The always-exciting L.A. Food & Wine Festival, which takes place in late August, is moving from the original L.A. Live/Staples site to a new venue at downtown's Grand Avenue, where my favorite museum, MOCA Grand, is located. They will close the entire street and have a big festival down the block from Patina and the LA Philharmonic edifice. The two brilliant businessmen behind this show, Rob Weakley and David Bernhal, are also opening a new restaurant downtown called Faith & Hope and I will fill you in on more details shortly....It's not publicized, but CECCONI'S (8764 Melrose Ave, (310) 432-2000) has a Monday night 'secret' which is sensational. If you have a member's card, all of your dinner tab is cut in half! Yes, food and drink is ½ priced. If you belong to Soho House, you are automatically a member, and otherwise they have to 'nominate' you for the card. I had dinner there with a member on Monday and the place was simply packed with young people. After having a delicious starter of wood-roasted bone marrow ($7), four split bones with marrow, we shared a Spicy Whole Chicken Panzanella (for 2) costing originally $36. They do charge a service fee (tip) of 20% of the original total, but then the food and drink charge is halved. What a bargain...
Din Tai Fung is coming to South Coast Plaza in the Spring.
Bella Lantsman (right) and Christine of Chinois-on-Main at the Steve Wallace event.
My buddy, Steve Wallace, has sold his terrific wine and cheese shop, Wally's, after some 25 years of meeting the spirits needs of us Angelinos. He told me this at the Grand Champagne Tasting he runs for charity each year. This year they poured 50 different champagnes and served some fabulous food at Le Merigot Hotel at the beach to raise money for needy kids. As always, the lasagna from Gino Angelini's Angelini Osteria stole my heart. And Bella Lantsman of Chinois-on-Main placed a long pink wreath around my neck, a nice touch. I admire Café del Rey for the massive offering of raw shellfish they served to the 700 people who attended.....On Saturday evening I went to Arcadia (home of the Santa Anita Racetrack) for an interesting dinner with the folks from South Coast Plaza. We were eating at the second venue there of DIN TAI FUNG, celebrated as being the best dim sum-dumpling restaurants in the world! And, miracle of miracles, they are coming to the Costa Mesa home of South Coast Plaza next spring. Of course, they will have to offer wine and beer there, not served here. I predict it will be a huge success, offering sensational Chinese tidbits to a public starved for good Chinese food in Orange County.....I was privileged to walk through the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts which is being built at the site of the historic Beverly Hills post office. Oh, my, this will be a spectacular arts venue. The Bram Goldsmith Theatre alone, with its 500 seats, will be a state-of-the-art site for all manner of performances. Can't wait to attend the opening on October 17th...Did you know that Amazon is starting a delivery service, AmazonFresh, in L.A. for groceries? Yes, you will be able to order them online, meat and fish also, and have them delivered that day or before dawn in special insulated bags to your doorstep. Amazing...Love Rick Caruso's idea to expand his trolley service from The Grove all around the local streets to end at LACMA on Wilshire. Great idea...Paramount Citrus will be selling those delicious seedless mandarin oranges under the 'Wonderful' label in supermarkets throughout the country. They are addictive to eat and are the best-selling citrus in the world, or so I'm told......
Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe painting.
L'Ermitage's amiable G.M, Sal Abaunza.
The Revolver Art Gallery is having a summer-long showing of Andy Warhol Icons & Symbols screenprints at the fabulous L'Ermitage Hotel Beverly Hills ((291 Burton Way, BevHills (310)278-3344). I met Andy a few times in New York and found him to be....strange, but I have been fascinated by his art works. I was astonished to learn from Sal Abaunza, the personable Viceroy Hotels G.M. of the hotel, that Warhol was the number one selling artist in the world, just above Picasso. His works fetched $380.3 million in sales in 2012, and his works were the biggest sellers at auction last year. LIVELLO at L'Ermitage is absolutely stunning for food and decor. Young chef de cuisine Ben Dayag has stepped into the shoes of the departed chef and proved to be a genius in his own right. Can't think of another restaurant in town which is more relaxed, sophisticated and satisfying....(Well, maybe Hatfield's)....Did you mark your calendar for the Saturday, July 13th CONCERN FOUNDATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH PARTY at Paramount Studios? They are honoring Ava and Chuck Fries, great people. Go to www.concernfoundation.org for tickets....I am excited about going to the RINGLING BROS. BARNUM & BAILEY CIRCUS on July 10th (to August 4th) at Staples Center. Call 888-9AXS-TIX for more info...and I am astonished that the Superman movie, Man of Steel, is approaching something like a billion dollars in gross around the world. I saw it at the Academy last night and actually liked the first hour and fifteen minutes or so. It was personal enough and so interestng that it held by attention, with Russell Crowe delivering the banal lines with aplomb. The new actor playing the hero, Brit's Henry Cavill, is actually wonderful. Amy Adams is believeable, and Kevin Costner is the good rock in the cast. But about an hour and a half in, the picture explodes into fire and ice, an awful horror of noise and special effects. It could have been so much more, which says some sad things about the worldwide film audience. For me, the best pictureof the summer is still the Pierce Brosnan "Love Is All You Need," a terrific romance. Go see it at the Laemmle in BevHills this week.
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