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Fig

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The Fairmont Miramar has transformed its stuffy restaurant into FIG, a bright breakfast nook of a spot serving seasonal California cuisine (emphasis on the word seasonal—the menu practically beats you over the head with it). Demi baguettes arrive with a green slab of spicy arugula butter; you’ll finish it all. A meal could be made of the “snacks” (warm baby romaine leaves with white anchovies), starters (braised beef tongue and tomato soup with mascarpone), cheese flights (curiously broken down into “progressive,” “local,” and “challenging”), salads (quinoa with chard and butternut squash), and sides (roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts). Entrées reemphasize the eco-angle, with sustainable seafood like John Dory and sablefish and California-raised meats such as Kurobuta pork and aged steaks served with drive-thru style frites. For dessert: a fancy FIG Newton, naturally. » Fairmont Miramar, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-319-3111. D Tue.-Sat. Full bar. California $$

Photos courtesy of figsantamonica.com

Cole's

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coles_p 

Illustration by Nishant Choski

Nightlife impresario Cedd Moses has revamped (read thoroughly cleaned) Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet. The century-old dive is one of two spots that claim to have invented the French dip sandwich (Philippe’s is the other). Moses has brought in consulting chef Neal Fraser (Grace, BLD) to rework the classic ’wich, offered with the traditional beef as well as turkey, pork, and lamb fillings. All meats are hand carved, piled into a roll, and served with spicy pickles and a cup of jus. The result is flavorful but not the stuff of legends. Better is the bacon-potato salad and the bourbon-pecan pie. Try one of the throwback cocktails; in this historic hang, a Sazerac is tops. » 118 E. 6th St., downtown, 213-622-4090 or colesfrenchdip.com. L-D daily. Full bar. American $

Photograph by Gina Sabatella

Price Guide

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THE BUZZ ABOUT REAL ESTATE may have changed focus, but the key question remains: How much is my house worth right now? Despite the declining economy, some neighborhoods have in fact seen an increase in home prices. The figures reflect closed escrows in Los Angeles County for new and resale single-family detached houses and condos. The numbers are based on sales up to December 15; the houses shown here sold last year. The information was provided by MDA DataQuick/DQNews 

 

priceguide_zip
Zip
Code
priceguide_hood
City or
Neighborhood
priceguide_08
Houses Sold
in 2008
90002Watts$200,000
90003South L.A.$210,000
90004Hancock Park; Mid Wilshire$582,500
90005Koreatown$520,000
90006Pico Union$459,154
90007South L.A.$410,000
90008Baldwin Hills$455,000
90010Wilshire Center$490,000
90011South L.A.$247,500
90012Dowtown; Elysian Park$430,000
90013Downtown$487,000
90015Pico Union$487,000
90016Mid City; West Adams$346,500
90017Downtown$504,000
90018Jefferson Park$325,000
90019Mid City$585,000
90020Hancock Park$375,000
90021Downtown$640,000
90022East L.A.$288,500
90023East L.A.$285,000
90024Westwood$790,000
90025West LA$657,000
90026Silver Lake; Echo Park$546,500
90027Los Feliz$907,500
90028Hollywood$555,000
90029Hollywood$542,000
90031Montecito Heights$336,250
90032El Sereno$339,500
90033Boyle Heights$279,500
90034Palms$617,500
90035Mid City West$702,000
90036Park La Brea; Mid Wilshire$1,020,000
90037Los Feliz$310,000
90038Hollywood$509,250
90039Atwater Village$548,750
90040Commerce$325,000
90041Eagle Rock$509,000
90042Highland Park$360,000
90043View Park$330,000
90044South L.A.$245,000
90045Westchester$699,000
90046Laurel Canyon; Mid City$780,000
90047South LA$290,500
90048Mid City West$900,000
90049Brentwood$1,325,000
90056Ladera Heights$735,000
90057Westlake$264,000
90058Vernon$175,000
90059Watts$215,000
90061South L.A.$230,000
90062South L.A.$297,000
90063City Terrace$250,000
90064Cheviot Hills$874,000
90065Mt Washington$460,000
90066Mar Vista$725,000
90067Century City$880,000
90068Hollywood$888,500
90069West Hollywood$730,000
90077Bel-Air$1,725,000
90089USCn/a
90094Playa Vista$625,000
90203Glendalen/a
90204Glendalen/a
90205Glendalen/a
90210Beverly Hills$2,690,000
90211Beverly Hills$1,310,000
90212Beverly Hills$1,570,000
90220Compton$242,000
90221Compton$250,000
90222Compton$203,500
90230Culver City$435,000
90232Culver City$734,000
90240Downey$432,500
90241Downey$448,591
90242Downey$375,000
90245El Segundo$718,500
90247Gardena$365,000
90248Gardena$420,000
90249Gardena$386,000
90250Hawthorne$415,000
90254Hermosa Beach$1,149,500
90255Huntington Park$297,000
90260Lawndale$365,500
90262Lynwood$280,682
90264Malibun/a
90265Malibu$2,309,090
90266Manhattan Beach$1,575,000
90270Maywood$275,000
90272Pacific Palisades$1,797,500
90274Rolling Hills Estates$1,300,000
90275Ranchos Pales Verdes$1,000,000
90277Redondo Beach$807,500
90278Redondo Beach$650,000
90290Topanga$795,000
90291Venice$1,125,000
90292Marina del Rey$772,000
90293Playa del Rey$493,000
90301Inglewood$300,000
90302Inglewood$266,500
90303Inglewood$325,000
90304Inglewood$299,000
90305Inglewood$386,000
90313Inglewoodn/a
90397Inglewoodn/a
90398Inglewoodn/a
90401Santa Monica$640,000
90402Santa Monica$2,350,000
90403Santa Monica$808,000
90404Santa Monica$604,250
90405Santa Monica$960,000
90407Santa Monican/a
90408Santa Monican/a
90409Santa Monican/a
90410Santa Monican/a
90411Santa Monican/a
90501Torrance$471,000
90502Torrance$320,000
90503Torrance$605,000
90504Torrance$500,000
90505Torrance$662,500
90601Whittier$405,500
90602Whittier$415,000
90603Whittier$441,000
90604Whittier$375,000
90605Whittoer$345,000
90606Los Nietos$349,500
90630Cypressn/a
90631La Habra$775,000
90638La Mirada$400,000
90640Montebello$379,000
90650Norwalk$312,000
90660Pico Rivera$330,000
90680Stantonn/a
90701Artesia$400,000
90703Cerritos$561,000
90706Bellflower$360,000
90710Harbor City$416,000
90712Lakewood$410,000
90713Lakewood$424,250
90715Lakewood$380,500
90716Hawaiian Gardens$210,000
90717Lomita$481,000
90723Paramount$239,000
90731San Pedro$425,000
90732San Pedro$442,000
90744Wilmington$325,000
90745Carson$341,818
90746Carson$400,000
90755Signal Hill$350,000
90802Long Beach$358,750
90803Long Beach$680,000
90804Long Beach$320,000
90805Long Beach$273,000
90806Long Beach$350,000
90807Long Beach$420,000
90808Long Beach$490,000
90810Long Beach$285,000
90813Long Beach$235,000
90814Long Beach$439,500
90815Long Beach$484,500
