Tag: Angeles

Cronut mastermind Dominique Ansel is opening his first restaurant in L.A.

Cronut mastermind Dominique Ansel is opening his first restaurant in L.A.

If there’s any indication that Los Angeles is a mecca for chefs looking to experiment right now, it’s this: Dominique Ansel, inventor of the cult-favorite Cronut, is opening a restaurant in L.A. And yes, he’s bringing the Cronut with him.

The LA Times reports that in late 2017, Ansel will open his fifth—and largest—project, a restaurant that will include brunch, dinner, cocktails and events. The space still hasn’t been nailed down, but it will undoubtedly be popular; at a 2014 pop-up, Angelenos flooded to The Grove for a sample of the chef’s croissant-donut mash-up. Ansel, who opened his first bakery in New York City in 2011, told the Times that he is excited about L.A.’s potential. “People seem more patient; they seem to give you more of a chance to express yourself,” he explained. In addition to his NYC bakery, Ansel’s projects include Dominique Ansel Kitchen (also in NYC), and Dominique Ansel Bakeries in Tokyo and London. 

There will, of course, be a bakery component to the restaurant, where people can pick up the Cronut and other baked goods if they’re not interested in sitting down for a meal. There will certainly be a line, but with the recent arrival of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and its crowd-inducing Cruffin, we’re getting used to waiting in line for pastries.  

Ansel isn’t the only chef who’s making a triumphant return to L.A.; Scott Conant, who ran the spaghetti-drenched Scarpetta for years, has just signed on to open Ponte, an Italian restaurant in the former Terrine space. Just another reason why L.A. kicks NY’s ass.

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LA finalizes its bid for 2024 Olympics

LA finalizes its bid for 2024 Olympics

The city of Los Angeles officially committed to plans to host the 2024 Olympics Wednesday, as the City Council voted unanimously to enter into a hosting agreement with the International Olympic Committee.

The agreement puts the city on the hook for any cost overruns produced by the games—a potentially risky proposition given recent history. But the city’s bid leaders are confident that LA will be able to deliver a fiscally responsible, and even profitable, games if selected as host city (Paris and Budapest are also still in the running).

“If LA is selected as the 2024 Host City, our low-risk, high-tech and sustainable Games will inspire the next generation to grow the Olympic Movement and provide social and economic benefits for our communities,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Part of that optimistic financial outlook comes from the fact that LA plans to make very few of the costly infrastructure investments that have brought other host cities to the brink of bankruptcy. The city’s plan for the games relies mainly on venues that already exist or are in construction. Events that require very specific infrastructure, like BMX, would be staged in temporary facilities.

LA’s bid leaders project the games will cost $4.8 billion, with revenue totaling $5.3 billion. When the city last hosted, in 1984, the games produced a surplus of $232.5 million.

The timing of the council’s vote coincided with a series of aggressively isolationist announcements from President Donald Trump. Though Trump has said he will cooperate with the city in its bid for the games, some have speculated that his controversial stances on immigration and refugee assistance will turn off IOC voters.

Also complicating matters is Trump’s promise to cut federal funding to “sanctuary cities.” Though LA has made fiscal responsibility a hallmark of its bid, any unresolved questions about federal support might not play to the city’s favor.

City votes to acquire 41 acres known as the ‘crown jewel’ of LA River’s revitalization

City votes to acquire 41 acres known as the ‘crown jewel’ of LA River’s revitalization

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Friday to spend $59.3 million to acquire land that Mayor Eric Garcetti has dubbed the “crown jewel” of the Los Angeles River’s revitalization.

Known as G2, the property measures 41 acres on the river’s east bank in Cypress Park and is key to a much bigger plan to restore 11 miles of river habitat. As one of seven parcels that comprise the Taylor Yard, a 247-acre former freight switching facility owned by Union Pacific Railroad, the soil is contaminated and will have to be cleaned up—a project that could take several years.

But once finished, “It will create much-needed public open space in the middle of the city, provide extensive habitat restoration, and serve as a key access point for local communities to connect to the river,” Garcetti said in a statement.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said in the Los Angeles Times that, “In order to do anything along the river, we must control the property.”

G2 will connect Rio de Los Angeles State Park with the Bowtie parcel, which is also owned by the state. That opens up more than one mile of direct riverfront access, said Tony Arranaga, a spokesman for O’Farrell.

It’s the lynchpin for Alternative 20, the ambitious plan to restore 11 miles of the river from Griffith Park to Downtown, said Marissa Christiansen, senior policy director of Friends of Los Angeles River, which has pushed for the city to buy the land.

“This is the first step in making that vision a reality,” she said.

The city has 30 days to close escrow.

’Rain Room’ is staying with LACMA for good

’Rain Room’ is staying with LACMA for good

We’re not quite ready yet to say goodbye to the winter rain that’s turned Los Angeles into a lush, green paradise. And we certainly weren’t ready to say goodbye to “Rain Room,” which closed last week at LACMA after a 15-month run. It turns out, though, that was more of a “see you later” than a “goodbye.”

LACMA has permanently acquired Random International’s popular, rainfall-simulating “Rain Room” installation. RH, Restoration Hardware, which first acquired the piece to put it on public display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, had initially loaned it to LACMA in 2015. But on Monday, the Miracle Mile museum announced it was now part of their permanent collection.

“Since we originally discovered and commissioned the first edition of Random International’s Rain Room in 2012, we knew instantly how special and inspiring this remarkable work of art was and have been overwhelmed with how it has captivated audiences around the world,” said Gary Friedman, RH Chairman & CEO, in a statement. “We are proud to donate the piece to LACMA’s collection, giving it a permanent home and continuing to inspire those who encounter it.”

The museum has yet to announce when we’ll see “Rain Room” again, and instead classifies it as closed “with future exhibitions to be determined.”


That’s good news for anyone who missed out on its initial run at LACMA. The timed ticket exhibition seemed perpetually sold out and greeted 190,000 visitors here in L.A. When it first opened, we set aside the hype and found ourselves completely won over. The installation gives visitors the delusion of being able to control the weather—walk up to the wall of rain and it stops—though it’s the underlying technology that’s always in control. Most importantly, the rainmaking machine consistently churns out a unique experience in a gallery setting: fun.

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Astronomy on Tap celebrates science and booze

Astronomy on Tap celebrates science and booze

Los Angeles is a pretty awesome place for astronomy buffs. Observatories dot our hillsides and mountaintops. There’s a space shuttle in the middle of Exposition Park. The Port of Los Angeles has turned into a temporary spaceport.

L.A. also happens to be a damned good place to go drinking. One event, Astronomy on Tap, has combined our fondness for both full-bodied beers and celestial bodies.

The series brings astronomy lectures and pub games once a month to Der Wolfskopf—an appropriate location given that Pasadena is home to the Carnegie Observatories, the Planetary Society and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Each month, a different pair of scientists, typically from one of those previously mentioned locations as well as UCLA, delivers a short lecture over drinks.

The evening starts with two 15-minute talks and includes opportunities to compete in an astronomy quiz with the chance to win NASA prizes. Attendance is free and includes access to happy hour food and drink pricing at the German beer hall throughout the event.

Astronomy on Tap started in New York in 2013, and since then has spread to over a dozen cities. Here in L.A., Caltech has spearheaded the programming.

For Monday’s event, the first of 2017, Dr. Adric Riedel will present a lecture entitled “The Speed of Light is Slow” while Dr. Johanna Teske will tackle “The Discovery of Dark Matter: Vera Rubin’s Missing Nobel Prize.”

Astronomy on Tap takes place one Monday a month at Der Wolfskopf in Pasadena. The next event takes place January 23 from 7:30 to 9:30pm.

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What you need to know about the flooding and street closures caused by today’s storm

What you need to know about the flooding and street closures caused by today’s storm

It’s certainly raining quite a bit in Los Angeles today. In fact, the metro area is getting slammed with one of the strongest storms in years, and it’s dumped enough water so far to prompt street closures and flash flood warnings across most of the southern part of the metro area—where nearly 2.5 inches of rain have fallen in the last three hours.

Just after 2:30, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for a large portion of LA County, including San Pedro, Long Beach, Torrance, Signal Hill and all of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Meanwhile, parts of the 710 and 110 have experienced major flooding and officials have completely shutdown large portions of both freeways.

Additionally, Metro has announced delays along the Silver Line as buses detour to avoid the flooding.

But the chaos isn’t confined to the southern part of the county. Flooding in the valley has forced numerous road closures around Sepulveda Basin, including Burbank Boulevard between Balboa and the 405 (including ramps) as well as Victory and Woodley. A flood advisory has been issued for Lake Balboa and Encino. Further road closures across LA County can be found here.

Update: Flooding around LAX is also causing major delays, with the LAX Police Department just announcing that the westbound airport entrance on Century Boulevard is being diverted at Avion. Additionally, the LA Times reports that the Sepulveda Tunnel has been closed until further notice.

In Duarte and Santa Clarita, officials have ordered evacuations near recent burn areas, as the torrential rains are likely to trigger flooding and mudslides.

The rain is expected to continue on and off into tomorrow, making it likely that the risk of further flooding will remain high. The LA River is currently running alarmingly high, and the LA County Department of Public Works is warning residents to stay back from both the river and nearby flood control channels, in case water should rise enough to spill over the barriers.

The silver lining of all this stormy weather: the Department of Public Works reports that 296 million gallons of water have been captured since Friday. That’s enough to satisfy the yearly demands of more than 7,000 Angelenos.