Los Angeles Downtown News 08/28/2023

Page 1

Creating Community

Bryant Acosta stresses inclusivity with his activations

Securing the Future

JANM unveils $65M fundraising campaign

+ Union Station

Train Festival

THE VOICE OF DOWNTOWN LA SINCE 1972 August 28, 2023 I VOL. 52 I #35

Securing the Future JANM unveils $65M fundraising campaign

The Japanese American National Museum in the heart of Los Angeles — home to the largest Japanese American community — stands as a beacon of civil rights, ensuring the 1942 internment of Japanese Americans is never forgotten or happens to any other community.

On Aug. 5, JANM unveiled its $65 million fundraising campaign — the museum’s largest to date — to secure its legacy in the coming years. The campaign encompasses a large-scale transformation of the museum’s public spaces, programming and core exhibit to reflect the evolving narrative of Japanese Americans. With community support, the “Our Promise” campaign has raised $48 million to date, 74% of the campaign’s goal.

“A successful comprehensive campaign will sustain JANM’s future for generations to come, enabling us to honor and amplify our founders’ great promise and vision,” said Wendy Shiba, JANM board of trustees member and campaign chair.

The museum will go dark this December, with work on JANM’s main campus beginning in January 2025. The target date for reopening is in late 2026.

During renovations, the Historic Building and National Center for Preservation of Democracy will remain open for programming across the plaza from the main museum. Key JANM exhibitions will tour across the country, and the museum plans to take its educational programming to schools through a mobile education lab, with digital assets to be integrated into classrooms nationwide.

As an LA fixture and one of only a handful of Smithsonian-affiliated museums Downtown, “we’re very aware that (the JANM) has a presence and an enormous obligation to the public,” said Ann Burroughs, JANM president and CEO.

The renovation will include a new core exhibition, “In the Future We Call Now: Realities of Racism, Dreams of Democracy,” which will span the period from early Japanese immigration in the 1800s to the present day, showcasing not only the struggles but also the achievements, contributions and diversity within the community.

“It was time to change, not just because people experience it differently, but because of how we’re looking at and interpreting the history,” Burroughs said. The

new exhibit will “make explicit that history and give it contemporary relevance.”

The exhibit will replace the museum’s current core exhibit, “Common Ground,” which has been on display for 25 years and will be relocated to redesigned galleries totaling 10,150 square feet on the first floor. The campaign also aims to leverage cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality, to enhance visitor engagement and education.

“We want to reach a broader audience and ensure that the lessons of Japanese American history are applicable to con-

temporary issues,” noted Bill Fujioka, JANM board chair. “The new core exhibition will become a beacon of social justice, equity, and democracy, resonating with people from all walks of life.”

The significance of this campaign extends beyond museum walls. The Japanese American experience is a story of “interconnectedness,” Burroughs explained, deeply intertwined with issues of democracy, civil liberties, and human rights. In retelling and recontextualizing this history, JANM aims to foster a deeper understanding of the past and its implications for the present and future.

Japanese American National Museum

100 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles 213-625-0414, janm.org

SINCE 1972

Los Angeles Downtown News

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2 DOWNTOWN NEWS TWITTER: @ DOWNTOWNNEWS AUGUST 28, 2023 EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Christina Fuoco-Karasinski DEPUTY EDITOR: Luke Netzley STAFF WRITER: Leah Schwartz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Jeff Moeller, Ellen Snortland, Ron Sanzone, Frier McCollister STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: Chris Mortenson GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Arman Olivares ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Catherine Holloway 213-308-2261 Michael Lamb 213-453-3548 ©2023 Times Media Group. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Times Media Group. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed bi-weekly throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles Downtown News has been adjudicated as a newspaper of general circulation in Court Judgement No. C362899. One copy per person. EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Christina Fuoco-Karasinski DEPUTY EDITOR: Luke Netzley STAFF WRITER: Morgan Owen, Leah Schwartz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Bridgette M. Redman, Ellen Snortland STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: Chris Mortenson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER: Cat Stevens ART DIRECTORS: Arman Olivares, Stephanie Torres ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Catherine Holloway (213) 308-2261 Michael Lamb (213) 453-3548 Denine Gentilella (323) 627-7955 FOUNDER EMERITUS: Sue Laris ©2023 Times Media Group. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Times Media Group. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed bi-weekly throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles Downtown News has been adjudicated as a newspaper of general circulation in Court Judgement No. C362899. One copy per person. Los Angeles Downtown News PO Box 1349 South Pasadena, CA 91031 213-481-1448 PRESIDENT: Steve T. Strickbine VICE PRESIDENT: Michael Hiatt 1620 W. FOUNTAINHEAD PARKWAY, SUITE 219 TEMPE, ARIZONA 85282 SINCE 1972 facebook: L.A. Downtown News twitter: DowntownNews instagram: @ladowntownnews EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Christina Fuoco-Karasinski STAFF WRITERS: Andrew Checchia, Andres De Ocampo, Julia Shapero CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Sara Edwards, Kamala Kirk ART DIRECTORS: Arman Olivares, Stephanie Torres STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: Luis Chavez CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Myriam Santos ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Catherine Holloway, Michael Lamb FOUNDER EMERITUS: Sue Laris
Ralph Appelbaum Associates/Submitted JANM’S $65 million fundraising campaign, “Our Promise,” will fund a new core exhibition. Ralph Appelbaum Associates/Submitted JANM’S $65 million fundraising campaign, “Our Promise,” will transform the museum’s public spaces.

Think globally, act locally

Happy campers who are awesome

“I’m Laura Mellene from Estonia, and I’m here at this Empowerment Self-Defense Global camp because of you,” she said.

“Really? How’s that?” I asked.

“My friend Pille Tsopp saw your movie, ‘Beauty Bites Beast,’ at the United Nations in New York. She contacted me right away and said I needed to see the movie and incorporate what I learned from it into my work,” she said.

Because of “Beauty Bites Beast” (BBB) and Pille, Laura now teaches Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) to Ukrainian refugee kids. Pille Tsopp is one of those people who say what they will do and then do it.

Tsopp truly “grokked” the collateral benefits of women (and anyone who’s systematically marginalized) in practicing setting emotional, verbal and physical boundaries. After the screening, Pille told me she would run for office in Estonia because of BBB.

Speaking up and taking stands can be super difficult for those who have been brainwashed into being seen but not heard. We’re often breaking unspoken, rigid gender rules of appropriate behavior.

Just the other day, a dear friend of ours laughed in disbelief when we told him that I had put my husband’s standing desk together. “By yourself?” he asked, incredulous.

“Yes,” I said.

“Even the mechanism that raises and lowers it?”

“Yes,” I answered, with my own incredulity that he found my skill set so outrageous. “I like puzzles, and that’s all assembly is: solving a three-dimensional puzzle.”

My friend has a rigid mindset about women that hadn’t been challenged before, as apparently he hadn’t experienced a woman like me before. And that’s the thing about rigid mindsets: “What mindset? I don’t have a mindset!” Mindsets hide themselves from the thinker. Mindsets don’t question their own existence until something or someone challenges them.

The world of women’s self-defense is chock full of mindsets that we of the Empowerment Self-Defense world are devoted to dismantling. I’m fond of saying,

“Think globally, act locally; there’s nothing as local as your own body.” There’s also nothing as local as your own mindset! If you think women and girls cannot do certain things, guess what? That belief will fulfill itself… until it doesn’t. The culture I grew up in implanted my belief that some man would always be around to protect me but guess what? When I actually encountered a man with a knife who was about to plunge it into me, I had that particular mindset challenged big time. I’m sure the men in my life would have loved to have protected me, except they weren’t around!

I discovered so many attitudes to unpack that I realized I needed to write a book and then a movie based on it to unravel all of the misconceptions and misunderstandings that can prove deadly for someone who has been assaulted. I am fortunate to be a small part of a larger movement that can use my book and movie to forward our commitment to empowerment.