90822Long Beachn/a
90831Long Beachn/a
90832Long Beachn/a
90833Long Beachn/a
90834Long Beachn/a
90835Long Beachn/a
90840Long Beachn/a
90842Long Beachn/a
90844Long Beachn/a
90845Long Beachn/a
90846Long Beachn/a
90847Long Beachn/a
90848Long Beachn/a
90888Long Beachn/a
91001Altadena$509,500
91006Arcadia$688,000
91007Arcadia$700,000
91010Bradbury$377,000
91011La Canada Flintridge$1,075,000
91016Monrovia$486,250
91020Montrose$482,750
91024Sierra Madre$720,000
91030South Pasadena$775,000
91050Pasadenan/a
91051Pasadenan/a
91101Pasadena$442,000
91103Pasadena$431,000
91104Pasadena$530,000
91105Pasadena$910,000
91106Pasadena$479,227
91107Pasadena$620,000
91108San Marino$1,479,000
91110Pasadenan/a
91118San Marinon/a
91121Pasadenan/a
91123Pasadenan/a
91125Pasadenan/a
91126Pasadenan/a
91129Pasadenan/a
91131Pasadenan/a
91175Pasadenan/a
91182Pasadenan/a
91184Pasadenan/a
91185Pasadenan/a
91186Pasadenan/a
91187Pasadenan/a
91188Pasadenan/a
91189Pasadenan/a
91191Pasadenan/a
91201Glendale$557,500
91202Glendale$555,000
91203Glendale$375,000
91204Glendale$360,000
91205Glendale$372,500
91206Glendale$529,000
91207Glendale$719,000
91208Glendale$711,000
91214La Crescenta$582,000
91302Calabasas$1,150,000
91303Canoga Park$343,000
91304Canoga Park$415,000
91306Canoga Park$350,000
91307West Hills$465,000
91311Chatsworth$444,500
91316Encino$445,000
91321Newhall$305,000
91324Northridge$416,000
91325Northridge$465,250
91326Northridge$580,000
91331Pacoima$280,000
91335Reseda$336,500
91340San Fernando$262,550
91342Sylmar$335,000
91343North Hllls$365,000
91344Granada Hills$420,000
91345Mission Hills$346,500
91350Santa Clarita$415,000
91351Canyon Country$299,000
91352Sun Valley$320,500
91354Valencia$425,000
91355Valencia$390,000
91356Tarzana$441,000
91358Thousand Oaksn/a
91359Westlake Villagen/a
91360Thousand Oaksn/a
91361Westlake Village$751,000
91364Woodland Hills$600,000
91367Woodland Hills$449,000
91371Woodland Hillsn/a
91381Stevenson Ranch$605,000
91384Castaic$415,500
91387Canyon Country$380,000
91390Santa Clarita$530,000
91399Woodland Hillsn/a
91401Van Nuys$500,000
91402Panorama City$266,000
91403Sherman Oaks$625,000
91405Van Nuys$350,000
91406Van Nuys$370,000
91410Van Nuysn/a
91411Van Nuys$441,500
91416Encinon/a
91423Sherman Oaks$700,000
91426Encinon/a
91436Encino$1,055,000
91495Sherman Oaksn/a
91501Burbank$550,000
91502Burbank$390,000
91504Burbank$477,500
91505Burbank$495,000
91506Burbank$522,500
91507Burbankn/a
91508Burbankn/a
91510Burbankn/a
91521Burbankn/a
91522Burbankn/a
91523Burbankn/a
91526Burbankn/a
91601North Hollywood$485,000
91602North Hollywood$535,500
91604Studio City$754,000
91605North Hollywood$340,000
91606North Hollywood$367,750
91608Universal Cityn/a
91610Toluca Laken/a
91611North Hollywoodn/a
91612North Hollywoodn/a
91614Studio Cityn/a
91615North Hollywoodn/a
91616North Hollywoodn/a
91617Valley Villagen/a
91618North Hollywoodn/a
90107Rancho Cucamongan/a
91702Azusa$295,000
91706Baldwin Park$281,000
91710Chinon/a
91711Claremont$525,000
91722Covina$335,000
91724Covina$413,950
91730Rancho Cucamongan/a
91731El Monte$365,000
91732El Monte$351,000
91733South El Monte$362,500
91740Glendora$385,000
91741Glendora$530,000
91744City of Industry$290,000
91745Hacienda Heights$381,500
91746West Puente Valley$300,000
91748Rowland Heights$442,500
91750La Verne$480,000
91754Monterey Park$435,000
91755Monterey Park$461,000
91763Montclairn/a
91765Diamond Bar$465,000
91766Pomona$265,000
91767Pomona$260,000
91768Pomona$240,000
91770Rosemead$405,000
91773San Dimas$426,500
91775San Gabriel$600,000
91776San Gabriel$460,000
91780Temple City$550,000
91789Walnut$540,000
91790West Covina$375,000
91791West Covina$420,000
91792West Covina$355,000
91801Alhambra$418,000
91803Alhambra$450,000
91841Alhambran/a
91896Alhambran/a
93532Lake Hughes$191,250
93534Lancaster$124,000
93535Lancaster$155,000
93536Lancaster$250,000
93550Palmdale$155,000
93551Palmdale$275,000
93552Palmdale$203,000

