We were happy to have made it up to San Francisco this past week for Handful of Salt’s launch party celebrating the birth of their brand spankin’ new print magazine. At a time when so many publications are foregoing print issues for digital, we’re so happy to see someone proving that print is not dead. The perfectly square print edition is anything but square, featuring work by some of the world’s most interesting makers and creatives. We can’t wait to see the next issue and look forward to adding this to our coffee table collection!
Order your own copy here!
Every year since 2008, the LA Tourism and Convention Board has teamed together with LA restaurants and American Express to host dine LA Restaurant Week, a bi-annual celebration of LA eateries. For 12 straight days, over participating restaurants will be featuring special prix fixe menus for adventurous diners. It’s the perfect chance to check out a new restaurant that has been on your soon-to-hit-list, or be reunited with a tried and true classic that you haven’t enjoyed in a while. The winter installment of dine LA starts January 21st (today) and runs till February 1st.
Since we, at Secret Agent, pride ourselves on being quite devoted epicureans….(in other words, we eat….a lot), here is a selection of some of our top picks. We have a preference for the Eastside so most of our picks are east of La Brea.
Artisan House – local to our new office in DTLA, this elegant eatery boasts a market, fantastic coffee, and fresh and local produce transformed into delicious Californian fare.
Cliff’s Edge – we love a hidden restaurant and Cliff’s Edge has positively the best patio in town. Beyond the clandestine door awaits a newly renovated door and a revitalized menu by Chef Vartan Abgaryan.
UMAMIcatessen – Inspired by international street bazaars and the classic American delicatessen, UMAMIcatessen is a table-service dining hall inside the Orpheum. Informal, international, and insanely good.
Mo-Chica – it doesn’t get mo-delicious than Mo-Chica. Chef Ricardo Zarate, Food and Wine’s Best New Chef, offers up his own modern interpretation of classic Peruvian dishes. It doesn’t hurt that the compact space pops with color and verve to match the cuisine.
Lukshon – our *one* west side pick is Lukshon. This gorgeously appointed Culver City restaurant won an AIA Los Angeles Restaurant Design Award a few years ago. Minimal, sophisticated, and ridiculously tasty. You cannot go wrong with crab fritters.
For more information, follow dineLA on:
It’s official: tickets for this weekend’s San Diego Home Tours and Meet the Architects are SOLD OUT. Don’t worry design fans, all hope is not lost – you can still enjoy a design-filled weekend by signing up for the Home Tour wait list (for Saturday or Sunday), or RSVP to the Dwell Design & Drive, presented by Lincoln.
On November 10 and 11, come test drive a brand-new Lincoln vehicle and help build a more sustainable future using the power of design (for every driver, Lincoln will donate $25 to Dwell’s non-profit partner, Architecture for Humanity). Mingle with the great minds behind the Dwell Home Tour’s featured designs, enjoy chef-prepared bites, and enjoy exclusive access to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla’s new Fall Exhibition Behold, America! and the NewSchool of Architecture + Design.
Each test drive will last about 7-10 minutes, and is free and open to the public. Spaces are running out fast, so be sure to reserve your spot online!
Turkey, pumpkin pie, family, and…modern architecture. There’s even more to be thankful for this month! The design indulgence kicked off last weekend with Dwell’s popular Home Tours in Silicon Valley, and continues this weekend in San Diego. From Los Altos to Hillsborough, and Encinitas to La Mesa, fans of modern architecture in Southern So Cal will be treated to an exclusive look at the best in modernist living today with the first-ever Dwell San Diego Home Tours. This is probably the only special treat that you can enjoy this month that won’t affect your waistline. Go forth and enjoy!
With the work of architecture pioneers Richard Neutra and Joseph Eichler featured in the Silicon Valley home tour lineup, it was no surprise that tickets quickly sold out for this sought-after event. But fear not – tickets are still available (though selling fast!) for the Dwell San Diego Home Tours, Nov. 10-11. Dramatic oceanside vistas and sustainable, innovative architecture will be on display among the ten featured modern homes.
Modernist buffs can get a taste of the tours while helping to raise money for Architecture for Humanity by test-driving a NEW Lincoln vehicle at the San Diego Dwell Design & Drive (Nov. 10-11; RSVP for the free event here). Meet architects and designers from homes on the tour; sample fine, chef-prepared cuisine; view Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla’s new exhibition Behold, America!; browse student work at the NewSchool of Architecture + Design; and mingle with fellow design lovers, all for a great cause.
Visit the official Dwell Home Tours website for more information.
There’s nothing like cerebral art when….you have no brain. Don’t miss the first-ever Zombie Art Walk in Chinatown. Galleries will be open. Puppets will be performing. Zombies will be roaming. Get your undead face on at Fifth Floor‘s impromptu zombie make-up station. Go, have fun, then nip out for some dim sum cerebrum! More details here and a full list of participating galleries and featured exhibitions.
As part of our work creating a robust blog for Palm Springs Modernism Week, we came across an amazing artist who kind of blew our minds. Danny Heller is a Silver Lake-based painter who, quite simply, paints houses. But not just any houses. As this great KCET Artbound piece highlights, Heller has a unique perspective. His light-filled photorealistic paintings capture the beauty of signature Southern California mid-century architecture, and add something just a bit indescribable. He’s part of a new generation of modernists who look back with nostalgia but also interpret the concepts of modernism with a look towards the future. His paintings make us want to run out and buy a vespa…or a Wexler. In short, we love. And if you love too, be sure to VOTE HERE to help transform this KCET Artbound story into a short documentary. You only have till this Sunday to vote! Also, don’t forget to like Artbound on Facebook.
We’ve already talked quite a bit about LA Bloom, but here’s the one part of the festival that is not fleeting. A few lucky people (ourselves counted among them hopefully) will go home with a limited edition print of Hirokazu Kosaka’s Mare Imbrium or Sea of Rain. JACCC will be taking orders for 100 numbered prints. An unframed print runs a cool $100. Order a fully matted and framed wall-ready version for $200.
April showers mean May flowers…LA Blooms, to be exact. This spring, don’t miss the first-ever LA Bloom Festival, a nine-day celebration of transformation and Japanese arts and culture, hosted by the Japanese American Cultural Community Center in Little Tokyo. Co-curators – acclaimed international artist and modern zen master Hirokazu Kosaka and landscape architect and artist Calvin Abe – have transformed the iconic Noguchi plaza in Little Tokyo into a temporary ecoartspace, replete with one of the world’s largest zen gardens, a colorful metaphorical rainbow (more on that later!), and exhibitions on contemporary and traditional ikebana. Add to that performances, workshops, and a three-time world champion of sumo wrestling and you have a veritable LA Bloom bouquet of activities. With so much programming packed into nine days, we thought we’d give you the how to’s and what’s whats.
Opening Night Performance: Mare Nubium – Friday, April 27th – 8pm
Mare Nubium is the abbreviated performance of the much-lauded kalpa, which was performed at the kick-off of Pacific Standard Time at the Getty. In Sanskrit, kalpa means eons, or a long period of time. It’s said that once every hundred years, an angel comes down from heavens and swipes the surface of a stone with her silk sleeves until the rock disappears. Hiro Kosaka creates a symbolic parallel between the kalpa and the inevitable passage of time that slowly transforms our lives and the memories that we hold onto. Performers include Butoh (Japanese dancer) master Oguri, who leads a small company of dancers. It’s deep, and beautiful, seriously. Buy tickets here now. Listen for an upcoming interview with Hiro by Lisa Napoli on All Things Considered.
de LaB Tour with Hiro and Little Tokyo Happy Hour – Wednesday, May 2nd – 6pm to 10 pm
If you miss the opening night performance, catch de LaB‘s special tour with Hiro next week to get an explanation of LA Bloom from the modern day zen master himself. End the evening with a much-deserved cocktail at Little Tokyo Happy Hour in the zen garden. RSVP here. Admission is free otherwise and the ecoartspace and exhibitions will be open to all.
Jazz Night with Mia Doi Todd and Motoko Honda – Thursday, May 3rd – 8pm
Jazz and Japanese culture collide harmoniously when gorgeous songstress Mia Doi Todd and experimental avant-garde jazz pianist Motoko Honda take the stage on the plaza. Buy tickets here now.
Sumo Workshop with Three-Time World Champion Byamba – Saturday, May 5th – 2pm
Even if you don’t have kids, this is something you won’t want to miss. World champ Byamba brings an often misunderstood Japanese cultural tradition to life for all as he demonstrates the basic sumo stretches and teaches a workshop for little ones. Basically, a heavyweight workshop for lightweights. Admission is free.
Since I was born I’ve have suffered from an unfortunate affliction: the dreaded black thumb. For this reason, I’m always in deep awe of people who can not only keep plants alive, but use them as a natural medium for artistic expression. In particular, I love the work of LA- and Paris-based landscape art and design studio Cao|Perrot Studio.
Vietnamese-born, adopted son of Los Angeles Andy Cao is a recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome and the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Native Briton Xavier Perrot was awarded the Lauréats des Nouveaux Albums des Jeunes Architectes et Paysagistes” (Emerging Young Architects and Landscape Designer Award) by the French Ministry of Culture. Together they seem to make nothing less than magic.
From ethereal gardens for the modern abode to compelling public art installations, this studio pushes the boundaries of landscape architecture as a discipline and bravely explores landscape design as a form of art, expression, and experimentation. Their work is whimsical and fantastic, ranging from magical floral arrangements to conceptual spaces shaded by hovering, shimmering cumulus clouds. They play with materials to create experiential and unforgettable landscapes.
I’m thrilled to think that we’ll soon get the opportunity to work with Andy on an upcoming project. More details to come soon. All we can say for now is that spring in LA is about to bloom, big time.
Phone, laptop, radio, movie screen, camera – the iPhone is the da Vinci of gadgets. Within a few short years, this all-in-one device has profoundly shaped the way people look at and interact with the world.
Much like the iPhone which is so much more than just a phone, Carlo Caccavale refuses to be limited to “just” the AIA|LA associate director. This veritable Renaissance man finds time to wear many another hat, including that of writer, producer, designer, and now artist. He recently hosted an opening reception on for iRchitecture, a collection of images shot with his iPhone. A follow-up to his first The Eye and the iPhone exhibition, Caccavale stretches the creative boundaries of this everyday medium, turning a practical device into an instrument of art. No lens, no filters, and no fancy apps with faux bokeh – his photos are au naturale, drawing attention to the intrinsic beauty of the built environment.
iRchitecture is a celebration of architecture and design, currently on display at the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite #800, Los Angeles, CA 90010).
Click on the images below (also taken on an iPhone) for a peek at the opening reception and Caccavale’s work.