<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSat, 23 Jul 2016 12:40:27 -0700Sat, 23 Jul 2016 12:40:27 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Charles Phoenix, Marionettes, and Cake]]> Sat, 23 Jul 2016 10:04:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/charlesphoenixbobbaker12345.jpg

Remember back when you were a tot, and you were weathering a summer heat wave, how your parents told you to either A) go play in the sprinklers or B) stay inside and keep cool?

If you opted for the staying inside route, you likely read a comic book, or watched cartoons, or perhaps put on a puppet show with some mate-less socks (and plastic googly eyes, if you were lucky enough to have such treasures).

You can still find that particular kind of stay-cool fun during the upcoming heat wave, but you don't need plastic press-on eyes or socks to find it. Just look to the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the historic children's theater near downtown Los Angeles, and funny history lover Charles Phoenix, who is hosting a special presentation at the venue.

The date? It's definitely heat wave adjacent: Sunday, July 24 at 4 o'clock in the afternoon (prime forehead glistening time).

Not only will Mr. Phoenix, who is well-known for his mid-century slide shows and books, give some background on the founded-in-1963 theater, he'll join everyone for cake and ice cream in this venue's party room after the marionette show.

Ah yes, and there shall be a show, filled with some of the quintessential characters seen by Southern California kids over the decades (and their kids, and now the kids of those kids).

A hot weekend bonus: This is a nicely sun-free spot, if you're looking to bid those intense beams adieu for an hour or two. And the ice cream will further take a bit of the heat wave's fiery sting away, before you emerge back into the early evening.

The marionettes, music, history, and memories of Mr. Baker, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 90, will make it all pretty sweet. Also sweet? Wearing something lively or even outlandish "is highly encouraged," so break out the brightest, puppet-prettiest outfit you have.

Tickets? You'll need them. Find 'em here.

Memories of SoCal summers past? They're found at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Disneyland, by the by, just marked its 61st anniversary earlier in July, a notable occasion, indeed.

But Mr. Baker's theater hails from that same era, and it still has much of its old-school charms, after-show ice cream and cake included.



Photo Credit: Charles Phoenix]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Open of Surfing Rides Heat Wave]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:36:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/High-Surf-OB-0624.jpg The U.S. Open of Surfing kicks off during one of the warmest weekends of the year in Southern California. Marin Austin reports for the NBC4 News at 11 a.m. on Friday July 22, 2016.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Comic-Con: The First Day Costumes]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 13:04:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/ccGettyImages-578542422+%281%29.jpg An impressive array of get-ups were seen during the expo's early hours.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fenders, Family, Fun: Downtown Burbank Car Classic]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:17:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Burbank_Carshow-002.jpg

If you own a vintage automobile, the kind of dream machine that you wash a few times a month, or more, and regularly service, you don't want it sitting in the garage.

Well, not always, at least. Such sweet wheels need some flat-out admiration, and there are fewer bigger fan bases than the one that shows for the ever-popular Downtown Burbank Car Classic.

The 5th annual will roll, and then park, along San Fernando Boulevard on the afternoon/evening of Saturday, July 30. It's free, all of that chrome-tastic, fender-shiny, dashboard-walnut viewing, and there are some cherries on top of the sundae, too (as there should be with a summertime classic).

Like? Well, vendor booths and prizes are part of the bash, and live tunes, too. And if you heard "Burbank" and "car classic" and immediately thought of Bob's Big Boy, which regularly hosts car enthusiasts, you're on the money: The famous diner is doing a Friday night to-do on July 29, ahead of the street party.

As for the autos set to show? Interesting autos make a cameo each year. Exhibit A? The event has a call out for cars with Hollywood cred, so if you own an auto that was used in a show, or perhaps has another Tinseltown story to tell, definitely plan on attending.

And look for the kind of vehicles that ruled the road back in the middle of the century, and the '60s, and the '70s, too. 

But, honest now, don't all of those decades-old Mustangs and Corvettes and trucks and Woodies still rule the road? It isn't hard to get a little agog when one pulls up alongside you at a stoplight.

Enjoy dozens of such stunners, for free, at the all-ages to-do, one that takes up a good portion of the heart of Burbank over a stroll-about Saturday afternoon.



Photo Credit: Downtown Burbank Classic]]>
<![CDATA[Help Clear the Shelters]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:00:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pug-drive-away.jpg
View Full Story

Photo Credit: Carlos Gomez]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Comic-Con International Opens]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 17:32:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/comicconGettyImages-578540388+%281%29.jpg

Comic-Con International: If you're a big-budget movie-director, an avid creator of cool costumes, a longtime fan of a particular comic book series, an actor on a hot genre TV series, or somebody else who digs reading, watching, and being in the pop culture mix, chances are you're at the San Diego Convention Center. That's where big panels, big signings, and big everything is going down, through July 24, at the world's biggest pop culture convention. (P.S. Your costume is srsly amazing.)

Dapper Day: San Diego won't be the only scene for sartorial strutting, as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art shall welcome Dapper Day, the popular Disneyland Resort tradition, on Friday, July 22. Visitors are invited to dress up in their vintage, or at least fancy-fun, best, and take in the "Reigning Men" fashion exhibit. That requires museum admission, but the jazz outside, and dancing, is free and fabulous. And, yes: Dapper Day returns to Disneyland this November.

Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival: You know this giant crustacean celebration, but you know it from September. It's now taking place in July — the 22nd through 24th, to be specific — and a new-to-this-year update is two lobsters a plate (a guest request). Want to know the band rundown, the yummy sides, and how to arrive/park/get to the USS Iowa-close location? Follow the scent of butter this way.

"Union Station 360°": A classic train station offers a wealth of visual and aural treats any day of the year, but our landmark LA station is going a bit further in that field through Sunday, July 24 via an "interactive, 4-D experience." The out-sized art piece, which involves projections and lights and local vistas aplenty, is sparkling nightly through the 24th, from 8 through midnight, at the Alameda Street destination. 

OC Fair: The Costa Mesa party heads into weekend #2 with a host of midway-esque, piglet-cute happenings. The Saturday, July 23 schedule includes milking demos, a wine seminar on pinot noir, the Peking Acrobats, and a LEGO Tower Contest. Yep, it'll be a warm one, so find an ice cream treat and a cool bench and watch the lively scene, one that's only around through the middle of August.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Disney's First LA Studio: Future Unknown]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:11:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/waltdisney.jpg

If you're a preservation-minded supporter of early Los Angeles abodes, especially those tied to monumental figures in our city's story (and, indeed, the world at large), you can get pretty chuffed when the word "demolished" is replaced with an interesting alternative.

That's just what's happening with the Los Feliz bungalow that once belonged to the aunt and uncle of Walt Disney. Word that the 1914 house would be demolished spread through the conservation community in recent days, and talk of designating it an Historic Cultural Monument soon flowered, reports LA Magazine.

The magazine also revealed that the house's new owners purchased it without knowing its Disney-important history, a history that involves a young Walter Elias Disney and his course-changing stay in LA nearly a century ago (July 1923, to be specific).

Many an aspiring creative person lands on a relative's Southern California couch, and Mr. Disney did, too, long ago. This was the home that held that proverbial couch, and served as a work space for the animator, and Disney fans are eager to see it remain intact, as are preservation-minded advocates and Councilmember David Ryu, too, per the magazine.

Will that mean an historic designation for the house? Or something more Disney-iconic than that: A full-on move?

None other than those hardworking champions of local artifacts, the folks at the Valley Relics Museum, have stepped in to see about possibly transporting the solidly built building. "If the Valley Relics Museum, as a last resort, was willing to move and preserve the original Disney house, what would you say?" asked a Facebook post on the museum's page.

"Disney-iconic," as a way to describe such a move, isn't too fanciful. Consider that a number of notable Disney-related pieces have made major moves over the years.

For one? Ponder the nice fate of Walt's Barn, which once sat near his Holmby Hills house and now resides in Griffith Park. And think of the giant letters spelling "CALIFORNIA," the ones that used to stand before the entrance to Disney California Adventure and now live on at Sacramento's Cal Expo.

And remember the Maleficent dragon head, the one retired from the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Light Parade, rolling down the Golden State Freeway back in 2012, on its way to an exhibit at the Reagan Library?

Clearly moving major Disney artifacts around, from place to place, is part of the larger Disney magic. If that includes the first place the visionary stayed in LA, a sizable bungalow, well... clearly some waving of a wand, fairy godmother-style, will have worked for the fans who want to see the bungalow live on.



Photo Credit: Walt Disney]]>
<![CDATA[New: Dapper Day at LACMA]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 09:45:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/scavodapperday15.jpg

If you've ever visited Disneyland Resort during Dapper Day, you encountered thousands of guests in their dressiest, fedora-fabulous best.

