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Volume 42, Number 31

August 5, 2013


W W W. D O W N T O W N N E W S . C O M

A Cure for the Common Food Court How Brookfield Properties Turned a Tired Mall Eating Spot Into a Vibrant, Chef-Driven Destination

Bert Dezzutti of Brookfield Office Properties holds a Juicy Lucy burger from Paul Shoemaker’s spot inside Taste at FIGat7th. Brookfield recently undertook a major renovation of the mall’s food court. by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR


he phrase “food court” brings to mind a not-sodelicious image: Crowds of people, whether shoppers or office workers, congregating on a cookie-cutter collection of small stands offering uninspired burgers, pizza slices and other fare. A salad spot or some bland Japanese food is about as adventurous as it gets. Bad fluorescent lighting is to be expected. Brookfield Properties, which purchased an office tower and shopping center at Seventh and Figueroa streets in 2006, understood the problem. So when the company embarked on a $40 million renovation of the mall, finding a cure for the common food court was high on the agenda. The mall, renamed FIGat7th, reopened last October, and the food court, dubbed Taste, has slowly added eateries that

defy expectations of a central feeding zone. Instead of a fast food burger, for example, the glass-enclosed 25,000-squarefoot area has Santa Ynez grass-fed beef from chef Paul Shoemaker, whose credits include Downtown’s Water Grill, as well as Providence and Bastide restaurants. Those craving Asian food can try Oleego by Park’s BBQ, helmed by Jenee Kim, whose Koreatown barbecue spot made this year’s list of the L.A. Weekly’s 99 Essential Restaurants. The food court is also home to Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Joe Kim’s newest Flying Pig location, as well as the future home of Jimmy Shaw’s Loteria Grill, Twist N Grill, a pita restaurant from chef David Slatkin, and Tokyo-based Gentaro Soba Noodle, which serves Japanese “soul food” in the form of soba noodles. Since December, five spaces have opened inside Taste and six more are coming, including a Downtown outpost

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of Silver Lake’s Pazzo Gelato. Adjacent to the food court are three larger spaces: Mendocino Farms, the third Downtown version of the high-end sandwich spot from Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen, which opened in April, and George’s Greek Grill. City Tavern, a gastropub, is scheduled to debut in the winter (a Sprinkles cupcakes is already on an upper level). Del Pero, whose restaurant serves about 600 meals during the lunch hour and approximately 170 more for dinner before closing at 9 p.m., said he was instantly attracted by Brookfield’s proposal to change up the food court experience. “They wanted to do something more progressive, definitely kind of break the mold, and we were very intrigued and excited,” said Del Pero. “We couldn’t be happier with the high-quality, in-the-know foodie crowd here.” One of those self-described foodies is 27-year-old Allison see Food Court, page 8

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2 Downtown News

AROUNDTOWN Big Changes Coming Next Week for Downtown News


hange is constant in this world, and while it often surprises people, change is good. It’s the same for Los Angeles Downtown News, which next week is launching some big changes. The issue that hits stands on Monday, Aug. 12, will showcase a major redesign. Although the physical paper will be smaller, there will be no changes in staff size or content, which means readers can expect the same award-winning mix of news, entertainment, food, business, opinion, columns and community coverage. In addition, our digital presence continues to grow, with being constantly updated and augmented by DTTV, a weekly video newscast on our homepage. There’s also mobile and tablet access on So pick up the paper next week and let us know what you think.

Regional Connector Lawsuits Headed to Trial


s the Regional Connector moves forward, so does the litigation surrounding it. A judge last week declined to rule on a July 25 motion by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to dismiss three lawsuits it is facing over the $1.37 billion project. Downtown property owners Thomas Properties Group, the Westin Bonaventure hotel and Japanese Village Plaza are separately suing Metro on the grounds that the agency’s environmental impact report for the connector is faulty. Metro sought to dismiss the suits, arguing that the connector is exempt from the California

August 5, 2013


Environmental Quality Act, which regulates EIRs. The judge’s decision means the parties are scheduled to go to trial on Nov. 4. “The lawsuits have not been consolidated but are being heard in state and federal court, respectively, in the same courtrooms and by the same judges,” according to Metro’s news blog, The Source.

State Approves Plan for Spring Street Bike Lane


he California Traffic Control Devices Committee (yes, there is one of those) last week approved a City Council-endorsed plan to modify the design of the green Spring Street bike lane. The bright green paint has rankled film producers, who claim that it ruins the Historic Core backdrop. Cycling advocates fought to keep the color. Ultimately, the parties compromised: The bright green will be removed and the city plans to repaint the lane with four inches of dark green paint inside the white borders, instead of banding the entire width of the lane with color. The new standard, according to the office of 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, who brokered the compromise, is also cheaper to install. The schedule of the repainting is not certain, but the approval by the CTCDC means the city Department of Transportation now has the, uh, green light to proceed, said Huizar spokesman Rick Coca.

New Councilman Pledges To Keep Eye on L.A. River


uring his 12 years on the City Council, Ed Reyes became almost synonymous with the Los Angeles River. Although Reyes

Wilshire Blvd Historic Street Lights


has been termed out of office, newly elected 13th District Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said the waterway is not about to be overlooked. Speaking Monday, July 29, at a luncheon at the Downtown Palm hosted by the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum, O’Farrell said he has taken the river baton from Reyes, and is looking at reversing some of the concrete channelization that occurred as a flood control effort in the 1930s. “We have some alternatives that are being entertained right now by the Army Corps [of Engineers] and the Feds,” he said. He pointed at what is known as “Alternative 20,” which is the most extensive revitalization plan, though also extremely expensive. “We all support that, but it has a $1 billion price tag,” he said. O’Farrell chairs the council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee. He said one meeting a month will focus on river issues.

Wilshire Grand Hotel

Community Police Event, National Night Out, Returns


ver wanted to get to know your local cops? National Night Out, an annual nationwide event, is an opportunity to do just that. On Tuesday, Aug. 6, from 6-9 p.m., Central Area police officers and officials will gather in Little Tokyo for a night of live music, family activities and a bounce house. The street fair type event, which will be held on First Street between Central Avenue and Alameda Street, will also feature demonstrations in self-defense, along with SWAT and Bomb Squad set-ups. The 30-year-old National Night Out is billed as a way to better police and community ties. So here’s your chance to ask Downtown’s finest about that crime problem on your block, or just put names to the faces and uniforms.

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August 5, 2013

Downtown News 3

Celebrating 40 Years

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4 Downtown News

August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

EDITORIALS Slowly, a Brighter Figueroa Connection

Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis


ver the last decade, most people strolling from the Financial District to Staples Center or L.A. Live for an evening game or concert had a less-than-stellar experience. Despite the proximity, the walk has been hampered by dark stretches and a lack of street life. The most frustrating experience has been on Figueroa Street, which is also the most natural pedestrian corridor connecting the neighborhoods. In a perfect world, folks from the Financial District or the Historic Core would walk down an already active Seventh Street, turn south on Figueroa, pass by a buzzing FIGat7th shopping center and then have a pleasant 10-minute walk during which they would pass cafes, bars and restaurants. If things really worked, then people would leave their cars in the garage and would stop for a drink or a meal before and/or after an evening event. Although the experience is not close to what it should be, things are slowly beginning to change. A few recent occurrences could mark the start of a shift. We hope city leaders, landowners and business officials will see the benefits and build on them. Brookfield Properties’ continued upgrade of the mall has made it livelier, and the restaurants serving into the evening (including Morton’s, California Pizza Kitchen and new arrival Mendocino Farms) provide an opportunity for people to grab dinner before taking in a game or concert. It is the most important advance at the northern end of the stretch, and will be the anchor of improvements until the replacement for the Wilshire Grand arrives. A few blocks to the south, the experience has been brightened somewhat by the debut of a Smart & Final Extra. The store opened at 845 S. Figueroa St. last month as part of a renovation of a defunct building. The upgrade, started by former owner L&R Group and continued by the State Bar, which recently purchased the property, has created a more inviting interface. This was previously the darkest part of the FIGat7thto-L.A. Live walk While the turnaround is a plus, the street-level work did not go as far as would have been ideal. Many Downtowners will enjoy the supermarket that includes a cafe with some outdoor groundfloor seating, but there is also a solid wall that makes it impossible to see into the store. Unless the building is well-lit at night, there is a risk of a dark and still unpleasant trek. We hope State Bar officials will keep their lights bright until an hour or so after games or concerts end. The east side of Figueroa Street also remains underwhelming, with occasional bursts of activity interspersed with grim sections. The presence of a Roy’s restaurant and a second outpost of Colori Kitchen are nice, but do not mark a complete turnaround. It is in everyone’s interest to continue to improve the pedestrian experience, especially with the idea of Farmers Field and its attendant 68,000 football fans still floating around. Downtown will be a better and less gridlocked place when people feel they can leave their cars behind and stroll through the community for a night out. Some advances have been made, but it is not yet enough.

