2 0 Larchmont Chronicle 1 Spring
Dining & Entertainment Guide
Photos by Bill Devlin
Dining & Entertainment Guide 70-, 80-, 90-plus years… Restaurants
MEALS ON WHEELS benefits from the locally organized Cuisine à Roulettes. Larchmont-area residents on the group’s board, standing in the Meals on Wheels kitchen at St. Vincent’s, include, L-R: Cathie White, Yvonne Cazier, Cuisine President Gina Riberi, Peggy Bartenetti and Olivia Kazanjian. Photo by Bing Lacson
St. Vincent Meals on Wheels cycles at beach Some 500 supporters of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels gathered at the 21st annual Walk/ Bike-A-Thon April 24 at the beach in Santa Monica. Families, friends and their dogs walked the 3.7-mile course, or they biked 10 miles along the beautiful coastline. Actor-director Fred Savage (“The Wonder Years, “The Grinder”) emceed the festivities which included lunch provided by gourmet hot dog purveyor Dog Haus. A raffle included a Downtown L.A. epicurean experience, with a tour and tasting at Greenbar Distillery and a gift certificate
at the gastro pub, Eat.Drink. Americano, both in the newly hip Arts District. Post-walk/ bike activities included lawn games such as badminton, croquet and ring toss. Upcoming Meals on Wheels events include making gifts for Mother’s Day May 5 with Marquette/Notre Dame Entertainment alums, Circle of Angels Major Donor Appreciation May 15 and Turn Back the Clock on Beauty at Doma in Beverly Hills May 24. St. Vincent Meals-onWheels, the largest privately funded organization of its (Please turn to page 3)
By Sondra Toll Sepenuk Los Angeles is not known for preserving its history. The restaurant scene isn’t much different. If you own an eating establishment that lasts more than five years, you’re considered a smashing success. Sadly, the demise of many of Los Angeles’ most treasured restaurants, such as Chasen’s, Perino’s, and the Hollywood Brown Derby, have left holes in our hearts that will never be filled. But if you look around the neighborhood, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of iconic Los Angeles restaurants that are standing tall and strong. Mexican restaurants El Coyote and El Cholo have 178 years between them. Lawry’s the Prime Rib, Musso & Frank Grill, Taylor’s Steakhouse, Canters and Pink’s are other mainstays that we can’t fathom living without. But how did they do it? How did they beat the “here today, gone tomorrow” system? Canter’s Deli “We’re a family-run business and we’re here every single day to make sure everything is done properly,” says 4th generation Jacqueline Canter of Canter’s Deli, 419 N. Fairfax Ave., established in 1931. “We treat our employees with respect, we own the property, we buy the finest quality ingredients and sell it at the lowest prices.” El Coyote and El Cholo Mexican restaurants El Coyote, established in 1931, and El Cholo, 1923, have loyal followings as well. Regulars can’t get enough of El Cholo’s (1121
We’re Open for Lunch & Dinner 7 Days a Week Reservations Recommended 323-464-5160
127 North Larchmont Boulevard
Celebrate Mother’s Day With A Taste of Home
CANTER’S DELI was established in 1931.
S. Western Ave.) famous green corn tamales, available May through October, while those who frequent El Coyote, 7312 Beverly Blvd., are drawn to the kitschy décor, solid Mexican food and the “magic” of the restaurant. “The magic is created through the employees,” says Margie Christoffersen, niece of founders George and Blanche March. “We care about the customers and the employees. It’s a happy, healing, loving place that serves wonderful food at great prices and makes the best margaritas in the world.” Pink’s Hot Dogs For those who crave a hot dog smothered in chili, there’s no place else to go but Pink’s at 709 N. La Brea Ave. Founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939, the famous hot dog stand is now run by their son, Richard Pink, his wife, Gloria, and sister, Beverly Pink. If you’re willing to stand in line, sometimes 50 people deep or more, you’ll be treated to one of the town’s most famous food offerings. The expansive menu offers 32 different hot dogs and 12 different hamburgers, including turkey dogs and burgers. Also on the menu are fries and onion rings. The company has expanded to other locations including San Diego, Las Vegas, Con-
necticut and Ohio. Lawry’s the Prime Rib When it comes to a hearty serving of red meat, you can’t go wrong with Lawry’s the Prime Rib, opened by Lawrence “Lawry” Frank and Walter Van de Kamp in 1938, or Taylor’s Steakhouse, established in 1953. Lawry’s The Prime Rib, 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., served one single entrée when it first opened—the standing rib roast. Today, the Beverly Hills restaurant is also known for its signature “spinning salad” (prepared tableside by a server who spins a large metal bowl of greens atop a bed of ice), lobster tails, a giant baked potato, Yorkshire pudding and an ice cream sundae topped with hot fudge from the recipe of now-gone C.C. Brown’s that was Downtown and on Hollywood Blvd. for a total of 90 years before closing in 1996. Describing Lawry’s, third generation president and CEO Richard R. Frank says, “The original concept was crazy genius. My grandfather envisioned a tasty meal served tableside and executed properly. It’s a concept that has broad appeal to different generations, kids and adults alike. Our secret weapon is our staff, who care about our guests and serve high quality food at a good value.”
Dining & Entertainment Guide … defy time and trends with great food, service and history Taylor’s Steakhouse If you drive a bit further east, you’ll run into Taylor’s Steakhouse at 3361 W. 8th Street. Taylor’s Steakhouse was born out of an old drinking hole, O’Kelley’s Tavern, on the corner of Olympic Blvd. and Western Ave. Taylor’s Tavern, the “Biggest Little Bar in Los Angeles” soon morphed into the Steakhouse that it is today. The restaurant features an old world setting, full bar, comfortable booths and a private room for group functions. Favorite, time-tested menu items include chilled jumbo prawns, London broil, pot roast with mashed potatoes, kosher style braised short ribs and of course their signature steaks. “Taylor’s Steakhouse has simply served the best available prime, dry aged and certified Angus beef at affordable prices—for 62 years!” says owner Bruce Taylor, son of founders Margie and “Tex” Taylor. In 1996, Bruce decided to expand the popular restaurant, opening a second location on Foothill Blvd. in La Canada-Flintridge. Musso & Frank Grill One of Hollywood’s most famous stars isn’t a person— it’s a restaurant. Frank Toulet opened Frank’s Café in 1919. Oregon restaurateur Joseph Musso and French chef Jean Rue soon joined him, changed the name to Musso & Frank, and the rest is history.
LAWRY’S THE PRIME RIB opened on La Cienega Blvd. in 1938. The familiar Saul Bass logo has been in use since 1959.
Rue created a menu at the 6667 Hollywood Blvd. location that emphasized good old-fashioned comfort food, including corn beef and cabbage, homemade chicken pot
pie, braised short ribs and bouillabaisse Marseillaise, items that can still be found on the menu today. More than just a place for food, Musso & Frank Grill was a destination for early Hollywood’s actors and dealmakers. Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino and Douglas Fairbanks were known to frequent the eatery. Literary namesakes such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler and Dorothy Parker considered Musso’s a second home. Today, celebrities, locals and tourists still love to lose themselves in the worn-leather red booths and to sidle up to the room-length mahogany bar.
SEVEN YEARS after Pink’s Hot Dogs opened as a cart, it had a real building, shown in 1946.
So if you’re on the hunt for some great food with a bit of history served on the side, look no further than
these classic neighborhood gems. They’ve stood the test of time… and they’re worth every bite.
Thanks, L.A., for 85 Terrific Years! All of our best dishes
MEALS ON WHEELS
(Continued from page 2)
Available for 85 years! Happy Hour (Monday – Friday, 3-6 pm in the Bar)
r, e t a We C ! Too “The Oldest Mexican Restaurant in Hollywood”
7312 Beverly Blvd. • 323-939-2255 www.elcoyotecafe.com
kind in the country, serves nearly 3,500 meals a day, yearround. The meals are prepared daily in the 16,000 square foot, state-of-the-art kitchen located not far from Larchmont, said executive director and Hancock Park resident Daryl Twerdahl. Nearly one in every five homebound adults is at risk for hunger and malnutrition. Annually, over one million meals are prepared and delivered to people in Los Angeles, including homebound senior citizens, disabled and terminally ill patients and homeless adults and children. STVMOW serves anyone in need regardless of age, illness, disability, race or religion. The $7.1 million annual expense budget is privately funded. For more information please visit stvincentmow.org.
Dining & Entertainment Guide Larchmont: a village with the state’s first gourmet market book collector, Randall TarpeySchwed, Balzer’s was the first gourmet market in California. Albert Taylor Balzer was a grocer from Iowa who came to Los Angeles and bought Hughes Market, at 133 North Larchmont Blvd., in 1923. My, but Balzer’s trucks were handsome, lined up to deliver to those famous Hollywood names. And the store’s beautifully ordered interior! Just look at the photos in Lombard’s Larchmont book. Robert Lawrence Balzer A.T. Balzer’s son, Robert Lawrence, born in 1912, went to Stanford, studied acting in London, and then returned home to Los Angeles to work in the family business. After the repeal of Prohibition, Robert Lawrence’s father assigned him the task of developing the store’s wine division. It was a heady time for California’s wineries. Before Prohibition, the vineyards had already been planted to French vines that produced “nice, delicate little grapes,” says Tarpey-Schwed. After Prohibition, the decimated fields were replanted; the rest
BALZER’S on Larchmont, pictured after the store was sold to Harold Jurgensen. The grocery store is now five individual tenancies: California Roll & Sushi Fish; Le Petit Greek, Village Pizzeria; Heavenly Couture (previously Nicole’s); and soon-to-be Sweetfin Poké (previously Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf).
is history. “This confluence of events,” says Tarpey-Schwed, “is what set Balzer off to be an expert.” Robert Balzer became California’s first (and many think best) writer on the subject of wine. In 1937, he began writing a wine column for the “Beverly Hills Citizen,” published by a former Stanford classmate, Will Rogers Jr. The elder Balzer died in 1952, and in 1959 Robert sold the store to a small, exclusive
grocery chain, Jurgensen’s, which held forth on Larchmont until the late 1980s. A big personality Robert went on to a lengthy and storied career as a wine writer and critic (he wrote an influential column for the “Los Angeles Times” for three decades), but there was more: He was also a photojournalist; was ordained a Cambodian Buddhist monk; ran Tirol, a restaurant in Idyllwild; published one of the first (some say the first) subscriptionbased wine guides; wrote a dozen books; taught at UCLA Extension; lectured widely; and led wine tours in this country and in Europe. He was Gloria Swanson’s close friend, a fact confirmed by her granddaughter and Hancock Park resident, Brooke Anderson Ferguson. Robert was also known for his “flamboyant personality,” writes Elaine Woo in his “Los Angeles Times” obituary. Larchmont Chronicle publisher, John Welborne, recalls that his family patronized Balzer’s and then Jurgensen’s, but he didn’t meet Robert Balzer until the early 1970s, at the writer’s wine-tasting seminars at Lawry’s California
RESTAURANT & COCKTAILS
ROBERT LAWRENCE BALZER ran the family grocery store on Larchmont and became a prominent wine writer.
Center. “Of course,” Welborne says, “I read his various wine columns. He was a thoughtful and informed writer about wine. In person, Bob was very charming. However, he seldom restrained his rapier wit and observations concerning the world and the people around him.” So our village has made its mark on the history of food and wine. But landlords of Larchmont, please take note: It’s Wednesday, and I need that onion.
Lunch & Dinner Every Day of the Year
Restaurant Hours: Mon. - Tues. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wed. - Sat. 11 a.m. to midnight Sun. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Bar Open till 1:00 a.m. Mon.-Thurs. ~ 1:30 a.m. Fri., & Sat.
3357 Wilshire Blvd. • 213-385-7275
A pleasure of the last few months has been looking through Patricia Lombard’s “Images of America: Larchmont,” which was published last year. It reminds me that those of us privileged to Home live in this Ground neighborhood by are just the latest of the Paula Panich generations who have been grateful to have a village nearby. Our Sunday farmers market is just the right size. We know our vendors and they know our tastes. Many of us shop there for the week. Larchmont grocery stores But sometimes I need an onion on a Wednesday. Herein lies my envy of those generations who came before: they had grocery stores. The Keystone Market (1930s), Carder and Hess IGA Grocery (1930s), Safeway, a poulterer, no doubt a butcher too—all once were firmly anchored on Larchmont Boulevard. A chance meeting with a scholar of California’s foodand-wine history opened my eyes to the impact made by the jewel in the crown of Larchmont groceries—Albert T. Balzer Co. Ltd. According to writer and
Dining & Entertainment Guide A change at El Cholo Café? It’s a ‘girth’ thing By John Welborne I recently had the chance to visit with former Windsor Square neighbor, Ron Salisbury. Once denizens on Lucerne Blvd. and participants in Wilshire Baseball, he, Darlene and their young son moved down to Newport Beach a number of years ago. Nevertheless, a longtime business relationship has Ron (and son Brendon, now 28) coming back to the Larchmont Chronicle’s neighborhoods often. That’s because it was the Salisburys’ family that opened the first El Cholo Café in 1923 (as Sonora Café) at the corner of what was then Santa Barbara and Moneta Avenues (now Martin Luther King Blvd. and Broadway) near what is now the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Those pioneer restaurateurs were Ron’s grandparents, Alejandro and Rosa Borquez. In 1927, Ron’s mom and dad, Aurelia Borquez Salisbury and George Salisbury, opened their own El Cholo Café on Western Ave. As Ron wrote recently, “I am happy to report it is still there and thriving quite well.” That is an understatement. El Cholo on Western Ave. very much remains the wonderful place that thousands of local families remember as part of their lives. This reporter has been eating there regularly since age three. Still in the family Ron Salisbury recently wrote that he was one of many readers of the Richard R. Frank (Lawry’s Restaurants CEO) Spring 2016 newsletter story acknowledging, in Ron’s words, “the small fraternity of restaurants, some still owned by the same family, over 80 years old, that have meant so much to our city’s history.” Salisbury continued: “Personally, at 83 years old and never having known life without El Cholo (as well as the others mentioned in the Lawry’s letter), it has been an incredible ride for me as well as my family. The number of people with fascinating lives that I have met, known and, with some, become great friends, has been very rewarding.” Change at El Cholo? And in that same recent missive, Ron told an interesting story that reflects changes in our world! In mid-April, some work was done at El Cholo Café on Western Ave. Ron wrote: “The original high-backed wooden
HIGH-BACK BOOTH at the original El Cholo Café on Western Ave.
