Monday, February 23, 2009

Good stuff going on this week

Banana Republic City Sounds Tour
Even though I used to work there for an entire month so I could score the employee discount all those years ago, I'm not a big fan of their mainstream cookie-cutter suburban mall fashions. But I AM a sucker for free booze and gift bags.... :)

Highlights from their description:
• Enjoy a live musical performance
• Savor complimentary refreshments
• Get makeup tips from a Benefit Cosmetics beauty artist
• Take home a fun-filled goodie bag
Thanks to deliciouslife for the tip! :)
Don't forget to RSVP!

Thursday Feb 26th 7-9pm
San Francisco, 256 Grant Avenue
Santa Monica, 3rd St. Promenade
Orange County, South Coast Plaza
Houston, The Galleria
Chicago, 744 North Michigan Avenue
New York, Rockefeller Center; 67th & Broadway
Virginia, Tysons Corner Center

Monday - Friday
50% off food at Cecconi’s Opening Week Offer
Another fancy schmancy charcuterie boasting restaurant opening up in WeHo.... **yawn** BUT because they are opening this week, this normally $$$ restaurant's foods can be had for $-$$. So that means Sea Bass Carpaccio Tapenade is $8 instead of $16 and veal osso bucco gremolata is $13 instead of $26.

Mon - Fri Feb 23-27
8764 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles 90069

Sao Paolo show at Scion Space
This show appeals to me for several reasons:
1. Close to my apt
2. Since I just returned from a Brazil trip, I have a soft spot for all things Brazilian... oh yeah, and when I was in Rio, there was some amazing artwork just plastered all over the streets for the public to enjoy
3. Free valet parking
4. OPEN BAR!! and on a Saturday!
Seriously though, this should be a great show that emanates with the pulsating energy that Sao Paolo just can't keep to itself.
Get there early to score the goods, trust me....

Saturday February 28th
Scion Installation L.A.
3521 Helms Avenue (at National)
Culver City, CA. 90232

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fischer Spooner TODAY at Avalon

One of my favorite techno/electronic/alternative dj/sampling artists, Fischer Spooner are headlining at the Avalon in Hollywood for the low low price of just $15! With catchy electro-pop tunes like "Kick in the Teeth" amd "Emerge", it's impossible to turn your ears away.

And because I'm the fauxLAhipster with the mad hookups, I even found an RSVP link that will get you in for FREE!

Yeah, I rock....

Friday February 20th
10pm - 2am
Cost: FREE with RSVP or $15/$20

1735 Vine St
Hollywood, CA 90028

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thursday night party of the week

Street Fighter IV Launch Party at MOCA

Apparently, Capcom is hosting a major shindig at the Geffen Contemporary and all you need to do is RSVP to score the goodies:

The where:
The Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art
152 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012

The when:
Thursday, February 12th, 2009, from 8pm-12 midnight.

The who:
You! Yes, you. And your squirrely cousin. And his best friend. On February 12th, any friend of Street Fighter is a friend of ours, and is welcome at the party.

The how:

You sign up for the party by dropping an email to
and await your RSVP!

The What:

So what's happening? If a roomful of SFIV isn't enough to keep you smiling, we've also got:

-Producer Yoshinori Ono on hand for autographs
-Live performance by The Knux
-Live performance by Supreme Soul from America’s Best Dance Crew
-Live performance by DJ QBert
-Customized fitted caps by Estate LA (
-Customized etching by Coveroo (
-Customized sketches by Udon artists
-Street Fighter Club Room – If you missed us in LA, SF and NYC, here’s your chance to relive the magic
-Screening of the new Street Fighter anime “The Ties That Bind”
-Old-school arcade cabinets redesigned and reinterpreted by artists and fashion labels

And last but not least, your chance to win a retail copy of Street Fighter IV a week before it hits stores!

Yes my friends, it's a good time to be a Street Fighter, so come one, come all, and join us for a very special night of face-punching goodness!

I'll say it once and I'll say it again: why oh why must everything good always happen on the same day!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tony's Steakhouse on Sunset: Me eat meat. Me happy.

I'm usually not a big steak person. In fact, at any given time, I'm on a low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb, low-salt, low-sugar "diet." But a gal's gotta splurge sometimes, right?

Tony's Italian Steakhouse is a brand new restaurant that opened officially this past Friday. I generally don't like going to restaurants as soon as they open since they have a lot of kinks that they haven't completely worked out, but the price and location were right so I figured I'd give it a shot.

The Parking Situation
It's situated on the "cool" part of the Sunset strip near Ketchup and Whiskey A Go Go. It can be easy to miss if you're not paying attention, but there's a vertical sign visible from Sunset Bl that says "Tony's" and a small area to receive valet parking ($5).