So here I am at Camp Echo in upstate New York with my sisters and brothers of the Empowerment Self-Defense movement. We teach classes in holistic ways to people who need skills to keep themselves safe from systemic racism, sexism … all the “isms” other than Buddhism.

ESD Global is developing a phone app called “MyPwr.” I’ll dedicate an entire column to it when it’s widely available, as anyone with a smartphone can access it. For now, here’s some info from the web-

Covered California will help DT
Ellen Snortland
Urgent Care Right Here PIH Health Urgent Care Center Westlake 2200 West 3rd Street #120 Los Angeles, CA 90057 View Urgent Care Wait Times PIHHealth.org/UCC SEE ACT PAGE 4 Bike Rentals Also Available at Nearby Lake Balboa! Visit wheelfunrentals.com/Balboa-Bikes for more information 751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90026 (213) 444-9445 • wheelfunrentals.com/echo Online Reservations Required, see website for details. Swan Boat Rentals at Echo Park Lake Scan to BOOK NOW! (805) 650-7770 • wheelfunrentals.com/ECHO Open 7 Days-a-Week! RENT SOME FUN!


Hey you! Speak up!

Downtown News wants to hear from people in the community. If you like or dislike a story, let us know, or weigh in on something you feel is important to the community.

Participation is easy. Go to downtownnews. com, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Letter to the Editor” link.

For guest opinion proposals, please email christina@timespublications.com.

site www.mypwr.co.il: “A scalable and user-friendly solution to teach the principles of Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) with the goal of eliminating interpersonal and gender-based violence.” Who would be against that? Oh, right, people are committed to keeping the status quo of a violence epidemic in place.

I usually loathe including lists as I have limited space here, but I must do it this time because of the sheer scope of global diversity we have at camp. I am so proud to say we have people from Albania, Israel, Zambia, Swaziland, Romania, the United States, Nigeria, Mali, Chile, Rwanda, Cameroon, Brazil, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Lesotho, the Philippines, Belize, the Czech Republic, Australia, Estonia, Belgium, Canada, Bolivia and Costa Rica!

Where else could I make friends with an African Muslim man committed to gender justice? Kassoum Coulibaly Sahel is one of those male leaders who gets the urgency of dissolving rigid gender mindsets. (Do a web search for Kassoum … wow.)

I predict a tour of former Soviet bloc countries for me and my gender justice warrior husband, Ken Gruberman. Daniela Draghici of Romania, Tetiana Kolot

of Ukraine, Lia Jobava of Georgia, Laura Mellene of Estonia, Linda Stucbartova of the Czech Republic and Lyailya Islamova of Kazakhstan have all expressed a desire for screenings of BBB with us in attendance. Domestically, we’ll be re-launching BBB to pick up where the pandemic left off.

None of this would be possible without fierce social justice entrepreneur Yudit Zicklin Sidikman, the catalyst for so much good in the world. She is both the founder and president of ESD Global and the executive producer of BBB. If you’d told me years ago that my film would be instrumental in training Ukrainian refugee children, I would have had you checked for delusional thinking. Now, my Estonian soul doppelganger Laura Mellane and I have shared dreams, a shared vision and shared in-real-life hugs. What a miracle.

2023 marks the 30th year that Ellen Snortland has written this column and was one of three winners of the LA Press Club’s Journalist of the Year. She also teaches creative writing online and can be reached at: ellen@beautybitesbeast. com. Her award-winning film “Beauty Bites Beast” is available for download or streaming at vimeo.com/ondemand/ beautybitesbeast.

501 N.Main St, Los Angeles CA 90012 | 213 542-6000 Theo Ehret (1920-2012), Mil Máscaras and Ernie Ladd at the Olympic Auditorium, c.1970s, black and white photograph, courtesy of Theo Ehret Estate©Theo Ehret Estate. Used with permission, all rights reserved. ACT from page 3

Hospital leaders donate back-to-school supplies

Hospital leaders at Dignity Health – California Hospital Medical Center donated enough backpacks for two preschool classes at Mercy Childcare Center, which provides services for low-income families living

in Downtown Los Angeles. The backpacks were filled with school supplies and many of the young students were thrilled to pick out a new backpack for their first day of elementary school in the fall.

Dignity Preschool friends with the backpacks they picked for their first day of elementary school in the fall. Dignity Health/Submitted Dignity Health – California Hospital Leadership team donate backpacks filled with school supplies to preschoolers from low-income families at Mercy Childcare Center in
Downtown Los Angeles.
Dignity Health/Submitted
Downtown Los Angeles 611 W. 7th Street ZankouChicken.com Made on-site from scratch! Best Chicken WINNER BEST OF DOWNTOWN 2023 AKI’S MARKET A PROJECT BY GLENN AKIRA KAINO JUNE 30, 2023 – JANUARY 28, 2024 Sponsored by: Media sponsor: Image: Glenn Kaino, Aki’s Market, 2023, artist’s rendering. Courtesy of the artist.
One preschooler shows off her new backpack from her favorite movie.

Experience Community

South Park’s first farmers market is a boon to the area

In recent years, the South Park neighborhood, best known for the Crypto. com Arena and the Los Angeles Convention Center, has grown into a thriving and rapidly expanding residential district. South Park has joined the ranks of other flourishing LA communities, with the grand opening of its first official farmers market on July 29.

“South Park is beloved as a Downtown neighborhood where people can live in close proximity to the energy and excitement,” said Nolan A. Marshall III, executive director of the South Park BID. “The farmers market is one more reason for residents to be excited about being a part of the engaged community we’re building together in Downtown Los Angeles.”

The South Park Farmers Market, pre-

sented by South Park Business Improvement District in collaboration with Farm Habit, which runs six additional markets in LA and Orange County, takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, rain or shine on Grand Avenue between 11th Street and Olympic Boulevard.

The market features 25 to 35 local vendors peddling free-range meat, artisanal foods, handmade craft items and, of course, locally grown produce. Live music from local musicians serenades shoppers who might stop by booths selling a variety of homemade hummus, flavors of New Orleans with jambalaya and gumbo or succulent ripe off-thetree seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Farm Habit, formerly Farmer Mark, has been operating markets in LA for over 14 years. “Farmers markets are the new town squares,” said Mark Anderson, founder of Farm Habit. “This is where

Victor Gonzalez/Submitted The South Park Famers Market is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday.

neighbors still bump into one another — in person. Grocery shopping can be a weekly chore or a moment of joy, walking in the open air, buying directly from farmers and small business owners while listening to live music.”

This is the area’s first official farmers market. An attempt a few years earlier amounted to less than a dozen vendors congregating in a parking lot. “It did not last very long,” Marshall explained. “But the community has been requesting and needing a farmers market for quite some time.”

Urban centers and downtowns were built around marketplaces for centuries as community focal points. Although farmers markets are often viewed as “status symbols” for affluent communities, “they’re also returning to the roots of how community organized around markets as a central organizing function,” Marshall said.

Already, the market has a stronghold

in the community, with 70% of attendees coming from within four blocks of the market. “The market represents an opportunity for neighbors to come out and experience community as much as it is sort of an opportunity to demonstrate the economic vitality of the neighborhood,” Marshall explained. “It is a great opportunity to see neighbors. And I think we’re still in that post-pandemic period where people crave being around others.”

For Marshall, the hope is that the South Park Farmers Market continues to grow, becoming a destination for all of Downtown’s 80,000 residents in addition to the thousands of students at USC. In the future, the market may see a designated dog play area and partnerships with some of the movers and shakers in the community, like the Grammy Museum and California Hospital Medical Center and the slew of sports teams and entertainers who call LA Live home.

