DTLA – On Thanksgiving, Downtowners once again can give back. The nonprofit Gobble Gobble Give is organizing volunteers to prepare and deliver meals for homeless individuals around the region. The Downtown Los Angeles event is at The Regent theater at 448 S. Main St., starting at 10 a.m. This marks the nonprofit’s 21st year packing meals. Those interested in volunteering can sign up online or show up at the theater on Thanksgiving morning; the organizers are also accepting food donations. Gobble Gobble Give is organizing additional volunteer events in Santa Monica and Echo Park. More information is at gobblegobblegive.org.
DTLA—Downtown Los Angeles will be singing along to “Rock Lobster” next month. That’s because the B-52s have been announced as the headliner of the 2018 Night on Broadway.
The fourth edition of the free arts and music festival takes place on Saturday, Jan. 27, and will activate Broadway between First Street and Olympic Boulevard. The B-52s will be joined on the main stage by “Lowrider” purveyors War and cumbia and boleros band La Santa Cecilia.
This installment of Night on Broadway also celebrates the 10th year of 14th District City Councilman José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway Initiative. Huizar launched the program in 2008, and the historic corridor has since seen significant investment, as well streetscaping improvements and a reduction of car lanes.
Six of Broadway’s historic theaters will be utilized, with performances including a burlesque act at the Palace Theatre and a tribute to the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and music in the Million Dollar Theatre.
Other elements of Night on Broadway include a “Ladies First” stage at Eighth Street focused on women artists, and an LGBTQ block party at Fourth Street organized by DTLA Proud.
Last year’s event drew more than 75,000 people.
More information and the full lineup is at nightonbroadway.la.
One couple peers east on First Street, looking for a doorway into the Newberry Lofts. They turn back and notice the glow of fluorescent lights — the entrance waits in an alley off Vignes Street.
Upstairs, chef Jason Fullilove greets visitors as they enter a cozy loft wrapped in brick, wood beams and rustic-chic furniture. The scents of warm bread and roasting meat waft in the air.
Over the next two hours, Fullilove will serve a four-course dinner to about 20 people, with dishes including grilled Spanish octopus on polenta and sea urchin with black rice and kimchi. The cocktails flow freely. The meal costs $45.
This isn’t an actual restaurant, but a sort of Airbnb for chefs, one of several in Downtown Los Angeles. They allow chefs to rent a space for a night or longer and experiment with ingredients or techniques without paying for the infrastructure of an actual restaurant. Fullilove is cooking in a space run by the company Feastly, and up in Chinatown there is Unit 120. A third spot, Crafted Kitchen, will arrive soon.
Fullilove, the former executive chef at Clifton’s, has been testing his concept for “elevated soul food,” dubbed Barbara Jean, and views the Feastly dinners as an extended workshop before taking the idea to a permanent restaurant.
“It takes a lot of pressure off me to find a location, work out the pricing, find the furniture and equipment,” Fullilove said. “I can focus on building my brand, my site, and the actual food. I’ve been learning a lot.”
Alvin Cailan, who opened Unit 120 in February, likens his space to a baseball team’s farm system, where new chefs can experiment and minimize risk.
One Unit 120 success story is Lasa, a modern Filipino restaurant run by brothers Chase and Chad Valencia. The duo had garnered attention and confidence from pop-ups around the city before they were drawn to Unit 120, which has a minimalist dining room and a large attached kitchen. They do dinners there several nights a week.
“The idea we loved was the consistency. When you do a dinner a month, you’re hyping up one night. But the business can’t be judged by that,” said Chase Valencia. “We were doing multiple dinners a week, changing the menu every month, so it became real R&D.”
Add Cailan’s recognized position in the city’s food scene, and Lasa caught fire. Even L.A. Times critic Jonathan Gold visited, praising elegant takes on Filipino dishes like kinilaw (citrus-marinated raw fish) and pinakbet (vegetable stew).
