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La Cienega

July 21, 2011 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Come summer, mezze , those small dishes drawn from a vast Middle Eastern tradition, are just about the perfect food. The flavors are vivid. Many of them are served at room temperature. No rush. I love this way of eating, a bite here, a bite there, as the conversation ebbs and flows. Plenty of time to savor each bite and pick up the thread of talk, watch the light fade, feel the night. That's the strength of Mezze, the new Middle Eastern restaurant in the former Sona space on La Cienega Boulevard, just north of the Beverly Center.
April 26, 2011 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Eldon Davis, an influential architect known as the father of the California coffee shop for midcentury designs inspired by the Space Age and the region's car culture, has died. He was 94. Davis died Friday at a West Hills hospital of complications from spinal meningitis, said his wife, Luana. When America was in love with aerodynamic design, Davis devised a concept for Norms restaurant that made it appear poised for liftoff. Built on La Cienega Boulevard in 1957, Norms had many features that came to typify the whimsical style of architecture known as Googie — a vaulted roof that resembles a flying wing, a room-length dining counter and an attention-grabbing vertical neon sign with roots in Las Vegas kitsch.
April 3, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
After numerous delays and cost increases, officials this week will begin running test trains on the long-awaited Expo Line and have announced that the first rail line into the traffic-clogged Westside since the days of the Red Car trolleys could start operations in November. The first phase of the project, when completed, promises to zip commuters about 8.6 miles from downtown to Culver City in 30 minutes. Originally carrying a price tag of $640 million, the cost has now reached $930.6 million.
November 1, 2010 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Until Petros in Manhattan Beach blew onto the scene a few years ago, Greek restaurants in L.A. tended to be more in the folkloric vein, places like Taverna Tony in Malibu or Papa Cristos in L.A., where you could shop for Greek groceries and stay for an inexpensive dinner at communal tables. Now here comes something entirely different ? big, brash, glamorous Xandros on La Cienega's restaurant row. Moving into the old Tony Roma's, Xandros (short for Alexander the Great) fills the 7,500-square-foot space with a sleek lounge washed in blue light, a dining room with pale yellow orchids on the tables and beyond that, a spacious outdoor terrace protected from the wind and the traffic on La Cienega by a glass screen.
August 21, 2010 | By Steve Harvey, Special to The Times
Driving around Southern California, you never know where you'll find oil. Drilling platforms, for example, can be seen on the Coyote Hills golf course in Fullerton, in the parking lot of Huntington Beach's City Hall and outside Curley's Cafe in Signal Hill. There's even a derrick tucked inside the Beverly Center, near the parking area for Bloomingdale's. But one of the area's most unusual drilling sites is just a memory now. It was a well that stood in the middle of La Cienega Boulevard from 1930 to 1946, forcing drivers to zigzag around it. "Pictures and stories about it have been sent all over the globe," The Times noted in 1945.
July 2, 2010 | Los Angeles Times
Another basketball season ends in a hard-fought NBA title for Pau Gasol and the Lakers. "I'm still in the process of getting my body back to normal," the Redondo Beach resident admitted. "It takes awhile to adjust from all the crazy activity and intensity and then to not having it." But while Gasol has plenty of R&R penciled in this summer, he's not ratcheting things down completely. First up is a trip to his native Spain to celebrate his 30th birthday on July 6; then there are his charitable efforts, which include the L.A. Fire Department and Childrens Hospital.
May 12, 2010 | By Suzanne Muchnic
Artist Craig Kauffman, a sparkplug of Los Angeles' art scene in the late 1950s and early '60s who captured national attention with bubble-like plastic wall pieces that reflect Southern California's sunshine and car culture, died Sunday at his home in the Philippines. He was 78. Kauffman had a stroke about two months ago, said art dealer Frank Lloyd, who represents the artist. Kauffman attended the early-April opening of his most recent exhibition at Lloyd's gallery in Santa Monica, but his condition worsened after he returned to the Philippines.
January 9, 2010 | By My-Thuan Tran
The art prospector must have thought he'd snagged a great deal when he purchased what he thought was a $5-million Picasso pastel for less than half its value. Tatiana Khan, owner of the Chateau Allegre gallery on La Cienega Boulevard, claimed the artwork -- called "La Femme Au Chapeau Bleu" (The Woman in the Blue Hat) -- was owned by the Malcolm Forbes family estate and was a bargain at only $2 million, according to court documents. But the art prospector became suspicious several years later and contacted a Picasso expert in 2008.
December 18, 2009 | By Mark Sachs
Need a gift idea? Comedian Doug Benson might suggest his latest album, "Uneven Load," or maybe the DVD of his 2007 film, "Super High Me." And on Dec. 28, when you're all shopped out, he'd recommend kicking back and watching his new comedy special on the G4 channel, "The High Road." "It's a documentary-style film in which the camera follows me around while I'm on the road doing my stand-up act," explains Benson. "And that's really my life -- I'm a road comic. I live in L.A., but I'm out of town 47 or 48 weekends of the year.
October 13, 2009 | Rachel b. Levin
At the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega boulevards, a green sign points north to "Restaurant Row," a stretch of grand eateries such as Lawry's the Prime Rib that have made La Cienega a culinary magnet since the late 1930s. Within the last year, the boulevard has seen the arrival of scene-stealing celebrity chef establishments, but with new bars, music venues, and design and fashion boutiques, the district has become a destination for much more than just a great meal. Restaurant Row 2.0 The splashy SLS Hotel is home to Spanish chef José Andrés' the Bazaar, a collection of eating spaces featuring traditional and contemporary tapas , inventive cocktails and decadent pastries.
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