Lemon Butter: Best of L.A.’s Theatre Adjacent Restaurants and Bars – February Edition


Lemon Butter is a bi-weekly column featuring choice restaurants, lounges, Happy Hours, and other spots where hospitality is offered, that are convenient to theatre venues throughout Los Angeles. For distances and times given traffic and parking are not factored in. Where available, contact all hospitality venues for valet or parking information and/or reservations.


Café Gratitude

Walking distance to the Stephanie Feury Theatre,  Thymele Arts, and Studio/Stage Theatre is vegan restaurant Café Gratitude in Larchmont Village.

Their fresh, healthy menu includes salads like the “Fantastic”, a Torta Española Chopped Salad with a chickpea frittata, roasted red pepper, escabeche, cashew mozzarella, sun-dried tomato pesto, and toasted almonds, an assortment of Bowls such as the “Humble,” an Indian Curry Bowl with red lentil dal, spinach, roasted garnet yams, coconut mint chutney, spicy tomato jam, and brown rice or quinoa, or entrees like the “Elated,” with Mole Abuelita Enchiladas made with mole tempeh, corn, black beans, roasted tomatillo sauce, cashew queso fresco, avocado, coleslaw, and escabeche.

Café Gratitude – 639 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004 – (323) 580-6383
Distance to Stephanie Feury Theatre  – 364 feet (1 min. walk.)
Distance to Studio/Stage Theatre– 1.1 miles via Melrose (3 min. drive)
Distance to Thymele Arts – 1.4 miles (3 min. drive)

KASS Restaurant + Wine Bar

Photo by Monique A. LeBleu – The Tortellini with ricotta cheese and green asparagus coulis at a Media Tasting, KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant, Los Angeles, California, January 29, 2019.

Debuting just this month and now open is KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant by Michelin starred Chef Christophe Émé.  KASS’ 40-seat dining room and wine bar on La Brea is just off of Wilshire’s Miracle Mile, close to Theatre Row, and conveniently close to the newly remodeled Lyric Theatre. A beautiful, intimate spot for quick bar bites featuring an assortment of French cheeses and charcuterie with a glass of wine before the show, a relaxing glass after on the patio, or an anytime leisurely lunch or dinner.

Émé, of Iron Chef America, serves a rotating menu based on market fresh produce with openers such as the salad of Baby Beets with black lentils and aged Comté cheese, a Farro Risotto with celery root, kale, and Morel mushrooms, or the grilled octopus with baby fennel, Yukon potato, and red bell pepper coulis. Some suggested entrees are a Farro Risotto with celery and morel mushrooms, Tagliatelle pasta with Braised organic Beeler pork ragù, Tortellini with ricotta cheese and green asparagus coulis,  a “Chicken Cooked in Clay” served with wild mushroom sauce and green asparagus, or an Oxtail Parmentier—a smooth-layed French cottage pie of potatoes, bone marrow and Burgundy truffles.  Some appetizers and openers, such as the Beet Salad, Ceviche or Kusshi oysters, and chilled desserts like the Chocolate Tart accompanied by chocolate sorbet, may be served on the restaurants unique and visually stunning chill plate—a water-filled concave envelope of glass.

Of their collection of wines—characterized as “Energetic,” “Fruity,” and “Muscular” for whites and “Bright,” “Juicy,” “Earthy,” and “Plush” for reds—available by the glass are a “muscular” white Domaine Dupasquier, Roussette de Savoie, Savoie 2013,  a “pink” such as the Vinca Minor, Carignan Rosé Sonoma County 2017, a “Bright” red Domaine de Majas, VdP Côtes Catalanes Carignan Blend Roussillon 2017, or an “earthy” red 2016 Brovia, Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Vignavillej.’

KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant – 320 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 – (323) 413-2299

Distance to  Lyric Theatre – 0.9 miles via La Brea (17 min. walk/2 min. drive)
Distance to Theatre Row – 2.9 miles via La Brea/Melrose (7 min. drive)

Norah/Le Fête

Nearest the Marilyn Monroe at Lee Strasberg  and a short jaunt from Theatre Row, Norah provides elegant fare such as fresh oysters, Cauliflower Croquettes, or Cast Iron Corn Bread, to start, with entrees such as the Uni Butter-poached Shrimp with smoked tomato, scallions, and cilantro on toast, a wood-grilled Whole Sea Bream with chermoula, shaved celery, grapes, and sumac, or an 8oz American Wagyu Zabuton served with crispy fingerlings and black garlic chili oil. Dishes for vegans and pasta lovers, such as the Pumpkin Cavatelli, with Brussels sprouts, miatake mushrooms, pomegranate and ricotta salata, Maltagliati with fresh tomato, summer squash, shelling beans and ricotta, or Black Truffle Potato Gnocchi with truffle conserva and shaved black truffles.

