Pasadena Jazz Institute says farewell to Paseo Colorado, searches for new joint

>>GO

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Pasadena Weekly has the details on Pasadena Jazz Institute‘s move from the Paseo Colorado mall to … well, somewhere.

“… on Saturday, following performances by the eight-piece band The Big
Pill
, the PJI’s lease expires, forcing (owner Paul) Lines to close up shop and look
for another location.”

After three years of music-making in the massive restaurant space that used to house Delmonico’s Seafood Grill, Paseo’s management has found a permanent tenant, reports Andr Coleman in the Weekly.

“The space, slated to become a banquet hall after Lines and company
leave, was certainly roomy enough, but the increased wait time for
drinks and appetizers produced a financially detrimental domino effect:
Customers unhappy with waiting left smaller tips, which brought
turnover among bar staff, resulting in less rapport developing with
bartenders and servers, all ending with fewer customers.”

But first, there’s this weekend’s mini-farewell tour:

Friday, “Come To A Jazz Party,” with performances by five bands: Elizabeth Lamers, The Bill Watrous Quartet, The Matt Falker Trio, The San Gabriel 7 and Nick Mancini Collective. Music starts at 6 p.m.

The Big Pill will headline Saturday’s final-ever show — the true requiem for Pasadena’s jazz dream.

Cost is $10 at both events. Think of it as a memorial offering.

Pasadena Jazz Institute, Paseo Colorado, 280 E. Colorado Blvd., Ste. 206, but not for long. (626) 398-3344

(File photos)

Local haunts land on Mr. Gold’s short list of 99 essential L.A. restaurants

>>EAT

This week, L.A. Weekly unleashes food critic Jonathan Gold’s round-up of 99 essential L.A. restaurants. We advise a slow scan of the whole thing — with note-taking — but here’s what JGold had to say about some of the local eateries that made the quintessential cut:

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  • Babita

1823 S. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel
(626) 288-7265
Lunch: Tues.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Dinner: Sun., Tues.-Thurs., 5:30-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5:30-10 p.m.

“A few of the classic-seeming dishes may have been invented by (owner Roberto) Berrelleza himself: his fish-stuffed gueritos chiles in strawberry salsa, his seared halibut with huitlacoche vinaigrette, and his habanero-inflected shrimp Topolobampo, a singularly fiery dish that can take over its victims’ bodies like the plague.”

That’s Berrelleza at right. (File photo)

749 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena
(626) 441-2319
Tues.-Thurs., noon-10 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

“… the gelateria, the love child of Roman ex-pat (Leo) Bulgarini and his Altadena-raised wife, Elizabeth Foldi, is a singular, perfect blossom: gelato powerfully flavored with the pistachios he hand-carries back from Bronte, vibrant peach sorbetto, yogurt gelato scented with Tuscan olive oil, and dark, smoky chocolate gelati flavored with orange peel, with fresh hazelnuts or with rum.”

  • Chang’s Garden

627 W. Duarte Road, Arcadia
(626) 445-0606
Daily, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

“(Chef Henry Chang’s) dish of pork ribs steamed in lotus leaves figures so prominently in Nicole Mones’ novel The Last Chinese Chef that it is practically a character of its own.”

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  • Chung King

1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel
(626) 286-0298
Daily, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

“… the best source among many for Chinese bacon fried with leeks, for the cold, hacked chicken with chile, for the great, multiflavored beef casseroles that are so spicy they attack the nervous system like a phaser set to ‘stun.’”

At right, in 2007, Chung King owner Linda Huang serves peanuts with small fish. (File photos)

700 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park
(626) 282-9998
Dim sum: Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dinner, nightly, 5-11 p.m.

“There are enough unsustainable choices on the seafood menu to make a Heal the Bay member weep salty, salty tears.”

  • Euro Pane Bakery

950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 577-1828
Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sun. until 3 p.m.

“On a good day, Euro Pane’s magnificent croissants could in a police lineup be mistaken for France’s best, and, the natural-starter sourdough is superb.”

815 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel
(626) 308-0803
Mon., Tues., Thurs., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Closed August.

“… Golden Deli has the best cha gio — fried Vietnamese spring rolls — in the observable universe, and the owners know it. After a bite or two, so will you.”

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328 E. Foothill Blvd., Arcadia
(626) 358-8298

“This may be the great, undiscovered L.A. pizza restaurant.”

At right, Zelo owner Mike Freeman holds a specialty pizza served with fresh corn, balsamic-marinated roasted red onions and smoked mozzarella, served on a cornmeal crust. (File photos)

David Jonason’s prescient ‘California Skies’ on display in South Pasadena

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On any other day, we’d talk about artist David Jonason‘s penchant for stylized cubism — an aesthetic he’s most known for applying to architecture.

But Jonason has now turned his eye toward landscapes, and today his images of clouds hovering gloriously over local landmarks remind us of only one thing. (The billowing. The looming. The sense of spreading gray mass and creeping orange glow. Tell us you don’t see it.)

That resemblance shouldn’t stop you from checking out his stellar exhibition of 15 paintings in South Pasadena. (Hum it now, a la The Piano Man: “He didn’t start the fire.”)

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Jonason told the Star-News:

“I like cumulonimbus (clouds) a lot. They remind me a lot of
tall buildings — tall and dense, they have a big, heroic quality.
Architecture is all about volume and I apply that to the landscapes. At
the same time, I’m trying to get the spiritual, transcendental quality
I feel in landscapes.”

“California Skies” is on display through Sept. 12 at Michael Hollis Fine Art, 238 Pasadena Ave., South Pasadena. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. (626) 441-4333

Above, “San Gabriels with Clouds,” oil on canvas. At left, “Colorado Bridge,” oil on canvas.

(Courtesy photos)

Get to know Gold Line bridge designer who will shape ‘gateway to the San Gabriel Valley’

>>INSIDER

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In today’s paper, a Star-News reporter caught up with Andrew Leicester, the Minnesota-based artist who was chosen to design a bridge along the Foothill Gold Line extension in Arcadia.

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The 739-foot structure is being billed as an iconic gateway into the San Gabriel Valley.

Reporter Nathan McIntire writes:


The Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction
Authority chose Leicester in July to design the artistic elements of
the bridge, which will cost an estimated $20 to $25 million to build.

Leicester’s initial concept for the bridge, part of his pitch to the selection committee, was actually scrapped. (The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a rendering of that original concept, which featured references to peacocks.)


Now Leicester …
plans to incorporate the artistic traditions from Native American
tribes from the San Gabriel Valley, including the Chumash and
Gabrielenos, and references to the region’s native animal and plant
life into a contemporary structure.

It was Leicester’s experience that got him the job.

At right are some of the transit-oriented projects Leicester has in his online portfolio.

The top photo shows platform and bridge cladding that Leicester designed for the Charlotte, N.C.-area transit system.

Second and third photos from top show a light-rail transit stop designed in Minneapolis.

Bottom two photos show a ceramic wall mural project for Penn Station in New York City.

Below are some of Leicester’s past sketches for various public arts works.

(Photos and renderings courtesy Andrew Leicester)

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Get the picture: Cal Phil’s Family Night free-for-all at the Arboretum in Arcadia

>>PLAY

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The California Philharmonic hosted its annual free-for-all Family Night on Friday at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.

There were kids. There was music. There were kids making music. The results were pretty darn cute. (Evidence submitted at right in the form of photographs.)

From top, John Lacques of Drumtime has children and adults drumming to a different beat.

(Second photo from top) Samantha Milazzo, 2-and-a-half, plays the drums for her mother Shannon. Musical instruments were provided by John Waltrip’s Music
Center in Arcadia.

(Third photo from top) Veronica “Doodles” Corral with Tiffany “Trixi” Stuart, entertaining the children at Cal Phil Family Night.

