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Rush Street on Washington in Culver City- I had heard great things about this place and seen it while dining in the area, I definitely wanted to check it out. I enjoyed the overall look of the place- full front windows, a heated patio, a brick wall with old fashioned lamps and dim lighting. The decor in here is quite interesting.  I really don’t understand the whole stripper pole thing but I suppose everyone has their own gimmick.

The first dish I tried was the fried shrimp and lobster eggrolls. All things fried are an easy win, and this was no exception. They came with a trio of some ok sauces- which, like most condiments, somehow end up masking the flavor mediocre food.  Next came the crawfish and crab mini burgers. GROSS. The sauce was awful and the crawfish and crab was all too fishy. The sliders came with fries- shoestring frites with with truffle oil and asiago. Sounds like it’d be amazing, right? Wrong. Asiago cheese was too potent of a choice and took away from the truffle oil.  However, a third item- the roasted japanese eggplant with  spicy tofu and edamame was DELICIOUS. Overall, even though I wasn’t too impressed, I’d go back and try more items on the menu.

Bottom line- it is a great restuarant. but in the scheme of the LA food , it ranks as mediocre/forgettable in my book. However I did notice that on wednesday nights they offer free pole dance lessons on ladies night and “delicious drink specials,” haha.

Rush Street~ 9546 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232

All the hail the home of glorified hotdogs. Wurstküche is a little slice of heaven, tucked neatly in the heart of the Downtown Los Angeles Historic Arts District. Just minutes from skid row, this place is definitely worth the trek AND the wait in line you’ll  probably have to endure.

 

The place features unique sausages- rattlesnake and rabbit with jalepeno peppers. Of course, they’ve got your typical hot dogs as well, which are nothing short of amazing. I must not forget to mention their fries!! Double dipped belgian fries with white truffle oil…. heaven. The dipping sauces- BBQ, Tzatziki, Buttermilk Ranch, Thai Peanut, Chipotle Ketchup, my personal fave Sundried Tomato Mayo, etc, etc. Let’s not forget the 24 different beers on tap- most of which are Belgian and German imports.

 wurstkuche_meal

wurstkuche_menu

800 E 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-4444

blog update

This blog began as a West LA bar blog. With my recent move from the city of Angels to San Diego, I’ve decided to change things up a bit. instead of only covering all things alcohol related- I’m going to expand to anything which I find to be of unique value and interesting- i.e. trends in food, fashion, entertainment, music, etc. 

*however* there is no doubt that the focus will remain on unique bars and drinking establishments 🙂

-ciao

Remember Columbine? Creepy and sad, huh? I just recently watched the Docmentary Bowling for Columbine. Michael Moore is a clever man. On Tuesday April 20th, 1999 the nation was struck by a teenage massacre at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.  Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold embarked on a killing spree that left thirteen murdered and twenty-one injured. Soon debates involving gun control laws and gun violence amongst the youth became hot topics in America.  The finger was meant to be pointed at someone (as it always is in America), but whom? Drugs, alcohol, video games, television? Different forms of media coverage certainly had some control in the messages that were being filtered to the public about why the tragedy of Columbine occurred.

 Amongst the platter of coverage that Columbine received, Michael Moore wrote, produced, directed and narrated a provocative documentary film three years following the shooting. The film, Bowling for Columbine, delves into Moore’s conception of possible causes for the Columbine massacre to paint a picture of an American society gripped in a state of fear. Throughout the film, Moore continuously poses the question, “Why America?” to help pinpoint the story of the Columbine massacre and rampant gun violence present in our country.

Moore begins by setting the picture of America as a place where guns are easily accessible. In an early scene Moore enters a bank in Michigan where customers are given a gun upon signing up for a certain kind of depository account. The audience watches as Moore receives the gun inside of the bank and cocks it up in the air jokingly as he says, “Do you think it’s a little dangerous handing out guns at a bank?” As he holds the gun in the bank he looks like a child holding a toy gun. When the audience sees an image, such as the image of a man with a gun in a bank, the viewer receives at one and the same time the perceptual message and the cultural message. If what occurs in these Michigan banks is acceptable, then what defines the image of a bank robber? What categorizes a gun as dangerous? What cultural messages are we sending to our children if a man can walk out of a bank with a shotgun?