At its adjacent lounge bar of cozy candle-lit elegance, Le Fête bar director David Kupchinsky serves craft cocktails such as his “Le Daiq” of Rhum JM, Calvados, Genepy des Alpes, house triple lime cordial and lime, the “Le Spritz” of Lillet Rose, Cava, house rhubarb-sage gastrique and tonic or the “Le Frappe” of Rhum JM, housemade Matcha coconut cream, orange juice, pineapple juice, and Small Hands pineapple gum syrup over crushed ice.

Norah/Le Fête gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Norah/Le Fête – 8279 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90046 – (323) 450-4211

Distance to  Marilyn Monroe at Lee Strasberg – 0.4/0.7 miles via Santa Monica (8 min. walk/2 min. drive)
Distance to Theatre Row 2.2 miles via Santa Monica (4 min. drive)

Spoonfed/Bar Joe

Spoonfed opened just last year in July and is adjacent to most Theatre Row venues, including The Hudson, The Blank Theatre, The Complex, Oh My Ribs! TheatreStudio C, and The Broadwater.

This new and cozy burger bistro has a spacious bar and generous patio area decorated with an updated post-modern feel. For breakfast, the spacious patio enclosed bistro-style restaurant features items such as the Blueberry & Orange Ginger Ale Cakes with orange crème fraîche, bourbon maple syrup, the Stuffed Brioche French toast with peanut butter, caramelized bananas, with seasonal berries and maple syrup, or the Mediterranean Hash with skillet-roasted sweet potatoes with pearled onions, chickpeas, Santa Barbara olives, oven-dried tomatoes, and Mediterranean Four Spice, topped with two poached eggs or without (Vegan option.) For lunch or dinner they offer the Spoonfed Burger with Gruyère & Blue Cheese, bacon balsamic caramelized onions, Heirloom tomato, pickles, butter lettuce, and aioli on a potato bun, served with crinkle cut fries and curry ketchup, the Eggplant Sandwich with grilled cold-smoked eggplant, broccoli sprouts, heirloom tomato, pickled red onions, lemon avocado mash, grilled whole grain bread, or the Fuhgettaboutit flatbread pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato sauce, arugula, and shaved parmesan, just to name a few options.

Bar Joe features craft cocktails such as their “Draft Pimm’s Cup” made with Pimm’s, Chartreuse, ginger, and cucumber, a “Carajillo Collins” of Grey Goose Vodka, Liquor 43, and cold brew coffee, or their spicy “It’s An Old Fashioned!” of Street Pumas Scotch, maple, cacao, and cayenne. Perfect for brunching before matinee performances are a range of white and pink sparkling wines, their “Bellini” of Ugni Blanc, peach cordial, and St. Germaine, their unique take on a “Mimosa” of Cremant, orange juice, and orange oil from their signature collection of artisian oils and essences—the latter of which are also featured in their generous list of Mocktails.

Spoonfed/Bar Joe gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Spoonfed/Bar Joe – 959 Seward St, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (corner of Seward and Romaine in Hollywood) – 9323) 347-7000

Distance to  The Hudson Theatres/Hudson Guild – 0.2 miles via Seward to Santa Monica (6 min. walk/ 1 min. drive)
Distance to The Blank Theatre, The Complex, Oh My Ribs! TheatreStudio C – 0.3 miles via Santa Monica (7 min. walk/1 min. drive)
Distance to The Broadwater – 0.5 miles via Santa Monica (10 min. walk/1 min. drive)

Wood & Vine

Walking distance from The Montaban and directly across from the Pantages is Wood & Vine, nestled at street level in the landmark Taft Building at one of the most famous corners in Hollywood. The restaurant has a direct and birdseye view of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, designed with a loft view that also overlooks both the central dimly lit dining room and its spacious bar, as well as a lounge on the enclosed back patio with cozy seating around the central fire pit and conversation corner.

