East of Ivy, west of Tennessee
Kicked it with Vin Diesel on the veranda of Memphis, the new Hollywood Boulevard spot that's already being touted as the Ivy East. Memphis is so serious about bringing Southern flavor to Hollywood, it hired a sous chef straight out of New Orleans named Terry Fortia. He says his family is doing fine, thank you. Part of Memphis' charm is the space itself, which includes vintage stairwells built when people had much smaller feet.... Bumped into veteran scenester Firemarshall Bob, a.k.a. fire inspector Robert Gladden, who introduced me to the fine folks at the Brasserie Les Voyous, a cozy hangout just doors down from Memphis.... And speaking of hot new joints, the Hollywood Boulevard tequila bar L'Scorpion makes it debut on Friday. It's the latest venture by Adolfo Suaya and the folks behind Rokbar. Partner Shayne Anderson says: Think "El Mariachi-meets-Pink Taco, at the Hard Rock in Vegas." Sweethearts Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette were scheduled to break in L'Scorpion with a bash they were to host Wednesday.
Safari Sam isn't out of the jungle
The comeback of the celebrated but short-lived nightclub Safari Sam's is on tenuous ground as its owner searches for last-minute investors. Sam Lanni, who ran the buzzing live music venue from 1984 until the city of Huntington Beach closed it down in 1986, planned to open a new 500-capacity club on Sunset Boulevard in east Hollywood early next year. As construction progressed, he lined up Steve Zepeda, Ken Phebus and Patrick Llewellyn to book entertainment and Julio Douglas (of Echo Park's Brite Spot restaurant) to run Sam's food service.
But in an e-mail sent Sunday night, Lanni said he "must find $25,000 to $30,000 in the next two weeks" to be able to open the club, which includes 4,500 square feet inside, plus a mezzanine a third that big and a patio. Lanni, whose back-in-the-day O.C. club hosted the likes of Social Distortion, 10,000 Maniacs, the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Meat Puppets, the Minutemen, Henry Rollins and Camper van Beethoven, invited friends to invest in his project, in exchange for special perks. Stay tuned.
Hand-carved for the holidays
The Mission Hills hot spot the Lucky Tiki is having a "Tikis and Tinsels" holiday bazaar on Sunday with hand-carved art.... Intergalactic headbangers Valient Thorr brings its twisted rock show to the El Rey Theatre on Friday. And Alan McGee, founder of influential Creation Records, was in town. On Sunday he checked out the set by ex-Ride singer-guitarist Mark Gardener before adjourning to the Echo, where McGee DJ'd at the Part Time Punks dance night.
-- Heidi Siegmund Cuda, with Kevin Bronson