Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Food Find: Du-par's. Hotcakes at all hours.

I suppose that I've been hearing about Du-par's in some form or another since I moved to Los Angeles 4 years ago.
  • I have a vague recollection of passing by hordes of pie purchasers outside the diner-esque restaurant at the corner of Fairfax and 3rd last holiday season.
  • I am pretty sure there's a story of a certain friend of mine having a particularly good date that began at Dupar's.
  • And then, most recently, I am certain I heard my very trusted culinary radio host, Evan Kleiman (of KCRW's Good Food), interviewing someone at Du-par's about its history and its participation in the Farmers Market's recent 75th Anniversary celebration.
I now believe this person I heard describing the supposed 'best pancakes in Los Angeles' to have been either a very savvy publicist. Or a liar. I have a distinct memory of this woman pining over pancakes that she was just sure must have been cooked with loads of butter.

Well, I went to Du-par's last night and NOTE: serving a bowl of melted butter aside the stack of pancakes does not qualify as cooking with butter. And this is not to be mistaken with a dislike of butter on my part. I love butter. I am actually all too happy to pour it over all my food. I just don't know if I feel comfortable doing it in public.

Also [and possibly most importantly], Du-par's, which fancies itself a 'coffee shop' (a term most Angelenos are not aquainted with) did not have a vanilla milkshake in stock. It had strawberry, sure. But strawberry doesn't say coffee shop. It screams highfalutin. And I am forced to question the authenticity of any coffee shop that doesn't have plain vanilla.

[Image credits: Du-par's]

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boob Tube: Modern Family

Gay couple with adopted Asian baby. Check.
Al Bundy, two decades later. Check.
Quirky family dynamics even quirkier than my own. Check.

Best new show on TV...ABC's Modern Family.

The RSVP Line: Leslie and the Badgers at the Echo. For FREE!

My friends at When You Awake (which is only the coolest, hippest country music curator/commentator around) are presenting the last night of Leslie and the Badgers' residency this evening at the Echo. Which is good news. Even good-er news is that the show is FREE.

Leslie and the Badgers go on at 11 p. The opener goes on at 9. Two Boots pizza is served up in between.

the Echo
1822 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Get the scoop on the show here.
And don't forget to visit Jody and When You Awake often for your country fix.

Thanks Don Fisher. And ciao for now.

Don Fisher died yesterday. Don co-founded The Gap with his wife a whopping 40 years ago.

Thanks, Don, for the many decades of denim and button downs, innovative fashion collaborations, and clothing sizes that real women can feel alright about.

See you and your khakis on the flip side.

[via WWD]

We Like to Party [Gallery]: teens, sex & rock'n'roll at Macy's Passport.

On Friday night, busloads (and I do mean busloads) of teens were brought in to Santa Monica's Barker Hanger for Macy's Passport, an annual fashion show that raises money and awareness for HIV/AIDS charities. The Passport show many of us know is the adult version--welcome speeches by Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor and black-tie-clad fashionistas and philanthros swarming around in a pre-Fashion Week buzz. But the second night of Passport--Macy's deems Teen Night.

And it's official--if I could do everything with teenagers instead of adults, I would. From the rivalrous high school chants across the show floor to their unbridled enthusiasm for the washboard abs of the male underwear models to their kick-ass style--these kids are just plain cooler than half the grown ups I know.

Some stylin' teens from the pre-show reception...

And the award for the most stylish couple goes to...

These guys were popping and locking. Or voguing and wacking. We couldn't be sure...

My friend and I got temp tattoos. Because, though we may have been the oldest folks there, we've still got edge...

Hugo Boss showcased the worst design of the evening. A Peter Pan-esque number that I hope I never see off the catwalk...

