Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tar Fest & Luna Park

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Last Friday night we attended the Tar Fest on the Miracle Mile with our friends, Beth and Larry. The Tar Fest encompasses film, music and art for an entire weekend. We wanted to check out the galleries along Wilshire. Lately, more galleries have opened on the Miracle Mile, along with the old electronic stores and wig shops.

We met Beth and Larry at Luna Park Restaurant on La Brea, just north of Wilshire. This is the restaurant in the old Mutual of Omaha Building, now the Samsung Building. We had visited this restaurant last July with Audrey and Jeff. It was the height of the summer heatwave and we tried their salads. All were excellent.
Luna Park was jumpin' on a Friday night. The music was booming, the crowd was loud and there was lots of action. The waitress immediately brought fresh sourdough bread with olive oil to our table...delish. We ordered our dinners: Beth: Grilled Flank Steak with French Fries and Salsa Verde; Larry A.: Breaded Pork Cutlet Stuffed with Mushrooms and Gruyere Cheese with Mashed Potatoes, String Beans and Apple-Cranberry Sauce; Ellen: Spicy Wild Boar Rigatoni with Braising Greens and Larry U.: Pan Fried Trout with Spicy Remoulade, Arugulita, Cherry Tomatoes, and Shaved Fennel. Everyone photographed their own meals, below. It was quite dark, so we needed to take a few practice shots.

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Beth's Steak

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Larry A's Pork

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Ellen's Rigatoni

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Larry U's Trout

Dinner was very good. It was difficult to visit though because of the noise in the restaurant. High ceilings combined with hard surfaces and lots of people makes for a loud space. We were probably the oldest people in the place and we all have rock 'n roll ears! All those years yelling and screaming at rock concerts and blues shows, standing in front of huge speakers have taken it's toll on most of my friends. What? What did you say? Also, we know we're old when we have to take out our little flashlights to read the menu! Oy! It was a relief to finally get out of the restaurant on to La Brea Avenue where we could finally hear and see each other again. I would suggest trying Luna Park on a quieter evening, unless you like that sort of din.

We proceeded west on Wilshire Blvd. to visit a few galleries. Galleries are popping up all along the street. We visited a few small places, then came up to the Korean Cultural Center. There was a group show upstairs. I remember this building being a bank before the Cultural Center took it over. On the lower level there was a show of the permanent collection of the Center...very beautiful masks, costumes and an entire historic room set up. Upstairs, the group show had many different artists represented from the Los Angeles area. It was a lively scene.

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Korean Cultural Center Exhibit
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Ellen and Beth @ Tar Fest

We crossed the street to the Desmond's building and the Ace Gallery. Sadly, the historic building was closed, but there was an empty storefront next door filled with art, more loud music and lots of activity. I read somewhere that this stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, The Miracle Mile, between La Brea and Fairfax has the highest concentration of Art Deco builldings.

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Marble and Brass Entrance @ Desmond's

We stopped at a few more little galleries, then ended up at a wig display near the corner of Cochran and Wilshire. Larry A. took a great photo of us admiring the wild wigs!

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At 1:54 PM PDT, Blogger dizzy von damn! said...

my friend jessie had a painting in that show... but i forgot!

good to know someone went!

At 8:26 AM PDT, Blogger Nicola said...

Yeah, when I went to Luna Park I wasn't impressed. It was very scene-y, for no good reason that I could determine. Apparently, their mojitos are very good, but not really my style.

At 11:36 AM PDT, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Hmmm. I just noticed Luna Park when driving that way last weekend and was wondering what it was like ("kitchen and cocktails"). Thanks for the info. Also, I've been wanting to check out the Korean Cultural Center, but I guess I had it confused with the Japanese Cultural Center, because I thought it was downtown. Knowing it is nearby makes it a more likely possibility to visit.

Thanks for keeping LA interesting.


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