 Several other images have a similar affect. In the first half of the film a group called “Michigan Militia” is featured. This group prides itself in their firearm skills. “This is an American Tradition. It’s an American responsibility to be armed. If you’re not armed, you’re not responsible. Who’s gonna defend your kids? The cops? The federal government?” one of the Militia members boasts. The view of the Militia members is expanded as you learn they have recently created a “Militia Babes Calendar.” It is in this image, and in several other shots throughout the film, that guns have begun to take on a sexual symbolism. Of course we all know that there is sex appeal in what is “dangerous” or “risqué.” But when an image of a scantily clad woman wearing nothing but a sheet and holding a gun appears, the gun can’t help but take on a phallic representation. One can see why guns may appeal to many men, especially those who wish to take on the role as the alpha-male.

In a profound montage, Moore depicts images which display the power of guns while the Beatles song “Happiness is a Warm Gun” plays. People are shown purchasing guns. Some are shown firing guns at shooting ranges and carnival booths. There is footage of a woman operating an assault rifle, and footage of Carey McWilliams, the blind marksman and gun enthusiast. Images of Gary Plauche killing the man that killed and molested his son are included. Budd Dwyer’s suicide is shown, Daniel V. Jones’s. In one scene a man is shown in a riot taking off his shirt, and he too, is shot. A scene from a Telemundo program where Emilio Nunez shot his ex-wife Maritza Martin to death is included in the montage. Lennon originally took the song title “Happiness is a Warm Gun” from an NRA slogan. A gun becomes warm in your hand after killing something. Hence, killing something brings happiness. The tone of the song is cheery and upbeat and juxtaposed with the images of death and violence; it leaves the viewer feeling very eerie about guns in America.

Bowling for Columbine references the small town of Flint, Michigan, where a six year old girl was shot by her first grade classmate. When several news outlets flocked to the scene, Moore filmed one news reporter who covered the story. What was most shocking was what the man said when the camera was not rolling. In between takes, the man complained about his hair. He went from telling the camera and the public about the tragedy to “I’m a pig, look at my hair I need a haircut” within seconds. Just like America, even the news reporter who is on the scene of the murder first hand is de-sensitized by the gun violence. Although he puts on a sorrowful face and tone when in front of the lens, it is false, an act. He is not truly affect by what has happened in the small town and as Moore points out, he goes no further into investigating why such violence could have occurred. Are we numbed because the news is packaged as entertainment, an act, a show?

Charlton Heston is an important character and symbol throughout the documentary. While the documentary was shot, he was the President and spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA). “I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands,” Heston says as he visits Littleton, CO shortly after the Columbine massacre. Many were appalled when he came to the town. Again, when the six year old child had shot a little girl in Flint, Michigan, Heston and the NRA held another rally in Flint just days after the tragedy. Moore interviewed Heston in his home, asking him about the NRA meetings held in Colorado and Michigan. On-camera, Heston excused himself after feeling cornered and walked out of the interview. Before Heston walked out, Moore questioned him about the reasons for gun violence specifically in America, which he could not answer clearly.

The most powerful and striking use of imagery in this film is when Moore shows the chilling footage from the attack on Columbine itself. Raw, blurry, footage, in its purest form. The two angry boys stomping through the school halls with pipe bombs and guns. Terror-stricken teachers trying to guide the students to safety, unsure of what to do.  The sound of teenagers screaming as they ran for their lives, pushing their way through doors like cattle. The sound of panicked parents on 911 calls, frantic about their children’s safety.  Absolute chaos and fear.

 When I watched this footage I couldn’t help but remember my own feelings upon hearing the news of the Columbine attacks. It was 1999, and I was only in the 5th grade. Following the massacre, like many schools across America, security and fear increased at my school, Hope Elementary. In addition to the standard earthquake drills and fire evacuations, we now began practicing a new kind of safety measure, “lockdowns.” The first time my school sprung one on us, it was unannounced. A white light started flashing and my teacher rushed to each of the classroom doors to lock them.

 “Everyone get down under your desk and cover your head. This is a lockdown drill,” my teacher shouted.

I had no clue what was going on. Frantically I jumped out of my seat and under my wooden desk. Suddenly a woman outside started pounding at the window, right above my desk.

 “Let me in! Let me in!” she screamed.

Still unsure of what was happening, I started to cry. I got up to let the woman inside of the classroom.

“No! She could be an intruder! She could have a gun,” my teacher barked.

Looking back I still can’t quite understand how or why I actually started to cry. I was afraid. But why? This is the product of fear that Michael Moore believes that America instills in its citizens; that the media scares the public in order to maintain its authoritative voice. What is so different about Americans and every other country’s people? America’s citizens are so radically different because they believe they have to be. We’re all products of our environments.

Chitty Chatty

 A lil virtual dialogue with fellow blogger Taylor:

Taylor: Hi Sarah! This is kind of strange…I feel like I’m talking to myself more than to you. Oh well. Anyways, I figured I’d start off our “virtual dialogue” by sort of comparing and contrasting our blogs. Obviously, they’re representative of things that our generation’s interested in – drinking, bars, trends, fashion. After looking at your blog, I realized that the majority of the bars and restaurants you’ve covered are in Venice, specifically on Abbot Kinney. I, too, love that area – it’s probably one of my favorite places in LA – but I thought it was interesting that you don’t really touch on the bars and clubs that LMU students seem to frequent. I know I’m generalizing, but I feel like at some point everyone goes on a bus party to some club in the area (before they realize that they really aren’t that great) or takes a trip to Sharkeez (either 21 or not, before they get over the novelty of the jello syringes). Clearly, I’m not too enthusiastic about the typical LMU bar scene and would prefer to go down to Venice, but I was wondering if you felt the same way. Did you consciously decide not to include these places, the kind of places you’d get a “Facebook Invite” to? Or are your interests just based elsewhere? Now that I think about it, my blog is absent of LMU-related things also. I’m not sure that LMU has any kind of distinct fashion presence though, like a club or organization. I guess I should look into that…

Sarah: Hi Tay 🙂 I agree, both of our blog themes do seem to touch upon  trends that our generation has become a part of. The bar scene is a big one at LMU, especially with the lack of greek houses. I suppose I never noticed that I didn’t include the standard LMU go-to’s in my blog until you mentioned it. Of course, I, too have had my moments with the infamous jello syringes at Sharkeez and bus parties to Hollywood, but my interest in that scene faded pretty quickly. Those bars seem to cater perfectly to the LMU crowd, but what i am trying to show in my blog are unique bars with great drinks and food, a cool setting, etc etc. And as for Venice… I’m not intentionally trying to focus on just that city, but there is just something about it! It’s so funky and eclectic.I can’t help but want to rep it on my blog- especially when I am there so often. I noticed your pictures of Venice in the entry about the “One Day Without Shoes” walk. On that note, Venice is definitely a place with a distinct style of fashion. I like to call them “Loaded Hobos”- People who dress like eco-loving bums but roll up in their gas guzzling Range Rovers. I’m sure you’ve noticed this fashion trend- Venice is not the only area to fall victim to it. The beanies, long dragging sweaters, dirty jeans with holes, oversized tees, messy hair. I will admit, sometimes I look a little bit like a homeless person myself, (haha). But all in the name of comfort. There are quite a few of these types at LMU. You should do some style interviews about all the different types of LMU fashions!

 Taylor: I completely agree about the LMU bar scene. It seems to be something that everyone experiences at some point and either grows out of it or just sticks to because it’s convenient. I’ve definitely seen the people you described in Venice – I’ve frequently seen them at Gjelina! They’re dressed like they wouldn’t be able to afford lunch but at the same time are ordering bottles of wine with their multi-course meals. This look has really become popular in California, with the influence of the laid back/beachy lifestyle. One of my favorite fashion bloggers that I’ve mentioned in class is The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman. I was looking through his old posts recently and came across this – http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/2006/11/on-streetperfect-part-2-manhattan.html – which seems to be just what you’re describing! This man works for Ralph Lauren but looks like he could use probably use a shower. I’ve considered starting a fashion blog of my own, but am not really sure what direction I’d like to take it. I regret not starting a blog while I was working at Seventeen because I would have had much more to write about. Speaking of jobs, have you ever considered writing reviews? Particularly, reviews for bars and restaurants. You have a knack for describing places in your blog in a way that makes them intriguing – plus it’s a subject matter you’re interested in.

Sarah: I am so happy you have been to Gjelina! Have you tried the gruyere pizza yet? Or the mushroom toast? Gahhh so good. I read Scott Schuman’s blog article- so funny how he mentions the man’s apparel initally appears to be “just thrown together” But with closer examination one can see that the outfit was too perfect & he had “style in his bones.” I love it. And yes, that is exactly what I am talking about. As for my own blog, I have thoroughly enjoyed making a point to go to different bars and give them a mental review. When I moved to LA I started going out to eat with some friends at all these great restaurants- some amazing food, amazing atmosphere, drinks, some just bleh. And I did actually think it would be interesting to somehow keep track of them all- of my experiences or thoughts. But I never got around to it. Writing reviews would be an amazing job. Of course, I would have to have a reliable enough pallette to make my judgements. That is the thing about reviews- Who is to judge? What makes the reviewer capable of making such reviews/judgements/statements? I’m sure it must be the same in the fashion industry.

Meet Kory

Current City:  Santa Monica

Hometown: Lebenon, Conneticut

Age: 20

Fave Drink: Franziskaner Hefeweizen

Fave Bar: The Other Room, because it has his favorite drink on tap

Roosterfish

Alright, so let me preface this entry by saying I have never been to a gay bar before last night. I asked every one of my friends to go with me- and every one of them had some petty excuse for not coming. Finally I got one of my friends (a straight guy!) to come with me in exchange for free beer.

I wanted to go specifically to Roosterfish because I have walked the streets of Abbot Kinney about a trillion times and  it took the first two hundred times of passing Roosterfish for me to even realize it was in fact a gay bar.

When we walked in the place was fairly empty. There were around ten men scattered throughout the bar in the different areas.  I loved it  right away. It’s dark, with a single bar that wraps from one room to the next.  Men huddled either alone or in groups of two. Aside from the loud upbeat music that played, the patrons kept pretty quiet. I sat at the bar and ordered a Jack and Ginger from Gaetano, sparked up a little convo, and the fun began.

“Honey, I’ve worked here too long,” Gaetano says before he reveals he has been one of Roosterfish’s main bartenders for over eight years. The place has been an institution on the gay scene for over twenty-five years and caters to a dive bar crowd with its mellow vibes and laid back attitude.

The walls are laden with expressive artwork. Brace yourselves for the next few images. Apparently they depict something called “Furries,” which are used for role playing.

A man from Indiana, Justin, explained to me that he had recently purchased a rabbit “Furry” outfit and that his “peter pops out.” ….

…..

…..

Yea. So there were some interesting characters. Justin was a HUGE fan of the band Morrisey. “At a time when I lost a lot of people in my life who meant a lot from me, the one thing I always had was my Morrisey album. When I turn it on, it’s angelic to me, like poetry,” Justin explained.

There were also some people I met that were genuinely amazing people (well at least from what I could tell after talking for twenty minutes or so).  They gave me boy/man advice! And told me to come back on Wednesdays for $3.00 margaritas all day and night long. Apparently Tuesdays are not their busiest nights, but Wednesdays bring in quite a crowd.

Overall, I was very impressed with the friendliness of the staff and the patrons in Roosterfish. If I can ever find anyone who wants to go with me, I will DEFINITELY go back.

1302 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Venice, CA 90291