And the most popular style of the night was, naturally, the one that involved the least actual clothing...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Laugh Track: Molly Sims takes on Brooke Shields' Latisse Ad

Brooke Shields has been plugging Latisse, the new treatment for 'inadequate' eyelashes for a while now. It was only a matter of time before someone took on the product, its absurdity, and it's long list of gruesome potential side effects. *

* If you are using prescription products for lowering eye pressure or have a history of eye pressure problems, only use LATISSE® under close doctor supervision. May cause eyelid skin darkening which may be reversible, and there is potential for increased brown iris pigmentation which is likely to be permanent. There is a potential for hair growth to occur in areas where LATISSE® solution comes in repeated contact with skin surfaces. If you develop or experience any eye problems or have eye surgery, consult your doctor immediately about continued use of LATISSE®. The most common side effects after using LATISSE® solution are an itching sensation in the eyes and/or eye redness.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The RSVP Line (Weekend Edition): MOD + Tarfest + Abbot Kinney Festival

It's the mother f+cking weekend. Do you know where you'll be spending it?

SATURDAY, September 26

* TARFEST is back this weekend and bringing culture to Mid-Wilshire. This year, the fest's Saturday musical programming is curated by none other than our buddy Mark Sovel of Indie 103.1 fame. Local artists--The Deadly Syndrome, The Polyamorous Affair and others will rock out at the El Rey. Despite the lack of actual tar at this fest, we're fans. Visit Tarfest for details.

* The Love Movement is a group of artists that creates some of the sickest art I'm proud to hang on my very own walls. Go pick up your own TLM piece this Saturday at THE HUMAN PYRAMIDS ARTIST COLLECTIVE at Ghettogloss Gallery. They'll be showing with a bunch of other awesome artists. Making the world prettier one painting at a time. Go support artists.
* Also on Saturday, you can brave the Grove for panels with some of LA's most premiere design and fashion peeps at MOD: MATTERS ON DESIGN. I'm not advocating a trip to the Grove. I'm just telling you it's an option.

SUNDAY, September 27

What's green, musical and West of La Brea? The ABBOT KINNEY FESTIVAL. Amongst the awesome talent booked for this Venice fest are friends, The 87 Stick Up Kids. Don't miss 'em. Get your bike, your birkenstocks and your patience for crowds ready for a day in Venice. Get the schedule here.
Go forth and get cultured. Happy weekend.

Elevator confessionals.

We've all had a moment in the elevator. The door closes. You're all alone. You know you've got at least 15 seconds to let loose and act on elevator impulse. The security cam might be rolling, but out of sight, out of mind.

What do I do in the elevator?
I do squats.
I do tricep dips on the railing.
Sometimes, I keep my finger on the Doors Close button so that I can enjoy my ride without your company. Yeah, you.
Often, I hope the elevator will break mid-way and I will get to take a nap.
How do you ride?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Food Find: Judaken adds restaurateur to his resume with East

David Judaken is known for his longstanding impact on LA nightlife. He is perhaps most famous for opening Garden of Eden, the club whose impressive lifespan made Cats' stay on Broadway seem like a brief blip in time. Last year he opened MyHouse to great fanfare and made headlines again. But amongst things that Judaken had not become known for was food. It's not that his multiple nightclubs don't serve food. They do. But when you're at the club at 1 in the am, food serves only one purpose--and that's to sober up. Well, that changed last week when Judaken opened EAST Restaurant and Lounge to the fine-dining public of Hollywood. And last night I stopped by to test the culinary waters.

The menu earns its gold star for its sashimi selection, listed under the aptly named section 'I like it raw' (cue ODB's Shimmy Shimmy Ya song here along with an entire dirty conversation between dinner guests). Granted, I couldn't try these raw bites, but one of my dining mates (MyHouse regular DJ Jasepi) had the honor of tasting for the rest of us vegetarians. And speaking of us vegetarians--we didn't go hungry either. The Drunken Tofu (this is no joke. the tofu is literally soaked in sake and beer--you'd be drunk too) is fantastic. Crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, with a layer of cabbage and mushroom on top. As Judaken, who stopped by the table to say hello, says--this tofu could convert a carnivore. As I couldn't taste much of the menu, I asked Judaken what his personal favorite items on the menu are--the meaty ones I won't have the pleasure of trying myself--and he called out the tuna, the monkfish, and the chicken as his top choices.

