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July 23, 2009

JULY 26: 7th Annual Restaurant Awards and Chefs Night Out (TLR FEATURED EVENT)

Posted by Don Rose

The LA Report's Featured Event of the Weekend is the 7th Annual Restaurant Awards and Chefs Night Out on Sunday, July 26, 2009. Some of Los Angeles’ most noted chefs and restaurateurs will join several award-winning Napa Valley wineries for Angeleno magazine’s excellent event, taking place at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, just steps from the beach.

The magazine’s food critic Brad A. Johnson and Tasting Panel Editor Anthony Dias Blue (you may have heard his excellent "lifestyle minute" broadcasts on local AM radio) will honor L.A. chefs Josiah Citrin, Walter Manzke, Bruce Marder, Joachim Splichal and Adrian Vasquez and others. The event will also include cooking presentations and recognition of the “Best of Show” winners of the San Francisco International Wine and Spirits Competition. Guests will indulge in delicious cuisine, fine wines and all things delectable while benefiting the children of Children’s Institute.

Date: July 26, 2009
Time: 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm

4:30 – 6:00 pm VIP Reception (VIP Ticket Required);
6:00 – 8:00 pm Chefs Night Out Event

Where: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows -
101 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Purchase tickets before the event to ensure availability:

$250 VIP Ticket includes: Chefs Night Out event plus a pre-event reception from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. with top chefs, presentation of Angeleno’s Restaurant Awards, and tastings of SF International Wine and Spirits Competition’s “Best in Show” winners.

$150 Ticket includes: Chefs Night Out event from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Guests will be treated to culinary creations prepared by top L.A. chefs paired with award-winning wines and spirits.

July 20, 2009


Meet and Mingle with Hundreds of Professionals and Dozens of Businesses and Chambers of Commerce from All Over LA County and Nearby Cities During One Amazing Night

Featured Event of the Week
Posted by Don Rose

Once again it is late July in Los Angeles, and that can mean only one thing: the return of Dave Linden's annual event aptly titled LA's LARGEST MIXER! This is one of The LA Report's best annual events, a Top Ten Featured Event and Best Bet. As an attendee at this "super" mixer, you will come away with more business cards and new connections than a dozen "mortal" mixers could provide. If you pick only one business or chamber mixer this year, this is IT. We cannot recommend LA's Largest Mixer highly enough.

But there's even more for attendees to enjoy, in addition to great networking. Many local eateries will be providing hearty samples of their food (all included in the price of your ticket), and drinks galore will be available as well.

The location for this ultimate uber schmoozefest is once again the SHRINE EXPO CENTER in downtown LA, across from USC, with plenty of parking available onsite as well as in the surrounding area.

In summary, we can boil all this down into one word: GO!


Event Summary:

L.A.'s Largest Mixer XI. Thursday, July 23, 5 to 9 pm at the Shrine downtown. Price: $20 per person (no credit cards). For exhibitor or general information, please call 323.230.5656 or visit the official website at www.largestmixer.com. The Shrine Auditorium Expo Center is located at 700 W. 32nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

Mixer admission: $20 per person (no credit cards or checks at the door)
To pay by credit card, please visit: Buy Tickets Online
Parking: $5 in a Shrine parking lot — Parking lot locations


More Details:

Join Los Angeles area chambers and business organizations for The Ultimate Business Networking Event! Mix and mingle with thousands of business people representing hundreds of industries and companies in and around Southern California. L.A.'s Largest Mixer XI is a great opportunity to reach small to large companies, meet new clients and learn how the different chambers of commerce and business organizations can make your business grow.


July 18, 2009


July 16, 2009


Michael Jackson w/ RED

July 14, 2009

JULY 14: TASTE OF FARMERS MARKET, Centerpiece of Weeklong Celebration of LA LAndmark's 75th Anniversary

At "Taste" event, commemorating exact date of market's anniversary, visitors can sample the best from almost all of the market's 36 restaurants, while retail and grocery merchants offer special sales on select merchandise - some dropping prices to those found at the 1934 market

Featured Event - Posted by Don Rose

The Original Farmers Market - a true LA institution - celebrates its 75th Anniversary this week with an extra special ticketed event on July 14 (Bastille Day) 2009. For one all-inclusive price, guests can sample the best of the best from dozens of Farmers Market restaurants and grocers and enjoy special prices or exclusive discounts on select merchandise from Farmers Market shops. At least 39 Market Restaurants will be serving Taste of Farmers Market guests delectable selections such as French Toast, English Toffee, Corn Bread, Corned Beef Sandwiches, Sliders and more. In addition, over 20 Market Grocers and Shops will offer gifts or specials, such as hot sauces, peanut butter, stickers, hair brushes, watches, 75th Anniversary cigars and more.

