Weekend Recommender: July 18-20
A celebrity charity bowl-off, National Tequila Day jumpstart, pop art opening, and more.
July 18, 2013
Pop art pieces by Greg Miller like this work, entitled Norms, will show at William Turner Gallery starting this Saturday.
NFL Quarterback Matt Leinart’s 7th Annual “Celebrity Bowl” Benefit
Thursday, July 18, 7 pm
The annual charity competition at Lucky Strike Lanes between celebrity bowlers, including Melissa Rycroft, Kendra Wilkinson, and Reggie Bush, features an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction of celebrity memorabilia. $150 tickets benefit the Matt Leinart Foundation, which provides sports and learning opportunities to underprivileged youths in Southern California. To attend, call 909-650-3537. 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 143, Hollywood
Natural History Museum’s Summer Movie Series
Friday, July 19, film begins immediately after sunset
In connection with the “Becoming Los Angeles” exhibit launched on July 14, NHM will be screening cinematic odes to LA then and now on Friday nights in their new Nature Gardens. Presentations of Sunset Blvd. (July 19), L.A. Story (July 26), and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (August 2) will be supplemented by critic intros, and you can come early for special tours and a pre-movie picnic on the lawn. $12 tickets ($9 for members) are required, and can be purchased at nhm.org. 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park, 213-763-DINO
Greg Miller Opening Reception at William Turner Gallery
Saturday, July 20, 6:30-8:30 pm
LA contemporary artist Greg Miller’s “Love at First Site” exhibit kicks off with a cocktail party at the William Turner Gallery in Santa Monica, where it will be on display through September 7. Drawing upon his California upbringing, Miller’s pop paintings explore how the use of imagery and text in advertising shaped American life in the 1950’s and 1960’s. No RSVP required for opening reception. 2525 Michigan Ave. E-1, Santa Monica, 310-453-0909
Peligroso Tequila Tasting Event at Tortilla Republic
Saturday, July 20, 4 pm
In honor of National Tequila Day next Wednesday, trendy Mexican restaurant Tortilla Republic is starting the fiesta early with a Tequila 101 tasting and tapas pairing event on Saturday. The four-course menu of authentic favorites like ancho chile scallop and ground pork is paired with Peligroso Tequila, and entry is $40 per guest, or $75 per pair. 616 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-657-9888
The Sayers Club's New Additions
The exclusive live music venue adds a front bar, food menu, and early performances.
July 18, 2013
Famous for introducing musical talent like Gotye, Skylar Grey, and Capital Cities to the scene, The Sayers Club has just expanded and added earlier scheduling to bring you even more live entertainment. From Tuesday through Sunday, 6 pm-2 am, enjoy small plates and drinks in a stylish new front bar space, and stick around for a series of early-evening performances starting at 8:30 pm.
“The Sayers Club walks a line between nightclub and live music venue, however we’ve been chained to the idea and the hours of nightlife, where everybody shows up late,” says creative director Jason Scoppa of the new developments, which launched on Tuesday. “As I get older, I see that there’s a crowd that would like to be out earlier, to be home earlier—and a food offering and the front room bridge that gap.”
Designed by Scoppa, the intimate new front area is an aesthetic extension of Sayers’ adjacent rock-and-roll main room. It has a refined yet friendly feel with a long reclaimed wood bar, rows of tables, framed guitars, and a wood-burning pizza oven. Highlights from the new menu of snacks, salads, pizzas, and sweets by sbe chef Michael Teich include the Green Goddess pesto salad pizza, crispy stuffed dates with Merguez sausage, and hand-cut fries with parmesan and black truffle. Sayers’ signature cocktails like The Old Fashioned, Mexican Firing Squad, and the Blackberry Sidecar will also be served, in addition to a rotating list of seasonal craft beers.
Early sets will play on the main stage, which has already hosted legends like Stevie Wonder and Prince in the venue’s short two-year life. Rumer Willis will have a weekly residency every Tuesday, Mark Ballas from ABC’s Dancing with the Stars will perform on alternate Saturdays starting July 20, and vocalist Brenna Whitaker will take the other bi-weekly Saturday spot beginning July 27. Sundays will welcome American jazz musician and Miles Davis collaborator Daron Johnson, in a revival of the popular Sunday jazz party hosted by Johnson and Scoppa at The Green Door in 2007. 1645 Wilcox Ave., Hollywood, 323-871-8233
Q&A: Oscar-Winning Screenwriter, Geoffrey Fletcher
The Precious writer talks action figures, adversity, and James Gandolfini.
July 17, 2013
Oscar-winning screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher wrote a script for the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series contest, which challenged budding filmmakers to translate his vision.
Following years of odd jobs and countless no’s, Geoffrey Fletcher made his mark on history as the first and only African-American to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay after Lee Daniels pegged him to adapt the book Push into the film Precious. Most recently, the Connecticut native and Columbia professor, who holds degrees from Harvard and NYU’s Tisch, made his directorial debut with the dark drama Violet & Daisy starring the late James Gandolfini.