Downtown Shouldn’t Squander Opportunity to Build Tall and Increase Density


couple decades from now, the period of 2012-2015 will be seen as a formative time in the evolution of Downtown Los Angeles. With the chilling effect of the nationwide recession largely worn off in the Central City, the community is in the midst of something between a mini-building boom and an actual building boom. As Los Angeles Downtown News reported last month, the vast majority of the several thousand housing units currently under construction are in buildings that are seven stories or less. This is important because Downtown is one of the few communities in Los Angeles that is zoned to hold numerous new high-rises. However, this potentially once-in-a-generation opportunity to go tall is being mostly squandered. This situation warrants the attention and involvement of city leaders, including key department heads and the offices of 14th District Councilman José Huizar and Mayor Eric Garcetti. There is an opportunity to facilitate and perhaps even incentivize highrise construction. The number of mid-rise projects in the pipeline is not a bad thing. Chinatown will benefit immensely from the activity generated by the Jia Apartments, a 280-unit development scheduled to open this year. Similarly, Carmel Partners’ 700-unit complex at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue (complete with a Whole Foods) will create street life and serve as a lure for large retailers when it arrives in 2015. These and other developments ensure that Downtown will remain vibrant for years to come. However, the big issue is that many of these projects are rising on surface parking lots, and once the parking lots disappear, so does the opportunity to go tall. The developers’ reasons for sticking with mid-rise buildings is understandable: Projects shorter than 75 feet can use wood-frame construction, while buildings that exceed that height are required to employ steel, which although sturdier is far more expensive. Additionally, it is more difficult and time-consuming to secure approvals for a high-rise project than a lower-slung building. With many of the new developments coming from out-of-L.A. real estate companies that have national portfolios and an above-all focus on the bottom line, the easiest and least expensive route is also the natural one. This is troubling because Downtown is the center of the region, with the area’s best public transportation system, and is the rare neighborhood where the mere mention of skyscrapers does not engender fierce opposition from local residents. In many ways it’s the opposite of Hollywood, where the proposed Millennium towers,

recently approved by the City Council, ignited major controversy (questions over an earthquake fault below the project continue). Hollywood inhabitants waged a battle against the project, worried that the community could not support the increased density. Downtown, by contrast, can and should support more density. Yet if the mid-rises dominate, the chance to go tall with dynamically designed buildings close to Metro stops will be lost. The question becomes, what can be done? The trend of national real estate firms investing in Downtown is likely to continue, and they will certainly opt for the low-rise route if it remains significantly cheaper and easier than building tall. One possibility is legislation creating so-called “minimum density zones,” where developers would be required to create projects at least 75 feet tall. Considering that using steel does not pencil out until buildings hit approximately 20 stories, this would likely propel developers to go at least that high. However, creating laws dictating what developers can do with their land is more than a little problematic. There would certainly be numerous lawsuits that would delay development of any kind, which is not productive for anyone. Legislation could prove more troubling and costly to the city than it is worth. The other option, as developer Tom Gilmore mentioned in the story, is to facilitate high-rise development in Downtown. There is a history here of just such activity: The 1999 Adaptive Reuse Ordinance made it easier and cheaper to turn dead office buildings into housing. That opened the door to the residential revolution. Any effort to alter the city permitting process can be fraught with complications. However, there is a rare opportunity at play: Los Angeles’ antiquated zoning code is being modernized, and one of the first steps in the process involves looking specifically at construction in Downtown. The city should find appropriate incentives to encourage high-rises, among them trying to make the permitting process easier. This should occur before any serious talk of minimum density zones. Another thing worth noting is that some individuals are already building tall. Although in the minority, a few local developers see profit potential in residential towers, and they predict that as the national economy continues to recover, the trend will swing their way. Perhaps it will, but local officials need to do more than stand on the sidelines and watch. The current period is critical for Downtown, and decisions made now will reverberate for decades to come. Don’t miss the density opportunity.

August 5, 2013

Downtown News 5

Celebrating 40 Years

Whole Foods Deal Marks Grocery Milestone Downtown Stakeholders Expect Announcement to Lead to More Upscale Additions by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer


fter hovering over Downtown Los Angeles for a few years, officials with upscale grocer Whole Foods finally found what it believes is the perfect location to build a grocery store. On Wednesday, July 31, the Austin, Texasbased chain announced that it had signed a lease with developer Carmel Partners to occupy a 42,000-square-foot space at 770 S. Grand Ave. The supermarket will open in an under-construction apartment complex. The store is tentatively slated to debut in 2015. Downtown stakeholders’ reactions bordered on ecstatic, as the deal comes after years of efforts by local retail recruiters to lure an upscale chain to the community. Although the Ralphs Fresh Fare that opened in 2007 has been embraced by area residents, many felt there was room for another option. “It’s about time,” said Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, which helped connect Whole Foods with Carmel Partners. “This reflects the fact that the market is ready for a variety of grocery options.” The company had considered multiple sites in the past, including 845 S. Figueroa St. Although Whole Foods passed, the Carsonbased chain Smart & Final bit on the property. On July 18 it opened a 24,000-square-foot Smart & Final Extra. It has a 20-year lease. Ultimately, Whole Foods officials were convinced that the property at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue, adjacent to Bottega Louie, offers the best chance to cater to the surrounding residential population, which now numbers about 50,000, as

well as Financial District workers, said Erica Dubreuil, the company’s regional vice president of store development and design. “We have always wanted to be in Downtown,” Dubreuil said. “It takes time to find the right site for where you want to be, both for daytime and evening and also for trucks to be able to load.” The Carmel project — a 700-unit high-end apartment complex — also represented one of the few Downtown retail pads large enough to accommodate a full-size Whole Foods. A New Downtown District Should it be called Financial District East? Or how about Lower Grand? Maybe North South Park? Whatever name it gets, the area that the Whole Foods will anchor is poised to become a new residential and commercial hub in Downtown. As the Historic Core has blossomed into a thriving community several blocks to the east, and South Park has become a vibrant neighborhood thanks to a collection of housing complexes and the L.A. Live campus, the connective tissue between those districts has been largely quiet. That’s about to change in a big way. Within a few blocks of Whole Foods’ Eighth Street and Grand Avenue location, there are more than 1,300 housing units under construction, including Carmel’s still-unnamed development. Another 1,500 apartments or condominiums slated for the burgeoning neighborhood are in the planning pipeline. Each project includes street-level commercial space. With Whole Foods now slated for Downtown, those retail spaces could be filled with high-end stores that target the same

rendering courtesy Carmel Partners

A 42,000-square-foot Whole Foods is scheduled to open at 770 S. Grand Ave., in an under-construction 700-unit apartment complex, in 2015. Broker Derrick Moore calls the deal a retail “tipping point” for Downtown.

affluent demographic that supports the gourmet grocer. “This right here is the tipping point,” said broker and retail expert Derrick Moore, a principal at Avison Young. “This right here is Lululemon and Anthropologie, CB2. We are going to see a huge rush of new retailers coming in to Downtown.” Whole Foods is scheduled to open in 2015 and employ 200 people. When it arrives, it will join a market suddenly flush with grocery options. Smart & Final Extra’s opening came nine months after City Target, which includes a grocery section in its FIGat7th space. Wal-Mart’s food-focused market near Chinatown is slated to open this month. They join Ralphs Fresh Fare, Woori Market

in Little Tokyo and Grand Central Market. Downtown residents and workers also have smaller options, among them Two Bits Market in the Historic Core and Marukai in Little Tokyo. Last month also marked the opening of the Arts District’s Urban Radish, an 8,200-square-foot grocery store that emphasizes organic, local ingredients. Whole Foods’ Dubreuil, who called Urban Radish a “great concept,” believes the area can support all the grocery options. “We enjoy competition,” she said. “We like to be in there with everyone else. There’s plenty of folks in the area to support all of these retailers.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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6 Downtown News