booths that for all this time have been part of our storied
history had to undergo their almost-first-ever remodeling.
“The booths are still made out of a fine oak wood but were moved for the first time ever to be stretched out an additional foot to accommodate the change in body sizes since 93 years ago.” Ron subsequently explained that this actually was the third time that some modifications have been made to the classic wooden booths on Western Ave. The five other El Cholo locations—Downtown, La Habra, Santa Monica, Corona del Mar, and Anaheim Hills— also have wooden booths. In recent years, the woodworking has come from a fiftyyear-old company in Colton, now owned by Otmar Luft.
Says craftsman Luft, “the oak booths we have made for the newer locations are in just the same style as the originals on Western Ave.” The first time there was a modification to the booths on Western Ave. was years ago, when entrance into the booths was made easier by narrowing the wooden ends of the booths by removing the vertical spindles along the inside edges of the booth ends. The removed spindles were cut longitudinally, and the halfspindles were glued onto the booth ends and were painted in bright colors. The second modification was to further narrow the booth ends so the ends no longer extend at all beyond the upholstered backs (Please turn to page 6)
Dining & Entertainment Guide Meat-focused favorite relocates; Japanese beer hall a must try The beloved meat-forward Salt’s Cure moved from West Hollywood and has been beautifully reimagined in the old Ammo space. Giant windowed doors disappear for a California-appropriate indoor-outdoor space and the interior feels simple and warm. Locavore to the max, all ingredients are sourced from within six hours of the restaurant and meats are butchered in-house. Drinks $12 Cocktails are excellent. Dove + Sands combines tequila, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and lemon. The Artist’s Special is a well-balanced mix of scotch, sherry, lemon and red current liqueur. Menu Perfect drinks to sip while perusing a menu divided into “Butcher” (duck leg with oatmeal griddle cakes), “Veggie” (baby beets with cultured cream and beet green relish), and “Fish + Shellfish” (halibut with celery root puree). We started with grilled oysters, which were ethereal: tender, just warmed through, bathed in a delicious buttery bath. Long-cooked black kale achieved a silky texture and an earthy depth of flavor. Savory clams with spicy lamb sausage and turmeric sauce was a delicious take on the clams and chorizo found elsewhere.
But it’s on the daily Specials On the Board that Menu you’ll find by the essence Helene of chefs Chris Seifer Phelps’ and Zak Walters’ cooking sensibility. Here are the pristine cuts of meat that brought you in the door. The night we were there the choices included a 30-oz. ribeye for $114 and a $43 lamb t-bone. The $16 pork wasn’t tender, but it embraced all the flavors of the garlicky marinade, brightened with kumquats. The $39 flat iron was flat-out fabulous. Cooked a perfect medium rare, lib-
(Continued from page 5) added for color and comfort. All of the newer El Cholo restaurants have the wider booths, six feet across. Only the original had—until the middle of last month—the five-foot width that sufficed for Angeleno diners of the 1920s and, probably, up until the last decade. (Stay tuned, possibly, for more on this “girth” subject in the Chronicle’s “Heath, Fitness and Beauty” special edition next January!)
erally salted and served with Béarnaise, it would satisfy the pickiest paleo. Salt’s Cure. 1155 Highland Ave. 323-4657258. ••• Japanese food enthusiasts who’ve lived in Southern California for a while have probably heard of Honda-Ya, if not frequented one of their five locations. Those who haven’t should consider a visit to their Little Tokyo Galleria izakaya (Japanese beer hall) for an affordable meal that’s ideal for a group of hops-fueled friends. The fun is in the sharing and
isfying. One of the best dishes of the night was the tiny skewers of ground chicken meatballs; the yakatori’s flavor punch knocked us over. In all, the four of us shared 15 plates, two pitchers of beer and a carafe of sake for under $140. Hard to beat that! An added bonus is that we finished the evening downstairs at Beard Papa’s with a bowl of freshlystuffed cream puffs. Honda-Ya. 333 S. Alameda St., Ste 314. 213-625-1184.
This news about “change at El Cholo” required follow-up and a visit to inspect. When the inspection was made in April, it was still too early for green corn tamales (May through October). But fans should know that the booth width change is not very noticeable, but some of us certainly found the dining more comfortable as a result. What had not changed, and what remains very good, are the Margaritas and Combinacione No. 1 . . . and virtually everything else on the menu.
LOCAL CHEF Jimmy Shaw will celebrate the Hollywood Farmers Market on May 1.
Hollywood Farmers Market celebrates 25 years
The Original Flavors are Back! A Culinary Odyssey in Traditional Greek Dining!
MOTHEr’s DAY with a Ulysses Brunch!
Owners Hana & Peter Welcome You!
Try our outstanding Greek cuisine in many flavors!
Brunch on Sat. & Sun. • Lunch & Dinner Daily • Full Bar Live Music Fri. & Sat. Nights
Enjoy a romantic Greek dinner on our patio among the olive trees and twinkling lights or at a fireside table inside.
In the Farmers Market • 3rd & Fairfax 323.939.9728 • www.ulyssesvoyage.com
in trying dishes from every corner of the 100-plus item menu. Steamed edamame, seasoned burdock root—similar to a celery root slaw, but pickled—and a delicious homemade cold tofu got us going. From there we sampled yellowtail sashimi, a delicious and slightly vinegary (in a good way) sauteed salmon belly with onions, corn, fried garlic chips and ponzu sauce. Red snapper and shisho leaf tempura was unusual and sat-
The Hollywood Farmers Market is commemorating 25 years of operation with five consecutive Sunday special events, starting May 1. Participating celebrity chefs and cookbook authors will join local performers to celebrate the market’s longevity at the corner of Ivar and Selma avenues. The fun starts at 9 a.m. on the music stage with a performance by The World Record, sponsored by Amoeba Music. And don’t miss the founder and executive chef of Lotería Grill, Jimmy Shaw, at 10 a.m. on the cooking stage as he prepares regional specialties from Mexico. Lotería is at the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax. Local author and celebrity chef Susan Feninger of Mud Hen Tavern (742 Highland Ave.), will be on hand from 11:30 a.m. for a cooking-stage demo, followed by a signing of
her book “Street Food.” Every Sunday in May Can’t make May 1? Organizers say the celebrations will continue each Sunday in May (8, 15, 22 and 29) with more chefs preparing dishes and authors signing copies of books. For a complete schedule of events, visit hfm.la.
