Friday, May 31, 2013

Tonight in LA: Komodo Block Party

There is no time to finesse this post as this is happening NOW and it looks like too much fun to nitpick about showing off my creative writing skills. I want you to go to this thing! Tonight from 6 to 10pm Komodo, in conjunction with other gourmet food trucks and fashion trucks will be throwing a block party on Pico, Robertson & Olympic.

In addition to food and fashion, there'll be music courtesy of DJ Syntax. Just writing that makes me feel cool.

But I'm kinda all about the food. Some of the trucks making an appearance will be...

Lobsta Truck (Rolls & Bisque!)

Buttermilk's Truck (Fried Chicken with Cinnamon Waffles!)

The BSweet Truck (CUPCAKES!)

And The Bun Truck where you can get the most original cheesesteak you ever had. And some Duck Fat Fries. Why not? You've already crossed to the other side...

From their website
If you miss it, they'll be doing this block party the last Friday of the month all the way until September 27th. 

Click Here for more info.

That being said, you might want to just check out Komodo anyway. It truly is, as their tag line says, Dangerously Good Food. I just discovered it recently - yes, I'm late to this party - visiting their brick & mortar restaurant on Pico & Robertston. 

They first became most famous for their gourmet food truck (ergo, the party tonight):

That truck business helped them start this restaurant (though the truck obviously is both alive and dangerously well). Komodo's menu is very creative and tasty Asian Fusion that uses really high quality ingredients.

Now wherever you go in LA everyone's got a taco - in other words, each culture has adapted it's own version. And while Komodo's no exception...'s a damn fine taco! That is not something everyone can do. (Try their Signature with Top Sirloin. The third one from the left). 

yummy albeit sweet drinks (mine had fresh mint in it which I loved)
They also had these crab cakes and I do not lie, these might be the best crab cakes I've had in Los Angeles.

Deeee Dragon Lish.

While there we met the head chef and part owner...

Who looked like he could bounce small children off his chest. 

And we learned about a block party that for some reason I had in my head as tomorrow and it is in fact tonight!

So check it out. They have also this deal where if you post pics to Instagram with their hashtags you can win prizes. #picorobertson #blockparty.

Gosh, I'm sorry for the late notice. I don't even think I can make it! But if you go have a GREAT time and remember if you don't make it, the next one is June 28th and you can always visit their restaurant which is at 8809 West Pico Boulevard (cross street is Robertson) in Los Angeles.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good Car Music. Happy Thursday!

I heard this the other day and LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Really good driving music. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Best Place for Running Shoes in Los Angeles: Arch and Sole


When you're traveling, good shoes are beyond essential. But even if you just live in Los Angeles and are like me, eager to do your exercise outside because outside is NICE and it's one of the major reasons you moved here, well-fitted, thought-out and long-lasting running shoes are a must-buy. And yes, you might not be running, you might be hiking or you might be playing a specific sport -- but whatever it is you're doing you need to have the right sneaker. Is "sneaker" a word from the 70's? Is it an East Coast word? Whatever you call it - that thing that goes on your feet when you're stomping around burning calories HAS to be right. To ensure that you'll get a high quality shoe, quickly and at a reasonable price, go to the store I should have gone to when I went on Zappos where I bought really uncomfortable shoes because I was being lazy.

Go to Arch and Sole.

The guy who runs this place takes extra special care of you. He can tell by how you walk what is really going on with your feet. Just by looking he could see my feet are a little wide and I have a high instep. And my bunyon's more prominent on my right foot. When he measured me, I learned I'm 7 1/2 on the right. 8 on the left. With compassion, he let me know, "That's normal."

Maybe so but my feet suck. I inherited a lot of good physical stuff from my mom but the one thing that sucks and has sucked since childhood are my feet. They get sore easily, get blisters, have bunyons. I had surgery on them when I was in my early 20's (that would be like 3 years ago) but bunyons grow back. Thank God it took long enough that I did get to wear cool shoes for several years in the interim. That being said, I need to take special care of my piggly wigglies. And I don't want to spend a lot of money doing it. But I need to trust that the person selling me the goods knows what he's doing and is on the up and up. This guy is the real deal.

Meaning this store isn't huge, there's no blasting music and though they sell clothing and useful workout products, the selling point are the shoes and the personal attention you receive when buying them.

Meet Mahmoud. He's the Arch & Sole Owner and he is okay by me.
And afterwards, if you're not planning a run at The Silverlake Reservoir or a hike up at Runyon but rather you're a little bit hungry... you know, you worked up an appetite trying on shoes... right down the street, I mean like a few doors down is...

Pink's Hot Dogs. Established in 1939.
I can't say whether or not to eat at Pink's.
Photo by Giant Robot
That all depends on what you're made of. But I can say THE coolest thing to me about Pink's is it's where Sean Penn asked Madonna to marry him. I think that alone would make me do a little swing by. And it's a hot dog. Every now and again... as long as you're working out, right?

