LAFW: Winners & Losers; Surprisingly Satisfying Indie Flicks and Moh!

And me neither.


So as you heard last week, we’ll be slanging our tacos at the Asian Night Market at the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival this year.  Tickets are still on sale, so I highly recommend y’all snapping a few up, especially for what especially captures your attention.  I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve been to quite a few food festivals/events and find this one run impressively well, especially for one that’s so new.  With so many moving parts (celebrity chefs, those aspiring to become celebrity chefs, non-celebrity chefs, TV personalities, vendors, off-site and on-site prep kitchens and commissaries, secret ingredients that need to be specially flown in, sponsors, demos, talks, proper onsite equipment, PR and an incredibly high volume of food and wine and drink that must be pumped out to the public as soon as possible), it is an almost impossible challenge for any public food event of this size and scope to not become a complete fustercluck.

That’s also why I’m usually pretty forgiving about the food quality as well.  I’ve seen many a talented chef left to fend for him or herself with improper equipment or ingredients pull off miracles.  I’ve also seen many others understandably falter, seemingly make mistakes only rookie cooks would make in the kitchen (under seasoning, over seasoning, overcooking, etc.)

So I was happily surprised to find last year’s LA Food and Wine Festival run as tightly as it was.  The food was pretty fantastic and there was a desserts-themed after party (I think it was called Desserts After Dark) that totally blew me away.  There were these, I think, almond-flavored pink meringues that were part dry ice, so when you put them in your mouth you would blow out sweet dragon smoke.  A lot of imagination, enchantment and tongue-in-cheek at that particular festivity that was right up my alley.  Caramel apple milkshakes, a sugary apothecary run by Brooklyn-esque hipsters (of the most appealing variety) and enough brown butter to satisfy any baking blogger’s wet dream.  There was also the kind of fun-crazy that only Hollywood + Hollywood candy can bring out in a person, if you looked hard enough for that kind of entertainment.  TOTALLY WORTH MORE THAN THE PRICE OF ADMISSION.

It was very L.A. in a very Hollywood kind of way, and yet the celebrity didn’t completely overtake the event.  Well, with the exception of a strange DJ set on its opening night.  –__–;;  LAFW, I love you, but that was just weiiiiiiiird.  –__–;; Let us just forget whatever it was that happened that night. All is forgiven.

Pairing great music with excellent food can be challenging, I get that.

To this day, I don’t think anyone can top the live music selection at last year’s TASTE event.  Mariachi El Bronx, Pollyn, Jason Bentley and a tortured Diego Garcia should give you a general idea of just how amazingly great the music was last year at the Paramount lot.  Now, if only the talents behind the cultural programming of the TASTE could get in bed with the logistics coordinator of the LA Food and Wine Festival…just imagine… WITH THEIR POWERS COMBINED…

Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh.  A gal can dream, can’t she?

In any case, I had quite a bit of fun with the Twitter contest we had last week for the free tickets to the Asian Night Market.  Basically, I wanted peoples to recreate THIS photo right here:

Seems simple enough, right?  Kogi + kicks + concrete, snap a photo, throw it up on the Twitter feed.  But it seems as though my instructions came off as much too complicated for some.  That said, I did want to give a little fist bump to those who might not have earned any gold stars for following directions, but did their damndest anyway.

i see Kogi. i see concrete. but where the kicks at?

best 1 out of 3...

AHAHAHA. This one was cute. Is that a taco shell made from paper??? Loved the shoes, to booty!

BTW, when I mentioned CONCRETE, I mistakenly posted the wrong picture to convey CONCRETE:

i said CONCRETE, and hopefully was leaving peoples with a SMILE as they looked to the CONCRETE for inspiration

So that kind of explains how I got this:

Moises Torres, sadly, did not get the win, but he did get an honorary gold star for effort.  Look, even added LACES to his project.  And LET IT BE KNOWN that he did not let his first fail deter him:

You can’t get mad at a man for trying.  Repeatedly.  And then making the effort to email me his interest in the tickets in the event that the winner never claimed them.

There’s something admirable about dogged persistence.  Had he succeeded in following instructions correctly, I might have given him the win.  MIGHT HAVE.

That said, let’s give some big-ups to all those who participated:

gotta love smart camera filters.

not a taco, but pretty damn close.

atta girl. and I loooove her slippers! might I mention that I used to have these ratty fuzzy elmo slippers back in college?

not sure why, but I really loved this photo. maybe it was the cool blues and delicious shade on a 95 degree day.

loved this gal's energy. and LET IT BE KNOWN that she was the first person who actually tweeted a contest-legit photo. yay for following instructions!! nice kicks, btw.

