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More on the Jaywalking Flap | 5 Big Changes for Broadway | 14

JANUARY 27, 2014 I VOL. 43 I #4

Downtown’s Man in Washington Checking In With Congressman Xavier Becerra See Page 6


Photo by Gary Leonard

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Show Off Your Cool Loft


owntown Los Angeles is full of people with a strong sense of design — individuals, couples or families who believe they have one of the most impressive homes around. Now, it’s time for those folks to put their condominium or apartment where their mouth is. Los Angeles Downtown News is looking for Central City homes to feature in our upcoming “What’s in My Loft?” section. The residences, which will be showcased in the March 17 issue, will be photographed by Gary Leonard, and a reporter will stop by to discuss design ideas and a few of the occupants’ most treasured possessions. The stories include pictures of the inhabitants. So if you have the place and the place has the look, and you want to share it all with Downtown, then email a short description and photo to Dawn Eastin at

TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS Factory head and jewelry designer Tarina Tarantino, described the store as offering “edgy avant garde brands for men and women.” Merchandise on the Oak website is on the high end, with items including $82 T-shirts, $200 platform shoes, $265 sweaters and $300 leather backpacks. It is not the only new upscale addition coming to the street: Portland-based leather purveyor Tanner Goods will soon move into a ground-floor space at 860 S. Broadway (formerly occupied by Downtown News photographer Gary Leonard’s gallery). The company bills itself as a group of designers, craftspeople and skilled laborers who “strive to create modern products that respect the past.” The store specializes in belts, bags and wallets, with prices ranging from $80 for a luggage tag to $250 for a portfolio. Coming to the northeast corner of Ninth Street and Broadway in about a month is a permanent space for Aesop, a highend beauty and skin care store. Aesop had been in a temporary pop-up space.

Huizar Responds to Sexual Harassment Complaint


Three More High-End Retailers Coming to Broadway


t’s getting so you can’t swing a $250 handcrafted item at Ninth Street and Broadway without hitting another $250 handcrafted item. New Yorkbased specialty retailer Oak has signed a deal to move into the ground-floor space of the Sparkle Factory, at 908 S. Broadway, across the street from the Ace Hotel, on Feb. 1. Landlord Alfonso Campos, the husband and business partner of Sparkle

ourteenth District City Councilman José Huizar encouraged a former staffer who is suing him for sexual harassment to run for political office, then said he was going to pull his support, according to newly filed court documents. Huizar earlier this month filed his answer to former Deputy Chief of Staff Francine Godoy’s October complaint. The councilman, who is up for re-election next year, continues to deny sexually harassing or retaliating against her. However, Huizar, who is married with four children, has previously admitted to a consensual sexual relationship with Godoy. In the

January 27, 2014



Performance by William Mitchell

documents, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Huizar admits telling Godoy that the campaign process was difficult, but that she should run for a seat on the Community College Board of Trustees. He further stated that “he told influential people to support” her and later “communicated to at least one person that he was pulling his support” of Godoy. Huizar denies Godoy’s allegation that career advancement was contingent upon her having sex with him. According to Godoy’s suit, she incurred a loss of earnings and benefits when her duties were cut significantly. Godoy left Huizar’s office to take a job with the Bureau of Sanitation.

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January 18, 2014

Downtown L.A. Hits NY Times List of ‘Places to Go’


t turns out, GQ magazine isn’t the only big New York publication that likes Downtown Los Angeles. A week after GQ deemed Downtown the “Next Great City in America,” the New York Times has heralded the community, ranking it No. 5 in its list of “52 Places to Go in 2014.” The biggest reason? The food, especially at Grand Central Market, which the Times describes as “an arcade of over 30 of the best food vendors in the city.” The article also highlights the Broadway restauContinued on page 15

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4 Downtown News




January 27, 2014

Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis

Challenges and Opportunities at MOCA


he Downtown-based Museum of Contemporary Art has been on something of a roll this month. On Jan. 7, institution officials announced that they had hit a long-awaited financial goal, and that the formerly beleaguered endowment had reached $100 million, a significant achievement for which the board — many of whose members donated — should be congratulated. Keeping the seriousness of their ambitions at the forefront, they immediately set a new $150 million endowment goal. Eight days later, and certainly not by coincidence, museum brass announced the hiring of Dia Art Foundation head Philippe Vergne as the new director. MOCA, which has its headquarters on Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill and a huge secondary space in Little Tokyo (there is also an outpost in West Hollywood), is in celebration mode. To a degree, the backslapping is deserved. The museum is attempting to rebound from a disastrous period and the two most critical pieces for future success — money and a skilled leader — appear to be in place. However, Vergne and the MOCA Board of Trustees would be wise not to get too light-headed from the celebratory champagne. At the dawn of 2014, the museum still faces several daunting hurdles, and given its troubled past, MOCA needs to demonstrate long-term vision and viability. The financial achievement is important, but a 35-year-old art museum with an enviable permanent collection should have been at this level long ago. Really, MOCA’s recent advances put it not at the finish line, but rather at a solid starting point for future growth. To understand the present, one must recall the past. MOCA, founded in 1979, has been foundering for about six years. In 2008, its endowment had shriveled to just $5 million, and a year ago, before the current fundraising push, the endowment was below $25 million. On two occasions in that period the MOCA board was forced to consider merging with or being subsumed by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or another institution. If not for the leadership and financial aid of Eli Broad, who helped found MOCA 35 years ago, the museum could easily have lost its independence. Some of the fault for these travails falls squarely on the board, as the panel of heavy hitters is responsible for watching the museum’s finances. The board should have stepped in long before the endowment dwindled to such a dangerous level. After all, museums generally rely on interest earned from an endowment to help fund operations. MOCA’s paltry holdings gave the museum precious little wiggle room when the economy soured. Then there were troubles with the leadership. It was under former Director Jeremy Strick that the endowment hit its nadir. The tenure of Jeffrey Deitch was also problematic. The New York City art gallery owner arrived in 2010 and proved to be neither an adept fundraiser nor able to curry favor with Los Angeles and its many well-heeled arts supporters. The 2011 graffiti-propelled Art in the Streets exhibit was one of Deitch’s few noteworthy accomplishments (establishing the YouTube channel MOCAtv was another), and he left in September after just three years. The current board’s financial commitment demonstrates a welcome change, and the museum is right to tout its fiscal independence. The board also appears to have made a wise decision in hiring Vergne.

While one never knows how a museum director will fare until he or she takes the job, Vergne arrives with an impressive administrative and curatorial background. In addition to his time at Dia, he held senior roles at the well-regarded Walker Art Center in Minnesota. He has pulled off important exhibits and managed a staff. MOCA’s announcement of the hiring noted that at Dia, Vergne was involved in board development, fundraising and long-range planning. All of those skills will be useful at MOCA. However, as mentioned above, this is not the end, but rather the beginning of the process. If Vergne is to succeed, he’ll need to: Focus on Fundraising: This should be obvious, but after the troubles of Deitch and Strick, no one can take it for granted. While Vergne will oversee all of MOCA’s staff and operations, nothing will be more important than his ability to convince affluent arts aficionados to write big checks, whether for specific exhibits and initiatives or the museum in general. The recent donations from a few dozen board members give Vergne a financial cushion, but the new director should use this as a launching point rather than something on which to fall back. He needs to come to town, meet the right people and persuade them to give money. Preferably big money. If he can also spark gifts of artwork, all the better. Focus on Board Development: Related to the above, Vergne has the opportunity to bring some of those he works well with to the board, where they can help him achieve his vision for the museum, whatever that vision proves to be. Additionally, Vergne has the chance to return working artists to the board. Four prominent artists left during Deitch’s tenure. Quotes in the Vergne hiring press release from artists Barbara Kruger, John Baldessasari, Catherine Opie and Ed Ruscha appear to lay the groundwork for this change. Working artists have traditionally been a part of MOCA’s board. It would be good once again to have their perspective. Revamp the Curatorial Staff: The wheels really seemed to fall off the bus for Deitch when he clashed with and forced the exodus of longtime MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel. Schimmel had experience, important relationships and a long history of produc-

ing complex and thought-provoking shows. Not only did he leave, but so did other respected curators. The limited in-house talent hurt MOCA on many levels. Vergne must hire smart curators with a unique vision and strong ties to other museums and prominent artists. This will help when it comes to getting works for retrospectives or other shows. Figure Out How to Use the Permanent Collection: One of MOCA’s greatest assets is its archives, and the museum may well have the world’s best collection of post-WWII art — its 6,800 works are more than three times the 2,000 pieces that Eli Broad will use for exhibits at his coming Downtown museum. While one MOCA possibility is the traditional survey of pieces from the permanent collection, a new leader can provide new ways to showcase older art. Meet Los Angeles: As the Deitch experiment showed, not everyone “gets” Los Angeles. It is incumbent on Vergne to reach out to people across the region and make them believe in the future of MOCA. This includes the moneyed class as well as the philanthropic and political communities. New Mayor Eric Garcetti is a noted supporter of the arts, and Vergne should work with his administration. In an ideal world, Vergne will be open as well to the citizenry and the media, and will publicly discuss his aims for the museum. Deitch was prickly and missed too many opportunities. Vergne should learn from his mistakes. Come Up With a Blockbuster Exhibit, and Quickly: This is almost impossible, but it is vital. The reason: The arrival of The Broad. The $140 million art museum is slated to open by the end of the year across the street from MOCA. When it does, it will be the focus of international attention and a huge mass of visitors. MOCA needs a killer show to complement The Broad, where admission will be free (much to the consternation of some MOCA board members). Visitors and journalists will naturally compare the two museums, and if MOCA’s exhibit at the time is wanting, the museum will lose a tremendous opportunity. Vergne may need to call in favors to make a big show happen so quickly, but he’ll only get this chance once.