We ended our meal with a dessert all eating styles can appreciate (well, except for those pesky vegans)--the bread pudding. Served with vanilla ice cream, green tea anglaise, and a mini croissant on top, it may be the menu item I return again [and again] for.

And I can't forget to mention the specialty cocktail menu. Three drinks incorporate serrano chiles. At least two are made with tea. And one is called East of Eden, which I adore for its fabulous puntasticness. Judaken's wife who had a large hand in crafting the drink menu, explained the name's duplicity--East Restaurant is just East of the now shuttered Garden of Eden (tear). And its more romantic meaning--the drink is pretty darn close to heaven. And it really, really is.

EAST Restaurant and Lounge
6611 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Steals & Deals: a post-Britney cocktail on Magnolia

Headed to the Britney show tonight to see if she sinks or swims? (What? You don't think I'm making a whale reference, do you? I would never.)

Well, after you see her embarrass herself show off her talent on stage, bring your show tickets over to one of my fave restaurant/lounges ever, Magnolia, to get yourself a complimentary VeeV cocktail. You may need a drink after the show. I'm just saying...

825 W. James M. Wood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

* valid tonight 09.23 only.

Suri Cruise wears higher heels than me.

Studies have shown that wearing high heels causes the same pattern of damage to women's feet as Chinese foot binding does (yeah, yeah--a far more moderate version). So, why not start damaging girls' feet as young as possible? Start them in heels while they're toddlers. Heck, start them in stilettos at infancy.

Suri Cruise shows us all that Babar and high heels do indeed go together on an afternoon out. Nicely done, Tom and Kate.

[Via NY Mag via NY Daily News]

Design Dish: literary Louis Vuitton

You can't afford a new Louis Vuitton purse this season. Don't worry--neither can the majority of American citizens. But you can probably manage to score a copy of 'Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture.' And the good news--the book, which documents LV's collaborations with stellar artists (including Frank Gehry, Takashi Murakami, David LaChapelle and Stephen Sprouse) over the years won't go out of style as soon as this season's newest handbag.

The book's on sale at major book retailers. But pop into a Louis Vuitton boutique or visit the brand online  and find the deluxle edition designed by Takashi Murakami, the man of a million bright colors and cutesy alien creatures himself.

Buy the book on Amazon.

Sounds: TV on The Radio's Kyp Malone goes solo.

I like TV on the Radio. I like Kyp Malone's facial hair. I think I like this song from his new solo endeavor. I love that this video was filmed in Downtown LA at Gehry's magnificent metal rose.

RAIN MACHINE aka Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio (dublab VisionVersion) from dublab on Vimeo.

[via Flavorwire]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brent Bolthouse breaks up with SBE.

Style Section LA--because they're awesome and on it and totally plugged in--just informed me that LA's most famous nightlife couple--Brent Bolthouse and Sam Nazarian's SBE--are breaking it off. Like, whoa.

[via Style Section LA]

Monday, September 21, 2009

Emmy beauties, busts and breasts.

I don't watch award shows. I don't watch enough TV to know who half the 'talent' are (Do Survivor contestants really count as talent? Seriously??) and I don't have a long enough attention span to sit through  the obligatory thank you speeches (to managers, to mothers, to lovers, to mistresses, to podiatrists) that follow.

What I do on award nights is generally a) work, and b) judge the stars and their hideous, hugely public mistakes.

Below--a recap of the stars that shone. And those who have clearly gone off their meds and fired their stylists.


Kate Walsh - I both admire that color on you and also the way your breasts are doing their thing in a dress that is clearly not meant to support adult size anatomy. Well done.

I know that cancer research is a priority, but shouldn't scientists be investigating how Heidi Klum maintains such a perfectly round, beach ball-esque bump?

Toni Collette--you go girl. That's all I have to say. You GO!

Olivia Wilde was the stunner of the night. I saw this dress in person and it was just as magnificent as it looks in the pictures. How it stays on is anyone's guess, but damn it looks good once it's on.

 In fact, she looked so good, the goodness warrants two pictures. Gorgeous.


