Hi everyone (and by everyone, I mean the tiny amount of people who still might read a post here)! Obviously this blog hasn't been updated in ages, however that is because I've been posting over on Blogger, continuing my open internet sketchbook that I started here. Lots of amazing music, cool art and tasty recipes to be had at eronrauch.blogspot.com! I'm also moving in to the realm of twitter and flicker more these days. Find me on Flickr and follow me on Twitter!
Hiya all! As promised, I assembled my list of izakayas in Los Angeles. For those of you who don't know what that is, an izakaya is the Japanese equivalent of a gastro-pub. A place to get tasty and booze. The food tends to be some of the least esoteric Japanese foods - plenty of fried foods, dried foods, noodle dishes and grilled bits, though most have very odd specialties that will have even the waitresses asking if you really want to oder that [read: "Silly gaijin, you sure you want tako wasabi or fermented yam strands?!?"] On with the show!
Haru ULaLa - A favorite of Jonathan Gold with more of a focus on grilled foods. They also have an astounding menagerie of gyoza, including shiso variants that are wonderfully piquant. $12 pichters of Kirin. Grilled rice balls are fantastic. The egg custard was bland. I felt as though the menu wasn't quite as strong as places like Furaibo, nor was the food as solid. This seems to be as much of a place to drink as to eat, judging by the teetering folks I've seen smoking on the curb outside late into the night while I've been hanging out at the jazz jam at 2nd Street Jazz next door. 68 East 2nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90012-4203 - (213) 620-0977
Musha (Santa Monica) - A more modern, forward-looking izakaya with a hint of California influence. The dishes tend to be more produce/ingredient-driven with very vibrant fresh flavors and creative twists. One of the great strengths of Musha is that almost all of their menu is very good so just point and enjoy. Sure to be fun for folks from Tokyo as much as your midwestern siblings. Aburisaba, Oshinko, Okinomiyaki (actually Takoyaki-esque). Plenty of great veggie options. Probably the most enjoyable izakaya in town that leaves you feeling upbeat and positive and the latin jazz doesn't hurt the sunny vibe of their food at all. Limited and fairly unsophisticated sushi, but fresh. Great veggie options. One note is that this is less bar-like than most izakayas. It can be annoyingly smokey if people dip before grilling on their micro grills and can be a bastard to get a table without a reservation on a weekend night. 424 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 576-6330
Furaibo - The warhorse to eat before rounds of karaoke next door in the Sawtelle area. They have an extensive menu of very traditional Japanese dishes, including the gooey tako wasabi and crunchy roe-filled dried lake fish. The chicken-part grilled sampler was a gem with such a huge number of different parts to try. Solid veggie options. I really need to go back and try deeper in to their menu. Try to sit on the floor in the traditional Japanese style room if your legs can handle it for a more communal experience. The quality of the food is quite high overall. 2068 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles - (310) 444-1432
Izayoi - A newer downtown izakaya with a widely diverse menu. The flavors are more subtle, occasionally leaning toward bland. There wasn't an dish that really floored us, but most everything was solid. Sure as hell avoid the miso squid leg and raw egg dish which was deemed nauseating by the whole table. Sake is a touch pricey and the place was touch "hygienic" for my tastes. Again, I need to go back and try another round of food since I didn't feel like I found their strength. 132 North Central Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012-3913 - (213) 613-9554
Orris - Not a proper izakaya, but an amazing french/japanese restaurant in the izakaya-has-babies-with-a-wine-bar flavor. This place is another step up in price, but with fantastic chef-driven creations that pair as well with wine as with sake or beer. Things like curry-infused sea bass tempura with hand-made Okinawan sea salt for dipping. They don't take reservations so make sure to show up early if you want to get seating. A fun date-night restaurant with a changing seasonal menu based on the farmer's markets. 2006 Sawtelle Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90025-623 (310) 268-2212
Robata Bar - Again, not an izakaya proper, since their specialty is on grilled skewers, but they have a good selection of other dishes from their neighboring restaurant. I've never been a robata fan, but Robata bar has everything from mushrooms to lobster and foie gras. Ostensibly you can order food from their sister restaurant Sushi Roku. The interior is kind of funky with a whole ceiling of rope ends. Personally if I was out that way in Santa Monica, I would eat at Bar Pinxto across the street, but that's probably just my fondness for wine talking. 1401 Ocean Ave Santa Monica, CA 90401 (424) 214-0964
Raku - This is an izakaya with Korean influences and a fairly standard menu. The food tends toward a more standard, bland, side of fried. The sushi wasn't very good. Some of the dishes tasted quite similar. I wasn't particularly struck by any dish, but maybe there are a few gems hiding. Need to take another visit to check in on it. They have another location downtown that I haven't eaten at. 11678 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles - (310) 478-3090
Izakayas I have had recommended but haven't eaten at:
Nanbankan @ 11330 Santa Monica Boulevard · West Los Angeles CA 90025 (I've been warned the door to this place can be tricky to find - seems to be an authentic yakitori-style place). (310) 478-1591
Sasaya @ 11613 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles - (I've been told by a good source that this place is a strong contender for the king of Los Angeles izakayas). (310) 477-4404
Hiya! You'll have to pardon a pointless list here - I just wanted to publicly remind myself of things I need to finish this weekend:
1) Blog post about Izakayas in L.A.
2) Hang the large finished painting up with rest of work from that series.
3) Finish up the other painting from the Fantasy/Essay project.
4) Make the piece of wrought-iron, thread and writing.
5) Get Blizzcon cards from 2008 from Mel to eBay.
6) Go to coffee shop and work on book of poems.
8) Shoot the remaining 4 x 11 block section of Santa Monica (pending rain).
9) Re-read a few chunks of Twilight Kids (my crappy first novel) to get into the swing to write my new book.
"Art is found between the lines of press releases. Art is found in the times between press releases. It is found outside of opening receptions. It is often unable to be documented. It found outside of artist's statements, CV's, books, journals, magazines, advertising, museums, galleries or periodicals. It is found despite all of these."
"What is the point of art?
It seems like there are two major components for me. The first is that art is a place to get in contact with your interior geography - a place where the ambiguities and strictures of humanity are on display - a way to refresh and/or renew your perspective on the exterior world.
The second 'point' of art I tend to think as being more broadly social - that art can create a space for questioning what is normally taken as inherent - a space of intensity that is both in and out of the dwellings of our preconceptions - that tries to fight against complacency of perception and other vague assumptions. The sewage-workers of culture, as it were. A space, not just for rest but to throw your clothes off and run and feel the air. "
(Written sometime around the middle of August 2009).
Hiya all! I have a new round of my pragmatic New Year's resolutions to put up publicly so that I have to remember to do them. Last year this was a really helpful idea that steered me through all the choppy seas of my messed up life. This year, I've split them in to two categories, art and everything else. The art section is more goal-oriented, but it's nice to sketch those out anyway, even if they're not as fun:
Learn to Make My Own Pasta - I adore fresh pasta of all sorts and for christmas I got Lidia's Italian Kitchen, a cookbook with excellent step-by-step instructions on numerous varieties and complexities. I've been assured it's not too hard, it just takes practice. This is one of those "next step" pieces I want to add to my advanced kitchen repertoire.
Go hiking every couple weeks - While I live in a deep urban/industrial section of Los Angeles and love living in cities, mentally I still crave some of the quite and raw physical immersion in nature. It works like a soft reset button for my jangled nerves and tizzy of a a brain. Even on the occasions I've wandered around Griffith Park in the evening and ate a little food that I brought in my jacket while I sit under a dusty tree, I feel more perceptive...
Go camping at least 4 times - This is in addition to the hiking resolution. Camping was a staple of our vacations when I was a kid and every chance I've had to camp out in the vast field of California's wildernesses has left me feeling more grounded and receptive to the world around me. Plus bears and trees hundreds of feet high are just plain neat.
Bake my own bread [mostly] - Visiting my brother's farm in Northern California he introduced me to the wonders of no-knead bread recipes. The various podcasts I listen to while I work in the studio have been heralding the rise (no pun intended) of this method. I gave it a test run and the results were fantastic - on par with all but the best bakeries in town.