January 27, 2014


Community, Police Still Divided Over Jaywalking Tickets Despite Protests, LAPD Says Citations of Up to $250 Will Continue By Joey Kaufman Downtown uproar erupted late last year, as area residents and workers protested a crackdown on jaywalking by LAPD Central Division officers. Stakeholders were particularly piqued that tickets, with fines of up to $250, were being dispensed not just for blatantly racing across the street against a red light, but even for stepping into the crosswalk when the countdown clock still had 10 or more seconds on it. The outcry has garnered the attention of the Los Angeles Police Department, which last week indicated that change could come. However, exactly what sort of change, and when, remains undetermined. For the time being at least, the tickets will continue. On Wednesday, Jan. 22, approximately 50 people showed up at a community meeting on the issue hosted by the LAPD and the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Business Improvement District. During the event, Capt. Ann Young, who oversees the department’s Traffic Division, said the LAPD is exploring alternatives to the unpopular practice, among them lowering fines and implementing a warning system so that first-time offenders are not hit with a pricey ticket. “We’re looking at other agencies and departments to see how they handle pedestrian warnings,” said Young.


According to California Vehicle Code 21456, pedestrians are prohibited from walking across an intersection if a Don’t Walk or upraised hand sign has flashed. Beginning to cross the street while the countdown clock is ticking also can result in a violation. The problem in the Historic Core and the Financial District, where the majority of the tickets have been dispensed, is that many people don’t know the practice is illegal. Instead, individuals often take a countdown clock as an invitation to dart across the street before the light changes to red. Although a warning system could eventually be implemented, Young cautioned not to anticipate immediate changes. “This might be something down the road,” she said, “but it’s going to take a lot of data gathering, a lot of research. Just for example, how many warnings should one person get for the same violation? Do you get a warning for jaywalking? Do you get a warning for running a red light?” Adjusting the price of tickets is trickier, though it is being examined. LAPD officials said they do not set the size of the fines, which generally run from $190-$250. Lowering the price, Young said, would need to be done by the city. “We don’t have anything to do with the costs,” Young said, “but we agree they’re

quite expensive.” For the time being at least, nothing will change, either in the amount of the fine or the enforcement policy. LAPD officials said they will continue to issue citations, including for crossing during the countdown clock. Although that is the very practice that has angered many in Downtown, police officials said it is a response to an increase in accidents that stem from jaywalking or careless pedestrian behavior. According to LAPD statistics, there were 153 collisions involving pedestrians and cars in 2013 in Central Division. Thirteen of those incidents were described as “severe,” and there were four deaths. Additionally, there were also 142 collisions involving bicyclists and cars, though no fatalities. “The stats are out there,” Lt. Melody Hainline said. “Peds and vehicles. Bikes and vehicles.” So far this year, according to Hainline, there have been 18 pedestrian-automobile collisions. The most noteworthy occurred on Jan. 14, when a car carrying Mayor Eric Garcetti struck a pedestrian on Second Street, behind the Police Administration Building. Initial reports suggested the woman, who was taken to the hospital, was jaywalking. Capt. Michael Oreb, who oversees Central Division and attended the meeting, voiced his support of the policy, echoing concerns that handing out tickets is a safety measure. “One of the things we do need to look at is not getting people hit on the roadway,” he said. Residents at the meeting raised a number of concerns, including policing of traffic speeds, saying vehicles often race down streets, especially in the morning, at more than 50 mph, and

Downtown News 5

photo by Gary Leonard

Downtowners have been angered by tickets given to pedestrians who start crossing the street when the countdown clock is still going. The LAPD last week said it will continue to issue citations.

that some drivers run through red lights. Others complained that the jaywalking crackdown is unnecessary, noting the lax enforcement in cities such as New York City, Chicago and Boston. More than anything, they said, the jaywalking tickets place an undue financial burden on pedestrians, and that many people can’t afford them. They said it was unfair when few even know they are doing something illegal. The LAPD said there has been an attempt at education, though it has occurred online rather than on the road. Central Division has been using social media, and has posted the pedestrian rules on its Facebook page. “There has been zero education with pedestrians,” Young acknowledged.

6 Downtown News



January 27, 2014


Downtown’s Man in Washington Congressman Xavier Becerra Talks About Downtown, the Streetcar and the Future “

By Eddie Kim hat’s amazing.” Xavier Becerra, who has represented Los Angeles as a congressman for more than two decades, and Downtown for a little more than a year, marveled as he peered at a nickel-sized bulb in the center of a stage light. Nearby, an identical light slowly warmed up, washing the corrugated walls of the Arts District warehouse in a seemingly impossible flood of white light. Becerra was touring the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, and had just been shown the work of Hive Lighting, a company whose projects include replacing huge, clumsy stage production lights with much smaller ones that use a fraction of the energy. It was one of his stops on the tour led by LACI Executive Director Fred Walti. Becerra, 56, smiled cheerfully and frequently as he gazed at the projects that various startup companies are pursuing in the space. “This is what Downtown is all about, right? Old into new, innovation, progress,” he said. Becerra was first elected to Congress in 1993. Last January, he gained new territory: In the shuffle brought about by the state’s redistricting process, he took over Downtown Los Angeles, formerly held by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. Becerra has learned a lot about the neighborhood in the year that’s passed, and has high hopes and goals for the community. After the LACI tour, Becerra sat down with Los Angeles Downtown News to discuss the Central City, challenges in securing federal funds for projects, and whether he’ll be moving into a loft soon.


Los Angeles Downtown News: You’ve represented Downtown for a year. How would you classify the state of the community? Rep. Xavier Becerra: I’d say it’s maturing. It’s coming of age. It’s breaking out and it’s a place to be. It’s like how the aunts and uncles come back from being away and say, “Gosh, Johnny — you look really different. You’ve really blossomed.” (laughs) That’s what a lot of people would say about Downtown, and a lot of people are finally seeing the potential. That’s good, because it gives the L.A. metropolis a heart. All the things that make New York’s Manhattan such a vibrant place, you’re starting to see that here. Q: What is your goal for the neighborhood? A: My principal goal is to make Downtown the heart of L.A. This really should be what drives the rest of the region. When Downtown pulses, everyone should feel the invigoration. Whether it’s nightlife, the Financial District, the civic space, or the revitalization of our old stuff — the old buildings, the historic theaters — Downtown needs to be at the forefront. The whole concept of revitalizing Broadway — it’s not just good for us because it revives the area and helps stimulate the corridor economically, but it’s good because we preserve what a lot of Angelenos remember as old L.A. The more we can make Downtown the heartbeat the better, because the metropolis will become a destination for a lot of people. Not just Angelenos, but people around the country.

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Xavier Becerra has been in Congress for more than two decades, but he only began representing Downtown last year after the redistricting process. He is the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

Q: What challenges have you identified in terms of Downtown’s future? A: Transportation is a big challenge. Making the revitalization happen in a way that makes it affordable for all so that we don’t gentrify in a way that isolates. I don’t think you can go long without discussing how we have to deal with the homeless issue here. And I think in terms of the pillars that will make Downtown the heart, you have to talk about the L.A. River. The river is a game-changer. If we do it right and turn what is a concrete channel that’s an eyesore to someContinued on page 13

January 27, 2014

Let’s Do Lunch

Great Healthy Lunch Options Downtown Is Filled With Choices That Taste Great and Are Good for You By Donna Evans, Eddie Kim and Jon Regardie urgers and pizza are delicious and easy choices for lunch, but unless you want a cholesterol level of 82,000, and the health complications that come with that, you can’t eat them every day. Fortunately, that’s not a problem in Downtown Los Angeles. That’s because the Central City has a huge number of places where you can grab a mid-day meal that is both satisfying and healthy. Even better, you can do it at virtually all price points. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to rely on just a salad that will leave you hungry an hour later. In the following pages, Los Angeles Downtown News runs down 20 of the local restaurants offering healthy lunch options. Think of this not as a complete list, but rather a starting point. There are simply too many choices to include everything. By the way, if you really are craving that burger and slice, go ahead. Just don’t do it every day.


Featuring a full lunch menu including Burgers, Sandwiches, Pizza’s, Salad’s and Sushi. Afternoon Specials starting at only $3.00 are available 6 days a week beginning at 4:00 Come join us in the alley for an escape from your day. We’re proud to announce Club Mezz. A one of a kind tasting club spotlighting different areas of our spirits collection. Our first gathering is Wednesday January 29 where we will be tasting Nikka Whisky paired with some unique food offerings prepared just for the occasion.

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Downtown News 7


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What’s in a Name: Plenty of carnivores remain skeptical of vegan cooking, fearing it is bland and tasteless. Juliet “Dr. J” Tien attempts to counter that with the very name of the spot at Fourth and Main streets in the Medallion complex: Dr. J’s Vibrant Café. Tien and her team follow the principles of no sugar, caffeine, yeast, dairy, wheat, alcohol, nicotine or chemicals for her snacks, meals and beverages. As a child in Taiwan, Tien was overweight and suffered severe parasitic infections, according to the restaurant’s website. A village doctor introduced her to healthy eating and, she said, it saved her life. Thus, the menu is heavy on whole grains and greens, with a variety of brown-rice bowls with toppings such as curried potatoes, grilled tofu and spicy green beans. In the Quinoa Spring Salad, the grains are cooked overnight in a vegetable broth and then topped with diced Fuji apples, Persian cucumbers, avocado and radishes. At 334 S. Main St., (213) 537-0905 or

Farms Fresh

Upscale sandwich joint Mendocino Farms has been a hit ever since it started serving at Cal Plaza (there are now three outposts in Downtown). It’s secret (not that it’s much of a secret) is the super-fresh ingredients it scores by working directly with regional farms. Chef Judy Han’s shopping at farmer’s markets for seasonal offerings also play a role. Continued on page 8

8 Downtown News

January 27, 2014

Let’s Do Lunch

Cafe Hooray

Lunch, 7 Health-minded mid-day meal options include the “Not So Fried” Chicken with roasted freerange chicken rolled in MF’s “krispies,” herb aioli and more. There’s a Kale Caesar Salad with local kale and lettuce from Scarborough Farms, and even some non-scary sounding vegan options — consider the Singaporean Dosa sandwich, with vegan coconut curry mash made with roasted cauliflower, potatoes, garbanzo beans and a bunch of other things that are good for you. It is served on a panini-grilled whole wheat tortilla wrap. At 300 S. Grand Ave., (213) 620-1114, 444 S. Flower St., (213) 627-3262 and 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 430-9040 or

A fancy, white-tablecloth meal doesn’t always have to be an indulgence. Café Pinot, for example, offers refined, elegant lunch dishes that satisfy without feeling too heavy. For seafood lovers, the restaurant adjacent to the Central Library currently offers “simply grilled” salmon or shrimp served with a refreshing rice salad with tomatoes and cucumbers. Picking a soup and salad is also a smart choice: Try the classic French Onion with Pinot’s fall salad, featuring greens, roasted acorn squash, pomegranates and toasted hazelnuts. The restaurant gets bonus points for smart portion sizes and the beautiful patio that opens onto the library’s Maguire Gardens. At 700 W. Fifth St., (213) 239-6500 or

photo by Gary Leonard

A healthy new addition to the Downtown dining scene is Dr. J’s Vibrant Café. The vegan spot in the Medallion complex at Fourth and Main streets eschews sugar, caffeine, yeast, alcohol and lots of other stuff.

