First thing first: this is a give away.

This isn’t just ANY give-away — Hollywood Bowl Opening Night give-away, complete with bang bang fireworks. It is uncertain why Hollywood Bowl decided to flip a pair of tix this way, but the event seems appropriate for this site. Or at least it seems soulful enough. Up for grabs is a pair of tickets to see Reba McEntire & Chaka Khan on Friday, June 22, 8:00pm.

Reba McEntire Chaka Khan

No, you won’t have to sit next to me, so even if you can’t stand this blog, you can still absolutely enjoy this concert. If you don’t like Reba or Chaka, bring a few banh mi’s, a growler of Eagle Rock Brewery, and just get lit under the moon while cozying up in your leopard Snuggies. There is just no way not to enjoy Hollywood Bowl Opening Night, since there will be fireworks, and Julie Andrews is inducting the two ladies into Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.

As a tip: motorcycle gets free parkin. There aren’t too many bike riding foodies, but Hollywood Bowl has always welcomed motorcycles. You park at the parking lot on the Southeast corner of Odin and Highland Ave, and the parking attendants will always let you in/out first. It’s a longer walk than the hilltop parking, but you save 30 minutes after the concerts. And it’s free. So for all you motorcycle/scooter riding readers: this is a completely free night to partake in an LA summer tradition.

How: leave a comment, or RT on twitter
When: Give away ends 4:00PM Pacific Time, June 20th, 2012.

Pretty sure the competition is not fierce, so chance of winning is rather high. Winner will be able to pickup tickets at Hollywood Bowl will-call.

Hollywood Bowl 2021 Summer Calendar


Thinking about segwaying into some kind of post was hard. It would’ve been easy to complete this with with a visit to a restaurant somewhere in South LA or Compton. It would be equally great to mention Bludso’s is finally moving uptown. Instead, 2 recent lunches proved themselves to be packed with soul. Nearly a year and a half ago, I spent a few days in Hanoi. Rather, I had planned to stay a few days in Hanoi. Due to some Thai Airway clustercluck, that particular Hanoi itinerary was reduced to a rather paltry 36 hours. Of course, without a handler ala Bourdain, there was no way to stuff any form of gastro discovery into a day and a half, especially because the only Hanoian Vietnamese I spoke were: “bun cha”, and “bia”. Still, it was tremendous, and the experiences of randomly riding the bus, randomly picking roadside bia hoi’s, randomly picking a night market, and randomly eating dinner at a cantina frequented by airport cabbies (USD$1 for a plate dinner) were some of the most memorable events during a 30-day Asian whirlwind tour.

Hanoi isn’t known to be a culinary hotspot no matter what some food writer types wants us to believe. Southern Vietnamese laughs at the rudimentary palates of the Northeners, refugee Vietnamese mocks the meals eaten by the Northerners as communist. Some say all the great chefs have escaped the country, especially from Hanoi.

One’d like to think these cooks/chefs/moms can be found in Little Saigon, especially at an eponymous joint called “Hanoi Ave”.

See the cha ca thang long & bun cha Hanoi (along with bun rieu):

Shrimp paste, deemed as “country” by Southerners, is used in thick and thinned forms here. The cooking is simple, herbs fresh and abundant. Fish sauce runs amuck. Adam Fleischman would be wise to take the bun cha and stuff it in between his buns. That’d be a true pork burger. Serve it with a side of pork jus, and it’ll be the best burger Umami will never dare to make.

If Chaka Khan is the queen of funk, Hanoian food is the queen of Vietnamese food funk. We must give the dank edge to Hanoi Ave though; immersing oneself in a little of Chaka Khan/Chaka Khan probably wouldn’t leave you smelling like a bucket of rotten shrimp turned garum.

Hanoi Ave
Hanoi Ave on Urbanspoon



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  • LaLaureT

    Vietnamese sandwiches, beer, fireworks…I’m in

  • No one wants Hollywood Bowl tickets?

    No pictures of the crab egg rolls? Except for those, I’d have to say I think everything else is better at Vien Dong.

  • tjknight

    Yo. I love fireworks!

  • Steph Crawford

    THB is on my summer “To-do” list (that’s what happens when you’re a grad student and can’t go out of the country), so this would be pretty amazing. 

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