We caught up with Fletcher at the Downtown Film Festival LA’s Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series West Coast Premiere—an event that showed five winning films from a contest which asked aspiring filmmakers to interpret a script written by Fletcher—to hear about his takes on screenwriting, what the beloved Sopranos actor brought to one of his final performances, and more.
How did you get your start in filmmaking?
GEOFFREY FLETCHER: My parents brought home a video camera and I would often shoot films with kids in the neighborhood. One day I pulled some action figures out of the closet and set up a camera, and it was life-changing how the toys came to life. From then on, I used that camera endlessly.
Were there struggles in your life that you drew from to write Precious?
GF: Precious is someone who felt underestimated and invisible, and still believed in herself with an ember of hope. And trying to get into the film industry all those years, I could relate to someone who felt invisible and underestimated, yet still believed in herself or himself.
What do you think people responded to in your particular adaption?
GF: I heard that the book was dense, grim, and difficult. But for me every page was brimming with light and possibilities. It’s easy to relate to Precious because she wanted the same things that we want: to be loved, to give love, and to contribute. But I didn’t think that very many people would see it.
What was it like working with James Gandolfini in Violet & Daisy?
GF: This performance is one of the great goodbyes. Here you see so much of his breadth as an artist. I think his work had so much authenticity because he never lost touch with the everyman or the everywoman. And it showed in how he interacted with passersby on the street, the crew, and his fellow cast members.
Why did you pick him for the role?
GF: I needed an actor who could be riveting while still, and he was that actor. It’s a very difficult thing to do—Marlon Brando could do it as well. There are times when I’d see him in a film, and the focus may have been on another character, but I would find him riveting even outside of the focal plane. But not in a greedy way. It was just that he was so truly present in every moment.
What’s next for you?
GF: Writing a script about the 1971 Attica prison uprising for Doug Liman to direct. It’s a big story with a remarkable collection of heroes, villains, and ambiguity.
How do you judge a screenplay contest like this?
GF: If a script’s soul remains intact in a final film, and you find yourself becoming an audience member like everyone else, then that’s an ideal situation. I tell students that the best film they can make is a film that only they can make. And struggle gives you something to say.
'Dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree'
The fashion line and GRACIE gift shop join forces for another art installation/pop-up shop.
July 17, 2013
A temporary art installation and clothing line dubbed "dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree" benefits the museum.
You can now peruse art straight through to the gift shop via a collaboration between Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA)’s GRACIE retail shop and acclaimed clothing line, dosa. From now until August 17, GRACIE presents an art installation and temporary store dubbed “dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree,” which features dosa designer Christina Kim’s artwork and fashion inspired by the famous Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California.
Born of a trip through the desert terrain with dosa photographer Elena Chien, the clothing, accessories, and housewares on display from the dosa summer 2013 collection all call out to the quirky compositions of Joshua trees. Housed in the museum’s Project Room 1, all proceeds from the summer “dosa at SMMoA” project benefit the museum. This is dosa and GRACIE’s second collaboration; last year’s helped to raise over $30,000 in funding for museum programs.
SMMoA members will receive a special rate on “Exploring Joshua Tree” purchases. 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, 310-586-6488
Fleming's Summer Prix-Fixes
Taste the Season and Prime Rib Sundays menus launch across all locations.
July 16, 2013
The Taste the Season menu features a chili lime prawn starter, and an entree of filet mignon paired with pecan-crusted Scottish salmon.
Summer isn’t usually synonymous with meat, but Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is now offering two must-try multi-course menus of seasonal and signature dishes. Diners at Fleming’s Los Angeles locations at L.A. LIVE, Woodland Hills, El Segundo, and their newest home in Beverly Hills can sample Taste the Season and Sunday Prime Rib Dinner meals through July and August.
The two-course Taste the Season prix-fixe available through August 31 ($41) starts with chili lime prawns served alongside a red Ancho pepper sauce. Get the best of both worlds with a side-by-side surf-and-turf-inspired entree featuring a filet mignon with warm rosemary and goat cheese mousse, and pecan-crusted Scottish salmon drizzled in Dijon mustard tarragon sauce and plated with seasonal asparagus. Additional a la carte items include the featured side of tender summer squash with French green beans in a white wine sauce; a chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream and Chantilly sauce; and a special Caribbean rum punch cocktail made with Mount Gay Eclipse rum, Cointreau, blood orange, and lime.
Meanwhile, rib fans should stop by on Sundays through September 1 for the three-course prime rib dinner special ($30). Feast on a salad course, followed by Fleming’s prime rib au jus entrée served with horseradish, Dijon sauces, and a side. Finish with a choice of dessert.
Wash it all down with a glass from Fleming’s 100 wine program, which features 100 expertly selected wines by the glass and an innovative new in-restaurant WiNEPAD app to help guests navigate the comprehensive list. Diners can also BYOB with no corkage fee all summer long.
