3 California-Centric Books
The changing wine industry, a behind-the-scenes LA personality, a home’s makeover….
March 27, 2013
From California’s lush landscape, to the area’s varied architecture, to its immersion in the film industry, there’s no shortage of inspiration for writers in our great state. Below, we examine three books out now or coming soon that highlight different aspects of the place we’re proud to call home.
Cover art by Francois Halard (Building Beauty)
Easter and Passover Dining Specials
A few choice ways to celebrate March holidays in LA.
March 26, 2013
Enjoy an adult twist on typical Easter eggs with Petrossian's egg royale.
With Passover in progress and Easter taking place March 31, this week provides plenty of excuses for a festive celebration with friends and family. Here are a few picks for each holiday—whether you’re looking for a sweet takeaway treat, a Passover seder, or an Easter brunch.
For a modern spin on Passover seder: Culina, Modern Italian
Culina, Modern Italian celebrates Passover with a noteworthy dinner that encompasses both unique takes on traditional fare and the requisite charoset. Their four-course prix-fixe ($55, March 26-27, seatings start at 6 pm) includes dishes like Italian-style chicken liver with crisp potatoes and chives, lemon-sage matzo balls in broth, and your choice of an entrée and dessert. Reservations required by calling the restaurant at 310-860-4000. 300 S. Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills
For an Easter egg brunch: Petrossian
At this classic caviar house, executive chef Giselle Wellman is whipping up a four-course feast ($60; 10 am-4 pm) fit only for the most sophisticated palates. The meal begins with an adults-only egg royale that features Petrossian’s signature caviar, a soft scrambled egg, and vodka whipped cream in multi-colored egg-shells. Guests can also opt for treats like a caviar tasting or a croque madame with black forest ham, comte cheese, and arugula salad, all paired with either Champagne, a lavender mimosa, or a bellini. Reservations are recommended. 321 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-271-6300
For a family-friendly feast: LIVELLO at L’Ermitage
If you’re celebrating the holiday with a larger group, try LIVELLO at L’Ermitage Hotel. Chef Benjamin Dayag has prepared a decadent buffet ($85 adults, $45 children; 11 am-3 pm), while the hotel offers a rooftop Easter egg hunt from 12-12:30 pm on the patio. Children can then meet the Easter bunny for photos and face-painting, while the adults indulge in bottomless mimosas ($25 supplement) and dishes like smoked salmon, roasted chicken with shiitake mushrooms, and red wine-braised veal cheeks. Reservations are recommended. 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, 877-235-7582
For an Easter escape: The St. Regis Monarch Beach
Avoid the stress associated with the holidays by escaping to the St. Regis Monarch Beach, one of the top luxury hotels at Dana Point. Enjoy an expansive Easter brunch at Motif Restaurant ($115 adults, $36 children; 10 am-4 pm), which includes unlimited Champagne and a sizable spread of international dishes, carving stations, and breakfast classics. The hotel is also celebrating with an Easter egg hunt, face-painting, Easter bunny photo-ops, and other children’s activities. Post-brunch, book tee time on the resort’s championship golf course or plan a rejuvenating visit to the luxurious Spa Gaucin. One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, 949-234-3200
For a take-home treat: Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia is honoring both Passover and Easter with a variety of special sweets. For Passover, pick up twice-baked mandel bread with chopped almonds and chocolate chips, or Magnolia’s signature matzo crunch, which layers matzo bread with buttercrunch candy, chocolate, white chocolate, and toffee pieces. Those celebrating Easter can enjoy “mini nests”— vintage egg cartons filled with a dozen vanilla or chocolate mini cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream, toasted coconut, and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds—or pastel meringues. 8389 W. 3rd St., Mid-City, 323-951-0636
2013 Humane Society Genesis Awards Gala
LA influencers gathered to celebrate animal welfare at The Beverly Hilton.
March 25, 2013
Animal enthusiasts gathered Saturday, March 23 at The Beverly Hilton for the annual Genesis Awards Benefit Gala to celebrate the important work of The Humane Society of the United States. The evening brought together stars like Kelly Cuoco, Michael Vartan, and Beatrice—the dog from Modern Family—who honored entertainment professionals and other influencers who have helped raise awareness for animal issues.
Hosted by Dancing with the Stars’ Carrie Ann Inaba, the event featured a cocktail reception, a gourmet vegan dinner, silent auction, and an awards ceremony. This year’s Wyler Award was presented to Ke$ha for her work raising awareness about animal issues through her website and social media. Ke$ha is the Humane Society International’s first Global Ambassador for Animals—the singer has spoken out about street dogs, trophy hunting of endangered animals, cruelty-free cosmetics, and many other animal-welfare concerns.
Meanwhile, a variety of media outlets were also honored, such as the film Big Miracle with Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, the dramatic series Harry’s Law, and National Geographic’s Wild Justice. The silent auction gave guests an opportunity to bid on rare items like two tickets to Jerry Seinfeld's April 12 show at Caesar's Palace, a five-day package at Ezulwini Lodge in the Balule Nature Reserve of South Africa, and two paintings exclusively created for the auction by chimps at Chimp Haven sanctuary. For more information or to donate to the cause, visit humanesociety.org.
Nail Art: 3 Spots for Luxe Manicures
Decorate your digits at these LA manicure/pedicure places.
March 25, 2013
Forget French manicures or classic red polish—fingers today are blank canvases for skilled manicurists to flex their artistic muscles. While many salons are offering more creative polish colors and gel manicures, a few locations in LA specialize in crafting personalized designs. Read on for three of our favorite spots to dress your digits.
Photograph courtesy Aureta Thomollari (Candy Paint)
Alec Monopoly Exhibit at LAB ART
Predominant street art gallery dedicates an exclusive show to this elusive artist.
March 25, 2013
While his true identity remains a mystery, the street artist who goes by the moniker Alec Monopoly is praised among collectors as one of the predominant artists in his genre. In fact, Monopoly’s works are so striking that his latest show “Park Place” marks the first time that LAB ART has dedicated its entire space to one artist. The premiere gallery for street art has even transformed their exterior into a large-scale Monopoly board to further showcase the artist.
“Park Place” features several mixed-media representations of the Monopoly Man—including one where he is dressed as Mickey Mouse—in addition to bright interpretations of other wealthy pop-culture figures like Richie Rich. Perhaps most intriguing, though, are Monopoly’s more visceral interpretations of celebrity icons like Jack Nicholson and Michael Jackson, or his bright designs painted atop Richard Corman’s photographs of Madonna.
Currently based out of Los Angeles, Monopoly’s art plays with our conceptions of wealth and popular culture, using multi-media presentations to elicit a response from the viewer. His work is often displayed at LAB ART, one of the few galleries in the nation that strives to emphasize street art. Although the exhibit closes April 11, Monopoly’s works are for sale and selling out quickly, so we suggest stopping by soon. 217 S. La Brea Ave., 323-933-1021
What We’re Reading
Remembering Elizabeth Taylor, Littlefork lobster rolls, inside Louise Roe’s WeHo home…
March 22, 2013
Style and film icon Elizabeth Taylor (pictured here with longtime lover, Richard Burton) passed away two years ago this week.
New England transplants looking for a taste of home should check out Jason Trevi’s Littlefork—it has “one hell of a lobster roll” according to L.A. Weekly. [L.A. Weekly]
Are we about to have a Conan O’Brien repeat? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jimmy Fallon is poised to take over Jay Leno’s role on The Tonight Show, but Fallon phoned the veteran host to try for a smooth transition. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times explores the play Unscreened, a decidedly LA production that offers struggling actors looking for work the chance at a leading role on stage. [L.A. Times]
While Unscreened spotlights the stars of tomorrow, Los Angeles Magazine pays homage to a celebrity of the past—the great style icon and actress Elizabeth Taylor, who died two years ago on March 23. [L.A. Mag]
Speaking of fashion personalities, Refinery29 headed to the West Hollywood home of Fashion Star’s Louise Roe to snag some spring fashion tips. [Refinery29]
Photography by Anthony Cake/Photoshot/Getty Image
Dinner Plans: Crossroads
Upscale vegan small-plates concept by chef Tal Ronnen comes to West Hollywood.