There will also be entertainment: The Hot Club Quartet will perform on the Market Plaza (7 - 9 PM) and The Doo-Wop All Stars will stroll the Market (7 - 9 PM). A caricature artist and a magician will also provide fun for all. You can even meet the authors of two 75th Anniversary books: Los Angeles's Original Farmers Market (David Hamlin & Brett Arena / Arcadia Publishing) and The Original Farmers Market Cookbook (Joann Cianciulli / Chronicle Books); the authors will discuss their books and sign copies on the Market Plaza from 6-8pm.

Event Summary:

"Taste of Farmers Market": Date: Tuesday July 14, 2009. Location: Farmers Market - 6333 West 3rd St. - cross street, Fairfax - Los Angeles, CA. Time: 5 - 9 PM. More info: http://www.farmersmarketla.com/.


"Taste Of Farmers Market" tickets cost $20 per person (includes food tasting), or you can opt for a $25 ticket which also includes drink tickets for 2 alcoholic beverages. Tickets are available online, at the Farmers Market Customer Service Office, at (323) 933-9211, or http://www.farmersmarketla.com/.


Proceeds from the "Taste" event will be donated to the West Hollywood Food Bank. In addition, non-perishable food item donations will be gratefully accepted throughout the evening.

July 4, 2009


Weighing under 6-oz and priced under $150, the Genius G-Shot HD520 offers 11-megapixel stills and HD video with H.264 compression format for exceptional quality output to today’s high-resolution flat panel TVs

posted by Don Rose

Genius (http://www.geniusnetusa.com), a brand division of KYE Systems Corp., has announced a new compact, pocket-size high-definition digital video camera that excels at capturing both high-resolution stills (at 11-megapixels) and high-definition video (at 5-megapixel in MPEG-4/H.264 format) and is light enough (under 6-ozs) and portable enough to allow users to capture activities anytime, anywhere. This easy-to-use camcorder is ideal for Summer outings, July Fourth celebrations, vacations, or for anyone looking to capture life’s moments in brilliant color and detail. The recently-launched G-Shot HD520 is both Windows (Vista/XP/2000) and Mac (OS10 or higher) compatible and designed with an ultra-bright 2.5” LTPS LCD screen that can rotate up to 270-degrees to allow users to shoot videos from any angle or position.

The G-Shot HD520 comes equipped with Face Detection to track and detect faces accurately as well as Electronic Image Stabilizers (EIS) to detect and correct hand-shaking when shooting photos. The handheld camcorder has a built-in memory of 32MB and supports additional HCSD memory up to 8GB. The G-Shot easily outputs to today’s high-resolution flat-panel televisions using the included HDMI cable for theatre-like viewing or video and photos can be easily uploaded to a computer for digital editing, archiving or sharing with friends. Additionally, the Z-Lighting technology enhances brightness in low-light environments, perfect for summer sunsets on the beach.

This versatile G-Shot camera is also capable of shooting still photos (up to 11 megapixels), listening to music, reading e-books, playing voice recordings, and it can even be used as a portable media player. Truly a multimedia device, at a price that's nice (a mere $149). Although it does many tasks, this little wonder won't drag you down. It weighs under 6-ounces. But wait, there's more: the camera comes complete with a 7.1 mm lens, a 5X digital zoom, and a Li-ion rechargeable battery.

Interested shoppers can go to NewEgg.com, Amazon.com, Tiger Direct, Buy.com or other retailers and distributors listed at http://www.geniusnetusa.com/buy.php. More information on all of Genius’ headphones and products at http://www.geniusnetusa.com.


Genius was established in 1985. Genius product portfolio includes computer mice, keyboards, web and security cameras, speakers, gaming peripherals, remote controls, headphones, digital cameras, digital camcorders and digital photo frames. It also holds the U.S. patent for mouse scroll-wheel technology. In 2007 Genius announced a newly invented optical touch-controlled scroll-wheel for fast browsing of web pages and documents in eight directions. Genius expanded from computer peripherals into consumer electronic products that include mobile phone accessories, Bluetooth headsets, digital cameras, digital photo frames, iPod speakers and MP4 players.

