Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times
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  • Jamaica Crist of Jamaica's Cakes likes a good Girl Scout cookie too

    Jamaica Crist of Jamaica's Cakes likes a good Girl Scout cookie too

    Jamaica Crist, owner of Jamaica's Cakes in West Los Angeles, isn't from Jamaica, and she doesn't make Jamaican-style desserts either — despite the countless customers who walk in expecting banana fritters or cornmeal pudding. Crist actually grew up on a farm in Oregon and started her baking career...

  • Wacky fusion burgers, smothered fries and boba milk tea at Bachi Burger

    Wacky fusion burgers, smothered fries and boba milk tea at Bachi Burger

    Name of restaurant: Bachi Burger. It's meant to refer to both a Japanese habachi grill, and "bachi," which can refer to karma in Japanese.  Concept: It's a Las Vegas burger joint that recently opened Southern California outlets on Sawtelle Boulevard and in Old Town Pasadena. The restaurant is known...

  • Like pickled dishes? Here are some tangy dishes to savor around L.A.

    Like pickled dishes? Here are some tangy dishes to savor around L.A.

    Whether it's Indian achaar or Japanese nukazuke, pickles of all varieties are featured on menus around the city, and not just as side dishes. What was once used as a necessary form of preservation is now a way for chefs to playfully showcase their seasonal ingredients. The pickle plate began appearing...

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  • Plan Check is throwing a Gudetama party, and Hello Kitty isn't invited
    Plan Check is throwing a Gudetama party, and Hello Kitty isn't invited

    Hello Kitty gets all the glory. The not-exactly-a-cat Sanrio character has captured hearts around the world, but what about Gudetama? Plan Check Kitchen + Bar is showing some love to the new guy with a special Gudetama menu. He is an egg after all; a lazy, unmotivated egg, but an egg nonetheless....

  • 'Awake & Sing!' at Odyssey Theatre: A sensation is back, fiery as ever
    'Awake & Sing!' at Odyssey Theatre: A sensation is back, fiery as ever

    About 20 years ago director Elina de Santos helmed a landmark production of “Awake &  Sing!” that ran for nine months to sellout houses at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A.

    Now De Santos revisits Clifford Odets’ Depression-era classic, once again at the Odyssey. And while Odets’ fervently polemical...

  • Two brothers accused of using West L.A. pharmacy as front for drug trafficking
    Two brothers accused of using West L.A. pharmacy as front for drug trafficking

    The storefront pharmacy off Santa Monica Boulevard didn’t seem like an average West L.A. drug store.Customers rarely if ever showed up to fill prescriptions, federal authorities say. There were no over-the-counter products for sale. And Global Compounding Pharmacy reported filling only 30 prescriptions...

  • After 18 years, Sal Marino to close his Italian restaurant Il Grano
    After 18 years, Sal Marino to close his Italian restaurant Il Grano

    After 18 years, Sal Marino is closing his fine-dining Italian restaurant, Il Grano.

    The son of the late Ciro "Mario" Marino, who opened Marino Ristorante down the street from Paramount Studios in 1983, Sal Marino stepped away from old-school Italian cooking when he opened Il Grano in 1997. With...

  • Maurice Pialat retrospective in L.A. shows French director's influence
    Maurice Pialat retrospective in L.A. shows French director's influence

    When Maurice Pialat's film "Under the Sun of Satan" won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1987, the crowd at the Palais des Festivals reportedly was so upset, it responded with boos and catcalls.

    The filmmaker reciprocated by chastising them, "If you don't like me, I can tell you that I don't like you...

  • Churros and Nutella from a food truck. Need we say more?
    Churros and Nutella from a food truck. Need we say more?

    There is a food truck called Churros Calientes, and it's roaming the streets of Los Angeles serving hot churros and Nutella to the masses.

    The thought of a truck full of sugar-coated fritters and chocolate hazelnut spread may sound like the stuff dreams are made of. But it does exist. It's bright...

  • Doug Aitken explains how 'Station to Station' became 62 one-minute films, rolled into one
    Doug Aitken explains how 'Station to Station' became 62 one-minute films, rolled into one

    One train. Ten public cultural happenings. About 4,000 miles of countryside and cityscape.

    Not to mention a whole lot of art and music created along the way.

    Visual artist Doug Aitken took to the rails in September 2013 and staged an interactive, roving art show, “Station to Station.”

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  • State attorney general files charges against judge accused of firing at officer

    The state attorney general's office has filed a felony assault charge against a retired Los Angeles County judge who police say opened fire on an officer during a standoff at his home in June.

    James A. Bascue, 75, who was a top gang prosecutor in L.A. County before becoming a judge, was charged...

  • Inconsistent tone, uneven direction plague 'Off the King's Road'
    Inconsistent tone, uneven direction plague 'Off the King's Road'

    There’s a large gap between the offbeat and the twee. Playwright Neil Koenigsberg stumbles into that divide in the West Coast premiere of “Off the King’s Road,” a guest production at the Odyssey.

    The play revolves around Matt Browne (Tom Bower), a recent widower who has returned to his favorite...

  • Stick with 'La Sapienza'; it'll teach you to look up
    Stick with 'La Sapienza'; it'll teach you to look up

    On the surface, writer-director Eugène Green's film "La Sapienza" is slow, strange and awkward — but stick with it and it may win you over.

    The film follows the struggles of French architect Alexandre (Fabrizio Rongione) and his wife, Alienor (Christelle Prot). The two are alienated from each other...

  • L.A. kids menus that don't suck: Think burrata flatbread, not pizza
    L.A. kids menus that don't suck: Think burrata flatbread, not pizza

    Your kids deserve more than dry, fried chicken strips and ketchup, a cheeseburger and watery mac 'n' cheese. And in your quest to find a kids menu that doubles as a coloring book, you shouldn't be forced to eat UFO-saucer-sized plates of red sauce spaghetti and bricks of onion rings. 

    You can be...

  • Sick diners who took to Yelp file salmonella lawsuit against Mexican restaurant
    Sick diners who took to Yelp file salmonella lawsuit against Mexican restaurant

    It took an online village for people to get the word out about getting sick — very sick — after eating at Don Antonio’s, a popular West Los Angeles Mexican restaurant, in March.

    Customers who came down with salmonella poisoning took to Yelp to warn others about the family-owned West Pico Boulevard...

  • Letting iconic Mormon temple lawn die was a 'difficult decision'
    Letting iconic Mormon temple lawn die was a 'difficult decision'

    By not watering the landmark hillside lawn outside its Westwood temple, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is allowing 98,000 square feet of grass to go brown because of the drought, church officials said Monday.

    Church gardeners stopped watering the palatial temple’s expansive lawn...

  • Bar10 opens Friday with cocktails and drunken mac 'n' cheese
    Bar10 opens Friday with cocktails and drunken mac 'n' cheese

    While some bars are trying to expand their cocktail menus, Bar10 is keeping things simple. 

    At the new cocktail-focused bar and restaurant, opening Friday in West Hollywood, there are only 10 cocktails on the menu.  Each drink is made by one of the restaurant's bartenders, or owner Daniel Cammarata....

  • In 'Sunset Baby,' a reunion sets the stage for rage
    In 'Sunset Baby,' a reunion sets the stage for rage

    Playwright Dominique Morisseau displays plenty of fire in “Sunset Baby,” her heartfelt but undisciplined drama now in its West Coast premiere at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble.

    A melodramatic mélange, the play vacillates between the riveting and the random – and the result can frustrate as often...

  • Actors quit L.A. 'Ferguson' play, question writer's motives
    Actors quit L.A. 'Ferguson' play, question writer's motives

    Veteran actor Philip Casnoff hadn't read the full script yet when he arrived for the first rehearsal of "Ferguson," a play chronicling the shooting of Michael Brown by a Missouri police officer.

    Casnoff thought he knew what the play, set for a four-day staged reading starting Sunday at the Odyssey...

  • Shake Shack will open in West Hollywood next year
    Shake Shack will open in West Hollywood next year

    Shake Shack, the New York City burger joint often referred to as the In-N-Out of the East, will open in West Hollywood next year. The company announced the news via Twitter on Tuesday morning.

    The restaurant, with its cult-like following, is known for serving rich frozen custards, cheeseburgers...

  • 'Getting Straight' gets a 45th anniversary screening in L.A.
    'Getting Straight' gets a 45th anniversary screening in L.A.

    Just nine days after the 1970 National Guard shootings at Kent State University in Ohio had left four students dead and nine injured during a Vietnam War protest, Columbia Pictures released "Getting Straight," a counterculture comedy-drama exploring campus rebellion, unrest and the sexual revolution.

    ...

  • City Beat: Senior actors tell scams to scram
    City Beat: Senior actors tell scams to scram

    The actors in the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program have a message for those who wish to defraud the elderly. Just because they're old, they say, doesn't mean they're not sharp. They can fight back if they know how to recognize a con artist. That's the aim of the Stop Senior Scams actors' show,...

  • 'Ferguson' play: Michael Brown shooting staged with grand jury testimony
    'Ferguson' play: Michael Brown shooting staged with grand jury testimony

    Actual grand jury testimony from the Michael Brown case lays the groundwork for the new play "Ferguson," written by journalist and documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer and to be presented by Theatre Verite Collective in Los Angeles in late April.

    The play, a guest production of Odyssey Theatre,...

  • L.A. is carried away on impounding vehicles, suit says
    L.A. is carried away on impounding vehicles, suit says

    Last year, Los Angeles authorities towed and impounded 4,539 motor vehicles for violating the city's 72-hour time limit for parking in the same spot. One of them was a 1999 Toyota Sienna belonging to attorney J. David Sackman and his wife, Jerolyn.

    That action has landed the city in federal court.

    ...

  • In 'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,' unhappy and unequal
    In 'Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,' unhappy and unequal

    Disturbing and shocking, "Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem" is a fiction about an unimaginable fact of life in present-day Israel. The divorce-centered drama is so provocative it's become a lightning rod for debate inside the country. Even watching from a distance is unnerving.

    For all intents...

  • Soap opera actress struck by car after Westside collision
    Soap opera actress struck by car after Westside collision

    An actress on "The Bold and the Beautiful" was struck Monday afternoon by a car that drove onto a Westside sidewalk after a collision, police said.

    Linsey Godfrey -- best known as Caroline Spencer Forrester on the CBS soap opera -- was taken to a hospital after the car drove onto a sidewalk at...

  • Mormon Church's shift on gay rights follows series of defeats in California
    Mormon Church's shift on gay rights follows series of defeats in California

    The pledge Tuesday by the Mormon Church to oppose housing and job discrimination against gays follows years of piercing church losses in California over gay rights, including one last week.

    The church opposed a new rule to bar California judges from becoming leaders in the Boy Scouts of America...

  • West L.A., be aware: Joe Biden visit mucking up traffic today
    West L.A., be aware: Joe Biden visit mucking up traffic today

    Commuters should brace themselves for a series of traffic delays and street closures Friday as Vice President Joe Biden embarks on the second day of his three-day visit to Southern California.

    He is expected to visit West Los Angeles College on Friday, where he will participate in a roundtable...

  • 'Winter Sleep' haunting portrait of one man's crumbling world
    'Winter Sleep' haunting portrait of one man's crumbling world

    "Winter Sleep," the drama from acclaimed Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, requires, like the snowfall that blankets a village in Cappadocia, where this story unfolds, that you settle in for a while. Three hours, 16 minutes to be precise.

    And Ceylan is precise. There are no wasted moments as...

  • 'Silent Witnesses' meets tales of horror with a quiet love
    'Silent Witnesses' meets tales of horror with a quiet love

    "Silent Witnesses," a modest and compassionate solo work written and performed by Stephanie Satie at the Odyssey Theatre, is based on interviews and conversations with child survivors of the Holocaust.

    On a darkened and mostly bare stage, Satie portrays a group of women whose peaceful childhoods...

  • 'American Sniper' billboard defaced with word 'Murder!'
    'American Sniper' billboard defaced with word 'Murder!'

    A West Los Angeles billboard for the movie “American Sniper” was vandalized with the word “murder” as a nasty hero-versus-villain battle waged on social media. Los Angeles police say the billboard at Wilshire Boulevard and Bundy Drive is now covered, but at one point the movie ad displayed the...

  • Westside shooting suspect surrenders after overnight standoff, LAPD says

    A man who barricaded himself overnight in his West Los Angeles apartment after firing shots into the air has surrendered, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said Sunday.

    Officer James Richter said the man, whose identity has not yet been released, was taken into custody at 7:17 a.m. after...

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