(Bottom photo) Emily Corona of Pasadena plays a tune on the trombone.

(Photos by Walt Mancini)

Shop local: Eco-conscious furniture designs for babies and children

>>SHOP

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Muu is a year-old eco-conscious children’s furniture company that says it won’t compromise safety, sustainability or style.

The
products, finished with non-toxic lacquers, are manufactured locally to
reduce the environmental impact of transporting them to retail stores,
according to Muu founder Robert Kwak. The wood used is certified MDF,
made of recycled wood fibers, obtained from local sources.

The furniture is designed to adapt to the child as he
or she grows.

“We really felt like there was an opportunity to create a
product that had all of the customizations to it,” Kwak said. “It’s
furniture that is designed to grow with you.”

Muu’s current line, the Sam Collection, features the Sam
Crib, that can be transformed into a toddler bed with a conversion kit.
The collection was recognized as a 2009 International Design Excellence
Award finalist among 1,600 entries worldwide.

Kwak developed the concept with the environment and safety in mind.

“We have children, and we make sure they put out a product that is safe,” he said about its manufacturers.

The Sam Collection is available at:


Stacey Wang (Photos courtesy Muu)

Solvent solutions: Restoring — or removing — graffiti-covered trail markers on historic Cobb Estate

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>>INSIDER

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The Sunday Star-News featured a front-page report by Janette Williams on the unsightly condition of interpretive trail markers on the Cobb Estate at the north end of Lake Avenue.

The Pasadena Audubon Society installed the signs about 18 months ago, and they’re already plastered in graffiti — so much as to be completely unreadable.

Above and at right are some of the images that didn’t run in Sunday’s newspaper.

As you can see, the graffiti extends beyond just the trail markers.

A local resident is spearheading the effort to eliminate the eyesores, but finding a solution for the marred signs hasn’t been a simple process:

For nearly a year, Sarah Keever has been trying to
find a clean-up solution, contacting both the Pasadena Audubon Society,
which installed the interpretive signs, and the U.S. Forest Service,
which was deeded the estate site by the Altadena community in the early
1970s.

If one of the groups — or any willing group, for that matter — decides to buck up and take responsibility for the signage, we hear Easy-Off can work miracles.

You might want to order in bulk.

(Photos by Walt Mancini / Staff)

In the garden: Lessons and leisure, as nature intended

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY ARBORETUM AND BOTANIC GARDEN
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. (626) 821-3222

  • Tuesday, Sept. 8: Basic watercolor and graphite pencil lessons, including application and techniques for botanical illustration. The ongoing series starts Tuesday, Sept. 8, and continues for three more weeks (Sept. 15, 22 and 29). 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. $180 members/$195 non-members. Pre-registration required; (626) 821-4623

DESCANSO GARDENS
1418 Descanso Drive, La Caada Flintridge. (818) 949-4200

  • Thursday, Sept. 3: Patina wine tasting, Spanish surprises, The Boddy House, 6-8:30 p.m., Sept. 3. $49-$54, large appetizers chosen to compliment the wines. (818) 790-3663

  • Friday, Sept. 11: Pasadena POPS and “Genius Loves Company.” The POPS will perform some spectacular pieces guaranteed to spike your IQ. Gates at 5:30 p.m., concert at 7:30 p.m. $20-$90. Tickets: www.theorchestras.org or (626) 793-7172

HOME TOURS

  • Sunday, Oct. 4: Pasadena American Society of Interior Designers 23rd Annual Home and Kitchen Tour showcases five unique homes in Pasadena and Arcadia, with kitchens from five diverse designers; 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 4. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 day of the tour and include a map to each home. (800) 237-2634

– Compiled by Linda Fields Gold

Pasadena area real-estate roundup

>>LIVE

  • Take up residence in a “posh principality” — aka San Marino. A 1936 ranch house being sold as-is, and you have to see this photo gallery (via CurbedLA).

This week’s residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper Los Angeles: