Category Archives: Nightlife

MONTEBELLO PARTY

There’s a sleepy, perfect little town just eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles and it’s called Montebello. My very being was crafted from it’s rich, fertile soil, water, and air—for this bad boy the party started at Beverly Hospital, where a nurse gave me my first gulps of libation, from a bottle, not a breast unfortunately, but I was a happy boy all of the same. I met Richard Zinman at Camp Montiqeua, while playing on the fire engine at Montebello Park—Ilene Rossoff introduced us and we’ve been hanging out ever since, forty-one years and counting. After Richard the friends piled up into a unique sculpture of souls–Walter, Christian, Randy Kubota, Damien, Richard Ramos, Albert, Zano, Pauline, Deane, Lisa, Peaches, Chris, Julie, Evette, Norik, Munoz, Lucy, the Garza’s Gary, Dennis and Kathy, Lori (my first) Robin, Susan Robinson (Oh Susan) Suzy Ross, Mike Smith, Andy Franco, Larry, Gabby, Andrea, David, Natasha, Ronnie, Mark, Lillian, Geri, Laura, Dennise, Dennis, Stacy, Eddie, Edward, Sergio, Leonard, Tony, Aram, (Mike Valdez, Mike Markarian and Craig Pike, may they rest in peace) and the list goes on and on and on—souls, perhaps not all as misbehaved as my own, but all with an appetite for fun equal to or exceeding that of my own. In short, for some reason a hell of a lot of the coolest people on earth landed in one little place, just east of East LA—at the same time!

Oh my friends, so many years, so many good times. Can the party still go on?

There are two words that should bring a smile to any earthly inhabitant’s face “MONTEBELLO PARTY”…Or for those who suffer the misery of not having grown up in the place of my most fortunate birth, THERE’S NO PARTY LIKE A MONTEBELLO PARTY!!!

I looked in the mirror and thought, “I’m forty-five and I can’t believe I’m still this good looking…Thank you Lord…And I think I’ll start going to the gym again one of these days just to make things even more ridiculous.” I headed down the stairs; every step reminded me of the groin pull that had relegated my love life to inactive status for weeks. “Oh, I need a good party,” I thought to myself. “What if I never have sex again?” I shook my head to rid the horrible thought and grabbed a bottle of Jack and a bunch of other booze, which I tossed in a bag and headed for the door—Montebello folk don’t show up empty handed!

Rosemary’s house is all of three blocks from my own so no need to drive. And then like music to my ears the air was filled with those familiar voices. I didn’t bother to knock, and then the hand shaking, hugging, drinking, drinking, drinking, eating drinking, eating, eating, eating and real conversation with real people began. And no Hip Hop crap played, just the 80’s finest…I felt like doing some lines, but of course I didn’t because drugs are illegal. “I’ll suck your dick or give you a hand job—I’m serious.” I won’t say who made this offer…Lisa grabbed me by the arm, hey do you want to go to J & S and get some bean and cheese burritos. “I can’t drive,” I muttered back. “I can,” said Lisa. Continue reading

DINNER AND A MOVIE – DOWNTOWN!!!

I once went to Vegas for a weekend and stayed for a year—that would be 2003 to 2004 the year of  “Stan Lerner’s Night Tribe” at the Rio, oh what a year.

My most recent 30 straight days of partying and blogging in Sin City, well a teaser by my own standards. And while I was away I heard the news that REGAL 14 OPENED AT LA LIVE!!!

“Not far from Rock ‘N Fish,” I thought to myself. “Not far at all. Oh, and FIDM is having a little “New Moon” party on Friday at the restaurant before the sucking kicks off. And there’s also my much older sister’s birthday to consider—Saturday night.” And then there was one more thought. “I should probably spend some time with my girlfriend who is less than thrilled…”

So I resolved to head back to the City Of Angels, although I’d been up to debauchery that would have embarrassed Heidi Fleiss back in the day—when I was dating her roommate Dianna.

Down the 15 to the 210, cut through Pasadena, down the 110, off on 9th, right on Flower, cheap parking lot—pick up girlfriend— head straight to Rock ‘N Fish meet with seriously up an coming producer, collect $150,000.00 down payment on three new projects, say goodbye to seriously up an coming producer—order Spicy Tuna Roll and Ahi Tuna with Spinach and Mac ‘n Cheese.

“Edward…Edward…Edward…Do you like Jake or Edward?” the girlfriend ranted on in a “Twilight” frenzy that alleviated all guilt for the things I had just done in Vegas.

“I’m going to head into the party. Why don’t you hang at the bar? Maybe Edward will show his glowing little face that I’d like to punch in.”

“You wouldn’t…”

I walked into the party and looked for Sarah Maxwell—who was responsible for putting together the little soirée. Continue reading

Varnish

Foreword by Stan Lerner: You might notice that downtownster writers, including yours’ truly, write about or mention Varnish often — this is what happens when a place is this cool. And since I tell my writers to go with their gut when it comes to blogs I’ll never say no to a story about a place even if every downtownster writer feels a need to write about it. I’m thinking about doing a piece on the ice cubes at Varnish, next. 

I’ve been a fan of Sasha Petraske since my first drink at Milk & Honey in NYC not too long ago. Subsequently, I’ve consumed a beverage at every one of his other locations in New York including, Little Branch, East Side Company Bar, and his newest absinthe bar that opened last summer, White Star.

With regard to Sasha’s cocktail coverage in Los Angeles, he first started by consulting with the bar at Comme Ca, and he has finally opened his own West Coast spot called The Varnish with Cedd Moses and Eric Alperin inside Cole’s French Dip in downtown LA. I was so excited when I read about this place opening up, Continue reading

AN EVENING AT THE 9-0

It was Monday night and like most Monday nights, most of my friends weren’t quite up to heading deeper into downtown for some nightlife. Fraternity Row was quiet; the registered party fiascos were over and one house was silently dealing with a sexual assault case (they still are). So, with nothing better to do and some time to kill, a couple of my friends and I head over to The 901 Bar & Grill, better known as “The 9-0.” Or as I like to call it, “The Plan B.”

 The Plan B…sorry…The 9-0 is never anyone’s first choice in ways to spend an evening. And if it is, you must be one of the following: 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

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

THE LAB Gastropub – An Actual COLLEGE HANGOUT?!

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If you’ve lived in downtown for the past five years, you’ve noticed what the rest of us have been noticing…sweatshops have turned into American Apparel factories. Dilapidated theatres are remodeled into hipster hangouts. And Sizzlers are converted into gastropubs. FINALLY, on Figueroa and McCarthy Way, or right next door to the Galen Center, USC Hospitality has opened a holy trinity of college hangouts. Hopefully the kids will bite.

For years, USC students have been lacking a college hangout. Continue reading

A Potter’s Touch to an Architect’s System

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Our beloved MOCA, 250 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012, has opened a new installation at their design center in Hollywood, 8687 MELROSE AVENUE, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069.

Adam Silverman and Nader Tehrani studied together at the acclaimed Rhode Island School of Design as architects. This ‘art meets math’ background adds an astounding depth to a breathtaking creation. While Tehrani continued on in architecture, Silverman successfully launched Atwater Pottery. Continue reading

VARNISH: Getting Lucky on Sixth Street

If I wasn’t such a big fan of Eric Aleperin and Sasha Petraske’s Milk and Honey and from the years I spent in New York, I would’ve written off Varnish as just another Johnny-come-lately watering hole attempting to capitalize on the speakeasy craze. Lump it in with The Edison, Seven Grand, and that place in Little Tokyo down the alley off of first (second?). Hell, it’s right next to The Association. Continue reading