Piñata party for Cinco de Mayo Mingle, enjoy a beer and salsa and learn to make your own piñata with papier-mâché techniques in celebration of the holiday on Thurs., May 5 at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd. Free for members; nonmembers pay $8 (includes materials, drinks and snacks). RSVP at cafammay2016.eventbrite.com. For more information go to cafam.org.
Dining & Entertainment Guide LACC holds ‘Bel Canto,’ FIDM’s DEBUT; MUSES meet
TERESA FARRELL AND JOHN WILLIAMS at Gala Bel Canto. Photo by Lincoln Jones
EDIE AND CHRISTIAN FRERE attend the FIDM DEBUT event.
FORMER FIRST LADY of California Gayle Wilson (right) and Margo O’Connell at the MUSES luncheon. Photo by Christine Hessler
The event raised $300,000 for LACC’s artistic, educational and scholarship programs. There to give a standing ovation for the chorus’s rousing
Around the Town with
Patty Hill performance of “Sail Away” that capped the night were Los Angeles Opera Music Director James Conlon, who presented the prolific Mr. Williams with the Bel Canto Award; contemporary ballet’s maverick artistic directors Teresa Farrell and Lincoln Jones; and Diane and Noel Applebaum, Abby and Mark Lew, Jasmine Regala, Jann and Kenneth Williams and gala chair Cheryl Scheidemantle. • • • Moving on from the height of music to the height of design, one of the social season’s most anticipated nights, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising DEBUT show unfolded April 2. More than 100 garments and other projects were presented in a four-part runway show, spotlighting the work of FIDM students graduating in advanced fashion, theatre costume, interior and textile design programs, a great honor for those chosen for this event. The runway was flanked by over 900 guests from the elite ranks of the design and retail industries, lovers of new talent and patrons of FIDM’s Scholarship Fund. Among the completely dazzled and dazzling who enjoyed herb-crusted tenderloin of beef, noisette of seabass and the “Viva Las Vegas” electric costumes were Edie and Christian Frere, Susie Goodman and Shelia Tepper, Hallie Fischer, Mathew Hancock, acclaimed designer Nick Verreos, DEBUT’s co-chairs, Lonnie and Karen Kane, Macy’s Inc. CEO Terry Lundgren, and Guess Chairman Emeritus (who soon is to open his and brother Paul’s private contemporary art museum in the Scottish Rite building in the Park Mile) Maurice Marciano. • • • Moving on from fashion to scientific discovery, MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation held their Woman of the Year Luncheon April 5 at the Jonathan Club. For over 50 years, the MUSES auxiliary has honored out-
standing women who have distinguished themselves in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “I never took chemistry in high school—my brothers got the chemistry sets!” said Dr. Jacqueline K. Barton, the Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial professor of chemistry and chair of the division of chemistry and chemical engineering at Cal Tech. At the luncheon, she was interviewed by KCET’s Val Zavala about her pioneering research that illuminates the complexities of DNA. Asked what her advice is to young people in their STEM explorations: “Have fun,” Dr. Barton responded. “We in the scientific community have to
CHILDREN’S CHORUS performs at Gala Bel Canto. Photo by Jamie Pham
do a better job of reaching out and communicating the relevance of chemistry in our everyday lives.” There were 800 MUSE
members and their guests in attendance. They bid on African safaris, curator-led tours of the FIDM museum exhib(Please turn to page 12)
Brooklyn flavor California“FRESH” – since 1997. The go-to stop on the Boulevard for pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches and people watching. Enjoy watching our local sports teams with a beer or beverage.... and let’s not forget those delicious homemade meatballs! Village Pizzeria has been your Larchmont Pizzeria for 20 years now! Cheers to you all!
All we are saying is … “Give a Piece a Chance”
Steve & Nancy
As seen on Ellen Degeneres, Entourage, HBO, KCAL News and visiting with Huell Howser
• Fresh dough hand-spun • Fresh Produce • The best Wisconsin cheese
• Homemade meats, sauces & dressings • Catering & Party needs
131 N. Larchmont Blvd. 323-465-5566 www.villagepizzeria.net
Embracing its deep roots and far-reaching artistry during its 30th anniversary season, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) honored four esteemed visionaries who have left their indelible stamps on the acclaimed chorus, including five-time Academy Awardwinning film composer John Williams and LACC Founding Director Rebecca Thompson, at Gala Bel Canto, its annual fundraiser March 16 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Long time LACC supporters and arts patrons Eileen and Ken Leech were also feted for their dedication to the chorus. The celebration, hosted by actress Jane Kaczmarek, included heartfelt accolades and moving musical tributes by 300 singers from five LACC ensembles, led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, as well as a delectable threecourse dinner, exquisite wines and a lively live auction.
Dining & Entertainment Guide
FILIS WINTHROP at a booksigning at Chevalier's Books in 2014. Photo by Jim McHugh.
Filis Winthrop celebrates 95th Chevalier’s Books, 126 N. Larchmont Blvd., held a weeklong birthday celebration for Filis Winthrop in March. The bookstore invited customers to come in March 25 to help celebrate the former owner’s 95th birthday, but the festivities
lasted all week long. One customer brought in a painting as a gift. Filis Winthrop bought Chevalier’s Books in 1990 after retiring from her career as an English teacher at Los Angeles High School. She is now a consultant for the store.
‘WomenSpeak’ for Alexandria House Kamala Lopez, named 2015 Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Women’s Commission, will be guest speaker at Alexandria House’s WomenSpeak Luncheon. The event is Tues., May 3 at the Ebell of Los Angeles, 741 S. Lucerne Blvd. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the event takes place from noon to 2 p.m. Lopez is an actress and
director; her soon-to-be released documentary is titled “Equal Means Equal.” Poet and vocalist Angela Harris will perform at the eighth annual event. Celebrating its 20th year, the transitional residence provides housing and support for women and children. For tickets and information call Michele Richards at 213-381-2649 or Michele@ alexandriahouse.org.
Jason Peers and Eric Pelovello, Maplewood Ave., were honored at the ExtraordinaryFamilies Inaugural Gala April 20 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. They were among recipients of the foster family and adoption agency’s highest honor, the Sylvia Fogelman Founder’s Award. “While we are flattered to be recognized, we are even more humbled to be honored by the agency that has brought us true happiness and joy,” Peers said. “After making the decision to expand our family, we quickly realized that foster-adoption was the right avenue for us. Furthermore, upon learning that there is a shortage of families signing up to foster and/or adopt older children, our desire turned into our calling,” he added. “Both of our children are true blessings in our lives and make each and every day so much brighter.” Former Larchmont Chronicle “California Greenin’” columnist and comedian Renée Ridgeley was co-host.
'Larchmont' speaker at Ebell
LUNCHEON drew a crowd to hear Patricia Lombard speak about her recently published book,"Images of America: Larchmont."
AUTHOR signed copies of the book at the event last month. The paperback chronicles the area from its beginnings to today.
BIRTHDAY WISHES. Larchmont Chronicle publisher John Welborne poses with longtime Windsor Square activist (front left) Margaret Sowma at The Ebell a few days prior to Sowma’s 101st birthday. To Sowma’s left are Frances McFall and Portia Lee. To Welborne’s left are Ebell Vice President Caroline Labiner Moser and Liz Fuller.
“For Over 30 Years” • “Mi Casa Es Tu Casa"
Outstanding Traditional Mexican Cuisine
Come Celebrate! Dia del Niño, April 30 Cinco de Mayo, May 5 Mother’s Day, May 8
7470 Melrose Ave. • (323) 658-9060 Open Tue-Sun, 11am - 11pm; Closed Monday antoniosonmelrose.com
ExtraordinaryFamilies honor local couple
THANK YOU, HOLLYWOOD, FOR 76 YEARS!
Our Famous Classic Chili Cheese Dog (Where it all started back in 1939!) PINK’S is honored to be included amongst the other Hollywood Legends: El Cholo, El Coyote, Lawry’s, Musso & Franks; and all the other “LEGENDS OF HOLLYWOOD”
We serve over 35 varieties of delicious, mouth-watering Hot Dogs and over 12 varieties of colossal Hamburgers … be sure to try our awesome Fries & Onion Rings At the corner of La Brea & Melrose Visit us at: WWW.PINKSHOLLYWOOD.COM
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Dining & Entertainment Guide Partners play on the same wave length and win with a ‘splinter’ A splinter is a bid by responder (generally, although opener may splinter, also) that shows four card trump support, a singleton or void and opening hand values. It is generally made in response to a major suit opening, although it may be made in response to a minor suit opening. Let’s say your partner opens 1 Heart and you hold the following: ♠ KQJ ♥ A987 ♦4 ♣ KT987 That’s a pretty good hand, don’t you think? It’s one you’d open. If you didn’t have a specialized bid, you’d probably bid 2 Clubs, then jump to 4 Hearts, depending on your partner’s response. However, is there a way to tell partner that you have a singleton diamond? What do you think? Can you think of a way? May-
be kick her twice under the table? OK, that’s illegal, so you don’t want to do that. How do you tell your partner that you have an unusual hand here and describe it in one bid? Give up? The answer, as you might have guessed, is that you make a bid called a splinter. I love this bid. How do you splinter? You make a double jump bid and bid your singleton (or void, as the case may be). A double jump is a bid that skips 2 levels of bidding. So if you open 1 Club and partner bids 2 Spades, that’s a jump, but only skips one level (it skips 1 Spade). So, a double jump would be a response of 3 Spades, because that skips two levels of bidding, 1 Spade and 2 Spades. So in response to Partner’s opening bid of 1 Heart, you bid 4 Diamonds (skipping 2
Readers support bridge column Biddy Liebig wrote: “Great idea.” Robert Reeves e-mailed: “Resounding ‘yes,’ by all means!” From Judy Rosenberg: “Yes!” Iris Craddock said: “I would love a bridge column in the Chronicle. Thanks!” Alex & Marianne Tereszcuk wrote: “[We] enjoyed reading your new column by Grand Slam on bridge techniques. You have our support to continue it in the future.” And, in a longer letter on page 2 of Section 1, Bill Ahmanson suggests organizing a local bridge club for beginners! Grand Slam responds at the end of this month’s column.
Diamonds and 3 Diamonds)! That tells partner three things
Bridge Matters by
Grand Slam in one bid: 1) You have a singleton or void in diamonds; 2) You have at least four cards in her opening bid, hearts; and 3) Your hand has opening values, at least 13 HCP. All that information in one bid! The bid is obviously game forcing and it’s exploring for slam. The bid may also be made by opener. Assume you are opener with the following hand: ♠ AKQ ♥ AQ87 ♦4 ♣ KT987 And you open 1 Club. Partner responds 1 Heart. You may jump to 4 Diamonds promising 4 Hearts and a singleton (or void) Diamond. This can be a little risky since partner could be responding with only 6 HCP, so it shouldn’t be made by opener unless opener has a strong hand with extra values,
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MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH
PEARDON CARRILLO PHOTOGRAPHY
At the Ebell Club of Los Angeles Join us again this year to celebrate our signature Mother’s Day Brunch-the quintessential women’s holiday at the quintessential women’s club. Last year’s brunch was warm and leisurely. No crowds, no lines. Just a beautiful buffet brunch prepared by Executive Chef Louis Pechan, seated with your family at your private table, relaxing with endless champagne. Entertainment for adults and children. Full Brunch Buffet Carved roast beef, poached salmon, omelets to order, fresh waffles, endless champagne Entertainment Y-Huan Zhao string quartet and The Amazing Dave - children’s magician extraordinaire
SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2016
like the hand above that can play for game against 6 HCP. With the singleton Diamond and at least a 4-4 trump fit, this hand re-evaluates to 21 points, giving three for the singleton. When you have at least a 4-4 trump fit, shortness values increase to the following: void 5 points singleton 3 points doubleton 1 point The problem with the bid is that if you’re not used to it,
your partner could misinterpret it and pass. Then you’re playing the contract in your singleton/void (don’t laugh; it has happened to me). That’s not much fun. So, if you decide you want to play splinters, be sure you and your partner are on the same wavelength. Grand Slam is the nom de plume for an author of a bestselling book on bridge, an ACBL accredited director and a Silver Life Master.
Greater Wilshire Bridge Club? Best way to learn is to play When queried, our “Bridge Matters” writer, Grand Slam, had this reaction to Bill Ahmanson’s letter on Page 2 of Section 1: I think Bill’s idea is a good one. Why don’t you editors speak with [some of the people who have communicated with the Larchmont Chronicle] about setting something like that up in the neighborhood? [One of those correspondents] has written a really good little primer for beginners and would be a wonderful teacher. As Bill suggested, the best way to learn bridge is to play. … If [beginners] get a group together and all read the same book and play at each other’s homes in social, potluck games, that’s the best way to learn. Going to bridge lessons, like they have at bridge clubs, is not the way to learn bridge. I know so many people who have been taking lessons for years and never get any better. That’s because they learn something new every week and never have a chance to play each thing they learn long enough to get proficient at it before they’re taught something new the next week. You have to learn playing with people of your own level and then talk about the hands and progress slowly, learning one thing well before progressing on to the next. The best way to learn is to play
and make mistakes. When you make a mistake, you remember it and generally don’t make it again. When you’re just told what to do by a teacher, it simply doesn’t stick.
