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Curtain Rising for Academy Museum L.A. Museums: A treasure trove of art and culture as diverse as our city


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From the publishers The word treasure conjures up deep emotions and excitement in just about everybody. We literally have a trove of cultural treasure within our city. It is displayed in various venues around town. Perhaps as a classic car that resembles a fine piece of sculpture. Or 50,000 cigarettes arranged to look like a Bengal tiger. From the classic exhibits at the Getty to the performance art at MOCA, Los Angeles seems to cover every aspect of art interpretation. Although some of our treasure remains buried for now, the annual dig at Pit 91 at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum continues to reveal new relics of the past. The curtain is set to rise on the muchanticipated new crown jewel of Wilshire Boulevard. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will feature movies, props, sets, equipment, and profiles of the women and men who have shaped the industry for more than 100 years. With a target opening date set for early 2020, the city anxiously awaits the new treasure chest of movie history to be revealed.

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Venturing on to the culinary arts, Musso & Frank celebrates its 100th anniversary this month as the oldest restaurant in L.A. Yes - have a martini! See page 56. The BLVD at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel has one of the hottest new chefs in town. Cory Burgan is truly a gastronomic innovator, see page 6. Get out of the zip code and head to Santa Barbara. The historic El Encanto Hotel has recently undergone a $130-million upgrade and restoration. It boasts a terrific restaurant and magnificent views overlooking the Pacific. El Encanto positively lives up to its name. Rick Caruso’s fabulous new property, the Rosewood Miramar Hotel, features incredible grounds and amenities with a fine dining experience that feels like the lido deck of a luxury liner. Theater is a big part of our cultural wealth and Los Angeles is home to iconic venues including the Pantages, El Capitan, The Wallis, Ford and Saban theaters. See page 78 for upcoming performances.

So ladies and gentlemen, take your seats – the show is about to begin! Michael and Karen Villalpando Publishers

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at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel Chic, clubby cocktails, sophisticated cuisine B Y K A R E N V I L L A L PA N D O



he sleek, black onyx bar and lush seating welcome the young professional crowd for after-work cocktails at The BLVD. The chic restaurant and lounge have been a popular meeting spot, and now guests can expect new and enticing cuisine to pair with their hand-shaken cocktails. A snazzy young chef is spicing up the menu at The BLVD at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, bringing innovative ideas and a fresh approach to the kitchen. The handsome Chef Corey Burgan, who leads the kitchen as chef de cuisine, is a Toronto-born Canadian who perfected his skills at Mistura, an Italian restaurant in his native city. He came to Los Angeles in 2015 and rose to the position of executive sous chef for Curtis Stone’s Maude restaurant in Beverly Hills. In 2018, he arrived at The BLVD,

bringing his finely-honed skills and charming personality. Burgan created a menu all his own, fusing Italian into the California based menu yet also leaning Mediterranean. The result is an eclectic selection of shareable dishes and larger profile entrées showcasing his inventive and artful talents. Begin with one of the craft cocktails, like the Forbidden Fruit, made with Ketel One vodka, Poire Williams eau de vie, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, pear, apple and lime. Or if you’re “feeling pretty,” try the drink of the same name in homage to a Hollywood celebrity and movie filmed at the hotel. Moët & Chandon brut champagne is poured over a mix of Belvedere vodka, Combier peche liqueur and raspberries. The crimson cocktail is adorned with a mini rose, eliciting a smile from the patron who orders it. (In this case, me.)

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Chef Corey Burgan

The jovial atmosphere in the lounge carries to the dining room. While certainly not loud, the mood is light and friendly. Chef greeted us at our table and detailed his intriguing menu. We started with the bagna cauda comprised of white anchovies and stracciatella, served with chickpea crisps. The light and airy dip combined the creamy cheese with briny anchovies and the chick-pea crisps – incontinues on page 14

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Enchanting El Encanto




ith Gatsby-esque charm, the Belmond El Encanto high in the hills above Santa Barbara beckons travelers to its charming cottages, elegant dining room and tranquil lily pond. The resort has provided splendid comfort for guests looking for a quiet respite from busy Los Angeles for more than 100 years. Featuring two distinctive styles of architecture – California craftsman and Spanish colonial – the hotel emerged from a $134-million restoration to once again become a Santa Barbara icon, resplendent in all its glory. With meticulous attention to detail, the resort’s 92 bunga-

lows and suites were designed with modern amenities with a nod to Hollywood glamour. Open the patio door and let the breeze flow through. Plush bedding, luxurious robes and cozy fireplaces are among the comforts afforded to guests.

Nestled among seven acres of lush gardens, El Encanto’s zero edge pool and

therapeutic spa offer relaxation and serenity. Panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean make El Encanto an ideal destination for special occasions, especially a wedding. The sophistcated dining room offers comfortable seating indoors or on the terrace. Executive Chef Johan Denizot creates California coastal cuisine highlighting the treasures of Santa Barbara. Local halibut, spot prawns and briny sea urchin bring tastes of the sea. Fresh produce grown in nearby Ojai provides crisp lettuce, hearty artichokes and sweet berries. continues on page 10

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A kabocha squash soup accented with coconut, pumpkin seeds and a scallion pesto is a perfect starter. The pumpkin seeds add texture to the smooth soup, and the pesto gives it a nice zest. Fresh mint brightens an arugula salad with blood orange, fennel and olives, while pistachios add a nutty crunch. All of the fish dishes are superb, like the whole grilled branzino with a tangy salsa verde. Halibut with coconut broth and Thai chili combines California and Asian influences. Grouper cooked in a clay pot with coriander and ginger hints at Indian cuisine and points to the chef’s versatility. True to his native France, Denizot offers duck confit with a perfectly crisp crust and deliciously tender meat. Other highlights are the wagyu ribeye steak and the double-cut heritage pork chop. If you find the 600-bottle wine list overwhelming, a few local favorites are pre-selected by the sommelier. With such a vast collection, there is a bottle in every price range and varietal. For dessert, try El Encanto’s signature dessert, the Floating Is-

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land. Vanilla custard and twice-baked meringue float in a crème anglaise. Brûlée butterscotch pudding, pistachio macaroon ice cream sandwich and a California olive oil cake say “how sweet it is” to dine at El Encanto. Toss a coin in the wishing well or tiptoe by the lily pond. A visit to El Encanto is always enchanting. 800 Alvarado Place, Santa Barbara, California, (805)845-5800.

Let the Baroness of BeverlyGrove Sell or Buy your next Castle!

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he storied Miramar hotel on the shores of the Pacific in Montecito has risen from the sand as the impressive new Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel. Infused with new life by Rick Caruso’s development company, the Miramar resort pays homage to the beloved hotel with small reminders of the beachside getaway originally built in 1876. Caruso purchased the property in 2007, and after considerable time, substantial investment and an abundance of dedication, the Rosewood Miramar opened on March 1. Designed by Southern California architect Paul Williams, the 161-room hotel features cottages and suites spread over 16 acres of lush landscaping. The majestic Manor House greets guests upon arrival, as if welcoming them to a stately home. Walking through the front door is akin to entering a grand estate, with a sweeping staircase on the left. Retreat through the terrace doors to the great lawn, where the all-day restaurant, Malibu Farms, offers lovely patio seating. Two pools on the property allow children splash-time fun on one side of the lawn, while adults are invited to take a dip in a quieter setting. On the kids’ side is a quaint ice cream shoppe, while the adults are waited on by cabana attendants serving cocktails.





Set sail for the Rosewood Miramar Beyond the lawn is the “train depot,” as the Pacific Surfliner runs through the property. Sounds of the train whistle alert guests, while a 24-hour depot attendant escorts them across the tracks to the Miramar Beach Bar. The teak deck complete with shuffleboard offers comfy couch seating overlooking the water. The Miramar Beach Bar and Caruso’s fine dining restaurant place guests aboard a luxury liner setting, complete with a mast and flags flying. Steps away from the water, the beachfront hotel offers complimentary use of chairs, umbrellas, beach toys and watersports equipment. continues on page 14 1 2 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

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from page 12

A beach butler service and organized activities make the hotel a family friendly destination. Four-legged friends are welcome here too. Whether staying in a beachfront suite or a garden room, all accommodations have patios. The well-appointed rooms shower guests with comforts and conveniences, like a well-stocked cocktail cart with crystal stemware. Luxurious robes and slippers, high-quality bath products and deep tubs are nice indulgences. Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the Malibu Farm restaurant serving comforting dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Red pepper hummus, Dungeness crab cakes or a

The BLVD from page 6

stead of pita or bread – keep the dish gluten free. A glass domed tray was brought out next, and when lifted, a cloud of cedar smoke quickly disipates, leaving behind an enticing, smoky aroma. The hidden plate of lamb ribs came into focus, which we could hardly wait to taste. A spice rub of fennel seed, peppercorn and cinnamon season the ribs, which have been brined, braised, oven roasted and flash fried. The one-minute frying technique adds just a bit of crispness. The preparation takes two days, rendering the lamb incredibly tender and delicious. Balancing our dining experience with a lighter course, a lobster salad with mango, avocado and cucumber was tossed in a coconut passion fruit vinaigrette. The cold salad juxtaposed with the warm grilled lobster presented a delightful contrast in taste, texture and temperature – very refreshing. Pasta is one of Burgan’s specialties, so we enjoyed a duo – the orecchetti with short 1 4 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

juicy burger are among lunch items. They also have a plant-based menu. Produce comes from nearby Carpinteria and Ojai. For dinner, experience Caruso’s Italian coastal cuisine with fresh fish brought in daily, superb pastas and perfectly grilled steaks and chops. Yellowtail crudo, oysters and sea urchin are delectable raw starters. The spaghetti carbonara with house-cured guanciale is sumptuous. An egg yolk and shaved pecorino will have you twirling every last noodle onto your fork. San Francisco black cod, with Iberico ham consommé and an abalone tomato sauce, marries the delicate fish with bold

flavors with exceptional results. The 8 ounce prime filet comes with a potato pavé that’s nearly as delicious as the steak. Chef Massimo Falsini delivers impressive Italian fare while the attentive staff treats guests like White Star cruise passengers. The motto of the Rosewood brand is “sense of place” which the Miramar Beach Hotel certainly lives up to. It’s a place of luxury, of service, of beauty and style. With its pristine beachfront location, verdant grounds and impeccable service, it is a place you will feel at home. Rosewood Miramar Beach, 1759 South Jameson Lane, Montecito (805)900-8388.

rib ragu and the caramelle with prosciutto and asparagus. Chef devotes hours to the short rib ragu, resulting in a hearty beef sauce coating the housemade pasta. The orecchetti tends more towards al dente to complement the soft texture of the braised beef. Caramelle means “candy” in Italian, and it was certainly a treat. Handmade pasta is stuffed with prosciutto mousse and

each dish, selecting varietals that enhanced the flavors of chef’s creations. For example, a crisp Naudet Sancerre accompanied the bagna cauda and lamb ribs, while a Villa Antinori Tuscan blend was poured with our pasta course. With a list befitting of the Beverly Wilshire, aficionados will find the perfect wine to enjoy with their meal. For a sweet ending, we indulged in the chocolate “coconut” shell filled with sable cake and fresh mango, pineapple, passionfruit and coconut rum ice cream. A new vegan, plant-based dessert is the carrot cake with currants and vanilla bean cream topped with fresh raspberries, sliced Black Mission figs, a fresh orange segment and carrot chips. Sit outside at The BLVD and watch the world go by on Rodeo Drive or cozy up in a banquette, and enjoy dinner presented by Burgan’s well-conducted team. The bright and breezy ambiance at The BLVD will have you “feeling pretty,” and the cuisine will leave you gratified - and satisfied. Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310)385-3901.

wrapped like a caramel, twisted on the ends. The attention to detail comes through again, finally topping the pasta with asparagus tips and a spinach-asparagus sauce. Sharing plates allow diners to taste Burgan’s range of flavors. A larger profile entrée is the whole branzino for two. Stuffed with grilled chicory, the branzino’s sweet, subtle flavor was paired with a green garlic emulsion – a grand finale performance for this dinner. Manager Adam Curry paired wines with


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Hooray for Hollywood Oscar comes home. BY CAMERON KISZLA



os Angeles has long been fascinated by the arts, especially the Hollywood films that draw visitors by the millions to the entertainment capital of the world. As the movies have dominated pop culture in the United States and beyond, no one space has emerged as a gathering point, a sort of hall of fame where the definitive collection of film’s history celebrates those who forged lasting impacts while providing a deeper understanding of the medium for casual fans and aficionados alike.

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ing life-size model of the great white shark from “Jaws.” Other highlights include a focus on the importance of costumes in movies like “Black Panther” and “Edward Scissorhands” and a two-story, digital waterfall that uses three-dimensional mapping to create an interactive experience. Anderson said the waterfall shows the importance and potential of technology in the future of film.

“I think this will be a very engaging and definitive Instagram-worthy moment,” he said. While the concept of filmmaking as a whole is the focus of much of the museum, individual movies, artists and genres will be highlighted as well. For instance, when the museum opens, visitors will feel like they’ve stepped into “The Wizard of Oz” as they enter the lobby, with rare props like Dorothy’s ruby

slippers and the Cowardly Lion’s mane on display, Anderson said. Other early exhibits include a retrospective of Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese filmmaker best known for animated movies like “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro.” “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970” will focus on the successes and struggles of African Americans in the film industry. “The whole idea of the museum is to be a global museum, so while the focus is mostly on United States experiences, we also have to address the international influences,” Anderson said. Anderson said the museum is developing an app to augment guests’ experience by providing in-depth information on exhibitions and films for those interested in learning more. The museum is also looking into a “past and present” feature for the app, where visitors on the terrace can use their phones’ cameras to find iconic locations in the distance, such as former studios and great hangouts and hotels. With the historic artifacts, the two theaters and insight into the future of filmmaking, Anderson said visitors will be able to “engage with multiple facets of film, from today to 100 years ago.” Photo by Joshua White, JWPictures/©A.M.P.A.S.


arly next year, that’s likely to change. When the 300,000square-foot Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, the space is “destined to become the newest cultural landmark in Los Angeles, and perhaps the world,” said Academy Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, who serves on the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a promotional video for the museum. The Academy Museum, located in the 80-year-old May Company Building, named its primary structure the Saban Building after Haim and Cheryl Saban, who donated $50 million to the Academy. Shawn Anderson, the museum’s director of marketing and communications, said the museum has been working to preserve the limestone and “iconic” gold tiles that adorn the cylinder at the front of the Building, a historic-cultural monument. The museum had replacements for the damaged tiles made by the Italian manufacturer of the original tiles. “As we came into this project, we want to make sure we pay tribute and honored that history of this great architecture in a city that traditionally has not been known for preserving its past,” Anderson said. One dramatic change is the rear portion of the building, where a 45,000-squarefoot glass sphere has been erected. The Renzo Piano-designed structure, which has been compared to the Death Star from “Star Wars” by media outlets, includes the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and a large terrace with views of the Hollywood Hills and iconic Hollywood sign. The Saban Building, however, will contain the majority of the exhibitions in its six floors, which will also include space for a restaurant, special events and the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater for movie screenings. In the 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, the museum will display a portion of its vast collection of 190,000 film and video assets, 12 million photographs and tens of thousands of other pieces of film history. Some well-known movie props and costumes include the creature from “Alien” and the last remain-

Screen-used-close-up pair of the Ruby Slippers, designed by Adrian, from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M 1 7

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Photos by Joshua White, JWPictures/©A.M.P.A.S.

Wedding dress worn by Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo in “Frida” (2002). Costume design by Julie Weiss. Anonymous donor.

Cinerama camera with magazines, movements and tripod. Gift of Michael Forman and Cinerama, Inc.

Showcasing the finest collection of men’s clothing in a unique environment for an exceptional experience 259 South Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills 310.278.0040 1 8 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

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A monumental metamorphosis B Y E D W I N F O LV E N



he Los Angeles County Museum of Art will begin a dramatic transformation this fall that will completely alter its existing campus and change the landscape of Museum Row and the Miracle Mile. The central buildings on the eastern portion of LACMA’s campus will close and be demolished to make way for a singular, sweeping serpentine structure that will cross over Wilshire Boulevard like a bridge and connect to a new portion of the campus near Spaulding Avenue. The Peter Zumthor-designed building will have an exhibition level with a floor-toceiling glass facade to allow for more natural light and enhanced connection with the outdoor environment. It will also have a single-level open interior, making it a more accessible environment for viewing Architectural model of the new LACMA campus

the museum’s permanent collection and evolving exhibits. “Zumthor’s design represents a new vision for an art museum. We think it is particularly fitting for diverse Los Angeles,” said Michael Govan, LACMA’s CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “The primary galleries will be continuous, connected, without a clear front or back and with no barriers such as stairs or elevators. The museum’s artworks, from every culture and era, will be on the same level – no culture privileged above another. The open design, we hope, will provide visitors with an incredibly varied view of the collection and a great art experience. And if they want more, the other buildings on campus will have just as much gallery space filled with art.” The new main structure will offer

347,500 square feet of area and approximately 110,000 square feet of gallery space. Eliminating the existing buildings will free up 3.5 acres of new public outdoor space on the museum grounds where programs and exhibits can be held. The project will also embrace a new Metro subway station near Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, anticipated to open in 2023. LACMA expects the new museum building to be complete at the end of that year, with an opening in 2024. While the eastern portion of the existing campus, including the Ahmanson, Hammer and Art of the Americas buildings and Leo S. Bing Theater, will permanently close this fall, the western edge of the museum will remain a vibrant center of activity during construction. The indoor and outdoor areas on that side of the campus will be reimagined with new displays and innovative approaches to pre-


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In “The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China” exhibit is Xu Bing’s “Tobacco Project,” a personal and historic multi-part exploration of tobacco. A larger-than-life tiger skin carpet is made entirely of cigarettes, “1st Class,” (1999–2011). The project stems from a residency Bing undertook at Duke University, where he took interest in the history of the Duke family, who made much of their fortune manufacturing and marketing cigarettes in the late 19th century. The artist took a particular interest in the introduction of American tobacco businesses in China in the late 19th century and their lasting effect on his home country, both socially and economically.

senting art to the public. Special exhibits will be held in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum and the Resnick Pavilion, and a new focus will be placed on art that can be enjoyed al fresco. Visitors are encouraged to still snap photos at Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” and stroll under the enormous boulder in Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass.” The campus will also continue to come alive with music, as the Jazz at LACMA series continues on Friday evenings through Nov. 29, and the popular Latin Sounds music series returns in April 2020. Curator-led talks and conversations, gallery tours and children’s programs will also remain an integral part of the museum’s programming. Ray’s and Stark will continue to offer delicious fare and a place to unwind, and the LACMA Café will be open for quick snacks. The public can also experience LACMA’s art in new settings, as works from the permanent collection will be loaned to the Getty, Autry Museum of the American West, Norton Simon Museum, Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College and the Charles White Elementary School Gallery in Koreatown. The long-running Sundays Live musical

Michael Govan, LACMA’s CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director

concerts will continue off-site at St. James Episcopal Church on Wilshire Boulevard. “There will be plenty to experience at LACMA while the project is underway,” said Jessica Youn, interim director of communications for LACMA. “We want people to continue to visit and share in what we have here.” Exhibits people can enjoy this fall include “Mineo Mizuno: Harmony,” running through Nov. 4 on the Resnick Lawn. It includes the artist’s interpretation of a traditional Japanese tea house and sculptures with meditative properties. Artist Zak Ové’s “The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness” is a 40piece sculptural installation open through Nov. 3 in the B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden. The figures, fabricated from resin

and graphite, hold their hands at shoulder level in an act of quiet strength and resilience and are spaced evenly in rows to symbolize soldiers or political dissidents. Before the Art of the Americas Building closes for the final time this fall, visitors can enjoy “Christian Marclay: Sound Stories” through Oct. 14. The exhibit fuses art and technology and uses Snapchat videos as raw material. Algorithms enabled the artist to incorporate sounds and images from the messaging app into five audiovisual installations, two of which are interactive. On view through Jan. 5 is “The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China” in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum. Chinese contemporary artists have intimate relationships with their materials, forming a framework for interpretation. Common substances and products, such as plastic, water, wood, hair, tobacco and CocaCola, become symbols of the artists’ identity. Works by influential Chinese contemporary artists Xu Bing, Cai GuoQiang, Lin Tianmiao and Ai Weiwei are on display in the exhibit, which has works spanning the past 40 years of Chinese contemporary art. B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M 2 1


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Visitors can also enjoy “Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific” from Dec. 15 through July 19, 2020, and “Where the Truth Lies: The Art of Qiu Ying” from Feb. 9 through May 17, 2020, both in the Resnick Pavilion. “Rufino Tamayo: Innovation and Experimentation,” featuring artwork by the famous 20th-century Mexican artist, opens next winter at the Charles White Elementary School Gallery, 2401 Wilshire Blvd. Works by Yoshitomo Nara, one of the most beloved Japanese artists, runs April 5 through Aug. 2, 2020 in the Broad

Contemporary Art Museum. Youn said the administration and staff at LACMA are extremely excited about the project and what the coming years will bring, particularly with the opening of the Academy Museum next door and the Metro subway station on Wilshire Boulevard. With so much to do and see at LACMA, there promises to be something new for everyone while the transformation is taking place and well into the future. “We are going to be busier than ever, “ Youn said. “It’s going to be amazing.”

The iconic red steel girders and Chris Burden’s “Urban Light’ will remain on LACMA’s transformed campus. Below, colorful artworks representing significant developments in the artist’s oeuvre were shown in “Frank Stella: Selections from the Permanent Collection” at LACMA.

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Up from the ground come a bubblin’ crude Explore the Ice Age at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum B Y E D W I N F O LV E N

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The family of mammoths splashing in the Tar Pit lake will be spared in two of the proposals for the reimagined museum. The third option moves the figures into an indoor exhibit.

entists and volunteers cleaning, preparing and researching the fossils in laboratories. Then tour the galleries and experience the enormous mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats and giant sloths and learn about how they evolved and disappeared. The museum combines permanent exhibits with special displays that continually offer something new. “This fall at La Brea Tar Pits, visitors can see the new exhibition ‘Mammoths and Mastodons,’ which brings a refresh to the museum and features new interactive displays,” said Lori BettisonVarga, president and director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, which oversees the Tar Pits. “[They can also] experience the mesmerizing Second Home Serpentine Pavilion by SelgasCano.” Prehistoric pachyderms take center stage in “Mammoths and Mastodons,” which includes life-sized models, hands-on interactive activities and information about the latest discoveries and research. Through Nov. 24, visit the Second Home Serpentine Pavilion by SelgasCano at La Brea Tar Pits, a multipurpose social space hosting free public programs and events on the intersection of art, design, science and nature. The 866-square-foot pavilion is perched on a grassy ellipse near

the museum in a chrysalis-like structure covered in a translucent, multi-colored fabric membrane. A partnership between the London-based creative business incubator Second Home and the Natural History Museums, the pavilion enables people to experience architecture through shape, light, transparency, color and materials. Little guests (and all who are young at heart) can also journey to a world lost in time during daily screenings of “Titans of the Ice Age 3D,” a film chronicling the plight of mammals on the brink of extinction. Take an adventure on the frozen tundra and encounter some of the most interesting and exciting animals of all time. While the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum offer a glimpse into the distant past, administrators are also looking toward the future. The museum and surrounding park are undergoing a multi-year process to reimagine the site, which will be dramatically transformed in the coming years. Concepts from three renowned firms which envision drastically different designs are currently under consideration, and public input will be a key component as the plan moves forward. Plans call for the firm with the winning design for the future of the La Tar Pits and Museum to be selected by the end of the year. The timeline for the transformation will unfold from there, promising even more exciting connections to the past for longtime visitors and new generations. B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M 2 5


he bubbling tar pits, which attracted Ice Age mammals in search of prey to the area thousands of years ago, continue to draw two-legged visitors hungry for discovery at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. From the sprawling greenspace around the museum to the iconic lake pit with a fiberglass family of mammoths fronting Wilshire Boulevard, the La Brea Tar Pits are an instantly recognizable landmark to millions of people who have visited over the years, many for the first time as schoolchildren. The landscape is a major part of the attraction with stories to tell about flora and fauna from 11,000 to 50,000 years ago. The fossils kept inside the museum were found in the deep pits of asphalt that dot the parkland and are reminders of the fate that befell Ice Age herbivores like mammoths, horses and camels when they became trapped in sticky tar. Their fossils are accompanied by those of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and other predators that fed on stuck animals and themselves became trapped. Combined with insects, plants, rocks and other materials from the site, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum unlock secrets to the biological and ecological evolution of Los Angeles with new discoveries happening every day. The Tar Pits are the only active urban Ice Age excavation site in the world. From platforms in the park, visitors can look down and see fossils being unearthed from the pits and catalogued. Step inside the museum and peer through a glass partition to view sci-

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ENVISIONING A NEW LA BREA TAR PITS AND MUSEUM Three visions for the future for a museum focused on the past


1 Copenhagen-based Dorte Mandrup’s design would create an exhibition space in an elevated “halo” with a rooftop garden. It would “float” above a public plaza and entrance with additional exhibit and research space underground. The surrounding park would be recreated with a focus on engaging visitors the moment they walk onto the property with outdoor exhibits, landscaping and other natural features.

2 New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s proposal calls for reconstructing the museum building and maximizing the amount of greenspace surrounding it. The museum would be recreated in a central, glass-lined structure surrounded by landscaped, interconnecting geometric plates, and an expanded public plaza would be created near Wilshire Boulevard. In the surrounding park, areas would be compartmentalized following a theme of “ecotones” delineating different climates.

3 WEISS/MANFREDI, of New York, proposes a looping configuration of pathways in the park to improve visitors’ access and engagement with the Tar Pits and museum. The museum building would be recreated on a plateau, and a new wing would be constructed to the northwest, expanding the amount of exhibition space available. The idea is to have buildings with partly translucent glass exteriors to further connect people inside with the surrounding park.

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Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County


The process of reimagining the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is underway with three designs by renowned architectural firms under consideration. Plans call for one of the designs to be selected by the end of December.

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Fast times at the Petersen More. Better. Faster. B Y E D W I N F O LV E N


hift into high gear this fall at the Petersen Automotive Museum, which is offering spectacular exhibits and fun activities to excite auto enthusiasts of all ages. The museum has two major exhibits planned for the coming year, as well as new innovative programs and activities. Ten custom cars from the collection of Metallica frontman James Hetfield will go on display next February, delighting heavy metal fans. Starting next June, visitors can see one of the finest assemblages of hypercars and supercars in the world, with examples from Bugatti, McLaren, Koenigsegg and Lamborghini. 2 8 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

“As we head into 2020, the Petersen Automotive Museum has monumental

Michael Bodell, Deputy Director, Petersen Automotive Museum

plans on the horizon,” said Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Since the Pe-

tersen was founded in 1994, we have worked tirelessly to share our passion for the automobile both locally and internationally. Our announcements reflect our promise to the public to continue this mission for years to come.” Like the high-energy of his electric guitar, the vehicles from the Hetfield collection promise to generate frenzied excitement. The collection includes the 1948 Jaguar “Black Pearl” and a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr known as “Voodoo Priest.” The cars will be on display with Metallica memorabilia and ephemera. More than 30 modern hypercars and supercars, which are rare vehicles that can

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A 1948 Jaguar “Black Pearl” will be on display in an exhibit of vehicles from the collection of Metallica frontman James Hetfield.

from the animated movie franchise. Adults will enjoy “Winning Numbers: The First, The Fastest, The Famous,” featuring vehicles from the collection of car aficionado Bruce Meyer. “Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars

and Their Builders” focus on the work of renowned designers and engineers Fred Offenhauser, Harry Miller, Frank Kurtis and Max Balchowsky. Visitors can also tour the museum’s Vault – filled with approximately 250 vehicles rarely displayed in the museum – for an additional $16. Bodell said the museum has continued its momentum since the transformation in 2015 that brought a shiny red exterior and stainless steel ribbons to the building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. He said exhibits such as the Hetfield collection and “Hypercars,” as well as the permanent exhibits and ongoing programming, continue to steer the museum into the future. “Throughout the course of the year we typically have 100 to 200 vehicles on rotation in addition to the special exhibits and a lot of new cars that come in,” he added. “One of the best things we saw after the transformation was the number of visitors tripled, and we have been able to sustain that. It’s good to see the reception for our collection and the new museum has not eroded, and people still enjoy our cars.”

