Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Orpheum Theatre

It's opening night of a banner season of Last Remaining Seats with the Los Angeles Conservancy, celebrating 25 years of classic films in LA's downtown old-school theatres.

What better way to kick it off than the Orpheum Theatre and a screening of "Rear Window." Wow, and the packed house was treated pre-show to the Mighty Wurlitzer! (All the regulars know I dig the pipe organ!) The Orpheum is also having a big anniversary with 85 history-making years.

There are five more of the Wednesday night LRS films, and I'll definitely look for you at the Sunday showing of "Sunset Boulevard" at the Palace Theatre on June 26. Special shout-out to the Palace and its 100th birthday that night!

Click here to go to the Orpheum's Web site.

Click here to go to the Conservancy's Web site.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Casa Bianca

Ten years in South Pasadena, and 10 years of hearing about Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock. Mind you, I've been a little intimidated by the throngs of people waiting out front to try it, but enough was enough.

Finally, I coordinated with some friends to be there when it opened (4:00 p.m.!) for an early-bird dinner. They were regulars, so they knew the drill. We wasted no time with ordering: antipasto salad and split pepperoni and sausage pizza with onions.

Where do I start? The salad had huge chunks of artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, salami and all the other good stuff. The pizza served as a refresher to my grade-school quadrilateral studies, as slices weren't the typical wedges or squares, but random rectangles, trapezoids and parallelograms. Fun! The crust was wafer-thin, and the sausage was especially delish!

One other flash-back detail: the lady's room had a dispenser with the powder stuff to wash your hands. No fancy-schmancy soft soap here! I haven't seen that in years, but it fit right in with the old-school theme of Casa Bianca. Now I know what all the fuss is about!

Click here to go to Casa Bianca's Web site.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Salsa and Beer

Last March, I posted about the awesome potato tacos at Señor Fish. I broke Lent this year with their potato and fish tacos, after successfully avoiding deep-fried foods for almost all of the 40 days; they are THAT good!

Now, I've sampled a potato taco contender in North Hollywood: Salsa and Beer at Lankershim and Sherman Way. I sense a smackdown on the horizon!

Salsa and Beer starts you off with some super-delish bean dip and chips. Their salsa bar has a variety of flavor options, including the cilantro-avocado blend hovering at the cover of the picture. YUM! As if that wasn't a meal in itself, then there are the potato tacos with chunks of the spuds filling each mouthful. Their shells seemingly were fried separately from the potato, unlike Señor Fish, but were just as fantastic. Yes, I will need a side-by-side taste comparison. Are you with me on this?

Click here to go to Salsa and Beer's Web site.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lula Mae

OK, I'll be frank. I really don't want to share Lula Mae with you. It has been MY go-to place for any gift-giving need I've had for several years. A funny card for someone who's angry at the world about an upcoming birthday? Check! A "Joy" stock-stuffer for Mom? Yep, multiple times! Baby shower, wedding, graduation, bacon-scented bandaids? You betcha!

Lula Mae is at the corner of Fair Oaks and Union in Old Town Pasadena. It wins all kinds of "reader's choice" awards for the delightful selection and super-friendly staff. You really should see it for yourself. Today's purchase was a blingy, sparkly pink rhinestoney ring. I've already decided to go back and get the blue one, too. I won't flinch if I see you at MY Lula Mae's!

Click here to go to Lula Mae's Web site.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Canter's Deli

Last March, I posted on Art's Deli in Studio City. Today, for the uninitiated, I bring you Canter's Deli on Fairfax. Here you see that I ordered the classic Reuben with pastrami, swiss cheese and sour kraut on toasted rye bread. Delish!

The family-owned Canter's has been in LA since 1931, relocating from Jersey City, NJ, after the stock market crash. They've been at this location since 1953. Jersey's loss was definitely our gain!

What makes Canter's different from Art's (and Junior's on Westwood) in the Jewish deli category is they're open 24/7, well, except for Jewish holidays. In my early LA days, Canter's was a great pitstop after enjoying a concert or late movie before heading home. The late night crowd was alway a hoot! The adjacent Kibitz Room bar just added to that fun.

I have to admit that I was "schooled" in Jewish delis at Carnegie in NYC. (Surprise! Nothing of the sort in my Indiana years.) I willingly continue my coursework, so let me know if I am overlooking any other great Jewish delis in LA.

Click here to go to Canter's Web site.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Boneyard Bistro

Here's another good reason to like Sherman Oaks: Boneyard Bistro on Ventura Boulevard.

A friend met me at work to check out our new Houdini and Masters of Illusions exhibitions (you should see them too!), and we went back-and-forth in our Googling about where to have dinner. Finally, we came upon Boneyard Bistro. I immediately dug the tuxedoed skeleton icon hosting their Web site and was wishing I was wearing one of my Day of the Dead t-shirts or toting a souvenir from Skeletons in the Closet (see July 2009 post). Oh well, next time I'll be prepared, because there will be a next time!

The bone door handle was a cheeky nod that this was going to be a cool place. Luckily, we had reservations as the tables were filling up. We decided to fill up too after reading the menu. In the photo you see the tower of heirloom tomatoes with bleu cheese and herbs. YUM!! What you don't see is the pulled pork dumplings, spinach salad, chili-filled donut holes, or the cornbread muffins and crusty bread. Delish! I'm going back for some barbecue and the coffin cake. Who's with me?

Click here for Boneyard Bistro's Web site.

Monday, May 2, 2011


It's time for Dodgers' baseball, and once again, it's with the Hoosier Alums in the All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion.

Seeing the Dodgers is one of those "gotta do it so you know it's summer" kind of things. The list also includes seeing something at the Hollywood Bowl and a couple of Last Remaining Seats movies (see posts from Tacos Mexico and Pie Boy Pizza from last June, and Hollywood Bowl in July). The Indiana University Alumni Association generally plans an outing when the Cubs are on the schedule. Lately, we've got our tickets in the All-You-Can-Eat seats. For complete disclaimer, I did not fully step up to that challenge. Two Dodger Dogs, a lemonade, and peanuts to-go were plenty. The Hoosiers were split between Dodgers and Cubs fans, which made for some interesting interpretations when the crowd roared. Was that good for the Dodgers or good for the Cubs? I was a Mets fan (whatever happened to Lee Mazzilli and Alex Trevino?) during my formative years in Indiana, so my alliances went with the LA lads.

The Dodgers won for the Hoosiers tonight because they have a secret weapon: Manager Don Mattingly is from Evansville, Indiana. Take that Cubs fans!

Click here to go to the Dodgers' Web site.