August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

New Yorker to Run Arts High School Kim Bruno Accepts Job She Had Turned Down Twice by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer


im Bruno, the longtime leader of a high-profile arts high school in New York, has agreed to become the new principal of the Ramon C. Cortines School for Visual and Performing Arts in Downtown. As the former principal of the lauded LaGuardia High School of Music, Art and Performing Arts in New York City, Bruno represents the kind of high-profile arts administrator that local officials have sought but failed to lure to the school since it opened in 2009. Los Angeles Downtown News first reported the hiring on Tuesday, July 30. The school has cycled through four principals in its first four years (not including an interim administrator who helmed the school for part of 2011). This is also not the first time Bruno was offered the job. She was originally courted in 2009, though after verbally commit-

ting she cancelled plans to take the post, citing “professional reasons.” She was targeted again in 2011, though she again declined the district’s offer. While it is uncertain what prompted Bruno finally to agree to take over the $232 million school, in a July 30 letter to LaGuardia High community members she likened the decision to a “new adventure.” “It is with heavy heart that I am writing to you to announce that I will not be returning to LaGuardia in September,” Bruno wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Los Angeles Downtown News. “I have accepted a position with the Los Angeles school system and will be leaving NYC before the new school year begins. This was a very difficult decision for me to make considering the fact that LaGuardia has been my home for the last eleven years.” Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy is “thrilled” and “pleased” that Bruno will helm the school at 450 N. Grand Ave, said district spokesman Thomas

photo by Gary Leonard

The $232 million arts high school on Grand Avenue has been unable to keep a principal.

Waldman in an email. Bruno replaces Norman Isaacs, who resigned after leading the school for two years. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Isaacs said he stepped down because the district was not providing the resources he considered necessary to run a premier arts education institution. Bruno was not available for comment last week. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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Celebrating 40 Years

Gotta Keep ’em Separated Fence to Set Dogs and Kids Apart at Spring Street Park by Richard Guzmán city editor


he Spring Street park opened June 17, and was immediately hailed as a new Historic Core destination by area workers and residents. However, the opening also sparked a divide. Families flocked to the park, which includes a children’s playground. So did dog owners, some of whom let their pets off the leash, causing concerns that kids and unfettered canines are not the best mix. Now, a move is underway to change things. Fourteenth District City Councilman José Huizar recently announced that as a response to resident concerns, the Department of Recreation and Parks will erect a three-foot-tall fence around the playground. “For us it just makes sense,” said Rick Coca, a spokesman for Huizar. “Spring Street Park is not a dog park. Dogs aren’t supposed to be in the playground area and this will help ease the concerns of some of the parents.” Dogs are allowed in the .7-acre park on Spring between Fourth and Fifth streets, but they must be on a leash. A sign at the park entrance serves as a reminder of the rule. However, dog owners often let their pets off leash or walk with them into the kids’ area after visiting a grassy portion of the park. “As soon as the park opened, there was an immediate problem of unleashed dogs running into the park,” said Alisa Rivera, who frequents the park with her 6-year-old son Nathan. Rivera pointed to online pictures that show a number of dogs in the playground. Some are leashed and standing next to their owners, while others are off free in the grass area or the playground. One shows a bulldog at the top of the kids’ slide. “It’s just not a good mix,” Rivera said. “Dogs can be friendly with adults and become aggressive with small children.” Kids’ Zone Rivera’s canine concerns prompted her to launch an online petition in early July. She asked for the construction of a fence to make the playground a “kids-only zone.” Within a week, she said she had gathered more than 100 signatures. “We want to keep kids safe and dogs safe,” Rivera said. “If a dog bites a kid that would be a tragedy for everyone…. We want to keep everyone happy and sharing the park.” Rivera’s petition was addressed to Huizar and Patti Berman, who heads the nonprofit group Friends of the Old Bank District Gardens, which was originally slated to run the park. Berman said she has gone back and forth over whether a fence is the best way to deal with the issue. “Loose dogs and children are not a good combination,” she said. The city is currently operating the park after Friends of the Old Bank District Gardens was unable to find money to run it. Still, Berman said her group is now taking a smaller role, which may include providing a security guard for the park, and possibly helping to pay for the fence. Coca said the Department of Recreation and Parks will pay for the fence, though the price has yet to be determined. There is also no timeline on when the fence will be built, though he said it would definitely happen. Berman said that the Department of Recreation and Parks will also be monitoring the park and ticketing people who let their dogs off leash. Last week, park rangers were seen dispensing tickets. Meanwhile, during a recent Tuesday afternoon at the park, parents such as Downtown resident Karitza Fuenmayor, who brings her daughter Natalia to the park at least twice a week, weighed in on the fence. “Sometimes the dogs walk over here and pee in this area too,” she said, pointing to the playground. She said she isn’t happy with the idea of erecting a fence, since it will limit where kids can play. Still, she said she prefers that to having dogs in the playground. Nancy Huang, who was busy chasing her 16-month-old son Ethan around the playground and grass, supports the idea of a fence. “That would be great,” she said. “Sometimes the dogs run around into the playground. It’s happened while I was here, while my husband was here, and we don’t feel safe.” Nearby, Maria Vorgias was walking her two Maltese dogs on leashes in the grass. She said it is disappointing that dogs can’t run free at the park, but she supports the idea of a fence. “I understand the concern and I agree that it’s important for the kids to feel safe, and if that’s what it takes I have no issue with it,” she said. If all works out, the fence will mean more barks, but no bites. Contact Richard Guzmán at

Maria Vorgias on a recent visit to the Spring Street Park. Although her dogs were on leashes, the number of pet owners who let their canines run free has prompted concerns from parents.

Downtown News 7 photos by Richard Guzman

August 5, 2013

8 Downtown News

August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Food Court Continued from page 1 Fidel, who visited Flying Pig on a recent Tuesday. “I haven’t been disappointed with anything here,” said Fidel, who works in the Financial District. “It’s fast, since I usually don’t have time to go to a fancy spot, but it’s really good food.” Cooking Up Plans Sitting at a silver-colored indoor table shortly after the lunch rush, Bert Dezzutti looked pleased. The senior vice president of Brookfield Office Properties’ Southern California region said creating a sort of microcosm of the Los Angeles dining scene was a goal in the renovation of the 1986 mall. “What’s been so gratifying is that not only do we have chefs responding who want to be here, but we also have the visitors and residents who want to come here,” he said. “What’s here really represents the best of L.A.” Seven years ago, the New York-based Brookfield Properties acquired Trizec Properties and

its three Downtown high-rises for $4.8 billion. Although plans to renovate the shopping center and bring in new restaurants were already in the works, real change didn’t begin until January 2011, when Brookfield signed a lease with Target to anchor the renovated mall. The upgrade was extensive. The circular mall’s zigzagging escalators were replaced by a staircase that leads directly to Target from Figueroa Street. A large metal frame that covered the center of the mall was removed and a glass canopy installed. The renovation included about 18 spaces for new restaurants on the lower level, as well as a 500-seat indoor/outdoor dining area with a slick, modern look. Inside there are cement floors and gray-tiled columns. Seating is at numerous small tables and chairs, as well as dark wood communal tables. Scouting Talent As the construction proceeded, Brookfield officials were busy recruiting chefs and restaurateurs for the food court. It opened in October. One of the chefs approached by Brookfield was Shoemaker, who was familiar with Downtown after working at Water

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Jenee Kim, owner of Oleego by Park’s BBQ, in the kitchen of her space at FIGat7th. Kim also owns a popular Koreatown barbecue spot.