And of course, I bring you the winner:

the street-level perspective, lime laces, Kogi in the foreground Kogi in the background -- Daniel went above and beyond the call of duty and most deservedly one.

And for those who didn’t win, hope to see you there anyway!

I might have mentioned this once upon a time, but I used to be a film studies major who got sick of watching movies back in the day. I think after analyzing fabula, theory, CHC (classic Hollywood cinema) and the marketing of movies, I was fairly disillusioned with most everything that came out of the movie industry.  It would have to take a kickass, fangirl-worthy trailer to lure me out of my cave and plunk down $15 to give it a good look-see.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I sat down, watched these indie flicks and discovered that — oh!  I have a heart!  And it, yes, still beats!

Your Sister's Sister

I was going to post the movie trailer, but the trailer pretty much gives EVERYTHING away.  And it’s awful…ly long.  Just letting y’all know that the movie is 1o times better than the trailer, which is a rarity in and of itself.  But if you have to know the premise, there is a dude who is vigilantly holing it up in his snarky cave of a depression a year after his brother’s death.  His brother’s ex girlfriend and his now-best-friend-whom-he’s-secretly-in-love-with, Iris, pleads with him to take a weekend off to enjoy her father’s cabin — away from the Internet, TV and all the people he knows.  He gets to the secluded cabin and meets her lesbian sister who’d just gotten out of a 7-year relationship.  He’s dark and broody.  She’s dark and broody.  A lot of tequila happens.  Hijinks ensue.

A film that even a dude can enjoy. AND SO CAN YOU!

It’s still in theaters, so I totally recommend peoples to check it out.

THE REST ARE ALREADY ON DVD.  So if you’ve got Netflix, please consider putting these in your queue. They might not have any impressive action sequences, CG animation or insanely genius plot lines to stimulate our increasingly short attention spans, but they do have an intensely human quality that I’d forgotten I’d missed.


The trailer sliiiiiiiiiightly misleads you in terms of plot direction, but no worries for you folks, since the story is much richer than the trailer will lead you to believe. A film that can be enjoyed by most anyone, but possibly most especially by those who are on, or are thinking about going on, an online dating site. It’s winsome, it’s charming, it’s funny and it will have you question and requestion all that we project upon all those whom we build up to be our One. And it’s got a pitch-perfect musical score that playfully tugs at the heart strings to booty. Plus ANYA from Buffy’s in it!!

Stuck Between Stations

It’s not Steel Magnolias, but I would hesitate in recommending this to the straight boys. Just a bit. And here’s why: there are no car chases, flying robots or femme fatales cut into a tightly scripted plot that’s shot through with explosions and superheroes. Speaking of plot, the plot itself is not dressed to impress. In fact it’s dressed down to its sweats with very little, if any, makeup with its hair possibly pulled back in a 90s scrunchie: a guy and a girl meet and you follow them around as they hang out the entire night together. But the dialogue is visceral, it has a heart that actually beats. And the film itself has a living, breathing soul. And sometimes it’s nice to have a movie with a soul strong enough that it doesn’t need to rely on silly plot devices (sorry, Your Sister’s Sister — still love you as a movie, though!) to carry the story along. The chemistry is intense. And every moment feels alive and very real. Plus, even an LA gal like me can appreciate the the gritty ambiance that is Minneapolis. If you want to watch a movie that will inspire you to live in the moment, this shall be the one.


Don’t mind the trailer. The movie is much, much, much better. Despite my strong distaste for NYC (nothing personal, you wouldn’t like me either, NY!) and New Yorky movies and New Yorky writing and the New Yorker (for God’s sakes! You’re about as interesting as McSweeney’s!), this is a pretty damn New Yorky movie that captured my heart for a coupla hours. I’d totally give it a whirl. In general, it’s a pretty good movie overall that has this one MOMENT. And that MOMENT alone will have you bathing in its afterglow for the next few days. Try it. You might like it. (P.S. Part of my totally judgmental, biased distaste for NYC is this unconscious, sadomasochistic hope for disappointment or disillusionment that runs rampant in its culture. If you were just dangling dangerously close to the edge of a nihilistic depression, living in this city could potentially push you over the edge. But feel free to beg to differ! I would love-love-love to be proven wrong. Ahahaha. Look. Just you watch: I’ll probably get my arse kicked by someone who loves NYC next week!)

meh rong

Enjoy your summer, folks! Or the good half that’s left of it!

Love and tacos,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *