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September 23, 2010 | By C. Thi Nguyen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
On a good night at the new Woodland Hills branch of Tara's Himalayan Cuisine, it can feel like the entire world loves you. Tara Gurung Black, there most nights, is the kind of owner who hugs her regulars, who chats with guests new and old, who will tell you without hesitation which menu items she loves. "Get the yak chili," Black says. "Oh god, I love the yak chili so much. " Tara's Himalayan serves up food from Nepal, Tibet and India, three of the countries through which the Himalayan Mountains run. Yak chili is a traditional dish from Black's Nepali homeland, and it's an encapsulation of everything that's good about her restaurant.
September 19, 2010 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The new outpost of the Pompidou museum, which opened in the spring in Metz, a city of 125,000 in eastern France, is not what you would call a conventionally handsome building. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and France's Jean de Gastines, the museum has a translucent, Teflon-coated roof that appears to have melted over the top of its long, tube-shaped galleries. Inside it is full of cavernous spaces, some dramatically scaled and others merely bloated. Still, it hardly makes sense to judge the new Pompidou solely in terms of its architectural form, or by comparing it to the original 1977 Pompidou Center in Paris by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano.
September 12, 2010 | By Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times
In New York, Dominique Lévy and Robert Mnuchin of L&M Arts sell blue-chip modern and contemporary art out of an impeccably appointed, impenetrable-looking Upper East Side townhouse. So you might assume their much-anticipated new gallery on Venice Boulevard, opening Sept. 25, would be a high-art compound, cut off from street life for reasons of security and visual purity both. Try again. "From the beginning, we liked the idea of creating a garden, a garden-gallery," says Thai-born, L.A.-based architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture, who cut his teeth working on museum projects for Tadao Ando.
August 14, 2010 | By Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times
California's third-largest city by size exists largely in the imagination. Drive its wide boulevards and cozy cul-de-sacs. Listen to squealing children splashing in backyard pools. Watch men glide by in their steel behemoths and stay-at-home moms push strollers along tree-lined sidewalks. It's all a mirage. In 1958, Nathan Mendelsohn, a Columbia University sociology instructor turned developer, acquired 82,000 acres of desert in eastern Kern County, 100 miles from Los Angeles.
July 12, 2010 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
Remember the original Woo Lae Oak spot on Western just below Wilshire? Well, restaurateur Young Sook Choi, who developed the Woo Lae Oak concept, has completely remodeled the space as the site for a West Coast version of Bann Restaurant and Lounge, his Korean restaurant in New York's Soho district. This Bann pulls out all the stops with its design, which features soaring ceilings hung with giant stylized lanterns. Grills are set into rust-and-green marble tables, with no hoods in sight.
June 16, 2010 | By Liz Sly, Los Angeles Times
At a small but heavily fortified outpost on the edge of this dust-blown town, a contingent of American soldiers has recently taken up residence alongside Kurdish and Arab forces in what is likely to be one of the last new missions undertaken by the U.S. military in Iraq. Known simply as Checkpoint 3, the outpost in Nineveh province is one of about two dozen erected over the last six months along a line stretching across northern Iraq from Syria in the west to Iran in the east. It marks the ill-defined and highly disputed border between Kurdish- and Arab-controlled territories.
June 7, 2010 | By Sandra M. Jones
The new True Value hardware store, tucked into an Illinois strip mall surrounded by 1960s split-level homes, is one of a kind. The outpost is the Chicago-based hardware cooperative's first corporate-owned store, a chance for company executives to understand what its thousands of independent store owners experience every day. The corporate site represents True Value's latest thinking about what constitutes a hardware store. It's more than a place for men to knock around on a Saturday.
April 26, 2010 | David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
Hundreds of miles inland from the booming real estate markets of Beijing and Shanghai, an unlikely property fever is gripping this middling industrial outpost. Rows of half-completed apartment buildings rise over former farmland, each crowned with yellow construction cranes that seem to outnumber trees in parts of this dusty city of 5 million residents. Taxi drivers boast of owning multiple flats for investment. Billboards hawk developments with names such as Villa Glorious and Rich Country.
April 16, 2010 | By Charlie Amter
London-style lounging has landed in Los Angeles. Soho House, the members-only club launched in England 15 years ago, now has its second American outpost up and running on the top floor of an otherwise nondescript office building on the west end of the Sunset Strip. The debut comes not a moment too soon for local media professionals and British expats looking for a way to network effectively and enjoy a hot new night life option. "It's London ambiance but with a cool California kick," said Anna Griffin, English-born editor in chief of Coco Eco magazine, between drags of a cigarette on a recent Saturday night.
March 21, 2010 | By CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE, Architecture Critic
The two stories that have dominated the architectural press over the last few weeks -- the unveiling of a winning design for a new American embassy in London, and the death, in a downtown Los Angeles traffic accident, of the 76-year-old Austrian architect Raimund Abraham -- have more in common than just a spot on the calendar. Both are directly connected to the same set of questions: How should an architect approach the task of designing a building to represent his home country abroad?
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