Los Angeles Times


Small Hours: Enjoy his clubs while you can

LOS ANGELES TIMES

July 29, 2006

By James Verini

On a recent Saturday night, the parking lot outside of the West Hollywood nightclub Privilege was reminiscent of a movie theater before the release of a new “Star Wars” movie. The men and women lined up in their miniskirts and expertly torn jeans were better-looking, of course, and did not carry toy light sabers, but the frisson of anticipation was the same, as was the size of the crowd, which motorcycle police and bouncers tried unsuccessfully to hem in. Everyone buzzed about Privilege as though it were the latest thing.
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Small Hours: Ritzing Silver Lake

LOS ANGELES TIMES

July 26, 2006

By James Verini

DRIVE around Silver Lake and you quickly see why the neighborhood has become a geographic byword for hip. Old storefronts abut sleek new businesses, comfortably ramshackle bungalows sit next to million-dollar Modernist architectural gems. At night, you feel just safe enough to walk along Sunset or Silver Lake Boulevard from dinner at a new local restaurant — one seems to open about every month now — to a show at dingy, dependable Spaceland, or, if you like, to the new gelato parlor up the street, but just unsafe enough to make the walk a little thrilling. You might cross paths with musicians Beck or Flea or with “24” star Kiefer Sutherland, all local residents.
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Small Hours: Working the scene at Social

LOS ANGELES TIMES

June 30, 2006

By James Verini

We should all take pride in the knowledge that no city mingles vanity and charity with quite the originality Los Angeles does. This was on display Tuesday night in Hollywood, where “Trial and Error” and “Aeon Flux” star Charlize Theron hitched a mini-benefit for African children onto the opening of Hollywood’s newest monument to conspicuous consumption: Social Hollywood, Jeffrey Chodorow’s mega-restaurant-slash-bar-slash-private-club. (Nevermind that Social has been open for business for months. In L.A., if you haven’t thrown at least five parties before you “officially open,” you’re doing something wrong.)
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Small Hours: Garcetti, walking the talk

LOS ANGELES TIMES

June 25, 2006

By James Verini

ARENA is a big, loud nightclub in Hollywood, not the kind of place you’d expect to find your city councilman, much less the president of the Los Angeles City Council. But there Eric Garcetti was on a recent evening, looking typically polished and ardent. He had just delivered a speech to a crowd of Rotarians who were using the club for the night, extolling the “sheer human diversity” of his district, the 13th, and Garcetti was on his way out of the club. It was almost 9 p.m. and he had to get to another party.
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Small Hours: You missed `Explained’ for a movie?

LOS ANGELES TIMES

June 17, 2006

By James Verini

Last Saturday, while you were busy doing something stupid, maybe knocking back that beer that put you over the edge — or was that you skulking guiltily into “Da Vinci Code” at the ArcLight, refusing to yell “thank you!” at that nice usher? — some of your fellow Angelenos were having a much smarter evening at the Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood. The theater is in the Barnsdall Art Park, atop a hill overlooking East Hollywood and Los Feliz, next to the Barnsdall House, a dilapidated pile from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mayan phase. There, a crowd of smart-looking adults, peppered with art kids and hipsters, watched a grab-bag show of readings and multimedia presentations by a group of very brainy and clever, but warm, people.
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Small Hours: A launch party, minus the party

LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 28, 2006

By James Verini

NOTE to Hollywood studio publicity departments: The movie premiere party is an ailing beast. Please do something. We know those of you not comparing wax jobs in Cannes are busy handing out questionnaires to Janie in Peoria, but back here in L.A., things are grim.
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Small Hours: What floor is the annual gala on?

LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 22, 2006

By James Verini

Los Angeles long ago shed its reputation for cultural callowness, but in case anyone needs reminding, the Museum of Contemporary Art likes to occasionally gather together the city’s grandest grandees and honor the pursuit of high things. Hence Friday night at — or, rather, below — MOCA.
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Small Hours: Little names that make the short list

LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 14, 2006

By James Verini

“A good name is better than precious ointment,” the Bible tells us. Last month, Hyde, a small lounge devoted to rock ‘n’ roll, opened on Sunset. Owned by club-Trump Sam Nazarian and his new business partner, promoter Brent Bolthouse, Hyde sports one of those strong but slightly silly one-word names that dominate L.A. nightlife right now.
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Small Hours: Yeah, they’re game, boy

LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 12, 2006

By James Verini

Is there any event as brazenly inattentive to the coolness of Los Angeles as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) week? Like mayflies, armies of suited video game industry executives and programmers and all other manner of power-geek descend on L.A. to callous their thumbs testing newer and better ways of slaying aliens and fighting the Battle of the Bulge. “Hey, guys,” one wants to yell at them, “we’re trying to run a hipper-than-thou city here! At least put on a trucker hat!”
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Small Hours: Come one, come all — but up to a point

LOS ANGELES TIMES

May 3, 2006

By James Verini

The defining question in Los Angeles nightlife these days: Is it better to be big and inclusive or small and exclusive? Sprawling and democratic or intimate and refined? Tonight, when the first stage of the 40,000-square-foot nightlife megaplex Social Hollywood opens on Sunset, the distinction may become moot. Jeffrey Chodorow and Peter Famulari, the men behind the hubristic project, believe they can be both massive and refined. The owners of Asia de Cuba and SkyBar, the power pair on that glitzier stretch of Sunset to the west, Chodorow and Famulari intend the Social complex — even the name conjures up an idea, a desire — to change the dynamics of postmeridian L.A. in one fell swoop, not to mention revitalizing the somewhat ramshackle corner of Hollywood they’ve chosen.
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Small Hours: The doorman as therapist

LOS ANGELES TIMES

April 30, 2006

By James Verini

IN a business populated by whack-a-mole operators, Andrew Brin has stood steady as a totem at the thresholds of L.A.’s “It” clubs and parties (Guy’s, Spider Club, Monday nights at Les Deux, Tropicana Bar) for the better part of a decade now. He is the gentle Charon of the night, list in hand, chary smile on his face.
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Small Hours: His look doesn’t matter; Everyone loves Raymond

LOS ANGELES TIMES

April 15, 2006

By James Verini

There are two types of people at a typical Raymond Pettibon opening. One type is drawn to the epigrams and discomfiting punch lines buried in Pettibon’s seemingly blithe drawings and paintings — serious folks who like to be seriously poked in the eye by art. Then there are the cheerier souls who come to see another beach bum play with cartoons.
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