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Some new spots to check out during Los Angeles Fashion Week.
Downtown’s New Jewel
The lines that form for weekend brunch at Los Feliz mainstay Fred 62 testify to owner-chef Fred Eric’s knack for inspiring loyalists, yet fashion district diners have long been starving for a healthy, gourmet eatery. Eric delivers with the old-school Dean & Deluca-inspired Tiara Café, located in the landmark New Mart building. A grand-opening Feast Fantasy Ball will be held there Friday to kick off the Designers & Agents show at Los Angeles Market Week. Decidedly femme, the space he’s dubbed a “princess palace” is a hybrid of Japanese anime-meets-Art Nouveau, with starburst-patterned walls, high airbrushed ceilings, and Fifties Florentine glass tiles. “I designed it so that my two daughters — Electra, two, and Isis, nine months — will have a place to go,” said Eric. Recognizing that the majority of workers in the fashion district are female, Eric has developed a mostly vegetarian menu of light, natural fare for the figure-conscious (entrées range from $7 to $12). There is also an organic produce stand and minimarket so patrons can grab ingredients for a home-cooked dinner after work. One perfect, energy-boosting lunch is the sampler plate comprising a grain, two veggies, noodle soup and a grilled protein for a slim $12.50. Currently opening with breakfast and lunch, Tiara will add late-night dinner and brunch soon.
Not encouraging a too-rigid diet, Eric has added playful features such as a chocolate fountain in which customers can dip select treats at meal’s end. “The menu is designed so that people can enjoy good food as a fun adventure — like fashion,” noted Eric. “The market is prêt-à-manger and the restaurant is a little more precious, like haute couture.”
— Martine Bury
Tiara Café, 127 East Ninth Street; 213-623-3663. Open weekdays for breakfast, 8 to 10 a.m.; lunch, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Market is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Other Bowery
Just east of the Sunset and Vine intersection, on a happening little stretch of sidewalk, The Bowery brings downtown Manhattan cool to Hollywood. Hip yet unpretentious, the five-month-old eatery serves hearty fare such as sirloin burgers, fresh fried onion rings, macaroni and cheese and homemade cheesecake (prices range from $5.50 to $18.50). The house specialty cocktail is the ambrosia martini, a cosmopolitan with white cranberry juice, in addition to a neat beer and wine list. Authentic decor includes an ebony bar and bar stools that were imported from New York, a pounded-tin ceiling and floor-to-ceiling black-tiled walls. The place is open until 2 a.m., but the kitchen closes at midnight. Afterward, hungry patrons can order the cheese and charcuterie plate. Note to frustrated drivers: After 6 p.m., metered parking along Sunset and around the corner up Argyle Street is a fairly easy alternative to valet. There are also a handful of spots in the small lot in back.
The Bowery, 6268 Sunset Boulevard at Vine Street; 323-465-3400. Open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. nightly. Lunch served weekdays, noon to 5 p.m.
This story first appeared in the March 20, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Calling All Wannabes
Forget “Project Runway.” Through its Drive Your Future scholarship program, fashion week sponsor Mercedes-Benz will award $20,000 to one student to attend Los Angeles’ Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. The Design Awards L.A. contest will single out an aspiring student who would be the first in his or her family to pursue a college education. In addition to the scholarship, fashion week’s featured designer and FIDM graduate Kevan Hall will mentor the winner. Today, Hall will help kick off the contest with a lunch at Smashbox Studios. Part of the scholarship funds will come from the eBay auction of 15 Fender guitars decorated by notables such as Mya, Slash, Tony Hawk, Carolyn Murphy and Bradley Bayou. The snazzy strings will be on display at the entrance to the main tent there.
— Marcy Medina
Hedwig in Hollywood
Just in time for Los Angeles Fashion Week, Hedwig is getting a Hollywood makeover. As the transsexual rocker chick in the musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Donovan Leitch will squeeze his lithe frame into a bustier resembling a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, wear Victoria’s Secret-style angel wings and wax poetic on Hollywood madame Heidi Fleiss and other Los Angeles’ icons during a three-week run starting Sunday at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip. Leitch is getting glammed up with the help of Smashbox Studios, which will provide all his makeup and create white lacquer cosmetics brushes to be sold at the performances. Costarring with Bijou Phillips, Leitch said the musical also will feature a series of guest guitarists, including his Camp Freddy bandmate Dave Navarro. But Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios attendees will get a preview of Hedwig’s new look on Wednesday, when “she” and her band will play at a party following Jennifer Nicholson’s runway show. “Hedwig is all about hair and makeup,” said Leitch, who first performed the lead role in New York six years ago. “And we thought, ‘Why don’t we just promote it during L.A. Fashion Week?'”
— Khanh T.L. Tran
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” The Roxy Theatre, 9009 West Sunset Boulevard; 310-278-9457. Doors: 8 p.m., show: 9 p.m. Tickets: $35 seated, $30 standing.
Get on the Bus
Unless your “secret” parking spot is in a friend’s carport in Culver City, you might want to check out the new shuttle service for showgoers through Shopper Shuttle, a company that runs a fleet of luxury passenger vans tricked out with flat-panel LCD screens and complimentary Altoids. For $1 you can hop aboard from any of seven Hollywood and Culver City locations. The bus will travel in a continuous loop, hitting each stop every 45 minutes to an hour, said Camille Alcasid, co-owner of Shopper Shuttle. “We’re timing it so it arrives 15 minutes before the hour for the shows, and leaves 15 minutes after the hour.” Signage on exactly where to catch the van is posted at each location, and accessible on shoppershuttle.com.
— Emili Vesilind
When brainstorming names for their new apparel boutique, cousins Marni Flans and Bari Milken — daughter of philanthropist Michael Milken — tried combining their last names in various ways. But monikers such as “MilkFlans” didn’t exactly sing. “We wound up just shortening Milken to Milk, and we thought it was just a really cute name for a store,” said Flans, “especially because it goes with Toast [the restaurant next door].” The duo ran with the dairy motif inside their 1,800-square-foot boutique, using classic milk bottles and vintage dairy advertisements as elements in the store’s cozy-but-spacious design. Gift certificates from the boutique are whimsically coined “Milk Money.” Despite this soaring cute quotient, it’s the well-edited selection of women’s apparel from prodigious designers that takes the cake at Milk. Buyer Ilaria Urbinati, who said the store’s collection is meant to be a kind of “best of the best,” culls feminine separates and girly dresses from designers such as Derek Lam, Jill Stuart, Diane von Furstenberg and Tara Subkoff for Easy Spirit — and choice pieces from lesser-known lines, notably Sretsis and AKA. A small vintage section, housed inside a worn-looking armoire, includes designer treasures such as a loose-knit Missoni sweater vest and a chic Ungaro top.
Milk, 8209 West Third Street; 323-951-0330. Open weekdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
The Shopper Shuttle Route:
1. Hollywood & Highland
2. Roosevelt Hotel
3. West Hollywood Gateway
4. Melrose Boulevard
5. Roberston Boulevard
6. HD Buttercup
7. Smashbox Studios