Umami Burger Celebrates Nat’l. Hamburger Day with STVMOW

Umami Burger Celebrates Nat’l. Hamburger Day with STVMOW

Another year means another National Hamburger Day to celebrate! And who better than the professionals at Umami Burger, to kick off the special day?! Umami Burger has partnered with St. Vincent Meals on Wheels to celebrate the national holiday. On the 28th, Umami Burger is giving $1 from each Truffle Burger (Umami’s most popular selling Burger in 2018 and throughout 2019 thus far) sold across all locations nationwide back to Meals on Wheels to help those in need.

Whether with family, a friend, or on a date, Umami Burger knows how to pull us in every time with savings, charity, and special events and occasions.

About St. Vincent Meals On Wheels:

Every day, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, the nation’s largest, privately funded senior nutrition program, prepares, delivers and serves over 2,000 meals to some of L.A.’s most vulnerable residents including homebound senior citizens, disabled and terminally ill patients and homeless adults and children, regardless of age, illness, disability, race, religion or ability to pay. The organization was founded 42 years ago by Sr. Alice Marie Quinn, Daughter of Charity, whose legacy continues thanks to the hundreds of staff, volunteers and dedicated donors who make the program’s mission of feeding the hungry and homebound of Los Angeles possible. The $8.2 million budget is completely privately-funded.
Mambo International Kitchen Brings the World’s Cuisine to Southern California

Mambo International Kitchen Brings the World’s Cuisine to Southern California

Contributions by Anthony Stafford

It’s rare to find a restaurant that has the courage to take on the challenge of offering a variety of international dishes, and even rarer to find one that does so flawlessly. And we’re not talking about a buffet-style restaurant, either!

We present to you, Mambo International Kitchen, where you can truly “savor the world on your table.” Located in Northridge on the Northeast corner of Roscoe Blvd. and Tampa Ave., the family owned business is a bit of a hidden treasure — at least until they get their new sign up to let the world know they exist! Upon entering the restaurant, it felt as if we were immediately whisked away, stepping through a portal into some other part of the world. Mambo’s interior looks and feels like a high-end, industrially repurposed dreamscape. Complete with branded wooden planks accentuating the concrete walls, and creatively reimagined colorful seating, tables, and decor, Mambo feels wildly alive — even when there aren’t many guests dining. Interestingly, Mambo’s design comes full circle, once you learn the backstory from one of the owners, Raymond Magsaysay, below.

Words From The Owner

Naturally, when you encounter a restaurant as ambitious and amazing as Mambo International Kitchen, you may feel inclined to know just how they pulled it off, along with some interesting tidbits. Luckily, Raymond was more than happy to answer a few questions from us.

Q: What inspired you to open the restaurant, and ultimately settle on an international menu that highlights flavors from all over the world?
A: Originally, it was supposed to be a modern Filipino kitchen, but then we decided that it [would] limit our clientele, wherein we have so much more to offer than just Filipino fusion. Since, as a family of 6, we love eating various cuisines and normally have a hard time deciding where to eat because each one has their preference, we thought of combining the cuisines we love to eat.

Q:  What was the hardest part of getting started and opening Mambo International Kitchen?
A: Our biggest challenge was having the restaurant open because of permits and construction issues. The landlord hired an incompetent contractor to do all the rough construction and he cut corners. I had to intervene and get it all corrected and passed. It helped that construction is my primary business. Good thing [we] also, protected ourselves when we signed the lease, so those expenses were paid for by the landlord and we didn’t start paying rent until the restaurant was ready to open.

Q: What is your ultimate vision of what you want Mambo to become in 5 to 10 years?
A: Our vision is to franchise and expand Mambo, providing both brick and mortar, and mobile restaurants.

Q: How did you choose which international dishes made the cut to be served at Mambo?
A: This is the hardest part, because there is so much more we have to offer. As it is, the menu is huge! That’s why in the future we plan on highlighting a cuisine weekly and offer specials for that week. We started with what we love to eat at home, and what can be efficiently prepared since we don’t have a big kitchen.

Q: Will you feature more international dishes on the menu someday?
A: Yes, definitely.

Q: What is your favorite menu item and why? Or is that item not on the menu at all?!
A: My personal favorite is really steak and sushi. I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate it in the menu. (Laughs.) What stands out for me in the menu is the pita wrap, Hawaiian bowl, sisig, truffle fries and under s’mores.

