Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Happy Birthday to Us: Franklin Avenue Turns 12!

cake 12

Hey, remember when "blogging" was the cool thing to do? Everyone signed up and started writing their own "weblog," in the age before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and everything else?

[Pauses, strokes graying beard] Oh, I remember. But hey, we're still here, 12 years in, writing about Los Angeles, reviewing restaurants, scouting out "Mad Men" locations, sharing local ratings info, telling you cool places to take the kids, walking 16 miles down an LA street each year and whatever else. Oh yeah, pimping my KCRW appearances. It is an odd little mishmash of stuff, huh.

Well, thanks for being with us for this journey... and here's to 12 more. (Really? Won't the Blogger Kids be Blogger Adults by then? Yes.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The Great Los Angeles Walk, Named One of "The Best Things to Do in LA"

Best Things to Do in LA

Here's something that doesn't happen every day: I was browsing the Los Angeles/California books at Barnes & Noble (as I do), when I came across the book The Best Things to Do in Los Angeles: 1001 Ideas by Joy Yoon. According to Amazon, the book came out in 2003, but I finally saw it in December.

So yeah, I admit, I immediately went to the index, just to see if The Great Los Angeles Walk was mentioned. Because, hey, if she's listing 1001 things to do, why not include the Walk? I fully expected being disappointed... but then, there it was! No. 956!


So hey, it's now immediately my favorite book about Los Angeles. Here's the blurb from Amazon:

The definitive guide for tourists and locals alike, this comprehensive guidebook draws on a lifetime of local experience for 1001 great things to do in Los Angeles.

Probably more than any other major cultural metropolis, Los Angeles is a city for those in the know. A guide like no other, this is the first book to go beyond locations and events to tap into the variety of things only a local could know. The Best Things to Do in Los Angeles explores every aspect of Los Angeles life. Find the best spots to view the Hollywood sign or exactly where to catch postgame fireworks at Dodger Stadium. Track down the most authentic eateries in ethnic enclaves, and engage in L.A.’s legendary food wars, from hamburgers to French dips. Follow the most beautiful routes up and down the Pacific coast, take your own unique architectural tour of the Hollywood Hills, or find out where the city’s best bookstores are and read up on it all instead.

Organized by theme – from destinations to views and sights, food and drink, and of course the Hollywood trail of superstar haunts and famous locations – and with contributions from celebrated Angelenos including, Gary Baseman, Flea, Ludo Lefebvre, Sasha Spielberg, and more, this is simply the most helpful and fun guidebook there is to the City of Angels.

Here's the full entry:

Monday, March 02, 2015

MIKE ON KCRW: Sony Exec Shuffle, Late Night Changes, "Last Man On Earth," More

On this Monday's edition of The Business, Kim Masters and I bantered about several topics including:
- At Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal's out, Tom Rothman's in. That makes Wall Street analysts happy, but filmmakers? Not so much.
- Adam Goodman is officially out as the president of Paramount Film Group.
- The bad news at DreamWorks Animation only gets worse. The company took a major write-down on its most recent film.

PLUS, this episode features an excerpt from our episode of THE SPIN-OFF featuring our interview with former NBC late night executive Rick Ludwin. Listen by clicking below:


On last Thursday's Hollywood Breakdown, Kim Masters and I talked all about the Tom Rothman era at Sony:
Amy Pascal was known for being one of the most talent-friendly studio heads in the industry because she was willing to spend so much money on projects she wanted. In terms of spending, Pascal replacement and new Sony Pictures chair Tom Rothman has the opposite reputation. His fondness for tight budgets has some in the industry worried that his management style will interfere with filmmakers and their work. Previously an executive at Fox for many years, Rothman joined Sony in 2013 to head the TriStar division. In the coming months, we'll see if Rothman's new role means a shift in the overall trajectory of the studio.

Listen below:


On Monday's Press Play with Madeleine Brand, Grantland's Andy Greenwald and I discussed the Oscars and more:
There’s all kinds of new TV to pick apart today in our weekly television roundup. The release of House of Cards season three meant a nation full of shut-ins over the weekend. Does it live up to the hype? There’s also a new Fox comedy that envisions a world with one man left on Earth. Plus, Tina Fey makes a small screen comeback, this time behind the camera. We size it all up with our regular television analysts.

Listen below:


FREE L.A.: "Revolutions 2" Music Art Exhibit at the Forest Lawn Museum

Forest Lawn Museum

Just open at Glendale's Forest Lawn Museum, the new exhibit "Revolutions 2" (a sequel to the Museum's "Revolutions" exhibit from a few years ago) celebrates "the stunning world of art that revolves around music, with a dazzling array of art, album cover originals and more."

It's a cool exhibit, and best of all, free! A quick note about the Forest Lawn Museum: It's truly one of the best-kept secret attractions in Glendale. Get over the idea that it's a museum within a cemetery -- Glendale's Forest Lawn is a beautiful, well-maintained site (with countless statues, monuments and chapels), even if you have no particular reason to visit. Perched high above the city, the museum boasts incredible views -- and its entrance is always free. The permanent collection is interesting enough, but the museum's rotating exhibitions are almost always unique and well-curated.

The Forest Lawn Museum's past exhibits include ones devoted to tiki art, the art of the motorcycle and the Art of Lego.

We attended the opening reception on Saturday night. Some pics we sneaked:

Forest Lawn Museum

Forest Lawn Museum

Forest Lawn Museum

The Forest Lawn museum

The Glendale city view, from high above.

The "Revolutions 2" exhibit continues until August 2. Forest Lawn Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays).

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Rate-A-Restaurant #339: Eden Burger Bar (Glendale)

Eden Burger

Restaurant: Eden Burger Bar

Location: 333 1/2 N Verdugo Rd. (Glendale)

Type of restaurant: Hamburgers

Eden Burger

We stipulated: Maria had been raving about her visits to Eden Burger, but I hadn't had a chance to check it out. (Plus, I gotta be honest, the promise of a great burger doesn't excite me the way it does others. I've had good burgers already, could Eden really be any better?)

They stipulated: Eden Burger's wide-ranging menu also includes gourmet hot dogs, pizzas and sides.

Eden Burger

What we ordered: Fig burger (fig, sun-dried tomato, crispy prosciutto flakes, arugula, lemon basil aioli, fig and olive tapenade -- I got it without cheese) $12; Firehouse (jalapeno bacon, giardiniera, field tomato, habanero jack, avocado mayo) $11; bistro fries with spicy ketchup

Eden Burger

High point:  Love the jalapeƱo ketchup for the fries, and the fig and sundried tomato mesh nicely with the burger.

Eden Burger

Low point:  No turkey burger option! What's the deal with that?

Eden Burger

Overall impression: Juicy burgers, and a true decadent meal. But the decor is terrible, like walking into a 1980s timewarp. Why go with the gourmet burger concept yet decorate the restaurant like it's straight out of a Miami Vice episode?

Eden Burger

Will we return: Absolutely.
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