Grill for nine years. At the time he owned his own restaurant in Malibu, called Savory (it has since closed). “They were looking to do this upscale type food court with chefs and I decided to give it a shot,” Shoemaker said. “I love Downtown and it was a way to get back into Downtown and I fell in love with the property.” Shoemaker’s Juicy Lucy opened in January and was named after the Midwest-style burgers with cheese stuffed into the meat. Shoemaker injects his own cheese fondue into the burgers that he serves with Sriracha cheese fries, which are cut daily. The burgers are $8-$10. Shoemaker uses organic ingredients. He said he serves approximately 200 customers a day before closing at 3 p.m. He acknowledges that his price point is

higher than what people would normally pay for a food court burger, but he believes the savvy Downtown eaters know that they get what they pay for. “Food is changing and people want to eat good food,” he said. Dezzutti agreed, saying that diners at Taste seem to recognize that when it comes to recognized chefs, hitting the lowest price point is less of a concern. Paul Pruitt, a principal at New School Restaurant Consulting, a Santa Monicabased firm, said Brookfield’s approach is part of a trend in food courts. He also called it a smart move to attract knowledgeable diners who expect higher quality meals even during a quick lunch break. “You can stand in the middle of one room

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Downtown News 9

Celebrating 40 Years

and look at five or six high-quality food options,” he said. “It’s a one-stop shop in one space.” In Downtown, FIGat7th is not the only spot trying to redefine the quick lunch hour. Although not a food court, the 1917 Grand Central Market is in the midst of adding several new restaurants aimed at modern diners. They include Texas-style barbecue spot Horse Thief, which opened in July, and Sticky Rice, a Thai restaurant that debuted in April. For chefs like Kim of Olegoo by Parks, who was also approached by Brookfield, opening a place in a Downtown food court was an easy decision. Kim describes Oleego as an express version of her Koreatown barbecue spot. The Oleego menu is straightforward rice bowls with a mix and match selection of meats such as galbi and bulgoli, along with different types of rice or noodles and sauces. Prices are $8-$12. “This is a chef-driven place. It’s a great location and there is a lot of potential here,” she said before jumping into the kitchen of her counter service restaurant. Dezzutti said things could easily have been different at Taste, since during construction Brookfield was approached by several of the large chains commonly found at food courts. However, he said the company was committed to seeking out better-known chefs and higher-end restaurants. “We think we’ve chosen the right folks,” he said. Contact Richard Guzmán at

The food court offers 500 seats at indoor and outdoor tables.



he quick lunch is being redefined at the FIGat7th Taste food court. Here are the places that have opened and a few more coming soon. OPEN FOR BUSINESS Juicy Lucy: The burger restaurant specializes in grassfed beef stuffed with cheese. It uses organic local ingredients and the fries are cut daily. At


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Oleego by Park’s Barbecue: The Korean establishment serves rice bowl dishes with a mix and match selection of meat, rice and sauces. At Indus by Saffron: The Indian restaurant’s signature dish is tandoori chicken, which is made in a clay oven. They also serve curries and wraps. An additional clay oven is used for naan bread. At Flying Pig: Originally a food truck, Flying Pig just opened and serves signature dishes such as pork belly bao buns and duck fried rice bowls. At

George’s Greek Grill: Also right outside the food court, George’s serves contemporary Greek dishes such as gyros, with a focus on local organic ingredients. At IN THE WORKS This Summer Pazzo Gelato In the Fall Pizza Studio Twist N Grill Loteria Grill

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Celebrating 40 Years

Nike 3on3 Hoops, By the Numbers Big Basketball Tournament Returns to L.A. Live This Week by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR


he Lakers and Clippers may be in the offseason, but basketball fans have reason to flock to Downtown this weekend. The Nike 3on3 Basketball Tournament at L.A. Live, which draws thousands of amateur ballers and spectators from around the country (and the globe), returns on Friday-Sunday, Aug. 9-11. L.A. Live and Chick Hearn Court will be filled with half court set-ups, where contestants in various age- and skill-based divisions will battle it out. In addition to the tournament, spectators can enjoy a celebrity game, a slam dunk contest and other activities. Here is a rundown of Southern California’s biggest basketball tournament, by the numbers. 0: Registration cost, in dollars, for participants in the tournament’s wheelchair and Special Olympics divisions. The wheelchair competition is among the weekend’s most exciting happenings, with ballers zipping

around the court, maneuvering with their wheels to the basket and making loads of impressive shots. 3: Days that the event takes over L.A. Live. While the basketball action doesn’t start until Aug. 10, the tournament kicks off Friday evening with the Josh Hutcherson Celebrity Game. The Hunger Games co-star will be joined by the likes of actor Michael Rapaport, comedian Nick Swardson and ex-NFL player Terrell Owens in a 7 p.m. showdown at Nokia Plaza. The event is ticketed, and proceeds go to Hutcherson’s charity Straight but Not Narrow, which encourages young people to ally with the LGBT community. 5: Years the tournament has been going on in Downtown. The inaugural event in 2009 was called the Lakers 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament and was organized by the Lakers and AEG with help from the founders of Spokane Hoopfest, a three-on-three tournament in Spokane, Wash. that started in 1990. Nike came aboard as a partner in 2010.

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100: Number of half-courts that will be set up along Chick Hearn Court and in the parking lots on Figueroa Street across from L.A. Live. In three-on-three games the teams change possession after each score (there’s no make-it-take-it). The first team to 21 wins.

photo courtesy AEG

The Nike 3on3 Basketball Tournament returns to L.A. Live this weekend. Last year’s event drew more than 1,500 teams and 25,000 spectators.

200: Cost, in dollars, to enter a team in the elite division. Youth teams, for players in grades three through eight, cost $140. The high school division runs $160 per team and the adult, non-elite category is $180. Each team will play a minimum of three games. Registration is open through Aug. 6 and can be done online at 500: Award money, in dollars, for each member of the three elite division champions. Each winning team member also gets a $250 Nike gift certificate. Other winners get medals and every team leaves with a goodie bag. Early registrants received Clippers tickets. 5,600: Approximate number of participants in the 2012 tournament. Last year there were 1,500 teams. Most teams have four people, though you can get away with three players. The event has grown every year since attracting about 2,000 participants in the inaugural 2009 tournament.

25,000: Number of spectators who flocked to L.A. Live to watch games last year. In addition to the tournament, there is a fan fest with more than 20 vendors passing out freebies and doing demos. This year’s lineup includes coconut water company Zico and Nike, which will provide custom socks. The L.A. Sparks and L.A. Galaxy will be on hand for basketball and soccer clinics. And anybody can sign up on-the-spot for an array of “pay-to-play” contests on the Nokia Plaza center court. For $5, contestants can play old basketball games like Knock Out, or participate in a three-point shooting competition for a chance to win prizes such as a night in a $250 suite in the J.W. Marriott. The Nike 3on3 Basketball Tournament is Friday-Sunday, Aug. 9-11, at L.A. Live. Full schedule and information at Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at

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August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Downtown News 11

12 Downtown News

August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Game of Clothes

photos by Gary Leonard

CALENDAR Mary Rose, curator for FIDM’s Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design, says clothes are more than style, and that they help tell a story on TV. Costumes featured in the exhibit come from (l to r) the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, the Lifetime June Carter Cash biopic Ring of Fire and the Sundance Channel series “Rectify.”

South Park’s FIDM Stages Annual Exhibit of Outfits From ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Girls’ and Other TV Shows

by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR


here are many reasons why people get hooked on television shows. Although most tune in or binge because of the strong storylines, compelling characters and great acting, there are a few for whom it’s all about the clothes. That crowd gets its due in Downtown Los Angeles, where the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising recently debuted its Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibit. The seventh annual installment of the summer show — a spinoff from the February exhibition that highlights the best costumes from the movies — features everything from elaborate handmade medieval era outfits to a simple see-through fluorescent tank top. “What we want to do is engender and even deepen interest in costumes and on the exciting things that are happening in television,” said Barbara Bundy, director of the FIDM Museum & Galleries, which opened the free exhibit on Tuesday, July 30. The show, which runs through Oct. 19 at the South Park fashion college, fills nearly 10,000 square feet of space. It features approximately 120 white mannequins adorned in outfits from 15 television shows. They run the stylistic gamut from HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones” to PBS’s “Downton Abbey.” Both of those shows are nominated for Outstanding Costumes in a Series at this year’s Emmy Awards. There are also duds that could be spotted on young fashionistas, or even in the Downtown Los Angeles suit and tie crowd. Those come into play in gear from Lena Dunham’s sexually explicit “Girls” and ABC’s “Scandal,” the unexpected hit about a White House communications director who leaves to start her own crisis management team. The exhibit also includes elaborate outfits from the lauded TV movie Behind the Candelabra. The film, which aired on HBO and starred Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his younger lover, exemplifies the flair for which


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the late pianist was known. Those outfits are augmented by clothes from shows that at first glance might not seem special: “2 Broke Girls,” a bawdy waitress sit-com, the drama “Vegas,” and the half-hour comedy “Parks and Recreation.” Although those outfits pale in comparison to, say, the “Game of Thrones” duds, Mary Rose, president of the Costume Designers Guild and a curator of the FIDM exhibit, said they still demonstrate how having the right clothes are essential to a compelling storyline. “Our function as fashion designers is not just to show pretty costumes,” said Rose. “It’s about costumes that reflect what the show, what the story is about. This exhibit is a good reflection of that.” One such outfit that would likely be overlooked by the masses is the simple prison costume worn by actor Aden Young, who plays Daniel Holden, a man released after years on Death Row in the Sundance Channel series “Rectify.” It is displayed with shackles on the waist and legs of the mannequin. “It’s very ordinary, but it does reflect what the actor is doing,” Rose said. Personality Pieces In addition to prison gear, there are costumes in the exhibit that mark more joyful occasions. One is a subtle, cream-colored, long sleeve wedding dress worn by Lady Mary, played by actress Michelle Dockery in the period series “Downton Abbey.” “I love those clothes too, and those clothes reflect their [the characters’] personality,” Rose said of the fancier duds. It is all about personality when it comes to outfits from the edgy HBO series “Girls.” Rose joked that although lead actress and show creator Leah Dunham spends plenty of screen time out of her clothes, there are some outfits that stand out, even if they barely cover anything. She points to a fluorescent, see-through tank top that

Dunham’s character Hannah wore during an episode that included a drug-filled night of partying. “That to me reflected the freedom of these girls, who are not young girls, but girls in their 20s,” Rose said. “This is a type of woman we don’t often see on television and that’s so interesting.” For costume designers such as Rhona Meyers, who worked on the Lifetime biopic Ring of Fire, about the life of Johnny Cash’s wife June Carter Cash, the exhibit is a chance to highlight a part of TV that is essential to character development but often goes unnoticed. “It’s so flattering to have this focus on the clothes,” she said. The FIDM exhibit showcases several outfits from Ring of Fire, including a June Carter floral dress and a wedding dress. There is also a signature piece worn by the Man in Black in the 1970s: a black frock coat that became his signature look. Meyers said the coat is as close to an original Cash-worn piece as possible. She tracked down the Nashville tailor who made Cash’s coat and had him create an exact replica. That kind of meticulous research and effort for authenticity isn’t unusual when it comes to designing costumes for TV, she said. “It’s part of designing the characters so that there’s a feeling about who they are,” she said. Bundy said the exhibit also helps inspire FIDM students, many of whom will go on to work not as clothing designers, but as costume directors in the entertainment industry. “To see the actual costumes which were worn on the television show up close and personal is very, very exiting for our students,” she said. The Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design runs through Oct. 19 at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, 919 S. Grand Ave., (213) 623-5821 or Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. TuesdaySaturday. Admission is free. Contact Richard Guzmán at

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Downtown News 13

Celebrating 40 Years

In Little Tokyo, a Week to Remember photo by Gary Leonard

photo courtesy of Tanabata Festival

Community Celebration Features Dance, a Parade, a Gyoza Eating Competition and More

(left) A highlight of Nisei Week is the Grand Parade, which takes place on Sunday, Aug. 11. (right) About 200 kazari will hang near MOCA in Little Tokyo as part of Nisei Week’s Tanabata Festival. by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR


very year around this time, Little Tokyo is overrun with big crowds that fill its streets and eat its gyoza. There’s a pretty good reason for it. The 73rd annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival begins Saturday, Aug. 10. Over the next nine days, there will be Nebuta floats, colorful streamers and thousands of spectators. They will occupy all corners of the historic community. The highlights will include the fifth annual Tanabata Festival, which actually kicks off Aug. 9. Another activity that will draw crowds the first weekend is the Grand Parade, which will

course through the streets of Little Tokyo starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The second weekend of the celebration, meanwhile, will include cultural exhibits at the JACCC and the gyoza eating competition. Also planned is an auto show with more than 350 souped-up cars. The festival will close Aug. 18 at 4 p.m. with a street dance at which everyone is welcome. This will mark the first Nisei Week for some individuals who recently moved to Downtown. Others will have attended dozens or scores of times. Steve Inouye, the president of the Nisei Week Foundation, the organizer of the event, is quick to point out that everyone is welcome. “I think as the younger Japanese generation becomes more Americanized, it’s re-


ally important to have a cultural platform like Nisei Week,” said Inouye. Humble Beginnings While tens of thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s events, Nisei Week began with just a few exhibits. It all started in


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Continued from page 13 tional Japanese street dance. It has been held in Little Tokyo ever since, though there was a dark period from 1942-1948 when, as a result of World War II, many Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps. The festival did not resume until a few years after the war. The first signs of Nisei Week will come in the form of the Tanabata Festival. From Aug. 9-11, it will feature about 200 kazari, or streamers. The kazari, which are 12-inch balls decorated with paper flowers and long paper tails, are made by individuals, families, community groups and businesses. They will hang on Little Tokyo’s Central Avenue and the MOCA Geffen Contemporary plaza. Brian Kito, organizer of the festival and the owner of

photo courtesy Joey Chestnut

Nisei Week

August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years


Joey Chestnut, who last year set the world gyoza eating record by consuming 266 dumplings in 10 minutes, will attempt to defend his title on Aug. 17. He is shown here at a competition in 2009.

Little Tokyo’s Fugetsu-Do bakery, said the first Downtown Tanabata Festival took place five years ago. He said the local event is inspired by a festival in Sendai, Japan, that celebrates the country’s version of Valentine’s Day.


he biggest attractions at the 73rd annual Nisei Week celebration will be the Grand Parade, the Tanabata Festival and an eating competition. However, there is more going on at the Aug. 10-18 celebration. Here are four other highlights of one of the oldest ethnic festivals in the city. Natsumasuri Family Festival When: Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave. What: The free family event will include arts and crafts for the kids and cultural performances. Nisei Week Car Show When: Aug. 17, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Where: Parking lot at 100 S. Alameda St. What: Titled “Best of the Best,” the show will include more than 350 modified imports including Hondas, Acuras and even spruced-up Scions. Car owners will compete for the Custom Award trophy. No, you can’t just roll up in your dented 2007 Camry and expect a prize. Sake Shochu Tasting When: Aug. 17, 4-8 p.m. Where: Doubletree by Hilton, 120 S. Los Angeles St. What: A tasting of 100 sakes, shochus and beer, along with a screening of a documentary about the making of sake. Awards Dinner When: Aug. 12, 6-10 p.m. Where: Doubletree by Hilton, 120 S. Los Angeles St. What: The 73rd annual dinner will honor former Downtown Councilwoman Jan Perry. Others who will be recognized include members of the Little Tokyo Community Council and the Yonsei Basketball Association. Tickets start at $70 and can be purchased at —Richard Guzmán

