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The Digest: CJ “Big Ceej” Jacobson At The Mercantile

The Digest: CJ "Big Ceej" Jacobson At The Mercantile

Years ago, I worked as an assistant in television development. It was my first real job out of college and the office was located at Sunset and Seward. It was all very “Hollywood.” Every day, I had to go to this place called Ponchik Factory to get my bosses lunch. It’s a tiny place that survives simply because a giant office building is on top of it. The food is an extreme variety of OK and every time I went in there I had to exchange the formalities of “Hey, how’s your edit going?” or “Hey, I’m good for that 2PM meeting.” It was like an office away from my office–and these visits were the only chance I had to leave the office between the hours of 9AM and 8PM.

When The Mercantile opened across the street from my office, things changed. There was a brief migration to the Bowery Street establishment by my coworkers and I found myself there more and more picking up food for my bosses. For nearly a year, I was in there every weekday picking up a Cuban sandwich for both my bosses. I would stand there and gawk at the wines as I waited and I thought about how fantastic it would be to eat there because everything looked so great. “The Mercantile is a nice place,” I’d think to myself followed by thoughts of how I couldn’t afford it at that moment. I’ve eaten there a few times since leaving the assistant job and it is literally the only connection I have to those two plus years of television work. Recently, the Sunset space has gotten a menu overhaul courtesy of Chef CJ “Big Ceej” Jacobson. Chef CJ brings quite a flair and polish to the menu. This should be no surprise for anyone who has been keeping up with the current season of Top Chef.

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Olive Oil From Fig & Olive

Olive Oil From Fig & Olive 1

Right at the very tip of Melrose Place is Fig & Olive, a Mediterranean restaurant with quite a fabulous way about them. The Melrose and La Cienega now-staple is an airy and clean restaurant that is always bustling. You’ll notice as you walk in that there is a wall lined with oils and vinegars, spreads and pantry goods: they’re little items that extend F&O’s brand from their West Hollywood space to your place. We swung by yesterday for the first time and picked up one of their very luscious olive oils to try. Their collection is obviously a large brand touchstone.

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Darkness In The Rain

Darkness In The Rain

It happens every time it rains in Los Angeles: you get in your car and traffic is a mess.

People are driving slow. Some people are driving fast. Some people are skidding around because the rain mixed with car fumes have made them go insane. Some people blame this bad traffic phenomena on LA people having no experience driving in the rain, as if every single Angeleno was born and bred in this rainless climate. Others claim that they–an East coaster or Northern Californian or New Englander or Pacific Northwesterner or Southerner–are experts in driving in the rain despite everyone else in the city being completely inept when roads get wet.

Driving in Los Angeles rain is a nightmare. It also inspires quite a lot of identity crises.

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Anna Dobos Shoots High Fashion

Anna Dobos Shoots High Fashion

One thing we are learning when hunting for artists and creators to share on LAIY is that there are a shit ton of photographers in Los Angeles. A ton! There are a lot of great ones, too. I don’t remember where we found her work but Anna Dobos is one of the more fantastic Los Angeles photo people. She does videos and music photography and lifestyle photography but her fashion work is the best. They’re slightly oddball and certainly artsy: they’re not what you would expect.

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Newsbites

Patricia Fernández Points Of Departure Between Spain And Frace 18th Street Arts Center

Made In L.A. alumn Patricia Fernández is currently the focus of a big showing at Santa Monica’s 18th Street Art Center. The show is called Points of Departure (between Spain and France) and is currently on view now through June 28.

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Bold LA Downtown Los Angeles

To add to the bubbling activity of who knows what on Broadway is Bold Room LA, a multi-purpose creative space hosting pop-ups and art. Sounds interesting!

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Living And Sustaining A Creative Life Sharon Louden LACMA

To celebrate her book, artist Sharon Louden will be coming to LACMA for a discussion and book signing of her new piece Living And Sustaining A Creative Life. It’s April 21 and will include a panel of speakers from Randy Sommer of ACME to George Stoll.

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Freeway Studies Insidue The Quad Otis

For the second of their road studying shows, Otis is presenting Freeway Studies #2. It’s a group show featuring “work by 31 contemporary artists whose studios are located inside the border defined by the following freeways: I-405, I-110, I-10 and I-105.” It’s on view through June 27.

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