Beer is not my thing and I certainly have not tried any of the Arrogant Bastard/Stone Brewing beers either. I’ve seen them though and I do know that they are made not-too-far-from Los Angeles. Los Angeles designer Thanh Nguyen definitely has tried the beer and must be something of a fan. This is assumed because he repackaged the Arrogant Bastard brand in quite a simple and wonderful way. If only this was the real packaging!
Chicken, pizza, grilled cheese, hot dogs, and burgers. Like many Americans, I know these five food groups very well. I was one of those kids who’d sit at the table for an hour trying to force down fish and vegetables my mom made for dinner. Fortunately though, taste buds change, I quit being a stubborn jerk, and I moved to an amazing food city. What’s never changed though is my search for the most delicious and well-crafted versions of my childhood street food diet.
We all have extremely specific ideas of comfort food. Some people want a hot bowl of creamy New England Clam Cowder with a thick slice of sourdough bread to go with it. Others are want a perfect off-the-grill burger slathered I ketchup or your mother’s prized gumbo. I am partial to a soft fried chicken sandwich on a biscuit but, hey, we’re all different. For many these comforting foods are tied to their upbringing or a deeply personal event that changed how they interact with food. Many do not stray from their own culture since it is what they’re most used to. Din Tai Fung in Arcadia is a dumpling house that redefines which food makes you comfortable. Din Tai Fung serves exactly what you need when you want a cozy cold night feast or post break-up gorge or celebratory snack: Din Tai Fung is one of Los Angeles best culinary antidepressants.
Jessica Rath is not obsessed with apples. You wouldn’t think this is the case because her recent body of work is a group of apple sculptures and portraits of apple trees. They aren’t about the apples, though: they’re about plant genetics. Rath is a California based artist who has been studying and researching the genetics of plants for three years. The result is Take Me To The Apple Breeder.
Francesca Lia Block is one of L.A.’s fairy godmothers. The New York Review of Books has said that she “writes about the real Los Angeles better than anyone since Raymond Chandler.” Author of the Weetzie Bat books, these punk rock fairytales are love letters to the city of angels–and one of the reasons I came to Southern California when I was seventeen. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Block at an LA Zine Fest event, where she signed my only-slightly-scuffed copies of Weetzie Bat and Wtich Baby, which I’ve been carrying around since age twelve. Her most recent projects include a prequel to Weetzie Bat (see interview), an adult fantasy (see interview), and a Weetzie screenplay (get ready). This promo video for an Italian edition of the Weetzie stories is a nice homage to the world Block writes about, though nothing will do justice save the books themselves.