<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California https://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usTue, 23 Jan 2018 20:09:42 -0800Tue, 23 Jan 2018 20:09:42 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Obsessed-Over Strawberry Doughnuts Return to Glendora]]> Tue, 23 Jan 2018 18:09:37 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/donutmanstrawberry.jpg

The signs of springtime around our region are varied and vivacious and flat-out charming, it's true.

For in Southern California? We can't really look to the first time we don a bathing suit or a tank top as a sign of spring, for that's already happening, off and on, throughout the winter.

Instead, we gaze upon the nearby desert, and the first wildflowers pushing through the sandy expanses. We look to Mojave Maxine, the desert tortoise in Palm Desert, and whether she has left her burrow yet or not. We check in with the California Strawberry Festival, the one in Oxnard in May, for when the festival's annual poster contest ends, you know spring is close.

And we look to The Donut Man, the storied Glendora stand, and whether those glossy, gooey, can't-possibly-fit-your-mouth-around-'em strawberry doughnuts are available. The very doughnuts just about every local pastry person has obsessed over, at one time or another.

Here's the gooey good news: They are, they are, oh fruit bliss, they are as of Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018.

Meaning the queue at the Route 66-adjacent stand will grow quite considerable in the weeks ahead (but, yeah, the line is always pretty considerable, because people do adore the 45-year-old doughnuterie's classic line-up of crullers and dunkers).

Meaning you should get there, for strawberry doughnut season is not, repeat, not a year-round event at The Donut Man. The season wraps around September.

Meaning you should still enjoy winter, yes, of course, but you should also know that what counts as the first buds of the season, 'round SoCal, are showing, and they're not buds at all but rather doughnuts and desert tortoises. (No, Maxine hasn't yet appeared, but she will in the coming weeks.)

As for the price for a strawberry-stuffed doughnut? It's $4.25.

As for the famous peach doughnut, which is also a staple of The Donut Man, which also has its fervent fans? Look to high summer, around July or August, for that goodie's return.

As for fitting your mouth around a strawberry doughnut? That's a compliment, the fact that it is so stuffed with strawberries that no mouth can possibly best it, though probably a few can. And high fives all around, if this is you. Lucky.

The strawberry doughnut is, in short, not a small treat, but rather one that absolute bursts with big strawberries and big flavor and a big reputation it has so flavorfully earned over the years.

Photo Credit: The Donut Man]]>
<![CDATA[Picture Tickets for The Museum of Selfies Going on Sale]]> Tue, 23 Jan 2018 12:49:33 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/museumofselfies02939232.jpg

So you attend a lot of concerts, and exhibit openings, and music festivals, and movie premieres? 

And you say you own a device that includes a camera that can instantly flip around to point in the direction of your face?

Chances are somewhere in the "totally happened" to "absolutely occurred" range that you've snapped a photograph of yourself holding your prized ticket, and then immediately shared that very photograph on the various sites around the internet where such things can be shared.

Obviously, then, when you purchase your Museum of Selfies ticket, which you can do beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 23, you'll take a snapshot of yourself holding The Museum of Selfies ticket, and then you'll post it on social media, which will be as meta and full circle as such acts come.

The springtime pop-up, which will run for two months beginning on Sunday, April 1 — no fooling — was announced just after Thanksgiving, but details on tickets were still to come at that time.

That moment has arrived, a ticket is $25, the location will be 211 N. Brand Boulevard in Glendale, and the interactive experience will be flush with photos and displays considering the history, meaning, and modern rise of the selfie.

Selfies, by the way, are photos you take of yourself, arm fully extended quite often, unless you have a selfie stick, an implement that allows your camera to exist even further from your face.

Selfie sticks are not allowed at many museums, but The Museum of Selfies is embracing the devices. So much so, in fact, that the world's longest selfie stick will be on view at the museum. Not only on view, but the museum will attempt entry into the Guinness Book of World Records with the eye-poppingly lengthy camera-holder.

The current longest selfie stick on the planet, by the way, is just over 59 feet long, if you can imagine taking your photo from the neighbor's yard, a house or two over.

Are you ready to buy your ticket to The Museum of Selfies and, just as importantly, pose with proof that you have a ticket, then snap a picture, then post it everywhere you prefer to post such photos?

Start here on your journey into one of the most modern of momentary museums. Tickets went on sale at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 23. 

It's not a museum of mirrors, in the old-school amusement sense, but The Museum of Selfies will act like a mirror to our contemporary and continued interest in striking a pose for the nearest camera, the one in our hand.

Photo Credit: Museum of Selfies]]>
<![CDATA[Pie Day Is Here, and a Pie Fight's on the Horizon]]> Tue, 23 Jan 2018 10:51:20 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/shutterstockpie902293232.jpg

Really and truly, a person only ever wants to see the days of their life act in total accord and harmony. 

You'd never pit two different days on the calendar in some sort of "what day is better" showdown (though, of course, being a bit biased toward your birthday is acceptable). Like, you'd never sign up to see Jan. 23, which is National Pie Day, and March 14, which is Pi Day, in some sort of epic face-off.

But the truth of it is this, generally: Pi Day, on March 14, sees more pie-related specials at local diners and bakeries (slices tend to go for $3.14, in homage to the day and month).

And on Jan. 23? Everyone is still semi-embracing those year-starting resolutions, which may not include copious amounts of pie.


Consider, though, that Southern California is an acknowledged leader in pie-based creation and technology, meaning we're happily crust-deep in a multitude of shops that do pie right, from The Apple Pan to Gjusta to Du-par's to Pie 'n Burger to The Pie Hole, which is serving up a special banana bourbon cream pie on honor of National Pie Day.

And just a short drive away, if three or so hours can be considered "short"? There's Julian, an internationally recognized leader in the pursuit of perfect apple-pie-dom, so much so that one almost wants to call it Pie Town (though that's a real town in New Mexico, which also does right by pie).

For now, though, you can look forward to a pie-related speakeasy, in honor of Valentine's Day. It's put on by the Roaring Twenties Street Jam, it'll happen in DTLA on Saturday, Feb. 17, and while there will be vintage looks and lively tunes, there will also be a pie fight.

Yes, a pie fight, as in the uproarious, vaudeville-style, whipped-cream'd variety.

Happy National Pie Day, pie people, and hold on to those pans and plates, once you empty them: Pi Day is less than two months away, and, with it, all of those $3.14 slices of pastry perfection.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Sip Cheese Atop Tea When You Sip a Cheese Tea]]> Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:05:56 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cheesetea123345.jpg

Sometimes the name of a dish or drink is so beautifully clear, and so wonderfully straightforward, that you have to pause and decide if what you're hearing is a complicated but catchy handle signifying something totally different — an ironic name, if you will — or if the named product is actually that thing in the name.

Take cheese tea, which is tea topped by cheese.

At first glance, such a pairing might seem a little unusual, before you consider how often slices of cheese are actually consumed, along with crackers or cookies, while brimming cups of hot tea steam nearby.

But this sippable delicacy, which is served cool or hot, isn't about separating the dairy element from the made-with-leaves part of the libation; rather, the cheese, which is "a decadent, creamy cheese foam," sits atop the sweet tea, which might be matcha or oolong or milk or green or another variety.

It's a favorite beverage in several parts of Asia (think Singapore, Hong Kong, and a number of other locations), with a distinctly boba-like character, and it can be found at Little Fluffy Head Cafe on 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles.

Cafe founder Jenny Zheng was studying bioengineering when she discovered cheese tea while visiting Asia. Knowing that the interesting texture combination, and the meet-up between creamy cheese foam and tart tea notes, would intrigue people, Ms. Zheng decided to open a shop dedicated to the memorable drink in Southern California.

Memorable, and, you bet, Instagrammable.

The shop's tempting menu is full of marvels-in-a-glass, from chedd-cha matcha (the foam atop the iced matcha latte is cheddar cheese cream) to a peach oolong to a jasmine green tea.

If you order a drink that includes boba pearls, and it is topped with creamy cheese, will it feel a bit like a full-on snack? A cup that offers a bit of fortifying flavor as well as refreshment?

Try and see, at Little Fluffy Head Cafe, where the cheese isn't on slices on a plate next to the teapot, no siree. Rather, the creamy delectable serves as an airy topper to the liquid, be it matcha or oolong or another tea, directly below.

Photo Credit: Little Fluffy Head Cafe]]>
<![CDATA[How ‘Fire Marshall Bill’ Saved the Super Bowl Halftime Show]]> Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:07:31 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2018-01-22+at+3.53.18+PM.png

Nowadays the Super Bowl halftime show features some of the biggest names in pop music. But not too long ago, the halftime show was mostly marching bands and musical ensembles. In 1992, FOX encouraged viewers to turn off the Super Bowl by airing a live episode of the sketch-comedy show “In Living Color” during halftime — and big names have headlined the mid-game break ever since.

<![CDATA[Time to Eat Haggis and Dance, at the Tam]]> Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:12:01 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/haggisburnstamoshanter123.jpg

If you're going to don a kilt or the family plaid or something else that looks as though it would fit nicely into a traditional Highlands-style soirée, you're surely looking for an evening that has some stirring, ages-old elements.

And seeking out that which stirs the senses and soul can often be found within the lines of poems that have endured the ages, or at least several ages.

The words written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns have done just that, and centuries after his birth we still recite "Auld Lang Syne" and the other lines he so immortally put to paper.

The Tam O'Shanter stops to grandly honor the memory of the poet each year. And so popular is this senses-stirring, kilt-garbed gathering that it happens over two nights, not just one, and there are two seatings each night.

It's the Robbie Burns Celebration, a tribute to the scribe's birthday, which happened 259 years ago. To raise a dram to the writer's memory, you'll need to be at the historic Atwater Village restaurant in the here, and in the now, or at least on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 23 or Wednesday, Jan. 24.

There are two seatings each night, at 5:30 and 8:15.

Kilts and plaids and the traditional Scottish styles are not mandatory, though many people do arrive in their Burnsian best.