A Tour for The Tongue

Raymond, and his wife and co-owner Donna, were kind enough to welcome us into their restaurant to try a variety of menu offerings, and if we had to use one word to describe our experience, it would be “authenticity.” Anyone who has traveled abroad would find that Mambo’s dishes taste exactly like they should. There is a very limited “fusion” aspect to Mambo’s dishes. A great example of this would be the extended variety of tacos they offer. We feasted on their Filipino, Korean, Indian, Vegan, Irish, Vietnamese, and English tacos, and taste after taste was an immediate gateway into a new culture. Each taco brought its own unique flavor and traits altogether in a corn tortilla — and the only taco that rang close to the traditional Mexican taste was the Vegan version — filled with truffled infused mushrooms, roasted corn, pico, black beans, and Korean barbecue sauce.

The English Taco comes with melt-in-your-mouth fried fish and pico de Gallo, while one of our favorites, the  Korean Taco with its bulgogi, tastes exactly like a traditional bulgogi meal, but shrunken down into a fun-sized package. The Indian Taco with its potent chicken tikka masala and cilantro didn’t come anywhere close to being short on flavor, while the Filipino Taco delivered an all-around complex of spicy, saucy, salty pork adobo topped with salted egg salsa. Our favorites, the Vietnamese (inspired by banh mi) and Irish Tacos came with sweet pork, hoisin sauce, chicharron; and corned beef, lettuce, and a delightful mix of spices, respectfully. In a true whirlwind of flavor, a taco tour may be all you need to experience some of the best dishes from around the world.

Donna’s Crab Cakes, named after co-owner, Donna, feature a lemon horseradish aioli. If you grew up on the coast and have ever had crab cakes, you’ll know that Donna knows what she’s doing! Crispy, flavorful bites with a spicy kick will accompany you through each crab cake. Vito’s Pita Wrap is a mediterranean refreshment that awakens the taste buds. Complete with beef kabob, tomato, onion, garlic, lettuce, and tzatziki sauce, this gut filler comes with a side of fries to seal the deal. Our sides were Truffle Fries and 4 Cheese Mac and Cheese, both of which could be their own individual meals with a drink. The Mac and cheese was a perfect, creamy, smooth (small) pot of gold, subtly different from your usual. And if you love truffle, get the fries!

We saved some of our bests for last. While everything was amazing, and we recommend it all, Mambo offers so much within their menu that it’s almost impossible to figure out what you’d like to try first. From rice bowls to Specialties, Sides, Starters, and Desserts, it’s jarring to see the options. For that reason, we’re providing you with the first thing you should try upon your visit. As recommended to us by Juliano, Raymond and Donna’s son, the Wintermelon Tea with Boba, and the Hong Kong Bowl are absolute must haves. Wintermelon Tea is like drinking a dessert, and tastes nothing like a fruit. In fact, this refreshing milk tea tastes like a creamy, sweet graham cracker and caramel blend. Think s’mores in a cup. Incredible!

On the other hand, the Hong Kong Rice Bowl is a mandatory must-have. This isn’t your regular old sticky rice. Garlicky and  buttery undertones penetrate the cores of each grain of rice, making for a truly dimensional experience, while the fried pork spareribs greet the palate with the sweetness of cinnamon and the savor of deep fried meat. The spareribs seemingly melt away with each bite, and paired with the rice, it’s a perfect match.

The conclusion of our meal meant it was only right to close things out with a sweet treat that would be none other than Mambo’s banana Nutella egg roll with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We were stuffed, but how could one pass this up? Sweet, fried crispy, hot, and the perfect end to our tour.

Amazingly, it doesn’t feel like this restaurant is doing too much when you see their menu. Instead, it feels like you’ve got some catching up to do. Mambo has proven that a focus on International Cuisine can be done successfully. Raymond and Donna have mastered the art of bringing the world under one roof, and offering the best of it to the colorfully diverse Southern California. If you crave some Indian flair, or even Korean sophistication, you don’t need a passport to get it. Mambo International Kitchen took our mouths on an international tour, and we never even had to leave our seats.

Mambo’s Story

The owners of Mambo are very passionate about good food and equal to that is their delight in hosting and serving people. For many years they’ve dreamed of opening a restaurant that people will love and finally that dream is now a reality.

Our company is established with a passion and desire to serve high quality and cost effective gourmet food with excellent customer service; quickly and consistently. By combining homestyle comfort food with creative and fun dishes, and a family friendly atmosphere with old industrial decor, we know Mambo is soon to be a community favorite.

Address:
8300 Tampa Ave
Northridge, CA 91324
Delivery: Yes

Punk Rock Karaoke

Punk Rock Karaoke

Lots of things have changed, of course, since the L.A. Weekly’s Thursday issue was what you rushed to get a hard copy of in order to gauge your spot in the Hollywood hierarchy and with which to strategically plan every move in your upcoming week’s nightlife carnivale.