Drago Centro

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sommelier_p

Photograph by Gina Sabatella

This is the grand downtown debut for chef-restaurateur Celestino Drago. The space is striking, with a glass wine tower and mammoth windows. The food is a mishmash of northern and southern styles. Venison carpaccio with walnuts is elemental, and grilled artichokes, Belgian endive, and pistachios make for a triumphant salad. The star of the handmade pasta menu is the buckwheat pizzoccheri tossed with cabbage, potatoes, fontina, and sage cream. Mains include crispy skate with balsamic and roasted squab stuffed with focaccia. As the leaning tower of vino attests, the wine list is hefty. A walnut semifreddo with roasted figs is weightless. » 525 S. Flower St., Ste. 120, downtown, 213-228-8998 or dragocentro.com. L Mon.-Fri.; D Mon.-Sat. Full bar. Italian $$$

Photograph by Gina Sabatella

Cinema 2008 de Waters

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LAmag.com, January 2009

CINEMA 2008 DE WATERS (not to be confused with empirical reality) 

10  (once in a blue moon masterpiece)

1.  Synecdoche, New York (if you didn’t respond to it as much as I did…you’re lucky)

 

9 (truly excellent)

  • 2. Hunger
  • 3. A Christmas Tale
  • 4. Tell No One
  • 5. The Dark Knight
  • 6. In Bruges
  • 7. Waltz with Bashir
  • 8. My Winnipeg
  • 9. Reprise

 

8 (pretty great)

MOSTLY UNAMERCIAN, MOSTLY UNNOTICED, COMPLETELY AWESOME

  • 10. Water Lilies
  • 11. Let the Right One In
  • 12. Boy A
  • 13. Summer Palace
  • 14. Roman de Gare
  • 15. Man on Wire
  • 16. Jellyfish
  • 17. The Edge of Heaven
  • 18. Still Life
  • 19. Heartbeat Detector
  • 20. Silent Light

 

THE DAZZLING PIECE OF PERFECTION THAT IS RIGHTFULLY WORSHIPPED BY ONE AND ALL…BUT I’M A DISTURBED IMPERFECTIONIST WARY OF TRADITIONAL JOY

21.  Wall-E

 

SPECIAL CATEGORY FOR FILMS THAT BOLDY DEFIED CATEGORIZATION AND WERE BRUTALLY PUNISHED BY THE MUGGLES (AND YES, THE SPECIAL FONT GIVES AWAY THAT MY FILM IS ONE OF THEM)

  • 22. Speed Racer
  • 23. Sex and Death 101
  • 24. Be Kind Rewind
  • 25. Cloverfield (actually got pretty decent reviews, but the boos of the boors were loud)
  • 26. Pathology

 

OSCAR I-LOVE-YA CINEMA—THE ONLY-A-LITTLE-OVERRATED

  • 27. Doubt
  • 28. Milk
  • 29. The Class
  • 30. Frost/Nixon
  • 31. Slumdog Millionaire

 

BACK TO THE NORMALLY PRETTY GREAT…

  • 32. Iron Man
  • 33. Encounters at the End of the World
  • 34. Tropic Thunder
  • 35. Trouble the Water
  • 36. Up the Yangtze
  • 37. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (could have been a masterpiece if Woody wrote second drafts)
  • 38. Ballast
  • 39. Four Minutes
  • 40. Love Songs
  • 41. The Counterfeiters
  • 42. Role Models
  • 43. Save Me

7  (really good)

  • 44.  The Bank Job
  • 45.  Australia
  • 46.  Pineapple Express
  • 47.  The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • 48.  The Wrestler
  • 49.  Ghost Town
  • 50.  RocknRolla
  • 51.  Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
  • 52.  Paranoid Park
  • 53.  U2 3D
  • 54.  Baghead
  • 55.  The Visitor
  • 56.  Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • 57.  Standard Operating Procedure
  • 58.  Bolt
  • 59.  The Duchess of Langeais
  • 60.  The Duchess
  • 61.  Mamma Mia!
  • 62.  Dark Matter
  • 63.  Religulous
  • 64.  Happy-Go-Lucky
  • 65.  Son of Rambow
  • 66.  XXY
  • 67.  The Last Mistress
  • 68.  The Signal
  • 69.  The Witnesses
  • 70.  Mongol
  • 71.  The Unforeseen
  • 72.  Step Brothers
  • 73.  Snow Angels
  • 74.  Mad Detective
  • 75.  A Girl Cut in Two
  • 76.  Momma’s Man
  • 77.  OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
  • 78.  Choke