On the menu? Haggis is the most famous dish of the night, and, yes, it is ceremonially sliced with a sword. There are "...over 40 varieties of single malt scotch" to peruse, too, and other authentic eats that hail from the birthplace of the Poet Burns.

On the entertainment roster? Step-dancers will bring the twirls and power, while bagpipes will ring through the cozy, woodsy eatery.

And, yes, readings are also part of the festivities.

Robert Burns, by the by, is the writer who gave the character Tam O'Shanter to the world. So it is a fitting and spirited and, yes, stirring thing that a restaurant named the Tam O'Shanter, one that's quite far from Scotland in distance but not in kinship, will remember the legendary poet with a rollicking, haggis-filled two-night cèilidh.

Photo Credit: Tam O'Shanter]]>
<![CDATA[Things to Do This Week: Philippe's Free Chili Day]]> Mon, 22 Jan 2018 09:56:12 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/philippesigntheoriginal.jpg

Free Chili Day: Some bright and chilly days 'round this region have swept us into the beginning of the fourth week of January 2018, which happens to be the week which contains one spicy, onion-tastic, chopped-with-shredded-cheese kind of day. It's Free Chili Day at Philippe the Original on Tuesday, Jan. 23, and the first 500 customers, beginning at 10:30 in the morning, will receive a pay-nothing cup of Dolores chili. Good to know? You'll need to buy a sandwich to get your free chili, and sandwiches, as in French Dips, are plentiful and perfect at the Alameda Street landmark.

Robbie Burns Celebration: You've got your kilt freshly pressed, you've got a hankering for haggis, and you've got the melody to "Auld Lang Syne" flowing around your noggin? You must be headed for the Tam O'Shanter on Tuesday, Jan. 23 or Wednesday, Jan. 24. That's when the historic restaurant will raise a dram to the memory of the poet with stirring readings, the playing of bagpipes, and, yes, one very famous dish. Not up for haggis? There are other vittles, too, to enjoy.

dineL.A.'s Final Days: Yes, fret not, the deal-filled Restaurant Week will soon return, as it does, but if you want to jump into a juicy plate of ribs, or an interestingly composed salad, or something flan-y or custard-ish for dessert, and you want to save money while doing so, you'll want to peruse the eatery list before Friday, Jan. 26. That's when this winter of '18 go-around wraps for dineL.A., so get on those grub-mazing discounts and prix fixe menus while they're hot.

Strawberry Season at The Donut Man: One of Southern California's most-photographed, most-pined-over, and most-dreamed-about desserts isn't available all year along, but when it returns? Hoo boy, watch for the line of donut devotees driving to Glendora. It's the Strawberry Doughnut, the one created by The Donut Man, and "Jan. 26" is the date to watch for its gooey, sticky comeback, according to the shop's Facebook page. Yum, yum, and yum.

Taste Ofs continue: If you dig a fantastic "Taste Of," as in the sort of event that spotlights the edibles of a particular block or neighborhood or town or county, you're in luck as January 2018 begins to wrap up. Taste of Alhambra opens on Jan. 22, Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week is rolling through Saturday, Jan. 27 (complete with those awesome $20.18 menu deals), and Redondo Beach Restaurant Week is serving up the tempting tastes through Jan. 26. Is a place you dig doing a Restaurant Week before January wraps? California Restaurant Month can you lead you to that "yes" or "no" (fingers crossed for a "yes").

Photo Credit: Philippe the Original]]>
<![CDATA[Make a Valentine's Card, Make Someone's Day]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:20:40 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/222*120/getPartbigsunvalentines.jpg

Longing to connect with those around Southern California who might need a kind word, some comfort, some attention, and the assurance that someone is thinking about them?

It's a wish that a lot of us have, though finding a way to make that important connection can too often present too high of a hurdle, at least in our minds.

But there are clear paths to lifting someone you don't know a bit, to making their day brighter or helping them to know that others are keeping them in their thoughts.

And one of those wide-open paths to connecting with our neighbors is opening up on Sunday, Feb. 11 at the Big Sunday's 5th Annual Valentine-Making, Bingo-Playing Community Dinner at the Big Sunday headquarters on Melrose Avenue.

The 4 to 7 p.m. event, which is open to anyone who'd like to pitch in and volunteer, will be all about putting together gift bags and creating Valentine's cards for "...those who are ailing or facing a tough time."

Have a lot of joy to share or just a few tender words that can spread sunshine? You're needed at this think-big give-back event. And you're also invited to help deliver those Valentine's cards and goodies, too, closer to Feb. 14, which is on a Wednesday in 2018.

You can choose one or the other, volunteering-wise, though if you'd like to participate in both the Valentine creation and delivery, just let Big Sunday know.

If you joined the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event at Big Sunday, which focused on sorting thousands of pieces of donated clothing for donation to area organizations, you know how a few hours of pitching in can contribute to a larger purpose of helping others.

The 2018 grew even bigger, compared to last year, and the Valentine-Making, Bingo-Playing Community Dinner can, too. So meet new Southern Californians who share in your desire to share sunshine, maybe play a little bingo with them, and set to writing and drawing in cards that'll go to hundreds of our neighbors in need over the days leading up to the 14th of February.

Head for 6111 Melrose Ave. on Feb. 11 to serve as a vital player in this hope-filled, cheer-packed party.

Photo Credit: Big Sunday]]>
<![CDATA[Major Adoption Event at All LA City Animal Shelters]]> Sun, 21 Jan 2018 08:51:37 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/LAAS+South+LA+Shelter+A1748180.jpg Give a new cat or pup a loving home at this major adoption event.

Photo Credit: LA Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Look Inside: Josh Duhamel's Homey $2.65-Million Bachelor Pad in Encino]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:24:55 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/josh-duhamel-getty-Erenstoft-realestate.jpg Josh Duhamel's bachelor pad is pretty homey. The $2.65 million gem nestled in Encino, California, which the "Transformers" star purchased after the end to his 13-year marriage to Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie, boasts a 180-degree view of the valley and the eastern mountain range.

Photo Credit: Getty via Chris Polk/Sean Erenstoft of Sotheby’s International Realty ]]>
<![CDATA[Gay Men's Chorus Celebrates Music from the '90s]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:42:51 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gmclamusicfromthe90s.jpg

It's sometimes said, in popular culture, that the music and styles of an era take about two decades to circle back around, trends-wise.

Just look to the 1970s, when the '50s were fashionable again via "Happy Days" and other retro shows, and the '80s, when "The Monkees" played on MTV and '60s hairdos popped up on the covers of magazines.

As for the 1990s? Ah, yes. The 1990s. (Cue the flashback montage, the one that always begins when a character gets lost in deep thought.)

Here's the thing about that particular ten-year stretch: It never quite left us, so no flashback montage is actually required.

You can thank reruns on cable, or the fact that the music of the '90s, whether you adored hip-hop, grunge, R&B, singer-songwriter ballads, or straight-up pop, was unabashedly excellent.

Film soundtracks were elevated by it, radios rocked, and though the nostalgic longings of today can tell us it was really it good, let's be real: It was mostly all really good.

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles understands our continuing spirit-gladdening need for a constant supply of fantastic '90s songs, delivered in live 'n lively way, and thank goodness for that. And thank goodness we don't have to wait too long for the acclaimed outfit's two-night tribute to the music of 20 years ago, give or take.

Because is all happening, with spectacle and humor and that quintessential GMCLA verve, on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

Will you hear some "Hand in My Pocket"? "Wannabe"? "...Baby One More Time"? Count on a caboodle of tunes that you might just know all the words to, and by "might" we mean you do, totally, still today, and forever and ever.

Tickets for "Come As You Are: Music from the 90's" aren't available yet, but hurrah, mini-subcriptions are, which help to support the GMCLA even further. (Update: Tickets are available for both the GMCLA spring and summer shows through the Alex Theatre box office.)

And if you want a chance to attend "The Pink Carpet — LGBTQ and the Silver Screen," on June 23 and 24, a mini-subscription purchased now is a primo route to take.

But before the movies-fun concerts arrive, you have a date with the 1990s, and GMCLA, in March, so best break out your flannel and baby doll dresses and platform sandals and velvet chokers. For one of the best decades ever for sheer song-a-bility is about to get its emotion-filled and delightful due thanks to The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles.

Happy 39th season, GMCLA!

Photo Credit: GMCLA]]>
<![CDATA[Raise a Toast to the Great Beverly Garland]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 07:32:05 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BG+Lobby+Photo123.jpg

Deciding to jump into a second career?

All sorts of books are written on the topic these days, while coaches, too, lend direction and guidance. And, quite often? The advice proferred centers on finding a fresh path that has a few things in common with what you've already been pursuing.

Whether "actor" and "hotelier" share a lot of similar threads may be up for debate, but what is not debatable? The fact that Beverly Garland excelled at both, bringing both a memorable style to her big-screen roles and her namesake hotel in North Hollywood.

She's a towering and powerful figure in local history, so much so that the City of Los Angeles has proclaimed that the 19th of January should be Beverly Garland Day. Ms. Garland passed away in 2008, but fans pause each year to remember her films, her contributions to the industry, and how she blazed trails for women rising to the top ranks in the hospitality business.

Honor her legacy on Friday, Jan. 19 by stopping by The Garland for a martini and burger, which happened to be the hotelier's very favorite meal. That's priced at nineteen bucks — $19 on Jan. 19, easy to remember — and is available at The Front Yard.

Hotel guests will enjoy a movie marathon at the on-site Beverly Garland Theatre. Flicks lined up for Beverly Garland Day? Cheer her on in "DOA," "Swamp Women," "Desperado," and "Twice Told Tales."

And over at The Store? The merchandise found within is 25% off, and that cookie you'll walk out with? It's complimentary and part of the celebration.

Whether or not you fold a fully new path into the career pursuits you already have, or you intend to keep on keepin' on with exactly what you're doing, take inspiration and fortitude from a woman who found success on both the silver-screen and in the world of hotels.

