxiously awaiting Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, but our anticipation seems small in comparison to Luhrmann’s. The Hollywood Reporter dives into the director’s long journey to make the film, and provides an inside peek at what we can expect to see. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Post Earth Day downer, unfortunately. Southern California has once again been honored with having the most polluted air in the country. This comes on the heels of news that we also boast the worst traffic. [LA Weekly]
Photography by George Pimentel/WireImage
Dinner Plans: Mercato di Vetro
The WeHo hotspot for Italian cuisine launches a new dinner menu and happy hour specials.
April 26, 2013
SBE group’s Mercato di Vetro introduced a revamped menu last month, which spotlights Mediterranean-inspired share plates and seasonal dishes by chef Danny Elmaleh and new chef de cuisine Freddy Vargas (formerly of Scarpetta). More recently, the resto introduced a “ciao hour” special on April 22 that pairs small plates and craft cocktails, and runs from 6-8 pm Sundays-Fridays.
New dinner menu standouts include a colorful beet salad with whipped Valdeón cheese, hazelnut praline, and oranges, or a fresh kale Caesar salad prepared with an anchovy lemon vinaigrette and crispy crouton. For something heartier, pick a pasta dish like the pici noodle with rock shrimp, chili, and basil pesto, or gnocchi with mushrooms and black pepper. Round your meal out with fresh housemade gelato.
Whether or not you arrive in time for ciao hour, be sure to explore mixologist Rob Floyd’s new cocktails: the focus is on innovative creations that complement Mercato di Vetro’s Italian core. The Mercato Devine combines mint and Jack Daniels, while the Vetrosexual is a light-in-calories libation that mixes vodka, muddled raspberries, and fresh lime juice. During the ciao hour special, select cocktails and upscale bar bites—such as oyster sliders, mushroom focaccia, and spicy pickles—will be specially priced. 9077 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-859-8369
Weekend Recommender: April 25-28
Score some vintage Chanel, get styled by Cynthia Vincent, indulge in Top Chef's pig roast....
April 25, 2013
Chef Nyesha Arrington of Wilshire Restaurant cooks a whole hog at the 2012 Top Chef Pig Roast.
Vintage Chanel Trunk Show at Scoop Brentwood
Thursday, April 25-28, 10 am-6 pm (11 am-5 pm, Sunday)
Scoop NYC and What Goes Around Comes Around are teaming up to present covetable vintage Chanel handbags and jewelry at Scoop Brentwood. Don’t miss this opportunity to score one-of-a-kind accessories from the luxe designer, like the timeless quilted lambskin handbags. 216 26th St., Santa Monica, 424-238-5499
Dancing with the Art World at the Hammer
Friday, April 26, 5:30-8:30 pm; Saturday, April 27, 10 am-8 pm
The Hammer Museum brings together a select group of artists, choreographers, curators, and more to examine the intersection between visual art and dance. The 2012 film Merce Cunningham Dance Company Park Avenue Armory Event will be shown on Friday evening, while Saturday’s agenda includes a full day of panels, performances, and more. Tickets are complimentary but first come, first served at the box office. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, 310-443-7000
Egg Cooking Class at Cecconi’s
Saturday, April 27, 10 am-12 pm
Head to West Hollywood’s Cecconi’s for a decadent brunch boasting egg dishes like poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, egg ravioli, and a lemon tart with meringue. The catch? You have to cook the meal yourself, with guidance from Cecconi’s chef Andrea Cavaliere and chef de cuisine Alessio Biangini. $65 reservations can be booked by calling the restaurant at 310-432-2000. 8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
Cynthia Vincent Styling Day at The Closet at Fred Segal
Saturday, April 27, 1-5 pm
Designer Cynthia Vincent will make a rare in-store appearance at The Closet at Fred Segal, where she’ll offer shoppers personal styling advice as she showcases the summer Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent collection. The afternoon includes Champagne, chocolates, and giveaways, as well as special gifts for any guests that make in-store purchases. 500 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-451-2202
Top Chef Pig Roast at Wilshire Restaurant
Sunday, April 28, 1-4 pm
Join chef Nyesha Arrington of Wilshire Restaurant as she rallies some of the best talents off Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, and Top Chef Just Desserts for an afternoon pig roast benefiting Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation Los Angeles. Toques like Ilan Hall (The Gorbals), C.J. Jacobson (The Mercantile), and this season’s Top Chef runner-up Brooke Williamson (The Tripel) will join other fan-favorites to butcher a whole hog and craft fare to pair with small-batch beers and punches by Wilshire mixologist Devon Espinosa. $55 tickets on ce.strength.org; $65 at the door. 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-586-1707
Vintage Cocktails at Veranda
The Georgian Hotel celebrates its 80th anniversary with retro specials.