The Ambiance
Entering, I was pleasantly surprised by the upscale ambiance. It was illuminated with 100s of candles adorning the walls and the tables. The decor was modern with clean lines, but also had that woodsy feel that people expect from a steakhouse. The "bar" area is quite spacious and you don't feel like a second class citizen hanging out there as you can at some restaurants. There's also a baby grand piano near the entryway and a guy was playing lots of soothing covers of The Beatles, Billy Joel, etc. Live music is always a nice touch, especially when it doesn't drown out your conversations. There is a large open kitchen and in front of in front of which was a communal dining area that could easily become a private party space which is surrounded by "open" windows.

The Meal
Their main schtick that was touted in the press was the fact that you can get a 6oz cut of prime steak (filet mignon, ribeye, sirloin, etc) with 1 starch and a choice of 2 sides for $25. Our meal started off with warm crusty bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt for dipping. I liked that it came in those compartmentalized little plate so the oil and vinegar didn't mix (unless you wanted it to).

The cut I selected was flatiron (aka skirt steak) with glazed carrots, broccolini (aka broccoli rabe) and truffled mashed potatoes. Truffle mash.....aaarrrggghhhh......*drool*. FYI - the mushroom polenta and one other side (can't remember name) is an extra $5, so ask if that matters to you. It was a simple steak and simply dressed which is really the best way since you can actually taste what you're eating instead of having it drowned out in butters and sauces. Med rare was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of the pinkish red center and a salty char to the outside. They also offer a small but well thought out pasta section, because how can they call themselves Italian without pasta, right? I didn't get to try this (though very tempting). Definitely something to look forward to for my next visit :d

The Booze
They do have a cocktail list, but nothing particularly inspiring - think snoozers like chocolate martinis - BUT you can get any martini of your choice for only $5! And it was a good sized martini... probably around 3-4oz, not those cheap baby kind. I had mine straight up with a twist, a particularly soothing way to melt away the stress that can easily build up foraging through traffic trying to get to this part of town.

The Dessert
We tried 3 different desserts - a grand marnier souffle, a lemon tart, but the standout for us was definitely the molten chocolate cake with olive oil gelato. The gelato tasted like regular old vanilla on the tongue, but it had the nose and finish of olive oil. I know it sounds weird, but it somehow works, trust me :) They also have a butterscotch pudding that I'd like to try out next time. All the desserts range from $5-7.

The Damage
The damage for this awesome meal of a perfect steak, a strong martini, and several shared desserts was only $40pp(!) after tax and tip. I'm definitely coming back here next time I'm craving a good affordable steak at an upscale spot.

Tony's Italian Steakhouse
8570 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood CA 90069
(310) 298-1145
Reservations recommended

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The fauxLAhipster's First February

Can you believe it's already February? And when did it become 2009 anyways? Jan 1, yeah I know... it was a rhetorical question! Sheesh. Anyhoo, now that the post-holiday slump is pretty much over, things finally seem to be picking up again. And aren't you glad we live in sunny california where it's 75F in the winter so we can enjoy these cool sounding events all year long, unlike our chilly counterparts in the East? We could be that guy inside that truck! Yeah, I WANT you to be jealous!!

First Fridays at the Natural History Museum
I write about this event every month, and each month I never make it out. My friend is having a bday gathering here this time around, so maybe that'll be enough motivation to get me to trek out there....maybe. Live music and alcohol surrounded by a bunch of dino-bones is cool. The Bird and The Bee will be performing live as well... and they've got quite the local following so you know they don't suck :) These events fill up fast, so I would recommending getting there as close to 7pm as possible. Believe me, it's not fun when you show up at 8pm and get rejected at the door. I would know!!

Friday, 5:30p - 7pm Lectures and discussions
7pm-10pm Music
Cost: $9 for museum entry
900 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90007
(in that ghetto ass part of LA near USC) go bruins!!

Enjoy Human Launch Party
Since this thing got written up as the headliner on, you know it's gonna be filled with starving hipsters who are either too cheap or too poor to buy their own booze, but I love them anyways! Enjoy Human calls themself a "content creation foundation" whatever that means. But who cares, it's FREE BOOZE!! There will be a couple of live bands that you've never heard of there too, but I always think live music is a nice little treat :)

Saturday, 7pm - 2am, 21+
Cost: FREE
2136 Porter Street
Downtown Los Angeles

Metromix's Art Safari

Metromix also published a cool writeup of a bunch of gallery openings going on this weekend so you can hop and traipse your way across the city in genuine faux hipster style!

Saturday, 5pm-10pm varies by gallery
Cost: FREE
Santa Monica, West/Central/East Hollywood, Downtown LA

Grammy Afterparty by Giant
Thanks to my buddy Pierre for this tip. I actually don't know too much about this event, but it's being promoted by Giant as a Grammy Afterparty. Giant events generally have an over-the-top mix of hipsters, underaged wannabes, and professional partiers. It will be held at Elevate Lounge in downtown LA which is a popular and elegant spot (and who doesn't like lounging on rooftops?!) that I've never been to, so I may have to make the trek to DTLA on a Sunday for this one :)

Sunday, 9pm - 3am, 21+
Cost: FREE but you must RSVP
811 Wilshire Blvd.
21st Floor
Downtown Los Angeles

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Join Flavorpill to win a trip to New York

"flavorpill is one of my favorite weekly email mags that gives you the rundown of the best cultural events in the city. i used to follow it when they first started out in nyc, and i'm so glad they've spread all over the place.... so now's your chance to sign up too and be your own "real" hipster :P"
Your friend invited you to join Flavorpill. Join now for a chance to win a weekend getaway, including lodging, round-trip airfare and VIP access to The Armory party. Then share with your friends; the more who sign up, the more entries you get!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mi casa es su casa... almost

One of the great things about living in LA is the easy access to all things Latino. Where else in a western country can you find more Spanish language radio station than English? Well, maybe Miami.... but I digress.

For my dear friend Grace's 30-something-th birthday, I volunteered to take charge since I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to evening activities (I just think my ideas are better :P ) and I had just written a post about places to host birthday parties so I was brimming with ideas.

I chose Casa as the spot to host because I thought it was in a good central location in downtown LA with lots of semi-enclosed casitas that looked totally cute in the pictures, a good looking nuevo-latino fusiony menu, and an innovative cocktail menu utilizing highbrow tequila.

The Staff
During the course of this event, I interacted with lots of people who work for this restaurant. I made the reservation a week ahead and the restaurant manager Michael was totally cool and accomodating of all my requests. A marginal corkage fee (which I ended up not needing since no one brought their own liquor), no cake cutting fee, and willing to work with the moving parts of my party. The hostess Arlene called me twice during the week just to confirm my reservation and ask what type of space I would want. I thought that was nice. Courtney, our waitress, was on top of her game and making sure we had everything we needed throughout the night. Shawn, another manager looking guy, was totally helpful and hands on when all my friends were getting lost and couldn't find the restaurant or parking! I even had a brief chat with Chef Morningstar about the menu and some of its highlights.

The Food
Apparently, the much talked about Guac y Mole is no longer offered, but instead a 3 dip appetizer thing is on the menu. The dips are a chipotle salsa tasting thing, a peanut mole, and a roasted tomatillo salsa, the last being my favorite with its smokiness from the roasting process and sour tang of the tomatillo. None of us really cared for the peanut mole which reminded me of Thai satay sauce. We weren't too crazy about the mushroom quesadillas either. Not too much flavor and the seed sauce just wasn't cutting it for us. The tacos that I tried were all very good, but the standouts for me was the shrimp taco with its succulent meat and delicate batter on a bed of crunchy greens, wrapped up in a chewy homemade tortilla.... yum! Mi amigas also raved about the carne asada tacos, but they got eaten up so fast I never got a chance to try them! So I guess that means they were good :P

The ceviche we weren't too crazy about. It was ok, but not a standout dish in my opinion. But the chile relleno was rich and luscious in that slow-cooked sort of way. It was a mix of ground chorizo and dates, stuffed into a poblano chile, then topped with cheese and some mystery sauce that I can't remember.... but who cares when it tastes that good! Let me wipe up my drool while I describe their margaritas...

The Booze
My first cocktail was their Smokey Margarita which was a mix of whiskey and a highbrow tequila whose name I can't remember right now in a house smoked salt rimmed glass. While tequila is something cringe inducing and reminiscent of drunken nights at the sports bar for most people, this drink reminded me of what good tequila can be.... sharp, smokey, with just a subtle bite. Even my tequila averse friend deliciouslife thought it was a good margarita. My party of 12 ended up ordering several pitchers of the house margarita throughout the night, but even those were also quite tasty and not the burning-esophagus stupid-drunk kind of margarita.

The Aftermath
There was a small mixup of the birthday cake situation and a different waitress (not Courtney) started taking it out of the box and putting candles on it while we were still eating. Once I realized what was happening, I quickly walked over and blew out the candles and said "not now, later" and Courtney came over and was like "That's not your cake!" But the waitress in question later pulled me aside and profusely apologized for the mixup. It's cool.... everyone makes mistakes :)

The Parking Situation
The only thing I would really change about this place is the parking situation. They currently do not have valet parking. Apparently they have 2hrs of free validated parking somewhere on Olive St, but the night I was there (Saturday), it was closed. Street parking is also pretty limited since the place is quite near the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Some people parked in a $5 pay lot somewhere near the restaurant, but I STILL don't know where it is. Also, the restaurant itself is kind of hard to see from the street since it's signage is about half a flight of stairs below street level. My suggestion to Casa would be to have clearer signage of the restaurant that is readily visible from the street with clear instructions on where to park -OR- offer valet parking!!

All in all, we had a really fantastic time at this wonderfully cute new restaurant. food - good, drinks -good, people - nice, decor - lovely. I can see this place being a very popular happy hour spot for the locals who work nearby. Hopefully they work out some of their parking kinks soon it can be a dinner/drinking destination soon :)

Casa Cocina y Cantina
350 South Grand Avenue
2 California Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90013