Cailan selects partners based on their experience and growth potential. Some arrive fully formed, as with the Valencias. Others are more green, but if they have a good idea, Cailan and his team (which includes pastry chef Isa Fabro and chef Lung Ly) can help.
Unit 120 charges a flat fee of about $400 for a seated dinner, and Cailan suggests partners sell at least 30 tickets at $40-$70 each. If they break a set number of tickets, Unit 120 takes an additional 10%.
Other Unit 120 residencies include Golden Boys (chefs Hunter Pritchett and Adam Midkiff, serving eclectic Chinese food) and Chinoko (modern Japanese izakaya food from Alex Chang). Cailan also courts private meetings with chefs and investors for menu and brand development.
Unit 120 makes a small profit for Cailan, who also runs the mega-hit Eggslut, but that’s not the aim of the incubator, he said. Los Angeles has “nothing but money” for restaurants, Cailan notes, thrown around by the “most ambitious investors in the country.”
“There’s way more investors than qualified chefs. Cooks know that but they’ll take anyone’s money to open their own restaurant,” Cailan said. “They get amazing build-outs and kitchens and they open flat, and next thing you know, someone else is moving in.”
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – It was big news when Chef Ben Ford’s Culver City gastropub Ford’s Filling Station closed after eight years. Ford’s eatery, however, is now the restaurant in the lobby of the J.W. Marriott hotel in L.A. Live, replacing L.A. Market.
Ford’s Filling Station quietly debuted on Wednesday, Dec. 3, and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours are 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., then 5:30-10 p.m. for dinner. There is also a weekend brunch from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
No matter when you dine, expect the same rustic American dishes that Ford built his name on; highlights included a smoked pork chop with a Brussels sprout and squash hash, pan seared halibut with artichokes, and braised beef cheeks with salsa verde.
Located at 900 W. Olympic Boulevard or www.lalive.com
They closed a three-block stretch of Pacific Boulevard. They put extra patrols on the street, including officers on horseback. Emergency response teams throughout the county were placed on alert. For a brief moment after Mexico’s 2-1 loss to the Netherlands in Sunday’s World Cup soccer match in Brazil, it looked like there could be a repeat of the unruly behavior that erupted on the city’s streets after Mexico’s victory against Croatia on June 23. That incident resulted in several arrests.
This time, hundreds of soccer fans gathered on and around Pacific Avenue about 11 a.m. after the disappointing loss, waving Mexican flags, honking horns and chanting for their team. Police in riot gear stood down one boisterous group gathered at the corner of Florence Avenue. Another band of revelers shook a passing car; others jumped on a flatbed truck.
Fortunately, there were no arrests, and by 2 p.m. the crowd dispersed.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The Gas Company Tower has struggled with low occupancy over the past few years, recently clocking in at just 72% filled. Now, however, owner Brookfield Office Properties has snagged a top-notch tenant. Brookfield announced this week that is has inked a deal with accounting firm Deloitte to fill about 113,000-square-feet of space in the skyscraper at 555 W. Fifth Street. The move is scheduled to happen by the end of the year, according to Brookfield, and as a part of the deal Deloitte will place its corporate logo at the top of the 50-story Gas Company Tower.
“Brookfield enjoys a long-standing relationship with Deloitte across the country and around the globe and is very pleased to have the opportunity to expand that relationship in Los Angeles,” said Brookfield Western Region Executive Vice President Bert Dezzutti.
The firm will be vacating 276,300-square-feet at Two California Plaza, according to real estate data company CoStar Group Inc. The Deloitte deal brings occupancy at the Gas Company Tower to about 80%, according to Brookfield.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Fruity cocktails have popped up on the patio of Beelman’s Pub, a new bar and restaurant that’s had its soft opening near the corner of 6th and Spring streets in DTLA. It is the latest venture from ACME Hospitality Group, which also owns Spring St., Library Bar, Laurel Tavern, Sixth St. Tavern and King Eddy Saloon.