April 25, 2013
Enjoy a prohibition-era cocktail or a relaxing breakfast on Veranda’s ocean-view balcony.
The Georgian Hotel, a Santa Monica architectural staple and Hollywood favorite, is toasting its 80th anniversary with a series of coming-soon specials paying homage to the hotel’s art deco roots. Head to the in-house restaurant and lounge Veranda in May, where resident mixologists are shaking up sips off a brand-new prohibition-themed cocktail menu. Selections range from a classic French 75, Daquiri, or Negroni, to the Brown Derby—an old Hollywood mainstay made with Maker’s Mark bourbon, grapefruit juice, honey, and a lemon peel garnish. Pick up the Paloma for a refreshing spring sip of Patron silver, club soda, and grapefruit and lime juices, or order the more traditional Manhattan or Rob Roy if you’re a fan of darker spirits.
The revamped libations list coincides with a limited-time Retro Deco Room Package ($999 now through December 31) that includes a two-night stay in the historic ocean-view Carol Lombard or Clark Gable suites, special in-room '30s-era entertainment, breakfast for two at Veranda, a welcome cocktail, and complimentary valet. Additional celebrations planned to roll out in the next few months include a Sunday sunset tea and a specialty food menu at Veranda, featuring favorite dishes from the 1930s. For dinner or hotel reservations, call 310-395-9945. 1415 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica
LA Modernism Show & Sale Returns
The area’s premiere exhibition of fine and decorative arts runs this weekend.
April 24, 2013
Now in its 26th year, the annual Los Angeles Modernism Show & Sale comes back to Santa Monica Barker Hangar April 25-28, bringing together over 50 representatives from the art and design worlds in one expansive showcase. Exhibitors from around the globe will join local purveyors like Century Guild, Domont Jewelry, and Harvey’s on Beverly. Show-goers can expect 20th-century furnishings, sculpture, paintings, glass, jewelry, textiles, photography, and more, making this event ideal for anyone redecorating a home.
The exhibition debuts with a gala on April 25 (6-10 pm) benefiting P.S. Arts, an organization that provides arts access to students in the Los Angeles area. Celebrity hosts—including Maria and Bill Bell, Rachel Bilson, Kimberly and Albert Brooks, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and Elizabeth Stewart—and other patrons will enjoy a cocktail reception and private preview of the exhibition. Tickets to the event begin at $175 and are available at psarts.org, or at the door.
LA Modernism’s public opening is April 26 at 11 am and includes special programming like a panel discussion at 4 pm on the changing face of California modernism, and 5 pm book signings by James Magni and John Finton (Booth 402). Tickets to the public portion of the show are $15 and are available at the door. 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica
Q&A With: Comedienne Jen Kirkman
The LA jokester talks about her new book and why she's not having kids.
April 24, 2013
|Funny-girl Jen Kirkman just released her book I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids April 16.|
If you aren’t familiar with Jen Kirkman from her stints on Chelsea Lately, Conan, and the viral Drunk History series, you may have caught her around Los Angeles doing stand-up at Hollywood Improv, The Laugh Factory, Largo, and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Kirkman has quickly established herself as a face to watch in the comedic world with her self-deprecating brand of humor, much of which centers on not wanting children.
The comedienne channeled her lack of maternal instincts into a new book—I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids—a hilarious stand against conforming to traditional gender roles ($22 on amazon.com). We caught up with Kirkman for a chat about her latest venture, the LA comedy scene, and more on her thoughts on not having children.
What inspired you to write this book?
JEN KIRKMAN: I have always wanted to write a book and made many false starts on books that never went anywhere. I realized that I could take a page—pardon the almost-pun—out of my stand-up act. I do a lot of jokes about what a terrible parent I would be. When people ask me if I want children and I say, ‘no,’ they respond, ‘you'll change your mind,’ or ‘that's selfish.’ And when it started to happen more often, I realized I might have to write a book because I know there must be other women who don’t want kids and want to feel less alone, without having to make another person.
What's your number one retort to people who say you'll change your mind about having kids?
JK: I usually just mumble, ‘yeah maybe,’ and then go home and hate myself for not saying, ‘why don't you change your mind about being so nosey and rude!’ I guess my best retort now will be to hand them my book.
How do you feel about marriage?
JK: I feel like I wish mine would legally end already. My divorce has been waiting on someone's overly full desk in some courthouse in LA to be finalized. Other than that, marriage is nice—for people who want to be married.
What is your favorite spot to go out in LA?
JK: I don't really ‘go out’—I hate clubs and crowds and loudness. I like the bar at the Sunset Marquis (1200 Alta Loma Rd., West Hollywood, 310-657-1333) and the pool there by day.
What about your top places to do stand-up in the area?
JK: Largo at the Coronet (366 N La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-855-0350) and Hollywood Improv (8162 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323-651-2583).
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.