If only we all had a bit of Beverly Garland's can-do gumption and rise-higher spirit to work with in our day-to-days.

As for Ms. Garland's birthday? That's in October, and, you bet, The Garland celebrates that occasion, too. Stay tuned.

Photo Credit: Beverly Garland]]>
<![CDATA[And the 2019 Rose Parade Theme Is...]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 21:04:37 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/roseparadetheme09283923232.jpg

Maybe your photographs, the ones you snapped during The 129th Rose Parade Presented by Honda, haven't been fully sorted yet.

Maybe the petal you tucked in your pocket, the one you found on the ground along Colorado Boulevard, hasn't yet made its way into your Rose Parade-themed scrapbook.

And, just perhaps, you haven't even watched the whole parade yet, which is still on your DVR, because you wanted to savor every last over-the-top bit.

Savoring the celebrated procession, which rolls grandly through Pasadena each New Year's Day, is an admirable wish, but here's the thing: The Tournament of Roses is already looking to 2019, as in the year that starts over 11 months from now, and, let's be honest, by "over" we mean 11 months and two weeks, ish.

For the 2019 theme for the Rose Parade has been chosen, and now announced, as of the evening of Thursday, Jan. 18. It's "The Melody of Life," which fits quite winningly with the tradition's long love of incorporating music into the big day, and before the day, too, at the beloved Bandfest.

That's right, 2019. As in a year before 2020. Just as we're all still getting used to writing 2018 on various pieces of paperwork.

The colorful announcement poster trumpeting the theme rocks a sprightly retro look, with a saxophone and a globe offering festive counterpoints to the bold text. Piano keys, too, lend visual panache.

The reveal of next year's parade theme, which usually does arrive in January, isn't the only forward-looking task the Tournament of Roses organizers have in mind at the moment: A Prospective Member Reception for potential parade volunteers is just ahead on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and Thursday, Feb. 1.

Do note that "...there are more applicants than openings each year," but if you've ever dreamt of donning the famous white suit on New Year's Day, and assisting parade watchers as well as Tournament staffers in numerous ways, this could be your bright beginning.

Photo Credit: Tournament of Roses]]>
<![CDATA[Candytopia to Find a New Location]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:12:26 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/candytopiaannouncement.jpg

Gooey confections, yummy bon bons, suckable sweets, boiled-sugar goodies, and lollipops have a way of disappearing pretty quickly, but not by any magic trick or spell that's been cast: We eat them, and poof! They're soon gone.

But Candytopia, the mega-of-size, gummy-bear'd walk-through experience set to debut at the LA Hangar Studios in the middle of December 2017, never quite appeared. That, however, doesn't mean the whimsy-packed destination is gone like a bon bon. (Or, more accurately, a box of bon bons, which do have a way of disappearing quickly.) It may appear again, soon, somewhere where it wasn't expected.

A statement released by the interactive happening's organizers on Wednesday, Jan. 17 told more of the story. The "proper permits necessary for Candytopia to open at the planned location" have not been obtained, and "(w)hile we've worked tirelessly with the City of Los Angeles, the situation has still not been resolved."

As for refunds? "All Candytopia ticket holders will receive a refund, and "... no additional action is required to receive the refund," given the automatic processing system.

As for what's next?

The search is on for a new location, and the team behind the project hopes to share "exciting news soon." If you're keen to snap your photo among all of those over-sized confections and lollies, wherever they might appear next, best watch the Candytopia social media pages for updates.

Photo Credit: Candytopia]]>
<![CDATA[Celeb Estate: Bruce Willis Lists $17 Million Duplex on Central Park]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 04:54:46 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bruce+willis+upper+west+side+apartment.jpg Actor Bruce Willis and his wife, Emma Heming Willis, are selling their spacious duplex facing Central Park West, according to reports.

Photo Credit: Rob Lowell]]>
<![CDATA[Join Dapper Day's First Trip to the Natural History Museum]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:46:35 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Dapper_Day_LACMA_LScavo_7.22.16_190544+%281%29.jpg

Once upon a time, which feels like the fitting way to start a post about a series of events that involve light-hearted revelers wearing their fanciest favorites, there was a happening that took place at the Happiest Place on Earth.

And, yes, Walt Disney World in Orlando, and Disneyland Paris, too.

Soon Dapper Day, for that is the name of the event, was colorfully calling upon other places, like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, all to enjoy a day of fashion, style, socializing, sunshine, art, and congenial hobnobbery.

Dapper Day, though, which will soon mark its 7th anniversary, is going even further afield, and back in time, too, when it calls upon the Natural History Museum on Sunday, Jan. 21. This is the popular event's very first adventure at the "largest natural history museum in the Western United States."

We do say "adventure" because a science-minded institution filled with dinosaur bones and fabulous artifacts hailing from eons ago can feel quite adventuresome, and amazing, and rife with excitement, and facts, and learning moments.

How everything works with Dapper Day? It's a snap, for the most part.

Step one: You wear your go-to gussy-up outfit, and it can be from the 1940s, or from the 1980s, or from the future, for there are no set years or perimeters on the dress code of Dapper Day.

"Elegance" and "style" are keywords, so keep those in mind.

Two? Pay the admission at the NHM counter, if you're not already a museum member, and then saunter by those famous animal-amazing dioramas, and the sparkling gemstones, and the historical displays, and the beautiful beasties of the Dinosaur Hall.

Enjoy your dressed-up day, in the sublime setting, in short.

A few notes? The "Tattoo" exhibit is on now at the museum, but you'll need a special ticket to see it.

Also, The San Andreas Sisters will provide the lively tunes by the dioramas at 1 p.m., and then again at 3.

And will there be a pop-up Dapper Day boutique to peruse? There will be, "... in the shadow of the 'Dueling Dinos' in the Museum entry." There's even a brand-new pin to commemorate the inaugural Dapper Day outing at NHM, and it is a dinosaur sporting a bowtie. It really is, honest.

Dapper Day will be back at the most famous theme park in the galaxy on Sunday, April 22. 

But if you're an opera maven, there's a "Candide" matinee coming up sooner, on Feb. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, that will see many Dapper Dayists in fashionable attendance.

Photo Credit: Laurie Scavo]]>
<![CDATA[Free to See: 'The Alienist': Sketchbook to Screen Exhibit]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:14:21 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/alienistktUONCM.jpg Journey back to 1896 via The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

Photo Credit: Kevin Perry for The Paley Center for Media]]>
<![CDATA[Beware of New Pyramid Schemes on Popular Social Media Sites]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:52:49 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Pyramid+Scheme.jpg

It’s the latest version of an age-old scheme. One person invests $150, recruits 14 other people into the group and then walks away with $1,200.

Each member of the group works their way to the big prize by recruiting more members, and so on. Sound familiar?

“This is a classic pyramid scheme, and we’ve been seeing pyramid schemes for centuries,” Rob D’Ovidio, associate professor of criminology and justice studies at Drexel University, told NBC10.

The difference with this particular scheme is that it relies on social media and other popular smartphone apps. Participants are paid via Venmo or Paypal and recruit members using Instagram and Facebook.

“It’s a lot simpler nowadays than in the past where I had to send out physical letters to people to get involved,” D’Ovidio said.

A similar pyramid scheme was making the rounds on Snapchat at the end of last year. This one required participants to send a one-time joining fee using Snapcash. In theory, they would earn money when newer users sign on, but there was no actual guarantee and no goods or services were being exchanged other than paying into the scam.

The holidays were an especially popular time for these types of schemes, according to the Better Business Bureau.

“One seasonal scam that has returned this year is a gift exchange that's actually a pyramid scheme. Look out for this con on Facebook, Instagram and other social sites,” the bureau warned on its website.

Like other social media scams, this one showed up on Facebook and Instagram feeds. It invites people into a gift exchange and asked them to spend $10 on a gift for a stranger. They would then receive as many as 36 gifts back.

“The scheme relies on constantly recruiting new participants, making it mathematically impossible to sustain,” the bureau said.

So what’s the harm in all this?

“It is not legal in the U.S.,” D’Ovidio said. “Its illegal to operate a pyramid scheme.”

The U.S. Postal Service considers this gambling. If caught, your social media account could be removed and the user could face fines.

To avoid the scheme altogether, the Better Business Bureau recommends taking the following steps:

  • Don't take the bait. If it sounds too good or outlandish to be true, it's probably a scam. 
  • Be careful of shortened links. Scammers use link-shortening services to disguise malicious links. 
  • Don't trust your friends' taste online. It might not actually be them "liking" or sharing scam links to photos. 
  • Report suspicious links to the site. Whether on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, report any suspicious posts or activity to the site by going to their help link.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Warm Up Over a Free Cup of Chili at Philippe's]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:29:00 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/philippes-menu-cupofchili.jpg

Chili is one of those eat-it-all-day-long foodstuffs, and it has always been this way, since beans and meat were first swirled together in a tomato-luscious broth, and it shall always be this way, for chili in the morning fortifies and chili at night comforts.

And that is that.

But whether you prefer your chili on an omelet at dawn, or slurp a few spoonfuls, to allay the growlies, before bed, you'll probably at least nod your head, in agreement, over the following: Free chili rules.

And free chili, in the wintertime, served at a classic landmark, rules a bit more, especially when the winter in question has been a bit warm, and dry, and we're nostalgically searching for those hearty hallmarks that help give the cooler season some of its familiar snap.

Philippe the Original and Dolores Chili will deliver that winter-perfect warmer, for free, to 500 lucky early-arrivers on Tuesday, Jan. 23. It's the annual chili giveaway event the beloved House o' French Dips, and it all begins at 10:30 in the morning.

Which is the exact time between when we like our chili omelets and when we like our chili cheeseburgers.

But this chili will be in a cup, maybe with a little cheese, or with some onions to lend crunch-a-bility, or with beans, or without, depending on your preference.

Here's the big line-up of asterisks to tell you something important about this delightful deal: ***You'll need to purchase a sandwich to nab that free cup of chili.*** 

End asterisks.