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The eatery Simply Salad is the kind of healthy joint that even a committed meat-eater can enjoy without embarrassment. The meals here are customizable, with 34 “simple” and 12 “premium” toppings, along with 25 dressings. Those who visit the Historic Core or South Park locations can try the pick and choose option, where you select a green such as spinach, arugula or kale, and then add toppings, among them carrots, mushrooms, kidney beans and broccoli. If all that choice taxes the brain, there is an array

of prepared salads. The Cali Comfort is a mix of baby spinach, grape tomatoes, garbanzo beans, rainbow rotelli pasta and roasted turkey breast. There is also a Seared Samurai, made with baby spinach and romaine, edamame, jicama, cucumbers, carrots, crispy wontons and seared ahi tuna. The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on. Yes, with the number of choices here you need “and on” that many times. At 334 S. Main St., (213) 935-8048 and 645 W. Ninth St., (213) 488-9191 or Continued on page 10

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January 27, 2014


Downtown News 9

10 Downtown News

January 27, 2014

Let’s Do Lunch

Power and Leftovers

Lunch, 8 Cabbage and Chicken and Lentils, Oh My Samir Mohajer’s love of farmer’s market ingredients began in his hometown of Santa Monica. Over the years, he cultivated relationships with growers while shopping for items at his farmto-table cafes. Downtown holds the third branch of Mohajer’s Cabbage Patch, and the menu is filled with home-style dishes prepared with organic, all natural and locally sourced products. There is farm-raised organic salmon and beef from Niman Ranch. Rotisserie chickens (dark and white meat) are available à la carte or with sides such as baby beets, cabbage patch slaw or fresh green lentils. There is also, naturally, a slew of salads, from arugula and baby romaine lettuce choices to toppings of soymarinated salmon and hardboiled egg. At 520 W. Sixth St., (213) 489-4489 or

Tis the Sustainable Season Sometimes eating healthy is about more than your own health — there’s the planet’s health to consider, too. That comes into play at Border Grill, the Financial District favorite founded and still run by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. Their lunch menu is peppered with the phrase “sustainable seasonal fish,” and while you may not know what swimmer you’ll get until you show up, you do know that some consideration will have gone into it. There’s a sustainable grilled fish option as well as one for Pescado Ensenada, where the fish is accented with pickled jalapeño slaw, avocado crema and salsa fresca. Border Grill also has a Baja Ceviche (again, with that sustainable fish), a Turkey Tostada Salad with grilled turkey and organic black beans, and plenty of tacos that also use organic rise and black beans. The menu helpfully notes that Border Grill uses “humane certified, antibiotic and hormone free meats and poultry.” At 445 S. Figueroa St., (213) 486-5171 or

The Downtown Palm is the quintessential power lunch spot, a place where the big hitters eat and do business. However, power lunching does not have to mean pounding a steak the size of your head (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Healthy and tasty lunch options at the South Park restaurant include the Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad with baby greens, peppers, tomatoes, toasted almonds and more. There’s a Chicken and Avocado Sandwich or, if fish is your wish, an Atlantic Salmon Fillet with roasted red pepper sauce and mango salsa. You get to eat it all in one of the most impressive rooms in Downtown, with soaring ceilings and caricatures of local leaders all over the walls. Note: If you’re looking to avoid the calories, it’s probably best to skip the flourless chocolate cake for dessert. At 1100 S. Flower St., (213) 763-4600 or

Good Afternoon Vietnam There aren’t too many Vietnamese restaurants in Downtown, which is a shame considering the wide palette of fresh, flavorful dishes the cuisine offers. Thankfully, there is Blossom, and the Old Bank District stalwart has plenty of healthy lunch options. Try the bún, or cold vermicelli noodles dressed up with vegetables, herbs and a selection of grilled lemongrass steak, shrimp or egg rolls. Or order a steaming bowl of pho, the rice noodle soup. The usual version with a combo of meats in a clear beef broth is classic, but the Pho Chay with tofu, mushrooms, bok choy and green beans is a refreshing choice, and vegetarian to boot. At 426 S. Main St., (213) 623-1973 or

Are You a Good Witch, a Bad Witch or a Fresh’wich? Chef Fred Eric has always been ahead of the culinary curve. That continues to be the case at Tiara Café, his ever-reliable Fashion District restaurant that bears the slogan “Eat Healthy More Often, Diet Less.” Delicious yet body-conscious options include the starter Chickpea Fritters, billed as a French fry alternative with a North African aioli sauce. There are a number of salads, obvious-

photo courtesy of Innovative Dining Group

Soleto on Figueroa Street makes pizza relatively healthy with a Skinny Pie, which features roasted tomatoes, ricotta cheese and pesto on an organic-flour crust. There’s also a Grilled Vegetable Salad.

ly, as well as the restaurant’s signature “fresh’wich,” where ingredients come between not bread or a tortilla, but wrapped in rice paper. Options include a Thai Cobb (it’s a baseball joke) version with grilled marinated chicken, wild greens and more, and the inventive Poor Boy/Rich Girl Fresh’wich, with grilled marinated shrimp, fried crispy chicken, lettuce, tomato, avocado and a Cajun aioli. At 127 E. Ninth St., (213) 623-3663 or tiara-café

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January 27, 2014

Downtown News 11

Let’s Do Lunch

Now That’s Italian

Figueroa Street’s Soleto Trattoria & Pizza Bar attracts a big lunch crowd, and for good reason: The ambiance is classy but casual, the ingredients are top-notch and there’s something for everyone. You’re not limited to just chicken parm and meattopped pizzas, however. Those looking for healthier options should eye the Skinny Pie, a pizza that features roasted tomatoes, ricotta cheese and pesto on an organic-flour crust. There’s also a Grilled Vegetable Salad with zucchini, peppers, arugula, feta cheese and more. Feeling like a sandwich? Try the Tuna Burger with alfalfa sprouts and avocado. At 801 S. Figueroa St., (213) 622-3255 or

Use Your Noodle Pasta isn’t usually considered healthy, mostly because dishes often come with loads of sauce and cheese. But Broadway’s Maccheroni Republic offers more than the traditional artery-clogging Italian fare, as it focuses on fresh-made pasta served authentically, with little cream and no butter. The boccoletti with vibrant pesto and ricotta cheese is a standout, as is the rigatoni with eggplant, tomatoes and garlic. Not in the mood for a noodle? Then try the traditional minestrone vegetable soup or the thick chicken soup with spinach and potatoes. There’s also a selection of light salads, including an intriguing arugula version with sunchokes and smoked mozzarella cheese. At 332 S. Broadway or (213) 346-9725.

Square Bowls Perfect for any Downtown worker with just a small window for lunch, the Little Square Cafe at Pershing Square offers customizable rice bowls that fill you up without too much guilt. Each bowl is served with either white or brown rice (brown’s healthier, but you knew that), vegetables and a choice of beef, chicken or tofu. “Even though salads are popular, they kind of leave people hungry,” owner Brian Choi told Downtown News shortly after opening last year. “We thought this was a healthy alternative.” As a bonus, the cafe has plenty of outdoor seating, which is especially fun on Wednesdays, when the crowds come out for the

park’s farmer’s market. At 532 S. Olive St. or (323) 230-9784.

For Pete’s Sake

Downtowners have been flocking to Pete’s Cafe & Bar for more than a decade. However, not everyone is hoovering up the famous Blue Cheese Fries and the Hellman Burger. Those walking on the lighter side often try the restaurant’s Veggie Burger, prepared with black beans, curried zucchini, onions, avocado and more. There’s also a Thai Turkey Burger with peanut sauce and an apricot and pineapple chutney. If you think that lunch should not be served between bread, then dig into the Tuna Niçoise salad. Diners who want to go healthy from the beginning can start with the Asparagus Salad. While you’re here, be sure to say hi to everyone you know, since every Old Bank District resident passes through Pete’s at least three times a week. At 400 S. Main St., (213) 617-1000 or

Bank on It

The French/California restaurant Le Ka, in a former bank space, is one of the more underrated establishments in Downtown. That’s a mistake, as the kitchen staff here, led by the well-regarded David Féau (previously the executive chef at The Royce in Pasadena’s Langham Hotel), know what they’re doing. It’s also easy to eat healthy here, with choices including a Vegetarian Daily Soup, with ingredients from local farmer’s markets, and a Chopped Baby Kale salad with goat cheese, dates, green beans, pumpkin seeds and grapefruit. Heartier appetites can opt for the branzino with heirloom tomatoes. There’s also a special menu section dedicated to vegetables, with choices including Roasted Baby Beets and Charred Brussels Sprouts. At 800 W. Sixth St., (213) 688-3000 or

photo courtesy of Patina Restaurant Group

Café Pinot has refined, elegant lunch dishes that satisfy without feeling too heavy. Choices include a mixed-green salad with crispy shallots, orange conserva puree and a champagne-citrus vinaigrette.

cheese naan, anyone?). But the Carlsbad Mussels with coconut milk curry are light and tasty, as are many of the traditional Indian dishes. Smoked Eggplant Mash, Curried Chickpeas and Saag Paneer (sauteed spinach with tomato, onion and silky paneer cheese) are all good options that won’t break the bank or your stomach. Plus, when eating here you get to look at brightly colored pictures of Gandhi. At 108 W. Second St., (213) 221-7466 or

Hello Delhi

The cheeky Indian gastropub Badmaash has become a Civic Center favorite since opening last year, thanks to its creative menu and festive atmosphere. OK, many of the fusion dishes aren’t particularly healthy (chicken tikka poutine and chili

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w o N

Be a Döner Little Tokyo offers a medley of lunch possibilities, but only one place features Mediterranean street food: Spitz. Founded by Bryce Rademan and Robert Wicklund six months after Continued on page 12

n e p O

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12 Downtown News

January 27, 2014

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lusively with Intelligentsia Coffee and Babycakes, Artisan House gives you endless reakfast options to get your day started right. Grab something to go or join us Artisan House is passionate at our indoor/outdoor market café.


about the planet, about food and service, about our exclusively with customersPartnering and about having a good time. It is our deep belief that one should be able to find quality food, grown sustainably by local farmers, prepared by gifted masters, and presented by wait staff schooled in the finer arts of service, all in an inviting atmosphere that is comfortable and close by.

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Fighting Cultural Deprivation photo by Gary Leonard

No, you don’t need to eat a Hellman burger and the blue cheese fries at Pete’s Café. The Old Bank District stalwart also has a veggie burger, a Thai turkey burger and more.

Lunch, 11 they graduated from Occidental College, this Second Street spot focuses on the döner kebab, which is Turkish for “rotating meat.” The döners are made from freshly minced lamb, beef or chicken and cooked on a rotating vertical broiler that allows the juices to drip down and caramelize the surface. The meat is shaved into thin strips that are prepared as sandwiches, wraps and, for the most health-conscious folks, salads; they are topped with fresh ingredients and a variety of homemade sauces. To pare down the calorie count, skip the fries and lavash chips. Another healthy option is the Mediterranean Garden Platter. Many meal choices can be made vegan or vegetarian. At 371 E. Second St., (213) 613-0101 or

and mango, fajita veggies and organic beans. The meal is wrapped up with handmade fresh salsas and sauces. If the enormity of choice overwhelms, fear not: The Ocho staff have created some delectable pairings and signature combos. In addition to using locally sourced ingredients and gourmet meats, the restaurant points to an ecofriendly vibe with its use of treeless and compostable packaging. At 255 S. Grand Ave. and 630 W. Sixth St., (888) 988-6246 or

So Farro, So Good

The Arts District spot Little Bear is another place that you might expect to challenge health-conscious diners, as walking in reveals the scent of Angus beef burgers and ale-braised short ribs. But don’t be fooled by the initial olfactory sensation. The Industrial Street restaurant has several tempting salads, including the popular Farro Salad; a vegan choice, it is a mixture of Urth First organic farro (a grain with a nutty flaFour words appear again and again on the menu of the Downtown outpost of vor), English peas, sweet corn, shaved radish, sugar snap peas, curly endive, Urth Caffe: “locally grown” and “farm mint, parsley and cucumber all drizfresh.” Urth, which Shallom and Jilla zled in a lemon vinaigrette. If you have Berkman opened as a specialty cofthe hankering for all that on a toasted fee roaster company on Hewitt Street whole wheat bun, try the farro burger, in 2008, wasted little time in filling out san House gives you endless which comes with a tofu aioli, musha menu for health-conscious patrons. omething to go or join us rooms and bell peppers. Signature sandwiches are served on Partnering exclusively with Intelligentsia Coffee and Babycakes, Artisan House gives you endless At 1855 Industrial St., (213) 622-8100 rustic bread with an assortment of fillcoffee and breakfast options to get your day started right. Grab something to go or join us or ings, from grilled cilantro chicken and exclusively with Intelligentsia Coffee and Babycakes, Artisan House givesmarket you endless at our indoor/outdoor café. turkey breast to a classic oven-roasted nd breakfast options to get your day started right. Grab something to go or join us offee and Babycakes, House gives you endless Caprese. If you want to start your day PARKING SPECIAL How Now atArtisan our indoor/outdoor market café. right, check out Urth’s variety of yor day started right. Grab something to go or join us Partnering exclusivelyoff with Healthy Cow? gurt and granola bowls. r/outdoor market café. Partnering exclusively with At 451 S. Hewitt St., (213) 797-4534 or From the sandwiches to the sides to For dine-in lunch patrons the salads, the Bunker Hill eatery Blue ering exclusively with Cow (from the team behind Mendocino Farms) offers myriad options to Ocho Is Enough help you keep that resolution to eat Can Mexican food be healthy? When healthy. In the greens department, prepared by Ocho Mexican Grill, yes!: there’s a Kale Caesar Salad with dried The restaurant, which has two Downfigs and a lemon Parmesan vinaigrette. town locations, touts itself as a gourFor maximum calorie counting, hold met approach to classic Mexican cuithe fried capers. Other farm faves insine. It is all about customization here: clude the Curried Cauliflower (test For entrees, patrons start by choosing .com/artisanhouseLA your willpower by skipping the homea burrito, bowl, tacos or salad (guess made naan), a Veggie Burger (again, which one is healthiest and win a try it sans brioche with a side of mixed pacabra). Then they fill it with a choice isanhouse greens) and a side dish of Black Lentils of “ocho” proteins including free-range and Leeks. grilled chicken, tiger prawns, vegan nHouseLA At 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2249 tofu and shredded beef. Among the topping choices are hand-diced jicama or

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Downtown News 13


BECERRA, 6 thing that brings people in — I think of San Antonio but done on a grander scale. I’m working on projects at every level of transportation, because when you get the base infrastructure elements right, everything else kind of comes along.

Q: What other initiatives are you working on? You’ve been a longtime supporter of the DREAM Act, for one. A: Immigration reform is crucial to L.A. There’s no doubt that when we get our broken immigration system to finally work, it’s going to be a boon to our local economy, Downtown and elsewhere, because you’ll have a whole bunch of talented folks who can exercise those talents and get the careers they want. I think there’s a solid chance we’ll see something done in the House of Representatives by the end of the year, but my Republican colleagues have to decide that they’re ready to move forward. Q: What is the future of Downtown based on everything you see? A: Downtown is a great experiment. I think if we recognize that, we could make this work really well, not just for people who live Downtown but for everyone who calls L.A. home. If we do this right, we set in motion the machinery that makes L.A. the place to be in America. We’ve got the climate, we’ve got the assets, we’re sitting right now in a building that’s pursuing new technologies across the board. If we can make Downtown the heart of all that, it will be a great place. We could also do it the wrong way. If we’re not environmentally conscious, if we’re not worker conscious, if we’re not recognizing how much it takes for a businessman or woman to plant the flag in Downtown, we could really mess this up. But it’s a great opportunity to see L.A. grow. I hope we all see our role, whether it’s the person buying a condo Downtown, someone setting up a business Downtown, or the congressman with the responsibility to represent Downtown. The sky’s the limit.

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Q: The $400 million Federal Courthouse was initiated by your predecessor in Downtown. What is the state of the project? A: You have to give Congresswoman Roybal-Allard a great deal of credit for this, as well as the initiative on the L.A. River and many of the projects we see moving forward in Downtown L.A. The courthouse was something she worked on for years. Construction of the courthouse is moving forward, and it’s an indispensable addition to L.A. and our judicial system because the caseload has grown dramatically. If we want Angelenos to have the same access to justice that other people throughout the country have, then we need to have this new courthouse built.


Q: So you’re in support of the streetcar? A: If you want to see Downtown truly revitalize the way it can, [the streetcar] would be one of those elements that you would really try to include. If you’re talking in terms of something absolutely essential to get done right now, I’d suspect there might be other things that people want to get right first.

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Q: What’s the biggest challenge in securing federal funding for smaller projects like the streetcar? A: I have competition with 434 other members of the House of Representatives to secure funding — that makes it tough. Then think about this fiscal climate, which has been made very toxic by some of the politics in Washington these days, even with regard to what used to be bipartisan areas of cooperation like transportation. It’s so hard to get substantial federal support for even very good projects.


Q: Speaking of transportation, what do you think of the Downtown streetcar? It faces some financial challenges and Councilman José Huizar is seeking federal government funds. Can it get federal help? A: Well, it’s a very discrete project. It’s not the kind of transportation project that fits into the federal picture the same way that the bigger projects do because it’s essentially a Downtown project. Because of that, the streetcar has to learn to swim on its own a bit. It needs very, very strong local support, because in order to get federal dollars for a very discrete, local project, you need to show that support base. It’s not like a Metro subway project or other big initiatives that attract federal attention.


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14 Downtown News

For Pedestrians, a Kinder, Gentler Broadway Major Work Coming to Corridor; Six Car Lanes to Be Three by End of Summer

renderings courtesy Los Angeles Department of Transportation

The Broadway Streetscape Master Plan aims to calm traffic and widen sidewalks, and in the process spur more pedestrian activity along the street. Department of Transportation renderings show how the six lanes of traffic would be cut to three.

By Eddie Kim n the past few years, Broadway has experienced a sea change, with dead storefronts and swap meet-style spaces giving way to brand-name retailers, large restaurants and other prominent businesses. The recent arrivals of the Ace Hotel and Urban Outfitters follow the opening of Ross Dress for Less, Umami Burger, Two Boots Pizza and more.


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While these additions have changed the look of Broadway and upped its cool quotient, they may ultimately be minor compared to a round of proposed infrastructure alterations. The Broadway Streetscape Master Plan stands to transform the entire physical makeup of the street by eliminating traffic lanes, adding public seating areas and more. Perhaps the most radical element of the plan will also be one


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of the quickest to arrive: By the end of summer, Broadway’s six lanes of traffic will be halved, according to city Department of Transportation Assistant Pedestrian Coordinator Valerie Watson. The multi-year and multi-phase project, which is being pushed by 14th District City Councilman José Huizar as part of his Bringing Back Broadway initiative, aims to beautify the corridor and activate pedestrian activity on 11 blocks between First and Eleventh streets. Drafting of the plan began in 2009. “This is the city’s first real complete streets project, and it’s one of the country’s most significant urban corridor projects,” said Jessica Wethington McLean, executive director of Bringing Back Broadway. The initial elements will come this week, when the city begins phase one — or what Huizar calls a “dress rehearsal” — of the master plan. That will involve using temporary and semi-permanent materials to extend sidewalks and trim the number of driving lanes on Broadway, which are the two principal goals of the plan. The project will shrink the current six-lane roadway. The three northbound and two southbound lanes, plus a third southbound lane used for bus turnouts, will become a three-lane configuration (two northbound, one southbound) from First to Eleventh streets. If the proposed Downtown Streetcar ever arrives, it would also use one of the northbound lanes. Sidewalks will be widened in two ways. The west sidewalk, which is currently 12 feet wide, will grow to 20 feet. Although the east sidewalk will not expand, both sidewalks will receive spread-out eight-foot “curb extensions.” These will create scalloped areas for protected 24-hour street parking and loading zones out of the driving lane. In addition to creating protected parking and loading areas, the curb extensions would shorten street crossing distances at intersections and mid-block crossings. The additional space in the extensions will be used for greenery, seating and transit shelters. The combination of changes is intended, in urban planning parlance, to “calm” traffic and make Broadway more appealing to pedestrians. With less room for cars, the widened sidewalks will provide more space for strolling and outdoor dining, and will keep pedestrians buffered from moving vehicles. The slower traffic and additional street parking, Huizar said, will also go a long way in shifting how people view Broadway. He said

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January 27, 2014 the plan is to get away from the general current outlook, which is that the street is merely a thoroughfare to reach other destinations. Fewer Cars, More Walkers The elimination of car lanes on a busy street likely prompts some to fret that traffic will get worse in the area. Huizar acknowledges that it will, though he and others expect that it will be a short-term condition, and that as people get used to the limited lanes and find alternate routes, and as fewer residents use their cars to get around Downtown, congestion will ease. Huizar noted that the current plan has been developed with public input. This won’t be the first time a very busy public corridor has taken away car space and given it over to those on foot. New York’s traffic-clogged Times Square underwent a major makeover, and traffic lanes have been reduced. Now, the tourist attraction has more people wandering through it than ever. Another factor in the Downtown Los Angeles change, Huizar said, is pedestrian safety. He isn’t the only one concerned about the matter. Blair Besten, executive director of the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Business Improvement District, said that cars move too quickly and are too close to pedestrians on the sidewalk. “There’s no doubt that Broadway needs to be slowed down,” said Besten. “We had two collisions within a month of each other last year where cars went into buildings because they were speeding.” The $1.5 million dress rehearsal will use plastic pole-type markers and planters to extend sidewalks and curbs. Traffic signal timing will be adjusted, and parking meters and new signage will be installed. The street will receive paint treatments to highlight new parking/loading zones and pedestrian areas. Transit stops will also eventually be reconfigured, as the city is working with Metro to consolidate various stops and streamline transit access on

Around Town, 2 rant Alma, and notes that with good food comes good shopping, referring to the recent arrival of hip Swedish retailer Acne Studios and the upcoming debut of skin-care retailer Aesop. Number one on the Times’ list is Cape Town, South Africa. Downtown was sandwiched between No. 4 the Albanian Coast and the sixth-ranked Namibia. Take that, Namibia!

With Troubled Icon Lounge Closed, New Restaurant Coming


he Icon Ultra Lounge closed in November, shortly after the City Zoning Administrator held a hearing looking into whether the business

Downtown News 15

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM Broadway. Right now, multiple bus lines and operators stop at seemingly random places along the street. Implementation of the dress rehearsal, which will stretch throughout the 11-block area, will be completed by the end of summer, according to the Department of Transportation’s Watson. It will last for about a year, at which time officials will analyze the results to determine what needs tweaking before entering phase two. The second phase will transform the temporary elements of the dress rehearsal into permanent construction: The sidewalks will be reconstructed and refinished with new materials, transit shelters will be built and full landscaping will begin. The city has secured $4.6 million through two grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for phase two work. The money has been earmarked for work on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth streets, and Eighth and Ninth streets. Huizar is seeking additional city funds for work on the remaining blocks. Although questions of where the money for full phase two implementation will come from remain, McLean and Huizar both stressed the need to be patient. They said the streetscape plan is a process, not a single task that requires lump financing. “In order to do this, we have to approach it piece by piece,” Huizar said. “It takes a lot to change how people view such an ambitious plan in a major commercial corridor, and the funding process isn’t a quick one.” Besten, for one, is optimistic that the plan will be transformative for a modern, thriving Downtown. “When you’re creating such big change with this kind of visible impact, people aren’t going to miss today’s Broadway,” Besten said. “It’s better for residents, visitors, businesses and even the environment.”

qualified as a public nuisance. Now, its successor is in the works. Business consultant Elizabeth Peterson said her client, Reza Khaknegar, plans to open a restaurant on the order of a “supper club” at 1248 S. Figueroa St., with food being the main focus. The restaurant’s working name is Annex and it will feature live Middle Eastern music. The goal for opening, Peterson said, is six months. “We have to completely remodel; it [was] a nightclub,” she said. Area stakeholders hope it will be a sharp change from Icon: Evidence submitted by the Los Angeles Police Department for the zoning hearing said there had been 286 calls for service to the Figueroa address over two years. Last June, a 24-yearold man was died following a fight on the dance floor. Following the nuisance hearing, Icon representatives, who had protested LAPD’s data, de-

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Day on Broadway and Outdoor Art on DTTV


his week, visitors to the Downtown News website will not only get to read stories, they’ll be able to watch them, too. The DTTV City Living webcast that goes online Monday, Jan. 27, has a pair of stories: First up is the turnout at the Day on Broadway, an event celebrating the sixth anniversary of the launch of Councilman José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative, complete with tours of the street’s historic theaters. There is also a feature on “Desert Air,” a huge new public art display at Bank of America Plaza. The stories will be up all week. Check out DTTV at




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A Musical Free-for-All

Starts Jan 6/Jan 13

Across From Disney Hall, The Colburn School Flaunts A Sweet Slate of Public Performances

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The Colburn School hopes to attract the public with free or inexpensive musical events, including last week’s performance by France’s Ebéne Quartet. The Grand Avenue school offers numerous concerts almost every week.

“The students have many, many opportuniBy Eddie Kim ties to perform in our amazing venues for a real he most impressive building on Bunker audience,” Kardan said. “The stage is where the Hill is Frank Gehry’s sweeping, shining .Downtow /L.Awhere Walt Disney Concert thenNe Losws magic happens, and our array of programming ok.comHall, Facebo is based on our students’ willingness to put Angeles Philharmonic wows audiences for oftheir craft on display.” ten-steep prices. Like Downtown News on Facebook Humble Beginnings Across the street sits a far humbler brick ediBefrom Entered to Win Movie Tickets!Colburn is far younger and has a more fice, one&that, an architectural standpoint, unique history than East Coast conservatory rarely merits a second thought. The sonic art stalwarts such as New York City’s Julliard School within, though, stands out, and if it can’t quite rival its neighbor in terms of quality, it does fare or Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. When it was founded in 1950, the school was well on the quantity front. And when it comes merely the preparatory arm of the University to price, it blows Disney Hall away. of Southern California’s music school. It began Simply put, the Colburn School has quietly to take on its own identity in later years as the built up an impressive calendar of musical events for the public. There’s a new lecture series dubbed Community School of Performing Arts, and officially split from USC in 1980. Five years later, it Artspeaks, performances from visiting artists, enchanged its name once more after receiving an semble concerts, workshops and recitals from endowment from Richard D. Colburn. some of the most intriguing young musicians The school really took shape in 1999, when it in the world. Best of all, the vast majorityom of the S E-NEW s.c UP free. Sign up at DowntownNew SIGN are moved from a location near USC to Bunker Hill events and served high school students. The school’s “As a Downtown institution, we feel it’s imporUptofor E-News Blasts college-level & conservatory program was only tant to be Sign accessible theOur public, ” said Sel Karestablished in 2003. A wing to house the condan, president and CEO ofto theWin Colburn School. Be Entered Movie Tickets! servatory came five years later. The motivation for the programming is twoIts relatively recent arrival in Downtown bolfold. Colburn, which has high school and college sters why Colburn is so bullish on reaching out conservatory components, and offers a range of to the public, particularly the Downtown workclasses to the general public, wants to embrace force and residential crowds. While many of the the community and garner public attention. The free events are performances by conservatory concerts also satisfy the students’ desire to gain students, the public programming extends into real-world experience in front of a crowd.


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the school’s four other arms: the original School played Carnegie Hall last October. Four additional events take place Saturday and Sunday. of Performing Arts, the pre-college division, Sometimes big names appear. France’s acthe Trudl Zipper Dance Institute and the Adults claimed Ebéne Quartet played a show last week. Studies division. “You don’t really have to plan in advance,” The diversity of Colburn’s programs intrigued Starts Jan 17 Kardan said of the schedule. “If you’re in the Blake Pouliot, a second-year music student who neighborhood, chances are you can glance at is studying violin, when he was pondering which the calendar and see an event to attend on any conservatory to attend. He said he was later given day.” “blown away” by the sheer number of perforThings will only get busier with the arrival of mance opportunities Colburn offered. The events The Broad museum, which is under construcaren’t just good practice, Pouliot says — it’s satistion across the street on Grand Avenue. Colfying to contribute to the Downtown arts scene burn will collaborate with the museum to build and to interact with the public on a regular basis. audiences and joint programming, Kardan said. “Considering that conservatory students get full scholarships and room and board, this is my The $140 million museum is slated to open by the end of the year. way of giving back,” Pouliot said. “With many of It all means many more performances for the these concerts, I get to connect with so many students. Pouliot, for one, isn’t complaining, groups of people — not just musicians, but Now Playing/Starts doctors and lawyers and all sorts of people Jan 24and said he can’t think of a better way to become a professional musician than by appearfrom the community.” ing in front of an audience. Big Schedule “I played four performances over seven To consider the number and variety of opdays last year. It’s crazy. I can’t think of another portunities, just glance at this week’s schedule. school that would have this many opportuniTuesday, Jan. 28, brings a percussion concert ties, both for students and the public,” he said, from Conservatory student Edward Hong and Thursday holds an installment of the Rush Hour chuckling. “It’s nerve wracking for me, but the only way to get over it is to keep doing more.” Concerts series; the program dubbed “WinThe Colburn School is at 200 S. Grand Ave., ter Winds” starts at 6 p.m.; drinks are served 30 (213) 621-2200 or A full calenminutes before. dar of events is online. There are two recitals on Friday evening, including one by violinist Luca Casarin, who

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January 27, 2014

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Christopher Plummer’s Amazing World of Words Actor, 84, Mesmerizes in a Short-Run Show by Jeff Favre hanks to celluloid time capsules, Christopher Plummer will always remain the heroic Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. That is just one of the many memorable roles he played during his half-century as a movie star. Yet no DVD performance, however powerful, funny or charming, will ever capture the marvelous magic of seeing Plummer take command of the Ahmanson Theatre stage for his one-man show A Word or Two. At 84, it’s a safe bet that the Tony- and Oscarwinning actor is nearing the end of his illustrious career, but common sense takes a back seat when, for 80 flawless minutes, Plummer delivers an amalgam of a classic lit symposium, an emotionally honest autobiographical monologue and a display of acting chops that would school most actors, regardless of age. With neither a sentence wasted nor a movement out of place, A Word or Two, directed by Des McAnuff, feels both carefully constructed and off-the-cuff. It puts the viewer simultaneously at ease and in awe. The sole downside is that the short run closes Feb. 9. About the only thing missing from Plummer’s creation is a program bibliography, so the appetizing selection of iconic writers and works could be more easily found for audience homework. The authors, if not the titles or specific se-


lections, should be familiar to most everyone. Shakespeare, A.A. Milne, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw are a few of those who Plummer visits during his journey, which is aptly illustrated through scenic designer Robert Brill’s pile of books that twists toward the ceiling. The choice of authors and the specific pieces fit neatly into Plummer’s coming-of-age tale, which follows him from pacing impatiently in his mother’s womb, to his shy youth, to loud and drunken teen years, and then into his acting career. This isn’t a tell-all star turn in which an actor shows he is vulnerable or special. Instead, Plummer focuses on the words. They are special to him, and his treatment of them makes that evident. An appropriate opening volley into the literary game is Lewis Carroll’s poem “Haddocks’ Eyes,” which includes the verse: “I’ll tell thee everything I can:/There’s little to relate./I saw an aged man, A-sitting on a gate./‘Who are you, aged man?’ I said,/‘And how is it you live?’/And his answer trickled through my head,/Like water through a sieve.” Carroll’s man on the gate is Plummer’s invitation to the world of words, which growing up an only, often lonely child in Quebec became his best friends. The actor also delivers a few short sections in French.

Veteran actor Christopher Plummer traces his love affair with literature in A Word or Two. The one-man show is at the Ahmanson Theatre through Feb. 9.

photo by Craig Schwartz

Though he is not a religious man, Plummer’s best-known quoted work is the Bible, which he discovered was filled with vibrant poetry. In the comic highlight, he portrays W.H. Auden’s Herod as a gentile Southerner wearing glasses and holding a fan. Some writers he admires from afar. Others, including Dylan Thomas, he knew personally. After a comical two-second intermission, Plummer tackles the big two topics: love and death. He admits that while he may be fearful of dying, he’s not through living. Despite his advanced age, Plummer remains so youthful that he must “act” old to portray a man nearing the end of life’s journey. A Word or Two moves beyond artful recita-

tion of prose and poetry with sharp snippets of humor, including a shout out to fellow Canadian Justin Bieber and several jokes made at the expense of his home country. Plummer’s personality is one of confidence, well earned from 60 years in the theater. He strides about the stage, using a few props to accent his stories, but he never crosses over into arrogance. That’s because he wants the words to be the star. His finale, in fact, is a plea: In the era of Twitter, Plummer yearns for humans to treasure and to preserve language. A Word or Two runs through Feb. 9 at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 9724000 or

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idering s n o C , e c iwi Dan ntown Fun K , t r A r om D ow doo Big Out ania and More@downtownnews.c r Beatlemohnson | calenda

Tuesday, January 28 Beatlemania in America Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or 8 p.m.: Bruce Spizer discusses the arrival of The Beatles in United States and the impact of the British quartet on American culture and rock society. Hint: It’s big. Richard Powers at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. 5th St, (213) 228-7500 or 7:15 p.m.: Novelist Richard Powers’ latest work of fiction, Orfeo, chronicles an independent-minded scientist’s attempt at redemption after a brush with the security state. He’ll read from and discuss the tome at the library. Come see why Powers was deemed worthy of a MacArthur Fellowship.

Friday, January 31 L.A. Art Book Fair Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., (213) 626-6222 or Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 11 a.m.: If you’ve ever lusted after the unique conglomerations of print image and text that pop off of the MOCA bookstore shelves, this event will solidify your lust for art tomes with authors, artists and publishers all present. Lars Muller Lecture at SCI-Arc SCI-Arc, 960 E. Third St., (213) 613-2200 or 7 p.m.: We’ve really got to give graphic designer and media theorist Lars Muller some credit for his upcoming lecture “AvantGarde Is Analog.” We’re all sufficiently impressed with digital media, but perhaps Muller will leave us with a mantra about the importance of real, physical things. saTurday, February 1 Chinese New Year Festival Central and West Plazas Noon-8 p.m.: Celebrate the Year of the Horse with cultural performances, food demonstrations, lion dancers and more. sunday, February 2 Chinese New Year Festival Central and West Plazas Noon-5 p.m.: The Year of the Horse celebration continues, and in addition to the performances, there’s the Golden Dragon parade at 1 p.m. Downtown Flea Third and Spring Streets or 10 a.m.: Now a weekly affair, this multi-lot flea market brings the best in odd purchases, rummaging and antiques into one body of coalesced variety shopping.

ROCK, POP & JAZZ Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or

photo by George Steinmetz




For those not invested in the Broncos/Seahawks matchup, Art Share LA will be hosting a Super Bowl Sunday installment of Brilliant Strings. The monthly guitar performance features a diverse sampler of musical styles created with the help of sixstring maniacs. This month’s program features Brilliant Strings mastermind Goh Kurosawa with trumpet accompaniment from Daniel Rosenboom. Supporting acts include Charmaine Clamor and Richard Ickard, operatically inclined strummer Tara Rose Davison and Ryo Sean Okada. It all kicks off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2. At 326 S. Hewitt St., (213) 687-4278 or brilliantstrings.

If you’re one of those folks who thinks the phrase “climate change” is politically preferable to “global warming,” or if you’d just prefer to ignore Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent declaration of a drought in the Golden State, then head over to Bank of America Plaza any weekday through Feb. 28 to take in stark scenes of a world without water. Building owner Brookfield Properties is showcasing 42 large-scale works from landscape photographer George Steinmetz. The pieces blend the perspective of aerial photography with the stunningly alien composition of the driest places on Earth. Perhaps best of all, the show, dubbed Desert Air, is free. Steinmetz’s work is on display Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at 333 S. Hope St. photo courtesy Red Hollywood

Thursday, January 30 Armistead Maupin at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St, (213) 228-7500 or 7:15 p.m.: Armistead Maupin’s nine-part “Tales of the City” series concludes with The Days of Anna Madrigal, a fictional journey through a colorful contemporary Western landscape. Maupin will be discuss his work with USC prof Christopher Freeman. Howard Marks at Live Talks Gensler, 500 S. Figueroa St., or 7:45 a.m.: The Live Talks Business Forum brings Howard Marks, the chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, to the headquarters of architecture firm Gensler for a morning discussion about stock market speculation, deregulation, toxic assets and other matters. Travelling the Silk Road Lecture Series Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., (213) 7633466 or 7 p.m.: Straight from Georgetown University comes Dr. James Millward. He’ll be discussing instrumental evolution and the music of Central Asia in a lecture entitled, simply, “Silk Road Journeys of the Eurasian Lute.”

n By Da

Are Kiwis proficient in ballet? Why yes, they are, and the proof comes to Downtown Los Angeles this week. On Friday-Sunday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, the Royal New Zealand Ballet presents four performances of Giselle, the classic folk tale of a girl who dies of a broken heart. The music comes from Adolphe Adam in the North American premiere, while Johan Kobborg and Ethan Stiefel handle the choreography (building off the work by Marius Petipa). Unlike most ballets, the show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion has a full live orchestra. Showtimes are Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. As a bonus, attendees of the matinees can witness a mimed ballet demo during intermission. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0711 or photo by Evan Li



January 27, 2014

photo by Hiroshi Takekawa

18 Downtown News

FIVE Mainstream film today regularly expresses radical political ideas and broad reassessments of societal virtue, but back in the late 1940s and early ’50s, Hollywood was significantly less open-minded — thanks a lot, Congressional House Un-American Activities Committee. On Monday, Jan. 27, REDCAT gets into all that with a screening of the documentary Red Hollywood. The Thom Andersen/Noel Burch piece reassesses the life, times and work of filmmakers whose careers were cut short and drastically marginalized when their names appeared on the Hollywood blacklist. Originally released in 1996, the recently remastered and re-edited film will start at 8:30 p.m. At 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or

The Beatles’ first American television experience on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Nov. 18, 1963, and the Fab Four’s arrival in the U.S. in February 1964, coincided with larger social changes. On Tuesday, Jan. 28, that very subject is addressed when the Grammy Museum hosts author Bruce Spizer in an event dubbed “The Beatles are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America.” The enduring fascination with the iconic mod quartet will be the topic at hand. Afterwards, Spizer will even sign his book, if you ask nicely and a sing a few lines of “I Am the Walrus.” OK, the latter isn’t necessary. At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or