 

IF YOU THOUGHT MY AFFECTION FOR SPEED RACER WAS INSANE, MEET MY TRUE GUILTY PLEASURES…

  • 79.  You Don’t Mess With the Zohan
  • 80.  Viva
  • 81.  Twilight
  • 82.  JVCD
  • 83.  Horton Hears a Who!
  • 84.  Punisher: War Zone
  • 85.  Kung Fu Panda
  • 86.  Sex Drive
  • 87.  Young People Fucking
  • 88.  Quid Pro Quo
  • 89.  Seven Pounds (sorry…but I was sitting next to a proud and glowing Rosario Dawson)
  • 90.  Teeth
  • 91.  Doomsday
  • 92.  Postal (and yes, I just rated Uwe Boll higher than my beloved David Fincher)

 

OSCAR-I-LOVE-YA CINEMA—THE TRULY OVERRATED

  • 93.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 
  • 94.  Rachel Getting Married
  • 95.  Che
  • 96.  The Reader
  • 97.  I’ve Loved You So Long
  • 98.  Frozen River
  • 99.  Changeling
  • 100.  Gomorrah
  • 101.  Revolutionary Road (not worth five minutes of the weakest episode of Mad Men, but sure is pretty)

 

BLAH FILMS REDEEMED BY KILLER ENDINGS

  • 102.  Ben X
  • 103.  Nothing But the Truth

 

A RETURN TO THE NORMALLY REALLY GOOD…

  • 104.  Baby Mama
  • 105.  Shotgun Stories
  • 106.  Appaloosa
  • 107.  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • 108.  Lou Reed’s Berlin
  • 109.  Flight of the Red Balloon
  • 110.  The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • 111.  Transsiberian
  • 112.  Redbelt
  • 113.  Surfwise
  • 114.  Young@Heart
  • 115.  Henry Poole is Here
  • 116.  Brideshead Revisited
  • 117.  Patti Smith: Dream of Life
  • 118.  Yella
  • 119.  The Wackness
  • 120.  Hellboy II: The Golden Army

6  (just good)

  • 121.  Defiance (would be higher, but Zwick Q&A anecdote about whipping Denzel in Glory freaked me out)
  • 122.  Wanted (image 9, words 2)
  • 123.  Cadillac Records
  • 124.  Lakeview Terrace
  • 125.  W.
  • 126.  Boarding Gate
  • 127.  Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
  • 128.  Traitor
  • 129.  Quantum of Solace
  • 130.  Flash of Genius
  • 131.  Transporter 3
  • 132.  The Grand
  • 133.  Body of Lies
  • 134.  What We Do is Secret
  • 135.  Timecrimes
  • 136.  Mister Lonely
  • 137.  High School Musical 3: Senior Year
  • 138.  City of Ember
  • 139.  Death Defying Acts
  • 140.  Mother of Tears
  • 141.  In Search of a Midnight Kiss
  • 142.  The Fall
  • 143.  Priceless
  • 144.  Splinter
  • 145.  Frontier(s)
  • 146.  Towelhead
  • 147.  Definitely, Maybe
  • 148.  Penelope
  • 149.  The Lucky Ones
  • 150.  Rambo
  • 151.  Death Race
  • 152.  Babylon A.D.