That's because the twice-a-year event, which is organized independently of the theme park, is all about encouraging people to find a vintage outfit, or a get-up that's a bit bells-and-whistles, at least, and go a-strutting, for the fun of it (and, of course, the admiration of others).

But Dapper Day, which also takes place at the Disney parks in Orlando and Paris in addition to Anaheim, is making a move to the Miracle Mile, at least for its next gussied-up go-around. That's right, art aficionados: Dapperists will stroll about the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Friday, July 22, all in celebration of the "Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015" exhibit.

The afternoon-into-evening event starts with docent tours of the togs-filled exhibit, which covers everything from the sartorial style of swinging London to modern avant garde garb, and ends with the free Friday jazz that's become a summer stable of the mid-city museum.

An "expanded dance floor" means more room for dancing in your Sunday — or rather, Friday — best.

Picnics and blankets are welcome, but food shall be for sale. Admission is required to see the menswear show, but the music, and dancing, is free.

And while you don't need to dress up, many people will seize the stylish chance to pull out their best suit or frock, one that hails from the '20s or two weeks ago. True, vintage does dominate at Dapper Day, but all elegant attire, or sassy looks, are welcome.

Where will Dapper Day head next? You can count on a Disneyland return this fall, over the first weekend of November.

But here's hoping that more museums, and spots around Southern California, will be treated to this lively, visual, and sweetly sociable gathering. Dapper Day marked its fifth anniversary in 2016, so surely it is just getting going, like a fashion trend built to last the ages.



Photo Credit: Laurie Scavo/Dapper Day]]>
<![CDATA[MAP: Pokemon Go Hot Spots Around Southern California]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 06:04:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TLMD-Pokemon-go-EFE-636040975324070548-.jpg

Pokemon Go has players walking and running around the country trying to catch the animated characters that have become part of a cultural phenomenon.

Some public parks and spaces in Southern California are taking part in helping players catch Pikachu and company while staying safe walking around pedestrian-friendly locations.

Pokéstops, areas where players can stock up on Poké balls, are being promoted by local museums, parks and centers, such as the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the adjoining La Brea Tar Pits is a breeding ground for Charmander according to one Reddit thread.

Across town, Pokemon Go outposts such as the shops in Little Tokyo and the Exposition Park Rose Garden have also been added to a list of Pokemon Go hotspots. Twitter user @foxdragonnerd posted photos from a Pokemon Go LA walking tour.

Crowds have formed at scenic spots including the Santa Monica Pier, Long Beach pier and Echo Park Lake to band together while searching for the rarest Pokemon.

In order to keep players safe and alert while walking around all these Pokéstops and gyms in Southern California, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has created a special Twitter account encouraging players to find Pokemon along Metro Stops instead of mindlessly walking around cars while playing the app game.

Players might spot golden Pikachu on the Mariachi Station stop on the Gold Line, a Snorlax taking a nap at Union Station or a Ponyta at Grand Park via the Civic Center/Grand Park station.

NBC4 has mapped out some locations below:



Photo Credit: EFE
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Midsummer Scream: Convention Highlights]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 07:23:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/QM_IMG_1345_hi.jpg

You've got your costume on, you've got your treat bucket, and it is just before dark on Halloween. And while you don't know exactly what kinds of candies the neighbors will hand out, you know there shall be sweets, and the anticipation of what will soon fill your plastic pumpkin fills you with joy.

Those kid-fun days might be over for us, but the enjoying the anticipation of a Halloween-themed event is not. Consider Midsummer Scream, the new convention haunting the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31.

Tickets? They're available now.

When it was first announced, months back, no one knew the candy that would be handed out — er, rather, the programs and panels that would make the roster. But now you can peek inside your pumpkin bucket and see the full and flavor-packed line-up for the Halloween spectacular.

Spooky Science starts the eeky scene off on Saturday, with Ben Dickow of the Columbia Memorial Space Center on stage. Horror Escape Rooms, the ghost towns of Southern California, short films, Krampus, Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood follow, with several more panels and presentations rounding out the day.

On Sunday? Prepare to enter the world of the Winchester Mystery House, the Henson Creature Shop, urban legends, fan films, Fright Fest from Six Flags, Haunted Bars of SoCal, and a return of Spooky Science, in addition to other eerie-laden larks ("American Horror Story" will make a showing).

That's the candy in the big bucket of this convention, though other treats await, from classes to workshops to the dozens of vendors to the Oingo Boingo-esque Saturday night bash.

So, now you've seen the sweets Midsummer Scream is delivering; what will you devour first? Best start planning, and secure your tickets, for the mega Halloween expo.



Photo Credit: Queen Mary]]>
<![CDATA[Grown-Up Outing: Brew at the Zoo]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 13:54:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GLBrewTrio-JamiePham.jpg

Field trips were, are, and shall forever be aaaamazing, with all of the extra "a"-action the word can muster. 

Kids love them, and for fine reason: You're going on an adventure, somewhere new, to see the inner workings of a dairy or a science museum or how caboodles of cute critters eat, play, and snooze.

Our chances as adults to participate in the whole field trip thing are greatly diminished, unfortunately, but some happenings geared to the 21-and-over set still hold, at their heart, some of that adventurous, get-out spirit.

Brew at the LA Zoo is one such event, a gathering created strictly for the grown-ups, as the "brew" in the name would suggest. Over 40 microbreweries and fancy, craft-concocting houses will participate in the 2016 outing, which sets up sudsy shop at the Los Angeles Zoo on Friday, Aug. 5.

The line-up includes Great Divide Brewing Company, Iron Triangle Brewing, Fireman's Brew Company, and dozens more.

But it isn't all about enjoying the evening air and an unusual IPA, though; live music and a variety of foodstuffs are part of the grown-up to-do, which is wearing its "6th annual" banner for 2016.

The Wayward Sons will unleash some "80s arena rock" while Zydeco Trail Ryderz go the dance-it-up, accordion-awesome route.

More acts are on the schedule, but make time for the zookeeper talks and "up-close animal encounters." Will you coo over something small and scaly or whiskery and squeaky? The chances are pretty darn strong, so start practicing those "awws" and whatever endearments you'll want to utter when facing a furry zoo resident.

Thus it is 100% true, then: That feeling of getting outside, and doing something educational, still exists, even if you're decades past being a tot.

Finding that exploration-minded fun, with some grown-up activities in tow, can be a bit of a challenge, but the zoo's got it going on, as it has for the past half-decade (plus a year). 



Photo Credit: Jamie Pham]]>
<![CDATA[Guillermo del Toro: LACMA Book Signing]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:59:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gdtJoshuaWhitejwpicturescom-5109.jpg

Late July and early August can be a discombobulating stretch for many people around Southern California.

On the one hand, it is impressively hot, and growing ever hotter, and we begin seeking out the sort of summer clothes we saw advertised during the June Gloom days (but didn't especially need then).

And yet? Nightfall is earlier, notably so, and Halloween's pumpkiny hues are beginning to creep onto our store shelves.

Enter horror auteur Guillermo del Toro, with an elegant sense of perfect, and perfectly chilling, timing. A new exhibition devoted to the director's "creative process" and "collection of paintings, drawings, maquettes, artifacts, and concept film art" is debuting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and just in time to dovetail with our first longings for fall.

Monday, Aug. 1 is the exhibit's official debut date at the Miracle Mile museum, but Mr. del Toro has a spine-shivery surprise in store for fans: He'll sign catalogues for "Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters" on the eve of the eve of the eve of the show's opening.

"The eve of the eve of the eve of"=Friday, July 29, of course (and of course that phrasing is the sort of lush unfolding of words one hopes for from an old-style scary film).

Should you choose to purchase a book written by the director, and not the catalogue, know that that's a-okay, too. He'll sign it. (Purchases may be made at the LACMA store, and, indeed, the book should come from LACMA.)

The Pavilion for Japanese Art is the place, and early evening, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., is the time. Attending? It's frightfully free.

And ponder how early evening is truly the utmost hour for celebrating the beautiful eerieness that Mr. del Toro has perfected over his years creating movies like "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Crimson Peak."

Harder horror kind of rocks the midnight realm, but a creeping horror, much like a twisting tendril of poison ivy, belongs to that time just before sundown, when night is fast on approach.

And nightfall is approaching earlier these post-summer solstice days. It's clearly time for something a bit terrifying, and terrific, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.



Photo Credit: Joshua White]]>
<![CDATA[Union Station: New Interactive 4-D Experience]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 19:13:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/US360FinalRendersm.jpg

A stroll through a train station is bound to ignite the senses, from hearing the clacka-clacka of the 8:03 pulling in to smelling the fresh pot of coffee at the newspaper stand to seeing all of the commuters rushing to find the right platform.

But a 4-D experience, one that delves into history, and one that comes with "interactive" and "multimedia" and "cinematic" in its bio, is not something that clacka-clackas down a station's track every day.