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January 27, 2014

Downtown News 19


Horsing Around in CHinAtown One of Downtown’s most enjoyable celebrations, the Chinese New Year, is back this weekend. On Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 1-2, area denizens will welcome the Year of the Horse with an array of cultural performances, food demonstrations, lion dancers, acrobats, kids’ activities and everything else you can imagine. The highlight, as always, will be the Golden Dragon Parade, which takes place on Sunday at 1 p.m. Most of the activity runs at Central and West plazas from noon- 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. But really, everywhere you go in the community, there will be something to do. At 943-951 N. Broadway or

photo by Gary Leonard

Jan. 27: Brad Dutz Trio and Acre Foot. Jan. 28: Four friends get together with the Jonathan Rowden Quartet. Jan. 29: David Binney Group with Vardan Ovsepian, Kaveh Rastegar and Peter Erskine. Jan. 30: The North Trio with Abe Lagrimas, Jr., Romain Collin and Shawn Conley. Yep, that’s three. Jan. 31: Billy Childs Electric Band. Feb. 1: Sean Wayland, Ben Eunson, Joshua Davis and Mark Ferber. Feb. 2: Mark Dresser, Han Bennink, Michael Dessen and Mary Oliver. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or Jan. 27, 9 p.m.: KROQ insists the last night of Vanaprasta’s residency is “locals only,” but we’re pretty sure you could sneak a few people from Pomona into the gig. Jan. 28, 8 p.m.: Pop by the barrelful with Eryn Woods and Wild Moccasins. Jan. 29, 8 p.m.: Wild Cub is proud to be in the music industry. Jan. 30, 8 p.m.: Acoustic duo Baywood promises a sound so accessible, you’ll have the thrill of feeling like you’re watching a commercial! Jan. 31, 8 p.m.: Futurebirds are neither avian nor terribly futuristic. They’re a country-ish rock band from Athens, Georgia. Feb. 1, 9 p.m.: With the Autumn Defense you get Wilco band member John Stirratt foolishly standing up for a season that will come whether people like it or not. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or Jan. 31, 8 p.m.: After a brief primer in cryptography, we’ve been able to decipher tonight’s show. It turns out “BURUDA Concert Ver.1: Hello 10CM” refers to a South Korean indie band. Should be… well it should be a concert. Feb. 1, 9 p.m.: Another visit by the Dan Band to LA Live. If you’re unsure what to expect, then check out all those major motion pictures in which they have appeared. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or Jan. 27, 9 p.m.: Fresh from their yearly pilgrimage to Hicksville,

the Escondite staff will be well rested as they serve up Yonatan’s Monster Monday. Jan. 28, 10 p.m.: Bunny West and Boom Boom Boom, a high performance duo that will echo down Boyd Street. Jan. 29, 10 p.m.: Ocha La Rocha, Spanish for “opening for the Vibrometers.” Jan. 30, 10 p.m.: You can put on Blackwater Jukebox and smoke ’em!

Jan. 31, 9 p.m.: The Diamond Light is more a metaphor for the band’s music than an actual illuminating gem. Feb. 2, 9 p.m.: In case you were wondering if honkytonk crooners RT N the 44s are the Real McCoy, pick RT’s brain about the art of still construction. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or Jan. 30: Stanton Warriors.


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Jan. 31: Arnej. Feb. 1: Alex Metric and Destructo. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or Jan. 29, 8 p.m.: There’s nothing bogus about country music singer Suzy Bogguss’ new album. See what we did there? You will when she stops by to drop some new tracks. Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page Ham and Eggs 433 W. Eighth St. or Jan. 27: Controlfreqs. Nokia Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6030 or Feb. 1, 8:30 p.m.: You know Ehsan Khajeh Amiri as the son of famous musician Iraj. Holla! One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or Jan. 29, 10 p.m.: Hot Club Vignati. Jan. 30, 10 p.m.: Burlesque. Jan. 31, 10 p.m.: The Temporary Thing. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or Jan. 27: Absent Minds and Lysolgang. Jan. 28: Fuzzy Vision Records. Jan. 29: Slim Zwerling & The Yum Yums. Jan. 30: Thursday Night Booty. Jan. 31: Captain Slookie, Isaac Roth & The Phantoms and Glitter Wizard. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or Jan. 27: Brandino and Friends. Yes, Brandino has friends. Jan. 28: Why stay home and watch the television when you can spend time with The Makers. Jan. 29: You don’t have to stay up till midnight to enjoy Rick Taub’s Midnight Blues Review. The Smell 247 S. Main St. in the alley between Spring and Main or Jan. 29: Dirt Dress, Corners and Froth. Jan. 31: Business Cats, Take Pictures, Gangrene Gang, Media Jeweler. Feb. 1: Warm White, cthtr, Birthdaygirl and the Cthulhus. Feb. 2: Wide Streets, SK Kabrabra and Rexx.

FILM Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Chloe Sevigny and Jena Malone star in a meta family drama about a prophecy and a recent death in The Wait. Those attending the Feb. 1 screening will be treated to a Q&A with director M. Blash and Jena Malone. IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 744-2019 or Explore the remnants and wisdom of an ancient empire in Mysteries of Egypt. Ice and polar bear enthusiasts will likely dig To the Arctic 3D. Experience the gripping story full of hope, crushing disappointment and triumph in Hubble 3D. MOCA 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 626-6222 or Jan. 31, 3 p.m.: All three installments of The Art of Punk will screen. Director Bryan Ray Turcotte will afterwards discuss his film and the process of tracking down and interviewing the artists behind the logos of bands including Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and Crass. Feb. 1, 12 p.m.: Artist Jeffrey Vallance will turn the spotlight on humor in the legitimate arts with a screening of a new documentary about his work. It’s Blinky the Friendly Hen. REDCAT 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or Jan. 27, 8:30 p.m.: Originally released in 1996, director Thom Anderson’s Red Hollywood covers the HUAC hearings, the Hollywood Blacklist and the dozens of ruined careers that resulted. Regal Cinemas 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or Through January 30: I, Frankenstein (12, 5 and 10 p.m.); I, Frankenstein 3D (2:30 and 7:30 p.m.); Devil’s Due (12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8 and 10:20 p.m.); Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (1, 4, 7 and 9:40 p.m.); The Nut Job 3D (12 and 4:20 p.m.); The Nut Job (2:10, 6:30 and 9 p.m.); Ride Along (12:10, 1:30, 2:40, 4:20, 5:10, 7:10, 7:50, 9:50 and 10:30 p.m.); The Legend of Hercules 3D (2:10 and 6:50 p.m.); The Legend of Hercules (12, 4:30 and 9:20 p.m.); Lone Survivor (1:20, 4:30, 7:40 and 10:30 p.m.); Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (12:50, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30 and 9:40 p.m.); The Wolf of Wall Street (12:10, 3:10, 6:40 and 9:50 p.m.); Her (12:20, 3:50, 7 and 10:20 p.m.); American Hustle (12:30, 3:30, 6:30 and 9:50 p.m.); Frozen (1:10, 4, 6:50 and 9:20 p.m.),

THEATER, OPERA & DANCE A Word or Two Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 628-2772 or Jan. 28-30, 8 p.m., Feb. 1-2, 3 p.m.: Christopher Plummer reads some of his favorite bits of writing from the English language. The audience responds with silent reverie and later, significant applause. See review page 17. Bob Baker’s Fun With Strings Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or Jan. 28-31, 10:30 a.m. and Feb. 1-2, 2:30 p.m.: Whimsy knows no bounds as Bob Baker’s 54th season kicks off with a journey through a monkey circus, a vast

January 27, 2014

Downtown News 21


Friday, January 31 Hilary Hahn Plays Nielsen Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 8 p.m. and Feb. 2, 2 p.m.: Violinist Hilary Hahn joins the Los Angeles Philharmonic to play pieces from HIllbord, Nielsen and Sibelius. saTurday, February 1 Toyota Symphonies for Youth Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or 11 a.m.: The L.A. Phil presents Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for the kids. sunday, February 2 Calidore String Quartet Doheny Mansion, 10 Chester Place, (213) 477-2929 or 2 and 4 p.m.: The Da Camera Society gives you chamber music outfit Calidore String Quartet with clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim in the gaudy Pompeian Room.

BARS & CLUBS McCormick & Schmick’s 633 W. Fifth St., Fourth Floor, (213) 629-1929 or With a bar, adjoining dining rooms and patio where patrons can take in the dazzling skyline, this is a longtime Downtown happy hour scene, and one of its most festive. The drinks come quick, and the food specials are unbeatable — formidable burgers and appetizers for mere dollars. Noé Bar Omni Hotel, 251 S. Olive St., (213) 356-4100 or This relaxing spot features a full menu of signature martinis and a humidor with a variety of quality cigars. The outdoor patio showcases the Downtown skyline and California Plaza and features intimate fire pits. Happy Hour every Wednesday and Thursday 5-9


Tuesday, January 28 Green Umbrella: Contemporary Legends Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or 8 p.m.: The more contemporary side of classical music comes to light as Brad Lubman conducts members of the L.A. Phil in new composition from Boulez, Carter and Van Der AA.

perfect addition for the Financial District crowd. Loud house music and sufficient cocktails are all part of the appeal at this Hollywood-inspired spot. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or A neon stag head near Seventh Street and Grand Avenue marks the entrance to this high-end whiskey lounge. At the top of a staircase you’ll find a diorama with a gun-toting hunter, one of several quirky elements that also include bejeweled crows in the ladies room, plaid fabric, and plenty of stag and elk imagery. More than 120 whiskeys are displayed behind the stunning backlit bar, and the expert mixologists whip up some truly amazing cocktails (happy hour prices apply all day Monday). A smoker’s patio is onsite. The action around the pool table is always lively and there’s a nice lineup of live music. Silo 221 W. Seventh St., (213) 891-1063 or Vodka, Vodka, Vodka. Clear distilled spirits are the specialty



p.m. featuring live music, $3 appetizers and $5 cocktails. O Bar & Kitchen O Hotel, 819 S. Flower St., (213) 623-9904 or Surrounded by warm orange walls and exposed brick, try California-inspired Mediterranean tapas and relax with a house cocktail or specialty martini. Oiwake 122 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, (213) 628-2678 or The first karaoke restaurant and bar in Downtown boasts a monster songbook. One Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or Look for the purple building by the First Street bridge to find this Old Worlde meets modern hipster lounge, where you can listen to up-and-coming rock and experimental bands while playing skee ball or demanding answers from the fortune-telling machine. Pattern Bar 100 W. Ninth St., (213) 627-7774 or One of LA’s newest nightspots is a trendy, open walled spot with craft cocktails, good beer and all kinds of references to the surrounding Fashion District. The owners of Pattern Bar come from a long pedigree of Downtown underground music. Count on good tunes and live mixing when you come in at night, but don’t even think about making a request. Perch 448 S. Hill St., (213) 802-1770 or This rooftop Parisian inspired bistro is the newest project from the team that brought you the Must. Wine, cuisine, cognac and craft beer are all good and well here, but the true attraction is the view of Pershing Square and the Bunker Hill skyline. Redwood Bar & Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 680-2600 or This maritime-inspired tavern is decked out in nautical gear, including fishing nets and floats, weathered wooden planks and the stumps of dock timbers. A rusty anchor and reproductions of pirate flags adorn the ceiling of the entryway. DJs spin in a backroom while a high-tech jukebox churns out everything from the Clash to Frank Sinatra. Salvage 717 W. Seventh St., (213) 688-7755 or This lounge and bar on the supposed restaurant row is a Follow Us on ISSUU

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here. The décor and clientele are more Hollywood than Historic Core. Portent of things to come? Or a new addition to an already flourishing bar district? You be the judge. Standard Hotel 550 S. Flower St., (213) 892-8080 or Despite only a few short years in operation, you can pretty much consider the Standard hotel’s rooftop bar a local nightlife veteran. From buttoned-up office workers who flock to the space for happy hour drinks to the swanked-out late-night crowd, the place is always buzzing. Floating amid the surreal skyline, the mod lounge features pod-shaped cabanas, vibrating waterbeds, super hot bartenders and lots of beautiful people. Suede Bar and Lounge Westin Bonaventure, 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 489-3590 or This new, crimson-toned pocket has a happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-8 p.m. There are small plates, cigars and a smoking patio. Continued on next page


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winter landscape and Paris. Hamlet Loft Ensemble, 929 E. Second St., #105, (213) 680-0392 or Feb. 1, 8 p.m. and Feb. 2, 7 p.m.: Willy Shakespeare’s meditation on the rigors of existence and the pain that is family returns to the Downtown stage. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 628-2772 or Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 8 p.m. and Feb. 2, 1 and 6:30 p.m.: Written by Christopher Durang and directed by Nigel Crane himself (you might know him as David Hyde Pierce), the play looks at a dysfunctional family locked in a bit of hysterical tumult.

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22 Downtown News


Continued from previous page Takami & Elevate Lounge 811 Wilshire Blvd., 21st floor, (213) 236-9600 or This former 1960s office suite is split between the 130-seat restaurant on the east and a stylish lounge on the west. The modern Japanese aesthetic with warm wood tables, leather floors, low lounge seating and striking sculptural pieces makes an immediate impression, though not nearly as much as the wall-towall windows and endless views. The stylish lounge features VIP seating, a dance floor, two bars and DJs spinning nightly. Skyline Jazz Series is featured every Tuesday night from 7pm to 10pm. Admission is free and lite fare can be ordered. Valet available after nightly S I N C E6 p.m. 19 7 2 (Wilshire/Lebanon). Los Angeles Downtown News Tapas and Wine Bar C 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 428 E. Second St., (213) 628-8877 or phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 In this Little Tokyo establishment, indulgence is the word: web: • email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News


twitter: DowntownNews

January 27, 2014

Sultry waitresses strutting in French Maid outfits serve up sake and Bordeaux reds to go with exotic tapas and main courses. The interior is decked out in faux fur and black lace curtains. And if watching sports is your indulgence, the Lakers are on TV too. The Varnish 118 E. Sixth St., Los Angeles, (213) 622-9999 or Like a modern-day speakeasy, this little den is located sans glaring signage, in the back of Cole’s. Inside, you’ll find vested bartenders who take perhaps the most care with your drink in all Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris of Downtown. GENErAl MANAGEr: Villains TavernDawn Eastin 1356 Palmetto St., Jon (213) 613-0766 or ExEcutivE Editor: Regardie stAFF writErs: Kim lit space where Hand crated Donna vintage Evans, cocktailsEddie in a dimly coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn MaeseVillains also curates an apothecary meets prohibition speakeasy. coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg array of rock-meets-Americana bands like theFischer, great Dustbowl Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield Revival.

MORE LISTINGS Hundreds of listings of fun and interesting things to do in Downtown Los Angeles can also be found online at ladowntownnews. com/calendar: Rock, Pop & Jazz; Bars & Clubs; Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, Dance and Opera; Classical Music; Museums; and Tours.

Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin

AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield

AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez

Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins

circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard




Email: Send a brief description, street address and public phone number. Submissions must be received 10 days prior Nconsidered C E 19 for 7 2print. to publication dateStoIbe Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News twitter: DowntownNews ©2014 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles. One copy per person.

AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield

©2014 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin

S I N C E 19 7 2 Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: • email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News

twitter: DowntownNews

ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

S I N C E 19 7 2 Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News twitter: DowntownNews ©2014 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla ©2014 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

January 27, 2014



All submissions are subject to federal and California fair housing laws, which make it illegal to indicate in any advertisement any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income or physical or mental disability. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.

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LEGAL fiCtitioUs BUsiness name Fictitious Business name statement File no. 20090170655 The following person is doing business as: 1) L.A. Downtowner, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026-5831, are hereby registered by the following registrant: CIVIC CENTEr NEWS, INC, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. This business is conducted by a corporation. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on 09/12/1972. This statement was filed with DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on February 11, 2009. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Sec-

Monthly from $695 utilities paid. (213) 627-1151

tion 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 01/13, 01/20, 01/27, and 02/03/2014. Fictitious Business name statement File no. 20090170655 The following person is doing business as: 1) CIVIC CENTEr NEWS, INC, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026-5831 are hereby registered by the following registrant: CIVIC CENTEr NEWS, INC, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. This business is conducted by a corporation. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on 09/12/1972. This statement was filed with DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on February 06, 2009. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 01/13, 01/20, 01/27, and 02/03/2014. Fictitious Business name statement

(323) 662-9797

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File no. 20090187396 The following person is doing business as: 1) L.A. DOWNTOWN NEWS 2) LOS ANGELES DOWNTOWN NEWS, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026-5831 are hereby registered by the following registrant: CIVIC CENTEr NEWS, INC, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. This business is conducted by a corporation. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on 09/12/1972. This statement was filed with DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on February 11, 2009. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name state-

ment must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 01/13, 01/20, 01/27, and 02/03/2014. Fictitious Business name statement File no. 20090189318 The following person is doing business as: 1) LOS ANGELES DOWNTOWN SHOPPEr 2) DOWNTOWN SHOPPEr, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026-5831 are hereby registered by the following registrant: CIVIC CENTEr NEWS, INC, 1264 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026. This business is

conducted by a corporation. The registrant commenced to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed above on 09/12/1972. This statement was filed with DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on February 11, 2009. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 01/13, 01/20, 01/27, and 02/03/2014.

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24 Downtown News

Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore! It’s our business to make you comfortable... at home, downtown. Corporate and long term residency Call Now Fo is accommodated in high style at the Towers Apartments. Contemporary singles, studio, one r bedroom and two bedroom apartment homes provide fortunate residents with a courteous full service lobby attendant, heated pool, spa, complete fitness center, sauna and recreation room Move-In Spec with kitchen. Beautiful views extend from the Towers’ lofty homes in the sky. Mountain vistas and ial slender skyscrapers provide an incredible back drop to complement your decor. Far below are a host of businesses s ready to support your pampered downtown lifestyle. With spectacular cultural events nearby, even the most demanding tastes are satisfied. Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore. Visit the Towers Apartments today.

Grand Tower

255 South Grand Avenue Leasing Information 213 229 9777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dishwasher (most units) ~ Central Air Conditioning & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

On-site: ~ Dry Cleaners / Dental Office / Restaurants

January 27, 2014

Developer Plans 27-Story Tower in South Park

By Eddie Kim he Downtown development rush continues, and this time it’s going tall and dense: San Francisco-based Carmel Partners has revealed plans to build a 27-story tower at 801 S. Olive St. The design from GMP Architects-LA calls for 363 residential units and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Plans were presented to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 21. The proposed project would be the second major Carmel development in Downtown — the firm is in the midst of construction on a 700-unit apartment complex at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue. That project, which will include a 42,000-squarefoot Whole Foods, is slated to open by early 2016. No budget or timeline was revealed for the high-rise. However, renderings depict a sleek, glass-encased tower with massive square frames as façade articulations, several open-air decks and a four-story podium. “We tried to design a building that will fit into the changing context of the neighborhood, especially with Carmel’s project next door,” said lead architect Don Getman. The first floor of the building would be used primarily for a lobby, and early plans call for a 7,500-square-foot restaurant at Eighth and Olive streets. The proposal also envisions 379 parking stalls for resident use and 184 bicycle parking spaces. Three floors of parking would sit on top of the ground level. The garage would be encased in translucent wall panels and would emit a soft glow at night. “We wanted this to be a beautiful garage and not just another big podium,” Neils Cotter, vice president of development at Carmel Partners, told the DLANC committee.


Promenade Towers

123 South Figueroa Street Leasing Information 213 617 3777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Pool / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Covered Parking

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove & Dishwasher ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Solariums and/or Balconies

On-Site: ~ Convenience Store / Coffee House / Yogurt Shop / Beauty Salon

museum Tower

225 South Olive Street Leasing Information 213 626 1500 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dish washer (most units) ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

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Carmel Partners’ proposed 27-story tower at 801 S. Olive St. would feature open-air mezzanines, a rooftop pool and an illuminated parking podium.

rendering courtesy of Carmel Partners

The tower also would feature a fifth-floor deck at the rear of the project with a dog park, a fitness center and several lawns. A second sky deck would sport an enclosed rooftop lounge with a bar, a pool and more. The project would hold studio to two-bedroom residences measuring 520-1,160 square feet. Four penthouses would average 1,950 square feet. The project is in the entitlement phase, with Carmel seeking several variances, including increasing the building’s floor area by 50,000 square feet and reducing the open space requirement by 10%. Carmel also hopes to plant 43 trees on the site — based on the number of units, the city requires 93 trees. Podium Problem At the DLANC meeting, the project’s design sparked a discussion about several trends in high-rise architecture, including the issue of parking podiums. Simon Ha, an architect and the chair of the Planning and Land Use Committee, observed that parking podiums are often ugly and, because residents can’t easily see what is happening on the street, they can pose a safety concern. “It’s important to have eyes on the street from residents to make the street safer,” he said. “We have three stories of parking right off the ground floor that prevents that.” Getman said that the podium improves the sightline for the lowest floor of residential units. But the bigger issue, he said, is cost: Digging a subterranean parking garage is a pricey and time-consuming process. “If we had created a subterranean parking structure, there wouldn’t be a project,” Cotter added.


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