Hollywood movies come to life at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

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reach speeds of over 230 mph, cost more than $1 million and are produced in groups of fewer than 100, will grace the showroom. “[They] are very fast vehicles that are essentially race cars for the road,” said Michael Bodell, Petersen Museum deputy director. “There are usually only 100 made, so they are very exclusive. This will be a chance for people to see many hypercars and supercars together.” Besides the temporary exhibits, there are plenty of innovative and interesting displays, programs and activities for visitors to see and experience every day, Bodell added. The history of the automotive industry unfolds in a multi-stage exhibit showing the evolution of motor vehicles, and movie- and TV-lovers can see vehicles that made Hollywood history, such as the Batmobile, James Bond’s cars, K.I.T.T. from “Knight Rider” and Speed Racer’s Mach 5. Children have fun learning in the interactive Rob and Melani Walton Discovery Center, where they can see how automotive systems work on the inside. Young auto enthusiasts can also enjoy Disney and Pixar’s “Cars Mechanical Institute,” where they paint and race virtual “Cars”

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Step into a world of color



Artist Yunhee Min applied vibrant and colorful abstract imagery from her paintings to the lobby steps at the Hammer Museum in its first exhibit to be displayed on the floor instead of the walls. “Hammer Projects: Yunhee Min” runs through Oct. 27 and showcases the Los Angeles-based contemporary artist’s penchant for colorful expression. Although Min primarily paints, she also studied design and architecture, leading to large-scale sculptures and installations like the staircase at the Hammer Museum. The artist explores the relationship between painting, surface and space. Subtle modifications were also made to the lobby’s walls and lighting to enhance visitors’ awareness of the architecture and art. Min often works on horizontal surfaces, pouring, rolling, overlapping, swiping and swirling different colors of paint. The result is a colorful piece and a welcoming space for visitors. The Hammer Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd. Visit

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Yunhee Min’s art adds a colorful touch at the Hammer Museum.

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The Getty Architecure and gardens as artful as the works inside




ust off the 405 on a green hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains is the Getty Center, one of the most iconic and visited sites in Los Angeles. Home to the J. Paul Getty Museum, the stately Getty Center, with its lush gardens, stunning views and modern campus, is resplendent in Italian travertine stone. A cable-pulled hovertrain whisks visitors up the hill from street-level parking to the central campus where the museum is located. From prime vantage points at the Getty, visitors bask in spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles skyline. The setting is idyllic to appreciate the impressive art and exhibitions at the museum, including notable European paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs. The Getty Museum is actually housed on two campuses, which combined receive almost 2 million visitors per year. The primary museum – the Getty Center – features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, while the secondary museum exhibits Ancient Greek and Roman art at the scenic Getty Villa in Malibu. While the Getty Center now is the most well-known of the two, the Getty Villa, modeled after the Italian Villa dei Papiri, first opened in 1974, exhibiting Getty’s personal collection. After Getty’s death in 1976, $660 million of his estate was transferred to the museum, which – backed by endowment of the J. Paul Getty Trust – has become one of the monetarily wealthiest museums in the world. Getty’s collection outgrew the Malibu site, and museum personnel looked for a more accessible location to house the rest of the artworks, finally deciding on the present site of the Getty Center in the Sepulveda Pass. The $1.3 billion Getty Center opened to the public on Dec. 16, 1997, after more than a decade of construction. The museum features modern buildings and numerous fountains, as well as a sprawling vibrant Central Garden designed by artist Robert Irwin. Fusing the beauty of nature, naturally-lit spaces and modern design, the Getty brilliantly showcases the artwork. In fall 2019 and spring 2020, the Getty Center will have exciting exhibi-

tions on view that are sure to delight. From Oct. 8 to Jan. 12, the Getty will present a special exhibition featuring works by French modernist painter Édouard Manet. The exhibition, “Manet and Modern Beauty,” is the first to explore the last years of the artist’s life and career. The works convey Manet’s growing fascination with nature, Parisian social life and the beautiful, modern women who embodied it, according to Emily Beeny, co-curator of “Manet and Modern Beauty.”

Emily Beeny, co-curator of “Manet and Modern Beauty”

The Getty Museum’s temporary exhibitions are inspired by its permanent collection, often showcasing themes within the collection or branching off as launching points for loaned shows. The idea for the upcoming Manet exhibition originated from the museum’s acquisition of

Bust of Man (after the antique), Joseph Wilton English, 1758, marble.

the artist’s portrait of Parisian actress Jeanne Demarsy as the embodiment of spring. “That acquisition was the impetus for us looking closer at Manet’s last years and gave rise to the exhibition we are presenting this fall,” said John A. Giurini, assistant director for Public Affairs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibit will feature numerous pastels and watercolors – elegant portraits, decadent still lifes and colorful café scenes – from the final years of Manet’s life. This exhibit is unique in that it focuses on the interesting transformation of the artist’s style in his later years. “Manet is usually remembered as the father of Impressionism – the father of modern art, really. When we hear his name, we usually think of scandalous paintings (the ‘Luncheon on the Grass,’ the ‘Olympia’ and so on) that rocked the French art world in the 1860s, but this show joins Manet at a later moment when he’s painting different kinds of pictures: portraits of fashionable young women, bouquets of flowers, lively cafés and garden scenes,” Beeny said. “Above all, we see a new interest in capturing fleeting pleasures on the wing, making permanent the impermanent,” Beeny added. “Fashions obviously change, youthful beauty fades, flowers


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“Self-portrait, Yawning,” Joseph Ducreux, French

Julian Brooks, co-curator of “Michelangelo: Mind of the Master”

wilt and, in this sense, the late production – all those pretty girls and flowers, all those watercolors brushed into the margins of his letters, all those bright, little paintings – are also about impermanence.” Beeny said Manet’s increasing attention to femininity and contemporary fashion is clear in paintings like “Boating” and “Autumn (Mery Laurent).” From Feb. 25 to June 7, the Getty will exhibit a major collection of Michelangelo’s drawings, many of which have never been shown before outside of Europe. The exhibit, called “Michelangelo: Mind of the Master,” features rare drawings on loan from the Teylers Museum in the Netherlands. “This exhibition features over two dozen of Michelangelo’s rare original sketches, including designs for the Sistine Ceiling and Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome,” said Julian Brooks, co-curator of “Michelangelo: Mind of the Master.” The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a group of drawings that used to form part of the illustrious art collection of Queen Christina of Sweden, who died in 1689. Michelangelo burned many of his drawings – which he used as designs for his world-famous paintings, sculptures and architectural works –

making what remains all the more valuable. The drawings have never been shown together as a group on the West Coast and will be presented alongside related works. “I can’t wait to see these drawings exhibited together here in L.A. and witness first-hand how Michelangelo worked,” Brooks said. These rare drawings provide a window into how one of history’s most talented and accomplished artists worked and planned his craft, according to Brooks. The Getty’s permanent collection is, of course, always worth visiting as well. Some of the most well-known works include Van Gogh’s “Irises,” Turner’s “Rome,” early works by Rembrandt and a collection of paintings by Rubens, Monet and Degas. The permanent collection spans many mediums, also featuring notable sculptures, photographs, decorative arts and manuscripts. Giurini said that the Getty hopes visitors will come away with a new understanding and greater appreciation of the role art plays in storytelling, inspiring them to tell stories of their own. As one of L.A.’s most important cultural hubs, the Getty seeks to build community and keep the appreciation of art alive for all generations.

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Keeping their stories alive Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust B Y RYA N M A N C I N I


ix pillars stand as a monument to mankind at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Etched on these monoliths, collectively called the Holocaust Monument and Martyrs Memorial, is the story of one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century. Two decades after the end of World War II, what started as gatherings of Holocaust survivors during the early 1960s – whose families carried artifacts that survived the grasp of the Nazis and the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean – transformed into an institution dedicated to keeping their stories alive. The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust opened in 2010 in Pan Pacific Park. “As Holocaust survivors become fewer and fewer, it’s more valuable than ever to hear from them directly,” said Jill Brown, communications and outreach director. “We’re fortunate to have a pretty large community of Holocaust survivors who 3 6 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

volunteer their time to tell their stories and answer questions.” The museum’s interior layout mirrors the chronology of Jewish life in Europe before, during and after the Holocaust. Developed by architect Hagy Belzberg, the space includes the faces of author Franz Kafka, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, philosopher Theodor Adorno and psychologist Victor Frankl, who are enshrined on a wall acknowledging Jewish contributions to the arts, politics, industry and science. School groups usually recognize one prominent Jewish figure – Albert Einstein – and learn about the contributions of other leaders during the period. Visitors first see an exhibition that exemplifies what life was like for European Jews and how they were unaware of their differences with non-Jewish neighbors, Brown explained. “It tells this story of how many German

Jews were very integrated into German society and considered themselves more German than Jewish [and] were proud to have served their country in World War I,” she said. “So it was a dramatic shift from one generation to the next when they were no longer [considered] German citizens and then targeted for murder.” As visitors move through the museum, the ceiling lowers as Adolf Hitler rises to power, when Jewish citizens lived in and were then removed from segregated ghettoes. Photographs document the human suffering caused by anti-Semitic and ideological policies and military force. Stories about deportation to the concentration camps across Europe are told under faint, artificial light. But out of the darkness, tales of survival and resistance emerge, such as the stories of Anne Frank, Oskar Schindler and the allies who saved Jewish refugees, leading to the eventual liberation of the camps.

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The museum also devotes time to lesser-known stories during those fateful years. One of the museum’s special exhibits, “Venerated – Persecuted – Forgotten: Victims of Nazism,” identified by banners hanging in the U-shaped main corridor, explains the history of the German sports club FC Bayern Munich. Under Nazi control, Germany imposed rules on the club’s membership, ordering the removal of Jewish members, which the club resisted. “Women at the Frontline of Mass Violence Worldwide” is another special exhibit, recounting the testimonies of women who have survived violence and genocide, including Roma survivors from World War II, indigenous women from Guatemala and Yazidis LAMOTH provides free Holocaust who survived the terror group ISIS after being tareducation to students and visitors from across geted with violence beginning in 2014. Los Angeles, the United States and the world. The museum’s other ongoing exhibition conceptualizes survivors’ accounts into prose, art and film. The continue through Sept. 30, “Venerated – Persecuted – Forgotten” art in “Messengers of Memory: Survivors Empowering Students” will continue through Oct. 31 and “Messengers of Memory” will was created by middle- and high-school participants of the mucontinue through Nov. 30. seum’s Holocaust Art and Writing contest, which is sponsored by The museum’s mission is to commemorate, educate and inspire the 1939 Society and Chapman University’s Center for Holocaust through engagements and education programs so that they can Education. help build a more respectful, dignified and humane world. “Women at the Frontline of Mass Violence Worldwide” will

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Ken + Julia Yonetani, “Grape chandelier,” 2011

Craft Contemporary Viewing the world through a kaleidoscope of ideas B Y RYA N M A N C I N I


he bright yellow banners, black geometric designs and eye-catching sculptures of the Craft Contemporary have contributed to the city’s art culture since the 1960s. What’s now a space for art began as a restaurant. Known in 1965 as “The Egg and the Eye,” an art gallery within a restaurant, the works were considered among few to address cultural diversity through a devotion to craft at the time, said Suzanne Isken, executive director of Craft Contemporary. By 1973, the building became a nonprofit museum known as the Craft and Folk Art Museum, before changing its name this year. However, it’s still referred to as CAFAM. Moving past the gift shop at the building’s entrance, guests are given what Isken described as an accessible, less formal and down-to-earth museum experience. The second and third floors consist

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of art from emerging and under-recognized artists who have not yet received their due, Isken said. Everyday items like gears, newspapers and crutches are welded and molded together into works of art. Craft Contemporary’s upcoming “Finding the Center:

Suzanne Isken, executive director of Craft Contemporary

Works by Echiko Ohira” exhibition will show art that uses repurposed paper, thread, nails and other materials to bring an intersection of nature, spirituality and the human body. Ohira’s choice of materials and her art take inspiration from growing up in Japan, Isken said.

Petrochemicals and fossils will play a role in another future exhibit, “Cynthia Minet: Jacked.” Minet’s work is fashioned from LEDs, motors and discarded post-consumer plastics made to resemble the prehistoric North American lion, similar to those excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits. Minet’s work criticizes consumerism and humanity’s relationship with Earth’s geography. “RAW: Craft, Commodity and Capitalism” is another exhibit using materials like cotton, copper, clay and water to give a historical record of slavery, colonialism and globalization. With such an abundance of everyday materials put together by artists, Isken said the museum strives to show visitors something different. “What is art, and what is the point of art?” Isken asked. “I think that artists are the conduits of what’s going on in our world. As things are changing, the artists

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– they’re reflecting their life experience, and so you’re going to see more politics in art, for sure. That’s the lived experience.” In addition to the message of an exhibit, Isken hopes the art’s simplicity in being handmade from everyday items inspires others to make their own creations She believed this kind of direct contact, from the hands of the artist directly onto the finished product, makes it that much more special. “If you said, ‘I’m going to go home and make something’ – to me, that’s an awesome museum experience,” she said. “If you said, ‘I can do that,’ and you did it? Holy cow, that was the best museum experience … Yeah, give it a try.” The Craft Contemporary’s galleries will reopen Sept. 29 after the installation of the new fall galleries. “Finding the Center,” “RAW” and “Jacked” will run through Jan. 5, 2020. Cynthia Minet, “Jacked Panthera Atrox,” 2019, left.

Echiko Ohira, Side view of “Untitled (Red #13),” 2013

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Museum of Contemporary Art Expand your horizons with these current and upcoming exhibits: “The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA’s Collection” is open now and will run through Jan. 27 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA “Untitled (Questions) (1990/2018)” is open now and will run through Nov. 30, 2020, at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA “Open House: Gala Porras-Kim” opens Oct. 7 and runs through May 11, 2020, at MOCA Grand Avenue

Sarah Lloyd Stifler, MOCA chief communications officer

Piece from “Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985”


For 40 years, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles, has thoughtfully provoked those who visit. Between the two campuses – MOCA Grand Avenue and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo – the museum has a collection of more than 7,000 works of art that can defy easy explanation.

“Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985” opens Oct. 27 and runs through May 11, 2020, at MOCA Grand Avenue

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Jazz at LACMA

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The Getty


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Come on in ... the water’s fine Reflections on what may be in store for movie buffs at the museum dedicated to film


magine a top 10 movie list including the likes of “Jaws,” “Spirited Away,” “Alien,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Carmen Jones” and “Edward Scissorhands.” That eclectic list dominates IMDb searches. The American Film Institute breaks things down by genre, and the Golden Globes distinguish between the best dramas and the best comedies and musicals. However, at a museum dedicated to film history, anything goes. Like flipping through the movie channels at home, a museum is not obliged to one

kind of exhibit: the goal is to preserve, honor and reflect on it all. And the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ maiden voyage sets sail for the Emerald City, hoping to avoid a hungry shark along the way, perhaps stopping in the spirit world for a haircut. Some museum details are public prior to the grand opening while others remain TBD. So let’s reflect on the significance of the known and wax nostalgic about what may be in store.


The Academy Museum puts its best slipper forward, featuring “The Wizard of Oz” in the grand lobby. It’s one of Hollywood’s most significant forays into technicolor with the lavish set design to match. It was a dream all along. Water kills the witch. Click your heels twice. Monkeys take flight. May we never forget how much this film set the trend for all cinema to come. To reinforce the significance of “Oz,” a group of Italy-based researchers analyzed the 47,000 films on IMDb, finding that Dorothy’s adventure in Oz is considered the most influential film ever made. Shocked? Why? It pioneered costuming, special effects and was one of the first to use Technicolor© in a major motion picture. Of course, a costume from “Edward Scissorhands” would make an appearance, especially considering the Tim Burton collection makes the museum rounds, stopping at LACMA in 2011. The film’s loudest qualities certainly revolve around costuming and tone – namely, Burton’s aesthetic preferences that blend Dr. Seuss and gothic sensibilities – but the film score surpasses all other legacies of this 1990 cult classic. In one key way, “Edward Scissorhands” is like 1933’s “King Kong.” “Kong” made headlines for its memorable use of stopmotion, bringing to life the enormous go4 6 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

rilla with cinematic tricks and clay. While this would aid the advancement of special effects, Kong’s most lasting impression on film history is music. “Kong” was the first American talkie – film with sound – to feature original music, not merely material recycled from elsewhere. Max Steiner’s score introduced the concept of a movie theme and the idea that the orchestra could accent what we see on screen. Now, back to “Edward.” Those visuals and quirky characters are something to behold, including a minor role for the great Vincent Price. But more memorable than a BDSM-themed outfit is that film score. All hail Danny Elfman, iconic frontman of Oingo Boingo, who provided the Batman with his most memorable theme and sang cherished lyrics as Jack Skellington in “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The score of “Edward Scissorhands” remains the film’s immortal legacy, especially “Ice Dance,” an enchanting melody that defines modernday fairy tales. That’s the power of music, ranging from Elfman’s affinity for carnival sounds to many other unforgettable ones. A grand orchestra reveals impossible imagery in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Whistling complements a showdown at high noon in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” And two mu-

sical notes telegraph the arrival of an aquatic monster in “Jaws.” That last example gets a deserved shoutout. Have you ever met Bruce? You have. That’s the nickname given to the most terrifying shark in movie history by Steven Spielberg. The fully restored prop will strike fear in the hearts of cinephiles once more. His existence serves as a reminder of how different things could’ve been. Stop-motion and miniature models were standard operating procedure for monster movies until a relatively new filmmaker pitched something more audacious. We owe a great deal to the creativity of monster-maker Ray Harryhausen – visual effects coordinator for “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Clash of the Titans” – but Steven Spielberg defied studio requests to replicate the old ways. Instead, he took to the sea, embarking on a complicated on-location shoot, laden with malfunctions. Those pesky shark props never seemed to work, prompting Spielberg to show less of the great white by necessity. Less is more would soon become the new standard, one applied four years later in 1979’s “Alien,” featuring the monstrous Xenomorph, designed by H. R. Giger and Carlo Rambaldi, hiding in the shadows and small corridors of a spaceship. If swimming

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isn’t scary enough now, just gaze upon the alien with acid for blood that will grace the museum as well. Who needs sleep? While Spielberg established himself as a household name in Hollywood, Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki also rose to prominence around the same time. His first feature credit, “Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro,” topped off his oversight of the television character in the early 1970s. But the real fun began in 1984 with the release of “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” a captivating piece of dystopian animation. Some of his greatest hits: “Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and the beloved “My Neighbor Totoro.” Miyazaki favors two approaches: complex convergence of science fiction and fantasy or slice-of-life stories designed for younger audiences. His films tend to go unnoticed by wider American audiences. “Spirited Away,” for example, grossed $12 million domestically. On his home turf, however, he’s an unstoppable force: $229 million for that film, $190 million for “Howl’s” and $164 million for

“Ponyo.” His films lead the Japanese box office, and his influence reaches beyond anime and into the creative process of animation titans. If you buy a copy of his films in the U.S., they all include intros by Pixar directors honoring one of the animation greats. Dedicating an entire floor to Miyazaki’s work at the Academy Museum only seems fitting. And once we’ve had our fill of Miyazaki (frankly, which should never happen), floor four will exhibit “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970” in fall 2020. So far, the only confirmed piece includes “costume design by Mary Ann Nyberg for Dorothy Dandridge in ‘Carmen Jones’ (1954),” according to the museum. Otherwise, 70 years is a lot of ground to cover: the first renowned black director Oscar Micheaux, Sidney Poitier’s historic Oscar win for “Lilies of the Field” and even the beginning of the L.A. Rebellion movement in the late 1960s. Endless possibilities – and with a consulting committee that includes director

Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “When They See Us”) along with other Academy members, curators and media studies scholars – will most assuredly highlight notable and significant moments often missed or overlooked. Certainly, Hollywood has a peppered history, one “Regeneration” cannot and probably will not ignore. With the mission to “inspire, entertain and educate,” the museum says, it has no choice but to balance spectacle with reality. But isn’t that the goal of any film worth its reel? Movies can be wildly entertaining, emotionally detrimental and sometimes uncomfortable. That seems appropriate for a Los Angeles museum dedicated to film. May the experience never be singular, always in flux, always representing the evolving medium, from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to technicolor, from handdrawn animation to CGI. Most memorable top 10 lists have a clear theme. The Academy Museum reimagines that theme: all movies, any movies, everything movies. Mic drop.

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Saddle up and head for The Autry Museum stays focused on preserving the American West. B Y RYA N M A N C I N I


hallenging visitors’ ideas about “the West,” the Autry Museum of the American West offers perspectives about a region, a genre of fiction and a series of moments in history. Western film actor Gene Autry cofounded the museum in 1988 with the goal of it being about much more than Hollywood westerns. Artifacts range from old firearms belonging to gunfighter John Wesley Hardin to ceremonial clothes from California’s native peoples. The exhibit “California Cont’d” gives visitors a look at the ecological relationship between the environment and indigenous groups, including an ethnobotanical garden filled with 60 native plant species. “Since I’ve been curator, I’ve taken much greater interest in mixing art collections to reflect diversity,” said Amy Scott, Visual Arts curator. “We have a unique ability to showcase a broad range of issues with profound impact, including 4 8 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

land, religion, migration – what collections are best capable of [when] speaking to people.” The Autry has always strived to be more than just about cowboys, but follwing the reaction to the “LA RAZA” exhibit, the museum altered its vision. The exhibit took visitors back to the streets of 1960s Los Angeles alongside the Chicano Movement. The newspaper La Raza documented the Chicano Movement’s history while also advancing the cause for equality. Photographs from that time, as well as newspaper copies, lined the walls of the exhibition. Combining civil rights, L.A., photography and journalism into one exhibit resonated with Angelenos who saw history presented in one place before them, said Keisha Raines, communications and marketing manager. Although the average special exhibition is on display for six months, “LA RAZA” was presented from

September 2017 until February 2019, along with a prior four year preparation with UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center. “I was in the exhibition one day with a journalist, and there was a teacher with a school group who said, ‘Oh my God, that’s my dad and me,’” Raines recalled. “His dad was one of the photographers.” “We did get a lot of questions from visitors about how is [“LA RAZA”] a story about the American West, and [our response was,] ‘L.A. is the West,’” Raines said. “This was an important story that needed to be told. The West isn’t just in the 1800s; the West is continuously changing.” The response from visitors to “LA RAZA” made it a turning point in museum programming, Raines said. The direction forward was clear – future special exhibitions would address topics like gender, identity and L.A.’s diversity.

“The Autry has been multicultural and inclusive in its goals and in its mission,” Scott said. “But as the history has changed in terms of looking at the West within the 19th century … it became a place of encounter, a place with a more complex, interracial and intercultural mixing that sets the stage for the West we know today.” These concepts carried into two of the museum’s ongoing exhibitions through Jan. 5. “Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley” looks at culture, consumerism and tradition through the landscapes and towns of Santa Fe. Iconic figures from art and television can be found spotted through Bradley’s work, such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, John Wayne, Andy Warhol, JeanMichel Basquiat, The Lone Ranger and Tonto. In the gallery next door, “Coyote Leaves the Res: The Art of Harry Fonesca” brings to life the “Coyote” as a central character symbolizing Fonesca’s search within himself as a gay man of mixed native heritage living in San Francisco during the 1970s. Something different from the Autry’s “Investigating Griffith Park” is an exhibition-in-the-works about the Autry’s surrounding environment, Griffith Park. Angelenos learn about Griffith Park while also sharing their own stories about why it’s special. Running into 2020, the exhibit will transform and formally open to celebrate Griffith Park’s 125th anniversary in 2021. September closes out with a tribute to the museum’s namesake, celebrating Autry’s 112th birthday on Sept. 29. The museum will present screenings of Autry’s films and serve complimentary

Harry Fonseca’s “Coyote” symbolizes the artist’s experience moving from a reservation to San Francisco during the 1970s.

birthday cake. Looking to the horizon, visitors will continue to find something they can relate to or find of interest as part of the expanding story of the West, much like as Autry envisioned three decades ago. Newer generations may not know who Autry was, Scott said, but they will know his legacy. “Because of what we’ve been doing internally,” Scott said, “we’re moving to be more inclusive about how we do things, show things [and] tell stories.”

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Photo © 2016 Harry Fonseca Collection

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WeHo as a canvas Art on the Outside program celebrates al fresco ingenuity B Y K AT E D I E T E L


ringing edgy, experimental and new art ideas to a city of limited size is a hard but doable task, something that West Hollywood’s Art on the Outside program has accomplished countless times over the last 17 years. The program installs temporary rotating pieces of art, such as sculptures, murals and videos, throughout the area each year with the goal of getting people to notice the art. “My favorite projects that have been exhibited through the Art of the Outside program transform ordinary city spaces, get people to pay attention and talk about the artwork and shift the community’s perception of a space – even if only for a brief moment,” said Rebecca Ehemann, the program’s public art coordinator. “When artists ask me about the program, I always tell them that the city is our canvas and to dream big. It’s often the wackiest ideas that are the best fit for us.”

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The artwork is on display between six months to three years, depending on the materials, location and the cost of the artwork. At the end of its lifespan, the art is returned to the artist. The program began in 2002 and initially featured three exhibits a year. In the last four years, the program has jumped to between nine and 12 exhibits annually after Ehemann was hired. “It has kind of ramped up exponentially since they were able to secure my position full-time,” Ehemann said. The program has received recognition of its world-class artists, including from Americans for the Arts, an arts organization in Washington, D.C. “They acknowledge the best public artworks from across the country each year, and I think that we have acquired five or six of those acknowledgements for some of the projects that we have done through this program,” Ehemann said.