Tom Block, who recently made the move to Los Angeles after working as executive chef at Red Table Catering and Falai in NYC, is helming the kitchen. He’s created a menu of what ACME partner Will Shamlian calls food with a slight European twist.
Dishes include a pub burger with bacon, Grafton cheddar and grainy mustard on a potato bun with fries, herb spaetzel with Emmentaler cheese and Wagyu beef carpaccio with mustard aioli, watercress truffle and grana padano. There are also oysters on the half shell with a malt vinegar mignonette, chicken liver mousse on English muffin and Scotch onion soup with Gruyere, crouton and single malt Scotch.
ACME enlisted the help of Proprietors LLC to create a European-inspired cocktail list. Signature drinks include the Phantom Limb, made with Armagnac, Ramazzotti Amaro, dry Vermouth and orange marmalade; the Bombardier, with blended Scotch, China Amer, fresh lemon juice and Castilian bitters; and the Accidental Guru, made with Irish Whiskey, Crème de Peche, ginger, fresh lime juice and Blanche de Bruxelles.
Los Angeles- The City of Santa Monica’s historic Woodlawn Cemetery, Mortuary & Mausoleum is hosting their 76th Annual Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 11a.m. During the celebration, the Commemorative Wall will be unveiled. The Wall will honor Santa Monica Veterans who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Other program highlights include patriotic music by The Santa Monica Oceanaires, a Condor Squadron Missing Man Formation Flyover, and guest speakers. This is a family friendly event. Food will be available for purchase from Earls Grille. Parking for the event will be at Santa Monica College, Lot 6. A shuttle will be provided by TourCoach Charter to Woodlawn. No parking on site. To learn more about Woodlawn Cemetery, Mortuary & Mausoleum and our events, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WoodlawnSM .
Los Angeles- Memorial Day weekend is coming up and UCLA annual JazzReggae Festival is in set to start the celebration! The line-up for the 28th annual JazzReggae Festival was announced and it includes the one and only Snoop Dogg!
The festival will take place on Memorial Day Weekend on May 25th-26th at the UCLA Intramural Field. The two days are separted into 2 events; “Jam Day” (Sunday) & “Reggae Day” (Monday). The lineup for Jam Day consists of Southern California-natives Snoop Dogg and Aloe Blacc, who recently performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, while Reggae Day will include Jamaican vocalist Mavado and the Grammy Award-winning reggae group Black Uhuru.
General admission tickets went on sale Monday at 10 a.m. and include two-day passes as well as single-day tickets. Student tickets for the event, however, will be done by lottery. Lottery winners will be notified about having a ticket for either Jam Day or Reggae Day placed on their BruinCard, and will have the option to purchase a ticket for the other day of the festival for $5.
More information about general ticket sales as well as the UCLA student lottery is available via the JazzReggae website.
Los Angeles- It’s about that time of the year; the NBA is approaching the end of its season but luckily basketball doesn’t end there. Located in South Los Angeles, just right off the corner of E. 120th & Compton Ave in the gym of King Drew Magnet High School, many NBA players such as our very own Laker’s superstar Nick Young, James Harden, John Wall, Dorell Wright & even many celebrities such as the rapper THE GAME and Chris Brown come to play in the hottest summer leagues in town!
The goal of the Drew League is help young adults form relationships on the court and off, in hopes that it will spread throughout the neighborhood and also to build a foundation that would bring local high school, college and pro players back to the community. Alvin Willis established the Drew League in 1973 with 6 only teams. He believed this league could be a place for young men and women of South Central Los Angeles to learn life lessons through basketball and as a longtime friend and mentor to Dino Smiley, Willis decided it was time to let Smiley have a shot at directing the league. By 1985 the league had grown from the original 6 teams to 10 teams. Today the league matches up 20 “invitation-only” teams to battle it out on the hardwood.