A lot can be said about Alex Israel’s Lens. It’s a close examination of a Los Angeles artifact and a surrealist transparent sculpture. It’s a giant black fingernail leaned against a wall and a warping fun house mirror. It’s a sci-fi disc and a sublime looking glass you can put yourself through. It’s simple and complex and has a generous amount of humor to it as it is ultimately a gigantic displaced lens looking for the Freeway sunglasses it belongs to.
Lock & Key is not easy to find. First, trying to track down information about them online? Not impossible but it certainly is difficult to find an “official” website amongst all the EaterLA articles. The best that could be done for a while was their Facebook page. Secondly, the new Koreatown speakeasy is at an intersection of supermarkets, ethnic bodegas, and fast food restaurants on Vermomt. The only tip you have to see the place is a bright red glowing key sign and the valet stand that appears to be set up for nothing. It’s a curious situation. You walk into the space and are locked into a dark room with doorknobs covering the walls. It feels like you are in a sketchy Haunted Mansion waiting area. A security guy sizes you up here and, if you aren’t wearing t-shirts, shorts, sandals, etc., he gives you the OK to enter. The Koreatowm newcomer has already been an adventure–and we haven’t even gotten a drink yet.
Spring. Undoubtedly in the air. The rainy cold of February has left and the common Angeleno can finally sleep with their windows open again. It is not just spring in America. In Oaxaca, the jacarandas begin to bloom, bougainvillea stretch their spiny branches to the sun, and oranges reach their juice thresholds. But most tellingly, one hundred million Monarch butterflies are nestled in the mountains of Michoacán, surviving the winter, ready to head back north. They always head north.
I couldn’t tell you how many times we’ve past Silver Lake Vietnamese restaurant Blossom. It’s been there for some time and we’ve not thought to investigate it. The space looks pretty cool from the outside but with Black Cat and Stella and Casita del Campo and Malo and Little Dom’s and Messhall not that far from the area, our eyes often wander to other places to eat. We were busing one day and trying to figure out where we wanted to walk to from Intelligentsia headed West. That one deli next to Bar Covell sounded enticing but was too intimidating of a walk for two hungry guys. Why not try Blossom? So, we did!
There are lots of local salsa makers in LA. With the relationship Southern California has to Mexico, it only makes sense that the culture–especially food culture–has had such a big influence on our own. There are lots of cool local makers and great LA salsa people but there aren’t any that really look good, though. That can be seen in lots of LA food makers: the food item may be great but their packaging is OK. Luko Foods’ Heidi’s Salsa, which we have never seen in any store before, is a really beautifully packaged salsa whose packaging alone will coax you into buying it. It tastes great, too.