Play tennis occasionally - This is my one sport. THE sport that I used to play and adore until I got in to grad school and lost the time to get out and hit the courts. I need to find a nice racket that suits
Do some sort of volunteer work for sierra club, green peace or some eco activist group (preferably local) - Not that I like hippies, or will even tolerate hippy tendencies, but I do believe in preserving and interacting with native areas of nature are important as a society. I'm giving back in the art world, time to step up and do a little work to help out society as a whole.
Grill more - I need to get my own grill rack since the communal ones get rusted all the time, and a stash of charcoal.
Get my headphones' rig set up - Being the audio nerd that I am (by no means an audiophile, but I have a distinct preference for high-quality when I'm listening to music) To stop bugging my roommates, I need to get my amp and headphones setup for my computer. Just need to not go out a couple times since the total cost is like $250 and I've done all the research...
Eat at Jitlada - This one should be hella easy, but for some reason no one will make time to go with me… I mean, this is the premiere authentic Thai restaurant in the Western half of the United States and is still cheap as hell. Come on friends!
Continue my izakaya trek across LA - I've gotten to 6 or 7 of them, but my favorite style of Japanese food (izakaya is Japanese traditional pub food / tapas). I should make a post or a small web site for this, since it will be a wealth of info for other folks that like these strange grilled, dried, pickled, savory, fried and fascinating drinking food at late night restaurants (dried lake smelt with roe, octapus omeletes, chicken gizzards, tako wasabi etc.).
Make one post a month on my blog about an artist/show who has influenced my art - I want to do this as a way to catalog my own interests, but also as a way to share some of my knowledge and interest in the art world with folks around me. Generally, I really enjoy the dissemination of art and culture from folks all around - novels, recipes, art, movies… that flow to and from is really important for keeping creatively engaged.
Do second apartment homes fake book xerox photo-book - This bastard project is super-enjoyable because it's just following in the punk rock roots of when i used to do crappy zines. But it's a great sister project to the SM Blues, and has been taking up wall space in my studio for ages. All I need to do is get a few bucks out of the bank and head to a Kinko's.
Finish SM Blues Portfolio - And by finish the portfolio, I mean, finish a solid 40+ image set at 17" x 22" that I can use to show folks what I'm trying to do with this project. I have thousands of frames that aren't even proofed which would mean least 100-150 final images for the project, but that can happen over time. For now I just want something in concrete form. And the shooting is nearly done - only about 10 hours of work left on the "names" section.
Start the Process of finalizing and working toward a book for the anime con documentary project. This has to get done dammit! Probably still my strongest and most important project to date, and it needs to get out there. I have a majority of the final portfolio worked out, I just need cash and to spend the time to get stuff done.
Seriously start looking for a gallery - Okay, I need to really really do this. Dealing with the business elements of art is by far my least favorite thing I do in the art world. Once some of my portfolios are knocked out, I just need to figure out what to do with them...
Compile Poetry - I've got 10-ish sketchbooks which have bits and pieces of my writing intermixed with my art sketches and writings, and I need to transcribe all that in to the computer so I can make some sense of it.
Re-edit Twilight Kids - Out at Tony's place with friends it slipped out that I had written a novel after undergrad. It wasn't good, but the idea was sort of Waiting for Gudo meets Gundam (sort of nothing happening near-future war novel)… Nothing ever really came of it, but they all made me promise to edit it up to show it to them. They will probably regret this, but it will be a good step to get working on my recent idea for a novel.
Get started on long term career planning - I haven't put much thought in to this except the dawning realization that I haven't put much thought in to the structure of my life outside of eventually wanting to be a full time artist. I'm just feeling a tinge of panic as I come up nearer to 30 I need to think through the steps I need to do to make my ideas happen. I mean, I've managed really well for where I'm at, but I need to do an honest evaluation so I can move forward effectively.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you all think!
