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BESTOF

LOS ANGELES

DOWNTOWN

NEWS Volume 38, Number 29

July 20, 2009

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

Since 1972, an independent, locally owned and edited newspaper, go figure.


2WM Downtown Ad LADNNews FP ENG boy:Layout 1

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My Doctor Really Listens. Can You Say That About Your Doctor?

There’s something very special about White Memorial doctors. They combine excellent credentials with a commitment to caring and compassion. Many have ivy-league educations and have won countless awards. They’re regionally respected and local heroes. Patients know that White Memorial doctors are more than just leaders; they are also listeners. And a doctor who listens can truly make a difference. Choosing a doctor? Choose wisely. WhiteMemorialDoctors.com

July 20, 2009


July 20, 2009

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Life and Health Transformation in Educogym Downtown Facing Tough Life Obstacles, Michael Barney Found a Breakthrough.

Major Results within 2 Weeks The results have met and exceeded my expectations. I’ve surprised myself by my own dedication, probably due to staff’s personal attention and interest in succeeding. I’ve lost weight, gained muscle in areas that I haven’t seen since I was in my twenties. The results were immediate. I saw major results within two weeks but felt the mental results within days, which makes it very easy to follow the program.

Big Changes in my Life That’s actually where I was really sold when I first met with Educogym. A little background... I’m about to turn the big 4-0 and have recently had some big changes in my life and body: I got a blood clot on a plane trip back from Asia; had spinal surgery for a bulging disc; lost my mother to ovarian cancer and my job was/is stressful and all consuming. I had turned a corner in life and wasn’t sure how to deal with all the pressures and changes. I suffered from depression, had poor concentration, was losing sleep, out of shape, lacked discipline and felt that all that was effecting my personal and professional life adversely. I felt that a proactive investment in preventative healthcare, physical and mental, was absolutely necessary rather than picking up the pieces after-the-fact, or waiting for the next crisis.

How to reach us Main office: (213) 481-1448 MAIL your Letter Letters to the Editor • L.A. Downtown News 1264 W. First Street • Los Angeles, CA 90026 Email your Letter realpeople@downtownnews.com FAX your Letter (213) 250-4617 Read Us on the Web DowntownNews.com

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writErs: Anna Scott, Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editors: David Friedman, Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jay Berman, Jeff Favre, Michael X. Ferraro, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Rod Riggs, Marc Porter Zasada Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins ProductioN AssistANt / EvENt coordiNAtor: Claudia Hernandez PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Ashley Vandervort AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin sAlEs AssistANt: Annette Cruz clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Robert Dutcher, Catherine Holloway, Kelley Smith circulAtioN: Norma Rodas distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla 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. It is also distributed to the extended urban communities of Glendale, Hollywood, Wilshire Center, Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Larchmont Village.

One copy per person.

Life is still hectic, but like I said Educogym is my lifestyle but doesn’t take up much of my life. I’m a happy person again, I’ve gained confidence and self-esteem and I enjoy life in general a lot more. The glass is once again half-full, not completely empty - life is good. Educogym is absolutely responsible for those changes. I’m addicted to the gym and I hope they know how much they’ve changed my life so quickly. Focus, Concentration and Goal Setting My focus, concentration and goal-setting has taken a 180 turn. I’m able to tackle more complex goals involving my profession. I’m an urban planner and need the focus and concentration to help accomplish my current work and future growth goals. A New Lifestlye Now Educogym is my lifestyle. I made room in my life as I couldn’t sustain my past lifestyle. I was seriously going crazy until I met Wayne, Stephan, Mary and Charity. They’re very serious about assisting you to make a lifestyle change. I went back east for a week and couldn’t wait to get back to LA to go to the gym. Educogym is a lifestyle. You really can’t put a price on your health and I do think the price is a good value. When you put the cost in the context of healthcare it’s worth every penny. I’m already saving for the renewal. It’s that important to me. Only 20 Minutes Exercise a Few Times a Week The intensity, form and weights have given me better results than I’ve ever had! I believe no waiting for machines is very important. Like I said Educogym is my lifestyle but doesn’t take up much of my life. I’m able to sustain a healthy lifestyle and don’t have to spend hours working at it. But remember it’s not only about the exercise but diet, as well, which I do my best to follow every day, for every meal. A Fun Atmosphere The trainers are proof of their philosophy. They are all in fantastic shape, excellent attitudes and very motivational - they practice what they preach. I’ve also witnessed the changes in other members. The atmosphere is fun with lots of laughing but everyone is serious about making their lives and bodies better. I recommend the gym to anyone that is serious about making changes to their lives.


4 Downtown News

AROUNDTOWN El Pueblo Rent Talks Could Begin in August

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egotiations for new rental agreements at Olvera Street could begin by late August, according to an official who spoke before the City Council’s Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee on Wednesday, July 15. Robert Andrade, general manager of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, the collection of shops and cultural attractions that includes Olvera Street, appeared before the committee in the wake of an audit released by the City Controller’s office that blasted the department for several shortcomings. The most significant was the low rents and common area maintenance fees paid by merchants occupying the 74 spaces — it said El Pueblo tenants currently pay an average rent of $1.35 per square foot, but should be paying a market rate of $2.65-$6.75 per square foot. That contributed to the department needing $921,000 from the city’s general fund to balance its budget. City Councilman José Huizar, the chair of the Audit Committee whose 14th District encompasses El Pueblo, said the goal is to make the department self-sufficient by fiscal year 2010-11. Andrade stated that a market-rate study undertaken by the department, as well as an evaluation of common area maintenance fees, are expected to be completed by the end of August. He said negotiations with the tenants would begin shortly thereafter. In response to a question from Huizar, Andrade said he expects his report to have findings similar to the controller’s office. He also said he anticipates merchants signing leases by December. It is still unknown if officials will push for relatively short three to five year terms, as some real

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

estate experts recommend, or if they would be 55-year leases, like the kinds signed by 17 Olvera Street merchants a decade ago.

Council Approves Libeskind Tower

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he City Council on Tuesday, July 14, approved a 43-story, Daniel Libeskinddesigned tower that would rise on two parking lots at 1340-1360 S. Figueroa St. and 13551365 S. Flower St. The project is being developed by CA Human Technologies, LLC, a joint venture between two Korean investment groups. It would include a 35-story tower over an eight-level podium and two subterranean levels, and house 273 residential units, 8,496 square feet of restaurant space, a 9,566-squarefoot spa and 379 parking spaces. Project spokeswoman Veronica Becerra said that the developers expect to break ground early next year. Libeskind has designed museums, convention centers, universities, residential buildings and other projects worldwide. This would be his first project in Los Angeles.

Economic Forecast Says Woes May Be Easing

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he economy may not be healthy, but things look a little better than they were a year or six months ago. That is the message that will be delivered on Wednesday, July 22, when the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. holds its 2009 Mid-Year Economic Forecast, said Jack Kyser, from the LAEDC’s Kyser Center for Economic Research. “It’s still uncertain,” he said of the regional economy, “but not quite

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as outrageously scary as it was in February.” Kyser said there are indications that the local housing market is improving. Additionally, he noted that Measure R, a voter-approved initiative to create $40 billion for Metro projects over the next 30 years and which went into effect July 1, could help drive the economy forward, especially if some projects get going by the end of 2009. In terms of Downtown, Kyser said that, counter to the trend, the community fared well in 2008, with the opening of projects such as L.A. Live. Although construction will be limited for the rest of this year and in 2010, he noted that the debut early next year of the $900 million Convention Center hotel will give a boost to the travel and tourism industry. The Forecast features two panel discussions, including one on government finance with State Controller John Chiang, County Supervisor Don Knabe and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. The event is 7-10:30 a.m. at the Marriott Downtown Hotel, 333 S. Figueroa St. Information and registration at (213) 622-4300 or laedc.org.

Amerland Looks at Buying Rosslyn Hotel

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he Amerland Group, a San Diego-based, for-profit affordable housing developer, is taking steps to purchase the Rosslyn Hotel from Rob Frontiera. Amerland Chief Operating Officer Jules Arthur confirmed the news, first reported by blogdowntown. com, by email last week. Amerland is in the process of talking with local stakeholders and assessing the financial feasibility of various options for the property at 112 W. Fifth St. Arthur would not provide details about the price or other terms of the potential transaction. Amerland already owns the former Frontier Hotel at 451 S. Main St., which it also acquired from Frontiera and recently finished

renovating into an affordable rental project called the Rosslyn Lofts. Earlier this year, the Rosslyn Hotel was under contract to be sold to New York-based nonprofit housing developer Common Ground, which planned to turn the building into a mixed-income property with supportive services for low-income tenants. However some in the community, including some members of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, expressed concern about the concentration of low-income housing at Fifth and Main streets.

Officials Dispute Study Calling L.A. ‘Meanest’ City for Homeless

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he city of Los Angeles’ approach to homelessness was blasted in a report last week, though local officials strongly disputed the claims. On July 14, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and the National Coalition for the Homeless issued a report titled “Homes Not Handcuffs: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities.” It named Los Angeles the “meanest” city in the country when it comes to policing the homeless. Citing a series of other studies by entities such as UCLA, the report criticizes the LAPD’s Safer Cities Initiative for ramping up police enforcement in Skid Row since 2006 without enhancing services like affordable housing. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office dismissed the report as “short-sighted and misleading.” “The city dedicated an additional 50 officers to Skid Row to protect its residents and remove a significant criminal element that historically hinders efforts to provide services to the homeless,” Villaraigosa spokeswoman Casey Hernandez said. The full report is at nlchp.org.


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Best in Show New Additions Put a Spin on the Tops in Downtown by Jon Regardie executive editor

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he Best Of Downtown is a Los Angeles Downtown News summer tradition. In fact, this marks the 21st annual installment of the celebration of the top restaurants, businesses, entertainment options and more in the community. This year, however, a few things are different. In the summer of 2009, Downtowners are celebrating a wealth of new arrivals. Some of the best things in Downtown only opened in the past 12 months or so. While there are still plenty of historic or veteran bests to celebrate, this year is all about the new. For example, most years there is a single Best New Restaurant category. But in the past 12 months, Downtown saw the arrival of more than three dozen eateries. Consequently we have a Best New Upscale

Restaurant (Bottega Louie), a Best New L.A. Live Restaurant (Yard House), a Best New Affordable/ Mid Range Restaurant and a Best New Latin/ Mexican category (Casa captured both of those). Also new this year are Head to Head categories. In five instances, we took two prominent Downtown establishments and let readers pick their favorite. Who makes the best French dip, Philippe’s or Cole’s? What’s the best convenience store, Famima or 7-11? Read and find out. The following pages hold the details on 77 Best Of Downtown winners (47 were voted on by readers and 30 more were selected by Downtown News’ editorial staff), everything from Best Burger to Best Cupcakes to Best Park to even the Best Bankrupt Building (OK, that’s another new one). Thanks to everyone who helped choose the Best Of Downtown.

photo by Gary Leonard

Mexican restaurant Casa is one of the few establishments to capture two Best Of Downtown awards this year. In this issue, Downtown News honors 77 standout places, people or things.

You Win Some, and You Win Some More Close Contests, Blowouts And Reader Prizes

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he Best Of Downtown issue is all about the readers. Sure, Los Angeles Downtown News’ editorial staff chose 30 winners this year, but 47 categories were decided by a public vote. And some of those voters were richly rewarded for filling out online ballots. More on that below. With all voting taking place on the Internet this year, “turnout” was huge, with more than 5,400 registered voters (not everyone made choices in every category, and there was a limit of one ballot per computer). In most categories, there were between four and eight options. In some cases the voting was heated. For example, in the Best New Bar/Lounge category, The Association edged out the Crocker Club by a mere 1%. The closest finish came in the Best Italian contest, where Drago Centro won with 15% of the vote — Zucca and La Bella Cucina both received 14% and Maria’s Italian Kitchen earned 13%. Other times, there were blowouts, the kind of result you got last year in battles between the Lakers and Clippers. For instance, the Standard Hotel’s Rooftop Bar scored a mammoth 50% in the Best Hotel Bar category — the two closest runners-up each got 12%. It was a similar outcome in the Best Looking Building ballot, with the Walt Disney Concert Hall securing 48% — the Central Library came in second place with 14%. It wasn’t just restaurants, businesses and entertainment spots that won. We also awarded prizes to voters who filled out complete ballots. Winners were selected randomly. The Grand Prize goes to Roger Barboza, who will receive two nights of executive-level accommodations at the Wilshire Grand Los Angeles, dinner for two at one of the hotel’s four restaurants, $200 spending cash, dinner for two at Morton’s The Steakhouse, a $150 Ticketmaster gift card and a Los Angeles Conservancy walking tour. Other prizes include a Nintendo Wii Fit, $100 in cash and $25 gift certificates to Ciudad. Winners will be notified by Downtown News. It was a good year. If you disagree with any of the results, that’s OK — we’ll do this again in 2010. And it will still be all about the readers. —Jon Regardie

T U E S D AY, J U LY 2 8 T H , 6 P M - 9 P M Third Annual

Downtown

DogDay Afternoon Cathedral at the

A COMMUNITY EVENT FOR DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES DOGS OF ALL FAITHS … AND THEIR HUMANS!!!

Meet your neighbors! Downtowners without dogs are welcome, too.

Your Co-Hosts: “Joaquin” Kostelnik and “Scooter” Bastian Venue: The 2.5 acre plaza of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 6pm–9pm • Please come for all or part Social Dogs Only (please) • Dogs must be on a leash and social Food and Drink • No host bar and food by Levy Restaurants “Dodger Dogs” will be served to people only! Parking • $5.00 per vehicle at the Cathedral – 555 W. Temple Street Produced by:

RSVP for dogs and humans, too:

www.downtownla.com/dogday For more information: (213) 624-2146 • www.downtownla.com

Hal & “Scooter” Bastian of the Downtown Center BID

Monsignor & “Joaquin” Kostelnik of the Cathedral


Best Eating From Fine Dining to Fast Food READERS’ CHOICE n Best New Upscale Restaurant: Bottega Louie n Best New Affordable/Mid-Range Restaurant: Casa Cocina y Cantina n Best New L.A. Live Restaurant: Yard House n Best New Latin/Mexican: Casa Cocina y Cantina n Best Upscale Restaurant: Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion n Best Affordable/Mid-Range Restaurant: Pitfire Pizza Company n Head to Head: Best French Dip: Philippe, The Original

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com n Best Italian: Drago Centro n Best Steak: Morton’s the Steakhouse n Best American: Yard House n Best Pizza: California Pizza Kitchen n Best Latin/Mexican: Ciudad n Best Burger: Original Tommy’s n Best Japanese: Shabu Shabu House n Best Sushi: Wokcano n Head to Head: Best Ramen: Daikokuya n Best Breakfast: The Original Pantry Café n Best Chinese: Yang Chow n Best Dim Sum: Empress Pavilion n Best Vegetarian (or Kind of Vegetarian): Tiara Café n Best Cafe: Urth Caffe n Best Seafood: Water Grill n Best Decor: Cicada

EDITORS’ CHOICE n Best Chef: John Rivera Sedlar at Rivera n Best Dining Experience: The Palm n Best French: Church & State n Best Fries: Magnolia’s Sweet Potato Fries n Best Burger: Blu LA Café n Best Sausage: Wurstküche n Best El Salvadoran Food: Sarita’s n Best Cupcakes: Village Kitchen n Best Popsicles: Paleteria La Michoacana n Best Meal With a View: Takami n Most Decadent Desserts: Nickel Diner n Best Tea Room: Chado photo by Gary Leonard

6 Downtown News

BEST NEW UPSCALE RESTAURANT

Bottega Louie This elegant, marble-heavy restaurant and market at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue is upscale in design but actually quite reasonable in price, which is one reason it has been packed since practically the moment it opened in April. Another reason is the high-quality Italian food, with menu standouts such as the Italian chopped salad, the thincrust pizzas and the roasted chicken. There is also a delightful King salmon which comes wrapped in parchment paper, as well as a mammoth osso buco. Bottega Louie serves three meals a day between its takeout options, enormous deli case and the dining room. Also, don’t leave without trying the pastel colored, $1.75 macarons from the in-house patisserie. At 700 S. Grand Ave., (213) 802-1470 or bottegalouie. com.—Anna Scott

BEST NEW AFFORDABLE/ MID-RANGE RESTAURANT Casa Cocina y Cantina The past year might be considered Downtown’s restaurant revolution, as dozens of establishments opened. Casa on Bunker Hill rose to the top, luring those who crave an improved version of taco truck food, but who don’t want to stand on the street while in a suit. The well-priced menu means you can sample numerous inventive options. An order of pollo asado tacos is $6.95, tacos al pastor and carnitas are $7.25 and a vegan version is $7.50. Add in guacamole for just $1.25. Things are always changing, and the low prices mean you can sample the margarita made from jalapeño puree. At 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2249 or casadowntown.com.—Richard Guzmán

BEST NEW L.A. LIVE RESTAURANT

Yard House Along with two concert venues, a hotel and a movieplex, L.A. Live is delivering more than a dozen restaurants. Pre- and post-event diners have thronged the Downtown outpost of the Yard House for a variety of reasons: its combination of a nightlife atmosphere with restaurant service; entrees that reach your table in no time but never taste like they’ve been rushed out of the kitchen; the more than 100 beers on tap; and the classic rock soundtrack. Sure, it’s no different than the other Yard Houses in the chain, but it gives the people what they want. At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-9273 or yardhouse.com.—Richard Guzmán

BEST NEW LATIN/MEXICAN

Casa Cocina y Cantina It was a good year for Mexican and Latin food in Downtown, with the arrival of restaurants like the upscale Rivera in South Park and Yxta in the Industrial District. see Eating, page 8


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close out specials. only a few remain.

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Unbeatable downtown LA prices Interest Rates are Near Historic Lows Your Dollar has Never had More Buying Power Great Buyer Incentives Up to an $8,000 Federal Tax Credit See sales associate for details.

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8 Downtown News

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Eating Continued from page 6 While Casa in the Cal Plaza Watercourt had a bumpy opening, it quickly righted the ship, and the restaurant co-owned by Mendocino Farms mastermind Mario Del Pero gets crowds at lunch and after work. Lines are often out the door and diners fill private “haciendas,” mini-pods that surround some of the tables. Chef Nicholas Albrecht puts a delicious spin on authentic Mexican small plates with favorites like tacos, burritos and huaraches. Keep an eye out for the tacos with kurobuta pork. At 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2249 or casadowntown.com.—Richard Guzmán

As Downtown grows and more restaurants, businesses and residents arrive on the scene, Pitfire remains a reliable source of comfort food. It’s been a go-to for Civic Center workers and Historic Core residents since it opened on the ground floor of the Higgins Building. The crust is thin and many of the pies are just right for one person. Staples include the margherita and sweet fennel sausage pies, though you can kick it up a notch with the “Green Eggs and Ham,” with braised chard, farm fresh eggs and smoked prosciutto. They also do some nice panini and a few simple yet effective pastas. With a pizza and a drink, it’s easy to be out of here for less than $15 a person. At 108 W. Second St., (213) 808-1200 or pitfirepizza.com.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST ITALIAN

BEST STEAK

Morton’s The Steakhouse When it comes to steak, Morton’s serves nothing but Midwestern grain-fed USDA prime beef, which is wetaged in vacuum-sealed bags to retain moisture, leading to a more tender, concentrated flavor. There’s more marble in those babies than a Roman villa. The same criteria goes for all cuts of meat; there’s the double-cut filet mignon (the most tender option); the spice-rubbed Cajun rib-eye, which gives a nice kick to the usual beef flavor; and the 24 oz. porterhouse, otherwise known as the post-meal nap inducer (sweet dreams). All the steaks are fired in a 1,800-degree broiler.

7+FIG @ ERnst & younG plaza 735 s. FIGuERoa stREEt (b/t W. 7th & W. 8th sts.)

quartet ernIe andrews

July 29, 12:30pm

patrIce rushen with

red holloway with

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August 5 5pm California Pizza Kitchen Happy Hour 6:30pm Showtime

downtown fIlm festIval–la August 12–22

Bank oF amERIca plaza 333 s. hopE stREEt (b/t W. 3rd & W. 4th sts.)

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July 23, 12:30pm

Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion

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photo by Gary Leonard

photo by Gary Leonard

Pitfire Pizza Company

feat. July 22, 12:30pm

BEST Upscale Restaurant

Drago Centro It won “Best Italian,” but this City National Plaza newcomer from Celestino Drago is easily one of the best restaurants in Downtown. The 9,500-square-foot establishment is highlighted by a 16-foot high glass wine tower. The kitchen, helmed day-to-day by Ian Gresik, turns out powerful Italian fare, with pastas such as a paccheri with prawns and a puttanesca sauce, and pappardelle with roasted pheasant and morel mushrooms. Entrees include a lamb osso buco, a foccacia-stuffed quail and fish like the branzino. The wine list is arranged by region (including a scarily vast selection of reds from the Piemonte region). The service is also some of the best in Downtown. At 525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, (213) 2288998 or dragocentro.com.—Jon Regardie

BEST AFFORDABLE/ MID-RANGE RESTAURANT

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July 20, 2009

Dining at Roy’s is always a treat. In keeping with the restaurant’s Hawaiian roots, you’re greeted with an “aloha” the second you walk in. All your cares melt away the instant you sip from your coconut and pineapple martini and nibble one of the succulent grilled pork ribs. Despite becoming a mini empire, this restaurant chain still maintains its excellent service and fine dining edge. Typical island fare is replaced by nuanced fusion favorites such as macadamia-crusted mahi mahi and elegant sashimi. The aloha spirit is indeed alive and well in South Park. At 800 S. Figueroa St., (213) 488-4994 or roysrestaurant.com.—Kathryn Maese


July 20, 2009

Downtown News 9

Can’t do that at home. At 735 S. Figueroa St., Suite 207, (213) 553-4566 or mortons.com.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST AMERICAN

photo by Gary Leonard

DowntownNews.com

the lines that often stretch or clump outside this Little Tokyo establishment. While the wait can be an hour or more, those in the know happily kill time. Once inside, you cook the thin slices of lean beef yourself at the table, then dip them in a number of salivating sauces. At 127 Japanese Village Plaza, (213) 680-3890.—Ryan Vaillancourt

Yard House It doesn’t get more American than thick burgers, crispy fries, cold beers and classic rock — the Yard House serves all that and then some. Appetizers like Buffalo wings and nachos are served in big portions. Entrees like New York steak and fries, steak and shrimp, St. Louis-style ribs and grilled rib-eye steaks are All-American classics. Desserts like fresh brownies and peach apple cobbler taste better than the ones your grandma made. And of course there are the burgers. Classic sliders are always a great choice, as is the Pepper Jack with roasted green chiles. If you want real Americana, the cheeseburger is stepped up a notch with roasted garlic aioli. At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 745-9273 or yardhouse. com.—Richard Guzmán

BEST SUSHI

ient Healthcare.*

Wokcano This Asian fusion restaurant and lounge serves a large and sometimes eye-popping selection of sushi rolls in its chic, low-lit dining room. Signature items include the Tornado Spicy Tuna Dips, a spicy tuna roll with cucumber and avocado, served with Doritos (yes, you read that right); the Black Pearl, a deep-fried salmon-tuna-yellowtail concoction with cream cheese, covered in a garlic butter sauce; and see Eating, page 10

Convenient Healthcare.*

wn Los Angeles.

Convenient Healthcare. * In The Heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

ient Healthcare. Convenient Healthcare. In The Heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

BEST PIZZA

California Pizza Kitchen When it comes to toppings, the choices at California Pizza Kitchen go beyond pepperoni, bell peppers and mushrooms. At CPK’s Downtown locations at the 7+Fig mall and the Wells Fargo Center, pizzas take on a whole new definition. Some of the chain’s new items provide the best examples of the creativity. Take the cheeseburger pizza, which has ground Angus beef with caramelized onions and mozzarella and American cheese. Want a little less meat? How about a pear and gorgonzola pie? Or go exotic with the Thai chicken pizza. At 735 S. Figueroa St., (213) 228-8500, and 330 S. Hope St., (213) 626-2616 or cpk.com. —Richard Guzmán

In The Heart of Downtown Los Angeles.

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On Grand and Pico. Just 2 blocks east of L.A. LIVE!

great doctors included.

BEST LATIN/MEXICAN

Ciudad More than a decade after it opened, Ciudad is still a draw. The fun and festive atmosphere continues in the Financial District establishment founded by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, though these days executive chef Jeremy Tummel is in charge of the empanadas and Argentine Gaucho Steak that the kitchen sends out. There are plenty of specials (e.g. Paella Tuesdays) and killer drinks like the mojito and the piscorita (a Central American margarita), but really, it’s about the food: Dishes like the glazed beef short ribs and the Niman Ranch Pork Carnitas keep the crowds coming. At 445 S. Figueroa St., (213) 486-5171 or ciudad-la.com.—Jon Regardie

*

*

On Grand and Pico. Just 2 blocks

On Grand and Pico. Just 2 blocks ea

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On Grand and Pico. Just 2 blocks east of L.A. LIVE!

*

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great doctors included.

On Grand and Pico. Just 2 blocks east of L.A. LIVE! Patient-Centered Medical Work,Close ClosetotoHome: Home: Patient-Centered MedicalCare Care Close Close to Work,

great doctors included. BURGER Interventional Radiology , CT,BEST Ultrasound, Convenient Healthcare.* Patient-Centered Medical Care Close to Work, Close to Home: � art State-of-the CancerTreatment Treatment State-of-the Cancer Treatment � State-of-the artart Cancer

— HDR & IMRT — HDR & IMRT — HDR & IMRT Orthopedic�Services Orthopedic Services

� Orthopedic Services — Joint Replacement / Reconstruction (Hip, Knee, Shoulder)

photo by Gary Leonard

atment

FLOWER

— Medical,— Radiation & Surgical Treatment options Treatment — Medical, Radiation Surgical Treatment options Medical, Radiation &&Surgical options

FLOWER

Original Tommy’s

� Diagnostic Imaging MRI,Interventional CT,Ultrasound, Ultrasound, Interventional � Diagnostic Imaging ——MRI, CT, InterventionalRadiology Radiology Diagnostic Imaging — MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Radiology

FLOWER

Care Close to Work, * Close to Home:

— Joint Replacement / Reconstruction (Hip, Knee, Shoulder)

— Spine disorders — Los JointAngeles. Replacement / Reconstruction (Hip, Knee, Shoulder) In The Heart of Downtown — Spine disorders

Surgical Treatment options

— Hand, Foot and Ankle treatments — Spine disorders

, CT, Ultrasound, Interventional Radiology Reconstruction (Hip, Knee, Shoulder) atment

— Hand, Foot andCare Ankle treatments Pulmonary Medicine and Respiratory

Medicine and Respiratory � Pulmonary Ear, Nose and Throat Diagnostic and Treatment Services Care

— Hand, Foot and Ankle treatments

Medicine and Respiratory Urology —Pulmonary Diagnostic, and Surgical Careand Care Ear, NoseTreatment and Throat Diagnostic Treatment Services � �

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10 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

Eating BEST French Dip

Continued from page 9 the Late Night Party Roll, a crabmeat-avocado roll topped with baked lobster, scallops and smelt eggs in a creamy sauce. More traditional sushi options, like California and simple tuna rolls are also on the menu. At 800 W. Seventh St., (213) 623-2288 or wokcanocafe.com.—Anna Scott

photo by Gary Leonard

The Original Pantry Café

It’s the most important meal of the day, and at the Pantry, they treat it with the respect it deserves. The restaurant owned by former Mayor Richard Riordan has been around for 85 years, and they serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Be ready though — the portions are big. Staples include the buckwheat pancakes, steak and eggs, French toast and a bacon and cheese omelet. You also can’t go wrong with a simple ham and eggs or hotcakes, eggs and potatoes. In other words, the world is your oyster, or at least your omelet. The pastries are the Pantry are also worth noting. A honey bun or cinnamon roll can reasonably stand in for breakfast. At 877 S. Figueroa St., (213) 972-9279 or pantrycafe.com.—Richard Guzmán

WINNER: PHILIPPE, THE ORIGINAL The war for French dip supremacy in Downtown Los Angeles began a century ago. It continues today, with Philippe, The Original capturing the most recent battle. Not that victory was easy. Cole’s reopened last year after a $1.6 million renovation by nightlife mogul Cedd Moses. Now officially known as Cole’s, Originators of the French Dip, the establishment got both a physical upgrade and a menu spruce-up. While the French dip is a simple sandwich, the differences are obvious between the two historic locations. The biggest is that with Cole’s French dip the au jus comes with the plate, so dipping is done at the table and not in the pan drippings, the style at Philippe’s. Maybe it was the pan drippings that did it, but Downtowners remained loyal to the sawdust-covered floors of Philippe’s, with 74% of voters choosing the restaurant in head-to-head combat with Cole’s. That loyalty was obvious at Philippe’s 100-year anniversary celebration last October, when thousands of people lined up around the block to help mark the restaurant’s birthday as sandwiches were rolled back to just 10 cents. However, the loyalty is also visible most days at lunch, when people stand in long queues to partake of the beef, turkey, pork, ham or lamb French dips and the nickel coffee. Many of those customers have been coming to Philippe’s for generations. But it’s not just the diners who have a long family history with the restaurant — some of the staff have been there for decades. One family

photo by Gary Leonard

BEST BREAKFAST

Philippe, The Original vs. Cole’s, Originators of the French Dip

has had three generations work at Philippe’s. This battle may be over, but the war for Downtown’s stomach is not. Who knows what the next 100 years will bring? At 1001 N. Alameda St., (213) 628-3781 or phillippes. com. —Richard Guzmán

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July 20, 2009

BEST CHINESE Yang Chow

Downtown News 11

DowntownNews.com known for its healthy fare and extensive selection of organic coffees and fine teas. Dishes like the Urth Farmers Salad with grilled artichokes and glazed pecans, the curried chicken sandwich and the plate-sized quesadilla attract a sizeable lunch crowd to the indoor dining room and large patio. Meanwhile, the long list of fresh roasted, whole bean organic coffees include enticing varieties such as vanilla nut, classic French roast and “dolce espresso.” The equally long tea menu includes black, green, white and herbal choices, with several organic options. At 451 S. Hewitt St., (213) 797-4534 or urthcaffe.com.—Anna Scott

BEST SEAFOOD

BEST DECOR

Cicada The Italian dishes alone could bring you back to Cicada again and again. But the beauty of the Art Deco establishment makes it memorable. The 15,000-squarefoot space in the 1920s Oviatt Building is a transmogrified see Eating, page 12

photo by Gary Leonard

Water Grill When Michael Cimarusti left Water Grill in 2005, fans wondered what would become of the establishment many considered the city’s best seafood restaurant. Four years

later, his replacement, David LeFevre, has been a model of stability, and Water Grill remains popular and dependable. It’s hard to go wrong with the half-dozen oyster options, and the always-fresh fish entrees include crowd pleasers like a Chilean sea bass, a Maryland striped bass, swordfish, monkfish and more. Whether you’re heading there for a power lunch or to celebrate a special occasion, Water Grill still does fish right. At 544 S. Grand Ave., (213) 891-0900 or watergrill. com.—Jon Regardie

Hyperbole or not, Yang Chow’s self-proclaimed “world famous” slippery shrimp is just plain delicious, and if it’s not famous around the world, then it certainly is in Los Angeles. Crispy, sweet and spicy, this dish has helped build the Cantonese restaurant’s die-hard fan base — hence the jam-packed tables. But don’t neglect the other tasty offerings, like the steamed dumplings, sizzling rice soup and mu shu pork. Yang Chow serves affordable, abundant, tasty food, and they offer valet parking. What more could you ask for? Some more slippery shrimp perhaps. At 819 N. Broadway, (213) 625-0811 or yangchow.com.—Kathryn Maese

BEST DIM SUM

Empress Pavilion Some people go to church on Sunday mornings. Others make their Sunday ritual around the dim sum table at Empress Pavilion. The massive establishment on Hill Street packs ’em in, and people of every age and ethnicity grab the goods as the little carts speed through the dining room. The selection is large and eclectic, everything from standards like fried dumplings, pot stickers and spring rolls to more exotic fare such as sticky rice in a lotus leaf, sesame sponge cake and shark’s fin dumplings. Everything is $2.30-$5.75 a plate, so even if you don’t like something new, it’s not a big loss. At 988 N. Hill St., (213) 617-9898 or empresspavilion.com.— Richard Guzmán

BEST VEGETARIAN (OR KIND OF VEGETARIAN) Tiara Café While the menu at this Fashion District restaurant — which looks like an upscale cafeteria — is not exclusively vegetarian, chef Fred Eric’s Tiara Café offers some of the best vegetarian options in Downtown. Herbivores and carnivores alike can enjoy starters like the chickpea fritters, which look like thick-cut French fries and come with a spicy aioli dipping sauce, or the bubbly Indian flat bread with mango chutney. Vegetarian main courses include a variety of salads, enchiladas with marinated grilled veggies and hand-made pasta with vegetables. If you really want to get crazy, try the grilled seitan (wheat protein) in a Japanese curry with potatoes and peas. Trust us, even meatheads will like it. At 127 E. Ninth St., (213) 623-3663 or tiara-café-la.com.—Anna Scott

BEST CAFE photo by Gary Leonard

Urth Caffe

introducing

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C H AYA D O W N T O W N 525 S. Flower Street | Los Angeles, CA 90071 | 213.236.9577

Bar & Lounge | Restaurant | Private Dining

Despite the mouth-watering, oversized cookies on display near the cash register, this cozy Arts District cafe is

thechaya.com


12 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

Eating BEST Ramen

Continued from page 11 haberdashery, and you’ll sup near where they once sold ties and pants. There is rich wood, thick Lalique glass and enough gold leaf to make a miner sigh in envy. While lunch and dinner are a fine way to experience the restaurant, don’t miss the “Cicada Club,” the Sunday night experiences when big bands or other throwback themes take over the space. This joint can still swing. At 617 S. Olive St., (213) 488-9488 or cicadarestaurant.com.—Jon Regardie

Daikokuya vs. Oro Chan

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John Rivera Sedlar at Rivera

photo by Gary Leonard

time to wait, head over to Oro Chon. Some even prefer this Little Tokyo competitor, which is known for having a little more variety on its ramen menu, including three different broths and levels of spiciness. For either place, consider the noodle master’s advice: “Gently pick [the pork] up and dip it into the soup on the right of the bowl. What is important here is to apologize to the pork by saying, ‘See you soon.’” At 327 E. First St., (213) 626-1680 or daikoku-ten. com. —Ryan Vaillancour

LA’s NEWEST RENTAL HAS IT ALL LA’s NEWEST RENTAL SUNBATHE, ENTERTAIN ANDHAS BBQ IT ALL

EQ U A L H OU SI N G OP P OR T U N I T Y

BEST CHEF photo by Gary Leonard

Juzo Itami’s 1985 cult film Tampopo featured some ramen eating advice from a mysterious noodle master. It is worth considering when dining at Daikokuya, a ramen legend of its own in Little Tokyo. “First, observe the whole bowl,” the master directs. “Appreciate its gestalt. Savor the aromas. Jewels of fat glittering on the surface. Bamboo roots shining. Seaweed slowly sinking. Spring onions floating. Concentrate on the three pork slices. They play the key role but stay mostly hidden.” There are other options on Daikokuya’s menu, but it’s the savory bowls of ramen that draw crowds. No wonder that in the head to head match-up with Oro Chon, Daikokuya earned 57% of the vote. The wood-heavy interior features an exposed kitchen surrounded by a bar. Sitting there, one can observe the slowly rolling stock pots full of broth, and watch as a samurai-style headband-clad chef decorates the bowls with blossoms of bamboo and bean sprouts. You can get the traditional ramen bowl, complete with kurobuta pork belly, or a version called tsukemen, which has all the same ingredients but served separately, with the noodles chilled (an option people go for on hot days). If there is a line and you’re not willing or don’t have

photo by Gary Leonard

WINNER: DAIKOKUYA


July 20, 2009

The culinary world began buzzing when word spread that celebrated fusion chef John Rivera Sedlar would open his own place in South Park. Since Rivera restaurant debuted in January, the buzz has only grown, with crowds and food critics fawning over the offerings that stream out from the open kitchen. Sedlar whips up a modern mix of traditional Latin American dishes, adding his spin by blending culinary traditions and techniques. This leads to options like the cochinita pibil, a Mexican dish that Sedlar upgrades with a French twist. There are also kurobuta pork short ribs, here prepared like Mexican carnitas. Don’t be surprised when the chile relleno salad comes with a depiction, in spices, of undocumented immigrants crossing a highway. At 1050 S. Flower St., (213) 749-1460 or riverarestaurant.com.—Richard Guzmán

BEST DINING EXPERIENCE

explosive. It’s perfectly cooked every time, and the hand-cut fries are crispy and delicious. Though burger options abound Downtown, Blu should be at the top of your dining list. To sweeten the deal, their dessert counter is sinfully good. At 126 E. Sixth St., (213) 488-2088 or blu.la.—Kathryn Maese

BEST SAUSAGE

Wurstküche As they say in Berlin, die Wurst schmeckt lecker, or, the sausage tastes yummy. Notice that the Germans take sausage seriously, as Wurst (sausage) is a proper noun. At the Arts District’s Wurstküche, they pay homage to tradition with sausage classics (bratwurst with kraut and the hot Italian), but they’ve generated the most buzz with their exotic offerings, like one that combines rattlesnake, rabbit and jalapeño peppers, or another that includes alligator meat — both are surprisingly succulent. The 24 beers on tap have helped

the new business become a neighborhood favorite. At 800 E. Third St., (213) 687-4444 or wurstkucherestaurant.com.— Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST EL SALVADORAN FOOD

Sarita’s Downtown has surprisingly few El Salvadoran restaurants. But with Sarita’s at the Grand Central Market, which offers up the classic dishes that originated in the Central American country, you may not need more than one. Sarita’s serves delicious pupusas, El Salvador’s main dish, as well as tamales (which are bigger and less dry than Mexican tamales). Their specialty is the soups: Sarita’s offers a handful of favorites, like the Sopa de Pata (cow’s feet with corn, tripe and yucca) and Sopa de Res (beef stew). At Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, (213) 626-6320.—Richard Guzmán see Eating, page 14

photo by Gary Leonard

The Palm

Downtown News 13

DowntownNews.com

For the highest ranked healthcare in the nation and in downtown Los Angeles, come to the best: A few distinguished doctors of Good Samaritan Hospital Many Downtown restaurants turn out top-quality food. Some of them understand that good service means always meeting customers’ needs, often before they ask. But no one brings everything together quite like the Palm. Under General Manager Jonathan Scott, the South Park restaurant works like a well-oiled machine, and customers are treated right from the moment they walk in the door. The place is spotless and the caricatures on the wall provide instant character. The experienced waitstaff has personality, but doesn’t cross the line. The steaks are thick yet tender and the Nova Scotia lobsters never disappoint. Whether it’s a power lunch, a date or a group get-together, visiting the Palm is more than a meal — it’s an experience. At 1100 S. Flower St., (213) 7644600 or thepalm.com.—Jon Regardie

David Cannom, MD Director of Cardiology

Marc Samson, MD Chief of Orthopedic Surgery

Allison Hill, MD Obstetrics/Gynecology

Andrew Fishmann, MD Director of ICU

Internationally renowned One of 28 orthopedic surgeons One of 43 OB/GYNs delivering electrophysiologist, one of 49 producing award-winning results at nationally ranked care at Good cardiologists bringing national Good Samaritan Hospital Samaritan Hospital acclaim to Good Samaritan Hospital

An innovator in hospital care and one of 12 Critical Care Specialists practicing award-winning medicine at Good Samaritan Hospital

BEST FRENCH

Church & State When it opened in September, the urban chic Church & State brought a burst of energy to a gritty part of the Arts District. Built in an old loading dock, the $900,000 establishment with an open kitchen and appealing patio has tons of charm and personality. And of course, there’s the food: Although owner Steven Arroyo went through a nasty split with original chef Greg Bernhardt, new chef Walter Manzke jumped on board and made Church & State something special. The French bistro is flavored with offerings like escargot de Bourgogne (snails baked in garlic and parsley), steak tartare and Confit de Canard à la Montmorency (French lentils and pickled cherries). There’s nothing like it in Downtown. At 850 Industrial St., (213) 4051434 or churchandstatebistro.com.—Richard Guzmán

David Boyer, MD Retinal Surgeon

Joanna Davies, MD Ali Gheissari, MD Internal Medicine & Rheumatology Director, Cardiovascular Surgery

One of America’s leading retinal surgeons bringing the nation’s best health care to Good Samaritan Hospital

One of 62 Internists bringing the nation’s best patient care to Good Samaritan Hospital

Dr. Gheissari leads a team of cardiovascular surgeons bringing national prominence to Good Samaritan Hospital

BEST BURGER

Blu LA Café Whether you opt for the deliciously oozing 1/2-pound cheeseburger or the decadent version with roquefort cheese, bacon and garlic mayo, you just can’t go wrong with this petite cafe’s awesome burgers. The beef is appropriately beefy (no skimpy patties here), the brioche bun tasty and the flavor

One of many Women’s Health Specialists bringing national leadership to Good Samaritan Hospital

Good Sam. Good Doctors.

BEST FRIES

Magnolia’s Sweet Potato Fries Remember a few years ago when sweet potato fries started showing up on the menu of just about every restaurant in town? Some did them better than others, and for a while, we couldn’t get enough. Then the craze fizzled, maybe because the novelty wore off or we had one too many soggy version that turned that sweet potato sour. Thankfully, the new Magnolia in South Park is out to resuscitate the trend. Their fries are simply transcendent: The thin-cut tuber is ever so lightly dredged to produce a crispy jacket, dusted with parsley and served with a side of ketchup and crème fraiche. It’s one sweet potato. At 825 W. Ninth St., (213) 362-0880 or magnoliala.com.—Kathryn Maese

Faye Lee, MD Women’s Health

Good Samaritan Hospital has been ranked as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals 3 years in a row (2007, 2008, 2009) by HealthGrades, Inc. Today, Good Sam is ranked as the Best Hospital in Downtown Los Angeles for 9 years (1999-2006, 2009).

1225 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017 Physician Referral: 1 (800) GS-CARES


14 Downtown News

Eating Continued from page 13

BEST CUPCAKES photo by Gary Leonard

Village Kitchen

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

BEST POPSICLES

Paleteria La Michoacana You’ll find frozen heaven on a stick at this tiny Financial District ice cream shop, which sells a rainbow of paletas, or Mexican ice pops, stacked in every flavor imaginable. For $1.75 — or $3 for the fancier ones — you’ll get an icy hunk crammed with massive chunks of fresh fruit or nuts. There are milk-oriented versions, like the strawberry and cream, as well as water-based creations such as the spicy-sweet mango and chili. These treats are addicting, so be prepared to come back to try the more exotic popsicles. You should work your way up to the soursop and cactus fruit. At 306 W. Seventh St., (213) 623-2650.—Kathryn Maese

MOST Decadent Desserts Nickel Diner

BEST MEAL WITh A VIEW

The small but oh-so-delicious selection of cupcakes at this City West bakery will literally melt in your mouth. The mini cakes come in four flavors: red velvet, carrot cake, yellow cake with chocolate frosting and white cake with vanilla-coconut frosting. More manageable than the oversized pastries you see at some of L.A.’s upscale cupcake joints, these are the perfect snack size (they’re also a steal at $2 a cupcake). The cake is light and fluffy, the frosting cool and creamy, and there’s not even any need to feel guilty. The cafe benefits the adjacent Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children, so eat up. At 1667 Beverly Blvd., (213) 2351487.—Anna Scott

BEST TEA ROOM

Chado This well-stocked spot at Little Tokyo’s Japanese American National Museum offers more than 200 varieties of tea. From hot pots to pitchers of iced tea, including a bright red herbal variety adorned with berries, there is a beverage here for even the most discerning connoisseur. The snacks are as much of a draw as the tea and are ideal for sharing. The best deal is the Afternoon Tea, which for $18 a person includes a pot of tea and a threetier rack of four half-sandwiches, a scone with homemade cream, fruit, a cookie and a slice of cake. At 369 E. First St., (213) 258-2581 or chadotea.com.—Anna Scott

photo by Gary Leonard

Takami At Takami, you’ll probably eat with your mouth open — not because you’re rude, but rather because you’ll be reacting to the stunning view. Located 21 floors above the street, in the penthouse of the 811 Wilshire building, the Asian restaurant offers a postcardlike view of Downtown. Of course, the view would mean nothing if the food faltered. Fortunately, it’s top notch, with a mix of fresh sushi, inventive entrees and grilled robata items with choices in the meat, chicken, fish and vegetarian families. Still, it may be hard to take your eyes off the view. At 811 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 236-9600 or takamisushi.com.—Richard Guzmán Need proof that the Nickel has decadent desserts? Look no further than its website, where the home page boasts that it is the “home of the Maple Glaze Bacon Donut.” Visit the Nickel for lunch or dinner and it is impossible not to drool over the sky-high dessert tray as it rolls through the dining room. Pastry chef Sharlena Fong creates huge slabs of red velvet cake, the little chocolate cake rolls that you might recognize as ding dongs (just like the Hostess ones, but homemade) or the ultimate decadent dessert, the Saltina — an ooey gooey chocolatepeanut butter-potato chip layer cake. Only downside is, you might have to roll home. At 524 S. Main St., (213) 623-8301 or 5cdiner.com.—Anna Scott

Thanks

For Voting For Us!

Open 6 a.m. tO 10 p.m. Daily 1001 n. alameDa St. PLENTY OF FREE PARKING! (213) 628-3781 • philippes.com


July 20, 2009

Downtown News 15

DowntownNews.com

No Meat? No Problem Checking Out Downtown’s Best Vegetarian Dining Options by AnnA Scott StAff writer

B

eing vegetarian in Downtown Los Angeles doesn’t mean you have to brown bag it for lunch every day or munch on plain salads. Along with the area’s restaurant explosion of the past couple years, there has been an increase in creative, exclusively vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly establishments. Some, like Casa and the City Hall Farmers Market, have plenty for herbivores and carnivores alike. Others, like Shojin and Tierra Café, cater primarily to diehard veggies and openminded meat-eaters. Either way, even the pickiest vegan should come away pleased. Shojin: The word “shojin” in Japanese means to “make every effort to achieve something.” When it comes to healthy eating, this restaurant in the Little Tokyo Shopping Center lives up to its name: The menu is vegan (no meat, dairy or eggs), organic and macrobiotic. And, believe it or not, delicious. The menu at Shojin includes fish-free sushi stuffed with ingredients such as cucumber, kale and barbecued seitan (wheat protein), noodle dishes like spicy tofu soba and various curries. The delectable desserts, made without refined sugar, include a chocolate and raspberry mousse, apple tart with vanilla rice milk ice cream and the recently added vegan tofu tiramisu. Shojin also caters and offers cooking classes in English and Japanese. At 333 S. Alameda St., Suite 310, (213) 617-0305 or theshojin.com. Casa Cocina y Cantina: This Mexican restaurant, which opened in California Plaza in January, is by no means vegetarian, but is definitely vegetarian-friendly. Partner Mario Del Pero also owns the popular sandwich joint Mendocino Farms at Cal Plaza and applies his signature formula of healthy ingredients and a seasonal menu at Casa. Vegetarian summer options include the Vegan Verano, with squash, savory plantains and corn, served in tacos, a burrito, a salad or on flatbread with a black bean puree. The restaurant also offers a crispy potato and vegetarian chorizo option, which can also

be served several ways. At dinnertime, the casual space transforms into a sit-down dining room, and meat-free choices include the poblano-stuffed summer squash with goat cheese, corn truffle, cilantro rice and black beans. The house margaritas, made with tequila, lime juice and agave nectar, will please everyone, vegetarian or not. At 350 S. Grand Ave., (213) 6212249 or casadowntown.com. Infusion Café: This nearly 6-month-old restaurant on the ground floor of the National City Tower Lofts at Spring and Eighth streets offers an eclectic, mostly vegetarian menu (minus some fish options) that includes breakfast dishes, pizzas, salads, sandwiches and crepes. There’s a Caprese omelet with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella for breakfast; the Infused Pizza, with olives, roasted pepper and artichoke pesto; and the roasted vegetable wrap with sesame tofu and hummus. Fruit shakes, specialty teas and coffee and espresso drinks — try the blended chai latte for a refreshing summer treat — round out the offerings. During the Downtown Art Walk on the second Thursday of each month, Infusion extends its closing time from 7 until 10 p.m. At 808 S. Spring St., (213) 327-2255 or infusioncaffe.com. City Hall Farmers Market: Of course most farmers markets offer plenty of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. But if you mosey over to the south lawn of City Hall any Thursday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., you will also find a bustling lunch scene with many vendors offering up vegetarian meals. Our personal favorite is the Corn Maiden tamale stand, where a mere $5 gets you one tamale with rice, beans and salsa. Vegetarian options include the delicious spinach-artichokecorn-chipotle tamale and a Mediterranean-inspired tamale with feta cheese, tomato, kalamata olives and red onions. You can also find hearty, meat-free salads, and even a booth hawking vegan “chicken” salad and meat-free lasagna. As a bonus, you can rub elbows with civil servants (really, that’s a bonus). At 200 N. Spring St., downtownfarmersmarket.org. Tierra Café: Not to be confused with the Fashion District’s Tiara Café (also vegetarian-friendly), this easy-

photo by Gary Leonard

Vegetarian soups and sandwiches are popular choices at Tierra Cafe.

to-miss eatery in the ground-floor food court of a Financial District high-rise is one of Downtown’s best-kept vegetarian secrets. The strictly vegetarian and vegan cafe and coffee shop serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays only, from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Morning treats include fresh juices and tofu scrambles, while lunchtime brings the Tofurkey wrap (made with a soy-based turkey substitute) and the burrito with organic black beans, vegetables, soy cheese, guacamole and soy chicken. Don’t be fooled by the no-frills appearance — the food is soy delicious! (OK, that was bad). At 818 Wilshire Blvd., #D, (213) 626-0024. Contact Anna Scott at anna@downtownnews.com.

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16 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

BEST MEN’S SUITS Brooks Brothers

photo by Gary Leonard

Best Businesses From Buying to Buildings To Bankruptcy

BEST (Non-Ralphs) Place To Buy Stuff Grand Central Market

READERS’ CHOICE n Best (Non-Ralphs) Place to Buy Stuff: Grand Central Market n Best Not Yet Built Mega-Project: Grand Avenue Plan n Best Boutique/Store: FIDM Scholarship Store n Head to Head: Best Convenience Store: Famima n Best Men’s Suits: Brooks Brothers n Best Farmers Market: Pershing Square Farmers Market n Best Hospital: Good Samaritan Hospital n Coolest Residential Building: Roosevelt Lofts EDITORS’ CHOICE n Best Hair Treatment: Salon 11 Deep Conditioning n Best Downtown Business Trend: Twitter n Best Bankrupt Project: Brockman Building photo by Gary Leonard

BEST BOUTIQUE/STORE

FIDM Scholarship Store This is the kind of store that prompts regulars and newcomers alike to proclaim to friends that it’s their “little secret.” You can find mid-range and bigname designer clothes at bargain prices in the establishment which benefits the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Sometimes that’s because there’s a small tear or scuff, but nothing that you or your sewing-savvy aunt can’t fix. There’s also a back room stocked with an array of interesting fabrics… for a $1 a yard. You may have to dig, but the kind of people the store attracts know that the best deals are at the bottom of the barrel, but oh so worth the rummage. At 919 S. Grand Ave., (213) 6241200 or tinyurl.com/mt226k.—Ryan Vaillancourt

Know the difference between a Prince Albert and a Half-Windsor? No? Then you must not shop at Brooks Brothers. Straight out of a JD Salinger novel, Brooks Brothers keeps the classics alive. Here, it’s all about quality suits and nothing too fancy; time-tested class always wins out over the fashion of the day. Seersucker is as offbeat as they get at Brooks Brothers, and that’s exactly why their devoted customers keep going back — well, that and the friendly, knowledgeable sales staff. A knowing eye at the Figueroa Street outpost will help you into a well-fitting suit for the right occasion, recommend a tie and suggest whether it’d be better as a Prince Albert or Half-Windsor. At 604 S. Figueroa St., (213) 629-4200 or brooksbrothers.com.—Ryan Vaillancourt

Shopping at Grand Central Market can make you feel like Downtown is the center of the world. It’s the city’s oldest open-air market, offering goods to Angelenos since 1917. With its historic atmosphere and urban feel, the market would be a popular attraction even if it didn’t offer food from all around the globe. But luckily, it does. About 40 merchants sell everything from Latin American chiles to herbs and spices to fruits and vegetables to fish. There are also booths with Middle Eastern, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Salvadoran, Chinese and other fare. No wonder that, 92 years after it opened, Grand Central Market is still full of tourists and locals. At 317 S. Broadway Blvd., (213) 624-2378 or grandcentralsquare.com.—Richard Guzmán

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Downtown News 17

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BEST FARMERS MARKET

Pershing Square Farmers Market Downtown is ripe (ha ha) with farmers markets offering fresh fruits, vegetables and other treats, but the Pershing Square market, held on Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., attracts the biggest crowds. The market, run by the nonprofit Raw Inspiration, offers the aforementioned items, often from local farms, as well as fresh flowers, gourmet honey and baked goods. Pershing Square has proved to be a nice setting for the market formerly held in front of the Central Library. At 532 S. Olive St., rawinspiration.org.—Anna Scott

BEST HOSPITAL

Good Samaritan Hospital Hospitals are usually best avoided. But if you find yourself in the unfortunate condition of having to go, Good Samaritan is a smart choice. The 408-bed facility has been on HealthGrades’ list of the top 50 American hospitals for three consecutive years. They’re experienced too, with more than 17,000 patients admitted and more than 4,000 surgeries performed annually. Expect the trend to continue — Good Sam is working on a new $81 million, seven-story building. No matter what you have, chances are the doctors and nurses of Good Samaritan can help. And don’t forget the community work, highlighted by the annual Blessing of the Bicycles ceremony. At 1225 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 977-2121 or goodsam. org.—Richard Guzmán

COOLEST RESIDENTIAL BUILDING

Roosevelt Lofts Although the $150 million project filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, developer Milbank Real Estate is allowing buyers to rent and occupy their units during the proceedings. The 12-story Beaux Arts building is anchored by a three-story base featuring three grand, arched entries. The terra cotta façade has been restored and interior details

including the lobby’s mosaic marble floors have been preserved. Inside, there’s a photorealistic mural of a tropical waterfall in one of the light wells. It’s an unexpected amenity for inhabitants of the 222 units, as is the fourth-floor garden patio. At 727 W. Seventh St., (877) 887-7858 or rsvlt.com.— Ryan Vaillancourt

It all adds up to affordable, blissful pampering. At 420 W. 11th St., (213) 744-9944 or salon-eleven.com.—Anna Scott photo by Gary Leonard

July 20, 2009

BEST HAIR TREATMENT

Salon Eleven Chlorine, salt water, sun… summertime is a wonderful time, but not so much for your silky tresses. The remedy for what ails your unlucky locks can be found in Salon Eleven’s deep conditioning treatment. Starting at $25, you get a consultation to analyze exactly how bad the damage is, and then your hair is slathered with the appropriate restorative goo. The whole process takes about 30 minutes, includes a 10-minute neck and scalp massage, and will leave you with wonderfully smooth hair.

see Business, page 18

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image courtesy of Related of California

We can picture it now, the $3 billion project expected to someday redefine the northern part of Grand Avenue. Especially the greenery and walking paths planned for the 16-acre Civic Park, to stretch from the Music Center to City Hall, which developer the Related Cos. says will break ground next year. We sure hope so! Aside from that, the project officially titled The Grand is expected to include a 48-story Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Residences, a 19-floor tower and a 250,000-squarefoot retail pavilion. The kicker is the design from architect Frank Gehry, which will play off his swirling Walt Disney Concert Hall. The hitch: at this point, just a $700 million construction loan needed to get phase 1 off the ground. Any takers? At grandavenuecommittee.org.—Anna Scott

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Good Samaritan physicians accept all major insurance plans. Just call the member service number on your insurance card and choose a doctor from Good Samaritan Medical Practice Association in Los Angeles. Many languages and ethnicities are available and scheduling an appointment during your work day will be easy and convenient. You can even ride the DASH (E line) to Good Samaritan for only 25¢. Convenient parking is also available. 800-611-9847 ext. 262 www.gsmpa.net

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18 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

Business BEST Convenience Store

Continued from page 17

BEST DOWNTOWN BUSINESS TREND

BEST BANKRUPT PROJECT

The Brockman It had so much potential, but now stands in limbo. After years in the works, the Brockman Building at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue was ready to debut last fall. Downtown eagerly awaited the return of the 12-story, 1921 Beaux Arts edifice at 530 W. Seventh St., which was set to offer 80 lofts with historic features like exposed brick walls. Yet despite being one of Downtown’s hottest properties, the Brockman’s residences remain empty. Developer West Millennium Group filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May, and the property could face foreclosure. Whether the bank takes over or another buyer steps in, the units are likely to remain unoccupied for at least several more months, experts say. So sad.—Anna Scott

WINNER: FAMIMA When this convenience store chain started sprouting locations Downtown three years ago, people were lured in by the neon green and black color scheme and the odd name. Management was betting that they could make passersby curious enough to step inside for a look, and that once there they’d like what they saw and come back. Mission accomplished. Downtown residents and workers have been good enough to Famima that the Japanese-themed store has expanded rapidly in the area. Since 2006, the company has created six Downtown locations, including two in 2009, at 700 Wilshire Blvd. and 727 W. Seventh St. No wonder that in a head to head battle with 7-Eleven, 55% of respondents elected to turn Japanese. The store focuses on prepared foods, with offerings that include panini, which can be grilled onsite, fresh sushi that stays on the shelf for one day only and international meals made for the microwave — think Indian chicken dishes, tortellini with marinara sauce and salads. Like any good convenience store, they also stock hot dogs (not to mention corn dogs), as well as a candy shelf that pairs chocolate dipped Pocky sticks with Snickers. And don’t forget the Icee drinks. Some of the stores also sell beer and wine, like 7-Eleven, the granddaddy of all convenience stores. The 7-Eleven at Seventh and Olive streets was a hit when it opened in 2007, arriving in a neighborhood where basic amenities have lagged behind

photo by Gary Leonard

Twitter It seemed like everyone jumped on the Twitter bandwagon this year, with Downtown businesses, politicians and residents giving their “followersâ€? instant updates on whatever they were doing. Local businesses seemed to take the most advantage of the opportunity to send a message of 140 characters or less. The Downtown Center Business Improvement District tweets events and business specials to more than 800 followers, Metropolis Books lets customers know who’s coming to read at the store and the Grammy Museum highlights exhibits, concerts and other happenings. Meanwhile, restaurants such as Casa and Mother Road use Twitter to tell customers about their latest specials. At twitter.com.—Richard GuzmĂĄn

Famima vs. 7-Eleven

residential growth. Company officials have said the chain will expand its Big Gulp presence in Downtown. But at least on a micro-level, 7-Eleven might be looking over its shoulder at Famima, a pesky and customer-adored little competitor. At 700 Wilshire Blvd., 727 W. Seventh St., 525 W. Sixth St., 800 S. Figueroa St., 350 S. Grand Ave. and 505 S. Flower St. (B-level), famima-usa.com. —Ryan Vaillancourt

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DowntownNews.com

Downtown News 19

Best Spots for a Trader Joe’s The Sought-After Retailer Has No Plans to Come Downtown, But if It Did… by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer

W

hen Ralphs opened one of its Fresh Fare supermarkets in South Park on July 20, 2007, it was a sign that Downtown Los Angeles finally had the critical mass of residents and workers to support a major grocer. As Ralphs hits its second birthday, however, Downtown residents are pining for another grocery store option — specifically a Trader Joe’s. In April, a survey by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District revealed that when it came to supermarkets, 89% of 3,450 Downtown residents most wanted to see Trader Joe’s land in the area (Whole Foods came in second). Hal Bastian, the DCBID’s vice president and director of economic development, has spent years trying to woo the chain, to no avail. “We clearly got all of that survey information over to Trader Joe’s and they’re still not showing any indication that they’re willing to come to the dance,” Bastian said. Why not? Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki declined to address the company’s take on the Downtown market, saying that it is policy not to discuss its business plan or prospects. She confirmed that Downtown “is not currently in Trader Joe’s two-year plan.” Mochizuki did provide one aspect for considering where a market might fit: She said that Trader Joe’s stores generally range from about 10,000-15,000 square feet. Taking that basic guideline, and considering that the store would also need parking and loading facilities, Los Angeles Downtown News asked local real estate brokers and property owners to identify spaces in the area that could, theoretically, make a viable home for a Downtown Trader Joe’s. Medallion: Developer Saeed Farkhondepour’s mixed-use Medallion hits all the checkpoints a Trader Joe’s would need, said Derrick Moore, vice president of brokerage services at real

estate firm CB Richard Ellis. The project, under construction on the northeast corner of Fourth and Main streets, is slated to include 200 apartments and more than 200,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. What could set Medallion apart from other options is its “abundance of parking,” Moore said — the project will have 750 parking spaces. “It would be a major anchor in the Old Bank District, with the Civic Center to the north, the Financial District a couple blocks to the west and it’s an easy commute even for those who live in South Park,” Moore said. “It would really anchor the project.” 7+FIG: When Macy’s left Brookfield Properties’ 7+Fig shopping center in the Financial District, the company left vacant about 130,000 square feet of retail space on three floors, said Bert Dezzutti, Brookfield’s senior vice president. Though Brookfield has made no pitches to Trader Joe’s, Dezzutti acknowledged that the mall could cater to such a use. “It would be logical for them to be situated at 7+Fig on the ground level, which has access to a loading dock and trash compactors and parking,” he said. “Our plate is ample. We could carve [10,000-15,000 square feet] out for them easily.” The Grand: The Related Cos.’ $3 billion Grand Avenue project, which in its first phase would create 266 condominiums, 295 hotel rooms, a 16-acre civic park and a 250,000-square foot retail pavilion on Bunker Hill, is still without a groundbreaking date. But since Trader Joe’s isn’t chomping at the bit to open Downtown anyway, maybe the timing would better jive with a project still on the horizon. The Grand includes plans for an “urban market,” which would have reserved parking spaces, said Related Cos. President Bill Witte. Though Related hasn’t targeted Trader Joe’s — the company has reached out to Whole Foods and other larger operators — Witte said the project has 30,000-40,000 square feet set aside for a market. “We would have to subdivide the space a little because they’d be taking less space, but yes, it could be accommodated,” Witte said.

photo by Gary Leonard

The under-construction Medallion could make a good home for a Downtown Trader Joe’s, says retail broker Derrick Moore. However, company officials say the grocery chain is not currently looking at a local store.

Desmond Building: Meruelo Maddux Properties is trying to sell this vacant, former industrial building at 11th and Hope streets in South Park. Among suitors the company has looked to is Trader Joe’s, a Meruelo Maddux spokesperson said. The four-story building has long been vacant and would require retrofitting and parking facilities, but if Trader Joe’s wanted to follow in Ralphs’ footsteps and head to South Park, the Desmond could be an option. Metropolis: IDS Real Estate Group hopes to break ground on its long-delayed, $1 billion mixed-use project near the end of 2010. Situated one block north of L.A. Live, Metropolis aims to bring a 42-story office tower, 426 residential units, a hotel and 46,000 square feet of retail space. The project is two blocks from Ralphs, so there would be intense competition, but then again, the thriving Silver Lake Trader Joe’s is across the street from a Gelson’s. Barker Block: First, Urth Caffe. Second, Trader Joe’s? Like other options listed here, there are no discussions related to bringing a market to the Kor Group’s enclave in the Arts District. But Moore said he could envision a market in the project. “They’d have to combine some industrial spaces, two at 7,000 square feet apiece, that they had slated for future development,” Moore said. “You put a couple together and have a fun, unique shopping experience.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

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20 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

Best Drinking

Located in the basement of the Pacific Electric Lofts, the 2,000-square-foot bar opened in December and holds about 150 people. Visitors who get beyond the alluring black door enjoy an ultra-cool lounge. Owned by Ashley Joyce, who is also behind Westside hot spots Coda and Barcopa, The Association has quickly become a hip spot in the Downtown scene, though it avoids the holier-thanthou exclusivity that plagues too many other nightclubs. The lights are dim, there are swanky sofas, the Vegas-style carpet gives a dirty sex appeal and the drinks are as unique and tasty as they are potent. At 110 E. Sixth St., (213) 627-7385.—Richard Guzmán

Raise a Glass, Take a Sip READERS’ CHOICE n Best New Bar/Lounge: The Association n Best Bar Where You Have to Dress Up: Standard Hotel’s Rooftop Bar n Best Bar Where They Don’t Care What You Wear: Casey’s Irish Bar & Grille n Best Wine Bar: Corkbar n Head to Head: Best Brewhouse: Weiland Brewery n Best Happy Hour: McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant n Best Hotel Bar: Standard Hotel’s Rooftop Bar

BEST Wine Bar Corkbar

BEST BAR WHERE YOU HAVE TO DRESS UP Standard Hotel’s Rooftop Bar When you’re going to a bar surrounded by beautiful views, amazing decor and scarily expensive drinks, you don’t want to look like you’re going to some neighborhood dive. And the management at the Standard’s Rooftop Bar doesn’t want you coming into their house looking shabby instead of chic. Although there’s a pool, they don’t allow flipflops, tank tops, sport attire and hats. In other words, dress like an adult. At 550 S. Flower St., (213) 892-8080 or standardhotels.com.—Richard Guzmán

EDITORS’ CHOICE n Best Dive Bar: King Eddy Saloon n Best Cocktails: The Edison n Best Neighborhood Bar: The Must n Best Caffeine: Spring for Coffee

BEST NEW BAR/LOUNGE photo by Gary Leonard

The Association

BEST BAR WHERE THEY DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WEAR Casey’s Irish Bar & Grille This Downtown, literally underground watering hole is exactly what an Irish pub should be. Not too pricey, cold beer — except for the Guinness, which is appropriately served at about room temperature — a mean fish and chips plate and sports, often football (not the American brand) on multiple televisions. And the bartenders, staff and regulars certainly don’t care what you wear. Although you will see some suits, since Casey’s has long been popular among Downtown office workers, you’d be just at home in jeans and a T-shirt or a Pau Gasol jersey. Or better yet, a kilt. At 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or caseysirishpub. com.—Ryan Vaillancourt

photo by Gary Leonard

Everything about this South Park wine bar screams, coos actually, California. Unlike wine bars that pride themselves on a list with options from around the world, Corkbar has only Golden State wines. Options include small vinters like Ethan Wines in Paso Robles, whose sangiovese/syrah blend goes for $16 per glass. Or try a glass of the crisp, pear and apple scented albariño ($9) from Bokisch, a Lodi winery specializing in Spanish varietals. The proprietors’ mission is to bring the culture and ease of the California wine world to you. They also sell bottles to-go for 50% off the wine list price. Go try a glass and a bite — do it for California. At 403 W. 12th St., (213) 7460050 or corkbar.com.—Ryan Vaillancourt

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Downtown News 21

DowntownNews.com

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant Happy hour usually means drink specials. At McCormick’s, as it has been seemingly forever, happy hour rules because the food gets the spotlight. Happy hour at the Downtown restaurant is from 3-10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Menus change often but specials can include deals like a $2.95 cheeseburger and fries, $4.95 jambalaya, fish tacos, fried shrimp, Kobe beef sliders, or $1.95 for hummus, shrimp ceviche or a blackened chicken sandwich. Many people know to hit McCormick’s before a game or the theater — it saves money and fills you up. At 633 W. Fifth St., (213) 629-1929 or mccormickandschmicks.com.—Richard Guzmán

lines into this Financial District bar are still long and the people are still beautiful, even by L.A. standards. If you get in, you’ll be on top of the cool world. At 550 S. Flower St., (213) 892-8080 or standardhotels.com. —Richard Guzmán

BEST DIVE BAR King Eddy Saloon

photo by Gary Leonard

BEST HAPPY HOUR

Regulars of this Skid Row tavern know they can always find a cheap cold one here, even in the a.m. Lovers of Los Angeles lore know the King Eddy, at Fifth and Los Angeles streets beneath the King Edward Hotel, from the pages of author John Fante (he and Charles Bukowski were known to drink there). Cheap beer ($9 pitchers) and friendly service keep folks coming back. Nurse one of those pitchers with some friends, snag a stool and root on the Lakers, or go solo and make friends with the ex-trucker, Vietnam vet, parolee or artist next to you. Just try not to become a regular yourself. At 131 E. Fifth St., (213) 623-6779 or myspace.com/ kingeddysaloon.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST COCKTAILS

BEST HOTEL BAR

The Edison At this stunning bar in the former boiler room at the Higgins Building, expert mixologists blend vintage spirits into original and classic drinks. Highlights include the Mistress Noveaux, a pomegranate martini with a “champagne twist,” and the La Luz Coctel, with hand pressed honeydew melon, honey syrup and Casa Noble Crystal. On the manly side, there’s The Enlightenment, a blend of bourbon, see Drinking, page 22

Standard Hotel’s Rooftop Bar Bars usually come and go, but the Standard Hotel’s Rooftop Bar has outlived dozens of other hot-then-not nightspots. It’s still a place to see and be part of the scene, with a red astroturf deck, a dance floor, a fireplace, a pool and red vibrating waterbed pods. Of course, there’s that great view of Downtown too. Nightly DJs spin dance and lounge grooves while the bar serves drinks until 1:30 a.m. It’s no wonder the

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22 Downtown News

Continued from page 21 citrus, pomegranate and Edison Light Beer, and the house-made bathtub gin, dubbed Southside Fizz and kissed with mint and fresh lime. For the perfect summer drink, try the Amelie, an effervescent and potent cocktail with crushed strawberry and cucumber. Mmmm. The prices are steep (most drinks will cost you $13), but there are far worse ways to spend your money. At 108 W. Second St., #101, (213) 613-0000 or edisondowntown. com.—Anna Scott

This Historic Core establishment prides itself on being, first and foremost, a wine bar. They’ve got bottles from California, France and Italy, as well as from unexpected spots like Bosnia and the Republic of Georgia. There’s also an array of craftsman beers on tap. What The Must lacks is the forced sophistication often associated with the wine world. You can get a solid Super Tuscan here, but if you don’t care what a Super Tuscan is, you and a friend can share a 40-oz. bottle of Colt 45 (it’s served in an ice bucket, with champagne flutes). All the wines are available by the glass ($5-$22), bottle, or carafe. At 118 W. Fifth St., (213) 627-1162 or themustbar.com.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST BEST CAFFEINE NEIGHBORHOOD BAR Spring for Coffee photo by Gary Leonard

The Must

Despite its diminutive size — less than 300 square feet — Spring for Coffee makes a big statement with each brew. Charming details percolate out of every inch, from the adorable chandelier to the glass carafes to the fresh Rockenwagner pastries (hello, ginger scone). But make no mistake, the coffee is serious business, with names like LA Mill, Intelligentsia and Equator. They also offer a nice selection of teas (they’ll whip up your iced matcha with a whisk in a little ceramic bowl). You can even select your brewing method: French press, filtered or Chemex among others. Top it all off with some awesome Straus cream and you’ll get what the buzz is all about. At 548 S. Spring St., (213) 228-0041.—Kathryn Maese

BEST Brewhouse Weiland Brewery vs. Bonaventure Brewing Company

WINNER: WEIlaNd BREWERy Breaking news: People like beer! And even if Weiland Brewery won in a head-tohead contest against the Bonaventure Brewing Company, garnering 56% of the vote, no one really loses. Especially Downtown Los Angeles beer drinkers. Both establishments have in-house beers that attract a loyal following among those who don’t want just any old thing from the tap. While the brewery in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel bills itself as “L.A.’s only true brewery” — since head brewer David Blackwell creates his ales, including the Bonaventure pale ale, blonde ale and the strawberry blonde on the premises, and keeps at least 20 brews on tap at all times — Weiland has history, atmosphere and a sweet blonde on its side. Located inside the building where the original Weiland Brewery Company began in 1898, the bar now brews its beer at a facility on the Central Coast. Its house beers include the Amber ale, Hefeweizen, India Pale Ale and the standout Honey Blonde ale. The latter has a golden glow; it’s sweet, with a bit of a fruity feel that makes it a perfect companion for just about any item on the food menu. The amber ale is no slouch either, its cocoa and nut-like elements offering a rich, lingering flavor.

photo by Gary Leonard

Drinking

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

In addition to the beer, Weiland’s is known for a unique atmosphere that mixes the credibility of a hole-in-the-wall bar with a cool, hip and historic feel. There is a second outpost in the underground mall at Fifth and Flower streets. At 400 E First St., (213) 680-2881 and 505 S. Flower St., #B-410, (213) 622-1125 or weilandbrewery.net. —Richard Guzmán


July 20, 2009

Downtown News 23

DowntownNews.com

The Serious Business of Classic Cocktails Life Behind the Bar With Downtown’s Best Mixologists by Richard Guzmán city editor

D

on’t ever ask Marcos Tello for a martini shaken, not stirred. You may think you’re coming off suave like James Bond in all the 007 films, but you’ll only provoke his wrath. “That’s a total crock of [BS],” said the resident mixologist at The Edison. Yes, that’s his official title, resident mixologist. And as he holds forth on the right way to make a martini, it’s obvious he knows what he is talking about. “Anytime you have citrus you need to incorporate air into the cocktail to blend it when you’re shaking it,” he said. “When you don’t have any citrus like with the martini, you should always stir. You don’t want air in there; when you incorporate air into that it creates an oily texture because there is no citrus to cut it, so what you have is this sloppy thing that is not at all made for sipping.

photo by Gary Leonard

Marcos Tello pours a Cock n’ Bull. He is one of three “mixologists” at the Edison.

“It should be like liquid silk, so we stir when we need to stir and we shake when we need to shake.” Tello is passionate about cocktails. He is not alone. In the evolving world of Downtown Los Angeles nightspots, appropriately made cocktails are serious business, as well as big money. This liquid movement aims to bring back the classic cocktail as well as invent new drinks based on old-school disciplines. You can call them mixologists or drink chefs. Some of them you can even still call bartenders if you like. But one thing is certain: Their mission is to make sure Downtowners sip cocktails the way they were intended. Some of them are even making names for themselves. “Downtown is at the forefront, and the mixologists are now like chefs,” said Aiden Demarest, director of beverages and spirits for The Edison. “They have a following and they are passionate about what they do.” Follow the Rules There is a core group of Downtown mixologists, a batch who are recognized both locally and nationally at industry events. In addition to Tello, they include his Edison colleagues Damian Windsor and Joseph Brooke, as well as Eric Alperin at The Varnish, John Coltharp at Seven Grand and Julian Cox at Rivera. All follow some basic rules when preparing cocktails. They use fresh-squeezed juices like lime, grapefruit and orange rather than anything from a can. They use house made syrups and artisan spirits such as Partida or Casa Noble tequila, Matusalem rum or Bulleit bourbon. They also pay attention to the temperature and even the type of ice used in a drink. The goal is to get a cocktail down to the optimum drinking temperature of zero degrees by utilizing a precise shaking technique — when the drink calls for it, of course. While ingredients are important, mixologists also know their history. By and large, they consider Prohibition a dark

era for the American cocktail. During that time, they say, classic drinks went by the wayside as bartenders at speakeasies masked low-quality spirits with sugary additives. Although Prohibition ended in 1933, its effects linger in many bars. “That’s still apparent in bartenders today,” Tello said. “They’re pouring alcohol and covering it up with sweet and sour, with whatever they can so it tastes sweet and syrupy. What a mixologist, or cocktilian bartender does, is he takes the spirit and he accents it. He really puts the spirit forward so you know there’s alcohol in there, but he accents the flavors already there.”

While a certificate is not required to call oneself a mixologist, some of the cocktail classicists have gone through tough academic programs that test their knowledge of mixing as well as their grasp of history. Tello and Windsor were certified by the New York-based Beverage Alcohol Resource (the cocktail equivalent of a Master Sommelier program) as Bar Ready, the group’s highest ranking. Another organization, the Las Vegas-based U.S. Bartender’s Guild, offers a Master Mixologist program. They also test their skills at annual industry events such as the recently held Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. see Mixology, page 24


24 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

Mixology Continued from page 23 Hundreds of bartenders, including Downtown’s Tello, Brooke, Windsor, Coltharp and Alperin attended. The rise of mixology is not just a Los Angeles phenomenon. “The mixologist in general is becoming a more esteemed profession again,” said Michelle Dunnick, a coordinator for Tales of the Cocktail. “For a while you thought of bartending as just a college job, but recently there’s this trend that’s been gaining credibility in places like here in Louisiana, Las Vegas and in L.A.” New Golden Age John Coltharp of Seven Grand considers the early part of the 21st century to be the new golden age of alcohol. He points to the increase in quality liquors and passionate bartenders. Like other mixologists, Coltharp aims to prepare classic drinks in as authentic a manner as possible. This means rejecting things that make it easier for the profession, like the pre-made sour mix that most bartenders utilize. “If we can make it here we do,” Coltharp said. “We use honey as a sweetener. We make our own simple syrup, our own grenadine, our own ginger syrup and fresh mint. We don’t cut corners. It can take longer to get a drink in establishments like ours, but that’s something we hope the guest understands.” Extra waiting time is not the only asterisk that comes with cocktails prepared by mixologists. There is also price — it is common to pay $12 or more for a single drink. Eric Alperin of The Varnish prefers to be called a bartender rather than a mixologist. Still, his focus is squarely on classic cocktails and contemporary equivalents. Drinks found at the bar include the Bee’s Knees, a gin, lemon and honey mix. Alperin also has his own twist on classic cocktails like the Skid Row, which includes gin, malt wine with apricot liqueur and Ramazzitti, a form of bitters. “We also use large blocks of ice,” he said. “We hand carve

each piece of ice off blocks that we freeze.” The importance of ice in a block is that it’s denser, colder and harder. When shaken properly, it cools the drink close to that magic zero degrees. It is a process unlike machine ice, which breaks up easier and over-dilutes the drink, he said. While mixology is built on the old, those skilled in cocktail culture also focus on new creations. At the Edison, Tello and Brooke demonstrate some of their recent inventions.

‘What a mixologist, or cocktilian bartender does, is he takes the spirit and he accents it. He really puts the spirit forward so you know there’s alcohol in there, but he accents the flavors already there.’ —Marcos Tello, the Edison photo by Gary Leonard

Brooke is pouring a Brass Flower, with Martin Millers gin, grapefruit juice and bitters with sparkling wine. “It just has wonderful citrus notes,” he says. Tello is making a La Luz Coctel, a drink inspired by a category of cocktails called the honeysuckle, which traditionally is any variation of citrus, honey and spirits. Tello muddles the honeydew in a tin cup, adds the honey syrup, a bit of fresh lime he just squeezed and two ounces of Casa Noble tequila. He shakes it vigorously for about 10 seconds to get the right temperature and pours it in a glass. He then pulls out a straw and dips it in — for quality control.

John Coltharp of Seven Grand aims to prepare classic drinks in as authentic a manner as possible. He avoids the pre-made sour mix that most bartenders utilize. “If we can make it here we do,” he said.

“Every drink is tasted at The Edison,” he said. “This is nice.” The Edison is 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or edisondowntown.com. Seven Grand is at 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or sevengrand.la. The Varnish is at 118 E. Sixth St., (213) 622-9999 or thevarnishbar.com. Rivera is at 1050 S. Flower St., (213) 749-1460 or riverarestaurant.com. Contact Richard Guzmán at richard@downtownnews.com.

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July 20, 2009

Downtown News 25

DowntownNews.com

Best Entertainment

BEST Place for Music

Music, Museums and Readings, Oh My BEST MUSEUM MOCA photo by Gary Leonard

READERS’ CHOICE n Best Place for Music: Nokia Theatre n Best Movies: Laemmle Grande 4-Plex n Best Museum: MOCA n Best Park: Pershing Square n Most Beautiful Broadway Theater: Orpheum Theatre EDITORS’ CHOICE n Best Museum: Grammy Museum n Best Curator: Louise Steinman at Aloud n Best Park: Vista Hermosa Natural Park n Best Game Night: Monday Night Inquisition at Royal Clayton’s n Best Place for Table Games: Tony’s n Best Overlooked Cultural Outing: Free Student Recitals at the Colburn School n Best People Watching: Outdoor Tables at Banquette

BEST MOVIES

Nokia Theatre

Laemmle Grande 4-Plex Downtown’s only place to see first-run, mainstream movies (at least until the Regal 14-plex opens at L.A. Live later this year) is an aging, fourscreen venue attached to the Downtown Marriott Hotel. In addition to the lack of lines on big opening weekends, it has lower prices than other movie theaters, with general tickets going for $8.50, or $6.50 for weekday shows before 6 p.m. and weekends before 2 p.m. Movies currently or recently at the Laemmle include Public Enemies, the latest Transformers installment, Brüno and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Keep an eye out for the occasional art house or international film too. 345 S. Figueroa St., (213) 617-0268 or laemmle.com.—Anna Scott

The past year was a difficult one for the Museum of Contemporary Art, as its endowment plummeted and its director was forced out. Still, the museum’s collection of art produced since 1940 is staggering, with works from all the big names such as Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, etc. Although the financial crisis caused the cancellation of several interesting shows, MOCA currently has an exhibition of work by Robert Frank. The big summer show is Collecting History, whish showcases recent acquisitions from dozens of artists. It runs through Oct. 19. At 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2766 or moca.org.—Richard Guzmán

BEST PARK

Pershing Square Green space is limited in Downtown, and though it’s also limited at Pershing Square, Downtowners still come here, in large part for the programming. Ice skating in winter is a hit, and this year’s summer continued on next page

photo by Gary Leonard

The nearly 2-year-old Nokia Theatre has a unique boasting point — none of the 7,100 seats is farther than 220 feet from the stage. That means even fans in the nosebleed section get a fairly up close and personal experience. The $100 million venue at L.A. Live has hosted hundreds of concerts, performances, awards shows and other events. Touring acts like the brand new aspect, and those who have played here include the Eagles (who christened the concert hall), Prince (who complained a bit about the acoustics), John Mayer and Leonard Cohen. The hits will keep coming — Earth, Wind and Fire appear on July 28 and Hall & Oats arrives on Sept. 2. At 777 Chick Hearn Ct., (213) 763-6030 or nokiatheatrelalive.com.—Anna Scott

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26 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com big name acts like Brian Wilson, Annie Lennox, Nas and Damian Marley for $20 or less. Most shows start with a live interview of the artist by museum Executive Director Bob Santelli and end with a brief, intimate performance. At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org.—Ryan Vaillancourt

Entertainment

BEST MUSEUM

Louise Steinman at Aloud

photo by Gary Leonard

Grammy Museum

Orpheum Theatre

BEST CURATOR photo by Gary Leonard

Continued from page 25 program has six weeks of free concerts with acts including Paula Cole and Gene Loves Jezebel. There are also free movie nights. The summer series comes in addition to a new “pet friendly” area in the revamped Palm Court. At 532 S. Olive St., (213) 847-4970 or laparks.org/ pershingsquare.—Richard Guzmán

MOST Beautiful Broadway Theatre

The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live is a musical history playground. Anyone concerned that the venue would be a commercialized pedestal to the Grammy Awards, take notice — the venue ditches the memorabilia mindset of other American music museums and concentrates on the science and artistry behind the reFruit Sundae cording process. Among the interactive exhibits, you can even “produce” a record with Jermaine Dupri. But the museum’s crown jewel isFruit a Sundae 200-seat theater that hosts

Over the 17 years that Louise Steinman has run the Aloud series, the Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium has become Los Angeles’ premier literary salon. Steinman’s extensive connections bring in topnotch writers and thinkers such as Colson Whitehead, Eric Bogosian, Reza Aslan and too many others to mention. She pairs them with thoughtful local voices like L.A. Times Book Editor David Ulin. Also in the mix is a lineup of panel discussions that address issues including smog in the city, the state of the L.A. Times and the narco wars on the U.S.-Mexico border. Crowds come, proving that the citizenry is eager to engage in the life of the mind. By the by: Aloud is always free. We’re not sure how Steinman does it — we just Delicious hope she keeps doing it. At 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228Fruit Design 7025 or aloudla.org.—Jon Regardie

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This 1926 landmark, majestically restored by owner Steve Needleman, is Broadway’s only fully functioning historic theater. The Orpheum, with its ornate marble lobby and lavish auditorium featuring chandeliers and eye-catching red upholstered seats, has hosted entertainment legends including Judy Garland, Jack Benny and Ella Fitzgerald. Now it is a popular destination for rock and pop acts, film festivals and other happenings. Upcoming events include the Daytime Emmy Awards on Aug. 30 and country-folk-rock trio the Avett Brothers on Sept. 5. At 842 S. Broadway, (877) 677-4386 or laorpheum.com.—Anna Scott

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July 20, 2009

Downtown News 27

DowntownNews.com

Monday Night Inquisition at Royal Claytons Every Monday evening, the generally low-key English-style pub in the Arts District’s Toy Factory Lofts turns into something resembling a rowdy game of Trivial Pursuit. Patrons break into teams of two to six people to answer five rounds of trivia questions (10 questions per round) on topics such as pop culture, geography and sports. The winning team gets a $75 gift certificate to Royal Claytons. If random knowledge isn’t your strong suit, you can still come away a winner — the worst answer in each round earns a free drink. Playing is free and sign-up starts at 7:30 p.m., with questions 30 minutes later. At 1855 Industrial St., (213) 622-0512 or royalclaytonsenglishpub. com.—Anna Scott

face it, that’s most of us), the gap in skill level is barely noticeable. Even if some freshman botches the first movement of your favorite piano quartet, just walk out. You haven’t paid a dime anyway. At 200 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2200 or colburnschool.edu.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST Park Vista Hermosa Natural Park

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING Outdoor Tables at Banquette

photo by Gary Leonard

BEST GAME NIGHT

BEST PLACE FOR TABLE GAMES Tony’s In this recently reinvented bar on a dark, industrial stretch in the Arts District, Hunter S. Thompson is king, whiskey is queen and table games are set up for all the jesters in the house. The dark, leather and wood heavy space features a pool table whose only flaw may be its unscathed newness. The crown jewel, however, is the outdoor table tennis set up. Perfect for summer nights, it’s where congregating smokers make for de facto cheering sections. If you don’t play, watching is fun too, since chasing a table tennis ball often reduces the most coordinated athletes to waddling clutzes. And that’s when they’re sober. At 2017 E. Seventh St., (213) 622-5523.— Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST OVERLOOKED CULTURAL OUTING

photo by Gary Leonard

Free Student Recitals at the Colburn School Mozart’s String Quintet in G minor, anyone? Or maybe Henry Eccles’ Double Bass Sonata is more your speed? As often as four times per week, performances of works that span a wide classical repertoire happen under your nose at the Colburn School, courtesy of its students. They’re all free and you can feel comfortable in jeans and flip-flops. You won’t see Yo Yo Ma here; instead, expect the world’s best philharmonic players of the future. For the untrained ear (and

The outdoor tables at this tiny Historic Core cafe/ wine bar are ideal for checking out Old Bank District passersby. Solo diners are common here, so you won’t stick out as you take in the sights. In the mornings, sip a strong espresso and observe other locals caffeinating or dining over newspapers and laptops. At lunchtime, enjoy a panini and watch politicos and other city players greet each other outside of Pete’s Café & Bar next door. And in the evenings, particularly during the Downtown Art Walk on the second Thursday of each month, sit back with a glass of wine and watch Downtown’s diverse crowd go by. At 400 S. Main St., (213) 626-2768.—Anna Scott

Its name means “beautiful view” in Spanish, and you will find that and more at this City West oasis. From the street this park, built on a hill, looks compact. But inside, visitors find themselves surrounded by a 10-acre, quiet refuge of greenery. The picnic tables near the top offer, yes, a beautiful view of Downtown, while the walking and running paths and play areas deliver recreation opportunities for kids and adults. The peaceful park also features streams and native landscaping. At 100 N. Toluca St., (213) 250-1100 or lamountains. com.—Anna Scott

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28 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

Nights on the Town for Less Than $15 The Lineup for Five of Downtown’s Best Cheap Dates by AnnA Scott StAff writer

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veryone is watching his or her budget these days, but that doesn’t have to put a dent in your social life. With a little planning, you can arrange an entire night out in Downtown for less than the price of two movie tickets. Here, we get you started with five dates, by neighborhood, that will cost less than $15 for the two of you. Little Tokyo: Thursday evenings are primetime for cheap dates here. Grab a bite at the popular Kogi Korean barbecue taco truck, which usually parks outside the Japanese American National Museum at First and Central on Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. Tacos, with fillings like Korean short ribs and spicy barbecue chicken or pork, go for $2 each, while burritos are $5. With your appetite satisfied, check out JANM, which offers free admission Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. (and all day the third Thursday of each month). On Aug. 13, take in the 55-minute documentary Crossroads: Boyle Heights, which chron-

icles life stories of Boyle Heights residents. Exhibitions showcasing Japanese folk toys and photography are on display through the summer. Cap the night with a treat from the Japanese pastry and gelato shop Mikawaya, open until 10 p.m. at nearby Japanese Village Plaza. The store’s most popular item, the sugary pillows of ice cream-filled dough called mochi, are just $1 each. Kogi truck at kogibbq.com; JANM at 369 E. First St, (213) 6250414 or janm.org; Mikawaya at 350 E. First St., (213) 624-1681 or mikawayausa.com.

photo by Gary Leonard

Get cheap eats at the Kogi Korean barbecue truck, which usually parks outside the Japanese American National Museum at First and Central on Thursdays from 6-9 p.m.

cocktails. The final part takes planning, or at least using the Internet. The Central Library has free 7 p.m. lectures thanks to the Aloud series. Upcoming speakers include Emmy Award-winning writer and performer Ruben Martinez on July 30 and science journalist Chris Mooney on Aug. 5 (reservations are recommended, but stand-by tickets are often available). Back at Pershing Square, meanwhile, there are free concerts or outdoor films four nights a week through Aug. 23, including The Motels on Aug. 15. Pershing Square at 532 S. Olive St., (213) 847-4970 or laparks.org/pershingsquare; Library Bar at 630 W. Sixth St., (213) 4881931 or librarybarla.com; Aloud at Central

Financial District: First, think ahead and pack a picnic supper. Then head over to Pershing Square to check out sculptures and paintings by local artists at the free, outdoor Art Squared Gallery at Hill and Sixth streets. Next, grab a table and picnic while peoplewatching. When you run out of things to discuss, walk about half a mile to the comfortable Library Bar on Sixth Street and refuel the conversation over happy hour drinks. The specials, served weekdays from 5-8 p.m., include $4 Stella Artois and $5

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Library, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7025 or libraryfoundationla.org/aloud. Bunker Hill: Meet on a Friday evening at High Point Coffee at First and Hope streets, where a cup of organic, fair-trade brew runs about $2. Once you’re caffeinated, head to the Music Center Plaza on Grand Avenue to put those jitters to work at Dance Downtown, a series of free shows (including beginner dance lessons) offered Fridays from 6:30-10 p.m. throughout the summer. Upcoming dates include disco night on July 24 and Argentine Tango Aug. 21. After working up an appetite, head to Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar, an elegant French bistro

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DowntownNews.com 229-0030 or brewhighpoint.com; Dance Downtown at 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-3660 or musiccenter.org; Kendall’s at 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-7322 or patinagroup.com.

photo by Gary Leonard

Dance Downtown events, which take place every other Friday night through the summer, are one of the best free entertainment options around. On July 24, dancers will do the hustle.

in the Music Center complex. Take advantage of the latenight happy hour menu, served from 8-10 p.m., which offers shareable munchies like the $8 plate of fried calamari or grilled pita bread with hummus, olive tapenade and greens, and $4 desserts. High Point Coffee at 714 W. First St., (213)

Arts District: Ay Caramba! No, that’s not a commentary on the Arts District. It’s the Mexican restaurant where you’ll start your cheap date. For dinner, try dishes like the grilled beef or fish tacos ($2.80 each), the $4.99 quesadilla or the $5.99 breaded beef sirloin steak sandwich. Next, head to the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Browse discounted art supplies and reading materials at the school’s bookstore, then check out a free lecture. Upcoming events include a discussion with architect and SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss on Wednesday, July 29, at 7 p.m., and two lectures on Aug. 5: a 5 p.m. discussion with Anthony Vidler, dean of New York’s Cooper Union School of Architecture; and a 6:30 p.m. panel talk with Moss, Thom Mayne, who designed Downtown’s Caltrans building, and Wolf Prix, lead architect of Downtown’s High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. Finally, split a $5 toasted apple pie ice cream sandwich from the sausage-and-beer joint Wurstküche. The dessert is even worth breaking the budget for you to each get your own. Ay Caramba at 714 Traction Ave., (213) 620-0274; SCI-Arc at 960 E. Third St., (213) 613-2200 or sciarc.edu; Wurstküche at 800 E. Third St., (213) 687-4444 or wurstkucherestaurant.com.

South Park: There are several inexpensive opportunities for fun here, which you can mix and match as necessary to stay within your budget. Starting with a cheap beer at the divey Hank’s Bar is never a bad idea — and if you consider the free popcorn dinner and the rockin’ jukebox entertainment, you could start and end here. If you need a more substantial bite, try the expansive, reasonably priced buffet at Ralphs supermarket. Granted, hitting a grocery store may not scream “awesome date,” but the store has a nice indoor seating area by the windows and offers prime people watching. Next, take a short walk to browse discounted clothes, accessories, fabrics and magazines at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Scholarship Store. (If you can’t resist the bargains and splurge here, at least your purchases will help fund FIDM’s Scholarship Foundation.) If you want to blow your budget on one truly choice night out, the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live offers $8 admission after 6 p.m. on evenings that coincide with public programs. Upcoming dates include July 21 and July 30. We admit, this deal will put you $1 over budget, but the interactive displays are fun, including one where you get tips on your rapping skills from Jermaine Dupri. Hank’s Bar at 840 S. Grand Ave., (213) 623-7718; Ralphs Fresh Fare at 645 W. Ninth St., (213) 452-0840 or ralphs. com; FIDM Scholarship Store at 919 S. Grand Ave., (213) 624-1200 or fidm.edu; Grammy Museum at 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6803 or grammymuseum.org. Contact Anna Scott at anna@downtownnews.com.

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Not Everything Fits in a Simple Category

EDITORS’ CHOICE n Best Political Salon: Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum n Best Rumor: Angels Flight Is Opening ‘Soon’ n Best Summer Swim: Pool at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex n Best Downtown Challenge: YMCA Stair Climb to the Top

Downtown Art Walk

ternational crowds. The structure is constantly photographed and has appeared in too many car commercials to count. There is simply nothing else like it. At 111 S. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or laphil.org.—Jon Regardie

BEST LOOKING BUILDING

Walt Disney Concert Hall City Hall is historic. Union Station is majestic. But Walt Disney Concert Hall is the edifice that has come to define Downtown Los Angeles. The $274 million home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened in October 2003 and the city has never been the same. Architect Frank Gehry wanted his shimmering, swirling structure at First Street and Grand Avenue to resemble a ship at sail, and though it took more than a decade to bring the vision to reality, the venue now attracts in-

MOST EFFECTIVE POLITICIAN Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Sure, he only earned 55% of the vote in his re-election bid, and watched his buddy Jack Weiss get thumped in the City Attorney’s race. But Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa still has the cachet and name recognition that most mayors nationwide would kill for. He’s got ties to the Obama administra-

lure, most attendees seem to delight more in the social experience: Considering the quiet streets of the neighborhood’s past, people don’t mind when a night in the Historic Core means bumping shoulders with passersby and waiting in line for a beer. At Gallery Row, downtownartwalk.com.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST POLITICAL SALON

BEST COMMUNITY STUFF photo by Gary Leonard

READERS’ CHOICE n Best-Looking Building: Walt Disney Concert Hall n Most Effective Politician: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa n Best Community Stuff: Downtown Art Walk n Head to Head: Best Athlete: Kobe Bryant

tion and a voice in Sacramento, a crucial factor given the current budget crisis. And despite some education stumbles, he now has his team in place at the LAUSD. He may not be what he was four years ago, but no political insider is foolish enough to dismiss Villaraigosa. Now with a second term, he’s got a second wind, too. At lacity.org/mayor.—Jon Regardie

Five years after its modest inception, the Downtown Art Walk has blossomed into a monthly neighborhood coming-out party that brings thousands of people to the Historic Core and beyond. On the second Thursday of every month, hoards line Spring and Main streets, wandering in and out of galleries, stopping occasionally to take in impromptu live music. If art is the ostensible

Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum It’s easy to get lost in the city’s political spin. That is why the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum, a private, approximately 20-year-old group run by Emma Schafer, is so valuable. At the monthly gatherings, about 35-50 high-level movers and shakers get up close and personal with decision makers such as Council members Ed Reyes, Jan Perry and Janice Hahn, Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Don Knabe, and DWP GM David Nahai. The bigwigs like it too. “This is an amazing forum in a city that doesn’t have many places where people come together,” said Council President Eric Garcetti at a Forum event this year, before he went on to offer details on a laundry list of city issues. “Somewhere in between the press opportunities kind of run by elected officials and the living room conversations rests this forum.”—Jon Regardie

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is a singular urban retreat. In the 50-meter by 25-meter pool, young children flop about in the shallow end, teenagers take turns jumping off the high-dive springboard (there’s a low dive too) and swimmers of all ages do laps. Pool hours are 12:30-6 p.m., Monday-Friday and 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Take advantage while you can: The pool at the $160 million school closes to the public Aug. 29. At 322 S. Lucas Ave., (323) 906-7593.—Ryan Vaillancourt

BEST Athlete Kobe vs. Manny

WINNER: KOBE BRYANT

photo by Gary Leonard

When voting for this category began, the NBA playoffs had not begun and Manny Ramirez had not been suspended 50 games for violating baseball’s substance abuse policy. In other words, it looked like the playing field was level, and the stars of L.A.’s biggest sports franchises both appeared on pace to lead their squads deep into the post-season. After Mannygate struck, well, it wasn’t close. As the Lakers surged toward their 15th NBA title, 82% of Los Angeles Downtown News readers opted for Kobe Bryant. The biggest surprise may have been that it wasn’t a shutout. Even if Manny had been around, hadn’t dabbled in the juice and was plugging homers into the Chavez Ravine bleachers, it’s difficult to see how he could have eclipsed Bryant. Now 31, the former problem child, the second fiddle to Shaq, the guy who was booed at the opening game of the 2007-’08 season, has grown up to be one of the most popular and most compelling athletes in the history of the city. As he has aged he has learned, like Michael Jordan did before him, that the Lakers play better and get further when he involves his teammates. Of course, it helps that he is the best closer in the game, and with time running down and a defender’s hand in the face, he’s still ready, willing and able to take over. Kobe may never charm L.A. like Magic Johnson did, or even like Manny did in that brief golden period before the alleged steroidpalooza. But both he and the city seem to have come to terms with that. His killer instinct, his uncanny ability to turn Staples Center losses into wins, and now the NBA title that he has brought to L.A, make Kobe Bryant Downtown’s best athlete. It’s not even close. —Jon Regardie

BEST DOWNTOWN CHALLENGE YMCA Stair Climb to the Top Few things in Downtown will make you sweat like the annual Stair Climb to the Top. The fall event is a fundraiser for the Ketchum Downtown YMCA, and in 2008 drew more than 1,500 people who walked, or in some cases ran, up the 1,500 steps to the top of the 75-floor U.S. Bank Tower. More than $200,000 was raised, along with the heartbeat of tired participants who often train before the event. The record is 9 minutes and 28 seconds, though most people finish in 3045 minutes. There is no real prize at the end, except for being able to look up at the tallest building in the West and saying, “Yeah, I climbed that.” At 401 S. Hope St., (213) 624-2348.—Richard Guzmán

Downtown News 31 photo by Gary Leonard

July 20, 2009


Best Rumor Angels Flight Is Opening ‘Soon’ by Jon Regardie executive editor

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ver since the deadly Feb. 1, 2001, accident that shut down the funicular connecting Bunker Hill and the Historic Core, Downtowners have been awaiting the reopening of Angels Flight. Though repairs have progressed and the cars are back on the tracks, multiple promises by Angels Flight Railway Foundation President John Welborne and board chair Dennis Luna that operations would resume soon did not come to fruition. Herewith, some of the reports: From a July 1, 2001, Downtown News article: Welborne

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com

photo by Gary Leonard

32 Downtown News

said he expects a restored Angels Flight to be up and running before year’s end. “We are awaiting final conclusions from the National Transportation and Safety Board,” he said. “We’re preparing to do necessary carpentry repairs on the vehicles and order a new drive system.” From a Feb. 24, 2003, article: Welborne said the foundation is working with the Community Redevelopment Agency, nonprofits and other potential donors to raise money for a new drive system. The goal is to reopen the landmark by year’s end, he said. From an Oct. 11, 2004, article: John Welborne, who heads the Angels Flight Railway Foundation, said the railway will open in late 2005 — although last summer he said it would be up and running by the end of this year. Welborne said the two rail cars have been fully restored, but fundraising to build the drive system is still underway.

Angels Flight — still closed after more than eight years.

From a May 2, 2005, article: [Welborne] said fundraising continues on the $2.5 million Angels Flight restoration campaign, and the two train cars have been restored and are in storage. He hopes to begin construction by July, with a spring 2006 completion. From a Jan. 29, 2007, article: Last week the funicular’s operators announced that the train connecting Bunker Hill and the Historic Core will run again by the end of summer. From a Sept. 10, 2007, article: Welborne said the manufacturing of the system — part of the railway’s $2.6 million renovation — could be complete by October and the railroad would open “definitely by December.” From a Jan. 14, 2008, article: “When this last work that is now underway is finished and the tests and inspections have been completed and we are ready to reopen — which should be soon — the Los Angeles Downtown News and your readers will be among the first to know,” [Welborne] continued in the email. From a Nov. 1, 2008, article: “While there still are many weeks of fine-tuning and testing yet to be undertaken, we are hopeful that Angels Flight will reopen to the public late this year or early in 2009,” said Dennis Luna. From a Feb. 2, 2009, article: “We really don’t know exactly when it’s going to be finished, or if I did I wouldn’t tell you because you would call me a liar if we pulled back a week or something, but it’s really quite soon,” [Welborne] added. Contact Jon Regardie at regardie@downtownnews.com.

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Downtown News 33

Best Downtown Crime Buster Detective Bryce Spafford’s Top Tools Are His Way With Words and His Institutional Memory by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer

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ith his slight build, Detective Bryce Spafford does not have an imposing physical presence. The 28year LAPD veteran is known more for his ability to strike a conversational rapport with business owners and suspects alike in the pursuit of a case. In short, say his colleagues on the force, Spafford’s a damn good talker. He’s not all talk though. In his career, which includes 24 years policing Downtown on the streets and as a gang and robbery detective, he has wrestled on the sidewalk with drug dealers and once had a contract put out on his life. The 59-year-old detective now supervises the Central Division’s robbery sleuths, a position in which he employs a hands-off approach, letting his detectives work their own angles. He tries to offer advice when needed and not commandeer an investigation. “I like to let people who know what they’re doing work,” he said. In a department known for frequent employee shuffling, having a veteran presence is an invaluable asset, said Central Area Captain Blake Chow. He should know — as a rookie, Chow trained with Spafford on the Spring Street foot beat. Spafford’s institutional memory of Downtown crime and policing make him stand out, Chow said. “It’s so valuable you can’t even put a price on it,” Chow said. “He has such intimate knowledge about this division and the phases Downtown has gone through, and he takes that knowledge he developed as a foot beat officer and spreads it around the department.” Carjacked in Little Tokyo Spafford’s decades on the force include a few standout cases. In 2005, a Japanese tourist was leaving a Little Tokyo spa when she was carjacked by three women, then run over by the assailants driving her car. She was severely injured, but survived. Central Division robbery detectives had two leads: The car was later recovered in East Los Angeles and the victim’s cell phone was taken with her purse. A couple months later, someone started using the phone. When officers pounced on the dialer, they learned that he had purchased it from an East Los Angeles gang member who lived near where the stolen car had been recovered. Spafford at the time was working as a gang supervisor, and his unit took over the investigation. His team soon identified the three suspects. Hoping to close the case, Spafford coached Detective Adrian Lopez, then a rookie in gang investigations, on how to solicit a declaration of guilt. “He was talking about trying to get a confession,” Lopez said. “I took his knowledge and applied it in an interview room and sure enough, I got three confessions.” Closing the case played a vital role in curbing a wave of crimes in Little Tokyo perpetrated by East Los Angeles gang members. Raul and ‘Manchado’ If Spafford had a knack for developing street-level informants, no snitch proved more valuable, or reliable, then a junkie heroin dealer named Raul. The two met when Spafford and a former partner were searching for a man who was allegedly robbing drug dealers. The suspect, known as “Manchado” for his pockmarked face, would wrestle away a dealer’s gun and use it to steal the drugs. He had already killed two men. Acting on a tip, Spafford and a partner knocked on the door at the Skid Row hotel where Manchado was staying. Four men, including Raul, watched as Manchado was arrested. He was later acquitted when nervous witnesses refused to testify. Raul ran drugs for the Fifth and Hill heroin gang and had a long rap sheet, but he never engaged in violent crime, Spafford said. He was apparently impressed at how Spafford and his partner manhandled the feared Manchado. In the wake of the arrest, he would tip off Spafford when he knew the back story to a homicide. They had a particular dance. If the two made eye contact, Spafford would detain Raul on the street. If Raul had intelligence, Spafford would then “arrest” him and take him to the station. “He’d come to the station and give you chapter and verse on what went down and we never paid this guy,” Spafford said. “I’m sure he was helping eliminate rivals, but he was a real street level, down and out kind of guy. Maybe that’s how he solved his conscience.” A slew of narcotics and homicide-related arrests that stemmed from Raul’s intelligence didn’t sit well with the heroin traffickers supplying Downtown. One day, when Spafford was expecting a tip, Raul instead told him that a murder contract had been put on the detective by one of the drug cartels.

Not long after, Manchado fired at Officer Bill Ramsey. Raul said Manchado mistook Ramsey, who was chasing him after a robbery, for Spafford. Street intelligence soon led Spafford to Manchado’s room at the Senator Hotel. There, police found a Smith and Wesson .38 and about $1,000 worth of heroin. Manchado was arrested and sent to prison. “The dope was wrapped up in a dark blue bandana, hidden in a hole in a wall behind a mirror,” Spafford said. “How stereotypical.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at ryan@downtownnews.com.

photo by Gary Leonard

In a police department where cops change divisions frequently, Central Division Det. Bryce Spafford has had his hand in Downtown crime busting for 24 years.


34 Downtown News

Wednesday, July 22 Southern California 2009 Economic Forecast LA Marriott Downtown, 333 S. Figueroa St., laedc.org. 7-10:30 a.m.: The Kyser Center for Economic Research delivers its 2009 Mid-Year Economic Forecast. The Kyser Center is an arm of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. The forecast addresses issues like how the state budget crisis affects business and what the business community can do to mitigate the ongoing recession. Thursday, July 23 ALOUD at the Central Library 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7025 or aloudla.org. 7 p.m.: Novella Carpenter appears with her book “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.” She’s in conversation with Evan Kleiman, cookbook author and chef. All About Business Loans 315 W. Ninth St., Suite 501, (818) 552-3321 or vpinedo@vedc.org. 4-5 p.m.: This workshop focuses on the different financing options available to businesses and how the loan process works. The free session covers the use of funds, interest rates and other pertinent information for SBA, microenterprise, minority, veteran and special loan programs. Friday, July 24 Farmlab Public Salons 1745 N. Spring St. #4, (323) 226-1158 or farmlab.org.

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If you’re looking for some excitement this week weekend, how about watching the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl wreak havoc after being resuscitated by an evil archaeologist? Don’t be alarmed — that’s the plot of the 1946 film The Flying Serpent, which will screen at the Natural History Museum Sunday, July 26, at 2 p.m. Along with the screening, Anthropology Curatorial Assistant Jennifer Saracino will illuminate the impossibilities of the movie’s story and reveal some more accurate Aztec facts. The event is part of the museum’s B-Movies and Bad Science series, which pairs Hollywood creature features from the 1940s and ’50s with lighthearted examinations of the “science” behind them. The series continues on Aug. 23 and Sept. 6. 900 Exposition Blvd., (213) 763-3466 or nhm.org.

image courtesy of the Natural History Museum

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et down on Friday, July 24, to the jazz-blues-gospel sounds of singer-songwriter and keyboard player Amel Larrieux at L.A. Live’s Conga Room. Larrieux, the founder of the independent label Blisslife Records, has contributed to various film soundtracks (including Barbershop, Love Jones and Down to Earth) and collaborated with hip-hop superstars The Roots. Rolling Stone magazine once credited Larrieux with creating “one of the most off-the-hook new soul albums in years.” Larrieux takes the stage at 9 p.m. to perform songs from her most recent album, which bears hints of Jimi Hendrix and Joni Mitchell. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (866) 952-6642 or congaroom.com.

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Do the Hustle! If you obeyed that mandate and shook your booty to the 1975 Van McCoy song “The Hustle” in its time, you can relive your glory days at the Music Center Plaza on Friday, July 24, with a free lesson in the disco line dance. If you’re too young to have caught the craze the first time around, channel Saturday Night Fever and revel in what will probably be your only opportunity to try the 1970s version of the Macarena en masse. The event is part of the Music Center’s Dance Downtown series, which offers free, themed dance nights with beginner lessons and live music from 6:3010 p.m. No dance experience necessary. 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-3660 or musiccenter.org.

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rchitect Michael Maltzan has made a distinct impression on Downtown L.A. in the decade since founding Michael Matlzan Architecture, Inc., with projects such as the Inner-City Arts expansion and the low-income Rainbow Apartments on San Pedro Street. On Tuesday, July 21 at 7 p.m., Maltzan will visit the Central Library for a discussion with L.A. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne titled “The Contemporary City: Urbanism in Flux.” The conversation, hosted by the Aloud forum, will address new models for urbanism and how planning, infrastructure and the public will shape architecture and design in the future. 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 2287025 or lfla.org/aloud.

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If you’ve ever wondered what a spaghetti western musical would look (and sound) like, now is your chance. The play Stranger, by Eva Anderson and Keythe Farley and currently at the Bootleg Theater, takes place in a tiny Nevada town in 1847. The story involves a villain named Lagarto, a saloon owner with a secret treasure and a stranger with a mysterious past. The show closes Saturday, July 25. The hybrid play has been said to “rock” by Daily Variety and was praised as a “ballet of mayhem, dazzlingly executed” by Backstage. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.com. Contact Anna Scott at anna@downtownnews.com.

photo by Tim Ford

Tuesday, July 21 ALOUD at the Central Library 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7025 or aloudla.org. 7 p.m.: In honor of the library’s exhibition “Richard Neutra, Architect: Sketches and Drawings,” author Michael Maltzan appears for a talk titled “The Contemporary City: Urbanism in Flux.”

THE

photo courtesy of the Music Center

SPONSORED LISTINGS Anna in the Tropics Frida Kahlo Theatre, 2332 W. Fourth St., (213) 382-8133 or fridakahlotheater.org. Through August 2: Set in the year 1929, the play tells the story of a Cuban immigrant family whose values and traditions are confronted by the advents of the Industrial Revolution and the readings of classic Russian literature. When the workers of the Alcalar cigar factory meet the characters in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, their everyday lives go up in smoke as love, lust, passion and fury take over. The play runs on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Summer Concert Series MacArthur Park, 2230 W. Sixth St., (213) 3845701 or levittla.org. The summer concert series is in full swing at MacArthur Park’s Levitt Pavillion for the Performing Arts. This week, the lineup includes Tejano singer Estani on July 22, modern soul man Morley on July 23, Belgian and Arabic gypsy music from La Fanfare du Belgistan on July 24 and more. Locals Night Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse, 330 S. Hope St., (213) 239-2568 or patinagroup.com/locals. 5:30-7:30 p.m., July 23: The Patina Group’s Locals Night series continues at Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse. The night for locals to meet and mingle will offer a $6 artisan beer tasting, with $5 homemade brats, beer battered onion rings and pork belly sandwiches, $6 cocktails and live music. The series continues July 30 at Café Pinot featuring French wine flights. Summer on the Plaza Jazz 7+Fig and Bank of America Plaza, artsbrookfieldproperties.com. Brookfield Properties brings Summer on the Plaza jazz, world, blues and pop music to 7+FIG and Bank of America Plaza featuring Sambaguru with Katia Moraes (July 22), Stanley Jordan Trio (July 23), Red Holloway Quartet with special guest Ernie Andrews (July 29) and West Indian Girl (July 30). Free. 8-Track Wednesdays Social Hollywood, 6525 Sunset Blvd., (323) 3379770 or citrusatsocial.com. Every Wednesday night Paul Stewart and Fred Johnson present Macy Gray’s 8-Track Wednesdays. DJ Spider, DJ Kiilu Grand, DJ Smiles Davis take it back like an 8-track. Guest list only, RSVP at 8track@next-thing.com. For table and bottle service info, call (323) 337-9770.

LISTINGS

photo courtesy of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles

EVENTS

July 20, 2009

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July 20, 2009

Downtown News 35

DowntownNews.com

But Wait, There’s More!

Additional Event Information on the Web

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM/CALENDAR : EVENTS | ROCK, POP & JAZZ | CLASSICAL MUSIC | THEATER, OPERA & DANCE ART SPACES | FILM | BARS & CLUBS | MUSEUMS | FARMERS MARKETS | TOURS Noon: The weekly salon hosts former L.A. Times reporter Jill Leovy, who while at the paper founded and ran The Homicide Report, a blog that attempted to catalogue and report on every murder in the city. L.A. in Wien/Wien in L.A. Sci-Arc, 960 E. Third St., (213) 229-8947 or sciarc.edu 7-9 p.m.: The L.A. in Wien/Wien in L.A exhibition begins with a digital presentation of photographs and drawings, entitled Schindler/Neutra, Neutra/Schindler, offering a brief overview tracing the architectural link between Los Angeles and Vienna. It continues with a study of five invited entries from a competition held in fall 2008 by the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Dance Downtown In the plaza at 135 N. Grand Ave., visit musiccenter.org. 6:30-10 p.m.: Dance Downtown is the popular and free Friday night series for people of any level of expertise. This evening features New York Hustle/ Disco Night theme. Saturday, July 25 Summer on 7th Inner City Arts, 720 Kohler St., (213) 627-9621 or inner-cityarts.org. 7 p.m.-midnight: Summer on 7th is a fundraising party at (and for) the nonprofit arts education orga-

nization Inner-City Arts. The Skid Row institution connects low-income children with high-quality arts intensive learning. The event will feature one of L.A.’s best known salsa bands, Son y Clave, and the hip-hop dance group Versa-Style Dance Company. Tickets are $40 per person and include open bar from 7-9 p.m. and two food tickets. Sunday, July 26 B-Movies and Bad Science 900 Exposition Blvd., (213) 763-DINO or visit nhm.org. 2 p.m.: Join members of the museum’s history and science departments for a lighthearted exploration of the “science” behind Hollywood’s creature features. Discover what makes these creatures and plots implausible off screen, and see some of their “real life” counterparts from the Museum’s collection. On July 26, the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl wreaks havoc after he’s resuscitated by an evil archaeologist in “The Flying Serpent” (1946). Then Anthropology Curatorial Assistant Jennifer Saracino will talk about the non-fictional Aztecs.

ROCK, POP & JAZZ 2nd Street Jazz 366 E. Second St., (213) 680-0047, 2ndstjazz.com or

myspace.com/2ndstreetlivejazz. Tuesdays: Jazz jam session. Music usually starts at 9 or 10 p.m. 626 Reserve 626 S. Spring St., (213) 627-9800 or 626reserve.com. Tuesdays, 6 p.m.: Live music with Goh Kurosawa. Thursdays, 6 p.m.: More live sounds, this time with Jessie Torrez. Blue Velvet 750 S. Garland Ave., (213) 239-0061. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 p.m.: Live music and DJs. Café Metropol 923 E. Third St., (213) 613-1537 or cafemetropol.com. July 24, 8 p.m.: Bassist/vocalist Kristin Korb. July 25, 8 p.m.: Vocalist Liela Avila. Chop Suey Café 347 E. First St., (213) 617-9990 or chopsueycafe.com. Thursdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Live jazz on the patio of the restored landmark. Cicada Cicada Restaurant, 617 S. Olive St., (213) 488-9488 or cicadarestaurant.com. Thursdays, 8-11 p.m.: The velvet-voiced Max Vontaine recreates the sounds and styles of rat packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. His

Listings for additional concerts, exhibits and more in Downtown Los Angeles can be found on our website. Go to downtownnews.com/calendar for full information, including time and location, for all the happenings in Downtown. smoking jackets and tunes are vintage; his bawdy repartee is less so. Keep a close eye on the unlit cigarette. Sundays, 6-11 p.m.: The restaurant is transformed into a vintage, old Hollywood-style dance club every Sunday. Come out to appreciate the big band, swank costumes, dinner and cocktails. Visit cicadaclub.com.

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Jenny Ahn (213) 996-8301 jahn@regentBC.com www.regentbc.com

Please call 213.627.6913 www.cityloftsquare.com

Los Angeles-Near LA Convention Center & Staple Center Large House, 2 Bedrooms, I bathroom, $1,795.00/Mo. 1664 W. 12th Pl., 90015 Call Suba Management Solutions • 626-318-3799

Furnished single unit with kitchenette, bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly rate $275 inc.

Monthly from $595 utilities paid. (213) 612-0348

Luxury Rooms in Downtown Monthly Rents Start at $780 1 & 2 Rooms Available • Fully Furnished • 100% Utilities Paid • • Refrigerator, Microwave & TV In Each Room • • Wireless Access Throughout Bldg. • Gym • • Close to USC & Loyola Law School • • Presidential Suite with Kitchen • Parking Available Onsite

Special STUDENT RATE! $690 1 Person

50 Channels Direct TV

Mayfair Hotel 1256 West 7th Street

Simin (213) 484-9789 Ext. 555 or (213) 632-1111

Do you have something to sell?

Ad Copy: _________________________________________

Ad Prices

________________________________________________

(Marketplace and Automotive Categories ONLY) • Items under $300 • Items $301 to $500 • Items $501 to $1200 • Items $1201 to $2000 • Items $2001+…

Name: Address: City Phone: Cash $ Credit card #: Exp. Date:

FREE! $11.50 $14.00 $16.50 $19.00

12 words, 2 weeks 15 words, only 15 words, only 15 words, only 15 words, only

State Check $

Zip Credit Card $

All ads run for 2 weeks. Ads may be renewed after two weeks for 50% off the original price of the ad.

With a circulation of 49,000 , our classifieds get results!

________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

Restrictions: Offer good on private party ads only. Ads must be pre-paid by cash, check or credit card. Certain classifications excluded. Deadline: Thursday at noon for next issue.


38 Downtown News

July 20, 2009

DowntownNews.com Continued from previous page

Free Rent! ELEGANT WORLD CLASS RESORT BRAND NEW APARTMENT HOMES

Orsini

IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY! studios from $1,685* • 1 bedroom from $1,818* • 2 bedroom from $2,212* *Availability and prices are subject to change at any time.

• Lavish Fountains and Sculptures • Free Tanning Rooms • Concierge Service • 24 Hour Doorman • 24/7 On-site Management • Free DSL Computer Use Available • Free Wi-Fi • Magnificent City Views • On-Site Private Resident Park with Sand Volleyball Court, Workout Stations, BBQ’s and Jogging Track

• Brunswick Four Lane Virtual Bowling • Full Swing Virtual Golf • 3100 Square Foot Cybex Fitness Facility • Massage Room, Sauna and Steam Room • Rooftop Pools with Dressing Room • Free Abundant Gated and Garage Parking • Business Center, Conference Room • Directors Screening Room

AUTOS & RECREATIONAL Autos WAnted DONATE YOUR CAR: Children’s Cancer Fund! Help Save A Child’s Life Through Research & Support! Free Vacation Package. Fast, Easy & Tax Deductible. Call 1-800-252-0615. (Cal-SCAN) DONATE YOUR VEHICLE! Receive Free Vacation Voucher. United Breast Cancer Foundation. Free Mammograms, Breast Cancer Info www.ubcf.info Free Towing, Tax Deductible, NonRunners Accepted, 1-888-4685964. (Cal-SCAN)

domestic Autos 1993 FORD PROBE. Rebuilt transmission, engine not running. $300 firm. 626-277-8828.

LEGAL Fictitious Business nAme Fictitious Business name statement File no. 20090861007 The following person is doing business as: BEAT BY COOL BENSON, 645 W. 9th St., LA CA 90015, are hereby registered by the following registrant: BEAT COSMETICS LLC, 645 W. 9th St., Suite #417, LA CA 90015.

This business is conducted by a Limited Liability Company. Registrants has not begun to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein. This statement was filed with DEAN C. LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on June 9, 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. 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20/09

voted downtown's best residential living six years in a row

UNITS FEATURE: Private Washer and Dryer • Fully Equipped Gourmet Kitchens Maple European Style Cabinetry • Granite Counter Tops Natural Stone Marble Counter Baths

Fictitious Business name statement File no. 20090956347 The following person is doing business as: 1) LA FASHION DISTRICT 2) LOS ANGELES FASHION DISTRICT, 110 E. 9th Street, Suite A-1175, LA CA 90079 are hereby registered by the following registrant: DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION, 110 E. 9th Street, Suite A-1175, LA CA 90079. This business is conducted by a Corporation. Registrants has begun to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein. This statement was filed with DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on June 25, 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. 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, 7/20/09

the Alexandria at 501 S. Spring St.

is Now Leasing! On-site laundry, free utilities, indiv. bathrooms, 24 hr. security & pet friendly. Free Internet. Close to metro, restaurants, farmers market & supermarket. Units starting at

$775/month juLy move in sPeciAL: ½ off 1st & 2nd month’s Rent income & other restrictions apply.

call 213.626.1743 or stop by for a tour

Orsini

550 NORTH FIGUEROA ST. LOS ANGELES, CA 90012 OPEN DAILY

loft living from $725/mo.

877-267-5911

WWW.THEORSINI.COM

Available Immediately

*

(UtilitiES & intErnEt inClUDED)

affordable. n r Ewly

Top floor of 11 story (18,000 SF) historic building available now! Perfect for corporate hqtrs. Features separate executive suite(s). Stunning views of LA two blocks away from Staples Center and across the street from the new LA Live complex. The building also has approx 4,000 sq ft of beautiful contiguous space and some small offices available. These spaces can be viewed by appointment. Information available to qualified prospective tenants. Email request to mdavis@shammasgroup.com or call (213) 746-6300

EnovatED. EnovatED

213.503.6171 451 S. MAIN ST. ROSSLYNLOFTS

7/15/09

Unfurnished bachelor rooms with shared bath at $550/mo. 1:01:51 PM with private bath $650/mo.

800 W. 1st St./Hope Unit 2606

For Sale/Must See! 1 bedroom, 1 bath, completely remodeled high fl., skyline views. 24 guards, underground parking. All amenities, low HOA. Shown by appointment only.

760-880-4526

LOFTS

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

RENT

LOFTS

RENT

SPECIAL MOVE IN tWo WeeKs FRee Rent And LoW dePosit. Industrial Lofts available in original 18 unit Downtown Artist Loft bldg. close to Southern Cal. School of Architecture. Approximately 1400 Sq. ft. large open space with new kit and bath. Laundry, gated parking and intercom entry from $1700.

1427 e. 4th st. contact Julie at (323) 261-1099

• • • • •

Studio, one & two Bedrooms Granite kitchens Italian marble counter baths Washer/dryer in every home Crown molding Direct TV & Internet access Oversized windows with Dramatic views of the city European maple cabinets Balcony or patio Nine foot ceilings Subterranean, gated parking Private one acre park

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Golf driving cages Putting green Tennis courts Sand volleyball court Designer carpet And ceramic tile Roof top pool and spa Fitness center with sauna Executive Business Center Study Library FREE tanning bed 24-hour doorman Spectacular waterscapes Lush courtyards

close to l.a. live and nokia theater

888.886.3731 •TheMedici.com

Low Move in Special

bunker Hill Towers $379,900

Fully furnished with TV, telephone, microwave, refrigerator. Full bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly maid service.

• • • • • • •

725 Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017

WWW . .NET *our micro-loft residences start at $725 per month, including utilities & internet access. income restrictions apply. offer may change without notice.

Downtown News 2 x 3*.indd 1

FREE RENT SPECIALS!

Includes utilities, basic cable channels, laundry room on site. Gated building in a good area. 208 W. 14th St. at Hill St. Downtown LA

For English Call Pierre or Terri 213.744.9911 For Spanish Call Susana 213.749.0306

Children’s Performing Group

Get Chapmanized! You will love it.

Promenade West Condo

2 Story Townhouse. West Facing With Downtown City View. Upgrades. Large Patio. Very Elegant. Asking $579,900 Call us for other condos for sale or lease Dwntwn & surrounding areas!!

Mirza alli

Broker/Realtor Leasing-salesLoans-Refinance

(213) 680-1720

e-mail us: info@bunkerhillrealestate.com

www.Bunkerhillrealestate.com

For information and reservations,

call (310) 225-5760

madison hotel

EstablishEd 1984

❏ Prom. West-2 Bed. 2 Bath. 5th Floor. Move In Now. $2,200 Month. ❏ 1 Bed. 1 Bath. Lafayette Park Place. Move In Now. $1200 Month. ❏ Prom. West-2 Bed. 2 Bath PenthouseSophisticated, Spectacular One Of A Kind Condo. Top Of The Line Upgrades & Décor. Gorgeous Furnishings Adorn This Pride Of Ownership Home. Corporate Lease Welcome. Furnished $3500 Per Month. Un-Furnished $3200 Per Month.

2 days/1 Night downtown la to las Vegas bus + hotel Package

National Charter lines

SunshineGenerationLA.com 909-861-4433

Bunker Hill real estate Co, inC. For sale: bunker Hill Tower ❏ 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath. Elegant. Ready To Move In. South City Lights View. Recently Refurbished. Offered At $329,999. For renT: ❏ Prom. West. 2 Bed. 2 Bath. 7th Flr. Elegant Upgrades. Green House. Pride Of Ownership. $3,000 Furn. $2,800 Unfurn. ❏ Prom. West-1 Bed. 1 Bath Penthuse. Overlooks Pool & Gardens. Greenhouse Windows And Balcony. Stunning! $1995 Month.

sun.-thur. $119 PP dbl OCC

Sunshine Generation Singing, dancing, performing and fun! For boys & girls ages 3 and up!

Daily Departures $99 Round trip between downtown la and las Vegas

noW LeAsinG

FRom $1,300’s/mo. Free Parking ROOFTOP GARDEN RETREAT WITH BBQ AND LOUNGE • GRAND LOBBY FITNESS CENTER • SPA • MODERN KITCHEN WITH CAESAR COUNTERTOPS HIGH SPEED INTERNET • DESIGNER LIVING SPACES • PET FRIENDLY DRAMATIC VIEWS • WALKING DISTANCE TO RALPHS SUPERMARKET STAINLESS APPLIANCES INCLUDING REFRIGERATOR GATEWAY TO FASHION DISTRICT GROUND FLOOR DRY CLEANERS • KELLY’S COFFEE

756 S. Broadway • Downtown Los Angeles 213-892-9100 • chapmanf lats.com Pricing subject to change without notice.

Clean furnished single rooms. 24-hour desk clerk service. •Daily, $25.00 •Weekly, $99.00 •Monthly, $295.00 (213) 622-1508 423 East 7th St.

(2 blocks west of San Pedro St.)

Sell Your Car!

Expose your auto to Downtown Los Angeles. With one of the fastest growing residential areas Los Angeles Downtown News gets results.

Call 213-481-1448


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Contact Cartifact for the full-color, every-building version of this map and others. Available as a poster and in print, web, and mobile media.

700 S. Flower St, Ste. 1940 Los Angeles, CA 90017 213.327.0200 maps�cartifact.com

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40 Downtown News

DowntownNews.com

July 20, 2009


07-20-09