With plates for sharing, Chef Rick Sipovic’s menu features openers such as a “Kale Caesar” with anchovy vinaigrette, shaved egg, Reggiano, and sourdough croutons, Chef Sipovic’s own “Scotch Eggs” with pickled onion, beer mustard, and cornichon, or “Shrimp and Grits” with green chili cheddar grits, pan jus, and friese. For vegans, “Impossible Meatballs” served with spicy red sauce, plant-based spaghetti, and vegan mozzarella. And for dessert, “The Butterscotch” with house butterscotch, maple ice cream, and a sweet thyme crumble, Sour Cream Donut Holes dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with vanilla sauce, or a Peach Cobbler with smoked bourbon maple ice cream.

Craft cocktails are served throughout the space, such as the “Sage Advice” of Belvadere vodka, sage simple syrup, Campari, and grapefruit, “The Color Peach” with Hennesy, DiSarrono, Giffard Peche de Vigne, lemon, simple syrup and egg white, or “My Other Lover” with Mezcal, lime, simple syrup, peach bitters, sage and blueberries, or a Black Manhattan” of Larceny vodka, Amaro Averna, Angostura bitters, and black cherries.

Plates are shared family style and a 20% service charge is included in lieu of tip. The menu can evolve, so be sure to check with the restaurant for updates.

Wood & Vine gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Wood & Vine – 6280 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (at Vine Street at The Taft Building) – (323) 334-3360
Distance to  Pantages – 425 feet (across the street (2 min. walk)
Distance to The Montalban – 0.1 miles (3 min. walk)

EVENTS OPENING THIS WEEK

W.C. THORNBUSH AND THE GREAT AMERICAN SHOW – CHRISTMAS EDITION @ Bootleg Theater

December 12, 2018 7:00 pm

Once again, W.C. Thornbush is bringing his musical revue to Bootleg Theater to celebrate the Christmas Canon in the only way this group knows how. With bells ringing, birds singing, and all the cheer …read more


IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY @ Pasadena Playhouse

December 12, 2018 8:00 pm

The holiday classic we all know and love takes the beloved George Bailey on journey to renew his spirit and restore his faith in mankind on one fateful Christmas Eve. Join George and all …read more


SPECIAL @ Theatre of Note

December 13, 2018 8:00 pm

Special is the World Premiere comedy that commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the worst variety show in television history with a behind-the-scenes imagined look of how The Star Wars Holiday Special came to be. …read more


BETTER LEMONS – “MEET THE PUBLICISTS” @ Thymele Arts

December 15, 2018 10:00 am

On Saturday, December 15, from 10 am to 12 noon, Better Lemons and Thymele Arts will be hosting “Meet the Publicists!” which will be featuring several of LA’s premier performance art publicists for a …read more


JULIUS CAESAR IRREVERENT SHAKESPEARE PROJECT @ Hudson Loft

December 15, 2018 7:30 pm

Irreverent Shakespeare Project presents Julius Caesar, directed by Heather Ann Gottlieb, produced by Steven Brandon, Mark Laird, Bradley Gosnell, Rachel Rios and Ari Stidham. An all-female cast of eleven tackles the Bard’s political drama, …read more


MEASURE FOR MEASURE @ New American Theatre

December 15, 2018 8:00 pm

The New American Theatre presents Shakespeare’s story of impassable moral dilemmas, religious hypocrisy and he said/she said. …read more


HERE’S JOHNNY @ Theatre West

December 15, 2018 8:00 pm

Johnny Ferretti in Here’s Johnny! A Colorado boy whose first job was as a ranch hand, then became a newspaper reporter… then found himself working as an engineer in California. And then, suddenly, he’s …read more


AS ALWAYS, JIMMY STEWART @ Theatre West

December 16, 2018 2:00 pm

Steve Nevil in As Always, Jimmy Stewart. It’s two-thirty in the morning at 911 Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills, and Jimmy Stewart can’t sleep. Steve Nevil’s acclaimed one-person show presents the film legend late …read more


BETTER LEMONS – "MEET THE PUBLICISTS"

