If you can't eat Ryan Gosling...

Go for the next best thing - eat at his restaurant! In a pathetic yet delectable way, you are enjoying a part of him.

I was hoping it wouldn't fall into the Gimmicky Celeb Restaurant thing, but it was a bonafide place to get a meal. Small and quiet with no model/actress/prostitute/hostess hostessing, we were seduced by plate after plate of quality Moroccan dishes.  The sensual candlelit room coaxed us into slowing down and savoring it.

Thankfully, we were paying for good food that deserved to be pricey, and not for Ryan Gosling. Not that many would object to doing that!


People are now PAYING to learn how to deface public buildings?

thanks for ruining the view, future homeless person
 What's worse? A graffiti class, or calling this class Art Rebel?

Real rebels don't take a class to learn how to be rebels. And not all rebels are James Dean, okay? The Unabomber was a rebel. Graffiti has gone from anti-establishment to...Mall of America.

Not that I condone douchebags scribbling half-baked "tags" on public buildings, which yanks even more tax money out of my paycheck to clean up their pathetic attempt at making a name for themselves. These kids can be seen failing every class at school, because of practicing these proverbial "dog markings" all over their notebooks. I am so sad for them, with their over-gelled hair, red-stained fingers from Hot Cheetos and their general illiteracy. I'm sad for me because that extra tax money could've paid for something important, like teeth bleaching or laser resurfacing. Those bastards are making me uglier.

yea this guy will not be attending college
I'm all about publicly-condoned graffiti murals and Banksy-esque humor and positivity, like the forward-thinking art message he put up on the Gaza strip; a rare and kind gesture towards the Palestinians.


Or art that's uplifting in a funny way, helping you to see the word through an artist's eyes. This kind of graffiti enlivens the dead spaces around us, boosting morale and reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously.

This form of communication between artists and the general public cannot be learned in a graffiti class, where tweens in Abercrombie and Fitch will guilt their parents into shelling out for this Learning Annex-type situation. These parents are desperate for the faintest whiff of hipsterism, because they've been so busy changing diapers, they missed the memo stating that being called a hipster is actually an embarrassment. They'll brag on their Mommy Blogs about their child's graffiti class, as building after building around them gets marked up in spray paint by self-centered kids that have been brainwashed into thinking they're special.

If this sounds like a rant, that's because it is. I live in Los Angeles, and am forced to witness wall after wall of stupid. I want to live in a world where a kid would think twice about defacing an important road sign, putting magic marker scribble on art deco lamp posts or carving their initials into ancient trees, making them vulnerable to infection. Because infection is the name of the game, and I can't stand by and let Art Rebel infect the minds of bratty kids. Didn't they have to deflect enough crap, with Hanna Montana and Lizzie McGuire?



I can't tell whether I'm proud of them for having the cajones to mention kitties and Chinese food in the same line, or if I'm annoyed that they're capitalizing on the hardcore and sometimes offensive Asian fetish men are finally owning up to.

6445 Hollywood Boulevard - Los Angeles - 90028 - 323.465.0110


She's with the band but I'm not in one

Pamela Des Barres is a Los Angeles legend, and all made sense in the world when I saw her commemorated in the People issue of the L.A Weekly, which celebrates the movers and shakers in Los Angeles. Except this guy. I read her book I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie while in high school, and my imagination ran wild with images of barefoot hippie nymphs traipsing around the shady groves of Laurel Canyon in the middle of the night. Young, stoned and beautiful, they would drift from bed to bed, party to party. Even to this day when I drive down Laurel Canyon, I think of her recollections of Jim Morrison and Frank Zappa.

After moving to Los Angeles, I realized I needed to simplify my life with a lighter load, and went on e-bay to sell I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie, among boxes of other things. The winning bid sold to a lady in West L.A. Her name? Pamela Des Barres.

I literally sold the book back to the person who wrote the thing. The one that evoked unbelievable fantasies to an impressionable teenager living in the Virginia suburbs. Perhaps Ms. Des Barres wanted a collection of all the different versions of her bestseller. Clearly my paperback was published in the 80s, with hot pink and neon green color blocking on the cover. I had her home address for shipping, but I wanted to take the opportunity to tell her how amazing her book was. Aaaaaand offer to drop it off in person to meet her. She gave a polite, “No thank you. Mailing is best.”