South Park Farmers Market

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays

WHERE: 1099 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

COST: Free INFO: farmhabit.com

Victor Gonzalez/Submitted The South Park community welcomed its first farmers market in late July.


‘A Celebration of Past, Present and Future’

Union Station to hold annual train festival

As Downtown LA ushers in a new era of public transport following the completion of the Regional Connector Transit Project, this year’s Los Angeles Union Station Train Festival will serve as a celebration of the past, present and future of LA’s rail system.

The two-day festival, which will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10, will be presented with partners Metro, Amtrak and Metrolink, and welcome industry professionals, history aficionados, train enthusiasts and community members of all ages to Union Station.

“We really want this to be a free community festival for families or train aficionados to celebrate this station and all of its impact in Los Angeles over its almost 85 years,” said Susie Vance, director of marketing at Morlin Asset Management and spokesperson for the train festival. “For this year, we’re start-

ing fresh. We’re past our COVID years of not holding events, and we’re really starting a whole new train festival for Union Station.”

Since opening in 1939, Union Station has become an iconic landmark of DTLA. It’s the largest railroad passenger terminal in the western United States, and the 2023 train festival will fill its walls and tracks with a plethora of activations and programs, from train exhibits to historical tours.

“Our highlights are the railroad equipment, tours and displays,” Vance said. “(The festival) is actually bringing the rail equipment onto the tracks … and people will be able to either view the equipment or they can go inside some of them.”

The festival’s programming will be spread throughout the entire station, from Union Station’s historic western building to tracks 13, 14 and 15. Vance noted that all of the train cars were either donated by museums, societies and organizations that own and rehab them or by partners like

Los Angeles Union Station/Submitted
@ s o u t h p a r k l a | f a r m h a b i t c o m / s o u t h p a r k SOUTH PARK FARMERS'MARKET EVERY SATURDAY, 9 AM - 2 PM SOUTH PARK BID PRESENTS GRAND AVE, BETWEEN 11TH ST & OLYMPIC BLVD
Opened in 1939, Union Station is a 52-acre transportation hub and considered one of Downtown’s architectural gems.

Amtrak and Metrolink.

One of the crown jewels of the festival’s railroad equipment is the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society’s steam locomotive, Santa Fe 3751. Built in 1927 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, it’s the oldest surviving 4-8-4 locomotive in the world.

“It was the first rail car that pulled passenger trains into Union Station in 1939,” Vance said. “It’s a complete old steam locomotive, and many say it’s the Polar Express train. … They are giving tours inside the cab, which is very small and you have to climb a ladder, so there’s a limited number of tours.”

Santa Fe 3751’s festival appearance will be its first this year and its second since 2021, when the train underwent an extensive overhaul. It will join other vintage cars dating back to the ’40s and ’50s, such as the Tioga Pass and National Forum.

“Our main partners here, Amtrak and Metrolink, are bringing in old cars and new cars, too,” Vance added. “There’s something for everybody here. The real equipment not only is good for people who are in the know and really study and are obsessed with historic train travel, but then we also have model train displays. We have six groups that are bringing in model trains.

“It’s very important for our community to be able to come here and experience the railroad equipment or the model trains, but then also really to see the building, … getting families to see the building, many of whom have not been or maybe only

traveled through it as a commuter.”

Designed with a blend of Spanish colonial, mission revival and art deco architecture called mission moderne, the 52-acre transportation hub is considered as one of the city’s architectural gems. Vance said that she hopes the train festival will be a commemorative-style event that pays homage to the prevailing legacy of Union Station.

This year’s festival will include architectural, artistic and cultural tours through partnerships with the Los Angeles Conservancy and California Preservation Foundation, who will be holding their “Doors Open California!” virtual storytelling events across both days.

“Over the last 10 years, (Union Station) has been beautifully restored,” Vance said. “We’ve had a lot of great events here, including the Oscars. … It’s a treasure in Los Angeles for people to be able to come for free and find a lot of unique opportunities to use the space, visit the space, go out to eat or come to our events.

“We have information booths as well to make sure people see the past, see the historic rail equipment and understand the history of the building, celebrate the present … and then look at the future of train travel. One of our big partners is California High Speed Rail, and they have incredibly interesting things to present at their information booth. We’re really here to make sure that the title of the event, ‘A Celebration of Past, Present & Future,’ is absorbed by everyone who comes into the building.”

Los Angeles Union Station Train Festival 2023

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10

WHERE: Los Angeles Union Station, 800 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles

COST: Free admission

INFO: unionstationla.com


Hosted at Pacifica’s Beautiful Ladera Lane Campus

Friday, September 29 – Sunday, October 1, 2023 WE

The challenges of our times are demanding more than just political reforms. They are compelling us towards journeys of the soul that will ask not only for great courage, but new understandings of power and inclusive leadership, new mythologies of collective heroism, more diverse communities and organizational models that are more sustainable ecosystems than hierarchical power pyramids. We invite you to engage with contemporary issues and the latest in depth psychological thinking and practices, join interactive learning sessions on the cutting edge of practice and theory, and explore all that Pacifica Graduate Institute has to offer for your personal and professional journey.

Los Angeles Union Station/Submitted The Santa Fe 3751, set to attend the festival, is the world’s oldest surviving 4-8-4 locomotive.
Barbara, CA 805.969.3626 801 Ladera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA
801 Ladera
INVITE YOU TO JOIN US FOR THE JOURNEY! COMMUNITY WELLNESS DAY A day of wellness that is open to the community Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 Pacifica Ladera Lane Campus 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM PGIAA BEAM CAREER FAIR Bridging Education, Ambition and Meaningful Work Thursday, September 28th, 2023 Pacifica Ladera Lane Campus 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM REGISTER ONLINE AT PACIFICA.EDU Connect with Nationally Recognized Leaders, Scholars, and Authors Join Us for Other Journey Week Events AN IMMERSIVE WEEK OF LEARNING AND CONNECTING AT PACIFICA GRADUATE INSTITUTE Dr. Susan Rowland PGI Core Faculty C.G. Jung Award Recipiant Dr. Leonie H. Mattison PGI President/CEO Dr. Thema Bryant APA President Roland Palencia Documentarian, Filmmaker Dr. Emily Lord-Kambitsch PGI Myth Co-Chair Dick Russel, Author James Hillman, Soul in the World Jemma Elliot PGI Counseling Co-Chair Dr. Bayome Akomolafe Psychologist, Philosopher, Author Dr. Dylan Hoffman PGI Core Faculty Jungian & Archetypal Studies


Oasis of the Fashion District

St. Turibius fosters Catholic STEM education to DTLA


Nestled in the Fashion District of Downtown LA, St. Turibius Catholic School has long been an iconic historical landmark. Opened on Sept. 11, 1949, by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, the school has expanded and evolved over the past century to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. Principal Audrey Blanchette called it a red-brick oasis.

“We really do strive to meet our mission, which is to educate the full child: the mind, the body, but also the soul. … That’s what makes us special in LA,” said Blanchette, who joined St. Turibius as principal during the pandemic. “I fell in love with the school. … This is my fourth year and, to be honest, what drives me to stay as a principal every day is the students and the families.”


As one of six Catholic STEM Network schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, St. Turibius’ curriculum integrates science, technology, engineering and math-based learning across all fields of study. For instance, a language arts class may include project-based learning that utilizes technology in the classroom and encourages students to work in groups.

“The whole basis of STEM is that it’s not just an individual project, but that you’re working with other people to collaborate and work with each other on reaching some type of objective or goal,” Blanchette explained. “We really strive for that, not just in our math and science classes, but other classes like social studies, English and religion.”

There is also an ever-present focus on Christian values encouraged by church-oriented activities, classes and events. The students attend religion classes for 45 minutes

Lumbini Child Development Center

Licensed to care for children 2 ½ through Kindergarten.