And now, allow me to introduce my new running shoe-sneakers!

By the way, Mahmoud said that if I was unhappy I could exchange them. Even after a couple of weeks. He said, and I quote, "I stand by my work." 

No kidding.

"I stand by my work."


Arch & Sole is located at 745 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Nearest cross street is Melrose. Open mon-sat 10-7. sun 11-5.


Mahmoud's also selling different black American Apparel shirts for 3 bucks a shirt or 2 for $5. It goes to some fund raiser for his daughter's school. 3 bucks. Come on! (I've been watching the entire second season of "Arrested Development" to get me primed to binge watch the new episodes. Meaning, "come on" has special significance).

Enjoy! Come on!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Korean BBQ Sunday at Susan Feniger's Street. Yay!

I had so much fun yesterday at Street...

...where we enjoyed a lazy Sunday of FABULOUS Korean BBQ with all the fixins...

Kimchi Station
Grill Station

The above was a typical plate: some kimchi (there were several to choose from like Fresh Peach and Carrot Scallion) Grilled Corn and a Mixed Seaweed Salad.

Though the most important part of the day might have to go to...

Pulled Pork Sliders with Gochujang Miso Barbecue Sauce. Though I must say the Ssamjang Chicken and the Beef Shortrib Skewers with Asian Pear and Hyangshin Sesame Barbecue Sauce were to die for. 

Still, sometimes it's the smallest thing that can float your boat. I was ba-lown away by this little drink:

It was a Tamarind mixture. Like Lemonade but Tamarind-ade. It was one of the best drinks I've had in a long while. Unique flavors and completely addictive - and yet no alcohol. Hmmm. Yay!

Me & My Cute Friend, Ellen. We were so happy.
The party was thrown in conjunction with Giant Robot...

I took that picture without having yet met either one of them but they were the geniuses that steered this ship. Kajsa Alger is the Executive Chef and Partner at Street and her cooking -- it just comes from the heart. Eric Nakamura is the publisher and founder of Giant Robot. They had an Asian Pop Culture magazine for a long while and their brick & mortar shop on Sawtelle in West LA sells all sorts of Asian pop art goodies including some of what I'm about to show you. I loved this stuff.

Air Plants for 9 bucks
I happen to think air plants are for people who truly aren't trying to kill plants they simply just don't know how to keep them alive. These are SO easy you really have to be a plant murderer to screw this up. [My first foray into owning air plants happened as a result of my interview with Valerie Jurado, a wonderful floral designer out here in Highland Park. She was making them as ornaments this past Christmas].

They're really freakin cute, aren't they?

I also became kind of transfixed by these:

Handmade Coffee Mugs by Mari Nakamura. $20.
The thing that hypnotized me most was the shape of each cup was unique to that cup. In other words, you'd always know it was your mug.

I guess the thing I'm realizing about Giant Robot - the allure of their products was not just about how thinks looked but how they felt. It all reminded me of being a kid. Case in point...

Kwik Coin Purses $4
Rubbery purses - the size of the palm of your hand - called Kwik Coin Purses (I think). On the other side is a slit to stow away secret treasures like notes to your best friends, friendship rings or 50 cent pieces. They're fun to touch and squish and Eric was saying he remembered them from when he was a kid. I kind of do too now but at the time I couldn't quite place them. I love stuff like that. And by the way, you can order Giant Robot products online if you can't make it there. Just click HERE to see what they have to offer.

Maybe because of the playfulness of Giant Robot or the fact it was almost entirely buffet style, but this whole experience felt less like we were hanging out at a restaurant and more like we were at a really good party with awesome food. Though truth be told, I've often found that to be the case at Street.

Shishito Pepper & Shitake Mushroom Skewers from the Kitchen Window

Bibimbap Brown Rice Salad in Lettuce Leaf - deeeeeeelish dish
My husband, Ellen & Carlos. 3 of my favorite peeps.
I'm missing one photo that is driving me crazy. It was of two of the Grill Station employees, Kat and Manny (whom I kept calling Vinny. Sorry Vinny). Manny's preparation for the meats for grilling well.. He bears a lot of responsibility for my happy memories. And Kat was just super nice and is out here from New Orleans and I just want to say Hello Kat! Remember to check out Pazzo Gelato!

You know how I won't talk about a place if I don't think it's worth it? Like I didn't create this thing to write negative stuff about any place be it a shop, restaurant or gallery. I think there's enough of that online. And all the places I cover - if they're not an actual famous site or piece of street art or something - are small businesses. One bad review and well you know, that could be very lethal. I figure there's enough of that out there and I'd rather just weed out the bad and steer you towards the good.