July 2, 2009


Commentary by Don Rose

The reason this recession seems so much deeper and depressing than other downturns of the recent past may be due to two forces that happen to be happening at the same time.

First, there was the popping of a great speculative bubble (real estate), the damage of which was magnified by the unregulated unwise use of leveraged and overly complex financial instruments tied in part to home values (which act like giant lead weights thrown on the legs of an economy that's trying to run its way out of the post-bubble crater with help from Uncle Stimulus). The second force feeding the downturn is a bit of demographic timing often discussed by Harry Dent (see his book on "The Roaring 2000s" in which he predicts with eerie accuracy that we'd face The Mother of All Depressions right around, well, now). The demographic curves he serves up, which depict how much we spend (a function of how old the population is), show that the huge wave of Baby Boomers are getting to that point (you know, aging, Viagraing and retiring) where overall consumer spending in the economy goes down. WAY down.

Either of these forces alone could cause an economic downturn. Put them together and no wonder this current recession is a real doozy -- and quite possibly that Mother which Dent predicted. But even if all this affulence-addling awfulness was preDented, that doesn't mean it has to occur, or stick around for years. Massive government spending, plus a primo priming of the money supply pump, was the primary strategy used to get out of the (first) Great Depression, and Obama/Bernanke & Company seem to be trying something similar now. In addition, the Obama team seems, in large part, to be throwing money at the problem in an intelligent way, rather than randomly -- that is, if we need to spend massively to get the economy moving, if "spend spend spend" is the best solution in sight, why not spend in targeted ways, on solutions we really need right now and in the near future (like cleaner energy, more efficient cars, education, productivity, and perhaps even healthcare). If "a crisis is a terrible thing to waste" (to paraphrase Obama's main man Rahm Emanuel) is the mantra of the moment, if Obama is spending our dollars not just massively but wisely as well, with future needs in mind, then I think we will get out of the current mess, slowly but surely -- and get to even higher ground than when we started.

In summary, if the economic problem we now face was caused by a double whammy of history, then it may take at the very least a decisive doubling up on the demand side in order to defeat this financial foe. I just hope that Obamanomics, if one can define it, is or will be the act of taking a spend-big-but-spend-with-future-vision "win-win" approach. Stimulate the economy, and do it in stimulating ways. Let's pray it works, that it makes a massive dent in the problem Dent predicted, and gets us back on track to recovery and prosperity. In the best case scenario, we won't be where we were before the recession, but rather in a better place.

And what's the worst case? What if the bear eats the bull, the Stimulus was bull and unemployment hits 25%? That's easy. I retire early and move in with my Mother in Miami, where I'll have no income tax, no income, and no one coming over. Sure, it'll be boring as hell, and hotter than hell, but at least it's not technically Hell. Hell, I might even get used it. Living with Mom again was never my dream, but till the dream job comes, it'll do. Even an Odd Couple beats a couple of odd jobs.

July 1, 2009


Festival Recap by Don Rose

LAFFING: there were comedies galore at this year's fest. "Cold Souls" was the hottest Dark SciFantasyComedy of the fest (okay, the only one), and the director said it was inspired by a dream she had in which she and Woody Allen are in a waiting room holding boxes containing their souls. (Dream analysis, anyone?) Paul Giamatti stars as himself; after undergoing a procedure to store his soul, it winds up getting smuggled out of the country and into a female actress who suddenly displays his great acting prowess. (Yes, the plot is kinda Kaufmanesque.)

LOVING: the LAFF is known for showcasing quirky tales of attraction action, and this year brought unique love stories. For example, "Paper Heart" (starring buzzworthy actors Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi) and "Paper Man" (the Jeff Daniels / Ryan Reynolds dramedy that gets The LA Report's Find of the Fest award), which kept audiences elated and enthralled.