Which many people do anyway at the Alameda Street restaurant, every day, as the place is a famous force of amazing French-Dip-a-tude, be that French Dip turkey, pork, beef, pastrami, or lamb. Or ham. Yum.

Let us also add another much-deserved "yum" for that fiery, at-the-table mustard. Yum.

Thus if you like a cup of chili alongside your (paid for) French Dip, you can find one, for free, on Jan. 23, if you're one of the first 500 people.

Read all, on getting your voucher, and how the partnership between Dolores Chili and Philippe the Original extends back decades, to the 1970s.

Consider Free Chili Day to be a celebration of those strong ties, of great companies working together, of flavorful, tummy-warming stews, and of how well a French Dip, of any sort, slathered in hot mustard, pairs well with a bean-laden, or not-bean-laden, chili.

Photo Credit: Philippe the Original]]>
<![CDATA[Cheer on First Responders at an Oyster-Eating Showdown]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:06:40 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/20160129-Ways+and+Means+Shuck+It+Challange-8473+%281%29.JPG

Eating an oyster? It can be a whole involved process, one that relies on tradition, personal preference, and a certain slow approach.

It might involve you lining up the lemon wedges in just the exact configuration you prefer. You might keep a bottle of hot sauce nearby, or a dish of something spicy, to add zing. And properly tucking your napkin into your collar can take a minute, at least. 

And then? You savor the slurp, slowly, letting the briny character of oceanic flavor wash over your palate.

That is exactly not what's on tap for Saturday morning, Jan. 20 at Ways & Means Oyster House at Pacific City in Huntington Beach. There shall be no lining up of lemons, or other time-slowing preparations, but there will be a lot of fundraising for area charities, and some community-cool fun along the way, too.

For the Third Annual Shuck-It! Competition is back at the restaurant, and several first responders from the area will participate in the big-heart'd happening, including police officers, firefighters, and life guards.

The goal of the fundraising teams? To devour "as many oysters as they can" within the tight framework of a minute, all while onlookers are rooting them on to slurp-worthy glory.

As for charities that have played a part at the last couple of showdowns? Colette's Children's Home, The McKennaClaire Foundation, and The Huntington Beach Lifeguard Foundation. 

It's also the second anniversary of the seafooderie, and Ways & Means is marking the occasion over several days, through Sunday, Jan. 21, with specials for its guests.

Those deals include shrimp & fish tacos for two bucks, a $25 classic seafood broil ("with all the trimmings"), and Maine lobsters, though note that there are a limited quantity.

All the details on the oyster fundraiser and the anniversary specials? Check with the restaurant for more info, but note that the competiton begins bright and early, or bright-and-early-ish, at 10 a.m. on Jan. 20.

Photo Credit: Brian Feinzimer]]>
<![CDATA[Vinyl Buffs, Smorgasburg LA Is Your Next Jam]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:56:27 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/smorgasburgla2018abc-horz.jpg

Before you pull the record out of its sleeve, and before you pull the sleeve off the shelve, and before you make sure your player's needle is in working order, and the speaker is on, and you're wearing your dance socks, do you decide what you're making for dinner?

Or does it go in the other direction? Do you place all of the supper ingredients on the kitchen counter, and then line up the bowls, and then decide what you'll listen to, as you cook, on the ol' hi-fi?

Whatever direction you head in, the fact that making a meal, and/or eating a meal, while music plays, is a treasured tradition observed in many homes. So when a music-related happening, one that involves the chance to buy records, pops up at an outdoor food market, you immediately understand how much sense the perfect pair-up makes.

And the new pair-up at Smorgasburg LA will continue to rock worlds, and tummies, on every third Sunday to come. For the downtown, ROW DTLA-based food booths extravaganza is launching the Smorgasburg LA Record Fair on Sunday, Jan. 21.

Entry is free, but, yes, 100% and absolutely, bring funds for your tacos and Taco, should you find a vintage recording of the entertainer's '80s super-hit "Puttin' on the Ritz." (No, you don't need to match-up your eats with your tune buys, but if you can, why not?)

There will be a lot to peruse, records-wise, for "(o)ver 10,000 highly curated vintage vinyl" records will be for sale, and "...vintage t-shirts, cassettes, and CDs," too.

What genres will you see at the happening, which is co-presented by Beat Swapmeet? A genre-packed genreful genre line-up of genres, is the only correct answer. Jazz? Yes. Soul? Yes. Punk? Yes. And there are a whole bunch of more yeses beyond those, trust.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., parking for two hours is free, in addition to free entry, and the eat-walk-around-eat-again choices are as yes-y and plentiful as the genres you'll find in the record bins.

So, what do you do first on any evening of the week? Start to make dinner, then throw on a 45 or CD? Or do you put the tunes on, then open the refrigerator?

Whatever works for you, works, and a music fair at a food fair is sure to sing.

Photo Credit: Smorgasburg LA/PeterMacdiarmid/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boysenberry Churros Are Happening at Knott's Berry Farm]]> Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:10:33 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/kbfboysenberrychurro.jpg

Searchlights and Southern California? It seems as if just about every night of the week brings another special film premiere, or exclusive event, or fancy-dancy party, and, with that, the requisite powerful light beams out front of the venue, sparkling up the night.

If only there was a boysenberry-hued beam, one that could fill up the evening sky above Knott's Berry Farm. Such a magical illumination would let fans of the famous fruit know that they could find the boysen-tastic treats they adore at the Buena Park theme park. 

But then, such a searchlight would be on full blast every night, pretty much, for it is never not boysenberry time at the historic destination, a 160-acre ride-packed place that is known for a number of happenings, including its popular springtime Boysenberry Festival.

Yes, the alert on your phone should already be set for March 16, 2018, which is the opening day of the multi-week berry bash, but here's another tasty truth: You can always find an array of sticky-purple-awesome goodies at Knott's, even if it is January.

The park, in fact, just posted a reminder that handmade boysenberry churros, boysenberry vinaigrette, boysenberry corn dogs, and boysenberry beer are available outside of the opening and closing days of the Boysenberry Festival.

As in, now.

As in, boysenberry corn dogs and boysenberry beer. We know, we just typed both of those only a couple of sentences ago, but it feels like both deserve their own searchlights, or, rather, spotlights. Any boysen-seeker would agree with us, probably, because corn dogs and beer don't typically rock anything berry.

Boysenberry milkshakes and BBQ pulled pork, which can include boysenberry BBQ sauce if you request it, are also for sale at the theme park, let it be known.

The whole truth of it? It's always a bit of a boysenberry-beautiful fiesta at Knott's, if that's your jam. Your. Jam. As in boysenberry jam, but also something you like, which "jam" also means, of course.


But keep in mind that, while the boysenberry offerings are plentiful throughout the year, there will be "...over 80 one-of-a-kind boysenberry inspired dishes, drinks, and more..." during March 16-April 8, 2018 festival.

Does "over 80" deserve its own searchlight here? Can a person even name 80 foods in a row, much less those foods that would pair well with the distinctive sweetness and sass of the boysenberry?

Well, you probably can, being the boysen buff you are. It's your jam, after all.

And, if so, you'll want to seek out your next boysenberry churro ASAP. Keep in mind that the boysenberry-themed goodies are found at a number of locations around Knott's Berry Farm, so consult this page before you go or check in with a helpful Knott's staffer to find the sweet you crave.

Photo Credit: Knott's Berry Farm]]>
<![CDATA[Zooming to the Petersen: The Porsche Effect]]> Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:14:33 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/peter1938+Porsche+Berlin-Rome+Type+64.jpg Some 50 wowza cars'll go on display at the Miracle Mile auto institution.

Photo Credit: Ted Seven aka Ted7]]>
<![CDATA[Sip, Nosh, Hobnob at Uncorked at Union Station]]> Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:31:15 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/uncorkedglasslaunion.jpg

Maps that show us the very best way to reach all of the state capitols in one road trip, or all of a city's biggest attractions, have popped up online in recent years, and travel buffs have dutifully bookmarked them, all in the hope of one day making their dream journey.

Likewise, those people who dig wine probably have a few maps in their minds, the kind of routes that encompass all of the major wineries and bottle shops and quirky vineyards that might make for a promising visit.

But such a map would be incredibly expansive, one imagines, and time-consuming, but there's an immediate way to "visit" a caboodle of far-off (and nearby) winemakers: Attend Uncorked: Los Angeles Wine Festival on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Union Station.

Wineries from all over, including Georges DuBoeuf, Byron Blatty Wines, Dusty Nabor Wines, Mountain Vista Winery, Vina Sympatica, and several others will set up pour-ready shop at the train-famous landmark, while a host of food trucks, including Prince of Venice, Deli Doctor, and Broad Street Oysters will keep the sustenance side of the soiree lively and delicious.

Tickets are $60-$70 — the $70 is a VIP admission, with earlier entry at 5 p.m., while general admission, for $60, begins at 6 — and "cocktail attire" is the vibe, though not mandatory.

Live tunes, which always sound so fabulous at Union Station, and a photo booth, to commemorate the night, will also play a part.

There's no need to wait for summer, or even spring, for a sip-ready journey into new and old favorite wines. You don't even need to hop a train on Jan. 27 to complete your wine map, as some of the wineries you'd like to visit will be in the house.

Of course, you'll want to train or take Metro home, from Union Station, after the event, or invite your designated driver along for the foodie side of the fun.

Photo Credit: Uncorked]]>
<![CDATA[Things to Do This Week: 'Batman '66' Exhibit]]> Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:28:50 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2BarrisBatmobileFnt.jpg

Batman Retrospective: If you've ever fretted about encountering The Riddler or The Joker or perhaps The Penguin in person, well... we can't guarantee you won't, one day, especially if you're a superhero, and we won't assume you're not. But you will see their costumes, as well as several other pop-culture-tastic props from the '60s-era phenom, "Batman." The new "Batman 66" exhibit just debuted in the Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor building, and costumes, the Batmobile, and more are on display. Open days? Be there Wednesday through Sunday.