At first I wondered if she was offended that I wanted to purge her book from my shelves in the first place. But she was probably being cautious. I could've been a crazy person. I read Laurel Canyon, live in a cabin off that famous thoroughfare, and admit to being a little crazy for that hazy place in time, trapped in golden amber for newer generations to marvel at. I'm not saying the sixties didn't produce a bunch of braindead and whining baby boomers. And maybe in retrospect my youth will be defined by something other than technological breakthroughs in communication. Perhaps that should be enough, since we were the first to experience the life-changing advent of the internet and cell phones. But I haven't been inspired since the 80s. Pamela Des Barres may be famous for her talent in bedding the talented, but our current culture consists of American Idol, gruesome video games and Miley Cyrus. Pamela's generation wins by a landslide.


Cucina Cara Mia

Kate Moss is famous for having once said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." While I've struggled and failed to adapt that mantra, it begs the question, has she has bacon? Furthermore, it's obvious she's never experienced Cucina Cara Mia, based out of San Diego. Their Nutella brownies were nothing short of abusive. Abusive as in: so good that I moaned and kept my eyes closed the whole time. Kate Moss would have been so disappointed in me. Then she would have done an eight ball. All I remember is a paper thin crust holding together a fudgy, muddy, hazelnutty bar of sin.

Exploring Florence and Tuscany
Linda Lou is a true bon vivant, living in San Diego by way of New York and stirring up all kinds business in her kitchen. Her Cucina Cara Mia goods are literally homemade, then sold in local farmer's markets. I remember wandering the hills of Tuscany and noting the similarities it shared with Southern California. It was semi-arid and hilly with clay-tiled roofs. I can easily pick up some Cucina Cara Mia goods in San Diego, pack a picnic and pretend I'm in Florence. Or as Linda Lou would say, "Firenze!"


Picca Peru on Pico - hurry, before hipsters ruin it!

Picca Peru on Pico
 When Los Angeles Magazine names their Top 10 Best New Restaurants of the year, foodies scramble for reservations before it's booked solid for months. They're not desperate to sample the food so much as they want to say they've sampled it to the desperate.

Picca Peru was one of the restaurants named, and the small plates of exotic Peruvian comfort were as delicious as they were photogenic. Lots of raw fish, creamy hot sauces and serious magic with potatoes. So allow the photos to do the talking, until you can try it yourself. Which hopefully won't take too long, with the hispters clogging the phone lines and all.


Hottest new drug in L.A. = ADRENALINE

Whitney Houston's death has L.A. rattled. Superstitious people worry that bad things happen in threes, and are waiting for the next two celebrities to overdose. I alternate between two answers:

A) A country's level of superstition is directly related to how educated they are as a whole, and we're in America so get a hold of yourself
B) Don't worry, Whitney was the last one. If bad things things happen in threes, we already lost Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse.

If these superstitious people argue that all three musicians didn't die within the same year, and that there's some sort of time table for this made-up theory of threes, I revert to answer A. Angrily.

But to be sure, drugs are a hot topic right now. Between Whitney's death and Lindsay Lohan's...everything, people are either checking into rehab or going for a new rush. The Catalina Zipline Tour opened up in 2010, and have been nearly booked solid with thrill-seekers boating over from Los Angeles. Apparently, adrenaline is the new drug.

This surge is a guarantee, with five mountaintop ziplines, featuring views all the way to the California coast across the sea. The first jump off the platform has a drop that could kill you if anything went awry. When I was about to do my first jump, my pulse was in my ears. I had a dry tongue, numb fingers, and Hugh Jackman flashbacks. When I sprung off the platform and flew across the sky between two mountain peaks, I screamed all the way.

downtown Catalina Island
It was a rush, and an unforgettable feeling of freedom. Blasting through sea air, the sun on your shoulders, and deep belly screaming that sent wildlife running back to their caves. Adrenaline won't leave you with the munchies or a DUI, and all Angelenos could use a little break from Hollywood. Get on a boat!

passing dolphins and a whale en route to Catalina Island
tribute to Natalie Wood, who drowned off the coast of Catalina Island
art deco casino in Avalon, where the first "talkies" played!
back to L.A.