March 22, 2013
Renowned chef Tal Ronnen has joined forces with hospitality guru Parnell F. Delcham and Stephen Bing to present Crossroads, a new plant-based restaurant that elevates the traditional concept of vegan dining. Designed by LA-based Studio Collective, the space is upscale but welcoming, with a deep red, gold, and gray color scheme, and touches like handmade chandeliers and an original Toulouse Lautrec print adding touches of personality.
Ronnen’s opening menu reflects the refined healthy cuisine he’s become famous for with his best-selling cookbook, The Conscious Cook. Local and organic ingredients are used when possible, and the menu features a series of small plates divided into sections like bread service, soups, salads, comforting classics, and hot and cold dishes. Expect standouts like gluten-free spiced chickpeas with oven-dried tomatoes and parsley garlic whip, or a play on oysters that comprises artichoke puree, crispy oyster mushrooms, yellow tomato béarnaise, and kelp caviar. Innovative pasta dishes include a tortelloni with almond cheese, oven-dried tomatoes, parsley, frisee salad, and spinach cream, as well as a wood-fired “meaty” lasagna. For dessert, opt for one of their pairings, which features a sweet treat like the citrus panna cotta served alongside an after-dinner beverage such as the Jaboulet Muscat Beaumes de Venise.
Crossroads has called upon Las Vegas mixologist Gaston Martinez to complement the food with craft seasonal cocktails that spotlight fresh ingredients and small-batch spirits. Similarly, wine director Jennifer Delcham has created a list that focuses on biodynamic, sustainable, and organic wines. 8284 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-782-9245
Weekend Recommender: March 21-24
A juice pairing dinner, VIP shopping event, and SciFi film screenings.
March 21, 2013
Enjoy Clover's refreshing juices alongside complementary dishes from The Churchill this weekend.
Clover Pairing at The Churchill
Thursday March 21-Friday March 22, 5-9 pm
To toast the opening of the new neighboring Clover juice bar, The Churchill chef Bruce Kalman has created a limited-time juice pairing dinner ($45). Dishes like a Paso prime grass-fed hanger steak are matched with Clover’s signature Go Big juice. Reservations are recommended by calling the restaurant at 323-655-8384. 8384 W. 3rd St., West Hollywood
SciFi Double Feature at LACMA
Friday, March 22, 7:30 pm
Head to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to help kick off a new film series exploring the evolution of the science fiction genre after Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Programmed by Bernardo Rondeau, the series starts March 22 with a screening of Saul Bass' Phase IV that includes the film's alternate ending, and then continues with a showing of Douglas Trumball's Silent Running at 9:10 pm. The screenings run into the first week of April with films by George Lucas and John Carpenter, among others. Tickets start at $10 and are available by calling 323-857-6010. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid City, 323-857-6000
Simply Stylist Fashion Event
Saturday, March 23, 11 am-8 pm
E! News anchor Catt Sadler hosts the Simply Stylist Los Angeles shopping event at Siren Studios—panelists like Whitney Port, Brad Goreski, and Louise Roe will spill their fashion secrets, while stylist-to-the-stars Jacqueline Rezak helps select outfits for VIP guests from the on-site designer shopping boutiques. Tickets range from $300 (VIP) to $20, and can be purchased at simplystylist.com. 6063 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Live Music at Casa Lobby Lounge
Santa Monica’s Casa del Mar lobby introduces a performance series and new food offerings.
March 21, 2013
Casa Lobby Lounge is revving things up with live music, drink specials, and new food offerings.
On March 17, Santa Monica’s Casa del Mar hotel launched a new live music series within the Casa Lobby Lounge. Each night of the week, the lounge will feature a rotating lineup of some of the city’s most exciting jazz, DJ, and Latin acts, paired with special pricing on custom cocktails and chef Sven Mede’s new small-plates menu.
The new acts include KCRW DJ Raul Campos, who will spin during brunch hours on Sundays, and the Leftover Cuties, who are slated to play their upbeat jazz on select dates in March and May. Meanwhile, during performances, guests can enjoy daily drink offers like specially priced ryes and bourbons on Tuesdays, top-shelf tequila on Thursdays, and a full bloody Mary menu on Sundays.
Mede designed a new menu that perfectly complements the series and its drinks—expect snacks like marinated olives or black truffle popcorn, in addition to crudos like an organic salmon with pineapple and jalapeno. Sushi, oysters, and charcuterie make for great sharable plates, but more substantial dishes are also on offer. If you’re looking to make it a full meal, start with American wagyu sliders or a dungeness crab salad, followed by fish and chips or steak frites with thick cut fries. For dessert, dig into something decadent like the cupcake in a jar. 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica, 310-581-5533
Photography by the blue sea
Q&A: ‘Take 2’ Author Leeza Gibbons
Renowned TV personality discusses her new start, new book, and 'happy' spots in LA.
March 20, 2013
|Leeza Gibbons recently debuted her book Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings.|
According to daytime-personality-cum-author Leeza Gibbons, everyone deserves a do-over. She took hers after a series of difficult events that included watching her mother struggle through Alzheimer's and losing her long-time talk show role, but came through it with a refreshed outlook.
Now in her new book Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings ($15 on barnesandnoble.com, Hay House), Gibbons explores the concept of starting fresh and imbues the reader with her tricks and tips to recalibrate your life. We caught up with Gibbons for a quick chat about her new book and her favorite LA escapes.
What were some of the challenges you faced writing Take 2?
LEEZA GIBBONS: I think everyone gets lost at some point in life. You end up arriving at a place where you feel a little empty or disappointed and say, ‘Wait, this is not the life I ordered!’ I've been there a few times. I realized when my mother died, I got divorced, my oldest child left for college, and I left my job that I suddenly didn't know who I was anymore. I had to show up for myself in a whole new way.
Tell us some of your best tips for getting your life back on track?
LG: I use a great quote by Louse Smith in my book, ‘You can't reach for tomorrow if your hands are filled with yesterday's junk,’ so let [the past] go. But remember: when you try to change anything, you're going to get resistance—that's a universal law of nature—so expect some pushback. Once you begin to treat yourself better, watch what happens. I promise, the world will pay attention and do the same.
Do Hollywood happy endings exist in real life?
LG: You bet. I'm living proof that sometimes right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives you a miracle.
Any advice on how to get one?
LG: Although this usually induces massive eye-rolling, I believe that to get your happy ending, you first have to believe that you're worth it. Then, it's all about hope and faith backed by action. The way to your happy ending is to focus on getting them, instead of being so damned certain you will not! Take that, all you pessimists.
What is your Los Angeles happy place?
LG: I love to go to the Getty Villa (17985 Pacific Coast Hwy., Pacific Palisades, 310-440-7300) in Malibu—what a jewel we have right there at the edge of the ocean! It's breathtakingly beautiful and you can relax and enjoy the view with a glass of wine, or dig deep into the history and art. Either way, you leave refreshed.
Where do you recharge?
LG: When [my energy] is low, I get a great shot of enthusiasm at Lemonade (9001 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-247-2500). What is it about this little place that attracts the most diverse people engaged in the most far-reaching conversations over lavender-mint-cucumber iced teas and pistachio macaroons? If it's solitude I'm craving, I can find it up on one of the lesser-walked paths of Runyon Canyon. Finally, if I just need a creative diversion, you can't beat Rolling Greens (7505 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 323-934-4500)—I can hang there for hours, try some scents, read some books, and wonder where I'm going to hang that iron and crystal thingy I just bought on an impulse.
Any tips to clean up your life for spring?
LG: Examine your life's ‘operating system.’ What's working, what's not? If things are slow, maybe you need to delete some files because sameness and static will make you boring and bitter. If there are people in your life that are like a virus on your system, delete them, too!