Let's get the worst out of the way immediately. Because I need to address this and then never look back. Victoria Rowell. I'm gonna be real. I have absolutely no idea who you are. But friend--this dress is not ok. It is not even ok in some alternate universe where awful style is acceptable and you can dress like a blue dollar bill. The only thing that is redeeming about this dress is that there are no sleeves. Because any more of this pattern and I might have become severely ill.

I'm not sure what it is about this dress. But Mila Kunis evokes an image for me of Glenda, the Good Witch. Just imagine a wand in her right hand. Close your eyes. Click your heels three times. Make a wish. And perhaps this outift might start to look better.

I adore Patricia Arquette. She's my favorite Arquette, in fact. I adore Medium. I think Medium should win lots and lots of Emmy awards. I do not adore this dress or the gigantic mountain of a breast that's emerging from it however.

Til the next award show and the next style catastrophe,
Jessie B. R.

Awards, assaults and after parties.

You know you work in Hollywood when you can describe the previous night's activities in this way...

* Fought off herds of burly paparrazi men [and that one, sad femme pap as well, poor thing] as they stormed party arrivals.
* Nearly swiped someone's Emmy whilst tidying up a table.
* Hit a famed comedienne in the face (accidentally, accidentally).

You know you live in Koreatown when you can describe the later part of the night's activities in this way...

* Couldn't find a parking spot.
* Walked a 1/4 mile home in the dark, praying to make it to the door alive.
* Discovered a shortage of running water upon arrival home and had to wash soap off hands with bottled water.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Skin Deep: Placenta Facials erase wrinkles, make me ill.

The search for youthful looks is centuries old. Women--especially the Hollywood breed--are always chasing after wrinkle-free skin and baby soft complexions. But I recently learned of a beauty craze that's swept Hollywood that has me more queasy than curious. It's not that new to LA clinics anymore, but I'm thankfully late on this news...apparently placenta facials are the latest fad in anti-aging.

For those who don’t know, placentas are the organs that surround fetuses in the womb. Gross? Well, in their intended state--no--they're actually pretty functional and cool. But aestheticians are now promoting them as a radical beauty fix for aging patients. And yeah--that is pretty flipping gross.

Amongst the celebrities who have sought placenta treatments in Beverly Hills clinics and beyond? Supposedly, Denise Richards, Megan Fox and J. Lo are on the client list. I'm the first to admit--these ladies look good. But smearing childbirth remains over my face? Well, let's just say I'll take my chances with wrinkles.

What are your thoughts? Would you take a little placenta cream over those crows' feet sneaking up on you?


Saturday, September 19, 2009

My apologies for misleading the searching public.

Tonight I discovered Google's Webmaster Tools. (Now, the fact that I am home on a Saturday night exploring the ins and outs of search engine indexes is not the point here, so stop judging right now.)

I found that this blog has appeared in rather high positions for those searching for the following odd and 'dirty' items on the interweb...
  • how to make platform sneakers
  • stuffing my face
  • wider and thicker (not to be confused with...)
  • thicker and wider
  • gays cum
  • perversion los angeles
  • playboy c
I don't even recall writing about most of these things, let alone the context in which they were written. But to all those who may have landed here via Google in search of something a little steamier, slightly more pornographic, or containing more practical information about the making of platform kicks...I'm sorry. I hope that what you found here instead held your interest. If not, I suppose I could consider a future in online erotic literature (not unlike the 'fiction' of our more conservative Evangelical friend from South Carolina).

[Image Credit: Peter Driben]

Xs & Os: a 70 year romance and, finally, a wedding.

This is an incredibly romantic love story.

This is the kind of love story that kicks 'The Notebook's' ass.

This love story gives people hope that soul mates do exist.

This is the kind of lifelong romance that proves that when timing doesn't work out between sweethearts, sometimes the sweethearts just need to give it some time.