 

ART-HOUSE CINEMA: BIG LIE EDITION

  • 153.  Funny Games (Mr. Haneke, I thought your “chilling indictment of our obsession with violence” was a good movie, just not as good as “Rambo,” “Death Race,” or “Babylon A.D.”
  • 154.  Wendy and Lucy (I’ve seen “Umberto D.,” “Umberto D.” is a friend of mine, you know the rest…)
  • 155.  Burn After Reading (will probably go up a hundred places after second viewing though)
  • 156.  Last Chance Harvey

 

GUILTY COMIC PLEASURES: I MUST BE RETARDED EDITION

  • 157.  Sex and the City
  • 158.  My Best Friend’s Girl
  • 159.  The Foot Fist Way
  • 160.  Semi-Pro
  • 161.  Harold & Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay
  • 162.  The House Bunny (if Anna Faris ever does a movie as good as she is, there will be World Peace)
  • 163.  27 Dresses
  • 164.  Hamlet 2
  • 165.  The Rocker
  • 166.  Get Smart
  • 167.  And yes, I even liked The Love Guru

 

BACK TO THE NORMALLY JUST GOOD…

  • 168.  Chicago 10
  • 169.  The Black Balloon
  • 170.  Good Dick
  • 171.  Leatherheads
  • 172.  Take Out
  • 173.  Billy the Kid
  • 174.  Never Back Down
  • 175.  Nights in Rodanthe
  • 176.  The Forbidden Kingdom
  • 177.  The Tracey Fragments
  • 178.  The Incredible Hulk
  • 179.  The Babysitters
  • 180.  Pride and Glory
  • 181.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
  • 182.  George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead
  • 183.  Cassandra’s Dream
  • 184.  Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
  • 185.  American Teen
  • 186.  Eagle Eye

 

 

5 (almost something)

  • 187.  The Midnight Meat Train
  • 188.  Savage Grace
  • 189.  The Life Before Her Eyes
  • 190.  Married Life
  • 191.  Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys
  • 192.  Finding Amanda
  • 193.  Stop-loss
  • 194.  Mister Foe
  • 195.  The Alphabet Killer
  • 196.  Chaos Theory
  • 197.  Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
  • 198.  Elegy
  • 199.  Zombie Strippers
  • 200.  Four Christmases
  • 201.  Sisterhood of theTraveling Pants 2
  • 202.  My Blueberry Nights
  • 203.  What Happens in Vegas
  • 204.  Stuck
  • 205.  Special
  • 206.  Then She Found Me
  • 207.  Zack and Miri Make a Porno
  • 208.  Gardens of the Night
  • 209.  The Strangers
  • 210.  CJ7
  • 211.  Military Intelligence and You
  • 212.  Ping Pong Playa
  • 213.  Noise
  • 214.  Eden
  • 215.  Fear(s)of the Dark
  • 216.  Saw V
  • 217.  The Tale of Despereaux
  • 218.  The Women
  • 219.  Street Kings
  • 220.  Hank and Mike
  • 221.  21
  • 222.  Expired
  • 223.  Over her Dead Body

 

4 (painlessly mediocre)

  • 224.  City of Men
  • 225.  Sukiyaki Western Django
  • 226.  Fugitive Pieces
  • 227.  The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • 228.  Red
  • 229.  Blindness
  • 230.  Marley & Me
  • 231.  War, Inc.
  • 232.  Bottle Shock
  • 233.  The Secret Life of Bees
  • 234.  Vantage Point
  • 235.  Hancock
  • 236.  The Happening 
  • 237.  Deception
  • 238.  Swing Vote
  • 239.  Nim’s Island
  • 240.  The Other Boleyn Girl
  • 241.  How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
  • 242.  Jumper
  • 243.  Bedtime Stories
  • 244.  Meet Dave
  • 245.  Shine a Light

 

OSCAR-I-LOVE-YA-CINEMA—THE YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING

  • 246.  Miracle at St. Anna
  • 247.  Valkyrie
  • 248.  Gran Torino
  • 249.  What Doesn’t Kill You

 

3 (painfully mediocre)

  • 250.  Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins
  • 251.  The Spirit
  • 252.  What just happened
  • 253.  Righteous Kill
  • 254.  Yes Man
  • 255.  10,000 B.C.
  • 256.  Max Payne
  • 257.  The X files: I Want to Believe
  • 258.  Untraceable
  • 259.  Fool’s Gold
  • 260.  In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
  • 261.  Journey to the Center of the Earth (3-D Version)
  • 262.  Charlie Bartlett
  • 263.  The Longshots
  • 264.  Hounddog
  • 265.  Garden Party
  • 266.  Kabluey
  • 267.  Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • 268.  Drillbit Taylor
  • 269.  Bangkok Dangerous
  • 270.  Smart People
  • 271.  Witless Protection
  • 272.  Mad Money
  • 273. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
  • 274.  Fun, Fat Boy, Run
  • 275.  The Eye

 

2 (pretty bad)

  • 276.  Hell Ride
  • 277.  Sleepwalking
  • 278.  An American Carol
  • 279.  Disaster Movie
  • 280.  Strange Wilderness
  • 281.  One Missed Call

 

1 (truly painful)

  • 282.  88 Minutes
  • 283.  Meet the Spartans
  • 284.  The Lost
  • 285.  College

 

0 (once-in-a-blue-moon shitstorm)

Nothing that foul this year (College was saved by me liking the way Haley Bennett slouches…) 

 

THE SHAMEFULLY MISSED

  • Quarantine (saw Rec, the original Spanish film that this is a shot-for-shot remake of)
  • The Secret of the Grain
  • Anamorph
  • Adam Resurrected
  • Alexandra
  • Beaufort
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua
  • College Road Trip
  • Flashpoint
  • American Zombie
  • The Battle in Seattle
  • Beauty in Trouble
  • Bigger, Stronger, Faster
  • Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
  • The Doorman
  • Eight Miles High
  • Falling
  • Filth and Wisdom
  • Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
  • The Hammer
  • Igor
  • Irina Palm
  • Made of Honor
  • Meet Bill
  • Mirrors
  • Passengers
  • Prom Night
  • The Promotion
  • Remember the Daze
  • Superhero Movie
  • A Thousand Years of Good Prayers
  • The Unknown Woman

Angelenos in D.C.

0

 

LAmag.com, January 2009

obama

Photograph courtesy of flickr/ajacs

XIV

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xiv

Photograph by Jessica Boone

In spite of the economy, XIV has arrived. CHEF MICHAEL MINA (Stonehill Tavern) has joined with the nightlife company SBE for “fourteen,” as in Louis XIV, who’s evoked in the French chateau-meets-alien spaceship design by Philippe Starck. Everything’s pricey, starting with $14 parking. The “social dining” concept is restrictive: Everyone receives tasting-size portions of the same dishes. Still, there’s no faulting the food. Pumpkin dumplings are the best parts of fall. Ancho chile and mint enliven a tuna tartare. The white chocolate cube is a work of art. Had XIV opened a year ago, we’d be chuckling over all this self-conscious grandeur. Instead it feels out of touch. » 8117 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-656-1414 or sbe.com/xiv. D nightly. Full bar. New American $$$$

Photograph by Jessica Boone

Luau

0
luau_p

Photograph by Ed Rudolph

How does this new venture in Beverly Hills depart from the old-time Polynesian-themed restaurants that once dotted our landscape? The tiki decor is glorious, not garish (a wall of Papua New Guinean masks and the ceiling of lit puffer fish look more art installation than Trader Vic’s). The menu is ambitious (macadamia nut-encrusted ono or banana leaf-wrapped halibut, anyone?). The stylish waitstaff is dressed for St. Barts, not Waikiki. More traditional is the overly sweet tropical drink menu (save for that killer mai tai), ho-hum appetizers like wagyu meatballs and coconut-fried shrimp, and the high prices. » 369 N. Bedford Dr., Beverly Hills (310-274-0090). D Tue.-Sun. Full bar. Polynesian $$$

Photograph by Ed Rudolph

The Gorbals

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gorbals Photograph by Jessica Boone

The name refers to a poor Jewish neighborhood in Glasgow, and it’s not the only puzzling thing about Top Chef winner Ilan Hall’s first L.A. restaurant. The space is set deep inside downtown’s barely renovated (read: still sketchy) Alexandria Hotel. Dishes are a mix of traditional Jewish, Scottish, and Middle Eastern cuisines—really. The staff is even more confused than the diners. None of this head scratching matters, however, if the food works, and most of it does. Haggis meatballs are bright bullets of flavor in a rich soup. Scooping marrow onto meaty oyster mushrooms is primal. Whatever your feelings about bacon-wrapped matzo balls (above), this isn’t just a gimmick. » 501 S. Spring St., downtown (213-488-3408 or thegorbalsla.com). D Tue.-Sun. Full bar. Eclectic $$

Photograph by Jessica Boone