If you have interest in organizing or participating in bridge gatherings for residents of the Greater Wilshire area, please send contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org, and our editors will see what they can do to match up interested neighbors! Beginners only, please!
Film Festival tickets on sale Usher in the summer with the Los Angeles Film Festival, which runs from Wed., June 1 through Thurs., June 9. Opening and closing night films will be screened at Arclight Cinemas in the heart of Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd. The primary venue for the festival will be the Arclight in Culver City at 9500 Culver Blvd. Sponsored by Film Independent, the festival last year premiered more than 46 independent feature films and is a qualifying festival for prestigious awards in the film industry. Visit filmindependent. org/la-film-festival.
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Dining & Entertainment Guide Can’t-miss play, on-the-edge struggle on Upper Eastside Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Suzan-Lori Parks is an exquisitely beautiful new play. It’s so well-written, performed and directed that you are totally absorbed throughout the evening. Which makes the unpredictable revelations that much more exciting. Wonderfully staged by director Jo Bonney, Part One takes place on a modest plantation in Texas during the Civil War. The runaway slaves are waiting for the dawn while speculating on whether Hero (Sterling K. Brown), the slave, will go to war with his owner boss master Colonel (Michael McKean). Drastic measures would be required if he wants to avoid the conflict but he’s been promised his freedom if he goes. Part 2 takes place in a wooded area in the South. Colonel has captured a Yankee officer, Smith (Josh Wingate), who, Hero discovers, is more than he seems. And in Part 3 Hero has returned from the war. This is an outstanding ensemble cast, especially Patrena Murray as Fourth Runaway Slaved/Odyssey Dog in a particularly winning performance. The evening is framed by musician Steven Bargonetti, playing music of the times with songs and additional music by Suzan-Lori Parks. This is can’t-miss theater. Through May 15 Mark Taper Forum Center Theatre Group 135 North Grand Ave., 213-628-2772. CenterTheatreGroup.org. 4 Stars ••• It’s a play within a play within a play and all of them funny. Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl is a riff on backstage theater politics of today. A farce that skewers all your favorite theater types: The middle-aged actress with a pronoun as a character name, She (a brilliant per-
Heart and soul at ‘Chutzpah & Salsa’
Hear true stories about what it means to have a Latina heart and a Jewish soul at Jewish Women’s Theatre world premiere of “Chutzpah & Salsa” on Sat., May 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the National Council of Jewish Women, 543 N. Fairfax Ave. Tickets are $40 at the door. For member prices and presale and more information visit ncjwla.org.
formance by Glenne Headly). Her career is failing and she’s struggling to maintain her place in the theater. Her desperation is palpable especially in the hilarious audition scene, wonderfully staged, by director Bart DeLorenzo, that opens the play. Then there’s the character of the Director (played by Tim Bagley), who would like the actors to direct themselves in the play. Just follow your instincts, is a favorite note. Plus a slew of other types doubled by a talented ensemble cast. Later, She is cast opposite He (Barry Del Sherman), the self-concerned actor with whom she’s had an affair
Theater Review by
Patricia Foster Rye years ago. Some of the funniest moments come from the wonderfully convoluted plot descriptions of the current play being rehearsed. The titular smacker appears in all of the scenes with discussions of the ramifications of said kisses, from having to kiss a stranger you’ve only just met, to crumbs on the mouth to un-brushed teeth.
The warm and fuzzy ending of the play is perfect. Through May 15 Geffen Playhouse, Gil Cates Theater, 10886 Le Conte Avenue Los Angeles, 310-208-5454. geffenplayhouse.com. 4 Stars ••• The kitchen/serving area of an elegant Upper Eastside restaurant in Manhattan is the setting for My Manana Comes by Elizabeth Irwin. Four busboys struggle to survive on meager salaries and shared tips while dealing with fussy customers and delicate entrees. When new management takes over, the stakes are raised when shift pay is threatened with elimination. Director Armand Molina has
choreographed a fast-paced ballet as they cut fruit, wrap silverware and prepare for customers, while mining the desperateness of their on-theedge survival and hoped for dreams. This is an excellent cast: Jorge, (Richard Azurdia), wants a house for his family, Pepe (Pablo Castelblanco) yearns for his brother, Whalid (Peter Pasco) keeps trying for a better career, and Peter (Lawrence Stallings) a better life for his daughter. The authentic scenic design is Michael Navarro. Through June 26 The Fountain Theatre 5060 Fountain Ave., 323-663-1525. FountainTheatre.com. 3 Stars
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Dining & Entertainment Guide Fine acting in ‘Splash,’ ‘Criminal’ is believable sci-fi A Bigger Splash (8/10): This stylish, atmospheric remake of 1969’s “La Piscine” about a rock singer Tilda Swinton, her boyfriend, Matthias Schoenaerts, her former lover, Ralph Feinnes, and his femme fatale daughter, Dakota Johnson, is highlighted by fine acting and exceptional cinematography. There is a lot of talk and the least erotic nudity (and lots of
it) ever seen in a movie, but it’s underlined by disturbing rising tension. (Opens May 4). Criminal (7/10): As long as you can accept the premise, which I was able to do, the pressure never lets up in this high octane, edge of your seat thriller. Despite a close-youreyes scene of torture at the beginning that did not need to be so graphic, it is a relatively
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believable sci-fi chase film not unduly overloaded with special effects. The Huntsman: Winter’s War (7/10): Although I’m fantasied out, for what this is, it’s entertaining. Who knew there was a prequel to the story of Snow White (told in Hollywood style in 2012 in “Snow White and The Huntsman”)? Like most fantasies this is, well, fantastic, so forget that there’s anything here that is even close to being credible or realistic. But it’s sometimes humorous, has beautiful women (Charlize Thereon and Emily Blunt), a good-looking guy (Chris Hemsworth), and some nice special effects, especially of enchanted forests. The Family Fang (5/10): Slow as molasses with lots of shots of people thinking, this strange story of a married couple (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett) devoted to performance art and their two children (Nicole Kidman and director Jason Bateman) who are not so devoted, is exacerbated by Kidman’s constant whispering of many if not most of her lines. It didn’t bother me much because I didn’t care what she was saying, or what anyone else was saying either, for that matter. The Boss (1/10): This crude, profane monstrosity threatens
to give nepotism a bad name. Melissa McCarthy gave her husband, Ben Falcone, his first directing gig with the deplorable “Tammy” (2014) that was worse than awful. The socalled humor At the in this film is Movies basically limwith ited to frank Tony discussions of Medley men performing sex acts on other men. F-bombs and tawdry language are neither funny nor humorous and are inadequate substitutes for actual humor. But when you can neither write nor direct with wit and style, that’s what you’re left with, a gift from Judd Apatow, the patriarch of today’s vulgarians. Demolition (0/10): About a guy (Jake Gyllenhaal) who emotionally destructs after losing his wife, this nonsense isn’t just one of the worst movies of this year, it’s one of the worst movies I’ve seen, ever. Wasted along with Jake are Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper.