Beth Ashley and Rowland Fellows were childhood pals who spent summers in cottages in Maine and ran around a wharf and lived the authentic, romanticized life us newfangled modern kids tried to mimic in fancy summer camps in the Berkshires. They drifted apart, they married, they remarried, they bore children, they were widowed. And they found each other again 70 years later--both of them now in their 80s.
“Beth and I have been like two bookends, with almost 70 years of empty space between us,” Mr. Fellows said. “There’s a lot to catch up on, but we better do it quickly. We can always relax a little more toward the end.”
And this is why I love the NY Times Weddings section. Because out of every 25 or so stories about the MBA son of a Senator and a Mortgage Broker marrying the MBA daughter of a Professor of Political Science and a Lawyer, there is a story that is about love instead of graduate degrees. And this--this is truly inspiring.

[via the NY Times Weddings & Celebrations]
[Image Credit: NY Times]

art in LA: Christina M. Felice. Tonight.

Tonight's opening reception at the Edgar Varela Fine Art gallery in Downtown LA features not one, but two of LA's finest females. The show will feature new work from the lovely Christina Felice. It's collage. (And if you didn't know, now you'll know--I love collage. If I could stay home for my remaining years, cut things out, and put them back together in collage form, I would.) And as an added bonus, DJ Valida will provide tunes. Because two beautiful ladies [and their respective talents] are better than one.

Christina M. Felice
Patterned Spaces - Opening Reception
September 19, 6 – 11pm
Sponsored by Scion, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Music provided by DJ Valida

Edgar Varela Fine Art
542 S. Alameda, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sounds: Regina Spektor, how I adore thee

Regina Spektor is one of my favorite artists. I have Pandora to thank for introducing me to her music going on 2 years ago. So, thank you Pandora. I owe you my first born. *

The Soviet-born singer has a song for every season, is phenomenally talented, and has done all she's done (including scoring a place in the recent '(500) Days of Summer' soundtrack) in less than 30 years which impresses me to no end.

Regina Spektor happens to be playing LA's Greek Theatre next month. This is a fact I have known for a while and done very little about until now. Here is how very much I'd like to go to the show...
  • I would give up Diet Coke for a week to go.
  • I would beg, lie and steal to go.
  • I would buy a ticket with exorbitant 'Convenience' (convenient, my ass) Charges.
Because giving up Diet Coke would be like a terrible nightmare and I'm trying to stop lying, I'm going to opt for the latter, suck it up and buy some tickets. Perhaps you'll join me...

Regina Spektor
Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Wed, Oct 28, 2009
7:30 PM

Buy tickets to Regina Spektor at the Greek.

Give Regina a listen.

I leave you with one of my favorite Regina Spektor tunes...

* If Owner's first born is not available, she may provide a gift of equal or greater value. Something like a Macy's gift certificate.

In memory of the Unfamous amongst us.

There have been more celebrity deaths than I can recall this summer. And it's sad. It's completely heartbreaking that cancer, drugs and the occasional 'natural cause' are taking our famed citizens this year. But what I've overheard the thoughtful amongst us utter at each new celebrity passing is 'And what about the people who die every day? The ones who didn't make movies or serve in Senates?' What about them indeed.

So, chosen at random from the NY Times paid death notices, I'd like to take a moment to honor a person I've never met and now never will. One whose character and talents I can't speak to, but who seemed to have...a very large family.
Hannah Citron
CITRON--Hannah Bien, of Pembroke Pines, FL expired comfortably of natural causes September 11th. Born December 22, 1915 in Williamsburg, NY, she had resided in Maplewood and South Orange, NJ, and Davie, FL. Hannah's survived by sons Michael and Jonathan, and daughters Laura Gelber and Wendy Binioris, 11 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by husband, Seymour, and sons, Robert and Kenneth. Hannah was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.
Imagine having lived so long and winding up the matriarch of such a large family. It seems an incredible feat--one as worthy of remembrance as the fantastic dance scene from 'Dirty Dancing.' Which was, undeniably, incredible as well.

Goodnight Los Angeles.

"Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everyone's got a dream, some dreams come true, some don't 'cause this is Hollywood. So keep on dreaming."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's National [insert your cause here] Month.

I read somewhere yesterday that it's National Coupon Month. And I've decided the 'National Months' thing has gone too far. There are only 12 months. And I believe we've already far exceeded this number of specialty months which, apparently, the entire nation is expected to celebrate.

