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 – When Elsa Longhauser first opened the doors of a small Industrial District warehouse in 2015, she was greeted by the remains of an apparel factory that had long churned out cheap clothes for teenagers.
The warehouse needed a lot of improvements, but the bow-truss ceilings, original skylights, brick walls and a spacious rectangular main room suggested a perfect fit for an art museum. It did not take long for Longhauser, then the executive director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art, to decide she had found the institution’s new home.
The museum had for nearly two decades been headquartered at the Bergamot Station Arts Complex on the eastern edge of Santa Monica, anchoring a smattering of respected galleries. Rising rents and a dispute over potential future redevelopment, however, led to the institution’s departure.
It announced the move to Downtown Los Angeles, and the new name the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, last summer.
Last Wednesday, Longhauser stood in the warehouse, taking in the frantic energy to complete construction and install the final pieces of art before the public opening on Saturday, Sept. 7 (after Los Angeles Downtown News went to print). The soft-spoken figure, dressed in a modest smock and her favorite tasseled headband, smiled often as she paced the floor, checking in and offering encouragement to workers.
“It is quite stressful, as we’re pushing to the finish line,” Longhauser remarked. “It’s anxious. But it is a new era, after all.”
The facade has been lacquered in shades of gray and bright yellow, reflecting the new logo designed by acclaimed L.A. artist Mark Bradford. The font riffs on the block letters used in the iconic merchant street posters. The colors make ICA LA pop on an otherwise dusty, nondescript chunk of Seventh Street.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The Arts District restaurant Fifty Seven opened in April with the concept of changing the top chef every few months. Now, the restaurant has announced that opening chef David Nayfeld will depart on May 31 to make way for Josh Drew.
Drew was most recently the executive chef at Santa Monica’s Farmshop and has experience working in the kitchens of acclaimed chef Thomas Keller. He will change of Fifty Seven’s core menu, and he hinted in a press release that his cooking will lean on fresh produce and seafood.
Initial menu items will include wild spot prawns “a la plancha” with buttermilk and grilled black kale pesto, Persian cucumbers with mulberries and crème fraiche, and king salmon with razor clams and tomato.
Fifty Seven’s beverage program is also getting a refresh with a collaboration with bar group Proprietors LLC, which owns Honeycut in South Park.
Located at 712 S. Santa Fe Ave. or www.fiftysevenla.com
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 .
The Abbey Food + Bar will have a “drag-centric” brunch hosted by the West Hollywood dive “Momma.” All moms in attendance will receive a free mimosa with a purchase of an entrée. Located at 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar will offer guests a three-course brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all of its locations. The price per person is $39.95 and each mom will receive a $25 dining card valid for a future visit.
One Pico will offer a three-course meal for $80 that includes lobster risotto, salmon tartare, a raspberry chocolate tart and more. Located at 1 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
Shutter’s Coast Beach Café & Bar will have a three-course prix-fixe menu for $42 with market greens, Alaskan halibut, mascarpone cheesecake and more. Located at 1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica
The Queen Mary is serving up a Champagne brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Prices are $59.99 per person and $19.95 per child 12 and under. Located at 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach
Get excited meat lovers! A new outpost of a boutique butcher shop and restaurant Belcampo Meat Co. is slated to open at Grand Central Market on March 17. The shop will offer a wide variety of meats from animals that have been raised with ethical practices – most of Belcampo’s products are free-range and grass-fed on the company’s own farm near Mt. Shasta.
In addition, Belcampo offers prepared foods for diners who don’t want to cook. Dishes for the Downtown location include a twice-cooked duck bun, a signature cheeseburger with dry-aged beef and a “Marrakesh cheesesteak” with seared goat leg, harissa aioli and feta cheese.
Belcampo will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The original storefront opened in Larkspur, CA in late 2012, and Belcampo is also expanding to Santa Monica later this year.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Along with the Downtown LA arts district, the industrial district just got a little bit cooler. They area, which is already the home of Night Gallery on the southern edge of downtown, saw the opening Friday night of the Mistake Room. The non-profit exhibition space will feature contemporary arts and artists, and visiting curators from all over the world.