“They have the largest Tanabata Festival in the world and they supported our start-up,” said Kito. To honor its roots, 10 of the approximately 200 kazari on display will come from Sendai, said Kito. The festival will open at 5 p.m. on Friday with a ceremony, though the main celebration takes place Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Both days will feature drum performances, calligraphy exhibits, live music and ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Saturday’s headliner is jazz musician Michael Paulo, who performs at 5:30 p.m. Sunday’s highlight is jazz vocalist Miko, who plays at 4:30 p.m. Kito said approximately 40,000 people are expected through the weekend. “It’s just a great day to spend out here,” he said. “We’re hoping everyone from Downtown comes and joins us and is exposed to some Japanese culture.” Also on Sunday is the Grand Parade, which will travel through Little Tokyo. It will include Japanese Haneto dancers, who perform in front of the Nebuta floats, which are illuminated and built on a wood base and are known for their hefty size. The parade will also have traditional drummers. This year’s parade Grand Marshal is Jan Perry, who spent 12 years as the Ninth District council representative. For most of that time her district included Little Tokyo. “She’s done so much for the Little Tokyo community and we’re very excited to have her,” Inouye said. The Parade Marshals will be members of Cold Tofu, an Asian American comedy improv group founded in 1981. Eat Up Another popular part of the celebration will combine food and a heated rivalry. The Day-Lee Foods World Gyoza Eating Championship is slated for 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the JACCC Plaza. It will start with an amateur competition in which student groups will attempt to consume as many gyoza as possible. The main event will begin at 3 p.m., with last year’s champion Joey Chestnut, a giant in the world of competitive eating, competing against challengers including 21-year-old Matt Stonie. Chestnut, who is currently ranked as the top competitive eater in the world by Major League Eating (yes, it really exists), set the gyoza-eating world record last year during Nisei Week when he finished off 266 dumplings in 10 minutes. Stonie, who is ranked fourth by MLE, finished second in 2012, stuffing down 234 of the dumplings. “I’m expecting a big, big battle between them,” said Cory Hayashi, one of the organizers of the eating competition. Now in its seventh year as part of Nisei Week, the competition attracts a large and enthusiastic crowd. “It has cultural ties with the gyoza. It’s something different and the crowd really gets into it,” Hayashi said. Nisei Week organizers also hope the crowd gets into the closing celebration. As it has since the inception of Nisei Week 79 years ago, the closing ceremony will focus on ondo, a traditional Japanese dance. It will start with a taiko drum performance by the Taiko Center of Los Angeles. It will be followed by eight different ondo dances. Inouye said the closing dances will be open to anyone who wants to jump in and follow the steps. No practice or experience is required. Nisei Week is Aug. 10-18 More information at (213) 6877193 or Contact Richard Guzmán at

August 5, 2013

Downtown News 15

Celebrating 40 Years

saTurday, aug. 10 Splash + Surprises Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8080 or 11 a.m.: Another installment of the new series in which kids are invited to pull a House of Pain and jump around in the water in front of the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain. Check the website for the surprise activity: Last week it was an art contest and face painting.

Continued on next page

photo by Gary Leonard

Pershing Square’s Downtown Stage summer concert series continues on Saturday, Aug. 10, as San Francisco demi-punks The Tubes settle in for a night of nostalgic subversion. While the band’s signature blend of heavy riffs, punk undertones and new wave garnishes will merge into an ambient wash for those watching from high above at Perch, the best seat in the house is on the lawn of Pershing Square where The Tubes’ classic single “White Punks on Dope” will retain a special resonance. Lead singer Fee Waybill doesn’t masquerade as heavily sedated alter-identity Quay Lewd anymore and the live show is a bit tamer, but you can bet this 8 p.m. event is still something special. At 532 S. Olive St., (213) 485-1645 or

2 Vocal harmonies and a rootsy sensibility will abound at noon on Friday, Aug. 9, as female folk quartet The Living Sisters descend from the hills, canyons and otherwise bucolic spaces of Los Angeles to fill the concrete Cal Plaza Watercourt with the sound of agrarian nostalgia. Since 2006, Alex Lilly, Becky Stark, Inara George and Eleni Mandell have taken time off their primary musical projects to fuse together a bit of old timey collaboration. In a fitting bit of sponsorship, this free Grand Performances concert featuring organically arranged folk music will be presented by natural cheese purveyor Sargento. There you go. At 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 687-2159 or The Zocalo Public Square folks, in conjunction with Grand Park, get all lions, tigers and bears on us this week. The discussion “Does Los Angeles Appreciate Its Wild Animals?” takes place at the park on Friday, Aug. 9, at 6 p.m. While a location in the heart of a neighborhood more concerned with dog scat than coyote sightings seems a bit curious, an all-star panel of wildlife and environmental experts promises to make the forum an interesting one. So if you’ve ever had an unfortunate skunk runin at Elysian Park or secretly fantasized about herds of mule deer running down Broadway, this free program is for you. At 200 N. Grand Ave., (424) 229-9493 or

ROCK, POP & JAZZ Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or Aug. 6: Blue Whale Jam Session. That’s jam as in music, not a jelly substitute. But you probably knew that. Aug. 7: New West Guitar Trio. Aug. 8: John Escreet Group. Aug. 9: Joshua White Group. Aug. 10: Rebecca Martin and Larry Grenadier. Aug. 11: Sara Lieb and Nicky Schrire Group. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or Aug. 5, 8 p.m.: Kiev: no longer just a city in the Ukraine or a style of stuffed chicken breast. It is now a full-fledged Bootleg resident indie band too. You’ve come a long way, Kiev. Aug. 6, 7 p.m.: As we play witness to Madi Diaz’s ascent to the pop mainstream we’d like to encourage the bubbly singer to be more of a Daedalus and less of an Icarus. Aug. 7, 8 p.m.: You’ve got right to be suspicious, as Yellowbirds’ Sam Cohen is from Texas. Nevertheless, he hides it well beneath layers of pensive,


photo courtesy Living Sisters

Friday, augusT 9 Dance Downtown Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 9727211 or 6:30 p.m.: On July 12, 1979, Chicago’s Comiskey Park hosted a wild instance of bacchanalia devoted to destroying disco records. Tonight, the Music Center celebrates the genre with free disco dance instruction and DJs who will gradually coax you to unbutton your polyester shirt as you hustle about. Oh how things have changed. Does Los Angeles Appreciate Its Wild Animals? At Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., (424) 229-9493 or 6 p.m.: Zocalo Public Square hosts a free panel discussion on the city’s native wildlife and its enduring relationship with mankind.

by Dan Johnson, listings eDitor

photo courtesy of Christoph Steinhard

Thursday, augusT 8 Art Walk Historic Core, (213) 617-4929 or 5 p.m.: The sidewalks will be crowded with passersby, panhandlers and police as visual art and the art of mixology are put on display. The art mart, a collection of craft vendors, will be located at 514 S. Spring St. Check out Diego Cardoso’s cityscape paintings at his gallery in the Santee Village Courtyard, and the Art Walk Lounge at 634 S. Spring St., where you can pick up an event map and guide. Don Passman at Club Nokia Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or 8:30 p.m.: Groundbreaking music attorney and chess enthusiast Don Passman will drop by Club Nokia to discuss the current state and dubious future of the music industry.

The Don´T Miss Lis LisT

Downtown’s monthly open house for art aficionados returns on Thursday, Aug. 8. The usual delights of the Downtown Art Walk await you as food trucks gather, galleries open their doors and the equestrian division of the Los Angeles Police Department offers another installation of the mobile street art concept “Law Via Horse.” Down on Main Street, longtime Fifth and Main gallery Los Angeles Center for Digital Art moves into its new space in the former Old Bank DVD location in the San Fernando Building at Fourth and Main. At (213) 617-4929 or

A deafening days-long squeal will descend on Staples Center this week as former “X Factor” darlings and pubescent icons One Direction deliver not one, not two, not three but four concerts. From Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 7-10, the arena will fill with teenage pheromones as thousands of impressionable youth devolve into histrionics at the site of five carefully groomed and styled boys from England. It’s British. It’s screaming girls. It’s just like The Beatles, except that it’s not. At 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7100 or


Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to

photo courtesy of Live Nation

SPONSORED LISTINGS Friday Night Flicks Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., (213) 8474970 or Aug. 2, 8:30 p.m.: The summer film series continues with Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel turned animated film about coming of age in the era of Iranian Revolution. Learn About Wine Figat7th, 735 S. Figueroa St., (310) 451-5626 Aug. 7: Taste more than 30 wines that can be described as big, dark, inky reds. There will be Marsatta Chocolate samples and a cheese table, plus music from KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox. Tickets are $30-$50. Use discount code LADN and save 20% at

photo by Gary Leonard


16 Downtown News

Continued from previous page reverbed-out acoustic strumming. Aug. 8, 8 p.m.: Overstaffed purveyors of inordinately positive music Sweet Bump It promote themselves as a “rock and roll explosion.” Aug. 9, 8 p.m.: DJs fuse Latin rhythms and hooks with electronic bass as MUVACA presents Jose Marquez, Portira and DJ Gozar. Aug. 10, 8 p.m.: Are Cloud Control world-class Australian indie rock darlings or secret chemtrail apologists? The planet may never know. Broadway Bar 830 S. Broadway, (213) 614-9909 or Aug. 8, 10 p.m.: Barrington Levy tribute outfit Broader Than Broadway returns. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or Aug. 10, 8:30 p.m.: Obsequious piano and a bold bleached blond flip top hairdo mark Scottish singer Emeli Sande’s arrival.

