Thursday, December 27, 2012

Favorite Flickr Pool Photos from 2012

ExperienceLA Flickr Pool Screenshot

We decided to end the year by looking back at our ExperienceLA Flickr Pool Photo submissions.  Over 1300 photos were shared to our pool this year!  We looked out for some favorite moments, some cool and interesting sights (and sites!), and some iconic places!  We look forward to seeing more amazing photos in 2013! - Charity Tran

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Short Order's New Menu Items Inspired by Hoof to Tail Movement

Ranchers Pie
Just over one year ago, Los Angeles chef legend, Nancy Silverton, in partnership with restauranteur, Bill Chait. opened Short Order at the Originals Farmers Market, just above Dupar's at Third and Fairfax.  At the time, much attention was focused on the burgers, as the Nancy Silverton burger blend had been featured for many years at one of the butcher stalls at the Original Farmers Market.  With increasing awareness in Los Angeles (for example Lindy and Grundy butchers just up the street) about hoof to tail use of an entire cow, Executive Chef Christine Page has set out to integrate the use of two steers per week, for a series of dishes that some would be featured just one day a week.  In discussion with Chef Page, his earlier training in supply chain economics while getting his MBA at USC in their entrepreneurship program was going to be really tested. 

One featured Short Order dish, of limited availability, is the Ruben, in which Chef Page is making his own corned beef: however, due to its popularity, the two entire steer order per week, are being augmented by additional brisket orders, and they still have been known to run out. Short Order is also making their own bacon for their BLT which they call a BPB-LTA for their inclusion of pork belly along with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Another weekly dish on Tuesday is their Shepards pie, which makes use of leftover meats centered around a large marrow bone.  Probably a must try at Short Order is the deep frying of their renown pickles, probably better than any fried pickles that one might get at a County Fair.  The use of frying also comes into play, by frying the ordinary croissant and stuffing it with banana cardamon cream. This and other imaginative desserts are available to go from a separate take out section. For coffee lovers, you will find Short Order serving coffee from Verve of Santa Cruz. Plus a number of innovative cocktails making use of fresh farm to table ingredients. In addition to the upstairs dining, one can also eat and drink on the ground level portion of the restaurant that is set up as a bar.

Here are my Short Order pictures shared  from Flickr as a slideshow below, and for those with an Ipad, click here.

So if visiting the Grove or the Original Farmers Market, plan on a visit to Short Order for some very tasty menu items. If you go on a Thursday, then you can catch the Bacon wrapped filet.  My picture in the slide show is a mini-version using a quail egg that will eventually show up on a happy hour menu in a slider version. I have now been to Short Order several times, and I have added it to my other favorite Los Angeles food destinations with Nancy's imprint, Mozza, and Bill's ownership, Rivera, in partnership with Jon Sedlar.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 24 Free Holiday Celebration at the LA Music Center

DSC_3292 For the fifty-three year in a row, the LA County Arts Commission is bringing some of the finest performing arts groups to the Los Angeles Music Center for a free public performance during the afternoon of December 24, 2012 from 3 pm to 6 pm.  The LA County Holiday Celebration, includes free parking at the Music Center, and the performances take place inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  Festivities begin on the Music Center plaza at 12:30 pm, to help entertain those in line looking for the best seats.  Seating begins at 2:30 pm, continuing throughout the entire three hour performance period, as most people are there to see their friends and family members, so on average are in the audience for about an hour.  This year for the first time, the adjacent Grand Park will be open, so explore it before or after your visit to the Music Center, and there will even be food trucks. If you can't attend in person, then catch the performance live on KCET-TV, on the radio at KPFK 90.7, or streaming on a computer or mobile device at  You can also participate during the live performance in an interactive conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag of: #HCLA. The following 20 performance groups (not in performance order), chosen from among over 500 performing arts organizations throughout Los Angeles County will each perform for approximately six minutes each during the afternoon before Christmas Eve.

Salvation Army Tabernacle Children’s Chorus
Invertigo Dance Theatre
Vox Femina Los Angeles
Elliot Deutsch Big Band
Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble
Las Cafeteras
Palmdale High School Choral Union
Mariachi Sol de Mexico (which can be watched here on YouTube)
Colburn Children’s Choir (not to be missed)
Shin Dance Company (with video embedded below)
South Bay Children's Choir
Vaud and the Villains (also not to be missed: possibly singing Christmas comes to New Orleans)
Immaculate Heart of Mary Children's Choir
Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble
Family Life Sanctuary Choir
Pacifico Dance Company (with picture above)
Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles
Shakti Dance Company
Second Samoan Congregational Church Choir
Double G and Strings

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

White Arrows to Appear at Troubadour on December 15

Steve Vernet and JP Cabellero of the White Arrows The other day I had the chance to sit down with John Paul ("JP") Cabellero and Steven Vernet from the five member Los Angeles based White Arrows who in 2012 released their first LP ("Dry Land is Not a Myth"), including a vinyl version, and toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.  For those who saw the White Arrows open the 2012  Labor Day weekend FYF Fest at the Metro friendly, Chinatown adjacent, State Historic Park, you can see them up close and personal at the historic West Hollywood Troubadour for KCRW presents the Invisible Children Holiday Benefit Show on Saturday night, December 15, 2012.  White Arrows, who got their start almost three years ago, had a residency at the old Spaceland in Echo Park club, giving them a chance to refine their sound and live performance persona. They have already come a long way in such a short time, playing SXSW twice, and their USA/Europe/Australia tour, White Arrows, knock on wood, are hoping to get a Coachella 2013 invite.  Their sound is described as psyschotropic, but is a blend of driving rhythms and pop.

During 2012, White Arrows was on the road so much, that they were glad to have places in Los Angeles to rest and recover, since they were home no more than 3 weeks at the longest, before hitting the road again. They consider the "Eastside" of Silver Lake and Echo Park as their spiritual home, with band founders Mickey and Henry Church having grown up in Pacific Palisades, and JP having grown up in Hermosa Beach and Steven in the Montclair area.  JP described himself as a contrarian, and so as to not do PE, he joined the marching band at Mira Costa High school playing percussion instruments and bass. While Steven started playing the drums in elementary school, but when he couldn't convince his parents to invest in a drum set, he learned the bass guitar which he played in band while at Montclair Prep.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sophie B. Hawkins in Janis Joplin Musical is Must See at Macha Theater in West Hollywood

A Janis Joplin musical, currently playing through the end of December 2012 (unless extended again) is Room 105 The Highs and Lows of Janis Joplin at the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood.  Sophie B. Hawkins who has had her own independent rocker career brings Janis Joplin to life in this emotional performance, hitting all the right notes, in this small theatre setting, where there is not a bad seat in the house.  This musical play written and directed by Gigi Gaston is a self reflection on Janis' live as she interacts with past lovers, and even TV talk show host, Dick Cavitt, and how she was perceived by high school classmates (in a return to Port Arthur for a high school reunion).  Going to this show is like attending a Janis Joplin cover band show, as 9 cuts are interwoven into the script, complete with a backup band.  Of course you will find, Me and Bobby McGee, which is probably the musical highlight of the show, which as we all know was written by Kris Kristoferson.  There is an inside joke, as to why the production team was not able to license perhaps the most famous Janis song, Mercedes Benz, and I will not give it away here.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Touring SAINT MOTEL to Appear at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa on December 15

I am always looking for the opportunity to help promote breaking bands on ExperienceLA, and Saint Motel in this post, when there is an emotional hook that gets my attention and gets me out to check out a band in a live performance, getting me exposed to different genres of live music. Thus I was intrigued to get out to Dim Mak Studios for the free fashion inspiration holiday party in Hollywood to see Saint Motel last month, and had a chance to briefly talk to A/J Jackson, lead singer and lead guitarist, of this foursome of independent pop/rockers who came out of the Chapman College film program. Below is my flickr slideshow from that night, and a direct link for those with an Ipad.

Saint Motel, who appear to have a loyal following of young women, is currently on tour along the west coast and is returning to Southern California with an appearance at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa on Saturday evening December 15, 2012. Tickets can be bought online for $12, or at the door for $15. You will see lots of energy on stage, catchy tunes, and a band having fun. They have previously played in a number of Los Angeles venues, including the El Rey, and could be found in Austin, Texas for the world renown SXSW Music Festival.