I’ve been hunting for a blue denim jacket for months. I have a black denim jacket–but not a blue one. This need revolves around Los Angeles weather, a climate that is never too cold at night but is never really that hot either: the weather is perfect for a light jacket. What’s the perfect light jacket? A jean jacket. We got word in the mail from local maker/designer David Kien about a project he’s undertaken that basically has solved my problem: he’s made a simplified, affordable jean jacket that is intended to be the launching point for a bigger outfitting enterprise. His brand is Duc Kien and he has launched a Kickstarter to get word of his making out into the world.
We’ve all seen those Reed’s sodas around town–but did you know they were made in Los Angeles? We had no idea! They seem so ubiquitous that we figured this was something so big and so out there that there would be no reason to investigate the brand to see if they are local. The only reason we discovered this was after reading that the brand is doing OK financially. The news stuck in our brain and eventually grabbed us as we were shopping: we had to buy and share Reed’s Ginger Brew on the site.
The food I eat doesn’t look good. I’m not talking about the food itself: I’m talking about the packaging. It never looks good! It’s not cool or sexy or like the packaging that you people friends get in your food. There’s always a lot of unnecessary clutter on pet food bags and there’s inevitably a cheesy photo of some dog friend who comes courtesy of obvious stock photography. LA designer Michelle Han has an idea for making dog food look better. She and a team did a little redesign project a few years ago to attempt to package pet food in a simple, attractive, and straightforward way. I would eat this food!
After almost thirty years in town, Chaya Brasserie might now be more of a function of Los Angeles than a product of it. Their lineage traces 400 years back, serving food under a tree in Hayama Japan, to offer food and respite for the vagabonds of the time. Shigefumi Tachibe brought the Euro-Asian style to Beverly Hills with Chaya Brasserie, offering food and drink for the power lunchers and adventuresome eaters of the 1980s. Ok, so the times have changed. Except the “All Night Every Night Happy Hour,” which must have survived since those days of drinking sake underneath a shade tree.
So we must celebrate. Not just to eating and drinking under a tree. But to the one hundred years of friendship between our country and Japan, symbolized by 3,000 cherry blossom trees decorating our nations capital.
You’ve been living in Echo Park (adjacent) for so long, you forgot there was the Pacific Ocean somewhere over there. But there is. And you need to feel the sand in your toes, the salt on your skin and the sun on your back.
Start early, carpool with friends, make a playlist and replenish the tap water in one of those eco-tinted to-go containers you take to yoga. Arrive at Ocean Park, just south of Santa Monica, spread out on the beach and read that book you’d be too embarrassed to break open nearer home.