For one thing, Coke Zero has edged out Diet Coke as the drink of choice.

 

But for those of you who don’t, or can’t, or were too young or too unhip to remember, back in the day there was a nightlife column in the Weekly called L.A. Dee Da, and it defined what and who was hip in L.A, via words and pictures, for many years.

We didn’t start the L.A. Dee Da column, nor name it, but we wrote and took the pictures for it for over 7 years, until we killed it — very possibly because we had just seen too fucking much to leave the house one more fucking time! And that was that. Until now.

Here again, for the armchair clubgoer, is classic L.A. Dee Da, 2.0:

Unexpectedly pleasant was the 7th Annual Rock Against MS benefit at downtown’s historic Palace Theater. Originally set for the Los Angeles Theater directly across the street, when sound issues arose at the Los Angeles, chill-as-ice proprietor of both theaters Ramin Delijani (of the downtown Ezat Delijani Square Delijanis), was kind enough to allow the show to move across Broadway to one of his other three historic venues, one of which — the Tower — is slated to become the downtown Apple store.

With reserved seating, actual songs with beginnings and endings, and sound levels not too loud for casual conversation, this was no recipe for high millennial attendance. In fact, when the MC asked if anyone in the audience was under 20 … the sound of crickets could almost be heard amongst the crowd. Yes, it was a playdate for the senior set! Comprising the first part of the evening was various songs done in tribute to some of the musicians who’d died in 2018, kind of a feel-good tribute to death: some of those honored musically were Temptation Dennis Edwards, Motorhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clark; Lynrd Skynrd guitarist Ed King, the fabulous Aretha, Pantera co-founder/drummer Vinnie Paul, and The CranberriesDolores O’Riordan, among others. It was like being in the audience at American Idol, but with real celebrities doing the covers. Even stand-up comic Bill Burr took a turn on the drums.

When headliners Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg came on, the audience was allowed to leave their seats and rush forward — or maybe saunter is a better word for how this particular audience of post-punk pensioners drifted stage-ward, where not only was no mosh pit created, there was not one instance of even the most minor pushing, shoving, nor the most light, accidental jostling. Look at us — we’re all so goddamned nice now! When did that happen?

The band proceeded to play a tight as a drum, feel-good walk down the oldies-but-goodies lane of memories that is a Ramones’ greatest hits cavalcade, including “Beat On The Brat,” “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker,” “Rock n Roll High School,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” and all the rest, with Marky doing a surprisingly serviceable job on vocals — considering he was previously the group’s drummer, replacing Tommy Ramone, until (according to Wikipedia) he was fired for alcoholism. But by 2014 all the original members were dead, leaving Marky the only one left to carry the “Gabba Gabba Hey” torch well into the present century. His reception at Rock Against MS proved that, for some of us, it just doesn’t get old.

It didn’t hurt that Marky and the current lineup were totally on point, moving from one hit to another like a greasy machine. Marky was the epitome of classic New York cool in a Dean Martin t-shirt, a full mop of longish hair, and a physique that would have rivaled Twiggy’s in her heyday, with no appreciable difference in his sartorial style from that of the original New York punks we saw congregating outside New York’s CBGB and Max’s Kansas City circa 1978.

Coming from the Silent Auction area, we ran into local keyboard goddess Gere Fenelli, formerly of Redd Kross, who announced gleefully that she’d become a first-time bride at 56 and gesturing to her groom, proving that young love isn’t the only game being played in this town.

Backstage after the show, Blitzkrieg guitarist/former Bad Religionist/Circle Jerk Greg Hetson was as perplexed as anyone as to why the MC, former Mad TV castmember Debra Wilson, chose to stride back out onstage amid audience chants of “Hey Ho, Let’s Go!,” cutting off the band’s encore and closing the show rather anti-climatically, rather than with the hoped-for “Blitzkrieg Bop.”

An event that captivates both young and old is the best karaoke night in L.A. This fun-for-all-ages event takes place once a month not strictly in L.A., nor in the environs of Hollywood, Koreatown nor Little Tokyo. It takes place inside the kind of massive, three-sided strip mall that only the suburbs can spawn. Maui Sugarmill Saloon, the site of the festivities, shares Tarzana Square with dozens of other in-high-demand local emporia such as O Fancy That! British gifts and Abi’s Judaica (“beautiful gifts from Israel”!), which itself shares a very trayf wall with a Round Table chain pizzaria. But one thing Tarzana Square features that not even we can disparage: more than enough easy, convenient, hassle-free and no-cost parking for the overflow crowds at the Sugarmill.