Aug. 11, 8:30 p.m.: The powers that be have crowned tepid French electro act Phoenix one of the defining acts of our time, but not all that glitters is gold, and we’d just like to remind everyone that even Glenn Beck has been at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list four times. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or Aug. 5, 9 p.m.: Like Gandalf the Grey at Moria, Yonatan and Friends have fallen so deep into an abyss of improvised jazz that they have been reborn as “Monster Mondays.” Aug. 6, 10 p.m.: Boom Boom Boom and Bunny West provide yet another proliferation of lovely underground music. Aug. 7, 10 p.m.: Kat Nestel opens for JB and the Last Chance, a musical meditation on California’s three strikes system. Aug. 8, 10 p.m.: Ted Z and the Wranglers close out Trip Rezac’s start. Aug. 9, 10 p.m.: The Kings and Trevor Menear will


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No one likes going to a ballpark and seeing the wave. Aug. 11, 9 p.m.: Dave Gleason. Nokia Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6020 or Aug. 10, 8 p.m.: Bahia music will rattle the walls and force your legs to gyrate in a most unorthodox manner as Brazil’s Ivete Sangalo appears on the scene. Nola’s 734 E. Third St., (213) 680-3003 or Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.: Cornelius Herring on piano. Aug. 6, 8 p.m.: Down Home Blues Jam Session. Aug. 7, 8 p.m.: Al Marotta. Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m.: The Villines Quintet. One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or Aug. 7: RT n the 44s. Aug. 8: Ubiquity presents Frolic. Aug. 9: Will Magic. Pershing Square 532 S. Olive St., (213) 485-1645 or pershingsquare. Aug. 10, 5:30 p.m.: 1970s proto punks The Tubes will be joined by Radio Wave. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or Aug. 5: High on Lows, Heart Racers, Gentlemen Prefer Blood and Payoff. Aug. 6: The all-female Descendents cover band Des and the Cendents. Aug. 7: 3 Balls of Fire, Guitars Inc, Martin Cilia with Surfer Joe and His Boss Combo. Aug. 8: Red Roses, The Renderers and Delaney Davidson. Aug. 9: Johnny Madcap and The Distractions,

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August 5, 2013

Downtown News 17

Celebrating 40 Years

The Briggs and Hands Like Bricks. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or Aug. 5: Matt Slocum brings lucid percussion to this den of vice. Aug. 6: Like the string quartet on the Titanic playing “Nearer My God to Thee” as the ship sank into the frigid North Atlantic, the Makers will prepare Downtown with improvised jazz wonders for the British boy band One Direction’s four-night stand at Staples. Aug. 7: The Midnight Blues Review did not mince words in choosing their band name. The Smell 247 S. Main St., alley between Spring and Main streets, Aug. 9: Moses Campbell, Surf Curse and The Garden. Aug. 10: Turbo Lightning, Zebroids, Dirty Few and Heller Keller. Staples Center 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7326 or Aug. 7-10, 7 p.m.: Four nights of uber-popular British boy band One Direction.

FILM Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or Extreme indie director Jon Moritsugu will take you on a vaguely hallucinogenic journey into the world of Pig Death Machine, the story of an innocent youth whose encounter with toxic pork warps her into a genius. Each screening will be accompanied by another Moritsugu gem. Aug. 9, 10:30 p.m.: Pig Death Machine and Mommy Mommy Where’s My Brain. Aug. 10, 9 p.m.: Pig Death Machine with Terminal USA and Sleazy Rider. Aug. 11, 1:30 p.m.: Pig Death Machine with Fame Whore and Dear Elvis. Aug. 12, 9 p.m.: Pig Death Machine and My De-

generation & Shorts. Aug. 14, 9 p.m.: Pig Death Machine with Scumrock & Shorts. Aug. 15, 10 p.m.: Pig Death Machine with Hippy Porn. Grand Park 200 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8080 or Aug. 10, 5:30 p.m.: Street Food Cinema again combines the wonders of truck food and fine film as Back to the Future screens. If you like Huey Lewis and the News, this is the film for you. IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 7442019 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. Pershing Square 532 S. Olive St., (213) 485-1645 or Aug. 9, 8:30 p.m.: An adaptation of the bold graphic novel describing author Marjane Satrapi’s life in radical Iran, Persepolis is a treasure. Regal Cinemas 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or movies. Through August 8: Planes (7 p.m. and 12:01 a.m.); Planes in 3D (10 p.m.); Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (11:40 a.m., 2:20 and 7:30 p.m.); Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (4:50 and 10:10 p.m.); We’re the Millers (1:10, 4:10, 7 and 10 p.m.); 2 Guns (1:30, 4:20, 7:10 and 10:10 p.m.); The Smurfs 2 in 3D (1:20, 7 and 9:30 p.m.); The Smurfs 2 (4:10 p.m.);

THEATER, OPERA & DANCE A Parallelogram Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 6282772 or Aug. 7-10, 8 p.m. and August 11, 1 and 6:30 p.m.:

Continued on next page



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18 Downtown News

August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

Continued from previous page Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright Bruce Norris presents a tale of a couple in which the woman, Bee, believes she can see the future. Can she? There’s only one way to find out. Through Aug. 18. Bob Baker’s Something to Crow About The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or Aug. 6-7, 10:30 a.m. and Aug. 10-11, 2:30 p.m.: Come join Mama and Papa Goat and 100 more of the Bob Baker marionettes for a musical “Day on the Farm.” Think dancing scarecrows and tap dancing bullfrogs warbling “Shine On Harvest Moon.” Call for reservations. Lux Boreal California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 687-2190 or 8 p.m.: Straight from Baja Mexico’s own cultural center, Tijuana, Lux Boreal’s vivid dance style explodes with precise passion in “Industrial Desert” and “Lamb.” New Original Works Fest REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or August 8-10, 8:30 p.m.: The third and final week of the New Original Works Fest features Dislike by Daniel Corral, The Other Thing by Morgan Thorson and Meg Wolfe and Toxikos by Paul Fraser, Gen-


evieve Gearhart and Deena Selenow. Sock Puppet Sitcom Theatre California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 687-2190 or 3 and 4:30 p.m.: Never ones to worry about a false advertising suit, this troupe of performers reconstructs famous sitcoms and folk stories with a humorous twist. They’ll be presenting Cinderella.

BARS & CLUBS Edison 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or Downtown history has come full circle in this former power plant turned stunning cocktail bar. The Edison is perhaps Downtown’s hottest hotspot and draws an eclectic crowd, including jaded Hollywood types who can’t help but gawk at the preserved bits of machinery, the huge generator and the coal box that now houses the jukebox. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or This beer and burger-centric joint is tucked in an odd strip mall near Skid Row. No wonder its name means “The Hideout” in Spanish. There are nine craft beers on tap, plus 15 bottle varieties and a 56seat patio that welcomes your furry pals (dogs, that is). The Escondite also pairs its food and drink with regular live music. What a find. Far Bar 347 E. First St., (behind the Chop Suey Café), (213) 617-9990 or Tucked behind the Chop Suey Café is the Far Bar, where intimacy and a sense of noir L.A. collide. If you can find the place, which you enter through the back of the café or via a skinny alley a few doors down, you can throw them back in the same spot author Raymond Chandler is rumored to have done the same. Figueroa Hotel 939 S. Figueroa St., (213) 627-8971 or The Moroccan-inspired Figueroa Hotel just a block north of Staples Center manages the unique feat of making you feel like you’re in the heart of the city and removed from it at the same time. The light-filled Veranda Bar is just steps from the clear, glittery pool, and it’s common to see suit-clad Downtowners a few feet from swimsuit-wearing Euro-tourists.