LIVING LEGENDS: several made appearances, both live and onscreen, especially those in the (artificial yet artful) category Music Legends In Documentaries. Two living Doors (Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger) attended a screening of the new Doors doc "When You're Strange" (my favorite film of the fest). And there was white-haired Jimmy Page and Jack White at the premiere of the doc that features Page, White and The Edge -- "It Might Get Loud" -- as well as at the afterparty held at the Hotel Palomar (a spiffy recently-opened hotel at the corner of Wilshire and Selby, with a superb restaurant that served delicious sliders and other delectables at the party). In the arena of sports, "Facing Ali" featured many legends of yesteryear; this doc showcases the select group of boxers who took on the best boxer ever, and now share what it was like to fight The Greatest.

LOUDNESS: In addition to "It Might Get Loud" there was the loud (and now lucrative) sequel of "Transformers" to transfix festivalgoers' eyes and ears. And at the Ford Amphitheatre, "Soul Power" served up some soul-shaking sounds in its tale of the superstar R&B concert that took place at the time of the 1974 Zaire Ali-Foreman fight (yes, Ali was one recurring theme of this year's fest).

LIVELY LOUNGE: The Zone Perfect lounge was the central meeting/partying point during
this year's LAFF. Loved the interactive word wall and painting area. On one especially lively night, actress/comedienne Charlyne Yi showed she is a musician too (one with many rough yet endearing edges) as she rocked the lounge with her eclectic duo Glass Beef. Matt Nathanson also rocked the Lounge, on the final evening, as part of a special VH1 Save the Music night.

LLYN's LORE: at a Reel Talk event held poolside at the W Hotel (the first of 3 such panels over 3 consecutive days), lore about days of yore came forth from artist Llyn Foulkes, who was perhaps the most passionate of the panelists at this panel on art and design in film. He talked of a pivotal point in his art career when, instead of selling out like some others did, he took a different, less-lucrative road in order to keep true to his art - and heart. Was there a tinge of regret in his voice, or was it pride in pursuing the path he ultimately forged over the path of easy money? Hard to tell, but moments like that kept the panel in high thought-provoking gear, and proved that drama is not just found in the films of a festival.

LAFF's LEADING LIST: Leaving LAFF leads some to ask, "what were LAFF's hottest films?" Hard to decide, but here is The LA Report's Excellent Eight: Paper Man, Paper Heart, Cold Souls, Soul Power, No Impact Man, When You're Strange, It Might Get Loud, Facing Ali. These got the most buzz and crowds. However, there were dozens more movies just as heartfelt at the fest and, with time, may garner just as much attention.

All in all, LAFF 2009 was a well-run and supremely entertaining film festival, and we highly recommend you attend LAFF 2010 next summer. (Our one suggestion for timely retro programming next year: a screening of "2010", the sequel to "2001"; while it may not enjoy the classic status of the original, it's still a stellar film!)

JULY 1: LearnAboutWine Presents Summer TASTE: Rose and Rhone at the GROVE

Featured Event - posted by Don Rose

Summer TASTE has arrived, wine lovers! We at The LA Report have always enjoyed Ian's Learn About Wine events, and July 1st should be no exception, as evidenced by the event title: Rose, Rhone and BBQ! And the fun continues all summer long; the First Wednesday of each month this summer finds LearnAboutWine at the Park for SummerTASTE. Here is the main info for July:

Wed, July 1st, 7-9 pm at The Grove.
3rd and Fairfax in the Farmers Market complex.
Regularly $60 - Subscriber Sale $27.50 -
Use the Code "Summer" during Checkout.
Event Homepage - Tickets

SummerTASTE will combine the great outdoor environment at THE GROVE, with foods from top restaurants, music, and wine tasting. This event will support TJ MARTEL FOUNDATION, raising money and awareness for Cancer Research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Food by Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill: voted “Best Barbecue” by the Los Angeles Times, “Best Barbecue in L.A.” by 97.1FM and “A Favorite for Steak and Take-Out” by The Ventura County Star. (Wine lovers will be happy to know that every wine at Wood Ranch is half-price on Tuesdays!)

Event Host and DJ: Joe Escalante - Wino Wednesday Host at Indie 103.1 (they live on-line)

Click here to see Ian and Joe on the air on YOUTUBE

Participating Wineries Include:

Clos Solene - L'Aventure - Ranchita Canyon
Conway - Dragonette - Zaca Mesa
Tercero - Blair Fox Cellars - Derby
Highflyer Wines - and AOC Cotes du Rhone Wines

Wednesday's Wine List:

Blair Fox Cellars, "Haylee's Rose", Grenache/Counoise/Syrah, Santa Barbara , 2008Blair Fox Cellars, Viognier, Paradise Road Vineyard, Santa Barbara, 2006Blair Fox Cellars, Syrah, Paradise Road Vineyard, Santa Barbara, 2004Blair Fox Cellars, Syrah, Tierra Alta Vineyard, 2004Blair Fox Cellars, Syrah, Purisima Mountain Vineyard, 2004
Clos Solene, Roussanne, Booker Vineyards, Paso Robles, 2007
Deep Sea, "Sea Flower", Rhone Rose, 2008 Deep Sea, Viognier, Central Coast, 2008 Deep Sea, Rhone Blend, 2008 - barrel samplesDerby Wine Estates, Rhone "Mosaic Rose", Paso Robles, 2007Derby Wine Estates, "Fifteen 10", Viognier/Roussanne/ Marseanne, 2006Derby Wine Estates, "MOCAB", Mourvedre/Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006Dragonette Cellars, Rose, Santa Ynez, 2008Dragonette Cellars, Syrah, Santa Ynez, 2007Dragonette Cellars, Rose, Santa Ynez, 2008Dragonette Cellars, Syrah, Santa Ynez, 2007Highflyer, Viognier, Clements Hills, Borra Gill Creek Ranch, 2007Highflyer, Aviator "Proprietary Blend" , Somerston Vineyards, 2006Highflyer, Syrah, Napa/Sonoma/Santa Barbara, Somerston Vineyards, 2006Highflyer, Grenache Blanc, Napa Valley, Somerston Vineyards, 2008L'Aventure, Estate Cuvee, 2007Ranchita Canyon Vineyard, Grenache Rose, Paso Robles, 2007Ranchita Canyon Vineyard, "Fusion", Grenache/Petite Sirah, Paso Robles, 2005
Ranchita Canyon Vineyard, Old Vine Petite Sirah, Paso Robles, 2006
Rancho Arroyo Grande, Rhone Blend, 2005 Tercero, Rose, Grenache/Mourvedre, Santa Barbara, 2008Tercero, Grenache Blance, Santa Ynez Valley, Camp 4 Vineyard, 2008Tercero, "Cuvee Christie", G-S-M, Santa Barbara, 2006Tercero, Grenache, Santa Ynez Valley, Camp 4 Vineyard, 2006Zaca Mesa, "Z Gris", Grenache/Cinsault, Santa Ynez Valley, 2008Zaca Mesa, Viognier, Estate Grown, Santa Ynez Valley, 2008Zaca Mesa, Syrah, Estate Grown, Santa Ynez Valley, 2005
Zaca Mesa, "Z Cuvee", Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre/Cinsault, Santa Ynez, 2006

And wines of the AOC Cotes du Rhone Wines:

Louis Bernard, Cotes du Rhone, 2007
Chateau La Couranconne, "Gratitude", Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu, 2007
Cave de Tavel, "Lauzeraies", Tavel, 2008
Andre Andrieux, "Cuvee Victoria", Tavel, 2008
Chateau Guiot, Costieres de Nimes Rose, 2008
Domaine Belle, "Les Terres Blanches", Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, 2007
Domaine Combier, Crozes Hermitage, 2007
Perrin & Fils, "Les Christins", Vacqueyras, 2006
Montirius, "Garrigues", Vacqueyras, 2007
Francois Villard, "Version", Saint Peray, 2007
Moulin de la Gardette, "Cuvee Ventabren", Gigondas, 2005
Maison Chapoutier, Cotes du Rhone, Belleruche Blanc, 2007
Chateau Valcombe, Costieres de Nimes, Cuvee Tradition, 2005

Event Homepage - Tickets

LearnAboutWine.com Summer Series @ The Grove:
Jul 1 - Rose and Rhone and BBQ
Aug 5 -
No Oak – Red and White Educated in Stainless
Sept 2 - Full Throttle and Voluptuous – Big Wines for Important Times

About LearnAboutWine

Founded in 1995, LearnAboutWine is Los Angeles' Source for Wine Education and Events.
Hosting events on a multitude of topics and interests, LearnAboutWine is committed to
educating people about wine and food, while eliminating the barriers of pretentiousness
and information overload. From beginner to advanced wine enthusiasts, LearnAboutWine
pushes aside the myths and legends and gives you the inspiration and information you
need to advance your wine knowledge and appreciation.