A Spa Staycation at Sofitel Los Angeles
Indulge in LeSpa rooftop treatments and pool amenities at the luxe Beverly Hills hotel.
July 16, 2013
Take a staycation at the Sofitel Los Angeles with a summer destination spa package.
Even if you can’t skip town, experience the essence of French Riviera-style relaxation from now through Labor Day with Sofitel Los Angeles’ summer destination spa package.
Experience the best of LeSpa by Sofitel’s amenities and treatments with a special rooftop massage given in an intimate private cabana on the upper pool deck. Choose from the 50-minute option for $175, or 80 minutes for $220, both of which include application of soothing after-sun products and chilled or warm scented towels.
Following your massage, spend the day rejuvenating at the luxurious Beverly Hills hotel by enjoying access to their popular outdoor pool, SO Fit state-of-the-art private fitness center, and men’s and women’s steam rooms. The package also includes a poolside Champagne toast and complimentary valet, as well as exclusive pricing on both suncare products and dinner in the hotel’s new French Mediterranean restaurant Esterel. As a bonus, opt to extend your stay with overnight accommodations in a luxury room at a special rate.
The summer staycation package is available Monday through Friday, and can be reserved by calling the spa at 310-228-6777. 8555 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Hills
BHLDN Brings Heirloom-Style Bridal to Beverly Hills
Anthropologie's bridal offshoot now has a permanent home on the West Coast.
July 15, 2013
The first BHLDN shop-in-shop brings a unique collection of bridal gowns and accessories to Anthropologie Beverly Hills.
In a novel venture for both brands, Anthropologie’s wedding-geared sister store, BHLDN, opened a permanent shop-in-shop inside Anthropologie Beverly Hills on July 10. Carrying bridesmaid dresses, accessories, and décor, the opening marks the first BHLDN outpost on the West Coast.
Housed on the mezzanine level of Anthropologie, the popular two-year-old wedding brand caters to brides favoring romantic classicism and seeking something out of the ordinary. The curated collection in Beverly Hills showcases a sampling of heirloom-style wedding gowns, ornate bridesmaid and event dresses, one-of-a-kind jewelry and hair adornments, shoes, accessories, and intricate décor. Designers carried in-store include Anna Sui, Peter Som, Badgley Mischka, Catherine Deane, and Tracy Reese, with the entirety of the collection available online.
As a bonus, brides can enhance their wedding planning experience through complimentary consultations with a BHLDN bridal stylist. This service pairs customers with styling experts who will assist in gown and size selection, accessorizing looks, and choosing decorations. Even better, said styling advice is available in person, over the phone, and even via e-mail and Skype. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a BHLDN stylist, call 310-987-1207 or visit bhldn.com/stores-beverlyhills. 211 S. Beverly Dr., Mezzanine Level, Beverly Hills
LA Zoo Launches After-Hours Series
Dubbed 'Roaring Nights,' the series promises dinner, drinks, and entertainment.
July 15, 2013
Expect food trucks, stand-up comedy, cocktails, and "animal attendees" at Roaring Nights.
In an LA Zoo first, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) welcomes adults to visit after-hours for an inaugural nighttime series on select Thursdays in July. For the next two weeks (July 18 and 25, 7-10 p.m.), zoo-goers 18 years and over can enjoy evening festivities like live music, comedians, a full bar, and food in the company of their favorite wildlife.
In addition to the daytime exhibits, guests can expect some impromptu animal attendees and zookeeper talks, as well as special entertainment. Look for the zoo carousel to be transformed into a dance stage (with DJ Morningstar providing beats), and at the petting zoo, catch sets from stand-up comics Helen Hong and Francisco Ramos. Popular food trucks like Grilled Cheese Truck, Coolhaus, Komodo Truck, and Crepe’n Around will be on site, as well as a full bar serving Roaring Nights-themed cocktails.
General Admission tickets are $18 ($15 for zoo members), and can be purchased both on lazoo.org and on site. 5333 Zoo Dr., Griffith Park, 323-644-6042
What We're Reading
Emma Thompson as the scribe who penned Mary Poppins, a 'cronut' taste test, and more.
July 12, 2013
A cross section of Semi-Sweet Bakery's crullant, a take on the cronut.
Los Angeles Magazine conducts a taste test of cronut knockoffs, as the New York-born croissant-meets-donut craze spreads to our city. [LA Mag]
Refinery29 divulges LA’s best hidden-gem vintage shops. [Refinery29]
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oscar-nominated songs and scores will now be featured in what might become an annual concert event held days prior to the big show. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Time examines Emma Thompson in what she deems her “most difficult” role: Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, played opposite Tom Hanks’ Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. [Time]
Photography by Daniela Galarza, Image via lamag.com
3 Bastille Day Dining Picks
Join in the French Independence Day celebrations at these festive European-inspired bistros.
July 12, 2013
Photography by Michael Gardner (FIG & OLIVE)
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.