Redondo Beach Restaurant Week: We're in a flurry of foodie happenings right now, and many of them are tied to the larger concept of California Restaurant Month, which is January. It can be delightfully overwhelming, all of those discounts and deals at all of those nice eateries, so why not pause to focus on a particular and particularly delightful area. Redondo Beach 100% fits the "delightful" profile, and its Restaurant Week happens to be on through Friday, Jan. 26. The offers? Eight bucks for a melt at Polly's on the Pier, and other good stuff. Peruse the yum now.

Free "Groundhog Day" Screening: The second day of February is on approach, which means the 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell will return, again and again and again, and again, and again. Or perhaps you'll only need to see the film, which depicts a man reliving the same day over and over, just once this year, and, if so, you can see it at Figat7th on Wednesday, Jan. 17. It's a free showing, it begins at 7 o'clock, but the DJ starts at 6 p.m. (as does happy hours). If you feel as if events keep repeating in your life, a revisit with this lighthearted film might be just the tonic you require.

"They Live" Screening: Many science fiction flicks have employed Los Angeles as a memorable setting, but few are as chilling as John Carpenter's 1988 story starring Roddy Piper, a man who knows a host of otherworldly beings are among us. The pulse-racing movie'll again bring the scares to the people of Southern California on Thursday, Jan. 18 via a showing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Bing Theatre is the spot, 7:30 p.m. is the time, and the general cost is ten bucks.

Disneyland Throwback Nite: Live bands and dancing at the Happiest Place on Earth? It was quite the thing a few decades ago, as your parents or grandparents may recall. That retro-fun vibe is returning for an evening, on Thursday, Jan. 18, at this specially ticketed to-do. Throwback Nite is part of the new Disneyland After Dark series, and will include a "vintage-inspired park map" and other "special keepsakes." The dress code? Something a bit gussied-up, in the spirit of a night-out from the past.

Photo Credit: Hollywood Museum]]>
<![CDATA[It's a Free Target Holiday Monday at LACMA]]> Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:22:50 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2100521_105_LACMA_Resnick_alexvertikoffmuseumassociates.jpg

It's understandable if you have your eyes fully on the final Sunday in January, if "free" and "museums" and "art" and "community" are words flowing through your mind and heart at the moment.

For Sunday, Jan. 28 is indeed the day when over three dozen regional art, history, and cultural institutions waive admission as part of the oh-so-so-SO-popular Museums-Free-for-All Day.

But there is a free day to keep in mind, and it is going on on Monday, Jan. 15, in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

It's happening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, on the Miracle Mile, and if you just guessed that this might be a Target Free Holiday Monday, you'd be spot on and 100% correct.

The museum is open through 5 o'clock, and the permanent exhibitions are open and ready for visitors.

Also? Special events will dot the schedule, with tunes courtesy of Diana Purim and Eyedentity. The performers will summon the big sound and big joy, via Hip-Hop, Acid Jazz, and numerous other musical genres and styles, at 12:30 and 2:45. 

Aspiring artists can learn about East Asian brush painting at the Boone's Children Gallery, though keep in mind tickets are timed.

As for all of the exhibits you'll want to see? Here. As for parking? That fee isn't waived, so keep that in mind. As for a beautiful day of ideas, deep emotion, and art as a future-looking scope and a path to new tomorrows?

It's on now, in honor of a great visionary, at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard.

Photo Credit: Alex Vertikoff]]>
<![CDATA[Look/Enjoy, No Cash Required, at Museums Free-for-All Day]]> Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:16:21 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lacmabrantbrogan12.jpg

Barriers between you and a spirit-raising, idea-testing, never-forget-it artwork?

Time is probably a major one, and getting to the place that houses the artwork also can act as a potential hurdle. But sometimes the entry to that place is as simple as this: It's not in our budget at the moment.

Which is why our museums and cultural institutions make it so wonderfully easy to know the treasures they display, both through monthly free or discounted days, special pay-no-money events, and annual happenings where a whole swath of amazing destinations completely scuttle their admission fees.

Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018 is that day, and the Southern California place, er, places ditching the entry fees? There are over three dozen on board for the annual Museums Free-for-All, so listing them all would surely fill up the rest of this post, and then some.

So here are five of the many to consider: Fowler Museum at UCLA, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Zimmer Children's Museum, California African American Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Pause now, though, to consider the other gems on the lengthy list. 

How it works? Some spots, like the Natural History Museum, are asking potential guests to first register for free tickets at a special URL ahead of time.

Some locations are a-okay with you just showing up to see what's inside.

And note that, in some cases, if there's a special exhibit on, like the "Tattoo" event at the Natural History Museum, well, that's not included in the free day, so plan on buying a separate entry. Or simply go to soak up the wonders of the permanent exhibits.

The USC Fisher Museum will be free on Saturday, Jan. 27, let's also note, and not Sunday.

Let's note again, while we're noting things, that if the museum has a parking lot or garage that traditionally charges of fee, that isn't part of the pay-nothing day. Arrive with parking cash.

But as for the whole getting-there-part, if you're not driving? It's not part of the freeness of the day, but, for sure, it does deliver convenience of the highest order. It's Metro, which is the museums' partner for the Free-for-All, so consider letting the system swiftly convey you to all of those spirit-raising, idea-testing, never-forget-'em artworks.

Again, not free on that day, but an expeditious way to reach many museums throughout the land.

Do you need more museums, more Metro, and more not spending too much money, all to savor a super weekend day? Here, here, here.

Photo Credit: Brant Brogan]]>
<![CDATA[MLK Day Is a Free Day at the National Parks]]> Sun, 14 Jan 2018 19:42:55 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/YosemiteValleyfromTunnelViewKennyKarst.jpg

Can you name all of the parks, monuments, memorials, historic areas, trails, preserves, battlefields, lakeshores, islands, heritage areas, parkways, rivers, and recreation areas that are woven into the epic fabric of America's national park system?

If so, you've memorized quite the long and lofty list, a round-up of 485 locations that span from Acadia National Park to the Everglades National Park to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park to all of the sites that so gloriously dot the map of the Golden State.

Of course, Yosemite National Park is hardly a "dot," nor is the vast and ancient Lassen Volcanic National Park, nor is glorious Pinnacles National Park, nor are the dozens of other NPS sites throughout the state. But all of them, even the ones that traditionally charge a fee, will soon waive their admission fees, if they usually have admission fees, on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018.

It's a national park free day, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and it is happening throughout the land.

True, the majority of parks are free to enter, but the NPS free days are something special. The next one coming up, after Jan. 15? It's on April 21, which is the "First day of National Park Week."

While the aforementioned Acadia National Park, and the Everglades and Hawai'i Volcanoes, might not be easily accessible from locations around California, so many iconic destinations are, including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Pinnacles, the redwoods, Channel Islands, and a number of other fascinating, spirit-stirring, nature-lovely, history-important sites.

Also, within the parks? There are often ranger-led walks and talks and other events, even in wintertime (and, yes, Jan. 15 will be on the milder side for much of the state). Just be sure to check the schedule of the park you hope to call upon on the occasion of Dr. King's birthday.

Photo Credit: Kenny Karst]]>
<![CDATA[Remember Martin Luther King, Jr. at a SoCal Event]]> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:51:41 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/mlkdaytimeandlifepictures.jpg

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

It's a profound and ever-timely call to action, one made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over six decades ago, and the strongly felt sentiment of his statement continues to inspire the generations that have followed.

It follows, then, that many people choose to spend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day volunteering, reaching out, pitching in, and engaging in an act of charity or service to the community, all to honor the civil rights leader's important legacy.

That will again happen in 2018, along with the festivals and parades that have become synonymous with the memory-filled, tribute-sweet occasion. The observance is on Monday, Jan. 15, though note that one major event always happens on the Saturday prior to the holiday.

Follow your own heart to helping others, or connecting with those around you, at happenings like...

MLK Parade & Celebration: The Long Beach commemoration takes up much of a celebratory Saturday, on the 13th of January, beginning with the parade at 10:30 a.m. and the celebration from noon to 6 o'clock. Where to go? King Park and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue will be central to the festivities.

Kingdom Day Parade: The 33rd annual procession takes place on Monday, Jan. 15, with a 10 o'clock start time. The place to be for the beginning of the parade? Western and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Music, actors, floats, dancers, and dignitaries all play a joyful part in this popular and long-running parade.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration: A whole host of to-dos are on the calendar at the California African American Museum on Monday, Jan. 15, including family activities, tunes, chances to listen to "a marathon reading" of Dr. King's speeches, and lots more. It's all free, too. Info, hours, the full schedule? Here.

Big Sunday Gathering: There's still time to sign up for the 6th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast at Big Sunday's Melrose Avenue headquarters. Some 25,000 pieces of clothing need to be sorted on Jan. 15 — they'll be donated to a number of organizations — and you can donate clothing in addition to volunteering.

National Day of Service: Spending Jan. 15 working with others on a variety of projects, including projects at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area? Here's where you start. A blood drive at Cedars-Sinai, assisting at the Kingdom Day Parade, and other lend-your-time happenings await. Look here, and give your heart, strength, know-how, and kindness to the community on the occasion of Dr. King's birth.

National Parks: To honor the memory of Dr. King, all fee-charging national parks will waive their usual admission on Monday, Jan. 15. Get the details now.

Photo Credit: Time & Life Pictures]]>
<![CDATA[Free or Cheap Things to Do in Los Angeles]]> Mon, 22 Jan 2018 08:34:45 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/aureliedavisnightonbroadway.jpg Want to explore LA but don't want to spend a lot of money? No worries — there's plenty of fun things to do in Los Angeles that cost next to nothing.

Photo Credit: Aurelie Davis]]>
<![CDATA[Acclaimed 'Aladdin' Arrives (and a Digital Lottery, Too)]]> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 12:33:54 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/S5+Isabelle+McCalla+%28Jasmine%29++Adam+Jacobs+%28Aladdin%29.++Aladdin+North+American+Tour+Original+Cast+.+Photo+by+Deen+van+Meer%281%29.jpg

Digital lotteries, those amazing opportunities to try for a less-expensive seat to a super-buzzed-about play or musical, do occasionally pop up, here and there, at various theaters in various cities.

And if you were wishing such a lottery would become available during the run of "Aladdin" at the Pantages Theatre, there's no need to rub the nearest oil lamp: That's exactly what's happening for the just-arrived production.

A production that flowered from Disney's 1992 animated film, which in turn drew its inspiration from the centuries-old folktale. "Aladdin" opened on Broadway in 2014 after some early roll-outs in Seattle and points elsewhere, then it garnered several Tony nominations and many sparkly shout-outs by critics and audiences alike.

Then it eventually looked to the national tour route, a development that fans outside of New York City had been casting their wishes for all along.

Which brings us to Hollywood, and the much-anticipated multi-week run of the hit musical, which follows the wish-laden, carpet-whimsical, true-heart'd adventures of Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, the Sultan, and the people of Agrabah (and, yes, the dastardly Jafar and Iago, too).

The music is by Alan Menken, the lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, and Chad Beguelin. Do you know most of the words to "Friend Like Me"? All of the words? Every last pause and inflection?

Yes. You absolutely do.

No lamp-based wishes will be required, though, when it comes to summoning a digital lottery for the popular show, as mentioned, for there is one, and the excitement level is as high as a carpet in the sky.

But here's what you will need to do to possibly maybe win one of those coveted $25 seats, which will be awarded daily: You'll need to visit the official "Aladdin" lottery site starting two days before the date you'd like to attend.

The window to enter is generous, as it opens at 11 a.m. on that two-days-before date and closes at 9 a.m. on the day of the performance.

Might your seat be in the orchestra section, if you win? Perhaps. Fingers crossed? Maybe some lamp-rubbing will help. "Seat locations are assigned based on availability and at the discretion of the Box Office," states the official site.

There are some important details you'll want to know about the lottery, and definitely if you get the chance to purchase a $25 ticket, so study all here.

And prepare to thrill to "A Whole New World," and the beautifully designed Cave of Wonders, and the powerful dance numbers and voices raised in song, and the hilarious, fourth-wall-breaking antics of Genie.

"Aladdin" soars at the Pantages Theatre through Saturday, March 31.

Photo Credit: Deen Van Meer]]>
<![CDATA[DTLA Foams Fundraise for Keep A Breast Foundation]]> Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:31:02 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/breweriesunitedfest.jpg

Naming all the breweries of downtown?

A person who follows the ever-burgeoning foam-making scene can line 'em up and shout out their handles, one by one: Angel City Brewery, Arts District Brewing, Boomtown Brewery, Dry River Brewing, Indie Brewing Company, Iron Triangle Brewery, and Mumford Brewing.

It's bustling scene in the beer world of DTLA these days, no doubt, with new limited-time releases, special events, pop-up concerts and entertainment, and a kaleidoscope of doings always on the roll-out at the various brewhouses.

But the most major event of the year just might be when the seven brewmakers gather together to raise money and awareness for The Keep A Breast Foundation, which seeks to "...empower young people around the world with breast health education and support."

The happening is called DTLA Breweries United Fest '18, and it pops up at the Triangle Lot downtown on Sunday, Jan. 14 from 1 to 5 in the afternoon.

Count on trying "specialty beers from the 7 DTLA Breweries" and "other local libations." Your ticket in is $45, and there is a designated driver option, too (if you go the try-the-beer route, best buy your bud that designated driver ticket, because that would be nice).

This is 21-and-over, of course. And this is rain-or-shine, but it'll be shine, most likely, as the forecast says that summer is coming to visit LA on Jan. 14.

The food? It's Moo's Craft BBQ, so bring cash for that, as your ticket into Breweries United is just about the unlimited brew tastings and not the bites.

Can't make it but want to donate to this important foundation? You can right here.

Photo Credit: Breweries United Fest]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: dineL.A. Restaurant Week Deals Begin]]> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:43:29 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/dinela192892-horz.jpg

dineL.A. Is Here: You've longed to try that new steakhouse/vintage taqueria/snazzy supper club, but A) your budget disagrees and... well... there's no B) beyond that, really. But budgets tend to be far more amenable when a Restaurant Week rolls around, bringing with it multi-course lunches and dinners for a song, or, more accurately, anywhere from $15, $20, or $25 for lunch and $29, $39, and $49 for dinner, generally, with some higher price points. Hundreds of restaurants around Southern California are participating during the Jan. 12 through 26 event, which is celebrating its first decade, woo hoo. 

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Honoring the life of the visionary can be meaningfully done in multiple ways, each day of the year, but on Monday, Jan. 15, and the weekend preceding the holiday, we'll pay tribute to Dr. King's towering legacy via parades, ceremonies, days of service, and more. The Kingdom Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. at Western and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. on Jan. 15, while the MLK Parade & Celebration in Long Beach is on Saturday, Jan. 13. You can pitch in at Big Sunday's Martin Luther King, Jr. Clothing Collection and Community Breakfast on Jan. 15, or visit a fee-charging national park for free on that day. Other ways to serve the community? Here.

LA Art Show: How to take in the "Largest International Art Fair" in Los Angeles? "In one great swath" is probably not doable advice, but venturing into the mondo festival, one gallery display at a time, with a few minutes (or lots more, if you're deeply engaged), at each, seems like an achievable goal, if you only plan on a day at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Of course, you can go for more than one day, with a $60 multi-day pass, and really soak in the contemporary and modern art, the panels, and the interesting people you meet. Connect with new ideas, through creative expression, through Sunday, Jan. 14.

Free Second Saturdays Open: An awesome (literally) new program debuts at the redwoods state parks beginning on Saturday, Jan. 13. What's the deal? You can visit a California State Park that is redwoods-y in nature — there are over 40 parks participating — and you can do so, for free, on the second Saturday of each month in 2018. There are several things to know, like securing your gratis day-use pass in advance, and also there are a limited number of passes available. Those passes will become available on certain days ahead of each second Saturday to come, so keep an eye out for the month, or months, you want to commune with the truly awesome tall trees.

Burger & Brewfest: A classic summer day in January? That's pretty much what's on tap for Saturday, Jan. 13. If such a notion puts you in the mood for some craft beer, and a sizzled-up patty or two, and horse racing, clip-clop for Santa Anita Park in Arcadia for this track-close foodie party. Sliders and 3 oz. pours are the name of this gourmet game, as is a five-buck betting voucher, a racing program, and club house entry, to get you into the whole cheer-'em-on swing of things. Cost? It's forty bucks. Cooler temps'll soon return, but, for now, you can visit summer while the winter meet is on, at Santa Anita.

Photo Credit: dineLA]]>
<![CDATA[Discover Fresh Artists at the Mega LA Art Show]]> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:22:03 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/JoshTiessenStudioGallery-JoshTiessen-AhoySleeper%28detail%29.jpg

It's Art Month 'round this ever-creative region, as you likely know, if you've glanced in the direction of a gallery or museum or performance space or convention center.

And as we have more than a few of those, it is pretty easy to glance at one, all told.

For while springtime bloomings are still several weeks away, the art-filled offerings around Los Angeles are in full and fiercely imaginative flower right now. And what a time to flower, when we're all still sorting out who we'd like to be in 2018, and what inspiration we require in 2018 to get to that higher state of self.

"Higher state of self," of course, is just a posher way of saying "resolution."

Inspiration may be found, in about a thousand deep and prismatic and joyful ways, at the LA Art Show, which just happens to be billed as our city's "Largest International Art Fair."

That's no flight of fancy, that assertion, as "...over 100 galleries from 18 countries" join the four-day gathering, a massive event that covers modern and contemporary art via "painting, sculpture, works on paper, installation, photography, design, video and performance."

You don't have to go too far out on any hypothetical limbs to guess this is a very well-attended art festival: Over 70,000 people call upon it to look, think, chat, and look some more over its multi-day run.

A run that is on through Sunday, Jan. 14 in 2018.

Your one-day pass'll cost $30, but if you need to go back every single day, to fill up on hues and ideas and lights and visions of tomorrow, or yesterday, or some artistically rendered combination of both, plan on paying $60.

We do call this "global epicenter of art & culture" home, and lucky us. And lucky us that, as the new year begins again, so does Art Month, and one of its centerpiece spectaculars, the LA Art Show, a place to discover new favorite creators, or revisit people who've dazzled you in the past, or to add a different tone or flavor to how you approach your resolutions, fresh habits, and the new yous soon to come.

Yes, new yous, as in plural. If contemporary art can don many coats in many different media, and fabulously so, why can't those inspired by it do the same?

Find your next level at the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall, through Jan. 14.

Photo Credit: Josh Tiessen Studio Gallery]]>
<![CDATA[Smorgasburg LA Returns to Awesome-Up Your Favorite Foods]]> Sun, 14 Jan 2018 09:19:11 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/smorgasburgla2018abc.jpg

Bidding your regular eating habits, and go-to dishes, and dine-out musts, over the holidays?

A lot of people do it in the face of all of those peppermint brownies and glazed hams and onion-terrific latkes and other desserts that involve peppermint that aren't brownies. For seasonal noshery is a whole other ball of wax, or, er, peppermint-flavored dough, and as it comes around but once a year, we do indulge.

But as we get back to the dishes we normally enjoy, so too do foodie events that took a holiday break return as well. Principally, the popular Smorgasburg LA went on hiatus as 2017 shook hands with 2018, but it is now back and as fabulously foodly as ever.

And by "back" we mean it'll again be at ROW DTLA every Sunday, and its first Sunday of 2018, Jan. 14, will deliver some sorta-summery weather, making a booth-stroll-by pretty darn optimal overall.

Entry is free, buying the vittles costs money, and here are some of the new tasties to expect, in addition to the tasties that have become tried-and-true for Smorgasburgians...