The program’s yearly budget of $105,000 comes from an urban art ordinance that is administered through the Urban Art Program, which is West Hollywood’s permanent public art program. Developers seeking to build in West Hollywood can either pursue an onsite art project, valued at 1% of the project value, or pay an in-lieu fee of the same amount. The in-lieu fees go into an art fund, which is the sole source of funding for the Art on the Outside program. Getting artwork into the program is no easy feat. First, the artist has to complete an application, which can be submitted at any time. Then the Art on the Outside subcommittee, which is a component of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, reviews the applications twice a year. “We have a very rigorous review and evaluation process for all exhibits proposed to the city. Things that take prece-


Mike Stilkey’s mural, “You’re All Welcome Here,” greets visitors at West Hollywood City Hall

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dent and are primary considerations would be location, availability of space, budget, artist qualifications and experience,” Ehemann said. One of the many artists hired by the program is Los Angelesnative Mike Stilkey, who works on murals, installations and canvas. Stilkey, 43, recently spent three days painting a mural on the outside of West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Blvd., after being selected from a muralist roster associated with the Art on the Outside program. “I seek to create thought provoking art that challenges assumptions in a humorous or whimsical way,” Stilkey said. “When I read more about the intent and vision of Art on the Outside, it sounded like a perfect fit for what I create and an opportunity to provide broad public access to community-inspired art.” The 10-by-25 foot mural, titled “You’re All Welcome Here,” depicts several animals dancing on a rainbow crosswalk. Much of Stilkey’s work involves anthropomorphism. “My desire for the mural was to make it fun, celebratory and positive. The animal characters bring that element and represent the vibrance and diversity of the city,” Stilkey said. “I feel strongly that animals and humans have more in common than humans are willing to admit, and I think it provides a lens into the commonalities among us as humans, too.” Even with its bright celebratory feel, Stilkey imagines a deeper meaning for viewers.

“West Hollywood is known for providing a community with unwavering progressive values and for always staying true to these, and I wanted to honor this in the mural,” Stilkey said. “The title of the mural . . . is a reflection of those. It’s important to lift these up as we navigate our current national climate of intolerance and fear. This is a visual representation that can serve as a reminder to remain hopeful and positive in the face of this.”

Founded 1946 KAREN VILLALPANDO Editor & Publisher


Contributors: Kate Dietel, Edwin Folven, Emily Jilg, Cameron Kiszla, Ryan Mancini, Rebecca Moretti,Tim Posada, Rebecca Villalpando, Jill Weinlein Photography: Andrew Kitchen Photography @wanderingcowboy See, Sip Savor, Art, Culture & Entertainment Magazine, 2019 Serving the communities of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, the Miracle Mile, Hancock Park and Park La Brea. Los Angeles Office 5150 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 330 P.O. Box 36036 Los Angeles, CA 90036

Beverly Hills Office: 8444 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2B Beverly Hills, CA 90210 323.933.5518

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Jazz at LACMA draws hundreds of Angelenos to the Smidt Welcome Plaza every Friday, many setting up chairs and picnics, bringing family, friends and neighbors together.

SCHEDULE Sept. 20: Teodross Avery Quintet Sept. 27: Paulette McWilliams Oct. 4: Angel City Jazz Festival featuring Jacob Mann


Oct. 11: The 70s Project Oct. 18: Hiroe Sekine Oct. 25: Rita Edmond Nov. 8: Al Williams Jazz Society Nov. 15: Dave Tull Nov. 22: Douyé Nov. 29: Bruns Collective with vocalist Kevin Baché

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What brings me the most joy is cooking for the ones I love in my kitchen, having them sit around my table enjoying a glass of wine, tasting my latest creation, and, most importantly, making them feel at home. As I’ve honed my skills in the kitchen, I realized I could share my joy of cooking with not only my friends and family but with all of you! If I can be a part of your kitchen and help you create delicious food, I feel like a part of your family, too. Here are a few of my favorite recipes! (find moreat

Braised Short Rib Ragu and Rigatoni Ok, this is a dish for a special date night, impressing your in-laws or if you’re just really hungry for something bold, meaty and a little sexy. By sexy, I mean freaking delicious. This sauce does take awhile but time = love. The more love you give this sauce, the better it is. I invite you to totally indulge in this classic and timeless saucy pasta dish. 6-8 bone in short ribs 1 onion - finely diced 3 carrots - finely diced 2 leeks - finely diced 3 celery stalks- finely diced 3 tablespoons tomato paste 2 cups dry red wine 2 cups beef broth 3 tsp. dry oregano- divided

1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic 1 box of rigatoni Garlic power Fresh oregano 1/2 cup of AP flour Salt Pepper Vegetable oil

Emily Jilg in her element

Come join us for dinner.


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Mix flour, 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. oregano and 1 tsp. garlic power together in flat pyrex. Coat the short ribs in the mixture so all sides are coated. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a Le Creuset or other bottom heavy cast ion skillet. Sear all sides of the short ribs until they are browned and caramelized. Spend a good 10-15 minutes just searing all sides and pieces of your short ribs. This will help develop flavor not only in the short ribs but also in the sauce. Next take the short ribs out and set aside on a plate nearby. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the Le Creuset in which you seared the short ribs, and then add the finely diced onion, carrot, leek and celery. It is very important these vegetables are very finely chopped, so they can become part of the sauce. Sauté on medium low heat for 25 minutes, constantly stirring and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. You want these vegetables to transform into a delicious paste as the base for the sauce. Take care of these veggies, cooking low and slow and with lots of love and care. Once they are very soft and almost brown, add the tomato paste and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add the fresh garlic and 2 tsp. of oregano and cook for 60 seconds on high heat. Add the 2 cups of dry red wine while it’s on high heat and allow the wine to cook out and flavor the sauce. After about 1 minute, lower the heat and add 2 cups of beef broth. Then nestle the beef short ribs back into the beautiful sauce and top with a few strands of fresh oregano. Put the lid on, turn down to a very low simmer and let it get happy for 3 hours. Check it every 30 minuets to see if it needs more liquid. After 3 hours, the short rib meat should be falling off the bone. Remove the bones and lightly shred the beef using 2 forks. Continue to simmer. Boil the rigatoni in salted water until al dente. Using a slotted spoon, remove the rigatoni from the water and put directly into the sauce. Stir until incorporated. Top with parmesan cheese and serve topped with fresh oregano. Any residual pasta water clinging to the noodles becomes a perfect thickening agent for the pasta and sauce and brings it together in that perfect Italian restaurant way. Serve immediately and enjoy- this is good stuff! Don’t forget to finish with a little love + salt.

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Musso & Frank Grill is celebrating 100 years on Hollywood Boulevard.

Musso & Frank 100 cheers on the boulevard B Y E D W I N F O LV E N


mid the ever-changing landscape of Hollywood Boulevard remains a landmark that has stayed true to its roots for a century, defying trends and delighting patrons in a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era. Musso & Frank Grill, which turns 100 on Sept. 27, has been a home away from home for Hollywood royalty for decades with regulars including legends such as Charlie Chaplin, John Barrymore, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, James Stewart and Elizabeth Taylor and some of the hottest stars of today like George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. Part of Musso & Frank’s success comes from remaining the same, giving customers memorable experiences they want to relive over and over again. Wait5 6 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

ers with years of experience make everyone feel like a movie star, said Mark Echeverria, COO, CFO, proprietor and fourth-generation member of the family who owns the restaurant.

Mark Echeverria, COO, CFO and proprietor, Musso & Frank Grill

Slip into one of the restaurant’s comfortable booths or take a seat at the bar and be transported back to an earlier, simpler period in Hollywood history, he

added. The Musso & Frank Grill, founded by entrepreneur Frank Toulet and restauranteur Joseph Musso, is currently in the spotlight, as its 100th anniversary celebration runs Sept. 23-27. Echeverria said the restaurant will host private parties for regulars who have been longtime patrons of the establishment during evenings that week. The Los Angeles City Council will award a proclamation to Mark and his parents, John and Cathy Echeverria; Steve and Anne Jones; and Richard and Kristen Kohlmeyer – all longtime owners of the Musso & Frank Grill – on Sept. 25 at City Hall. On Friday, Sept. 27, fans of the restaurant are invited to join the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in unveiling a

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Take a seat at the bar at Musso & Frank and step back in history.

… to tell the story. It’s a journey.” Part of that journey is the delectable food patrons enjoy at Musso & Frank, including steaks, chops, lobster, shrimp and fish, Italian fare and signature dishes such as grenadine of beef with bearnaise sauce, chicken or turkey à la king and Welsh rarebit. The fettucine alfredo is made from a recipe from the original Alfredo’s restaurant in Italy brought to a former chef by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.


Hollywood Grill celebrates 50 years! Musso & Frank Grill celebrated its 50th anniversary, as advertised in the Park Labrea News, September 1969 edition.

Musso & Frank is also known for its perfect martinis, stirred not shaken. “James Bond got it wrong,” the bartenders like to say. Echeverria added that perhaps most importantly, Musso & Frank Grill’s success can be attributed to the relationships its staff has developed with customers over the years and an unwavering attention to detail and consistency. People who stop in for the first time often become lifelong patrons. “What I’d like people to leave with is a feeling of warmth,” Echeverria said. “It’s the feeling people get when they dine here. I think Gore Vidal said it best, ‘Stepping into Musso & Frank is like stepping into a warm bath.’ What they truly get is comfortability, this feeling of warmth, a sense of home and a feeling they have been here their whole life. We do that through relationships. It’s that warm feeling like you are with family and friends, like you are going to be recognized when you come in.” Echeverria also invited people to celebrate the restaurant’s 100 years by stopping in for dinner, paying tribute to its founders and former chef Jean Rue, enjoying the hospitality and reliving a memory with a Hollywood legend. “Please raise a martini glass with us in saluting these visionaries, each of whom saw the opportunity to serve Hollywood in a way that no one else was able to, to create an establishment the B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M 5 7


special honorary award of excellence, similar to a Walk of Fame star, in front of the restaurant at 6667 Hollywood Blvd. Musso & Frank will host a special fundraiser on Sept. 28 to benefit the Motion Picture Television Relief Fund. Echeverria said there will also be specials for the public to enjoy throughout the fall with retired dishes making a comeback. “It’s possibly the most important year this restaurant has ever had. For any business to get to be a century old is a huge milestone, and for a restaurant, it’s another level,” Echeverria said. “It is something to be extremely proud of, and we are. Here we are at 100 years old, and we are doing better than ever.” The 100th anniversary celebration includes the release of a book, “The Musso & Frank Grill,” in which author and journalist Michael Callahan chronicles the evolution of the iconic Hollywood restaurant from 1919 to the present day with many colorful stories about how it mirrored the growth of the Hollywood entertainment industry. “Hollywood and Musso & Frank literally grew up together,” Echeverria said. “[The book has] a lot of photos and archival stuff nobody’s seen before. The narrative takes many elements, the servers, guests, locations

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city could grow up around and to help define the ‘Hollywood’ the world knows today,” Echeverria said. “For all of us fortunate enough to be associated with Musso & Frank, 2019 isn’t solely the culmination of our first hundred years – it’s also the beginning of our second hundred years.”

Famed a d Jazz Musician n Corky k Hale regales ga s reader a s with storie is about life, e love, music and phillan a thropy

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Braised Pork Taquitos Divorciados 2 pounds of pork butt or shoulder Sauce: 1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed Juice of 4 limes 1/2 yellow onion - quartered 1/4 cup olive oil 1 jalapeno 4 cloves garlic 1 pasilla pepper 3 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons pepper 3 teaspoons cumin 3/4 cup lager beer 1 can Las Palmas green sauce

dutch oven and heat on medium. Add the beer and 1/2 the can of the Las Palmas green sauce. Cook until it is bubbly and then return the pork butt into the dutch oven and cover with the lid. Put it in the oven for 3 hours at 300 degrees. Check on it every hour or so and add more liquid as needed. After about 3 hours in the oven, the pork should be falling off the bone tender and absolutely amazing. Shred the meat with two forks directly in the dutch oven with all the delicious sauce. Next, roll these babies up!

Pork Butt Rub: 2 teaspoons cumin 2 teaspoons oregano 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons pepper 2 teaspoons garlic salt 2 teaspoons paprika Canola Oil Very fresh corn tortillas

Add 2-3 tablespoons of the meat to the corn tortilla. Gently roll up as tightly as possible and stick with a toothpick to hold it in place. It’s really important to get very fresh tortillas to prevent cracking or breaking of the tortilla. Once you’ve rolled your taquitos, place a cast iron skillet over the

stove on medium high heat. Add enough canola oil to cover the bottom half of the pan, making sure the taquitos aren’t fully submerged in oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, place a small piece of tortilla in the oil to see if it hot enough. If the tortilla begins to fry right away, it’s hot! Gently place the taquitos into the hot oil. After a minute or so flip the taquitos. Do this until they are light golden brown. They can go from golden to burned quickly, so once they start to turn golden, take them out and place them on a paper towel.

To serve them divorciados style, pick our your favorite red and green salsa and cover each side with the sauce. My favorite is just with red and green Las Palmas and a little sour cream! They are soooo dang good. Enjoy! with a little love + salt


First, make your rub. Combine all rub ingredients together and massage into the pork, covering every nook and cranny. Sear the seasoned meat in a large dutch oven with a little canola oil. Sear on each side so it creates a nice brown crust. Set aside and turn the heat off. In a blender, add the bunch of cilantro, lime juice, 1/2 yellow onion, jalapeño, garlic, pasilla pepper, salt, pepper, cumin and olive oil. Blend together until smooth. Add the sauce into the

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Tri level fun at Conservatory B Y R E B E C C A V I L L A L PA N D O



ituated at the buzzy corner of Sweetzer and Santa Monica Boulevard, Conservatory West Hollywood perches above the flurry of the street below. In an intersection perhaps most well known for Drag Queen Brunch at Hamburger Mary’s, Conservatory manages to maintain a relaxed neighborhood vibe while still carrying an air of Weho glamour. Conservatory is a multi-level chooseyour-own-adventure establishment, with a little something for everyone. At the street level, Conservatory offers a casual cafe housed in the historic stand once occupied by Irv’s Burgers. Instead of burgers, this iteration of the sidewalk cafe serves avocado toast and oat milk lattes, among other casual fare, and fits in seamlessly as though it was always there.