Here are the ones I'd like to continue to honor...
That's it.

You have a new idea for a Month? Make it a Day. We have more of those per year at least. A month--we just don't have any left to spare. Sorry.

And as for the National Coupon people, I'll let them have an hour. Starting now. Go forth and get discounts at the supermarket.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I wanna smell like...Beyonce??

Beyonce is just the latest in a slew of celebrities who are lending their names to perfumes, colognes, (perhaps even scented room sprays by now? Who knows!).

Now, I understand wanting to dress like a star. Who doesn't want to feel like they belong on a red carpet? And I sort of (maybe--kind of?) get those folks who get a new hair cut to match each of Jennifer Aniston's new dos. But smelling like a celeb? I'm just not sure I understand.

Last time I was in CVS, I took note of each celeb spray in the key-protected, glass-enclosed fragrance case (don't worry, CVS--no chance I'm trying to steal any of these).

Below, the celebs who've made it to the fragrance aisle and what I imagine their scents smell of...
Celine - Canadian sausage + glitter (does glitter smell? I hope so.)
Usher - A little like Aqua Velvet
David Beckham - Dirt and sweat (I don't imagine I'd mind David's sweat)
Hillary Duff - A little bit sweet--a little bit stale
Antonio Banderas - Rawhide with a splash of chile
Tim McGraw - Gumbo
Shania Twain - Canadian gumbo
Paris Hilton - Bleach + wet dog
Sarah Jessica Parker - Cotton candy + hairspray
Kimora Simmons - Does 'bitch' stink?
J-Lo - The Bronx
Jennifer Lopez - Miami
Mariah Carey - Valium
Britney Spears - Slurpees
Sean John - Ciroc vodka and cran

LAPD pretties up its new home in Downtown.

The LAPD has been building its new home in Downtown for months already. And it seems the fences are now down and the project finally near completion. I've watched the project unfold from the Times building across the street and have been eagerly anticipating the perks that will come with the LAPD's relocation--the safety of having LA's finest so close by and, of course, the hoardes of cute, uniformed dudes that will now join us corporate suits at the Downtown Farmers Market on Thursdays.

But what a nice surprise today to find that the foliage on the grounds of the courtyard is as fine as we hope the cops will be.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Design Dish: Chris Benz--I adore you.

No, I promise this hasn't become a fashion blog while you weren't looking. But what can I say--I guess NY Fashion Week is infectious. 3,000 miles away, I have caught wind of the excitement that's surely surrounding Bryant Park right now.

And all I'd like to say is: Chris Benz--I adore you.

And thank you.

[Image Credit: Imaxtree via NY Mag]

Monday, September 14, 2009

Design Dish: Zac Posen and his amazing horrific runway.

It's NY Fashion Week. And I'll admit that I've been paying less than a ton of attention. But I have love for Zac Posen--perhaps it's my admiration for his huge success at such a young, young, young (god, what am I doing wrong?) age or maybe it's his boyish good looks. Mostly it's the wearability of his fashions (ok, ok--his good looks too).

But this week's show completely confused my tastes. Some pieces made me want to run out and spend money I don't have. And others made me glad that Zac Posen is not in my price range.


If I had killer abs, teeny tiny breasts and balls to the wall confidence, I would wear this piece. In reality, I have none of these things. But I would still buy it. And try it on each night for myself. And covet it.

If I weren't a vegatarian, I'd wear blue fur every day. I'd sleep in it too.

Dresses like this make me wish for more cocktail party invites. (That's not necessarily a hint. But sure, I'll come to your party.)


The 80's are back. And they're way worse than ever. Hey la, hey la, the 80's are back.

If even the model looks slightly too curvy in this piece, that's surely a sign that none of us should buy this, yes?

If an ostritch were shot multiple times as target practice, tied with a bow and stuffed with a skinny blonde, I imagine it might look something like this.

Zac, I still heart you. But not so many cut-outs. Please god, not so many cut-outs.

[Image Credit: John Aquino via WWD]