You can keep your clusterfuck of a Downtown L.A. We’re partying in beautiful downtown Tarzana.

Organized by booker Sarah Elizabeth, there’s no vanilla joke of a ballad-filled karaoke machine involved at the Sugarmill’s karaoke night. The tiny stage tucked into a corner of the intimate venue holds a full live punk band, with San Lee of the Dickies and Greg Hetson, again, on guitar, and longtime scenester Nubs Gutmacher on sound, and singing along with the hoi polloi are a few celebrity ringers such as Mikey from the Adicts. The action all takes place just steps away from the pool table area, where — of course — people are calmly playing pool amid the din and sports coverage plays non-stop on a TV mounted on the wall. With the band ripping through a rolicking set of punk classics, this IS your mother’s karaoke — or maybe your grandmother’s — with hits by Iggy, Joan Jett, The Clash, FEAR, Misfits, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks, Circle Jerks, and more.

Even youngsters who could not have been born when this music was first inciting the dance known as the pogo were getting down with the vocals. Lyric sheets are provided, and it’s a free-for-all to sign up. Unlike “classic” bar karaoke, it doesn’t really matter here if you can hit any of the notes — no one can hear you above the band when you screw up, and the supportive audience claps for every valiant effort.

We got so caught up in the spirit of the evening we earned 2.5 of our 15 minutes of fame being an almost-for-real Runaway on “Cherry Bomb.” Punk rock karaoke takes place at the freeway-close Sugarmill, so grab your grandparents and their handicapped placard and join in the fun, which takes place the first Saturday of every month.

From punk rock to drunk rock and, ironically, on 4/20, the tongue-in-cheek country outfit Groovy Rednecks celebrated the joys of alcohol abuse with their third-Saturday-of-the-month gig at downtown Culver City’s historic Cinema Bar, a cozy spot with free admission, frequent live music on the miniscule stage, and just enough room to cut a rug. Nights start with two opening bands, one of which is the duet Talking Treason featuring Laura Smith and Rednecks’ guitarist Bob Ricketts. With songs such as “Always Bring A Beer” and “How Come I Only Love You When I’m Drunk,” the Rednecks’ paen to John Barleycorn was show 153 at this particular spot in the 12 years they’ve been in residency at the Cinema, or show 921 for singer Tex Troester, who’s spent 25 years teamed with guitarists Bob Ricketts and Barefoot Gary Riley who does, in fact, play all shows barefoot. Watch that broken glass! More recent members are stand-up bassist Steve Seifert and drummer Chris Bailey, a newbie of about a year, who is better known in certain circles as Grand Poobah for life of the venerable Hollywood institution The Water Buffalo Lodge — not Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble’s Lodge 26, but a loosely knit fraternal organization that once boasted a who’s who of the L.A. rock underground and whose legendarily debauched afternoon picnics were once the talk of the town; word is that another is being planned for this summer. Dedicated appreciators of feminine pulchritude, we witnessed one particular annual Water Buffalo Beauty Contest where the fair damsel who stole the coveted crown of Miss Water Buffalo that year demonstrated her “talent” of shaving her legs to an appreciative audience of Water Buffaloes and their Ladies Auxiliary.

Which just goes to show that here at L.A. Dee Da, whether you have true talent or are merely talent-adjacent, you too can make it into boldface!

 

MEET THE GROOVY REDNECKS
My band The Groovy Rednecks have been playing since 1991 (28 years) We have played 921 gigs and counting!
Tex Troester – vocals/lyrics
Bob Ricketts – guitar/music
Gary Riley – guitar/mandolin
Steve Seifert – bass
Chris Bailey – drums

The first time we played The Cinema bar was 17 years ago, we started playing the 3rd Sat of every month 12 years ago. (this will be our 154th gig there) The show starts at 10 pm with “Talkin’ Treason” (a duet of my girlfriend Laura Smith and my guitar player Bob Ricketts. They play mostly covers of country, blues, rock, and pop standards. The Groovy Rednecks start at 11 pm. And we choose a different band to play the midnight slot every month. (any genre as long as they’re good) The bar is one of Culver City’s oldest dives, with a tiny stage and a comfy outdoor smoking patio in the back. This month on 5/18 we are playing with a band called “Cool House”. We also have Merle Jagger on 7/21 and Wreck n Sow on 9/21. We are always looking for fun bands to play with. We need bands for 6/15 & 8/17. Let me know what else you need and thanks ! ~ Tex

At the Skirball

At the Skirball

Los Angeles fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (1922–1985) introduced the “monokini,” the thong, unisex caftans, pantsuits for women, and enough inventive clothing to earn him a worldwide reputation. Yet Gernreich was far more than one of the most prominent designers of his time—his clothing was fearless. Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich explores the visionary and progressive ensembles that transcended rigid social expectations and championed authenticity above all.

Gernreich, a Viennese Jew, immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1938, fleeing the oppressive and anti-Semitic Nazi regime. Beginning with his life in Los Angeles, the exhibition examines the circumstances that enabled Gernreich to grow into a trailblazing designer—from his early career as a dancer for the Lester Horton Dance Theater to his role as a founding member of The Mattachine Society, a gay rights organization. It shows how Gernreich dovetailed his personal background with his design vision to champion freedom of expression through his work.

The exhibition features over eighty Gernreich ensembles, along with accessories, original sketches, photographs, ephemera, and newly filmed interviews of friends and colleagues. All mannequins for this exhibition were custom produced with flat feet—a deviation from industry standard. Flat feet were a design feature Gernreich emphasized, dressing his models barefoot or in sensible short-heeled or flat shoes. Illustrating how Gernreich challenged conventional notions of beauty, identity, and gender, Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich reveals how the designer redefined style in ways that continue to influence fashion today.

THE SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER
The Skirball Cultural Center is an educational institution in Los Angeles, California devoted to sustaining Jewish heritage and American democratic ideals. It has been open to the public since 1996.
 
Address: 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

The Office of Angela Scott Partners with GO Campaign to Pay It Forward

The Office of Angela Scott Partners with GO Campaign to Pay It Forward

Teachers are arguably the most undervalued superheroes in today’s workforce — and The Office of Angela Scott knows that all too well having had many teachers throughout her life becoming psuedo-family as she developed her creative muscle to become the designer — and woman — she is today.

 
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day on May 7th, the female-founded footwear brand is paying it forward by giving 40% of all web sales on May 7th to the GO Campaign to support the Redeemer Community Partnership (RCP). The Office of Angela Scott launched the Pay It Forward program in August of 2018 to honor our incredible teachers with an investment piece that gives them confidence, comfort and a strong foundation to stand tall. The Pay It Forward Program offers teachers a continuous 40% discount applicable to any collection.

The Office of Angela Scott is proud to announce its partnership with GO Campaign for Teacher Appreciation Day 2019 (May 7). GO Campaign, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, identifies deserving pioneering Local Heroes throughout the world and partners with their organizations to give opportunity to vulnerable children around the world. Since 2006, GO Campaign has improved the lives of over 133,000 children throughout 35 countries.  In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, The Office of Angelea Scott is partnering with GO Campaign to support Redeemer Community Partnership (RCP). RCP is an organization focused on nurturing some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable youth and providing them with the critical academic support they need to ensure that every child growing up in Los Angeles’ most impoverished neighborhoods has the access to education they deserve.

Founded by Richard Parks in 2001, RCP was created to build a safe, healthy, opportunity-rich community where children, youth and families living in Los Angeles’ University Park neighborhood can thrive.  This neighborhood is densely populated, low income, and home to many immigrant families. The median household income is $30,205, much less than the City’s median of $54,501. The schools in RCP’s community struggle to meet the needs of their students. At most schools in the area, the concentration of low-income children is above 90%, and often 30-50% are English Language Learners (ELL).  With large class sizes, high teacher turnover and limited support staff, many students never get the help they need.

At Mack Elementary, just four blocks east of the RCP facility, only 3% of last year’s fifth-graders achieved proficient scores on the state standardized math test. Children entering middle school with math and reading deficits face overwhelming obstacles to college-readiness. . . but RCP is changing all this!  RCP offers an individualized reading curriculum to students during the academic year – giving children the access to the academic support they need to provide them opportunities they never imagined possible. RCP aims for all fifth graders who graduate from their program to have reading skills at or above state grade-level standards. And not only that, but children who are a part of their program are learning to enjoy reading, to feel confident about their ability to learn challenging material, and to use technology without intimidation.  RCP is giving these children the confidence they need to face the world with hope and pride. RCP’s results are a gift to teachers, making their students more engaged and eager to learn.

GO Campaign & The Office of Angela Scott believe in the work RCP is doing and that is why in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, The Office of Angela Scott is committed to raise funds to provide RCP with three teachers for the fall semester.  These additional staff members will enable RCP to reach its goal of making sure that every fifth grader who graduates from their program not only has reading skills at or above state grade-level standards, but the confidence they need to go on to thrive in middle school.

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