Highland Park has been an up and coming neighborhood for about as long as I can remember. I don’t know where or when this idea emerged. It could have been the changing of the guard, a migration from ethnic stronghold to artist hangout. It could have been the development of the area around Occidental College, the slow urban gentrification of a neighborhood steeped in its own tradition. It could be the cheap rent. But this community remains the hotbed for creativity. Which means there’s gotta be a great place to eat and drink.
In a strip mall just south of the Wiltern on Western, opens one of the more promising Los Angeles ventures. Saint Martha aims to be the Franco-Californian new restaurant that Los Angeles needs. Peter and Ellen Picataggio, of TART and Farmer’s Daughter, alongside sommelier Mary Thompson, set up a location in the heart of the city to enjoy great wines and an ambitious pairing of flavors. Chef Nick Evren of Mess Hall and TART crafted an intoxicating menu for the 38 seat restaurant, making this an exciting addition to one of the city’s culinary capitals.
Sometimes you find music that is easy to write and categorized. Namely, stuff that has more than a few words printed about it already, labelled, tagged, and marketed for your consumption, PR’ed to perfection, brought together. But when I first heard Nilu it was my own ears that did the work that a million PR agencies couldn’t do. Truth be told, nothing beats a great voice, a great arrangement, and a great song. Her Dichotomy EP came out at the tail end of last year, filled with those three qualities, and that’s merely the jumping off point.
It all started in 2009, a proposal by our friends over at LA Taco. What if you had a bracket style tournament of tacos. Not just a group of sixteen, but 32. Give the readers over a month of driving and eating to make their choices. Each week, lowest voters get eliminated, culminating in a group of eight finalists. Finally let’s get them all in one location. With DJs, a beer garden, and one of the most beautiful locations in the city. What can I say – Taco Madness becomes the greatest free party in downtown.
Art imitates life, life imitates art, what have you. The recently opened Line Hotel in the heart of Koreatown desperately clings to a downtown LA aesthetic. Well, not really downtown. Koreatown. With a deft idealistic touch, they gave control of the restaurant, bar and cafe to some guy who apparently has done a lot for the way Angelenos eat now adays. From rubbing shoulders at A-Frame, brunch and reggae at Sunny Spot, patio rice bowls at Chego, and a persistent drip of taco juice on your kicks at Kogi, Roy Choi’s restaurants are central to where Angelenos take a break to eat some damn good grub. Gliding through the Line Hotels lobby, a neon sign will point you to his newest joint: Pot.