The Meddler (0/10): The good news is that this chick flick starring Susan Sarandon in virtually every scene as a wife who has lost her husband and is running around trying to do good deeds for others, does, in fact, end. While you might feel that you are trapped inside one of the new lasers on a 20 year trip to our nearest star, Alpha Centauri, and that there is no end in sight, that is an illusion created by a contrived, politically correct story and some really dismal acting and directing. But, contrary to what you might feel as you are sitting there entombed with this film in a darkened theater, you will not die of boredom. I am living, breathing evidence that survival is possible. On the plus side, Juice Newton sings “Angel of the Morning” near the end, and J.K. Simmons gives his usual good performance, but he’s only in it for about 10 minutes.
Politics at dinner parties, Sondheim takes center stage Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts hosts the West Coast premiere of “City of Conversation,” Fri, May 20 through Sat., June 4, and then makes room for “Sondheim No. 5,” to take center stage Sat., June 18. “City of Conversation” Set in Wash. D.C., the play spans 30 years and six presidential administrations through the high-powered Georgetown dinner parties thrown by Hester Ferris. Conflict arises when her son brings home a Reaganite girlfriend and a new worldview counter to Hester’s own. Actors include Christine Lahti, Jason Ritter, Steven Culp
and Michael Learned. Tickets start at $29. For more information, call 310746-4000 or see thewallis.org. “Sondheim No. 5” The songs of Stephen Sondheim are featured at the 32nd annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.) sponsored by Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA). S.T.A.G.E raises money for APLA and other HIV/AIDS organizations. The two performances are a matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening performance at 8 p.m. with a VIP after party option. Tickets start at $125. For more information, call 213201-1439 or visit stagela.com.
AROUND THE TOWN (Continued from page 7) its, trips to Disneyland. They feasted on tortilla soup with grilled chicken and lemon meringue tarts. ET-94 “I’m going to Panama at the end of the month to watch ET-94 pass through the Canal,” said past Special MUSE Award winner Margo O’Connell. She was referring to the journey of the only remaining flight-qualified External Tank that is heading from New Orleans to Los Angeles, to be displayed with Space Shuttle Endeavour in Exposition Park.
Others from our ‘hood attending the lunch included Kathryn Winnek, Marymount Head of School Jacqueline Landry, Delores and Ben Kerr with granddaughter Jade James, California Science Center’s Shell Amega, Christina Sion and Alyson Goodall, Standolyn Robertson, Sharon De Driere, Gloria and Richard Pink, Christine Hessler, Former First Lady of California Gayle Wilson, Toby Horn, Luncheon Chair Patricia McGovern and MUSES President Diane Siegel. And that’s the chat!
Dining & Entertainment Guide 30th season to screen in Theatre District
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES 'Inifinity' for See designers a minute, and at work at more at Broad A+D Museum Architecture and Design Museum (A+D), located at 900 E. 4th St., invites people to see current exhibit designers at work and in their studios at two events this month. Experimental shoe designer, Chris Francis, will be in residence Sat., May 14 and Sun., May 15 from noon to 6 p.m. Visit the studios of some of the designers included in the “Come in! DTLA” exhibit Sat., May 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. Designers to be visited include Tim Durfee, Jessica Fleischmann, Ross Hansen, Spencer Nikosey and Taidgh O’Neill. Maps and parking information will be provided. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author talks at Central Library Hear performances and readings at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles ALOUD series at the Central Library, 630 W. 5th St. Geoff Dyer, author of “White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World,” discusses where we come from, what are we, and where are we going with novelist Jonathan Lethem Tues., May 17. “New Yorker” writer and surfer William Finnegan talks about his book “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life” Thurs., May 19. All presentations are in the Mark Taper Auditorium and begin at 7:15 p.m. RSVP, lfla.org/calendar.
The Broad Museum, 221 S. Grand Ave., continues to exhibit its eponymous collection on the third floor this month, free with general admission, while closing the first floor gallery for a new installation. But there will still be plenty for museum visitors to see. Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room” will remain open through fall this year. The mirror-lined chamber houses an LED light display and can only accommodate one visitor at a time for about a minute. This exhibit requires a separate free timed ticket available to general admission ticket holders. Complementary performances to the Broad’s collection are: “Callings Out of Context: Junglepussy and Dan Deacon” at Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. 7th St., Thurs., May 12 at 8 p.m. The “Un-Private Collection,” featuring artist Robert Longo and journalist and musician Henry Rollins, is at the Orpheum, 842 S. Broadway, Tues., May 17 at 8 p.m. “The Tip Of Her Tongue: Dynasty Handbag. Soggy Glasses, A Homo’s Odyssey," a feminist artist's performance, at the Redcat, 631 W. 2nd St., Fri., May 20 at 8:30 p.m. Cindy Sherman The Broad’s first special exhibition opens Sat., June 11 with "Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life," featuring 120 works of art. Go to thebroad.org.
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Celebrating its 30th season, the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats film series will take place in the Broadway Historic Theater District downtown. Kicking off the series on Sat. June 4 at 2 and 8 p.m. is “Top Gun,” which is also celebrating its 30th. The film, starring Tom Cruise, will be screened at the Los Angeles Theatre (1931). Backstage tours, panel discussions and post-show film trivia at Clifton’s Cafeteria are among events offered at several screenings. “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962) follows on Wed., June 8 at 8 p.m. in the Million Dollar Theatre (1918) with Gregory Peck. Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon light up the screen in “Some Like It Hot” (1959) Sat., June 11 at 8 p.m. at the Los Angeles Theatre (1931). “Dos tipos de cuidado,” (1953), a Mexican romantic comedy, is Wed., June 15 at 8 p.m. at the Palace Theatre (1911). “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952) is Sat., June 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at The Theatre at Ace Hotel (1927). Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity” (1944) is Wed., June 22 at 8 p.m. at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Harold Lloyd in “Safety Last!” (1923) is on Sat., June 25 at 8 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre (1926). Live accompaniment on the Orpheum’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ will be featured. Pricing is $18 for members and $22 for the general pub-
GENE KELLY will be “Singin in the Rain” at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel. Courtesy of Warner Bros.
ORPHEUM Theatre opened in 1926 as the final home of the OrPhoto by Barry Schwartz pheum vaudeville circuit.
lic, and tickets often sell out. Proceeds support the Conservancy’s efforts to preserve historic places throughout Los
Angeles County. For more information visit laconservancy.org/lastremaining-seats.
Walk historic downtown on tour Downtown walking tours take place every Saturday this month with the Los Angeles Conservancy. The route covers approximtaely 12 blocks and visits a wide range of architectural styles dating back to the city's growth from the 1890s to the present—and before the city's founding in 1781. Hear anecdotes about the people who once lived here and get acquainted with the area around Pershing Square—the heart of downtown. Several landmarks are on the tour, including Central Library, Angels Flight and the Bradbury Bulding. The tours start at 10 a.m. and last about 2 1/2 hours. Meet in Pershing Square. Tickets are $10, $5 members and children. Visit laconservancy.org.
Dining & Entertainment Guide Bennett set to begin his first season at Ojai Music Festival
FESTIVAL PRESIDENT Jamie Bennett.
stays busy with day-to-day operations, community and school relations, managing a large pool of volunteers and a six-member staff (that balloons to 40 during the season) plus part-timers and a $2 million annual budget— besides fundraising, strategic planning, and community outreach. Hancock Park Garden Club His wife, Carolyn, has rolled up her shirt sleeves and borrowed from her experience as a former president of the Hancock Park Garden Club and as a delegate to the Garden Club of America on conservation issues. She is introducing the Garden & Music Experience at this year’s festival. The twoday event offers visits to landscape architects’ and interior designers’ private gardens, a stay at the Ojai Valley Inn and fine wines and foods. For tickets visit ojaifestival.org/ exploreojai/garden-musicexperience. It was Carolyn’s dream to have a larger garden that inspired the couple’s move to
April Showers Bring May Flowers and Top-Notch Speakers at Wilshire Rotary Expand your mind and enrich your soul at Wilshire Rotary. We feature topnotch speakers at our weekly lunch meetings. Everyone is welcome. Join us Wednesdays from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at the elegant and historic Ebell of Los Angeles. Lunch is $25 and there is plenty of free parking. See you there!
Dynamic Speaker Series for May May 4 – David Brown, Fireman Fighting Fires in Australia
May 11 – First Annual Spelling Bee Third Graders from Local Elementary Schools
May 18 – John Bauman, Literary Agent Founder of Shakespeare Company
May 25 – Julia Claiborne Johnson, Author “Be Frank with Me”
Ojai. The couple, who have three adult children, grow vegetables year round and share the land with 100s of honey bee hives. Bennett wasn’t looking for a new job last fall and was commuting during the week to his job as chief operating officer of Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Previously he had been a business advisor, investor and director with the Pasadena Angels, which specializes in local emerging growth companies. He also has served as CEO of worldwide productions for London-based Pearson Televi-
Feeling lucky? Visit 'Casino Angeleno' Enjoy all things Los Angeles at Casino Angeleno at the Alexandria Ballrooms in downtown Los Angeles, 501 S. Spring St., on Sat., April 30. To mark it’s 90th year, the Junior League of Los Angeles is offering an evening of dining and dancing as well as casinothemed games. Cocktails and a silent auction are also included in the evening’s festivities. Visit jlla.org.
sion, as CEO of Los Angelesbased ACI Television and as a senior vice-president at Disney’s Buena Vista TV Productions in Burbank. Bennett also worked for CBS, including five years as General Manager of KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. A New Jersey native, he holds a master’s in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor of arts in political science from UC Berkeley. World-class music festival The businessman-entrepreneur enjoys presenting music, which is what he did as an undergrad at the Berkeley Jazz Festival when he was on that campus in the 1960s. Years later, he’s grateful for his newest gig. Each year, a new musical director is chosen at the festival, he says. Stravinsky, Copland and Pierre Boulez were among them. “It’s a real gem—one of the world’s most important annual music institutions for contemporary, experimental and classical music,” says Bennett.
Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles to Finland on bill
Single tickets are on sale for the 70th Ojai Music Festival Thurs., June 9 to Sun., June 12, whose music director this year, Peter Sellars, hails from the world of opera and theatre. Concerts throughout the Festival will feature the work of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, a commissioned work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and the world premiere of “Josephine Baker: A Portrait” with arrangements and music by multiinstrumentalist-composer Tyshawn Sorey. Also on the bill is a new work by Cuban composerconductor Tania León for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) and ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble). Visit ojaifestival.org.
Imagine Ball helps homeless families change their lives Enjoy an evening of music, have the chance to rub elbows with celebrities and help benefit homeless families at the Imagine Ball Thurs., May 5 from 8 to 11 p.m. at Bootsy Bellows, 9229 Sunset Blvd. The third annual event, an intimate concert in a night club venue, will have performances by Natasha Bedingfield, Niko and Vinz, Brave
Native and DJ beeFOWL. Actor and comedian Tony Rock, brother to Chris Rock, will host the event. Tickets start at $100 for general seating. VIP tickets for $500 include special seating, complimentary drinks and appetizers and an invitation to an after party. For more information, visit imagineball.org.
Welcomes all the Ladies We Love on Mother’s Day May 8
'Japan in Asia' free film series Japan Foundation of Los Angeles, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., will be screening three free films in May and June for the “Japan in Asia” film series. “Fly Me to Minami” (2013) will play Wed., May 11 at 7 p.m. “Hand in the Glove” (2015) is a story of romance, freedom and responsibility. It plays Wed., May 25 at 7 p.m. “The Black Square” (2012) plays Wed., June 8 at 7 p.m. Visit jflalc.org.
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By Suzan Filipek Hancock Park and Ojai resident Jamie Bennett raves about his new job as president of the Ojai Music Festival, which celebrates its 70th year June 9 to 12. Set in an outdoor park in Ojai’s Libbey Bowl, the summertime, alfresco music series promises a broad range of music at accessible prices, says Bennett. The 1,500-seat amphitheater “is charming and very compact. There’s not a bad seat in the house… and June is such a beautiful time of year in Ojai.” Bennett has been a fan of the festival since he and his wife Carolyn bought a farm with fruit and olive trees in the countryside a few miles outside of Ojai six years ago. He has been a seasoned board member of several not-for-profit organizations, including the Public Television Advisory Board at the Annenberg School at USC, the National Environmental Trust in Wash., D.C., Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and Marlborough School. He joined the Ojai Music Festival board in 2015. The longtime Windsor Square and Hancock Park resident was well positioned to take over as festival president in October, because of his dual bases, both the farm in the rural town, located at the edge of Los Padres National Forest, and, Los Angeles, the source of much of the festival audience and financial support. From his office in the heart of old town Ojai, Bennett
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