Mideast Tacos, a "Mexican meets Middle East concept from the family behind Glendale's Mini Kabob," will bring the deliciousness. Look also for Indian street food from Golden Cloud, savory ramen and more) from Gentaro Soba, sandwich sublimeness from Daddy's Chicken Shack, and "Eddie Huang's unique take on Chinese buns" at Baohaus Far East Plaza.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 o'clock, and being a little overwhelmed by the chow-down choices?

Understandable. If you faced such a feeling, over the holidays, as you gazed at a table loaded with peppermint brownies and ham and green bean casserole, you'll recognize that same "where do I begin?" approach as you venture into this now-classic Arts District to-do.

Photo Credit: Smorgasburg LA]]>
<![CDATA[Giddy Up for Santa Anita's Burger & Brewfest]]> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 19:46:39 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/burger_brew_santaanita.jpg

The opening day party, make that parties, at Santa Anita Park were, as is tradition, lavish and lively and brimming with bubbly and packed with fancy bites and awash with general over-the-top holiday-a-tude.

Which makes sense, as the gates always open at the Arcadia manes-a-flyin' landmark just hours after Christmas end.

But now that the winter/spring meet is in full and horsey form, does that mean the celebrations of the foodliest sort have bid us bye-bye for the season at the historic horse destination?

Oh no, nope, that's a big nuh-uh: Santa Anita does like its celebrations, and the next food-centered, sip-refreshing one is trotting up as quickly as fleet-of-hoof favorite rounds the final corner.

It's the Burger & Brewfest, on Saturday, Jan. 13, and it will take place on a "track-side apron," assuring patty-seeking, foam-craving guests that they'll be pretty darn close to the action on the oval.

And the $40 admission to the foodie fest is very much about that action, in addition to the craft burgers and quality brews. Yes, that covers your eats — you'll get a quartet of sliders, plus eight 3 oz. beer tastings — but also some track excitement, too.

So best look forward to a betting voucher worth a fiver, a racing program, entry to the club house, and a wagering tip sheet.

If some flavorful patties, some buns, some suds, and some jumping up and down adjacent to where all of the ponies run incredibly quickly sounds like a fine way to Saturday, start here. 

And do know this: The weather is taking a turn for the summery on that date, making a few hours at the track in Arcadia, with those sky-reaching palms and sky-higher mountains in view, a sublime choice for a warm winter's day.

Photo Credit: Santa Anita Park]]>
<![CDATA[Love and Support for the Renal Teen Prom]]> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:49:13 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/2017-Renal-Teen-Prom-1-1024x495.jpg

Sometimes the very best parties in this world, the celebrations with the biggest hearts and the coolest people and snazziest decorations, are part of a larger and loving community effort, one in which we can all play a dedicated part.

And one of those snazzy celebrations, a buoyant bash full of amazing young people, is ready for its 19th year at the Glendale Hilton on Sunday, Jan. 14.

It's the Renal Tree Prom, an annual event that "...is instrumental in helping young people who have kidney disease get to know each other, support each other, and make an empowered transition to young adulthood in spite of chronic illness."

Founder Lori Hartwell missed her own prom, and other teen-time activities, due to dialysis and hospital visits. Not wanting other young people living with kidney disease to miss out on the iconic experience, Ms. Hartwell created the Renal Teen Prom as a celebratory and joyful way to savor an adolescent milestone.

And that milestone isn't restricted to teenagers who might be deemed as part of prom's traditional age group, say, around 16 or 17.

Young people from the ages of 12 to 24 are welcome at the event, which includes a photo booth, dancing, bites, and a now-traditional appearance by actor Jack Black, a long-time supporter of the prom.

Attending the Renal Teen Prom? "(Y)oung people who have been diagnosed with a kidney disease, who are on dialysis or who have a kidney transplant." Music, a theme ("Calypso" in 2018), and other details fill out the festivity, all to make for a marvelous night of connection and come-together fun.

So how can you help this wonderful gathering?

There are a couple of ways, including making a financial contribution to the Renal Support Network. A $50 donation will help a young person attend a future prom.

Also? If you have a "gently used" prom dress or tuxedo or other formal outfit, you can donate it to the event.

New formal wear is also gratefully accepted, too. Contact the organizers to see how you might drop the dress or clothing off for the 2019 event (as the fittings for 2018 are now complete).

Photo Credit: Renal Teen Prom]]>
<![CDATA[Help Sort 25,000 Clothing Items at Big Sunday's MLK Day Event]]> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 09:27:20 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/bigsundayMLK138.jpg

Pitching in, with gusto and can-do, on a major project? 

It happens at work, all the time, and just as frequently at home, or your child's school, or at church, or on a fundraising activity for a group you support or a friend you love.

But showing up, and lending a hand, and doing what you can is also at the heart of those events built around helping others.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is one such important occasion, as it is a day of service for thousands of people, whether they're helping paint a few park benches or visiting others who may need an ear and a dedicated, "I'm listening" hour of their time.

Big Sunday is on board with that community-strengthening sentiment, as it often is, not just in May, which is famously the volunteer organization's month of giving back, but throughout the calendar.

And on Monday, Jan. 15 the Melrose-based organization will welcome over 1,000 volunteers as they sort some 25,000 items of clothing, shirts and pants and shoes that will be immediately "...donated to several organizations."

The 6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast is on from 10 a.m. to 1 o'clock. Yes, breakfast is part of the gathering, and it is a perfect chance to sit next to someone you don't know, and strike up a conversation. (Bet you'll have a lot in common.)

Want to volunteer? RSVP here.

If you can't make it to 6111 Melrose on Jan. 15, but have some clothes to drop off ahead of time, here are some of the needed things: "New and gently used clothing of all kinds for all ages," as well as socks and underwear (both should be new). 

How about shoes? Great. Uniforms? You bet. Do you have a costume that needs a new home? Organizers are happy to accept it.

Of course, you can donate clothing and volunteer to sort, too, at this big-of-scope, big-of-gathering, big-of-spirit happening, one that keeps the hope-filled vision of Dr. King very much in mind. Coming together to connect with and support our community is one powerful route to serving others, after all.

To volunteer, to donate clothes, to do both, or to get involved with Big Sunday on all of its many give-back projects, begin here.

Photo Credit: Big Sunday]]>
<![CDATA[Suzanne Somers to Auction Palm Springs Compound]]> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:54:29 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knbc-suzanne-somers-palm-springs-home-tn.jpg The roughly 70-acre mountainside compound features multiple villas on five levels.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kelly Peak Photography]]>
<![CDATA[Snow More Guessing for Tram Snow-Guess Contest]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 18:21:24 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/snowguesstrammtsj.jpg

Dedicated snow-guessers, as a general rule, employ many different techniques for predicting when the white stuff will fall, and accumulate, from whizzbang meteorological devices to licking a fingertip and holding it up to the wind.

And, quite often, and understandably, recent winters are considered when reviewing all of the available data. 

And some of the people who submitted their predictions to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway during the attraction's annual Snow-Guessing Contest may have glanced back at last year, only to wonder if this season would be as remarkably snowy at Mt. San Jacinto.

Well... no. In a word. One very, very short word.

Things were rather dry at the end of 2017, and waiting on that accumulated inch of snow at Mountain Station, the tram's upper-elevation terminus point, turned into more waiting, and more waiting, and a little more waiting beyond that.

But the snow arrived, and the wait has ended, and Tuesday, Jan. 9 was the winning day (at 6:35 in the morning, to be exact). The first ten people to pick Jan. 9 will receive a quartet of admissions to the up, up, up-the-mountain destination.

A lot of snow-guessers went for it this round, with some 845 entries making their way to the tram since the contest's start date of Oct. 1, 2017.

Which brings us to next year, as in the winter of 2018-2019, and to the next Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Snow-Guessing Contest. The first of October is always when the contest opens, so best circle that date now, on the calendar, if your snow senses are sharp and you want to try for the prize.

And, hey, if you look back at this winter, to try and fashion a perfect prediction, you may remember it was on the drier, warmer side to start.

But will next year be, too?

That's the thing with winter: It always has a few surprises up its fleece-lined sleeves. So best hold a fingertip to the wind, and consult your hunches, and jump into next year's Snow-Guessing Contest with confident aplomb.

Photo Credit: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway]]>
<![CDATA[Barbra Streisand Tribute Leads Full PaleyFest Line-up]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:55:50 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BarbraStreisand2.jpg

Television, let it be said, is as un-one-flavored as things come in this world. There's comedy, there are the procedurals, there are the sci-fi larks, there are the historical dramas, and there are about a hundred — or a thousand? — other niches and crannies in which interesting plots and story arcs and characters fit.

Likewise, PaleyFest, the annual TV celebration from The Paley Center for Media, gamely covers the complex, multi-layered gamut of what the small screen offers each year, and 2018 will hold to that tradition, as the just-announced full line-up reveals.

Starting off the spring-into-winter happening, which runs from Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 25? "PaleyFest Icon Tribute to Barbra Streisand," which will include "... a special conversation illuminated by clips highlighting her groundbreaking work in television including her Emmy Award-winning specials."

Barbra. Streisand. And let's also call it a rare chance to hear more about the television side of the legendary performer's storied career.

And the major names, acclaimed casts, and roving questions continue the next day at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the festival's HQ, with the team from "The Orville" in the afternoon, followed by "Will & Grace" in the evening.

Other important and buzz-big shows on the schedule include "The Handmaid's Tale," "Supernatural," "Queen Sugar," "Riverdale," and "Stranger Things." As is the way with the 35-year-running festival, many if not all of a show's top-line actors appear, and the show's creator or creative team, too, to Q&A with a moderator and those in the audience.

Which means... tickets do zip, fly away, and disappear as quickly as a series you love ends.

