And Who the F**k is Ralph?

Foreword by Stan Lerner: first let me say that I did not assign this story to Vaughn. But as a rule downtownster does not pull back its’ writers—I leave that to the New York Times. And the LA Times for that matter. I remember what a great day it was for the community when Ralphs opened up, but I have to agree with much of Vaughn’s attitude below. Ralphs has, since the day it opened, been lowering the bar. Gone are the samples and the great service. Here now, are the lines and no service. Vaughn does not mention this in his blog, but he should add ridiculously staffed checkout lines at night. I agree that it’s time for a downtownster to open a market downtown—then maybe Ralphs will get serious again.

Good day downtownsters, this was a slow week for me, I had a lot of outside work to do, and didn’t end up getting out of the loft very much.  I did however, make my weekly trip to Ralphs on Flower, and perhaps because of the stress of the week, or maybe because I hope to begin a dialogue on our fair site that puts the wheels in motion to give all of downtown residents an alternative market at which to shop, this post will be about how much I hate Ralphs. Specifically, the Ralphs Downtown.  I’m not a huge fan of nationwide supermarket chains to begin with, but I feel the our Ralphs, Downtown’s own is a particularly odious example of development gone awry, of convenience becoming contentment.  For brevity and efficiency’s sake, two ideas apparently foreign to our local supermarket, I’ll make a list.

 1.  The Parking Entrance on Flower Continue reading

Feeling Like A Million Bucks On Seven Grand

Hunters follow their hounds in an open field. The fallen game is not completely visible, but the hounds are eager. Enter jazz flute and electric guitar. Normally I would not lend myself to the whims of a Tuesday evening. However, feeling particularly peppy, I decided to venture to Seven Grand, a venue cleverly named after its 7th and Grand location. The light brown wallpaper has a retro feel but rounds out the lounge, which emulates an old upscale hunter’s lodge.

Coming into the venue, I had no true expectations. Continue reading

Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse

After living in LA for almost three years now (I moved from NYC), it’s quite odd that, in the hundreds of dinners I’ve eaten out, I’ve somehow never eaten at a Patina Group restaurant. I have, however, grabbed many a milkshake at Milk, which is owned by a former Patina chef, however I’ve managed to miss all such restaurants that fall within the actual Patina organization.

Trying to evaluate logically how such an oversight could have occurred in my restaurant repertoire (or lack there of), I blame it on the overpopulation of Los Angeles. There are too many cars on the road at any given time, and since LA is relatively spaced out, trekking from the West Side to Downtown can be like commuting to another country, especially between the hours of 4 pm to 7 pm. Yuck.

I guess not alllll Patina restaurants are downtown, but the most notable are including Patina, Pinot Bistro, Zucca Ristorante, Kendall’s Brasserie and Bar, and Nick and Stef’s Steakhouse, the latter of which I recently visited. Continue reading

Bert Green On Art Walk

Like the Buddhist influenced pieces on display in the main gallery area, Bert Green sits at his desk, a little Buddha-like himself, calmly presiding over the domain of the flourishing downtown Los Angeles art scene. I took a good look at the exhibits before sitting down today with the multiple gallery owner, and founder of the Los Angeles Art Walk.

The event had been growing at an impressive rate since it’s creation in 2004, and I wanted to find out what direction Art Walk was taking these days. Bert tells me it’s great, but he thinks it’s also taken a bit of a wrong turn. Continue reading

Super Suede Bar And Lounge

Super Suede, the term, carries many connotations. Something that’s Super! Maybe something that’s phony. In the case of Suede Bar & Lounge I meant—neither. I just like the fact that it rhymes so I used it as a title. Suede Bar & Lounge located at 404 S. Figueroa St. is really on Flower but because it is located in the Bonaventure Hotel the address is confusing, especially since on the Saturday night I cruised in I had been sampling Champagne at Ralphs—four glasses.

            Where was my hot young girlfriend on a Saturday night you might be asking yourself? Spring Break, I’ve mentioned she’s on the young side, but before there were cougars there were…Anyway, I digress, sorry. So I stood in front of the Skyline contemplating the rest of the evening, pent up energy a-plenty. I lighted the good cigar in my hand and embarked on an evening walk. Continue reading

Death of USC Student – L.A. Reality

Foreword by Stan Lerner: Sometimes I wonder why I got myself into all of this. My life was simple I only cared about my next indulgence. Then I get a blog like the one below from a college kid that I wanted to give a chance to be heard — and it makes me wish that everyone in the country was reading downtownster. 

Last Saturday arrived with so much promise for my school, and more importantly, my city. Earth Hour, 4-Party Frat Row, and a blossoming downtown.  That promise spoiled with the blood of my schoolmates stained on its streets.

Last Saturday was Earth Hour, a global event hosted by Hollywood elite to attract awareness to the current climate crisis by turning off all non-essential lighting for an hour.  Downtown skyscrapers turned off their lights, but below Pico, local Angelinos didn’t bother.  Chano’s beamed its fluorescent lights so brightly, I thought Christ was re-birthing himself in their tiny taco shack. Continue reading