Year-round program with individual classrooms unique to each age group. Established in 1977, our philosophy remains the same. To provide a nurturing learning/social environment in which the children can grow and develop with each passing year.

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday 7:30a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

For more information:

Email: Lumbini.missleslie@gmail.com

Address: Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple

505 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, 90013

Phone: Miss Leslie @ 213 680-2976

each day, following a set curriculum from the Sophia Institute that abides by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ standards for catechism.

Alongside the classes, St. Turibius offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through events like prayer services.

“One thing that we started doing last year is instead of our student council being the ones always speaking, we invite a student every day at the end of the day to say the Angel of God prayer,” Blanchette said. “That helps them to feel involved and feel included in their community.”

This year, the school will hold on-site masses organized by a different grade level each month. The masses will follow themes like Thanksgiving, Christmas or a feast day for a saint, and students will be able to act as altar servers or part of the choir.

“The important thing is that the students have those opportunities,” Blanchette said.

“Our values as Catholic, Christian learners, we do embody them in all of our classes. It’s a little harder with science and math, but we do strive for that, where we want our students to be critical thinkers. And when they’re critical thinkers, we want them to also bring in the morals and values that they learn in their Catholic education, in religion classes and to bring out the mission of the Bible.

“We talk about how to make our world a better place, how can it be a better place with inventions but also with Catholic values. … The main point of the Bible is to love one another, to be respectful of each other, and that is something that is evident on our school campus.”

Campus culture

Blanchette described the school’s community of students, faculty and staff as “a family,” and affirmed that parental involvement is always encouraged both on and off


Children at risk for a developmental delay, or showing any signs of delay, may qualify for intervention and services through the Early Start program of California.

In California, the Early Start program is coordinated by 21 regional centers. For individuals over the age of 3, the regional centers also provide lifelong services and support, including service coordination, education-related advocacy and training.

To nd out exactly which regional center serves your family’s area of residence, please visit dds.ca.gov/rc/listings.


Los niños en riesgo de un retraso del desarrollo, o que muestran señas de retraso, pueden cali car para intervención y servicios a través del programa Early Start de California.

En California, el programa de Early Start es coordinado por 21 centros regionales. Para las personas mayores de 3 años, los centros regionales también brindan servicios y apoyo de por vida, incluida la coordinación de servicios, la defensa relacionada con la educación y la capacitación.

Para averiguar exactamente qué centro regional sirve al área de residencia de su familia, visite dds.ca.gov/rc/ listings.

Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center 3303 Wilshire Boulevard, First Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010 213-383-1300 or 213-252-5600
D. Lanterman Regional Center/Submitted A family participates in a Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center playgroup and receives an educational developmental kit.
lanterman.org instagram.com/frankdlantermanrc facebook.com/lantermanregionalcenter Advertorial
Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center 21 regional facilities coordinate Early Start Frank

campus. St. Turibius’ philosophy states that parents should be the primary educators of their children, and that the school should be an environment that fosters connectivity.

“The only way schools thrive is not by the staff that’s employed here; it thrives off of parent involvement,” Blanchette said. “From volunteering to recess supervision to fundraisers, we do want parents involved because that’s what a community is about.

“From the minute a parent walks in and is a prospective parent, they want to do a tour, they want to talk about how they can afford the school, we do treat them like family. Yes, there is criteria and eligibility, but we do try to work with every family.”

Blanchette explained that St. Turibius provides financial scholarships that are renewable every year and that tuition can be negotiated for families based off their means of living, including transportation costs and household income. The school also works with the Catholic Education Foundation to offer new enrollment to prospective families with a grant that helps pay for tuition.

“We are one of the lowest tuition-based schools in Los Angeles County, so that kind of works in our favor,” Blanchette explained. “When it comes to other resources … families that live in LAUSD boundaries, we do offer their students Title I interventions, so that would be like reading and math. We do small group intervention in the classes as well.”

St. Turibius’ family-centric atmosphere

extends from prospective and current students to the faculty and staff as well, said Blanchette, who added that every student and parent she’s welcomed onto campus has made her feel like part of their family. To be an educator at St. Turibius, though, there are expectations that must be met in addition to having at least a year of experience in the classroom.

“We look for someone that is going to be able to accept feedback, be flexible and adaptable … that want to learn and grow because education’s changing and developing differently every day, it feels like,” Blanchette said. “There’s pros and cons to everything in education, but it’s how we deliver it that is the difference and the staff that we

have on campus this year have been extraordinary. They’ve come together as a family. … They’re by themselves in the class, but the minute they step out of the class is the most important. They’re looking at data together and coming up with action plans for the students together.”

One of the key components of St. Turibius’ culture outside of the classroom is its sports program and extracurriculars, which have thrived since the school’s inception. In 2012


and 2013, the boys soccer teams were CYO champions.

“Sports is a driver for all schools,” Blanchette said. “Sports help create leaders on the field. … It helps them to learn how to work with other people, how to be respectful in competitive situations.”

The future

Blanchette said that her hope for the future of St. Turibius is that its students will use their education to become critical thinkers who seek collaboration and invite others to work alongside them in creating positive change, whatever that looks like in their lives.

“I want the school to have the legacy of being able to put Catholic leaders out in the world,” she said. “We want students to be learners. We want them to be agents of change and to make the world a better place.

“If I had a new student coming in, the words of advice would be to always have an open heart and always try your very best. Even if you fail one day, you will succeed. … With error, there’s always success. It’s just the purpose of you continuing to keep trying and to keep moving forward.”

St. Turibius Catholic School 1524 Essex Street, Los Angeles stturibius.org

Children at risk for a developmental delay, or showing any signs of delay, may qualify for intervention and services through the Early Start program of California.

In California, the Early Start program is coordinated by 21 regional center. For individuals over the age of 3, the regional centers also provide lifelong services and supports, including service coordination, education related advocacy, and training.


Los niños en riesgo de un retraso del desarrollo, o que muestran señas de retraso, pueden calificar para intervención y servicios a través del programa Early Start de California. En California, el programa de Early Start es coordinado por 21 centros regionales. Para las personas mayores de 3 años, los centros regionales también brindan servicios y apoyos de por vida, incluida la coordinación de servicios, la defensa relacionada con la educación y la capacitación.


Para averiguar exactamente qué centro regional sirve al área de residencia de su familia, visite: To find out exactly which regional center serves your family’s area of residence, please visit:

https://www.dds.ca.gov/rc/listings/ Frank D Lanterman Regional Center, 3303 Wilshire Blvd, First Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (213)383-1300 or (213)252-5600

kyrc@lanterman.org | www.lanterman.org

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/frankdlantermanrc/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/lantermanregionalcenter

St. Turibius Catholic School/Submitted St. Turibius was opened in 1949 to provide children with a Catholic education in Downtown LA.

Creating Community

Bryant Acosta stresses inclusivity with his activations

Bryant Acosta is about providing an experience.

The founder of the brand The Nightbreed, a lifestyle production company that focuses on the queer community, Acosta started throwing Pride “experiential activations” eight years ago. They were so successful he expanded the activities.

This Labor Day weekend, he’s hosting a Sea Monster Pool Party at the Indigo Hotel on Sunday, Sept. 3, and Made in Tulum Party at the Mondrian on Monday, Sept. 4.

The nightlife promoter began his career as a graphic designer for Fortune 500 and 200 companies, while providing creative direction and large-scale activations.

Eventually, he decided to host his own events, bolstered by the connections he made working with the W hotel.

“I thought, ‘Why am I making them money? I should do it all for myself,’” he recalled. “One thing I saw, while going to festivals and nightclubs, was a lack of minorities headlining the stages. I thought I would put something together and be able to make a living off of it. I wanted to host projects with the kinds of communities I wanted to see become successful.”

Finding that success, Acosta received offers for an increasing number of activations. He shared his talents with W hotels in Austin, Miami and Mexico.

“The vision was not just pool parties and art shows and fashion shows, it was more communal — bringing community together, and looking at the festival through the lens of a boutique experience,” he said.

“We try to be as diverse as possible. We’re going on eight years now. We started as an LGBTQ-focused company, but we’ve been able to branch out into all types of allies. We do various events throughout the year. We have pretty mixed crowds, although we do target multiple demographics including allies, people of color, minorities outside of LGBTQ.”

With a name inspired by the Clive Barker film, The Nightbreed structures its events to be safe spaces for everyone and looks at itself more as a conduit for bringing the community together

California will help DTCOVER STORY
Bryant Acosta/Submitted Bryant Acosta founded The Nightbreed, which produces luxury events primarily serving the queer community.


Lessons From In and Out of the Ring

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes revisits Olympic Auditorium

Most Angelinos have an Olympic Auditorium story, from watching luche libre wrestlers, attending championship boxing matches, cheering on roller derby girls or moshing at a punk rock show. The venue, which dominated the Los Angeles sports scene for over 80 years, is revisited at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’ new exhibit, “18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium.”

The exhibit, which opened on Aug. 20 and continues through Sunday, May 12, spans two floors of the Mexican American museum and cultural center. The show’s genesis began with filmmaker Stephen DeBro’s 2021 documentary “18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium Story,” which chronicles the untold stories of the communities and individuals, many of whom came from immigrant backgrounds, who frequented and performed at the Olympic Auditorium.

The project’s history goes back a decade when DeBro came across the photographs of Theo Ehret, the Olympic Auditorium’s house photographer from the mid-1960s until the early ’80s, whose work captured the tremendous personalities of the era. Going through Ehret’s snapshots transported DeBro to his childhood when he would watch events at the Olympic Auditorium on TV.

“Seeing the images triggered a lot of memories. I wanted to go back in time and understand the (Olympic Auditori-

um’s) background,” DeBro explained. “The more I started digging, the more interesting it became.”

The Olympic Auditorium opened in Downtown on the corner of 18th and Grand in 1925. It was designed by architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, known for his work on the Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite National Park. The arena and convention center hosted the wrestling, boxing and weightlifting events during the 1932 Olympics and soon became a focal point in LA, serving as a melting pot of cultures, most notably for Mexican American and Latino communities. The hall

closed its doors in 2005 when the Glory Church of Jesus Christ took over the property.

Throughout the film’s production, DeBro interviewed 50 eyewitnesses, including boxers, wrestlers, skaters, musicians, crew members and fans, collecting stories and artifacts that are included in the exhibit.

“As an institution, we tell untold stories,” said Karen Crews Hendon, director of exhibitions and senior curator at LA Plaza. “These kinds of stories aren’t normally told about Los Angeles or studied in education or history. This exhibition is significant as a cultural history of our city.”

A myriad of cultures was represented at the venue, from Mexican to Jewish and Japanese, creating a blended world that was singular to the venue. “The (Olympic Auditorium) uplifted and created heroes that didn’t necessarily exist outside of the space,” Hendon said.

Whether rich or poor, immigrant or not, “people at the Olympic could become whatever they wanted,” she explained.

“Anybody could be a superhero, bringing their culture with them and uplifting that into a character where that wasn’t separated.”

Gathered from multiple collections, including the Theo Ehret Estate, The Bob Willoughby Photo Archive, Jaime Hernández, Frank Aragon, Gary Powers and Glenn Bray, the immersive exhibit includes ephemera, artifacts and photographs, including hand-stitched lucha masks, embroidered boxing robes, race-worn roller skates, illustrations, film, oral histories, boxing posters, wrestling programs, punk rock flyers and art.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted with photo murals, a boxing ring, a lucha libre section and an immersive living room modeled from the ’50s and ’60s, where guests can watch Olympic Auditorium footage on a vintage TV. Guests will see projections from the Big Jay McNeely rhythm and blues concert before entering the bright and atmospheric world of roller derby.

The second floor delves into the later days of the Olympic, revisiting the ’60s, ’70s and, in some cases, ’80s, with photography, artwork and objects inspired by the venue’s ambiance and its characters — wrestlers, boxers and punk rockers.

The community has embraced the exhibit, with many coming out of the woodwork to share their own experiences at the venue. “It’s a place that connects so many, whether it’s culturally specific, social, community or family-based,” Hendon explained. For instance, one man, whose great-grandfather boxed at the Olympic, connected with the show to learn more about his lineage.

Like much of America, LA is divided by race and socioeconomic status, with islands of neighborhoods that rarely intercept each other. But at the Olympic, these worlds collided. “Sometimes it was pretty and sometimes not, much like our city is today,” DeBro explained.

18th & Grand: e Olympic Auditorium

WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, through Sunday, May 12

WHERE: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, 501 N. Main Street, Los Angeles

COST: Free

INFO: lapca.org

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes/Submitted LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes’ new exhibit “18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium” uncovers untold stories from the annals of the Olympic Auditorium’s illustrious past. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes/Submitted For over 80 years the Olympic Auditorium dominated the Los Angeles sports and music scene.


No Blank Spaces

Grammy Museum tells a Taylor Swift love story

There’s no bad blood between Taylor Swift and the Grammy Museum.

The venue is hosting a special pop-up exhibit, “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)” through Monday, Sept. 18, in the fourth-floor theater gallery.

The exhibit immerses the visitor into the world of Swift’s recent “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” music video, with a display of 11 costumes and two instruments.

The costumes were all worn during Swift’s original “Speak Now” era. The music video for “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” features actors Joey King and Taylor Lautner breaking Swift out of a museum vault while Presley Cash waits in the getaway car — a symbolic representation of how it has felt for Swift to have her fans help her reclaim her music.

Swift wrote and directed the music video, realizing her dream of directing fight scenes and a heist storyline, with help

from director of photography, Jonathan Sela, ASC.

The exhibit started when Swift played multiple shows at SoFi Stadium.

“We had a Taylor Swift exhibit in 2015,” said Kelsey Goelz, associate curator, Grammy Museum.

“It’s fun to have a new exhibit about her. It’s 13 artifacts — 13 is her favorite number. It pops up in all of her secret Easter eggs.”

The items are:

• Swift’s vintage lace dress from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Swift’s Eric Winterling dress from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Swift’s custom REEM ACRA dress from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Swift’s Valentino gown from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Swift’s Jenny Packham dress from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Swift’s Susan Hilferty dress from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Swift’s Jenny Packham dress from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Joey King’s Monsoon white dress and wig from Swift’s “Mean” music video

• Swift’s Temperley dress from her “Mean” music video

• Swift’s vintage flapper-style dress from her “Mean” music video

• Swift’s Zara dress from her “Mine” music video

• Swift’s Gibson Les Paul red sparkle top guitar from her “Speak Now” Tour

• Swift’s Deering banjo from her “Speak Now” Tour

Goelz said before the doors opened at 11 a.m. on the first day, “Swifties” were lined up outside.

“It was fun to watch all the ‘Swifties’ have a moment in the gallery, swapping friendship bracelets,” she said. “There’s

such a community vibe. They came decked out; some of them were decked out in the outfits they were going to wear to the stadium. Everybody was in there singing. It was great seeing groups of friends, mother-daughter duos or a whole family checking out the Taylor Swift items. They looked at everything on each floor very carefully, so they didn’t miss a thing.”

The Mike Curb Café, which is on the roof, boasts a menu of Swift-related snacks like the “Lavender Haze” latte and the “I’m Feeling 22 Birthday Cake Pop.”

Merchandise is available in the gift shop, too.

“We’re trying to get Taylor everywhere we can,” she said

“I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)” Exhibit

WHEN: Various times through Monday, Sept. 18

WHERE: Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles COST: $18, with various discounts

INFO: grammymuseum.org

Grammy Museum/Submitted The “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)” exhibit is on display through Monday, Sept. 18, at the Grammy Museum.

Starting with Spritz

Brera nails the spirit of the casual business lunch

Leave it to Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi — principal partner and beverage program director for Factory Place Hospitality Group — to reinvent the notorious “three-martini lunch.”

Popularized in the 1960s as a fixture of Madison Avenue “Mad Men” culture, the three-martini afternoon repast has become an icon of a more privileged and patriarchal past.

The sprightly Italian spritz may not seem like an intuitive replacement for the martini but indeed, the combination flight of three novel spritzes that Diamond-Ferdinandi has devised for a prix-fixe lunch at Brera — the group’s well-loved and lauded Italian restaurant in the Arts District — helps nail the spirit of a relaxed and languorous business lunch.

“It’s not the same but that’s how it started, the whole idea: ‘Why don’t we do a three-spritz lunch?’” Diamond-Ferdinandi said.

“They’re small (servings), you’re not going to get drunk. They’re small. Some are sweeter, some are more bitter because we use some Amaro. They’re all delicious, they’re all pretty.”

Diamond-Ferdinandi went on to explain the basis of the drink and concept.

“The classic spritz in Italy was always Aperol with some prosecco and a little splash of soda water and an orange slice,” Diamond-Ferdinandi said.

“It’s refreshing, it’s slightly sweet, it’s bubbly. Last time I was in Italy, many people, like myself, prefer the Campari spritz. You use Campari instead of Aperol. And then I noticed that many people (order) the ‘half and half.’ They do half Aperol, half Campari. So that seemed to be a twist on it, even in Italy.”

Diamond-Ferdinandi was duly inspired to invent new twists of her own. Collaborating with her cocktail mixologists, Tom Costello and Taylor Hall, the team began decocting some notably new takes on the classic spritz.

The three results emerging from Brera’s spritz lab reflect Diamond-Ferdinandi’s innate creativity and sophisticated taste. Served in petite 6-ounce “Nick and Nora” cocktail glasses, a briskly effervescent prosecco provides the base canvas for each of these fresh spritzes.

Here Comes the Sun blends a local

Amaro — Amaro Angeleno with the family-owned Meletti from central Italy. The Angeleno’s lightly bitter citrus combines with the Meletti’s saffron and lavender notes here, garnished with a fresh orange slice. It’s both bright and dry.

Island in the Sun pairs Aperol with St. Elder elderflower liqueur for a full-bodied, slightly sweeter floral spritz. It’s appropriately and elegantly garnished with edible flowers.

When the Sun Goes Down incorporates Cappelletti, a Piemontese aperitivo with a base of fortified Trebbiano wine, balanced with a splash of Cio Ciaro Amaro. Finished with a fresh grapefruit twist, this spritz has a refreshingly complex depth with a clean, cola-like finish.

The spritz flight accompanies a simple and delectable three-course lunch at $55.

The special three-course lunch menu is comprised of tonnato salad, with a blended toss of escarole, radicchio and frisee with a tuna caper dressing sprin -

kled with pistachios; a classic Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza prepped with San Marzano tomato sauce, fior di latte mozzarella and fresh oregano; and gelato with a choice of vanilla, chocolate, mixed berry, pistachio, hazelnut or banana scoops.

As Diamond-Ferdinandi noted, the spritz flight is served first.

“We didn’t pair the spritzes (with the courses),” she said.

“They come out first. The idea is to start with the spritz.”

The spritz is meant to stimulate the appetite for the courses to come.

“It really opens the palate,” she added.

Diamond-Ferdinandi is French-Canadian from Montreal and met her husband and partner, Matteo Ferdinandi, in Los Angeles, while both were working at the former Harvey’s Bar and Grill in Century City. Matteo was an aspiring general manager and Francine was focused on developing her skills as a sommelier.

After marrying in 1998, they moved

to New York City and were plotting their own venue, when 9/11 disrupted their plans and they returned to Los Angeles in 2002. The ambitious young couple soon landed in chef Wolfgang Puck’s burgeoning culinary empire.

Matteo served as general manager of Spago Las Vegas, while Francine ran the education program. In the meantime, she advanced to her diploma with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and ultimately certification as sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

They returned to Los Angeles from Las Vegas to open Puck’s CUT Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, before the two became restless and determined to venture out on their own.

Partnering with chef Angelo Auriana, a native of Bergamo, Italy, as executive chef, the trio first opened Factory Kitchen in 2013. The opening of Brera and the pizzeria Sixth + Mill followed in 2016, ingeniously connected by a large, shared kitchen. Notably both Factory Kitchen

Covered California will help DTDINING
Factory Place Hospitality Group/Submitted Factory Place Hospitality Group’s Italian restaurant Brera has a well-loved and lauded dining destination in the Arts District of Downtown LA.

and Sixth + Mill were acknowledged with Michelin Bib Gourmand citations in 2019.

With the onset of the pandemic lockdown the group closed Sixth + Mill and expanded Brera’s seating capacity into their expansive parking lot. Ultimately, their pandemic pivot resulted in the recent transformation and well-received opening of the Spanish-themed Flor y Solera in the former Sixth + Mill space next door. There, the shared kitchen is helmed by Barcelona native, chef Monica Angelats and where Diamond-Ferdinandi curates the restaurant’s unique sherry program. A long-time member of the team, Angelats also serves as chef de cuisine at Brera.

Invite business associates into the airy, soaring skylit dining room at Brera and relax with a flight of spritzes, before

tucking into lunch. Close the deal over some fresh housemade gelato.

On again sampling her spritz flight, as ably served by Carlos Chavez, Diamond-Ferdinandi said, “It’s perfect for lunch. It’s not only for the summer but right now, when it’s hot it’s refreshing, it’s light, instead of just a glass of wine, which is fine too. But (try it) if you want something different, something you have never had before.”

Diamond-Ferdinandi summed up the secret of the group’s success in the Arts District.

“We have a good team,” she said. “We’re very proud of what we do. We’re in the hospitality business. We care about our guests, so when they leave, they can’t wait to come back. Come see us. We have the best food and the best cocktails!”

Factory Place Hospitality Group/Submitted
E. Sixth Street Arts District DTLA
Francine Diamond-Ferdinandi is the principal partner and beverage program director for Factory Place Hospitality Group.
Brera 1331
213-553-8006 breraristorante.com

Covered California will help DTDINING

‘Five-Star Food’

Zankou Chicken has spawned many imitators

From its humble origins as a street corner restaurant in Beirut, Lebanon, Zankou Chicken has grown into an iconic Southern California eatery about to open its 13th location.

Having opened its first restaurant in the Lebanese capital in the early 1960s serving only chicken, the Iskenderian family made culinary history from the moment it opened its doors. The restaurant, then named Zankou after a river in Armenia, was the first to serve chicken with garlic sauce. Its garlic sauce is now world-famous and has spawned many imitators.

The family eventually escaped a civil war in Lebanon and resettled in the Los Angeles area where it opened its first U.S. location on Sunset and Normandie in 1984. Zankou Chicken’s menu, physical locations and popularity expanded rapidly from that point forward. The one constant is that the Iskenderian family has continued to own and operate the franchise.

The menu relies on family recipes and fresh, never frozen, high-quality ingredients such as locally sourced vegetables. Touching on Armenian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culinary traditions, it features not only rotisserie chicken served as plates and pita wraps, but also shawarma, shish kabobs, falafel, salads and bowls.

“Because we put so much care into each and every single menu item and the quality of the food, you are getting five-star food for medium and average prices,” said Dikran Iskenderian, Zankou Chicken’s marketing director.

“You’re not paying more than $20 a person when you eat at Zankou Chicken. Some sit-down kabob restaurants are charging $30 for the exact same thing. So, with us you’re getting a very high value.”

Iskenderian cites several examples of the ways in which Zankou distinguishes itself from other restaurants that serve similar cuisine.