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As you ascend exotic ipe wood stairs to the first deck of tables and white scalloped umbrellas, it feels as though you’re stepping onto a yacht headed somewhere on the Riviera. The next landing gives way to a large open-air bar and oblong shaped dining room. Cool breezes pass through the space as Bahamas shutters open on either side of the room. The bar features a lush hanging planter of vibrant foliage and plenty of seats for a happy hour crowd. The space feels lux and fun, but still approachable and welcoming. Seated in a cozy booth in the main dining room next to a glass-filled fire pit, we studied the long list of craft cocktails. The creative and colorful libations include the Love Symbol made with Empress gin, Lo-Fi sweet vermouth, lavender syrup, Campari,

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coconut water, and elderflower tonic. Mixologists at Conservatory create interesting combinations that are refreshing and original. With such an extensive selection of specialty liquors, it’s not surprising that the bar draws a large crowd from golden hour until the late evening. At dinnertime, Conservatory offers contemporary California cuisine with touches of Mediterranean and Asian influence. For starters, the crispy Brussels sprouts are a slightly addictive crowd-pleaser paired with citrus breadcrumbs and cider agrodolce. The dish expertly balances crispy, salty and sweet. Try the grilled lamb kefka with cucumber salad, sumac tzatziki, and roasted cauliflower. Three succulent skewers of seared ground lamb arrive in a bowl with an abstract stroke of tzatziki painted along the rim and artfully arranged florets of charred cauliflower placed alongside. The light and delicious seared ahi appetizer features fresh sushi-grade tuna, ribbons of radish, julienned granny smith apple and a tangy ponzu sauce. Shiso leaves and micro greens are delicately placed on top. Though the vibe feels relaxed, the detailed plating and sophisticated flavors are refined. For entrées, we tasted the local halibut en papillote, PEI mussels, and bucatini pasta. The halibut is presented tableside with dramatic flair as the server cuts open a half-moon of parchment paper to reveal the moist, steampoached fish bursting with the aromas of fresh lemon and herbs. The fish was perfectly cooked and paired well with the accompaniment of fava beans and a dill aioli. The PEI mussels arrive swimming in an unctuous Calabrian chile butter and white wine broth. The broth is packed with flavor and the restaurant is wise to serve a generous portion of grilled bread to soak up all of the garlicky buttery goodness. Bucatini pasta is prepared cacio e pepe style with pecorino cheese, black pepper, guanciale and a soft egg. The server pierces

the yoke tableside and tosses the pasta together creating an emulsified creamy sauce. Other entrées include a braised short rib and a double cheeseburger in a nod to the location’s history. After dinner, patrons can unwind in the Society Room, a secret speakeasy-style bar located in the back room of the restaurant. The bar is plush with light pink crushed velvet seating and emerald green crown molding. The gold accents and ornate light fixtures give the space a bit of Gatsby-style glamour with a modern touch. Though just behind a door, the space feels a world away from the resort-like

feel of the main dining room. Here guests can order specialty cocktails and indulge in vintage spirits. Conservatory makes a perfect backdrop for a birthday dinner, a romantic date, a happy hour catch up, or even a weeknight dinner in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to return to the top deck, sit at the bar and pretend I’m sailing away to a private island. And if I decide to ditch the upscale zen vibe for something a little more lively, I’ll head to the Society Room – or Hamburger Mary’s. 8289 Santa Monica Blvd.

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Wine aficionados can make their perfect mixture with classes at the Blending Lab.

Make it a Meritage Become a master vintner at Third Street winery BY CAMERON KISZLA


ine-loving Angelenos often travel to places like San Luis Obispo County wine country and Napa Valley to enjoy a tasting room experience and learn from vintners. But on Third Street, one of Los Angeles’ few wineries brings Paso Robles to a tasting room in the heart of the city. At the Blending Lab, customers can enjoy standard varietals – such as cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel – by themselves or combined into something new. Co-owner Magdalena Wojcik said the winery uses California-grown grapes, mostly from Paso Robles, to make wine at a facility just north of Los Angeles. The Blending Lab brings a wine country tasting room experience to the city. “We operate under an actual winemakers license. So that's kind of the unique thing, that we can only sell the wines that we produce,” she said. At the Blending Lab, Wojcik and coowners Michael Keller and Chris Payne create their own combinations to bring 6 2 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

out certain flavors, and, in a nod to chemistry that fits the tasting room’s laboratory aesthetic, name the blends with titles that are similar to chemical compounds. For instance, the 2015 cabernet sauvignon and grenache blend is called CSG, while the 2016 combination of tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and petite sirah goes by TeCStZPS. What makes the Blending Lab even more unique is letting customers create their own blends. In classes held in a private room, Keller walks wine neophytes and experienced connoisseurs through the flavors found in each varietal, highlighting attributes like appearance, nose and taste. “We just try to make it super simple so people can understand it. Wine is no different than other fruits or drinks,” Keller said. Then, the patrons are set free to mix the wines “like a mad scientist,” Wojcik said. The two-hour lab sessions offer each customer a few tries to find what works best

for them, providing them with the wine, containers for mixing and paper and pens to keep track of what’s been tried. Tasting customers may purchase their own custom blends by the glass; however, class participants can purchase a bottle of their favorite creation. “It's like playing around with percentages of wines in the graduated cylinder to figure out the perfect balance for your own palate,” Wojcik said. Since the tasting room opened nearly three years ago, it has been a hit, especially with the surrounding neighborhood. Carmen Gonzalez, a Park La Brea resident who works in sales, said the Blending Lab is a great place to meet neighbors. She often brings dinner to the tasting room, and the owners will select the best wine pairing. The blending classes, however, offer a special experience that allows the winery to engage with the community. “The class is a great way to learn about the grapes, and it’s fun making your own bottles. I actually have used their private room to host events with my own customers. My customers love the experience of blending their own wines,” she said. But blending aside, the winery works because the wine is high quality, and the atmosphere is welcoming, said Kelli Manthei, who lives just a few blocks away. Manthei said she prefers to drink unblended glasses of her preferred reds, though she’s not against finding a new varietal or blend that suits her. Whether a customer prefers to be guided by the person behind the bar or forge their own path, Manthei said the Blending Lab is perfect for anyone who enjoys wine. “It’s a really friendly, helpful atmosphere where you can sit with what you’re comfortable with, or you can branch out with someone who not only can walk you through the process of finding a new favorite but is genuinely excited and invested in that working out for you,” Manthei said. The Blending Lab is located at 7948 W. Third St. For information, visit

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Fall Feasts.

Serve only the ďŹ nest meat and poultry from your local butcher. Prime Rib, Crown Roast of Pork, Leg of Lamb,Turkey. Willie Birds are free range turkeys raised in Sonoma, California. Tender, juicy and delicious. Order now for the Holidays.

6333 W. Third St. 323.938.5131 Family owned and operated at the Farmers Market since 1941

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A sushi speakeasy Visit Nozawa Bar hidden in SUGARFISH Beverly Hills


t the reservation-only, intimate Nozawa Bar hidden inside SUGARFISH in Beverly Hills, high-quality fish is arranged in simple, yet artistic and appealing presenta-

tions. Dining at SUGARFISH offers a sit-down, menu-based ordering system, while at Nozawa Bar, only 10 guests experience a 20course menu with dishes served in a traditional omakase style. The dishes, which include exotic nigiri, sashimi and handrolls for more adventurous sushi eaters, appeal to those who appreciate quality over quantity. The restaurant, named after the Tokyo-trained Master Chef Kazunori Nozawa, is helmed by one of his students, Osamu Fujita, known as Chef Fuji. Friends for more than 30 years, the duo have developed relationships with some of the finest fish purveyors from around the world. They arrive 15 minutes before downtown L.A.’s fish market opens to purchase the best akamutsu or kinmedai from Japan, pink lobster from New Zealand, tuna from almost every sea and sea urchin from Santa Barbara. At Nozawa Bar, Chef Fuji sets the tempo and puts his guests at ease with his sense of humor. He carefully places the sushi onto beautiful Japanese serving plates. Using a well-honed technique, with just the right knife strokes, Chef Fuji brings out the finest flavors and desired tenderness. The rice is also very high quality. Sourced from a Japanese company that grows rice in the Sacramento Delta, it is not too heavy, starchy or fluffy. Chef Fuji expertly slices the fish, creating delicate and tasty sushi dishes.

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The nori is different, too. The chefs work with farmers and suppliers in Japan who cultivate the right consistency for rolling. Nozawa’s team makes their own ponzu sauce, offering a touch of garlic, pepper, citrus and ginger. Their homemade soy sauce is lighter and less salty than commercial brands, offering a hint of smokiness and amplifying the mild, medium and full flavors of the freshest fish. The 10 of us started with seven bite-size pieces of Japanese jellyfish served in a pretty Japanese bowl. Surprisingly, I found the texture dense and slightly crunchy. It’s all about the sauces that enhance each treasure from the sea, and this light ponzu sauce was exquisite. The next course was a spectacular plate of whole New Zealand pink lobster. Next to the raw lobster were a few slices of small

Santa Barbara abalone “about three years old,” Chef Fuji said, and bright red Canadian bigeye tuna. “Our divers collected the fresh abalone and uni today. It’s all about clean water and kelp to get this quality,” Fujita said. Fourteen different nigiri plates comprised the rest of our omakase experience, including Baja California bluefin toro, giant clam, popping salmon eggs, Japanese sea eel and the sweet and slightly smoky Japanese kinmedai nigiri. Santa Barbara uni and Maine lobster nigiri courses were excellent. The uni was soft and buttery, and it just melted in my mouth, allowing the essence of the sea to linger. Handrolls include a Japanese mountain white potato with threeyear fermented plum and an earthy shiso leaf. One of the most unique offerings was a little mound of Monkfish liver. We finished with a cup of Hojicha roasted green tea and a bowl of Farmers Market berries with a scoop of citrusy Mandarin sorbet, both served in exquisite Japanese ceramics. The reservation-only dinner is $175 per person and can be made on their website, by phone, or email Nozawa Bar 212 N. Canon Drive, (424)216-6158.



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Serving Hot Cakes, Pies and Family Friendly Meals

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Artful cuisine DTLA’s Manuela combines Californian cusine and comfort food BY JILL WEINLEIN


n the center of the Hauser & Wirth art gallery is a culinary gem, Manuela. Named for Maneula Wirth, the restaurant offers sensational seasonal dishes prepared by Executive Chef Kris Tominaga. A Los Angeles native, Tominaga has created a coastal California menu that includes comfort food, such as biscuits served with honey butter and country ham. Hauser & Wirth art gallery occupies a former flour mill and offers an indoor-outdoor ambiance with reclaimed brick and wood sourced from the 1920s-era building. Diners at Manuela can congregate in various areas of the restaurant, at the outdoor bar or at the interior bar with high ceilings and modern wheel-like chandeliers created by contemporary artist Paul McCarthy. A colorful map of Los Angeles by artist Mark Bradford adorns one wall. A large-scale mural of the ocean, clouds, rocks and a rainbow by American artist Raymond Pettibon hangs inside a glassedin private room, an intimate space that seats up to 12 guests for social gatherings, dinner parties, brunch or bridal showers. A marble communal counter allows diners to watch the activity of the open kitchen, where chefs plate dishes fresh from the woodfired grill. A bi-level patio overlooks the sculpture courtyard. Nearby is a curated art book store, several gallery spaces, a chef’s vegetable garden growing homegrown herbs and flowers and a chicken coop. For starters, try the American cheese board with a wedge of Vermont Cabot clothbound cheddar, which had a crumbly texture


Brown butter Liberty Farms duck.

and nutty aroma, a slice of Iowa prairie breeze – a twist on a wellaged white cheddar – and a slice of Hook’s 10-year cheddar from Wisconsin. A glass Mason jar filled with Spanish peanuts, some pickled purple cabbage, a wedge of red garnet yam spread and thick slices of delicious sesame-crusted bread accompanies the cheese. Sesame seeds appear in other dishes like the ceviche with chopped avocado, julienne of radish, ginger and fresh lime juice. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on the citrus, chicories, labneh and seed salad that is dressed with a pleasing sherry and walnut vinaigrette. A plate of deviled eggs – made from the @chicksofmanuela – (yes, they have their own Instagram) are filled with a savory paste of yolk, buttermilk, dill and a pinch of celery salt. It is a splendid shared dish as are the barbecued Morro Bay oysters with nasturtium butter, breadcrumbs and melted parmesan crumbs. Crisp polenta smothered with maitake ragu combines simple cornmeal with complex mushroom flavors and crème fraîche. On both the lunch and brunch menus are the table-pleasing chilaquiles with perfectly poached eggs, zesty sauce, pickled radish and avocado. The broccolini is served with pickled garlic and peanuts and glazed with a smoked chili vinegar and charred snap peas that arrived on top of wild rice with crumbled feta, chopped mint and melted sesame date butter to give it a touch of sweetness with each crunchy bite. The most artistically presented dish is the perfectly cooked Liberty Farms sliced duck breast in brown butter with spheres of satsuma citrus, thinly sliced watermelon radish and sprigs of watercress to provide additional color and flavor. Finish with a plate of ooey-gooey, brown butter chocolate chip cookies with a scoop of milk chocolate ice cream and almond toffee for a delicious treat. Manuela is open for lunch, weekend brunch and dinner. $$-$$$ 907 E. Third St., (323)849-0480.


The popover Benedict is served with preacher ham, poached egg, green garlic hollandaise and garden greens.

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A Hollywood Legend Since 1939 We’ve come a long way, baby!


2019 80 Years later ... La Brea and Melrose Now Designated “Pink’s Square” 323.979.3878 @theofficialpinkshotdogs @Pinkshotdogs. #pinkshotdogs

Open Sun.- Thurs. 9:30 a.m.- 2:00 a.m Fri.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.- 3 a.m.

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From the Amalfi Coast to Beverly Hills epitomizes Italian hospitality BY REBECCA MORETTI



erhaps one of the most underrated restaurants in Los Angeles, Nerano consistently delights with its exquisite food, impeccable service and relaxed, upscale ambiance. Though the restaurant is less hyped than some of its Italian neighbors, anyone who dines there is almost certain to return. The interior is chic and welcoming with red-brick walls, blue leather booths, eclectic art and a sleek bar next to a glasswalled kitchen. Outdoor seating is ideal for sunny business lunches. Upstairs, Nerano houses the BG lounge, an intimate cocktail bar offering unique concoctions crafted by chief mixologist Asadour Seheldjian, as well as a shared-plates menu curated by Executive Chef Michele Lisi. The lounge mixes old-world elegance with a sleek, contemporary aesthetic, ac-

centuated by modern art such as an atmospheric light-box piece by artist Sam Durant. Nerano owners Andy and Carlo Brandon-Gordon opened their doors in 2016, seeking to bring a unique Southern Italian haute-dining experience to Beverly Hills. The couple was inspired by frequent visits to the Amalfi Coast and the seductive island of Nerano, in particular. The Gordon family also owns Brentwood staple Toscana, opened by Mike and Kathy Gordon in 1989. The restaurant, along with Bar Toscana, which was opened next door in 2010, have become local favorites. Nerano’s menu features an extensive seafood selection, while Italian staples like pizza and pasta range from traditional to exotic. Wine director Dino Marone has Nerano’s spaghetti vongole with fresh clams is a quintessential dish.

an impressive knowledge of wines from around the world and will suggest sublime pairings. The selection, while focused on Southern Italian wines, offers many options from Napa and the Russian River Valley as well. The seasonal appetizers are varied and appealing, from a wonderful crudo selection including yellowtail and scallops, to more traditional Italian dishes such as fritto misto and burrata caprese. There are also simple yet flavorful vegetarian options, like the roasted yellow beets with goat cheese and hazelnuts and baby artichokes with arugula and shaved Tuscan Pecorino cheese. To start, we opted for the Polpo alla Griglia, grilled Spanish octopus lightly drizzled in olive oil and served on a warm bed of mashed potatoes and rosemary gremolata. The grilled octopus is perfectly tender, while salsify chips on top provide a welcome crunch. The octopus pairs perfectly with Greco di Tufo, a Southern Italian white with a sublime balance of floral, tangy and fruity flavors. It was extremely smooth and worked perfectly to whet our appetites for the meal to come. Next, we tried the burrata caprese, Apulian burrata served with thick-cut tomatoes and Italian basil. The burrata is extremely fresh – soft as a cloud inside with a little resistance on the outer shell. We also tried the colorful Insalata di Anguria, watermelon salad topped with feta and garnished with mint, a simple, refreshing dish bursting with taste. The fresh, crispy watermelon squares contrasted wonderfully with the salty feta, creating a surprising and explosive flavor combination.

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hazelnut ice cream, dark chocolate mousse and crunchy hazelnuts. We reveled in the rich flavors and varied textures of this unique treat. Dessert was paired with a glass of Malvasia delle Lipari passito, a sweet Italian raisin wine. The nocciolino and passito were a decadent finish to an incredible dinner. Visit Nerano for lunch, dinner or cocktails and shared plates. No matter the occasion, Nerano is sure to enchant. 9960 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310)405-0155.


With pasta being a specialty, we chose a duo of black truffle gnudi, gnocchi-like dumplings made with ricotta instead of potato. The ricotta and spinach gnudi is tossed with mushrooms and topped generously with Australian black truffle. The rich and fluffy pasta paired nicely with the juicy chanterelle mushrooms and truffle. To accompany the gnudi, Marone recommended a glass of the Gavi di Gavi, a dry white from the Piedmont region. The other half of the duo was an exotic special – spaghetti in white wine sauce with uni and bottarga. Slightly salty from the fish roe, the dish was packed with flavor and texture. The bottarga provided crunch, while the uni was silky, almost creamy. We enjoyed the salty spice flavor, and the spaghetti were al dente to satisfy most palates. As a main course, we ordered the grilled branzino, which was a perfect size for sharing. The fresh, whole fish was lightly drizzled with olive oil and served with seasonal broccolini and local oven-roasted potatoes. The fish was delicate yet hearty, and the simple vegetable sides were so full of their own flavor that they hardly needed a drizzle of olive oil. The fish paired well with a glass of Benefizio Riserva, a Tuscan chardonnay from Frescobaldi. For those who prefer beef, the filet mignon with truffle butter and mushroom sauce pairs well with the Brunello di Montalcino, a Tuscan red. For dessert, we had Nerano’s signature nocciolino, adorably presented in a cappuccino cup. Below a torched meringue top, which serves as the nocciolino “foam,” the dessert consists of

Tuna tartare

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A little Manhattan in Beverly Hills Handcrafted cocktails and elegant small plates at Ocean Prime BY JILL WEINLEIN


The modern American restaurant pours this unique blend on the rocks or in their signature OP Manhattan. It’s made with Carpano Antica Vermouth, Nonino Amaro and rosemary grapefruit peppercorn bitters. In the center of the glass is a large OP logo ice cube, creating an ideal balance and chill of melted water ratio for the cocktail. During their weekday happy hour in the lounge, we sipped an OP Manhattan while ordering a few of their small plates,

starting with the OP Sliders topped with melted Tillamook Cheddar, caramelized onions and a slice of Roma tomato. When the lamb lollipops arrived, we enjoyed the flavorful teriyaki marinade and soy butter sauce. This dish pairs nicely with the OP Manhattan, as the bourbon enhances the smoky and rich flavors in gamey meats. Other cocktails served in the lounge include a Rum Punch made with Don Pancho 8 Year Rum, Ancho Reyes, apricot


ome of the best drinks are stirred, never shaken. At the bar inside Ocean Prime Beverly Hills, they make a magnificent OP Manhattan cocktail. Earlier this year, associates from Ocean Prime participated in an off-site blending program with Woodford Reserve, a premium bourbon whiskey brand. Together, they created a one-of-akind cocktail selection representing a pleasing expression for every season and palette.

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Orchard, fresh orange and chocolate bitters. This pairs nicely with a spicy cucumber salad dressed with sesame oil, Togarashi, Wakame seaweed and bonito flakes. Seafood centric dishes included a blackened fish tostada on a crispy corn tortilla with avocado crema and a house-made slaw. We also enjoyed the rock shrimp crisp Romaine lettuce wraps filled with chopped scallion and a drizzle of sesame and citrus ponzu dressing. Another Asianinspired sesame ginger vinaigrette brings out the fresh flavors in the hamachi crudo with pickled mango, sweet peppers and chopped cilantro. Ordering a couple of the sushi offerings, we sipped a Black Orchid made with Belvedere vodka, St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur, lemon and white cranberry juice. The OP Lobster Roll is made with a poached lobster tail, sliced kiwi, pickled Serrano and a slightly spicy mango puree. The Camden is a surf and turf roll made with cream cheese, tempura shrimp and beef carpaccio.


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Also on the menu is a raw bar including chilled shrimp and crab meat cocktail, chilled whole lobster, Dutch Harbor King crab legs and a shellfish tower. On Wednesdays they offer 50% off oysters and frozen granita with glasses of Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs or Rosé. Before leaving we noticed the interior dining area and outdoor patio were filled with reservation and walk-in guests. Sitting outside in one of the half-shell shaped booths with comfortable throw

pillows offers diners a resort/vacation ambiance. Ocean Prime is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Fridays, Ocean Prime stays open until 11 p.m. The Schramsberg & Oyster promotion is on Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m., while the elevated happy hour in the lounge is every Monday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. On weekends, dinner service begins at 5 p.m. $$-$$$. 9595 Wilshire Blvd. (310)859-4818.



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Culina Tuscan-born chef shines with inspired Italian fare BY JILL WEINLEIN


hef de Cuisine Luca Moriconi at Culina and Vinoteca at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills creates classic Tuscan cuisine with a modern artistic flair. Raised in Tuscany, Moriconi, an 11-year veteran with Four Seasons, curates exceptional dishes served in an intimate dining room with sophisticated dĂŠcor. A bread basket is delivered to guests along with a plate of Italian delights, including crispy dried red chilies, small Italian olives and Mitica Taralli crackers, a crunchy olive-oil biscuit. The Tonno Rosso starter was presented on a platter with ahi tuna crudo mixed with chopped sweet and spicy peppers.

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Pan roasted striped bass.

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Slices of deep red tuna are fanned on top of thinly sliced cucumbers like floral petals. Slightly toasted pine nuts give this dish a buttery flavor. Taste with carasau flatbread crackers for added texture. This starter pairs nicely with a glass of Montenidoli Fiore dry white wine, offering elegant notes to complement the tuna. The Fattoria Sardi rosé from Toscana pairs perfectly with the charred octopus salad. The wine offers a crisp, well-balanced minerality with notes of dried rose hips, raspberry and melon. The octopus sits under frilly watercress and frisse leaves and is artistically arranged with cauliflower and smoked potato puree in the center. Al dente green beans round out this dish. A glass of 2016 straw-colored Vorberg Bianco balanced the richness of the decadent risotto. Chef Moriconi shaves a generous amount of seasonal black truffles on top. Mushrooms and a sottocenere cheese are folded into the Aborio rice. A spoonful of truffle caviar and deep-sea prawn crudo

add a pop of color and flavor. Moriconi’s signature dish is his mother’s lasagne di Grazia. He lovingly recreates a classic beef lasagna and adds layers of velvety white béchamel sauce and a generous sprinkling of ParmigianoReggiano. This heavenly lasagna is plated on a beautiful blue glazed ceramic bowl. Roasted striped bass is served with sautéed spinach and topped with julienne zucchini and a pleasing caper emulsion. Pastry Chef Federico Fernandez is known for his creative desserts including a classic Millefoglie, meaning “a thousand layers.” Vanilla cream is layered between puff pastry and served with honey gelato and shaved black truffles on top. Other desserts include tiramisu, a brown butter cake, panna cotta and an array of vegan ice cream, sorbetti and gelati. For those who choose to sip their sweets, grappa and dessert wines are available by the glass. Dinner at Culina is an elevated culinary journey that is artistically and thought-

fully presented by Moriconi and his team at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. A Pronto Market Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests may indulge in an endless selection of salads, cheese and charcuterie, desserts, fresh fruit and more for $35 per person. $$$ 300 S. Doheny Drive, (310)860-4000.

Apulian burrata, Wiser Farm melon, aged balsamic, Tuscan prosciutto

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B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M 7 3

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an L.A. Treasure



n a city filled with celebrities and would-be stars, there is also a niche group of cherished local icons. Knowing and loving these Los Angeles-famous individuals separates the pilot-season transplants from the LA-lifers, and Angelenos will always take pride in honoring them. They are the Tommy Lasordas and Jonathan Golds of the world. For me, this person is Joan McNamara. Joan’s on Third needs no introduction. Just the mention of the beloved restaurant brings to mind the perfectly vanilla-bean-speckled cupcakes, the fresh display case filled with colorful farmer’s market vegetables, that decadent short rib melt, and, of course, their iconic Chinese chicken salad. Joan’s is an L.A. standby, bustling every day with a crowd of regulars, visitors and the occasional sunglasses-clad “it” girl. What brings people to Joan’s again and again? Everything at Joan’s is fresh, simple and made with the highest quality ingredients. You won’t find molecular gastronomy, but you will find a perfectly-tossed salad with each leaf lightly coated in that justright amount of dressing – an equally impressive feat. The large dining patio, covered by black awnings emblazoned with the Joan’s moniker, is filled with inviting bistro tables and chairs. The all-white interior is open and bright with light, featuring a vaulted ceiling and a geometric alabaster-tiled floor. It’s an idyllic scene for foodies in an environment that feels welcoming to everyone who passes by. What truly makes the restaurant great, however, is the woman at the center of it all. Joan McNamara opened her namesake restaurant in 1995. Her infectious smile and impeccable taste are evident in every detail of the space. “I love what I’m doing,” Joan led with as she sat down to chat. It’s apparent. She floats about the dining space, hugging old friends and making new ones and warmly checking in on each member of the large staff. The daughter of Czech immigrants, Joan grew up cooking alongside her mother. After moving to Los Angeles to raise her two daughters, Carol and Susie, Joan’s passion for cooking grew, and she invited ever larger groups of friends to gather for dinner in her 7 4 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

home until her guest lists outgrew her accommodations. With her children grown, Joan began thinking of opening her own restaurant. She found the space for Joan’s in the classifieds of the newspaper and soon, she was in business. Joan wanted the restaurant to be an extension of her own home, to feel like her family kitchen. She even described wanting her display cases to be entirely open and just having customers come through and pick up what they’d like to try for the day. Her original drawings of the restaurant plans showed a sink filled with flowers – not dishes. While restaurant conventions ultimately dashed some of these dreams, that feeling that she wanted to impart to her customers, that this was a space for everyone to come and feel at home, came through. As Joan said, gesturing around the restaurant at her guests and staff, eyes a little glassy with happy tears, “I feel like this is all my family.” These sentiments are most exemplified in the comforting and robust flavors of Joan’s signature dishes. Joan’s takes simple items and makes them exquisite. A turkey sandwich, for example, is elevated with the inclusion of a tangy mustard-caper sauce, a flavorful mix of interesting greens and a perfectly crusty baguette. All the salads are served in deep, shiny metal mixing bowls. Somehow this novelty makes each expertly tossed salad taste fresher. Each element of the salads gets integrated evenly throughout—no goodies stuck at the bottom here! The signature Chinese chicken salad is light and crisp, with cold shaved iceberg lettuce, two different types of