On Saturday, December 15, from 10 am to 12 noon, Better Lemons and Thymele Arts will be hosting “Meet the Publicists!” which will be featuring several of LA’s premier performance art publicists for a panel discussion of theatre publicity, marketing, and promotion.
This is a great opportunity to meet the publicists face to face and to get insight into effective strategies for engaging public relations professionals and for agreeing on what services you want and how to manage the relationship.
We will be addressing questions such as “What is a publicist’s role?” and “How do you decide which publicist is the best fit for your needs?” and “What are different types of publicists?” and “How can we work together?”, and the biggest…”Do I need a publicist or can I have my cousin do it, he has a smartphone?”
Plus, we’ll hear some tips from theatre producers on different strategies for engaging publicists, agreeing on expectations, and negotiating a fee!
Bring a mug, enjoy a cup of coffee, and come ready to forge some relationships!
The coffee is free, and there is a $5 cover for the event. (Pay at the door – cash, venmo, crypto. All proceeds go to support Thymele Arts.)
The “Meet the Publicists” panel includes:
Tim Choy (Davidson & Choy Publicity)
DAVIDSON & CHOY PUBLICITY (Press Representatives) resume includes the original Evita through The Book of Mormon and stints with American Ballet Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Clients include Actor’s Gang, Broad Stage, El Capitan Theatre, Ford Theatres, Hollywood Bowl, Lythgoe Pantos, Pasadena Playhouse, Segerstrom Center, Shakespeare Center LA, The Soraya, and Walt Disney Imagineering.
Lucy Pollak (Lucy Pollak Public Relations)
Lucy Pollak has been providing publicity services to the Los Angeles arts community for the past 27 years for companies including 24th STreet Theatre, Antaeus Theatre Company, The Echo Theater Company, Fountain Theatre, International City Theatre, L.A. Theatre Works, Latino Theater Company at the LATC, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Padua Playwrights, Theatre Planners, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum; numerous independent theater and dance productions; and large events and festivals such as the annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration at The Music Center.
From 1981 to 1990, she was production manager/staff producer at the Odyssey Theatre, where she co-produced over 100 productions with artistic director Ron Sossi.
She is the recipient of a Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Award (Master Class), an LA Weekly Award (Mary Barnes), four Drama-Logue Awards (Mary Barnes, Idioglossia, Accidental Death of An Anarchist, It’s A Girl!), and a Women in Theatre Recognition Award. She has served on the boards of directors of the Los Angeles Theatre Alliance (now L.A. Stage Alliance), Women in Theatre and P.A.T.H. (Performing Arts Theatre for the Handicapped).
Philip Sokoloff
PHILIP SOKOLOFF has been a publicist for 24 years. He represents over 100 live attractions and several dozen feature films annually. His long-term clients include Theatre 40, Edgemar Center for the Arts, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Robey Theatre Company, Arena Cinelounge, Dean Productions and more.He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. He has also produced for stage and television and has been an actor for 49 years.
Lynn Tejada (Green Galactic)
For 25 years, Green Galactic Founder Lynn Tejada has been the go-to publicist in Los Angeles for alternative art and culture producers, representing clients on a local, regional, national, and international scale. Since 1994, her promotions and client-base has included music of all sorts, theatre, art, film, dance, and more.
Tejada is also drawn to helping charities and nonprofit clients – she currently sits on the board of Linda Carmella Sibio’s Bezerk Productions, Dance Camera West and on the advisory board of Lauren Segal’s Give A Beat. She is also on the Honorary Board of Flea’s Silverlake Conservatory of Music and sat on the board of humanitarian nonprofit NextAid for many years.
The “Meet the Publicists” panel will take place on December 15th, from 10am to 12 noon @ Thymele Arts, 5481 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90029
Fill out the form below to RSVP and add questions you want us to ask the publicists.
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Thymele Arts is located just two blocks West of the 101.
5481 Santa Monica Blvd.
East Hollywood, CA 90029
They are on the second floor. There is elevator access.
PARKING
There is an underground garage located at 1110 N. Western. $5 after 5 pm. $1.50 for the first two hours or $8.00 for the day.
Once you park – you can walk around the corner to the Santa Monica entrance.
There is also parking available in the strip mall diagonally from us on Santa Monica and Western. $2 per hour.
There is also ample street parking in the area – but it can be tricky.

METRO
Located down the block from the Red Line Hollywood /Western and the Vermont/Santa Monica stops. The Bus stops at the front door 757, 147, 207, 704, 4.


Voices from the Hollywood Fringe 2018: Lola Kelly and Sterling Powers of ‘The Witnessing’

Making its world premiere at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe is The Witnessing, an immersive, multisensory theatrical experience that explores a shocking paranormal experience. As described on the Fringe site:

“Unexplained phone calls, disembodied voices, moving objects and heart-stopping apparitions plagued the Davidsons’ Utah home from 2008 to 2010. Desperate for an explanation, they called upon the renowned Daugherty Paranormal Research Center to help solve the mystery behind the strange disturbances.”

Director Lola Kelly and writer Sterling Powers were kind enough to answer some questions about the paranormal thriller.

What was the inspiration behind “The Witnessing”? How was it developed?

Sterling Powers: I met (the Davidsons) while hiking in Utah in the summer of 2016. I was so fascinated with their story — mainly because they don’t believe in ghosts, and yet they had all of these strange things happen in their home that no one could explain. The story was originally about (Mrs. Davidson’s) experiences specifically, but [sound designer] Rolfe Kent was much more interested in the investigation aspect of it, so we decided to develop that instead.

After more than a year of research — gathering data, news clippings, conducting multiple interviews, writing, rewriting, and assuring everyone that we wouldn’t use their real names — I finally handed the script over to Rolfe, Lola, and [producer] Savannah Wheeler.

What is the show about? What will audiences be experiencing?

Powers: This is a lecture given by the skeptical researchers who were investigating the disturbances in the Davidson home. Audience members will hear stories, see slides, listen to audio recordings, and handle some pretty spooky artifacts.

Lola Kelly: The show is based on two real paranormal experts whose mission is to debunk the mysteries of the world through science, and the story is about what happens when they (and we) face things that can’t be explained. The audience will experience a condensed and enlivened version of one of their actual lectures.

What makes the piece immersive? How does the audience participate?

Powers: The Witnessing breaks the fourth wall without forcing people to participate, which I think is important for a truly bone-chilling experience. In order to feel and enjoy the thrill of fear, you have to first feel safe. Attending a lecture is inherently participatory and somewhat bland, even if you don’t ask any questions.

You know that the panel members are talking to you; you know that you chose to be there. It’s not like a Halloween haunted house, where you walk in expecting a teenager with a mask and chainsaw to startle you. This isn’t about jumps, or cheap thrills — this is about making you question your own ideas about what’s real or even possible. I want people to walk out and wonder if their own home might be haunted — even if they never considered it before.

Kelly: To me, immersive theater abandons the old proscenium model and allows audience to step into real or spectacular worlds, which our play certainly does. Our show isn’t the most participatory because it’s based on a real life model that is presentational (a lecture), but audiences will have direct address and will be able to handle, feel, smell, hear and question in a wonderful way.

What are the skillsets of the talent involved?

Kelly: Galen Howard is a really singular performer with decades of experience in film and theater. His take on the real-life assistant is as grounded as it is eerie. He’s recently appeared in the immersive hit The Willows. Jason Paul Field plays our Dr. Daugherty and Field brings an intensity, magnetism and commitment to research that matches the real guy. He’s a classically trained Carnegie Mellon graduate and played Humphrey Bogart in The Blank’s Something Truly Monstrous and a lead in Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West at the Ruskin.

Given the time restrictions of Fringe, how will the logistics be handled?

Kelly: With gusto! We have a small cast but a lot of artifacts and tech to bring in so we’ll be keeping it to the essentials and creating a game plan for the most efficient load in and out. Obstacles always give way to creativity. We’ll also be allowing the audience who arrive early to observe some of the set up if they are curious to take a closer look at the paranormal artifacts we’ll be setting out.

Is this the company’s First Fringe production?

Kelly: Yes.

What makes the show an ideal fit for the Fringe?

Kelly: It is the sort of experimental and intimate new work that thrives at the festival. It’s concise and exciting.

Since the Fringe is collaborative, are there any other shows you’d like to give a shout out to?

Kelly: One Last Thing Before You Go, which is also playing at Thymele Arts.

The Witnessing plays May 31, June 15 and 16 and June 21, 22 and 23 at various times at Thymele Arts, 5481 Santa Monica Blvd. It is recommended for ages 18+ and is not for the faint of heart. More information and tickets can be found on the Fringe site.