“We treat the food with special importance,” he said.

“We hand dice the parsley that goes into the tabouli salad, for example. We hand dice the tomatoes. We don’t use a machine because you get a watered-down effect. Even the lemonade is made by hand, and we put into it mint juice that is juiced by hand. Not many restaurants do that. We care about everything we do.”

Beyond its superior ingredients, multi-

generational family recipes and thoughtful food preparation, the restaurant distinguishes itself with how it cooks its food. The cooking process for kabobs does not begin until an order is placed. Nothing is pre-cooked and left sitting until someone buys it.

Zankou’s chicken is cooked rotisserie style in a manner that allows the chicken to marinate in its own juices which makes for a crispier skin with a rich texture.

If there is one signature dish that represents the way in which the eatery differentiates itself from others, it might be its chicken tarna, a trademarked marinated chicken shawarma dish named for the Armenian verb “to turn” that Iskenderian describes as “moist and delicious.”

“Some Greek places usually have one big stack of meat that is premade frozen and they just start cooking it,” he said. “For us, it’s not like that. We never freeze it. It’s handsliced marinated in natural herbs and spices. And then we hand layer it. It’s not just one big piece of meat. Ours doesn’t give you heartburn because it’s so fresh and juicy and that’s why people love it. That’s the difference between us and a typical shawarma place.”

By serving high-quality food at affordable prices, Zankou Chicken has earned itself media recognition and even several pop culture references.

Just in the past year, it has been voted Best Chicken by Downtown LA News’ readers and Best Fast Food in California by Food and Wine Magazine. The restaurant has been referenced in multiple television shows and even in a song by Beck.

Far from resting on its laurels, Zankou Chicken has always been an innovator that sometimes chooses to zig where others zag. When it first opened its doors in Los Angeles, the only types of shawarmas locals could order in restaurants were limited to lamb and beef. But just as the family had pioneered the combination of chicken and garlic sauce decades before, it made Southern California reimagine the way a shawarma could be served.

Unlike some other dishes, Zankou Chicken did not invent the chicken shawarma, but “we for sure popularized it in LA,” Iskenderian said. “Before us, no one was doing that. They were doing lamb and beef, but there weren’t people doing chicken.”

Having opened in locations such as Pasadena more than three decades ago and Downtown Los Angeles just two years ago, Zankou chicken is about to be welcomed

Chris Mortenson/Staff Yaya Cortez gets ready to hand over Zankou’s signature chicken kabob at their Downtown Los Angeles location.

by its 13th and newest community, Long Beach. The new location is set to open in August. It is a testament to the business’ ability to navigate recent serious challenges to the industry to have reached this point at all.

During the nadir of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, numerous businesses were forced to close their doors to in-person customers. Iskenderian said that Zankou Chicken was fortunate not to have locations in malls.

“All of my friends with restaurants in the malls suffered tremendously because they literally could not work for two months because the malls were shut down,” he said.

Prior to the pandemic, Zankou Chicken did about 30% of its business with dine-in customers and 70% with to-go orders. It had only worked with one delivery service, Postmates (since acquired by Uber Eats) when it suddenly was faced with an existential threat to its business.

“We made deals with the delivery companies within a week because we didn’t want to just sit and fumble our thumbs,” Iskenderian said. “We were forced to work with all the delivery companies because delivery became very, very, prominent very, very fast. Not every restaurant did that. They didn’t want to change. And I think the ones that

didn’t want to change are the ones that died.”

It was not long after pandemic-induced shutdowns ended that a new threat arose in the restaurant industry. A significant spike in food inflation forced a dilemma upon Zankou Chicken: raise prices or cut corners on ingredients. In the end, the choice was simple for a restaurant that has built its reputation on quality.

“We never want to go cheaper,” Iskenderian said. “We’re getting high quality meat from American farms and we never use anything frozen. Unfortunately, sometimes we raise the price a little bit. It’s something we have to do to maintain the high quality.”

With beef and chicken prices starting to abate, the decision not to shortchange customers with lesser ingredients appears all the wiser.

Zankou Chicken’s ability to adapt, survive and thrive when faced with recent industrywide challenges is good news for foodies in Southern California. The Iskenderian family’s recipe of fresh ingredients, healthy food, delicious flavor, reasonable prices and great service will continue to be served to one generation after another of families throughout the region.

Zankou Chicken

611 S. Seventh Street, Los Angeles 213-550-3455

1415 E. Colorado Street, Glendale 818-244-2237

1296 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena 626-405-1502


Chris Mortenson/Staff Zankou chicken has shared its beloved family recipes across Los Angeles through its locations in Downtown and the San Gabriel Valley.

Covered California will help DTDINING Pour Decisions

The Capital Grille corking its Generous Pour program

The Capital Grille is wrapping up its 15th annual summer wine-tasting event, The Generous Pour, on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Guests can sample a variety of worldclass wines for $35 and the purchase of dinner, each hand-selected to pair with the menu, from two famous winemakers: Wine Enthusiast 2019 Winemaker of the Year Dave Phinney of Orin Swift Cellars and 2022 Winemaker of the Year Nicole Hitchcock of J Vineyards & Winery.

“Dave Phinney and Nicole Hitchcock each have their own style and approach, but beneath it all, they challenge the boundaries of every bottle they produce,” said Britney Gregoire, managing partner of The Capital Grille in DTLA.

“Additionally, both are recent winemakers of the year and highly accredited among their peers.”

The companywide initiative is de-

signed to educate guests on exceptional winemakers and how different wines pair with items on The Capital Grille menu. The Generous Pour is also a chance for guests to taste wines they may not normally get to try by the glass while enjoying more of their favorites throughout their meal.

This year’s lineup includes:

• Department 66 “Fragile” Rosé (Maury, France): Aromas of white flowers, raspberry and watermelon with flavors of summer stone fruit and fresh strawberries

• J Vineyards Pinot Gris (California): Fragrant jasmine and honeysuckle with an inviting palate of white peach, pear, kiwi and lime zest

• J Vineyards Chardonnay (California Tri-Appellation): Aromas of lightly buttered toast and freshly picked citrus with notes of baked apple pastry, caramelized pear and grilled pineapple

• J Vineyards Pinot Noir (California

Tri-Appellation): Notes of red and black cherry, ripe berries and plum layered with hints of cocoa, earth and toast

• 8 Years in the Desert Red Wine (California): Aromas of wild blackberry, oatmeal raisin cookie and spices, dark berries and black cherry with a palate featuring a hint of cocoa and a long finish

• Abstract Red Wine (California): A deep purple wine with notes of blue and blackberries and hints of dark chocolate and seasoned leather

• Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, Calif.) – opens with aromas of ripe cassis and blackberry, followed by dark

chocolate and toasted oak

The lighter wines are meant to pair with appetizers and the first course, with the remaining reds intended to complement the bold flavors of The Capital Grille’s entrées.

The selections are offered in the bar and dining room through lunch and dinner.

“It’s a great way to get new guests into the restaurants who haven’t had a chance to try Capital Grille and to elevate current guest experiences,” Gregoire said. “It’s also a great way to drive some business in the quieter months.”

The Capital Grille/Submitted The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille runs through Sunday, Sept. 3.
e Capital Grille 700 W. Ninth Street, Unit B, Los Angeles 213-228-4730 thecapitalgrille.com
The Capital Grille/Submitted
The Generous Pour is a chance for The Capital Grille guests to taste wines they may not normally get to try by the glass while enjoying more of their favorites throughout their meal.

Covered California will help DT

Nisei Week Grand Parade

The 81st Nisei Week Japanese Festival celebrated Japanese and Japanese American heritage and traditions in Little Tokyo for two weekends in August.