They'll go on sale to the general public on Friday, Jan. 12 at 9 a.m., and to Paley Center Individual Members on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 9 a.m., but if you're a Citi cardmember, or a Paley Center Supporting, Fellow, or Patron member, you can purchase your ticket at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

<![CDATA[It's a Chowder-in-a-Bread-Bowl Kind of Day]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 13:02:17 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/kiddclamchowder.jpg

The strict etiquette of yesteryear, which allowed little room for either a major mistake or a minor whoopsie at the dining table, is no longer with us, for the most part.

And that's a positive thing, for no one wants to spend the remainder of a fancy supper apologizing should the wrong fork be grasped or a napkin worn in the collar.

Whatever you can dream up, in fact, was likely prohibited, or at least tut-tut'd, long ago.

As for eating what your food arrived in? As in, the bowl? Also very tut-tut-able, unless, of course, we're talking about A) a salad in a taco shell or B) ice cream in a waffle saucer or C) clam chowder in a bread bowl.

We're not exactly in an extreme salad moment with this first major winter storm, and ice cream may give one a momentary chill (though it will surely be back, soon, on sunnier days). But finding a clam chowder in a tum-pleasing bread bowl is a real possibility in Southern California, and if your favorite fish restaurant doesn't do the whole bread bowl thing, one nearby probably does.

Captain Kidd's Fish Market & Restaurant in Redondo Beach is about as bread bowl-centric as seafooderies come, and not only does it serve up a classic New England style clammy stew, but it goes the tomato-piquant Manhattan chowder route, too, for those who prefer their soup zinged with plenty of spice.

Both are priced at $8.99.

And if neither does it for you, because you're a bisque buff, through and through? There's Lobster Bisque for $10.99, a cockles-warming concoction that not only includes a goodly amount of succulent lobster but lobster broth, too.

All in a bread bowl. A bowl of bread-a-tude. No need to stick it in a cupboard or dishwasher. Just eat it.

What if everything could be served in bread bowls? Taco salads, ice cream, cereal, cocktails..? Okay, too far, but, come January, one does have the distinct impression that the world, as a whole, is under-bread-bowl'd in its edible offerings.

Not to mention that January is National Soup Month. A month of soup. If that mere thought doesn't warm the cockles, nothing can, surely.

If you make your way to the harbor-close favorite, which has been bechowdering guests for over 40 years, keep in mind that cioppino is on the Captain Kidd's menu, too. Which, of course, makes the whole seafood-based soup decision-making all the more challenging, and all the more delightful.

Photo Credit: Richard Podgurski, Jr./Captain Kidd's]]>
<![CDATA[$55,000 in Counterfeit Air Jordans Seized at DC Airport]]> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:07:45 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Counterfeit+Jordans+IAD+Nike9M+121517.jpg

Tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of counterfeit Nike Air Jordan sneakers were identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C.

The sneakers arrived from Hong Kong in seven boxes Dec. 15 and were headed for an address in Alexandria, Virginia, according to CBP. The boxes were listed as auto parts, so CBP officers suspected the sneakers inside were counterfeit.

"In this case, these items obviously did not match the description being shipped," U.S. Customs and Border Protection Assistant Port Director Patrick E. Orender Jr. said.

Nike verified the sneakers as counterfeit, and CBP completed the seizure Jan. 2.

The 400 pairs of various fake Mikes would have had a value of $54,715 at the suggested retail price if they were authentic, CBP said.

“Customs and Border Protection will continue to work closely with our trade and consumer safety partners to seize counterfeit and inferior merchandise, especially those products that pose potential harm to American consumers, negatively impact legitimate business brand reputations, and potentially steal jobs from U.S. workers,” CBP Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, D.C., Daniel Mattina said.

Arrests in cases of this size are rare, according to a CBP public affairs officer.

CBP said officers seize about $4 million in fake merchandise every day, and it can be dangerous. Officers said in one shipment they confiscated goods that were radioactive. Furniture intercepted in the past had hazardous material in the product, Orender said.

According to the CBP, the most common fake goods are clothing (20 percent), electronics (16 percent), footwear (12 percent), jewelry (11 percent) and pharmaceuticals (8 percent).

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol]]>
<![CDATA[Hunka Hunka Down for Elvis Ice Cream (on His Birthday)]]> Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:19:07 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Happy+Birthday+Elvis+IMG_0598.jpg

Pour yourself and your guests some bubbly and the conversation might suddenly turn to New Year's Eve, as that's an occasion much-associated with the libation.

Carve a watermelon and people nearby might start talking about summer celebrations, like the Fourth of July, even if it isn't summer at the time.

And what happens when you slather some peanut butter, then a banana, on a couple of slices of bread, then toss the whole sandwich-y shebang into a pan? Someone within eyeshot is probably going to mention one person, and one person alone: Elvis Presley.

For the legendary performer, who was known worldwide for a host of #1 singles, huge films, and splashy stage shows, was also well-known for a delicious and gooey foodstuff he very much liked.

It's an edible that often returns to fans' kitchens in January, which is Elvis Presley's birth month (yes, he was born on Jan. 8, 1935), and to several restaurants, too.

One such place is Salt & Straw, the artisanal ice cream company. And to honor the legacy of Mr. P, and his celebratory sandwich, the started-in-Portland, now-in-LA shop will be selling Happy Birthday Elvis! all January long, and on the first of February, too.

Indeed, the ice cream flavor takes its inspiration from both peanut butter and banana, but there are several modern spins on this scoop.

Think "banana coconut ice cream with swirls of marionberry jam and peanut butter fudge and bits of candied coconut (that taste just like bacon)," and think about you enjoying those flavors and you stroll and hum a hit like "Suspicious Minds" or "Viva Las Vegas."

It's an all-vegan month, too, at Salt & Straw, so if the peanut-butter-ish banana flavor doesn't have you singing, but you still want to go the vegan fancy yummy ice cream route, consider trying the Mint Chip Whoopie Pie or Candied Mango Faux-Yo.

They're all vegan, the special January flavors, and all packed with zazzy flavor, with more choices even beyond the few we've shouted-out.

By the by, Elvis aficionados, keep in mind that the Honeymoon Hideaway in Palm Springs will be spotlighting the King's birthday on Saturday, Jan. 20 with music and tours.

Photo Credit: Salt & Straw]]>
<![CDATA[Dine at CPK, Support the California Fire Foundation]]> Mon, 08 Jan 2018 11:04:51 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Banh+Mi+Power+Bowl.jpg

Giving heartfelt support to an organization that works to "...support those on the front lines and aid communities throughout California before, during, and after the alarm" is as straightforward and simple to do as visiting the California Fire Foundation site and making a donation.

There are also appreciation nights at Dodger Stadium, too, and other regional events that help the foundation in its mission to give "...emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters, and the communities they protect."

And an event that's incredibly timely and helpful to many Golden State communities, communities that weathered the devastating fires in the fall and early winter of 2017, is happening as the second week of January begins. It's a California Fire Foundation fundraiser at participating California Pizza Kitchens throughout California, and it is happening all day long on both Monday, Jan. 8 and Tuesday, Jan. 9.

How to join in? Go to your local CPK (if they're participating; a quick call will confirm), order your favorite pizza or salad or any other menu item, and then tell your server that you'd like to play a part in the fundraiser.

What happens then? Twenty percent of your bill will go to supporting the foundation.

This is good for take out, too, and delivery, if you have your food delivered through CPK (and not a third party, do note). Just be sure to mention the foundation fundraiser when you order.

Beverages are included, too, in the ultimate donation amount on your bill. Just keep in mind that CPK airport locations aren't on the participant list, nor are those eateries located at universities.

How to help and show your dedication to this great organization ASAP? You can give at the California Fire Foundation site right now, or find other meaningful ways to get involved with an organization that bravely serves us all.

Photo Credit: CPK]]>
<![CDATA[Things to Do This Week: Outdoor Ice Rinks' Last Spin]]> Mon, 08 Jan 2018 09:20:28 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/icesantamonica1234568.jpg

Holiday Ice Rinks to Bow Out: Have you taken a turn or twenty around the cold, flat surface at Pershing Square or ICE at Santa Monica? They're both in their final days for the 2017-2018 pop-up, under-the-stars skating season. Others have already closed, from LA Live to Irvine Spectrum, so get to 5th and Arizona in Santa Monica or the downtown hub, tie on those blades, and give the wintry pursuit some love. They're keeping weekday hours, too, so visit on a Tuesday, or a Thursday, if you like, but do go before Jan. 15 (the last day for both).

California Pizza Kitchen Fundraiser: Dine at a CPK on Monday, Jan. 8 or Tuesday, Jan. 9 and mention to your server that you'd like 20% of your check to go to helping the California Fire Foundation. This is good for take-out, too, and it is happening around the state, at participating locations. Thinking of doing dinner out on one of those days? There's a way to get your big salad or comfort-food-y apps and lend some love to our neighbors around California, too.

Canter's Deli 70th Anniversary: A certain Fairfax institution is marking seven amazing decades of piled-high sandwiches and perfectly pleasing pies and some of the best black and white cookies around. How? By offering a pastrami or veggie reuben for 70 cents (yes, as in seven dimes) on Tuesday, Jan. 9. There's a limit of one per customer, and you'll want to dine-in for this one. Will it be a popular, bustling day at this avenue icon? Is a pastrami sandwich filling?

Disney's 'Aladdin' Opens: Is "A Whole New World" your favorite song ever from an animated feature? You wouldn't be alone, for that tune remains high in the pantheon of great Disney ditties. Now imagine seeing it performed live on stage, at the Pantages in Hollywood, along with all of the other songs and great moments from the tale. It's a production that's been getting buzz all over, and now it flies, like a carpet, into Tinseltown beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

An Evening with... Rian Johnson: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art welcomes the director of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" for a roving chat at the museum's Bing Theatre on Thursday evening, Jan. 11. "American Graffiti" will screen, a movie that "... had a formative impact" on Mr. Johnson, so count on the discussion to spotlight the work of George Lucas before he made "Star Wars." Tickets are $25 each for the general public; details here.

Photo Credit: ICE at Santa Monica]]>