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Underrated / Overrated

January 03, 2008

LOU

This hole-in-the-wall in a strip mall in Hollywood (724 N. Vine) is one of the city's consistent best bets. The delicious tapas-style menu (if you like meat, get the steak), excellent and eclectic wine list, quietly cool atmosphere and friendly, knowledgeable staff make Lou one of those rare places that feel casual and special all at once.

"THE BALD SOPRANO"

The thing we love about Eugene Ionseco's plays is that they let you have fun and make you feel like some kind of intellectual. They're also really short, for all you theater-phobes. City Garage in Santa Monica just extended its high-spirited revival through Feb. 4. Just don't ask us what all the surrealist gibberish at the end means.

KXLU (88.9)

For grass-roots impact, no station beats Loyola Marymount's, which has bred a steady stream of DJ and artistic talent since the mid-1980s. Where else can you hear works-in-progress? Yes, on Fridays at 6 p.m., the Demolisten show airs unfinished songs in all their rough glory (demolisten.wordpress.com).

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, January 10, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Eugene Ionesco: An item about the play "The Bald Soprano" in the Underrated/Overrated column in The Guide on Jan. 3 misspelled playwright Eugene Ionesco's last name as Ionseco.

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"NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS"

Long and dumb, just like we figured. But did it need to be this long and this dumb? Makes stupid people feel smart and smart people feel sad.

THE IVY

We took a relative desperate to see some celebs. If you consider David Hasselhoff a celeb, then, yes, there was one of those -- in addition to Bev Hills stereotypes in sunglasses craning their necks at every wannabe who stepped through the picket fence. Hasselhoff (after saying to the maitre d', "Do you know who I am?") got a table where the paparazzi camped across the street were sure to see him (this, we're told, is how celebs get their pictures snapped while pretending they don't care). A pathetic circus with no payoff: The wait staff was bored, the food unexceptional, the check exorbitant.

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON

In the words of a fellow viewer, overheard as we exited Anderson's "There Will Be Blood," "What the hell was that about?" Even Daniel Day-Lewis couldn't save this flaccid exercise in pointlessness.

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