As one of the nation’s longest-running, multi-weekend ethnic festivals, Nisei Week pays homage to those who blazed the

trail for Japanese American tradition within LA during two weekends of free family-friendly cultural events, interactive activities and live music. The centerpiece of the celebration was the Grand Parade on Aug. 13. Staff photographer Chris Mortenson was there to capture the festivities.

Traditional Japanese dance was part of the parade. America Lopez and Bryan Hernandez pose for a portrait. Cosplay performers make their way down First Street. Students of the Japan Karate-Do Federation demonstrate their moves. City Councilmember Kevin de León cruises through the parade route. Parade marshal Jamie Hagiya is all smiles during Nisei Week Grand Parade in Little Tokyo. Parade participants walk down First Street in Little Tokyo dressed in traditional Japanese robes during the Nisei Week parade.


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SKH INVEST 5556024-015 $5,051.21

SLIPPERS LLC SITUS 5321 FRANKLIN AVE LOS ANGELES CA 90027-1612 5589-004001 $112,394.87

SMITH, STEPHEN C SITUS 3926 SUNSET DR LOS ANGELES CA 90027-4748 5430-025020 $6,827.32


5037-011-025 $293.80




5589-015-022 $921.37



$24,522.47 SUPER NICE PEOPLE LLC SITUS 850 N KINGS RD PH WEST HOLLYWOOD CA 90069-5442 5529-004153/S2019-010/S2020010 $44,850.67

SYRENE CARUSO LLC SITUS 8465 HOLLOWAY DR 317 WEST HOLLYWOOD CA 90069-4258 5555004-125/S2019-020

$8,691.73 SITUS 8465 HOLLOWAY DR 318 WEST HOLLYWOOD CA 90069-4258 5555004-126/S2019-020 $9,025.53



TRANSMOGUL LLC SITUS 2300 SUNSET PLAZA DR LOS ANGELES CA 90069-1209 5562018-002 $181,821.69

TREVINO, JOE 5565027-003 $1,242.21




TVW GROVE LLC SITUS 1233 N ORANGE GROVE AVE W HOLLYWOOD CA 90046-5324 5530-001-032/S2019010 $12,723.82

UNIVERSITY PARK AND WATTS LLC SITUS 1342 W ADAMS BLVD LOS ANGELES CA 90007-1635 5055006-012/S2019-010 $289,987.56

VACA TORRES, BERTA SITUS 3210 GRACIA ST LOS ANGELES CA 90039-2210 5436-021026 $1,699.45

VANBROWN, PAULA L SITUS 4010 WALL ST LOS ANGELES CA 90011-2926 5113-025007 $14,000.78



5540-019-011/S2019010 $50,270.60 SITUS 1141 N VERMONT AVE LOS ANGELES CA 900291701 5540-019-012





SITUS 767 N RIDGEWOOD PL LOS ANGELES CA 90038-3191 5535-001-025 $749.79

AVE LOS ANGELES CA 90037-3515 5017-025014 $28,202.30

VIZCARRONDO, MICHAEL A SITUS 1044 W 58TH ST LOS ANGELES CA 90037-3932 5002016-020/S2019-010 $334.50





DECD TRUST SITUS 195 E 49TH ST LOS ANGELES CA 900113927 5109-003-052



$28,982.11 5556-015-075


WOODSTOCK INVESTMENT LLC 5565020-013 $6,833.28 5565-020-014

$6,034.68 5565-020-017

$14,461.36 5565-020-018

$6,735.63 5565-020-019

$6,727.97 5565-020-020

$6,727.97 5565-020-021

$6,616.66 5565-020-022

$6,833.29 5565-020-023

$5,779.51 5565-020-024

$6,833.29 5565-020-025

$7,202.05 5565-020-026



SITUS 3475 PLATA ST LOS ANGELES CA 90026-3526 5401-010024 $17,637.25

YAANGA LLC SITUS 1301 W 41ST PL LOS ANGELES CA 900371711 5020-003-023/ S2019-010 $1,617.02

YAPTANGCO, VANESSA SITUS 238 W 58TH ST LOS ANGELES CA 90037-4122 5101024-006/S2019-010 $4,239.68



1282 W 29TH STREET LLC SITUS 1282 W 29TH ST LOS ANGELES CA 90007-3140 5055010-002 $2,667.81

1650 EP HEIGHTS LLC 5420-028-012/ S2019-010 $35.19

2321 SOUTH CATALINA STREET LLC SITUS 2321 S CATALINA ST LOS ANGELES CA 90007-1649 5054-022022 $18,754.17

2360-2362 RIVERSIDE DR LLC SITUS 2362 RIVERSIDE DR LOS ANGELES CA 90039-4022 5438-004015 $8,775.33

3925 FOUNTAIN LLC SITUS 3925 FOUNTAIN AVE LOS ANGELES CA 90029-2217 5430-027011/S2019-010/S2020010 $48,284.34


SITUS 7300 WOODROW WILSON DR LOS ANGELES CA 900461321 2427-017-001


CN999490 553

Aug. 28, Sept. 11, 26, 2023


Administrative Event Specialist. High School/GED

+ 1 yr exp. req’d. Submit CV to J. Nicholas, De Los Suelos, Inc, 8149 Santa Monica B., #320, W. Hollywood, CA 90046 or delossuelosinc@gmail.com


Assurance Supervisors for Macias Gini & O’Connell LLP to report to our Los Angeles, CA regional office and may work remotely. Do accounting & assurance functions for clients. Plan, budget, execute, & mng client engagements &/or audit; & prep reporting products. Complete & deliver services timely & efficiently. Oversee lower-level associates incl providing feedback and conducting perform reviews. Resolve issues independently. ID & use opps to grow services to clients. Monitor & mng hourly yields fr billings, pursue cost savings. Prep billing worksheets & convey to clients. Communicate w/all associates, HQ personnel, management, partners & clients. Participate in prof associations. Visit client sites. Limited domestic travel involved. Occasional eve hrs. May undergo background checks. Wage: $92,206 to $110,000. Must have Bachelors in Accounting, Bus Admin, or related field w/ requisite accounting coursework, 3 yrs relevant public/corporate accounting exp., and 1 yr relevant team lead exp. Apply at www.mgocpa.com/careers; ref. Job 2023-3347.


Asst Superintendents @ Hathaway Dinwiddie Constr. Co., Los Angeles, CA. Implmnt & enforce safety regs. Review prjct estimate & subcontract scope of work. Work assgnmnts of a few months to a few years @ project sites in LA County. Sal: $103k/yr. Apply: HR@hdcco.com, Subj: Job ID# AS24.


Manager – FAAS for Macias Gini & O'Connell LLP to report to our Los Angeles, CA regional office and may work remotely. Ensure all staff rspsble for client accounting [acctg] services are adequately oriented. Oversee cont’d career dvlpmt thru active coaching + training. Oversee all client acctg needs for assigned clients across various industries, as well as day-to-day activities of client acctg teams. Oversee impl, dvlpmt + maintenance of acctg software systms for clients. Communicate w/ engagement partner to ensure compliance w/ srvce deliv standrds, billing + utilization processes. Outcome measurement of client account activities. Oversee monthly + yr-end closing + financial rprtng processes. Oversee + advise clients on impl + maintenance of internal financial controls + prcdrs. Support onboarding of new clients + allocation of team resources. Maintain professional mastery over acctg practices + acctg software. Mkt + recruit for firm. Anticipate, identify, + reslve complex client + firm issues. May require occasional evening hours. Visit client sites. Little domestic travel may be involved. May undergo background checks. Requires communication skills. Wage range: $106,974 to $130,000 annually. Must have Bachelors in Accounting or rel field; 6 years of accounting and controllership exp; and the following skills (2 yrs exp) in: supervisory experience; general accounting functions (incl US GAAP and IFRS); and using financial accounting software or utilizing reports generated from financial accounting software. Apply at www.mgocpa.com/careers; ref. Job 2023-3346.

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