Saturday, September 28, 2013

McCabe's Guitar Shop

Do you know about McCabe's Guitar Shop on Pico in Santa Monica? McCabe's is a super cool Mom and Pop music store and performance space, dating back to 1958. When I lived in Venice, I went to concerts there frequently. I bought my first metronome from them. It was cool to return as a plus-1 to see the Del-Lords tonight in that little back room that may seat 150.

The Del-Lords are a rootsy rock band that just released an album after a 23-year hiatus. They are from the New York/New Jersey area, and I think I heard them while living there. That, or I'm really good at predicting their lyrics! So, you're rocking out to the band, and the walls are covered with all sorts of stringed instruments. I've always thought that was fantastic!

Check out McCabe's show schedule, and go see a show. Trust me, you can't go wrong!

Click here for McCabe's Web site. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Never Built: Los Angeles at A+D Museum

This Frank Lloyd Wright model from 1947 reminds me of the Encounter building at LAX (see February, 2012 post). Sadly, the cool complex designed for Runyon Canyon wasn't completed. It is one of many shelved LA projects featured in Never Built: Los Angeles at A+D (Architecture and Design) Museum, near the Petersen Museum on Wilshire Boulevard.

You'll also see monorail and freeway plans that never materialized, the original layout for Disneyland - in Burbank!, and the Bible Storyland theme park proposal. These, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright's building, are all chalked up to the could've beens because they couldn't get the public's backing and/or funding dried up. For example, Wright's design, with a lounge, dining room, dance floor, cinema, and cabaret above a swimming pool and tennis court, was squashed by nearby residents. Burbank City Council feared a "carny atmosphere" if Disneyland was built there, and Bible Storyland was considered "blasphemous" by local clergy. In total, there are about 20 or so concepts that never happened.

Be sure to see the exhibition by October 27, or you'll miss out on Never Built: Los Angeles, again!

Click here to go to A+D's Web site.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers

September is coming to an end, and I'm due a burger. This Voodoo Burger from Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers changed that.

The Voodoo worked its magic on me! My beef burger (you could also have any of their burgers with turkey, chicken breast, salmon or veggie patty) with provolone and bleu cheese, bacon, topped with mushrooms sautéed in spicy voodoo sauce. WOW, my mouth is still on fire!

My friends went with a Hickory and a Western. Both were devoured! Our shared spicy curly fries were quite tasty. Note that the fries come out before the burgers, so pace yourself accordingly.

Barney's has been in the Bay area since 1978, and they have many local fans from those early days. They now have locations in Sherman Oaks (at the Westfield Mall on Riverside and Woodman, which is where I went), Brentwood and Santa Monica.

I look forward to further burger explorations with Barney's. Who's with me next month?!

Click here for Barney's Web site.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Monastery of the Angels Pumpkin Bread

You may know I get my religion a spoonful at a time: pipe organ here and there, stained glass, "Amazing Grace" in various musical forms, and bagpipe band class offered in a church. Now I'm adding this Monastery Pumpkin Bread to that list, for a mouthful at a time.

Monastery of the Angels is off Franklin Avenue and Gower in Hollywood, located near Cafe 101 Coffee Shop (you may remember them from my December, 2009 post with Cake in a Jar). This bread is fabulous! The Dominican Nuns bake it onsite, and it's made from ingredients you can actually pronounce. There are no preservatives, so you either need to freeze it, or in my case eat it!, before it goes bad. I guarantee the eating will not be a problem.

Go get your slice of religion today!

Click here for their Web site.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Porta Via revisited

For all it's worth, summer is now over. However, it's still hot, and BLTs are still on my mind! Especially, this one from Porta Via.

This is their last fling Summer iItalian BLT: crispy pancetta, arugula, tomatoes and basil aioli on brioche, with a side of roasted beets with arugula and sherry vinaigrette. FABULOUS!!

I last posted on Porta Via in December, 2010 when their salads were marathon training fuel. I expect this BLT will fuel me through other challenges!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Exposition Park

Now that all the kiddies are all back to school, I am determined to make the most of a day at Exposition Park. Yes, finally see the Nature Lab and Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum, and the Endeavour Shuttle at the Science Center.

You know spiders are my favorite! If you visited the old Discovery Center at NHM, you remember the tanks with the snakes, frogs, spiders and other crawly things. Inside the new Nature Lab, the animals are more front-and-center with jumbo tanks for the bullfrogs and ant colonies. I love this cool collection of preserved spider specimens, and there are multiple live ones nearby. Woohoo!!

Outdoor is the Nature Garden, where everything was planted or placed to attract wildlife. I liked the way they indicated with these big arrows the important things going on. There's also a flowing creek to simulate the LA River, bird watching platforms and an edible garden that truly smells wonderful.

Next door, there's the Endeavour at the Science Center. I can't believe it has been almost a year since I saw the shuttle strapped to a 747 flying over LA (see September 21, 2012 post). Now CSC has a temporary bunker with big plans for the permanent gallery. While I was there, the space went from a nice crowd to a packed crowd as another busload of tourists came in to gawk. I look forward to their ambitious plans!

I also hadn't seen the Kelp Forest with the touch tanks up top, or the Rot Room. Both were fun surprises and reminders that I need to make a habit of returning.

Get out there and see all that LA has to offer!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

California Pita

I busted out for lunch with some friends, this time to California Pita's location on Ventura Boulevard. This is the yuumalicious lamb shish kabob plate. Super tender lamb with the grilled onions over rice to start, with hummus, pita and crisp lettuce/cucumber/salad.

Check out one of their five LA locations when you need a tasty Mediterranean treat. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of their $1.99 Falafel Friday promotion. Who wants to go?!

Click here for California Pita's Web site.