But what qualifies as "good" isn't only a testimony to the quality of the product. For example, I love the food at Street and have since it first opened. I knew it was special for many reasons but the reasons I feel comfortable blogging about anything come down to quality, uniqueness and the customer service -- which has to be awesome.  At Street that certainly is the case. They treat you like family -- that is if your family is nice to you and cleans up after you and sees to your every need. Okay they don't treat you like family. Whose family is like that? They treat you the way you should be treated at a restaurant. 

Chef Kajsa & Rose the Manager
Now know that if you go, not everything from this particular event will be on the menu. The menu at Street rotates. But most likely you'll find a couple of the items featured here. No matter what, you'll learn about food. And you'll have a good time.

Susan Feniger's STREET, located at 742 N. Highland Ave., LA, CA 90038. 323.203.0500. Hours: sun-thurs 5-10pm, fri-sat 5-10pm, brunch sat & sun from 11-3 and fri lunch 12-3. $5 cocktails at the bar every fri from 12-7pm. I recommend making reservations. They have valet but you usually can find street parking.

And now I have to get back into the day. What a beautiful day it is! I've always loved Memorial Day Weekend but let's face it, this is a pretty somber "holiday." I think it's important to acknowledge why it exists - it's true meaning -- which is to pay our respect and express our gratitude to those who've made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. I don't know what to say beyond that. I suppose I simply wanted to express that out loud and will take some time to think about that as the day moves on. Regardless of where you fall on the scale of politics and discussions about this country -- I find it's important to know not everything is about you. But a lot has been done and is being done for you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

What To Do In LA This Weekend: Reggae Festival, Gallery Opening & Korean BBQ at Susan Feniger's Street


Oh my God I love Santigold. Or Santigod. Your pick. This weekend she's performing amongst many others on UCLA's Intramural Field for the 27th annual JazzReggae Festival. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend. So why not braid your hair and gently rock your body back and forth with your eyes half closed for awhile? 

She'll be on the first day, May 26th. Also jamming on their Sunday line-up will be Common and LA's own Ryan McDermott. Then on the 27th, the artists include Marcia GriffithsMr. Vegas and Ziggy Marley.

Remind me to tell you my Ziggy Marley story.  

If only I could remember it. 

It was Jamaica. 

It was a long time ago.

That's not really why I can't fully remember it. 

They'll have the usual tie-dye shirts and stuff up for grabs but they'll also have art on display and jewelry and clothing for sale. Personally I think the big selling point (aside from the music of course) will be the tons of delicious food on hand including Jamaican dishes from Auntie P's, Ethiopian food, and Hawkin's Burgers which seriously looks so AMAZING they're worth the price of admission alone.

Click here for more information about how to get tix. [p.s.: if you buy them ahead of time you save a little cashola].

I seem to remember imitating Barbara Walters or maybe it was my friend Ellen who became Barbara. Or maybe none of that happened... Ah, Jamaica...

Now on a smaller scale, Saturday night there's a really cool gathering happening for an AWESOME cause. Take a swing by Dustmuffin at 3517 Sunset in Silverlake. Their Gallery will be premiering art by Marc Fellner known for his animal portrait art. A portion of the proceeds from the event will help raise funds for two great animal rescue organizations: Sante D'or and The Linda Blair World Heart Foundation.

The party starts at 4 but the store opens at 10 a.m. So if you're in the hood, you should check it out anyway. Seriously, this isn't just a gallery. In fact Dustmuffin happens to be one of the best gift shops in LA. Here's a sample of their very fine goodies:

Candy Dish (or Dessert Tray?) $37.50

old-timey clocks

skull earrings

Bacon Socks

Solid Perfume for $28

Music Boxes

Indie Wrapping Paper

I would've killed for this horse when I was a kid
Like I said, the store opens at 10. And the event goes until 8 pm. There'll be wine and art and stuff to buy and lots of peeps and this dog...

Dog Not For Sale
Lastly if you're thinking It's vacation. It's a long weekend. All I want to do is hang, graze and shmooze, you can do it to your heart's content this Sunday at Susan Feniger's Street.

Giant Robot, Street Exec Chef and Susan's Partner Kajsa Alger along with Feniger will be hosting a Korean BBQ party all day and into the night. The cooking and pop up shopping starts at noon and runs until 9pm. It's a very open air type restaurant - one of my all-time favorites in Los Angeles - so you know the food's gonna be goooooooooooood.


Street's located on Highland just above Melrose in Hollywood. Tickets for this event are $45 at the door which includes 4 drink tickets. If you call and buy in advance - I don't know how far in advance - it's only $35. Just give them a ring at 323-203-0500.

Kimchi, Sake Punch and Korean tacos - Oh 나의!

Have a great weekend and who knows, maybe I'll see you!