I know I've been bad about updating my journal with anything substantial, but this summer has been bat-shit-crazy, and fall has thrown a massive workload at me... But in the contemplative spirit of Fall (and in honor of the slight rain that counts as fall out here in LA) I figured a good way to get back in to my journal was on a personal note to check in on my New Year's resolutions... Many things have changed in my life, but this should be informative for me, if not hideously boring for y'all ^_~
1) Learn to cook more Chinese vegitarian food.
Hmm... I no longer have this set of cookbooks, however I have, taking the suggestion of a number of top-end food writers that have passed through KCRW's Good Food program of late, tried to limit my intake of meat as much as possible. I particularly was intrigued by one piece of information and one particular suggestion - First, the fact: if you cut even one single meat meal out of your diet per week, the energy savings is equivalent to shopping *entirely* locally for the rest of your food for that week. Second, the suggestion, that if you want to be eco-conscious, try eating vegetarian for breakfast and lunch, and then don't worry too much about dinner. My modified solution, since anxiety is a huge problem for me about food, is that I'll try to eat as vegetarian (in my case laco/ovo/pescatarian) as possible but not worry too much about eating meat of the few occasions I eat out per week. Seems reasonable and tasty!
2) Eat more Mackerel and small fish.
Doing passable on this - I mean, I love anchovies, sardines and mackerel so I've been sneaking them in on occasion (did you know it is Pike Mackerel season in Japan? A sushi chef at a local place was telling me about how they traditionally catch them in Japan which involves lanterns and small boats). However, my complaint would be the relative difficulty of find these small, more sustainable fish at stores. Other than Japanese grocery stores, even sizable fish markets like SM Seafood rarely stock anything but the familiar canned versions. Possibly an American palate issue?
3) Go to each of the 4 major Los Angeles art museums at least every two months.
Hmm... Let's say that I'm making it about every 4 months, and for some reason, the Hammer is by far the hardest for me to get the motivation to visit, even though it's shows tend to be quite interesting.
4) Go to at least one gallery opening/closing per month.
With my involvement in hosting my own series of monthly art events, my contact with this world has been rather better. I even made it down to the Downtown Art Walk recently. I still don't like the atmosphere, and to be honest, a vast majority of the work I see, but I'll keep plugging along!
5) Watch more movies.
Huh - totally forgot about this one. Been worse than ever about this. No idea why... But I've been reading a ton more than I have in a long time, so I guess I shouldn't worry too much - but I suppose not having a TV or stereo setup at the moment is probably a minor hinderance to this happening anytime soon.
6) Jog twice a week at least.
I've been really solid on this one - I usually jog 2-3 times a week and do weights another 2-3 times.
7) Be okay with one simple meal a week.
This has been inverted - which is that I need to make sure to make time to cook one elaborate meal per week - something that is really tricky and involved since I've found that often I'm so much on the run now, that my stress release from cooking can get run over roughshod.
8) Drink more green tea (and a bit less booze).
Been great about this - almost entirely cut off my coffee intake at home which has kept me from downing a whole pot and bouncing off the wall.
9) Listen to NPR's program "Speaking of Faith" more often.
Check and check! Since I've been so good about this, I've added an additional component which was to keep up with the literary program Bookworm.
10) Finally get a new camera.
Done and done last time. Working on a new computer to handle the new files still.
11) Hit my mark of one blog entry per week.
Ahahaha - not even close. But I have added a facebook to keep up with more current promotional event means, since it is such a better application for events and promotion. However, I do miss having the ability to really dig in to content (like this post!)
12) Add an online catalog to my web site, and as a corollary, get a few on the mini-books I've been itching to do done.
I'm still waffling on this ethically, but I got the first Apartment Homes Fake Book done, a second is in progress. Also I'm in the midst of seriously printing which sounds to be perfect for my first print-on-demand book. I think... again I *think* I have some difference between having a bookstore on my site Vs. having a total catalog of my work to publish. I think I would like to try to get a small chapbook of poems done this year...
13) Spend less money.
Been doing passably on this through forceable means, since the move decimated my funds and there was almost no work in the photo world this summer. But I'm trying to keep those habits up!
14) Practice my various "elevator speeches."
Bingo bango done. But doing almost 6 months worth of curating and promotion of art shows and studio visits and press releases has really started to hone this skill set. Actually, I'm realizing just how amateur some of my earlier promotional material, or even just my basic explanations of my work (which is what I frankly care MUCH more about).
15) Finally track down a bunch of the old 80's and early 90's occult anime movies and OVA's that I have a deep suspicion color my art aesthetic.
Whoops - forgot about this...
16) (Skipped for obvious reasons lol!)
17) Got to China Town more.
Done-e-i-a-o-u... Been down there a couple times a month at least! It's a fun place - Spring Street Smoke House, Mountain Bar, the Moon Festival...
18) Update computer software.
Kinda irrelevant, but I've tried to do a good job of having the right software for the job, and not skimping.
In honor of this first foggy night of Fall, I wanted to let you know I've made up a brand new mix CD. Hit me up and I'll throw you a copy. Here's the track list if you're curious:
1) "The Rabbit of My Soul Is the King of His Ghost" by Saint The Fire Show (on "Saint The Fire Show")
2) "Dear Deadly" by Creeper Lagoon (on "Creeper Lagoon")
3) "Tom Cat" by Muddy Waters (on "Electric Mud")
4) "Omar k" by Rainbow Arabia (on "Kabukimono")
5) "Bucket of Butterflies" by Modey Lemon (on "The Curious City")
6) "Don't you Evah (DJ Amaze & Alan Astor Mix)" by Spoon (on "Don't You Evah" single)
7) "My Needs" by The Monotonix (on "Where Were You When It Happened?")
8) "Certified" by Diverse (on "RJD2 is God")
9) "Sunshine the Werewolf" by Dillinger Escape Plan (on "Miss Machine")
10) "Where Pathways Meet" by Sun Ra (on "Lanquidity")
11) "Planning" by Chris Speed (on "Yeah No")
12) "Curse" by Cult of Luna (on "Eternal Kingdom")
13) "These Days" by Xu Xu Fang (on "The Mourning Son")
14) "Send Me Your Love" by Soft Canyon (on "Broken Spirit, I Will Mend Wings")
15) "Winter's Wolves" by The Sword (on "Age of Winters")
16) "Funeralopolis" by Electric Wizard (on "Dopethrone")
Gotta run and reheat some of the tasty Spanish artichoke stew I made last night before heading out to shoot some photos for a friend's band. Enjoy!
Fleeting Projects has a very special collaboration by Gina Kelly and Nate Page scheduled for the Sunday September 27th. Their playful and multifaceted installation delves deeply in to the social dynamics of bar culture and the ways that we're all influenced to those little gestures and seemingly innocuous signs swirling around us. From interactive lighting allowing patrons to modulate the mood lighting, recorded audio in the bathrooms that judging by the accents is from a Midwestern bar, banners, detourned board games, and a large video installation, the work hops nimbly through the ways that our experiences and relationships are subtly (and sometimes very overtly) shaped by cues in our constructed environment. Sometimes that song is just going to get stuck in your head and you'll need to share it...
"Installation at Renee's"
New Works by Gina Kelly & Nate Page
Sunday September 27th 7:00PM - 2:00AM @ Fleeting Projects Hosted by Renee's Courtyard Cafe
522 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90401 21+
Drop on by, talk with the artist, have a beer, listen to some music, argue about art and forget that you have to be up for work.
*** Fleeting Projects is now accepting open submissions for shows! Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. ***
Fleeting Projects is an ultra-temporary experiment in presenting art hosted monthly by Renee's Courtyard Cafe. Artists has twelve hours to arrive, display, and remove the work from the space. Renee's Courtyard Cafe is one of the oldest buildings in Santa Monica, and a former home that has been converted for different uses over nearly 100 years. Fleeting Projects attempts to push at the assumptions and boundaries to traditional art display and focuses on installation, intervention, performance, video and site-specific projects.
Hiya all! Just wanted to share a few photos from the last Fleeting Projects show - it went fantastically - a huge installation of work and tons of people. (And plenty of beer).
Next month we're going to be featuring Nate Page and a special guest!