Union Station, however, is having that rare, sense-spectacular moment with "Union Station 360°," an art happening that's lighting up parts of the landmark through Sunday, July 24.

Indeed, this is a complementary event to the free concert series going on in the station's garden area on select summer nights.

And if you're thinking that the 4-D experience might have something to do with Los Angeles, and its buildings, and its past, and its people, given Union Station's importance and legacy, you'd be correct.

Look to be whisked through on an "extraordinary interactive journey through the unique cultural fabric of LA with a series of imaginative vignettes exploring the city's storied past and vibrant present." These vignettes will appear on a projection sphere as well as the "Floating Sky Screen" (with, of course, stirring tunes to accompany the images). 

If you've been on the High Roller in Las Vegas, then you know some of the visual-rich work of the Hettema Group, the organization behind "Union Station 360°."

It's a nighttime thing, do note, so make for the Alameda Street destination from 8 p.m. to midnight for sweeping vistas of LA, presented under one of the best-known, most photographed ceilings in the city.

Our rail-amazing Mission-Art Deco-Streamline Moderne train place is truly a place made for the senses, but through July 24 look for the coffee aromas and Surfliner sights to find a new eye-popping neighbor in the 4-D-tastic "Union Station 360°."



Photo Credit: Union Station ]]>
<![CDATA[Conserve Energy SoCal's 'Hot Days, Hot Deals']]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 12:36:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lightbulbferris.jpg

One of the stars of summer hasn't been on television, or the radio, but at one end of the Santa Monica Pier.

We speak of the Pacific Wheel, the world's only solar-powered Ferris wheel, a Pacific-close icon that recently underwent a full-on lighting update (one that allows for lower energy usage and a wider spectrum of hues and patterns).

Thus it fits that the conservation-minded initiative Conserve Energy SoCal would partner with the Santa Monica Pier attraction for the organization's "Hot Days, Hot Deals" happening, an every-Wednesday event that's landing at spots around the region.

Landing and giving discounts and/or delights, courtesy of the Energy Providers of Southern California group. The delights will be seen on a large scale at the Pacific Wheel on Wednesday, July 20 when "a special light show in honor of energy conservation" twinkles after the sun dips into the adjacent ocean.

Could you see a giant light bulb on the side of the Ferris wheel? A sparkly sun? The shows will twinkle on "select Wednesdays" throughout the summer, so keep a watch if you're pier-adjacent on a warm-weather mid-week night.

Other quirky deals around town await, including gourmet paletas at Diablo's Tacos. The interesting twist? You'll pay whatever the temperature is, each Wednesday, for the goodie (so if it is 90 out, find 90 cents).

The Escape Room is also shaving a tenner off Wednesday night adventures throughout August and September.

Eye the full roster of savings and special happenings, all of which, of course, remind us to both "conserve energy usage" and "stay cool on hot days."

All Southern Californians know those hot days are gearing up now, so best find your paletas and your post-sundown Santa Monica show and lend some energy — or at least attention — to Conserve Energy SoCal's mission and message.



Photo Credit: Conserve Energy SoCal]]>
<![CDATA[Delish: Pizza Fundraiser in Thousand Oaks]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:20:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/pizzarev0232938232.jpg

Making a sauce-flavorful splash, when you're a pizza joint, can take on a few delicious dimensions, from offering interesting toppings to wallet-nice discounts.

But taking a twofer tact is one solid way to make a start in a new spot, especially when that twofer involves A) free pizza and, far more importantly, B) giving back and helping others in the community. 

Both of those plans are ahead for the new PizzaRev arriving in Thousand Oaks at The Oaks Mall on Hillcrest Drive. This is indeed the PizzaRev that features regional brews like Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. and offers some offbeat toppings like vegan sausage, fennel seeds, and crumbled meatballs.

The construct-your-own pie shop, which now has over 40 locations, will make a double debut beginning on Thursday, July 21.

That's the traditional "free pizza day" at the new shop, one that's all about a "complimentary, personal-sized pizza" with the toppings of the customer's choice. The customer's role? Like or follow the company on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter.

The second part of the opening, and the heart of the opening, happens on Thursday, July 28 when PizzaRev donates 100% of all sales made during certain hours to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Southern California. 

Those hours? Be there to buy your pie between 11 and 2 or 5 and 8 on the 28th.

It's not every eatery that goes the double-debut route, but making sure to show on July 28, to give back and lend your support to LLS, is definitely a big-of-spirit thing to do. 

Can you make both dates? Start here, if you don't yet know the build-your-own pizza company.



Photo Credit: PizzaRev]]>
<![CDATA['Robot Restaurant' Opening in NYC]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 05:26:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_19724380454.jpg

Robots (and some hidden chefs) will serve quinoa to customers at a fast-food restaurant opening in midtown Manhattan later this year, according to reports.

There will be no cashiers at Eatsa’s midtown location, just lines of iPads and rows of cubby holes handing over quinoa.

Eatsa’s first New York City location opens at 285 Madison Avenue in the fall, Grub Street reported. Right now, the fast-food chain has two locations in San Francisco and one in the Los Angeles area.

There are a few stages to the Eatsa system. First, customers swipe their credit cards at an iPad. After that, a list of quinoa-based menu items pops up. Diners can customize their dishes before finishing their orders.

The all-vegetarian menu is inspired by different types of cuisine. There’s a Mexican burrito bowl, a Japanese bento bowl, an Indian spice market bowl and a Mediterranean Greek salad bowl, among others. A breakfast menu includes a southwestern scramble and a yogurt quinoa parfait.

While the system that prepares the food is mostly automated, there are still about five employees who prep, assemble and deliver meals to the cubbies, according to Fast Company. But they may not be around forever. Scott Drummond, a cofounder of Eatsa, said he sees a future where robots do it all.

After the food is assembled, it’s delivered to one of the cubbies. All of the cubbies have a transparent, LCD-screened door that displays each customer’s name. A customer taps the door and it flips open, revealing the packaged food and beverage.

"The food comes out in little cubby holes. It’s so neat to see your cubby go dark and then your food appear with your name on it," one user said of an Eatsa location in San Francisco.

Eatsa is a bit reminiscent of the now-defunct Bamn! on the Lower East Side. That automat-style eatery consisted of rows of vending machines serving up corn dogs and grilled cheese.



Photo Credit: AP/File
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Galco's Summer Soda Tasting]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 06:36:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sodapop16marthabenedict.jpg

Summertime is the season of road trips, and one of the coolest parts of hitting the open highway is stopping for snackage in towns found far from home.

And while those snacks and drinks are sometimes known to you, very often you find yourself holding a bottle of something flavored with vanilla-lemon-caramel, and pondering if you should give it a try.

That impulse, to give an unusual soda a try, is at the gleeful heart of Galco's Soda Pop Stop. The all-sodas-plus-candy-plus-more store, which is found on York Boulevard 'round about Highland Park/Eagle Rock, fizzes with hundreds of sodas, some popular, some offbeat, and some likely to induce some serious eyebrow cocking.

And on Sunday, July 31 carbonated pursuits shall reign at the Sixth Annual Galco's Summer Soda Tasting. It's a fundraiser for the Friends of the Southwest Museum, and attendees shall "sample a wide selection of carbonated bubbly beverages," from "fantastic French sodas from Rieme" to sparkling sips from the Republic of Georgia to lively libations from Down Under.

Live tunes, from Celtic-American to Flamenco, give the early evening shindig its melody, while a Burp-Off Competition for children ages 6 to 12 lend the outing its humor.

As for where your all-inclusive $15 ticket will go, fundraising-wise? The coalition supporting the Southwest Museum is working to re-open the historic institution's doors. 

Everything at Galco's is buyable; well, everything on the shelves. But many fans think of it as a museum as well as a store, the kind of fascinating repository where the history of American tastes, and regional flavors from around the globe, take the sippable spotlight.

Browsing the shelves and eyeing the colas, sarsaparillas, and the flowery sodas -- hello, rose-flavored -- is, in itself, a jovial jaunt around the world.

You know the feeling if you've ever taken a road trip and discovered a new soda in a new state. Now multiply that by 500 or so, and you've got Galco's. Be a part of the beloved local store's annual bubble-filled bash.



Photo Credit: Martha Benedict]]>
<![CDATA[Green Chile Time: Orders Open]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:11:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/chiletimeGettyImages-57099507+%281%29.jpg

When does autumn truly begin?

The calendar traditionally has the season revving up, equinox-style, during the third week in September, while some folks pin the season's start when back-to-school sales kick off or Labor Day Weekend arrives.

But fans of a certain product grown in Hatch, New Mexico know that fall finds its first footing when one sniffs a fiery batch of green chile tumbling in a hot roaster.

When the roasting shall start depends on a few things, including the roasting station's schedule, but something Southern Californians may depend upon is this: El Rey Farms will begin to sell sacks of chile in the first part of August from the parking lot of La Puente High School.

It's tradition, is all, and a tasty one, too. In fact, SoCalers have looked to El Rey as a source of trucked-in chile goodness since 1970.

How to start? You head for El Rey's online HQ, where you choose mild, medium, hot, extra hot, and extra extra hot chile peppers, or the "double X," which El Rey advises "is too hot for most people to eat."

Whatever your pleasure, the pods are renowned for their flavor and depth.

Two things to know? Ordering is now open for 2016, and you should choose from the selected dates, as to when you'll pick up your green chile. Date one is Saturday, Aug. 5, and the final outing is Saturday, Sept. 10. Note that not every Saturday in that window is scheduled as a pick-up date, so peruse what's available.

Also? You can pick whether you'll want your peppers roasted there or not. Some fans take them home fresh, and roast them a few at a time, while others get the whole sack fired up in La Puente before stowing them in the freezer.

True, it is a Land of Enchantment icon, the Hatch chile, but Californians have a sweet spot for the stuff.

And, true, we've been saying "fans" of the pepper, when everyone in New Mexico, and beyond, call buffs of Hatch chile "chileheads," with deep affection.

Are you a chilehead? Best order now, pick your level of heat, and decide if you want roasted or unroasted. And then keep your sniffer to the wind, for that first autumn-awesome aroma, the fragrance that can only spring from chile tumbling in a large open-air roaster.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Disney Expo 2017: Tickets on Sale]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:38:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mickeyd232017.jpg

A major chunk of a Disneyland attraction's story often unfolds even before a person boards the ride.

It is, in fact, all about queue-based anticipation at the world's most famous theme park. Think of Indiana Jones Adventure and the Haunted Mansion, two iconic rides that stoke anticipatory fervor among those guests lingering in line.

D23 Expo, the big-as-the-Matterhorn biennial Disney convention, is also in the anticipation-stoking business. Yep, it is every two years, and 2016 is an "off" year, but that doesn't mean the excitement isn't revving up for the July 14-16, 2017 extravaganza.

Consider it revved: Tickets are on sale, a year in advance, for the mondo Anaheim Convention Center gathering. 

Think of the latter half of 2016, and the first half of 2017, as your "attraction queue" time, then, for the exposition. Nope, you're not attending the expo yet, or, if you prefer, riding the ride, but you can gaze around and feel the fun start to build.

The fun-building part comes when organizers begin to reveal what stars will show, and what films will be previewed, and the other Mouse-major goodies that are as much a part of the fan convention as sprinkled sugar is to a churro.

But what we know at this moment? There is advanced pricing deals to be had, through the end of 2016. And, for sure, if you're a D23 member, you're going to find some sweeter discounts.

What merch will you find at the Anaheim extravaganza? What new properties or attractions or shows shall be front-and-centered by the company? And do you kind of digging standing in line for an attraction that has a great queue story to tell?

The D23 Expo 2017 queue has now started, so let that anticipation start to grow, or glow, if you prefer, like those balloons sold after dark on Main Street, or the fireworks over Sleeping Beauty's Castle.



Photo Credit: D23 Expo]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds of Deals: dineLA Restaurant Week]]> Sun, 17 Jul 2016 08:39:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_113265007.jpg

Indulging in dessert, or at least something sweet, ahead of your main meal isn't such an unusual plan nowadays. Chefs continue to experiment with the order of things, and if a sugary starter can stoke the appetites of those at the table, well, expect to see it on the trendiest of menus.

Thus it fits, at least in the grander sense, that the ever-popular National Ice Cream Day arrives on the eve of dineLA Restaurant Week.

Sunday, July 17 is your chance to eat dessert first, at your favorite ice cream shop, before digging into the savory three- and four-coursers around town that are part and parcel of dineLA Restaurant Week.

It's true: dineLA, the every-few-months discount-a-rama is back at hundreds of Southern California eateries, and deciding where to land, and when (lunch or dinner) is as easy, or agonizing, as scrolling through the lengthy list.

Deliciously agonizing, of course. You only need pick your date — Monday, July 18 through Sunday, July 31 is the window for this go-around — and find an old favorite or a new place you've wanted to try.

What's on the bill of fare? It depends on where you go. The Front Yard at The Garland in North Hollywood has choices like Thai Town Shrimp Salad and Butterscotch Pudding on its prix fixe lunch menu, while Fig & Olive will offer Lamb Albondigas and Strawberry Vacherin.

Over 300 restaurants are participating in the summer 2016 extravaganza.

As for prices? Your multi-course lunch, depending upon where you go, will run from $15 to $25. Dinner is $29, $39, or $49, with a few special places going all out at $95-plus, as part of the dineLA Exclusive Series.

Need the full roster of fooderies? Set aside several minutes, or the better part of an hour, for reviewing them all isn't just scanning the names, but the in-depth menus presented for each. 

Best grab that scoop of ice cream and go dessert first, ahead of the July 18-31 dineLA Restaurant Week.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Tryout Time: Queen Mary's Dark Harbor]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 16:24:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/darkharborauditions16.jpg

It might — might — be too much to ask for you to summon your most macabre Halloweentime persona at the height of summer.

Or perhaps you're always ready to get your groan on, and your zombie-like pose, and your impressive werewolf claw hands, even if the thermometer is flirting with three digits. 

If this you, dear dastardly fright fan, then prick up your vampire ears and listen: October is on the wind, in the form of the annual auditions for the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor event.

You're right, this is the audition where eerie performers are wanted, the kind of creature-mimicking humans who can assume an undead role, night after night, for a few weeks come fall. You might be a clown, or a 1940s songstress, or the captain of a ship; fantasy casting doesn't come much more monstrous than at our region's major Halloween maze events.

The dates? Rev up your scary face and shamble for the Long Beach landmark on Friday, July 15 or Saturday, July 16. (Friday auditions are in the evening, and Saturday is a daytime thing.)

Signing up? You'll need to do so, ahead of time, online. Here's the form. Don't just stomp over to Long Beach, Frankenstein-like, without registering first.

If you can't go too scary, but you can juggle, or sing, or perform magic, or you excel at acrobatics, your fantastic talents may be needed. 

Likewise, ushers, greeters, and other needed staffers will be part of the team, so even if you can't be out front with the frightastic crew, you may be able to lend your abilities to the large seasonal production.

"(H)undreds of performers" are needed for the September-into-October spectacular, an event that's billed as "the only Halloween attraction in Southern California that's authentically haunted."

You're not 'fraid to go to the famous ocean-liner are you? Even though ghost sightings are said to be a regular thing, up 'round its decks and smokestacks?

Good. Then get your ghoul on, early, for your Halloween-style tryout at the Queen Mary.



Photo Credit: Queen Mary]]>
<![CDATA[6 Brand-New Things to Eat at OC Fair This Year]]> Sat, 16 Jul 2016 09:13:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/Escargot+and+Caviar+Doritos+Surf+and+Turf+Doritos.JPG

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Shanna Mendiola ]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Bell Announces New Ice Cream Flavor]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 07:01:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cookie-two-step.jpg

In celebration of National Ice Cream Month, Blue Bell announced a new flavor of ice cream Friday.

The Brenham, Texas-based company announced the release of Cookie Two Step, vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate crème filled cookies and chocolate chip cookie dough pieces.

"Cookie Two Step combines ingredients from two of our top-selling flavors," Blue Bell spokesman Ricky Dickson said in a news release.

The new flavor will be available in stores beginning Friday, according to the company.

Dickson said the company will release more flavors within the next few months.

"Most will be returning favorites and we plan to have another new one soon," he said.



Photo Credit: Blue Bell Ice Cream]]>
<![CDATA['Grey Gardens' Blooms at The Ahmanson]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:33:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/01GGmg183craigschwartz.jpg

Theater mavens have become accustomed, in recent years, to seeing cinematic treats transformed into lavish productions for the stage.

Those movies tend to be of the fictional variety — and there's been a lively run of animated blockbusters, too, that have found a home in front of the footlights — but finding a musical that springs from a documentary is rather rarer.

For sure, hits like "Hamilton" and "Evita" both spring from history, but "Grey Gardens" is known to most people as a 1975 film documentary detailing the moving and complicated lives of a mother and daughter living in East Hampton.

It was first adapted into a musical a decade back. Now the tale is set to enthrall audiences at The Ahmanson via the performances of two stellar leads: Betty Buckley and Rachel York.

Indeed, Ms. York does hail from "City of Angels" on Broadway, and Ms. Buckley? She garnered a Tony for her turn as Grizabella in "Cats."

Michael Wilson is the director of "...this haunting and often hilarious musical" which "recounts Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' most eccentric relatives' fall from society darlings to notorious recluses in their crumbling East Hampton estate."

Memory, family, former glory, money, and all of those tangly knots that challenging relationships can produce lend much of the musical its wryness, dryness, and stirring emotional core. 

Spend the summer in East Hampton, or at least a night with two legendary residents of the town, a fascinating mother and daughter who became well-known to legions of documentary watchers over the last few decades. 

The rare real-life portrait flowers on the stage through Sunday, Aug. 14.



Photo Credit: © 2016 Craig Schwartz ]]>
<![CDATA[Here are the 68th Annual Emmy Nominees]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 12:47:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/emmys-3way-thrones-oj.jpg “Game of Thrones” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson” dominated the list of nominations for the 2016 Emmys. But there were plenty of other nods for other shows. Here is a selection of nominees in top categories.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nintendo Plans Retro 'Mario,' 'Zelda' Console]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 02:04:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NES_Classic_2.jpg

If you're of a certain age and miss the video games of the 1980s, Nintendo has a Christmas gift for you.

The video game company said Thursday it will release the "NES Classic Edition" on Nov. 11, a $59.99 system that comes loaded with 30 vintage Nintendo games.

Among the highlights are all three "Super Mario" games, two "Zelda" titles, two "Castlevania" entries and two installments from the "Donkey Kong" franchise. 

Nintendo described the new console as a "near-identical mini replica" of the original NES; this one, though, connects to TVs via a more-modern HDMI port.

While classic Nintendo games have been available on other platforms - either legally or via the download of illicit "ROM" files from the Internet - this is the first time Nintendo has stepped into the retro games market with a dedicated piece of hardware. 

The complete list of games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • BUBBLE BOBBLE
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr. 
  • DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • FINAL FANTASY
  • Galaga
  • GHOSTS’N GOBLINS
  • GRADIUS
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros. 
  • MEGA MAN 2
  • Metroid
  • NINJA GAIDEN
  • PAC-MAN
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • SUPER C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.  2
  • Super Mario Bros.  3
  • TECMO BOWL
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link



Photo Credit: Nintendo of America]]>
<![CDATA[Special Night: Snack Around Farmers Market]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:59:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tasteoffm2016.jpg

Saunter into most public places or attractions and you'll have a sense as to where to start your visit.

Arrows will point you to a ticket window, or a posted sign will tell you where to stand.

But some places overwhelm, delightfully and deliciously, and finding your own personal begin point is part of the adventure.

Look to the Original Farmers Market at the corner of Third & Fairfax, which just might be the most "where do I start"-y spot in all of Los Angeles. Why? The historic public market is rife with many cuisine choices, from the beloved Bob's Coffee & Donuts to Loteria.

There's an annual event that addresses the "where do I start" question, though, and it does so with flair: It's Taste of Farmers Market, which provides ticket holders a little tidbit, or sizable snack, or good-sized bite at all of the stalls around the stroll-sweet destination.

The date is Tuesday, July 19, and if you're thinking that sort of coincides with the market's birthday, you'd be correct: Farmers Market is turning 82 this July.

As for the 2016 theme of the 5 to 9 p.m. soiree? That's "All Fired Up," and, you guessed it, local firehouses Station 68 and Station 61 are the evening's beneficiaries (via the First-In Fire Foundation). Firefighters will be on hand at the market, whipping up tasty Firehouse Chili and handing out samples.

A ticket to all of this gourmand goodness? It's $35 in advance, $40 there, and there's a brand-new kid's ticket, too, for ten bucks (which includes ten tastes). 

You'll receive a bevy of tidbits, from seafood to sweets to beer and wine, for the price of your ticket, for sure. Get ready for Harris Ranch Prime Rib Sandwiches at Huntington Meats, Ham and Cheese Borekas at The Village, and lots more.

And another gift of the night, albeit one that's not on your plate or in your glass? Hanging out at LA's central gather spot, a no-hurry-no-worry favorite that's kept Angelenos in doughnuts and chilaquiles and pizza for over eight decades. That community-cool quality can't be handed out, in sample form, but it can surely be sensed at this special place.

A place that can challenge a newcomer who doesn't know where to start. Taste of Farmers Market, though, helps answer that question, yummily, at least for a night.



Photo Credit: The Original Farmers Market]]>
<![CDATA[Comic-Con: Fundraisers and Blood Drive]]> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:46:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cciGettyImages-174029110.jpg

To stroll by the window of a comic book store and spy a flier detailing a fundraiser for a favorite artist or writer or customer isn't all that unusual.

Comic shops have long been nexuses of true community, a place where people come to not only purchase the latest graphic novel but to hang out with fellow fans and discuss all manner of topics.

Comic-Con International, which could be looked at, in a way, as the world's largest, busiest comic book shop, keeps that fan-nice community spirit aglow throughout its four-day run each year. (Those dates in 2016 are just ahead: July 21 through 24.)

And much like seeing the fundraising flier in the window of your corner shop, it isn't unusual to stroll by an impromptu charity event or giveback drive during the convention, a fundraiser that is helping the San Diego community or another specific organization.

The annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns to the mega pop culture convention for its 40th go-around. Billed as "the San Diego Blood Bank's longest-running event," the Comic-Con blood drive has collected "16,652 pints of blood" over its four-decade history.

Talk about superheroes. Want to give? Head for Grand Hall D at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Once you've given your pint, and you want to look for more ways to lend a hand, consider two off-site traditions that, while not affiliated officially with the convention, still keep ties to its cape-wearing themes and charitable heart.

The Heroes Brew Fest raises money each year for Warrior Foundation — Freedom Station. Yep, you can wear your costume, yep, you'll drink nice beer, and yep, you'll need to zoom through the clouds from the convention center, or at least catch a ride, to San Diego's Waterfront Park on Saturday, July 23.

Earlier in the day the Helen Woodward Animal Center's Pawmicon returns, though don't head for Rancho Santa Fe, the home of the center. The "Cosplay for a Cause" — think furry pumpkins in their "Star Wars" and superhero best — is happening at the Hazard Center in the late morning.

If you dig helping out dogs, and kitties, and beasties of all stripes, swing by and "awww" over the pop culture cuteness, while helping those animals who need homes.

Where can you lend a hand during Comic-Con International? Keep your supersight goggles on for the opportunities that pop up, heroically, near the world's largest pop culture convention.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New at LA Zoo: Diabloceratops Hatchlings]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 06:57:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DiabloceratopsEggsJEP_8038.jpg

An indisputable fact of life on this planet is nothing is cooler than a dinosaur, except perhaps one thing, and that's a dinosaur egg.

Because as studied as we may be in the history of the prehistoric beasts, in what they ate and how they lived, it can still boggle the noggin to ponder how a 40-ton adult dinosaur began its journey inside a somewhat wee shell.

If you've been by the Los Angeles Zoo since the middle of April, you've likely noticed a cadre of scaly, big-of-teeth, animatronic creatures holding captivating court. They're all a part of "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the LA Zoo," and while the Suchomimus and Brachiosaurus surely have their fans, its the Diabloceratops that's been attracting a lot of attention.

Why? Because she stands near a nest of five eggs. But the eggs have recently opened, as eggs traditionally do, and something special has arrived.

"Nesting since April 15 when the exhibit opened to the public, the newborns — three girls and two boys — 'hatched' beside their ferociously protective mom, who is one of 17 animatronic dinosaurs in the exhibit — including the little ones — brought to life with electronic 'brains.'"

Precious prehistoric stuff, bound to summon "awws" from anyone in the vicinity. (Nope, baby Diabloceratops don't wear diapers nor do they play with rattles, but they will boast a series of impressive horns as well as an iconic head-topping "frill.")

While the exhibit's animatron dinos are the definition of nifty, there are other happenings around, including a fossil dig and a Stegosaurus robot.

Not just any robot, mind you, but one that visitors can control. (How many times we've wished for our own Stegosaurus robot in our day-to-day lives. How. Many. Times.)

How to see this nursery-sweet Diabloceratops scene, and all of the dinos? With your LA Zoo admission plus five bucks.

Just get to the Griffith Park animal park — where real, modern animals live, too, of course — by Oct. 31, 2016, when the dinosaurs are set to scamper away, baby dinos included.



Photo Credit: Jamie Pham]]>
<![CDATA[7-Eleven Celebrates 7/11 With Free Slurpees]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 05:42:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Slurpee-GettyImages-106159890.jpg

There's no better way to enjoy a hot summer day than with a Slurpee, and on Monday it won't cost you a thing. 

To celebrate July 11 — or 7-Eleven Day — the convenience chain will be giving away their signature slushy drinks. Stop by your neighborhood 7-Eleven on Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to get a free small Slurpee drink.

Monday marks the company's 89th birthday, and the 50th anniversary of the creation of the slurpee. If you're feeling festive, you can check out the chain's new birthday cake flavor. 

But that's not all.

This year, 7-Eleven is also offering customers who download their app a chance to get 11 free slurpees when they purchase 7 slurpees between July 11 and July 18. 



Photo Credit: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Misty Copeland Talks Breaking Barriers]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 04:22:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527358950.jpg

It's been one year since Misty Copeland leaped over barriers to become American Ballet Theatre's first black female principal dancer in the company's 75-year history.

In an interview with "Sunday Today" host Willie Geist, Copeland reflected on her history-making accomplishment and reveals the motivation behind her soon-to-be released dancewear line, Égal.

"I was aware that I was black, but I wasn't aware of the deep rooted history of the lack of diversity, the lack of African Americans in top companies," Copeland said. "It was like, it hasn't happened for 75 years. Why would it happen to me? And then, at the same time, it gave me even more of this fire that was like, 'I am carrying so many people with me and I can do this.'"

Copeland has been able to forge a career outside the dance world with her trailblazing accomplishments, a rare feat for someone from the dance world. In addition to various endorsement deals and TV appearances, the 33-year-old has published two New York Times best-selling books, was the subject of a documentary, appeared on Broadway, named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people and was recently honored with her own Barbie doll.

"I didn't expect it to be like that. It was really wild. I don't think anyone in the company or in the dance world — we were all kind of shocked," Copeland said. "But I am giving people hope that you don't have to fit into this mold of what society has cut out for you to be in order to succeed."

Having broken the ballet mold herself, Copeland is hoping to motivate dancers of all sizes with a new line of dancewear called Égal — French for equal.

"I was going through this time where I had gained a lot of weight," she said. "I went through puberty really late in life and my bust had grown and I was like, 'I'm going to create dancewear that people who aren't stick thin can wear, but also people who are thin can wear."

Copeland says she hopes to eventually expand Égal to include a plus-size collection.

"It's finally coming to fruition," she said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Lotus Festival at Echo Park Lake]]> Sat, 09 Jul 2016 10:58:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lotusfestivalflowerechopark.jpg

To everything, there is a season, it is often said (and correctly so).

The purple prettiness of the jacaranda tree rules May, and part of June, too, 'round Southern California, while the oaks of Griffith Park go golden-brown come November. Even the Santa Ana Winds make a regular showing in fall, adding one more element of nature we know will come back around at a particular moment on the calendar.

In that family of annual appearances is the lotus, which typically opens its petals in July and August. The middle of July is prime lotus-viewing time, if you know where to find them, and one of the famous expanses happens to be the watery one at 751 N. Echo Park Avenue.

We speak of the Lotus Festival, which will bloom for its 36th year at Echo Park Lake on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10. 

The main and highly picturesque show is the expanse of green, yellow, pink, and white leaves and petals out on the water, but there are on-shore to-dos, too, from a food area specializing in Asian dishes to entertainment to arts & crafts.

The Republic of Korea is the festival's host country.

If you can't get enough of this showy show, and you need to love upon a few more lotuses while they're putting on their once-a-year show, make for The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, which boasts a beautiful pond brimming with the floral icon.

Or go a bit further afield, to the historic Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara, which is hosting its yearly Lotusfest! on Saturday, July 9. (The flowers will still be in bloom past the festival, but don't dally.)



Photo Credit: Lotus Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Pershing Square Piquant: Salsa Fest]]> Fri, 08 Jul 2016 12:04:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/236*120/salsa1.jpg

How do you prefer to devour your salsa: spoon or chip?

It's an eternal question, and one that you may well answer differently, depending upon the time of day and your salsa-seeking mood. Do you want a copious amount of salsa all at once? (Go spoon, natch.) Or do you prefer a salty accompaniment to enhance the salsa's spice? (Hello, chip.)

Don't fret about this particular either/or question at the Los Angeles Salsa Festival, however, as there shall be a number of avenues to sampling the cornucopia of mild-to-fiery salsas found inside the festival's Salsa Tasting Tent.

Where to find such a fantastical, magical tent? At Pershing Square on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10.

Admission? It's free, though you'll want to bring cash for the vendors. Chances are you might come across a jar, or six, of especially savory stuff. (Which begs this further question: Does the true salsa buff need a tortilla chip, a spoon, and a jar-carting bag to really capitalize upon the caliente cuisine?)

Wonder not if one of salsa's BFFs, the margarita, will be nearby. There's a Beer & Margarita Bar, to do the whole heat-tempering thing that both libations are known to do so well.

A Kids' Zone, live tunes, and an area where one may shake it those live tunes are also on the delish docket. 

So, would you say that you prefer to spoon salsa out of the jar or dip into it via a bag of chips? Both are good ways to savor one of the planet's most popular foods, an edible that can be both condiment or main cuisine, depending on the eater's approach.



Photo Credit: Salsa]]>
<![CDATA[Pups at the Park Day]]> Fri, 08 Jul 2016 07:19:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dodgerpupGettyImages-454047978+%282%29.jpg

Your Lassie might cuddle at night with a blue blanket, or join you on the couch as you catch a game on TV, or linger by the backdoor to greet you when you walk in after attending a home game (she knows you were there because you've still got a few peanuts in your pocket).

But it isn't often that your pooch gets to go to a Dodger game. There is one day a year, however, that's all about the dogs at the stadium, and, nope, we don't mean Dodger Dogs (which rule all season long). It's Pups at the Park day, the one time on the calendar where canines, along with the athletes on the field, are the cheered-over stars of the show.

Have you got a hat to fit your Fido, and a kerchief or shirt in just the right hue of blue? For dogs go all out to show their fanship to the team, from leashes to full-on get-ups that took a lot of love in the planning.

Saturday, July 9 is the date, the Dodgers are playing the Padres, and the famous on-the-field parade happens well before the first pitch. So get there early, before the parade start time of 3 o'clock, to sign in and do all that you need to do (there'll be some paperwork required on your pooch's behalf, such as current vaccinations and such).

Also? Your hound needs his own ticket.

Good to know: If you want to stay for the film after the game, you'll have to stay with your sweetie in the pavilion. No pups'll be allowed down on the grass after the final out. 

The movie, by the by? It's "Top Gun," which turned 30 in 2016.

The sponsors of the event, which will help raise funds for Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, include AvoDerm Natural Pet Foods, Nylabone, and PetSmart.

If your BFF has sat at your side, listening to dozens of Dodger games on the radio, isn't it time he get to know the place where your favorite team plays? A stroll on the field with other blue-dressy dogs is the capper on the canine-cute summer tradition.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Opening: Free Twilight Concerts on the Pier]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 18:10:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/twilightpierconcert34565.jpg

What a delightful difference a year can make.

Just 12 months ago, when the Twilight Concerts series was ramping up at Santa Monica Pier, there were many ways to arrive at the bustling destination, including bus, car, bike, and on foot.

Now? Expo Line has reached Santa Monica, which means that if you were ever daunted by the idea of parking near the free music spectacular, a longtime staple of Thursday nights in July and August, be daunted no longer: You've got another no-drive option to get to DTSM.

Once you've hopped off your train, and wended your way over to the pier, this is who you shall see: Mayer Hawthorne will bring his retro-sweet R&B sounds to the pay-nada series beginning on Thursday, July 7 — that's opening night, yep — and the Ohio Players shall summon the spirit of disco on Sept. 8, the farewell night of the series.

Between those two dates? Børns, The Psychedelic Furs, Proteje & The Indiggnation, Natalia LaFourcade, Rüfüs Du Sol, Mavis Staples, Save Ferris, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

The events run from 7 to 10 o'clock each Thursday, but getting there sooner than that, as in notably sooner, is as much a tradition as live tunes on the historic pier. (No joke on the tradition part; this is the 32nd annual go-around for Twilight Concerts.)

Snapchat is presenting the 2016 series.



Photo Credit: Santa Monica Pier]]>
<![CDATA[Outfest: Lauded LGBT Film Fest Opens]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 17:11:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/interventionfilm2016.jpg

It can be a mite frustrating to spy a buzzy film, the kind of moving and/or funny and/or dramatic work that celebrates a young person's tale of coming out or a pioneer of gay rights or the ups and downs of a new romance, and wonder when and where you can see it.

Outfest is very often the answer to that search, and has been the answer since its founding in 1982. Long an accoladed festival for movies telling LGBT stories, and the filmmakers who go to dedicated, hard-fought lengths to get the stories told, Outfest has stood as a premier place for great cinema of all sorts.

Those include feature films, shorts, documentaries, and more, all of which will be included in the 2016 series. The series opens on Thursday, July 7, and runs through Sunday, July 17, and will screen 162 films representing 19 countries.

The opening night movie? It's "The Intervention," starring Cobie Smulders, Natasha Lyonne, Melanie Lynskey, Alia Shawkat, Jason Ritter, Ben Schwartz, and Clea DuVall, who wrote and directed the feature. "Other People," directed by Chris Kelly of "Saturday Night Live," closes out the multiday event.

A number of gala films are on the roster, including U.S. Centerpiece "Spa Night" and Documentary Centerpiece "Kiki." 

The new "Ghostbusters" will also get a screening during Outfest. And a few television favorites, such as Hulu's "Difficult People" and Amazon's "Transparent," will make a 2016 showing.

As for where to go? There's a quartet of spots around the city joining the cinematic goodness, from REDCAT downtown to Harmony Gold and the Director's Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard. And hello again, Ford Theatres, which makes a return to Outfest after a multiyear renovation.



Photo Credit: The Intervention]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: LA Food Fest]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 07:22:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2015_la_street_food_fest-002.jpg

LA Food Fest: It's two days — July 9 and 10 — and it is landing at the expansive, room-to-roam-and-nosh Exposition Park. What eateries will show? Fritzi Dog, Chomp Eatery, Hello Sweetie Pies, Gracias Madre, and many more. And if you like to be choosy about how you chow down, check it out: A trio of ways in are now at the heart of this summery favorite, including tasting, a la carte, and a chef series. Happy year numero 7 to one of the bite-filled biggies of Southern California.

Outfest: When one is faced with 162 films, movies that will roll out over a week plus three days, how does one begin to determine what docs, features, and shorts to see? It's a nice challenge, but this acclaimed LGBT film festival makes the movie selection a pleasure. Clea DuVall's "The Interpretation" is the festival opener, and a quartet of LA locales, including the recently reopened Ford Theatres, are on board.

Salsa Festival: Do you prefer a chip-dippable bowl that's like 90% cilantro, or do you go for more of a tomato-onion-garlic thing? You can actually love both, in the same day, for there's no wrong way to approach salsa (and about a million right ways). Join the two-day party at Pershing Square and dip that chip into a whole line-up of brightly flavored, nicely piquant picos, salsas, and dips. July 9 and 10

Pups at the Park: Does your Labrador, or Poodle, or Pekingese, or Boston Terrier wear her blue during every game, home or away? Best take your bestie by Dodger Stadium on July 9 for a special day devoted to dogs. There's an on-the-field parade before the Dodgers-Padres showdown, and some other canine-cute happenings afoot. A rescue org is the day's beneficiary, but note that you'll need your hound's vaccination records to join. Further details? Right here.

Renegade Craft Fair: Can the near-middle of July be called high summer? Let's say so, for the sake of ease, because it is warm out and ease is pleasant to ponder. This indie maker spectacular, which will spread out over a goodly chunk of Grand Park on July 9 and 10, is a reminder that the holidays are now a half year away, and birthdays? Those are always close. Better yet, stop by, by something beautiful and useful for yourself, and meet the person who made it.



Photo Credit: Brian Feinzimer]]>
<![CDATA[Melting Hearts: World Chocolate Day]]> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 12:49:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/chocsstock.jpg

Much like you do not need to be coaxed into grabbing the last chocolate in the candy box — you were going to, anyway, once you were fairly sure everyone else present was done and/or out of the room — you don't need to be nudged into celebrating World Chocolate Day.

For chocolate probably crosses your path daily, in some form, whether it is a drizzling atop a morning scone or a nighttime scoop of something creamy and cold. But acknowledging our affections for all things cocoa is a worthwhile and authentic pursuit, and acknowledge we shall on Thursday, July 7.

True, we have a bevy of national chocolate-themed holidays, from National Chocolate-Covered Cherry Day on Jan. 3 to National Chocolate Chip Day on May 15, but July 7 is truly an international affair (note there is also an International Chocolate Day on Sept. 13, an entirely distinct occasion).

How to celebrate, beyond finding the last cupcake in the cupboard and devouring it with a cup of chocolate milk? You can look ahead to Oct. 1, which is when the Los Angeles Chocolate Salon returns to Pasadena with all manner of fancy nougats and salted caramel tidbits and chefly demos and other gooey goings-on.

While the 2016 participants still haven't been announced, Valenza Chocolatier, Copper Cauldron Candy Co., and Taza Chocolate are on the roster of past participants.

Reserving your tickets? Start here.

Marking World Chocolate Day? That's as easy as unwrapping the nearest chocolate bar, and finding the nearest jar of fudge as a possible (probable) dip.



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Crispy Classic: National Fried Chicken Day]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 11:18:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bluegrovefriedchicken123.jpg

The art of enjoying a piece of fried chicken, once upon a time, mostly involved reaching for a drumstick, and making sure that there was a little barbecue sauce nearby, if such a thing was your particular pleasure.

Then? Blissful, bread-sweet, bite-nice goodness.

But the crumb-laden, spice-rich dish has gone well beyond its traditional presentation in recent decades. Fried chicken salads are now a staple of nouveau downhome cooking, and the fried chicken sandwich, in all of its cheese-melty, special-saucy glory, is a wonder to behold. (Well, for about five seconds, before the beheld wonder is promptly eaten.)

Wednesday, July 6 is National Fried Chicken Day, a timely occasion falling, as it does, just after the Fourth of July and just before that long stretch when summer-style dining, really settles into the season.

Where to find the tender classic, in all of its fresh iterations? Look to...

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar + Grill: The coating of your chicken can make much of the difference, and sometimes all the difference, in how moist the meat ultimately turns out. If a matzo meal breading intrigues you (mmm), as well as spicy adds like togarashi and paprika, head for The Grove. A wasabi-honey sauce provides more powerful piquancy.

The Bellwether: The Studio City eatery walks the flavorful fried chicken path in a few ways, including a Hot Chicken Sando. What lends the zing? Green tomato chow chow, while a pimento cheese furthers the spicy kick.

1212: If manchego is your go-to cheese, and ciabatta your must-have bread, best swing by this still-new Santa Monica spot, which incorporates both in the Smoked & Fried Chicken Sandwich. Also adding to the whole picture? Bacon, roasted peppers, romesco, and a free range chicken breast.

A.O.C.: A well-breaded, well-seasoned plate of fried chicken can stand alone, but some fans want the dips, sauces, and seasoning to play as big a role as the star of the meal. Look to A.O.C.'s Spanish Fried Chicken, which is accompanied by both romesco aioli and butter that's zesty with chili and cumin.

Tender Greens: Straight-up fried chicken and chicken sandwiches have their devoted followings, but so does the fried chicken salad, a work of leafy art that is enhanced by an interesting dressing choice. Look to this boutique chain for a few variations on fried chicken, including the Southern Fried Chicken Salad. Butter lettuce is on board, as is a dill dressing, adding a bright green flavor point to the richness of the bread and chicken.



Photo Credit: Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar + Grill]]>
<![CDATA[Peace & Love Salute: Join Ringo in Hollywood]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 06:33:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/peaceandloveringostarr12345.jpg

You don't have to browse the songs of the Beatles for too long before you come across the word "love" in the title, or a variation on the theme.

From "Love Me Do" to "She Loves You" to "Lovely Rita," the lads from Liverpool made the heart-centered emotion central to their work, work that also frequently shined a light on the notions of understanding and connection.

These important ideas have become the basis of Ringo Starr's annual public birthday celebration, and, by effervescent, Starr-shiny extension, much of his larger calling, too. #PEACEANDLOVE is an oft-seen hashtag when discussion of The Beatles drummer comes up, because that is the message he has long sought to promote, encourage, and live.

The public is invited to join the icon on that journey on Thursday, July 7. That's Mr. Starr's 76th birthday, and, as is tradition, he'll appear outside the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood for his yearly "Peace & Love" salute.

The time? The performances kick off at 11:20, while the salute is at noon. Joining the fun is free. 

Free, and quite popular, as you might guess, so best arrive by Metro, which has a Red Line stop at Hollywood and Vine, just south of the famous tower.

Ringo Starr's family and friends always join the festivities, too. Dave Stewart with Jon Stevens, Alberta Cross, and Vandaveer will perform some of the legend's tunes to round out the happy day.

A day that Mr. Starr had asked for on a birthday back in 2008. "More peace and love, that is something that you can't have too much of," he said.

True words, and one he lives out, with his fans, and family, and pals, each July 7 at noon outside Capitol Records.

Can't make it? You can join the #PEACEANDLOVE salute by sending out your own social media message, or watching live on Ringo Starr's web site.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fireworks Time-Lapse Video Captures Sparkling LA]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 13:37:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/204*120/07-04-2016-fireworks-timelapse-1.JPG

Fireworks photography can be hit or miss, often producing a blurry and underwhelming representation of a spectacle that's expected to deliver oohs and ahhs.

But instead of shooting skyward, a Southern California photographer tried a different perspective Monday night to create a dramatic time-lapse video that shows off a sparking Los Angeles from 5,000 feet. 

Aaron Keigher set up a camera on Mount Wilson, which provided a sweeping view of the region's many fireworks displays from the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles. The 40-second video is complete with the constant popping sounds of fireworks.

"There must have been thousands upon thousands of fire works going off," Keigher, who enjoys landscape, cityscape, nature and wildlife photography, wrote in his Facebook post.

He titled the video, "The Battle of Los Angeles."



Photo Credit: Aaron Keigher
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Library at the Beach]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 15:14:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/libraryatthebeachsmpl.jpg

The call to stock up on "beach reads" begins to show up at bookstores and online right about March or so, or just around the time we begin thinking we wouldn't mind taking a few days at the ocean in July or August.

Soon novels and memoirs arrive bearing the "beach reads" label, and bingo: You've got your sand-based stories lined up for the summer.

But the Santa Monica Public Library puts a different sandy spin on the notion of the beach and books each year when it pops by the Annenberg Community Beach House. 

Literally pops by, as in a pop-up, as in a daylong dally at the historic Santa Monica pool and house.

That daylong dally is set for Friday, July 8, from 10 in the morning through 3 o'clock, but don't look for the paperbacks and magazines that are often described as the perfect page-throughs for an afternoon spent near the ocean.

Rather, the library will build a day around "seaside reading, family friendly outdoor activities and special surprises." The written word is still one of the strongest sunbeams of the sunny day out near the waves, but the event is less about quietly reading on your own.

Fun is to be had, of a lit-sweet nature, and books and the beach are the joyful jump-off point.

If you're looking for some grown-up pool time at the Annenberg, return later that night, on the 8th, for the Sunset Swim. It's just for adults, so drop your kids off at your parents' abode and spent an hour or two noshing on gratis fruit bars and s'mores while hanging out at a pool, at the beach, on a pretty Friday night.



Photo Credit: SMPL]]>
<![CDATA[Ford Amphitheatre: Historic Venue Reopens]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 22:12:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/fordBobPlunkett.jpg

Los Angeles is home to as many great theaters as a sizable theatrical venue has seats, which means that choosing what to see, and when, and where, can be a delightfully frustrating exercise in decision-making.

But only a few regional stages stretch back nearly a century, and fewer still offer an alfresco, starry night experience to those who travel the Cahuenga Pass to get there.

True, that pretty obvious "Cahuenga Pass" hint could very well be describing the Hollywood Bowl, but we speak of the Bowl's across-the-101 neighbor, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, which has a story that goes back to the 1920s (like the Bowl does, too; in fact, their beginnings have a shared story).

A major renovation and "a complete stage reconstruction" was announced for the historic venue in 2014, one that shuttered the stage and its pretty, tucked-into-the-hills property for several months, including the 2015 season.

Now the Ford is back, fully refurbished and newly asparkle. Starting on Friday, July 8, fans of cultural offerings can enjoy performances from the drum-tastic TAIKOPROJECT, rock outfit Quetzal, soul favorite Aloe Blacc, "Broadway Under the Stars," "Forever Flamenco at the Ford," chanteuse Lila Downs, "Let's Play LA!" from the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, and Chester Whitmore's swinging Big Band standards.

There's lots more beyond, so best peruse the summer schedule, which wraps on Oct. 15, 2016.

As far as what's changed at the outdoor amphitheatre, which is less than a half decade away from its centennial? Look for "a new picnic terrace for 200 people" as well as "new theatrical lighting and infrastructure improvements."

Other major improvements, both seen and not seen by the audience, are giving this gem of a venue a vivacious entry into its soon-to-start second century.



Photo Credit: Bob Plunkett]]>
<![CDATA['Urban Light': Renovation Wraps]]> Tue, 05 Jul 2016 12:53:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/urbanlightlacmachrisburden.jpg

If you've hosted recent summertime visitors, you'll recall spending time doing the laundry, and mopping the kitchen floor, and fixing the fan in the guest room, and preparing the place in myriad, guest-welcoming ways.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has had a similar spiffy-up summer, but unlike our homes, which might be ready for the public in a couple of hours, the Miracle Mile art institution has required a couple of intensive months.

After all, refurbishing 202 historic street lamps, lamps that have become both symbolic of the museum and of the city, too, isn't quite on par with scrubbing the bathroom shower. (As laborious as that might be for all of us.)

It was a big job, in short, to give Chris Burden's "Urban Light" a full-scale refurbishment. That big job began in early May 2016, when fans of the photo-ready installation found it partially fenced off, the better to let the restorers perform their work on both the lamps' paint and those pretty glass globes.

That fence, though, is coming down, and the expected reopening date for the LACMA favorite is Friday, July 8. (An asterisk indicating that the date might be slightly fluid, depending on the restoration's final days, is probably not necessary here, but July 8 is the goal.)

Wondering why an installation that only opened in 2008 is already on the receiving end of a two-month touch-up? Unlike the other pieces in the museum, and the artworks found in most every museum, the public is allowed to interact with the lamps.

Is "interact" a strong enough word, though? Hmm.

Look at any "Urban Light" photo on Instagram and you're bound to see someone hugging or holding or spinning around a lamppost. Multiply those acts by several thousand visitors, over the better part of a decade, and it was time to lend the lamps some needed, paint-strong, weather-the-elements(-and-visitors) affection.

That's done, or nearly, and thank goodness, for weddings and dates and music videos and pedestrians of Wilshire Boulevard need their lamp love. Welcome back, "Urban Light."



Photo Credit: LACMA]]>
<![CDATA[Pageant of the Masters: Real People as Art]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 22:16:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Backstage_Brooches.jpg

When told to hold completely still, most people likely either feel the urge to A) laugh or B) blink or C) cough/sneeze or D) scratch their chin or E) blink.

We included "blink" twice because of all of those acts, blinking is likely the hardest to delay. Ponder this as you ponder Pageant of the Masters, the famous Laguna Beach show where performers pose "inside" paintings and sculptures, the very artworks you've seen inside museums.

"Inside" is not really truly inside at the summertime presentation, which is on from Thursday, July 7 through the final day of August. People stand in front of a painted backdrop, when posing as part of a painting, but the hues and shading and light make is seem as if they're actually occupying the flat service of the large-scale canvas.

It's an optical illusion at its finest, and one of California's most famous, right up there with the Mystery Spot (an optical treat of another, balls-rolling-up-hill sort).

Hundreds of behind-the-scenes artists and volunteers make this magical treat happen each year, a treat that includes a bevy of artworks, artworks that include some paintings, some sculptures, and perhaps jewelry, too. The woman pictured above is mimicking, convincingly, a vintage brooch.

The show changes each year — the collaboration-minded 2016 theme is called "Partners — but it always ends with an impressive ode to Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper."

What's to know? Binoculars are helpful, and you can rent them at the venue which, by the by, is also hosting Festival of Arts.

It's a time of year brimming with cultural richness 'round the arts-minded community, but don't blink: Pageant of the Masters will pack up the paints and costumes before Labor Day Weekend arrives.



Photo Credit: Pageant of the Masters]]>
<![CDATA[Sweet Heat: California Hot Sauce Expo]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 09:35:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/chileGettyImages-491510368.jpg

Is hot sauce A) a condiment or B) a full-on food or C) its own cuisine category or D) a way of life or E) on whatever delicious dish you're consuming at this very moment?

The answer would normally be F) — all of the above, natch — but hot sauce is such a superstar, and so obsessed-over by its true-heart fans, that one feels badly if letters G through Z aren't included, too, somehow.

If you're a blast-of-heat buff, look what's back for its second go-around: the California Hot Sauce Expo.

Where's the scene for all of the delicious Scoville scale action? Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach. When's all of that heat-a-tude going down (or up, since we equate heat with rising temperatures)? Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17 are the dates.

There's also a Guinness Book of World Records face-off happening, and you best pour yourself a glass of ice water before you read what it is, exactly. It involves the eating of incredibly hot reaper peppers, and how many of those peppers can be consumed in a minute.

On second thought, push the glass of water away, as every hot sauce aficionado knows that water sipped immediately after a pepper can only stoke the fire. Hold off on that sip for a minute or so.

Bloody Mary mavens will also want to take note that The Bloody Mary Mix-Down, presented by Stoli, will be a centerpiece of the wickedly tongue-toasty weekend. Burritos and tacos, too, will have their challenges.

Should you just want to shop among the vendors, and take your saucy finds home for your own cooking, that's cool — er, hot — too. Bocas Hot Sauce, Cobra Chilis, Flavors of the Sun, and Humboldt Hot Sauce are expected to show, among the many purveyors of liquid heat.

Tickets? They're ten bucks a pop, and, yep, you will enjoy samples at the expo. There's a craft brew package, and a VIP package, too, so explore your choices.

We'd recommend keeping a bottle of water handy, but, again, every hot sauce expert knows that the peak heat can sometimes only be further encouraged by a too-quick sip.

You know your palate, your taste, and your obsession for hot sauce. Proceed with flavorful caution, and pepper-powerful joy, as you go for the hottest sauces around at the California Hot Sauce Expo.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>