Joan McNamara

crunchy noodles, slivered almonds, crispy pieces of savory chicken and a rather addictive sweet and tangy dressing. Another favorite is the short rib melt. There are no shortcuts taken in the preparation of this decadent and delicious sandwich. It includes tender slow-braised short ribs and jack cheese melted between buttery grilled country white bread. Light greens and bright and briny sweet pickled red onions cut through the richness, creating a near perfect balance of deep flavors. Yum. Joan’s is also known for delectable sweet treats – cookies, cupcakes, pies and ice cream galore. While Joan’s on Third is one of my favorite lunchtime spots, sometimes the best part of the experience is sitting with Joan and hearing her stories. At my last visit, she told me about an evening a few years ago when a couple came in and told her they were getting married at the restaurant – that night! Joan was concerned that her staff was not prepared to welcome so many guests so unexpectedly. They quickly explained that they would be having their big ceremony the following day. This ceremony would just include the couple, a witness and an officiant. The couple had actually met at Joan’s when the bride sat alone at a table enjoying coffee and reading a book. The groom timidly approached her, they struck up a conversation and the rest is history. Joan looked on as the group of four took a seat at that same table and quietly said their vows. As Joan regaled me with this magical story, again teary-eyed, her words rang true – this restaurant and its patrons really are all her family. 8350 W. Third St., Los Angeles, (323)655-2285

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Nine O’Clock Players delight children with live theater BY CAMERON KISZLA


t 1367 N. St. Andrews Place in Hollywood, a 330-seat theater transports children to fantastical places where giants roam and genies dwell. On stage, iconic characters like the Velveteen Rabbit and Peter Pan come to life, courtesy of the Theatre for Children Program by Nine O’Clock Players, a 90-year-old auxiliary of the Assistance League of Los Angeles that enthralls kids and parents alike. Melanie Merians, CEO of the Assistance League of Los Angeles, said Nine O’Clock Players, which stages two annual productions based on classic children’s literature, is integral to the group’s mission of helping impoverished children in Los Angeles. Each year, the Assistance League serves approximately 22,000 children, many of whom are homeless or in foster care, by providing them with necessities like clothing, school supplies and toothbrushes and by offering services including a preschool and a college scholarship program. The Nine O’Clock Players serve “a different kind of need,” Merians added. “We see that the experience of live theater – not through a screen but actual live theater and the interaction and the experience of that – is really life-changing for many of these children, [many of whom] have never seen a live performance,” Merians said. NOP also works to ensure as many children as possible have access to shows. It uses donations and ticket sales from Sunday shows, which are open to the public, to fund the weekday shows, which are attended by school groups. Students from Title 1 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District receive free tickets and transportation from NOP, and for other schools, attendance is only $8 per student. The mostly-female group also keeps costs low by paying only a handful of professionals for each show. Everyone else who’s involved is a volunteer, and many of them have been returning year after year to help out. As a result, Melanie Edward, chair of NOP, said more than 75% of the students get to see a show for free. The students also learn lessons, as there’s a moral to each story for the children to use in their everyday lives. Past shows have covered topics like bullying and respecting others, and the upcoming show, “Jack and the Giant,” will encourage kids to be heroes and stand up for what’s right, said Julia Holland, the show’s director and producer. The shows also have high production value. For instance, “Jack and the Giant” will feature a 10-foot puppet manned by four people, Holland said. “It’s always exciting to do something new and creative. We have 7 6 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

The Theatre for Children Program stages classic children’s stories like “Charlotte’s Web.”

really great designers with really wonderful costumes. My job is to put the best team together as possible. That’s what I think I’ve done,” she said. After the shows, the students get to meet with the characters in the theater’s courtyard for autographs, pictures and conversation. Holland, who is normally behind the scenes but acted on stage in a show last spring, raved about the experience. “After the show, you get to see that look on their face. They believe the magic. You get to really see how you affected them. It’s really wonderful, and it’s also wonderful to get feedback,” she said. Edward said the feedback makes all the hard work worth it. “We know we’re making a difference with these underserved children in Los Angeles. Therefore, that is rewarding to us. We get back as much as we give,” she said. For information, visit


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Iconic architecture plays major role in popularity of Los Angeles theaters


Theater-goers come to The Pantages to see spectacular Broadway shows and to bask in the grandeur of the theater itself.

The Pantages Few Los Angeles buildings are more iconic than the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, which has been delighting L.A. theater-goers and visitors since 1930. Located at the bustling intersection of Hollywood and Vine, the Art Deco theater is at the top of L.A.’s live theater scene. People come to The Pantages not only to be wowed by incredible musical performances but also to bask in the grandeur of the theater itself. The interior is stunning with majestic chandeliers, red-velvet carpeted staircases and a lavish auditorium ceiling studded with gold and bronze starbursts backlit by royal blue. Although The Pantages started as a movie theater, stage productions have been its hallmark since 1977 with longrunning musicals like “Wicked” and “The Lion King” dominating box-office sales and selling out the 2,700-seat theater. The highest-grossing weeks in L.A.’s theater history have all been from Broadway shows presented at The Pantages, a venue which consistently brings high-quality 7 8 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

productions to a city dominated by the film and television industries. Highlights for the 2019-20 “Broadway in Hollywood” season include hits like “Hamilton,” “Frozen,” “Blue Man Group,” “Anastasia,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.” Season packages are available and include access to live performances at the Dolby Theatre, which has partnered with The Pantages to bring Broadway shows to Hollywood.

The Wallis Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts has become a cultural and artistic hub in Beverly Hills. While glitzy shops and restaurants often take the neighborhood spotlight in Beverly Hills, The Wallis commands attention with its sleek, modern exterior and its impressive calendar of live shows. Fusing the city’s history with its future, the 70,000-squarefoot venue showcases the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office as its

lobby and houses the state-of-the-art 500seat Bram Goldsmith Theater. The Wallis has produced over 150 world-class theater, dance, opera and classical music shows, and its audience continues to grow. Programming for the 2019-20 season, which begins Sept.17, marks the fourth year of shows under CEO Rachel Fine and Artistic Director Paul Crewes. Highlights of the season include the U.S. premiere of the hit London musical “Romantics Anonymous” in March. Concerts include Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall, on Sept. 21, Art Garfunkel on Jan. 12 and the Emerson String Quartet on May 8. The Wallis also will feature a new play celebrating the life of Nina Simone in December, and “BODYTRAFFIC,” a dance show spotlighting the Los Angeles-based dance company, in September. “Beverly Hills has long been known as a city of celebrity and luxury, but its robust history in the arts and entertainment is considerable as well. That there’s now a major cultural and multifaceted per-


Setting the stage

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forming arts center here, worthy of its reputation as the soul of Beverly Hills, makes perfect sense,” Fine said. With its eclectic calendar of diverse theater, dance and music shows, The Wallis has truly become the cultural center of Beverly Hills.

The Greek Theatre


In a city where the weather is too perfect not to spend time outdoors, the Greek Theatre provides an ideal venue for enjoying live shows al fresco. Located in Vermont Canyon in scenic Griffith Park, the Greek Theatre has been holding live performances since 1931. The 5,900-seat theater was styled to look like a Greek temple after the wishes of wealthy industrialist Griffith J. Griffith, who donated 3,000 acres of land to the city of Los Angeles to create Griffith Park. The Greek Theatre was rarely used during its first decades and even served as a barracks during World War II. Today, it is one of the most popular and iconic concert venues in Los Angeles, offering a regular rotation of contemporary and classical productions from world-class artists and performers. The theater’s facade, renovated in 2006 in honor of the venue’s 75th anniversary and again in 2015, is beautifully offset by the canyon hills, which provide superior acoustics for concerts and performances. Unlike the Hollywood Bowl, outside food is not allowed into the Greek, but the venue offers a wide range of food and beverage options, and meals can be reserved ahead of time. Show offerings are diverse, including performances from indie musicians, country rock stars, comedians and DJs. Highlights for the upcoming months include concerts by Hozier, Bastille, Luke Combs and

the Revivalists. If you’re looking for a night of great music under the stars, grab a blanket, bring a friend and make your way to the Greek.

Ford Theaters Nestled in the rugged mountains of the Cahuenga Pass is a magical theater reminiscent of a castle in the woods. This hidden gem is the Ford Amphitheatre, one of the oldest operating performing arts venues in Los Angeles. The amphitheater was built in 1920 for “The Pilgrimage Play,” though the theater’s original wooden structure was destroyed in a 1929 brush fire. The present theater, built in 1931 on the original site, was styled out of poured concrete to resemble the ancient gates of the Old City in Jerusalem. The Ford Theatres underwent a two-year, $72 million renovation project completed in 2017, in which the stage was reconstructed, the hillside behind the venue was stabilized and new lighting and sound systems were installed. Other infrastructure improvements included a new dining terrace and lower level concession area. The 1,200-seat outdoor theater, now owned by the county of Los Angeles, presents an eclectic roster of performances in music, theater, dance and film. The Ford is also known for hosting family events and community gatherings. Upcoming events for the fall and winter seasons include a performance of “La Espina” by renowned flamenco dancer Olga Pericet, a concert by Grammy-nominated pop and rhythm and blues group, We Are King, and Game Theory, a night of symphonic and electronic game music. Mexican-American singer/songwriter Lila Downs will be closing the Ford Theatres’ 2019 season on October 19-20 with ticketed evening concerts following a free, two-day Dia de los Muertos community celebration festival.

The Egyptian Theatre

Herb Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall perform at The Wallis on Sept. 21.

As one of L.A.’s most historic movie theaters, the Egyptian Theatre has been a prime destination for moviegoers since it hosted the first-ever Hollywood movie premiere for “Robin Hood” in 1922. Situated on Hollywood Boulevard, the grand movie palace was built by showman Sid Grauman and real estate developer Charles Toberman, who later went on to build the iconic Chinese Theatre and El Capitan Theater nearby. The Egyptian Theatre is unmistakable with its sturdy colonnade and fanciful Egyptian mural art, a design which appealed to the 1920s fascination with exotic themes. Since 1998, the Egyptian has been owned and operated by the American Cinematheque, which also operates the vintage Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The Cinematheque raised funds to execute a $12.8 million renovation, which added a second screening theater and restored the exterior to its original 1922 appearance. Today, the theater screens indie, foreign and classic movies and hosts film premieres, as well as director panels. Netflix is currently in the process of acquiring the 616-seat theater to hold events and promote its films, such as Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” which was screened in 70 mm at the Egyptian earlier this year as part of the Golden Globe Foreign Language Nominees Series. This unique B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M 7 9

and delightful annual series presents foreign-language Golden Globe-nominated films and features free panel discussions with the films’ talented directors. There has been some resistance to Netflix’s acquisition of the historic theater from locals who seek to preserve Hollywood’s history and culture. While Netflix has not been vocal about its plans for the theater, the hope is that it will keep screening great cinema for decades to come.


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El Capitan As one of Charles Toberman and Sid Grauman’s three themed movie palaces, the El Capitan stands out for its grand, cast-concrete exterior and luxurious East Indian-inspired interior. Today, the theater is owned by Walt Disney Studios and is used to host most Disney film premieres, serving as an exclusive first-run theater for the studios since 1991. Sitting under the theater’s stunning gold-vaulted ceiling, spectators are often treated to a live concert on El Capitan’s impressive “Mighty Wurlitzer” organ, as well as a

8 0 B E V E R LY P R E S S . C O M

The El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard hosts most Disney film premieres.

curtain light show, making the moviegoing experience truly special. Declared a historic-cultural monument by the city of Los Angeles, the El Capitan has been restored to showcase its original lavish architecture while being upgraded with state-of-the-art screening and audio technology. Known as “Hollywood’s First Home of Spoken Drama,” the El Capitan presented live theater until 1941, when faltering business led owners to convert it

from a playhouse into a movie theater. Orson Welles rented the El Capitan for the premiere of his controversial, now legendary film, “Citizen Kane,” after being rejected by multiple theater owners unwilling to risk screening it. In 1989, Disney and Pacific Theatres launched a two-year restoration with the aim of recreating the theater’s original 1926 appearance. continues on page 82

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Today, the theater presents new and classic Disney films in which children and adults alike are sure to delight. Upcoming shows include screenings of Disney classics such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Hocus Pocus” and Disney and Pixar’s “Coco.” For $12, the theater also offers a 45-minute behindthe-scenes guided tour, which includes entry into backstage areas such as the Sherman Brothers’ Star Dressing Room and a photo opportunity with the historic “Mighty Wurlitzer” organ, which has over 2,500 pipes. With its stunning architecture, old Hollywood charm and impressive screening quality, the El Capitan is a must-visit for those looking to enjoy a unique film experience in the cradle of the movie industry.

Saban Theatre Since its opening as the Fox Wilshire Theatre in September 1930, the Saban Theatre has served as a cultural landmark

for Beverly Hills and the wider Los Angeles community, providing a place for film, music and theater lovers to come together. Located at the corner of Wilshire and Hamilton Drive, the historic Art Deco building is impossible to miss and gained a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. A long-time Beverly Hills resident, architect S. Charles Lee, designed the Saban as a theater for major film screenings, even including a stage for live, pre-show acts. Over the past 90 years, the 2,000seat theater has hosted numerous film premieres, concerts, plays, musicals and touring Broadway shows. The original interior remains almost entirely intact with ample orchestra and balcony seating and an intricate silver and gold proscenium. The lobby, too, remains true

to the original, despite multiple renovations, with a Corinthian-columned, twostory rotunda and stunning Art Deco chandelier. The Saban offers an eclectic mix of live musical acts, ranging from hip-hop to rock to jazz and rap. Upcoming shows include a Buddy Holly & Roy Orbison Hologram Show on Sept. 27, a concert by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on Oct. 10 and “A Night with Janis Joplin,” a musical about the legendary rock and roll singer, on Oct.18.


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