The Mistake Room is a 4,500-square-foot former metal warehouse which is still unrenovated, with cracked concrete floors and exposed insulation. It is the brainchild of former LAXART associate director and senior curator Cesar Garcia, who was also a curator of the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A. 2012” show.
The inaugural exhibition, “Distribution Center,” featured paintings, videos and an installation by Colombia-born, London-based artist Oscar Murillo. The crowd at the private opening Friday was a mix of art collectors and gallerists, some of whom had flown in from New York and foreign points beyond, as well as local artists, curators and members of the Mistake Room’s board of directors.
The Mistake Room, Garcia said, fills a void in Los Angeles. Although L.A. boasts a lively gallery scene, nonprofit arts groups and large museums, he felt there was a lack of midsize, non-collecting exhibition spaces putting on museum-quality contemporary art shows. The Santa Monica Museum is the closest place in the region that he could compare to the Mistake Room.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – As plans move ahead for the $1.366 billion Regional Connector, a potential new design element is coming into focus: a pedestrian bridge at the proposed Second and Hope streets station.
Plans call for having elevators stop both at ground level and 23 feet above Hope Street, at the same level as the Broad’s proposed plaza deck. The entrance would be at Second and Hope streets, and a series of elevators would take patrons 77 feet below street level to the station concourse.
A contract for the station is expected to be awarded by April.
Leadership Committee members said the pedestrian bridge is vital for safety and traffic flow improvement. John Wellborne, a member of the council and president of the Angels Flight Railway Association, warned that not going forward with a bridge would be equivalent to the long-ago decision not to connect Metro trains directly to LAX.
The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile underground light rail route that, when completed, will provide a one-seat, one-fare ride for commuters from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Travelers will no longer need to transfer between rail lines for major east/west and north/south trips. It is scheduled to open in 2020.
In additional to Second and Hope, stations will be at Second Street and Broadway and First Street and Central Avenue. The leadership committee will assemble a marketing package for the project, specifically citing a list of benefits of having the pedestrian bridge.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Matteo Ferdinandi, who in 2008 partnered with Chef Celestino Drago to open the 9,500-square-foot Drago Centro, is working on a new project called The Factory Kitchen, a 3,000-square-foot Italian restaurant set to open in late September.
Ferdinandi said in a statement “We are thrilled to bring a restaurant that features our Italian roots to LA’s Art District. We want to offer an upscale, elegant cuisine and a meticulously thought-out wine list to our customers, but in a comfortable atmosphere.”
Behind the kitchen at the new restaurant will be Italian-born Chef Angelo Auriana, who has previously worked as executive chef at Piero Selvaggio’s Valentino Ristorante in Santa Monica.
Factory Kitchen will serve traditional Italian fare with a lighter menu for brunch and lunch and a “regionally-inspired trattoria menu” for dinner, according to officials.
The new restaurant will be located at 1300 Factory Place.
When it opens, The Factory Kitchen will join Bestia, another high-profile Arts District restaurant that has become one of the most popular Italian spots in the city. Bestia opened last year at 2121 E. Seventh Place.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The Arts District has always been known for its creative culture but this weekend, it will be more creative than usual as it fills with more than 50 bands, comedy performances and poets on several stages.
The event, which has historically been held in Silver Lake since its founding in 2010, is coming to Downtown Los Angeles for the first time. Approximately, 10,000 people are expected to attend the Jubilee Music and Arts Festival at a warehouse complex near Sixth Street and Santa Fe Avenue.
Jubilee, moved to downtown so crews could have more space and time to set up. The event runs from Friday, June 7, from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. and June 8, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. The action will take place on four separate stages called Sunset, Hoover, Santa Monica and Myra.
The Friday headliners include Black Lips, which takes place on the Sunset stage at 10:45 p.m. Getting top billing on Saturday is Brooklyn indie rockers The Drums, known for mixing upbeat pop songs with darker, introspective tunes.
Live music is not the only form of art that attendees can enjoy. The Jubilee lineup also includes nearly a dozen comedians performing Friday and Saturday at 9:15 p.m. on the Santa Monica stage as well as a mix of international and local poets. The festival will also have a beer garden, artwork, a clothing sale and food trucks.