Five Stars Bar 269 S. Main St., (213) 625-1037. Burgers, brew, billiards, art and live music. Cash only, amigos. Gallery Bar Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 624-1011 or This elegant lounge in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel is known for its martinis, wines and vintage ports. Golden Gopher 417 W. Eighth St., (213) 614-8001 or This stylish, dimly lit space with exposed brick walls, chandeliers and golden gopher lamps has a rockin’ jukebox, cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon and an outdoor lounge for smokers. Best of all, it also has Ms. Pac Man and Galaga. The bar also has a rare take-out liquor counter. Grand Star Jazz Club 943 Sun Mun Way, (213) 626-2285 or Firecracker club heats things up every other Friday atop the Quon Brothers’ Grand Star. Start the evening at the latter, where the lapu lapus are wicked strong. There’s usually alternating karaoke and a good jazz trio. Upstairs you’ll find the indie/Brit pop haven known as Firecracker, a longtime dance club with good music and an eclectic, lively crowd. Hop Louie 950 Mei Ling Way (Central Plaza), (213) 628-4244. This is old school Chinatown, on the ground floor of the Hop Louie Restaurant, with slightly indifferent bartenders and décor — it’s actually a relief. La Cita 336 S. Hill St., (213) 687-7111 or Everything in this former Mexican Ranchero bar oozes red, from the vinyl booths lining the wall to the glowing light fixtures. Hipsters, Latino regulars and artists mingle as DJs get their groove on during the week. Saturday and Sunday bring Hacienda Nights with traditional Ranchero music. Las Perlas 107 E. Sixth St., (213) 988-8355 or lasperlas. This is Downtown bar impresario Cedd Moses’ ode to mescal, tequila’s crotchety old uncle with the smoky voice and wise cracks. The bar mixes some mean margaritas too.

Library Bar 630 W. Sixth St., (213) 614-0053 or This dimly lit bar is more upscale than your typical pub, which means you won’t find a boisterous USC crowd here. A very busy happy hour draws associates from the law firm across the street, as well as bankers, secretaries and other professionals for the grown-up beer and wine selections. There’s a full bar, but the main attractions are the seven craft beers on tap. Los Angeles Brewing Company 750 S. Broadway, (213) 622-0500 or This massive beer den on Broadway promises 100 brews on tap, to go with a full menu that includes a range of eats, from typical bar food fare to steaks and salads. The bevy of big screens has rendered the watering hole a sports bar since it opened in early 2012. Make use of the doggy valet on the outdoor patio, where a patch of grass is reserved for Fido. Magnolia 825 W. Ninth St., (213) 488-0400. Located within steps of the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center, this skylight-lit bar is the sister location of the popular Hollywood hotspot. Friendly service, great appetizers, and— this is rare — two hour free parking located in the attached garage right behind our building on 8th Place.

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

2 Your Event Info

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Email: Send a brief description, street address and public phone number. Submissions must be received 10 days prior to publication date to be considered for print.


August 5, 2013

Downtown News 19

Celebrating 40 Years


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7pm, Monday to Friday: Any full First Street, los angeles, ca PAEDIC FOUNDATION, 2400 body massage or facial $40 (55 facebook: 90028. This business is conPhotoGrAPhEr: Gary LeonardBusiness name S. Flower St., los angeles, Fictitious mnts) Manicure and Pedicure ducted by a corporation. Regisca 90007-2697, are hereby L.A. Downtown News statement $25. $2.00 off any waxing. 412 trants has not begun to transact registered by the following AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante File no. 2013138255 W. 6th Street #1111 relaxatkur. business under the fictitious registrant: LOS ANGELES The following person is doing com. twitter:business name or names listed ORTHOPAEDIC HOSPIAdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve business as: Nakutin (1)ORTHOPAEDIC 818-574-9882. herein. Tal FoUNDaTIoN, 2400 DowntownNews S. clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: TREATMENT Catherine Holloway HEMOPHILIA This statement was filed with Flower St., los angeles, ca ceNTer, 2400 S. Flower St., AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, DeaN loGaN, los angeles 90007-2697. This business is los angeles, ca 90007-2697, Catherine Holloway TheaLoscorporation. Angeles Downtown NewsClerk is theon must-read County July 19, 2013. conducted by are hereby registered by the sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles andfictitious is dis- name NOTICE—This registrants has not begun to following registrant: ORTHOtributed under every Monday offices and statementtheexpires five years transact business the throughout PAEDIC general circulAtioN: Jessica Tarr HOSPITAL, 2400 S. fictitious business residencesname of Downtown Angeles. from the date it was filed in the or Los Flower St., los angeles, ca distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles names listed One herein This 90007-2697. This business is copy perstateperson. office of the county clerk. A new distributioN AssistANts: Gustavoment Bonillawas filed with DEAN fictitious business name stateconductedLorenzo by a Castillo, corporation. ment must be filed before that loGaN, los angeles county registrants has not begun to time. The filing of this statement Clerk on July 2, 2013. transact business under the ficdoes not of itself authorize the NOTICE—This fictitious name titious business name or names Civil Service / Postal Clerks use in this state of a fictitious statement expires five years listed herein This statement was No Experience. Job Security. business name in violation of the from the date it was filed in Editor & PublishEr: Laris filedSue with DEAN LOGAN, Los $20-75 an hour and Benefits rights of another under federal, the office of the county clerk. Angeles County Clerk on July GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin state, or common law (see SecA new fictitious business CALL NOw! (855) 631-0850 2, 2013. tion 14411 et. seq. Business and name statement must be filed NOTICE—This fictitious name Professions Code). before that time. The filing of ExEcutivE Editor:statement Jon Regardie expires five years Pub. 7/29, 8/5, 8/12, 8/19/2013. this statement does not of itfrom the date it was filed in the citY Editor: Richard Guzmán office of the county clerk. A new stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt fictitious business name statecoNtributiNG Editor: mentKathryn must beMaese filed before that items for sale - appliances time. The filing of this statement coNtributiNG writErs: Dave Denholm, Jeff Favre, does not of itself authorize the Los Angeles Downtown News Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Ryan E. Smith, 24” Zenith color TV. Brand new use in this state of a fictitious 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Marc1 Porter Zasadabusiness name in violation of the $90. Call between - 2 p.m. phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 (310) 855-4735. Art dirEctor: Brian rights of another under federal, Allison the expert! web:LOFT state, or common law (see SecAssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa tion 14411 et. seq. Business and email: ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: ProfessionsAlexis Code).Rawlins Pub. 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12/2013






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AccouNtiNG: NEW ELITE Swap Meet JustTara LaPlante Bill Cooper Your number 1 source Opened In The El Sereno 90032 twitter: for Loft sales, rentals Area. Come Rent Your Space. 213.598.7555 development! DowntownNews AdvErtisiNG dirEctor:and Steve Nakutin 323-802-4105 clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway DRE # 01309009 Bre #01309009 AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez

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all submissions are subject to federal and california fair state of a fictitious business housing laws, which make it illegal to indicate in any adname in violation of the rights Editor & vertisement PublishEr: Sue Laris of another under federal, state, any preference, limitation, or discrimination beor common law (see Section GENErAl cause MANAGEr: Dawn color, Eastin religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital of race, 14411 et. seq. Business and status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of Professions Code). ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie income or physical or mental disability. We will not knowPub. 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12/2013 citY Editor: Richard Guzmán ingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an Fictitious Business name coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese statement equal opportunity basis. coNtributiNG writErs: Dave Denholm, Jeff Favre, File no. 2013150892 Los Angeles Downtown News Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Ryan E. Smith, The following person is doing 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, business as: CA DT90026 News, 1264 Fictitious Business name Marc Porter Zasada W. First Street, los angeles, ca phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 statement health Art dirEctor: Brian Allison LEGAL 90028, are hereby registered by File no.web: 2013142323 AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa the following registrant: CIVIC The following person is doKUR SPA Happy Hour from 2 to email: ceNTer NeWS, INc, 1264 W. ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins ing business as: (1)ORTHOfiCtitioUs BUsiness name

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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 citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writEr: Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Dave Denholm, Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Ryan E. Smith, Marc Porter Zasada

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

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.

PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard

One copy per person.

20 Downtown News

August 5, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years

State of the Art


Two California Plaza is a Downtown Los Angeles landmark surrounded by world-class


Performance and


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Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.