Thursday, March 26, 2009

Garden Party Is Sold Out!

Thanks to overwhelming interest we've reached capacity for our April 4th Garden Party at SYNTHe/Blue Velvet.

If you've already RSVP'd, expect a confirmation email in the next few days.

We're also taking names for our wait list. You can add yourself to the wait list here, and if space opens up, we'll let you know.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on April 4th!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

April de LaB > Garden Party

UPDATE: We are now SOLD OUT, but add yourself to the wait list here. Who knows, you might get lucky.

Join us for our first ever daytime de LaB! On Saturday, April 4, we're throwing a Garden Party as part of the fabulous LA Art Weekend. We'll start with a tour of SYNTHe, a unique urban agriculture structure located on the roof of The Flat building, hosted by architect and SCI-Arc professor Alexis Rochas. Then we'll head back downstairs for a prix-fixe lunch at the ground-floor Blue Velvet, where we'll enjoy a three-course meal prepared with organic produce raised on the rooftop!

12 noon: Meet at Blue Velvet
12:15pm: Head upstairs to tour SYNTHe rooftop garden with Alexis Rochas (ladies, heels are not recommended)
1pm: Back at Blue Velvet, menu below ($20 per person, drinks additional)

Blue Velvet/The Flat
750 Garland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Space is limited!
RSVP required, first come, first served: email us at

First Course (choice of)
Scottish Salmon
White bean ragout, kale, smoked tomato, grapefruit

Fresh Pistachio Falafel
Eggplant, figs, tomato, black olive oil

Second Course (choice of)
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Brown butter beet béarnaise, pickled root vegetables, fondant potatoes, lavender beef jus

House Made Tagliatelle
Market fresh vegetables

Third Course
Vanilla Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta
blackberry espuma and confit, passionfruit sorbet,thyme scented wafer

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Save The Date - April De LaB

Save the Date! Our next de LaB will be on Saturday April 4th
Blue Velvet brunch/ tour of roof garden with Alexis Rochas in association with LA Art Weekend

We're working out the details now for our first daylight de LaB event and will post those as soon as we confirm the time. In the meantime, here is some info on the project we'll be touring:

In a city covered by over 4,000 square miles of asphalt and cinder block, the green roof movement may have just won a serious coup with SYNTHe, an urban rooftop garden prototype designed by SCI-arc professor and architect Alexis Rochas. Located atop the Flat, a downtown Los Angeles residential mid-rise building, SYNTHe is a fertile oasis in the sky that will ultimately grow a variety of edible plants. Through an active collaboration between students, faculty, and city officials, SYNTHe proves that green roofs could indeed have a fruitful future in LA.

SYNTHe is a self-sufficient ecosystem that could offer a myriad of environmental benefits. Besides helping to filter pollutants, increasing thermal insulation of the roof, and reducing storm water runoff, the roof top garden sets forth a complete productive cycle. Food will be grown, consumed, and ultimately returned to the cycle in the form of compost on the premises.

The design features an alternating landscape of hard and soft surfaces that knit together to form a series of platforms. A prefabricated, suspended metal blanket and specialized recycled plywood frame outline a series of grow channels which are filled with an engineered growth medium (which is much lighter than natural soil). The undulating surface negotiates the space around existing HVAC and mechanical rooftop equipment, offering a 100% usable surface that is tiered for maximum solar exposure.

The prototype garden, part of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council program, is planted with fruit trees and vines, and herbs and vegetables that will be tended and used by residents and the chefs of the well-known ground floor restaurant, Blue Velvet.

SYNTHe: An Urban Rooftop Garden Prototype in Los Angeles
by Haily Zaki

Monday, March 9, 2009

Some Recent Cole's Coverage

some recent press coverage of Cole's renovation and the opening of The Varnish:

And from LA Weekly's Gold Standard email newsletter (sign up here):
Cedd Moses might be bar owner/restaurateur equivalent of Tom Gilmore when it comes to maverick downtown entrepreneurs. That's just one take; argue this issue and hear what others have to say while eating, drinking, and learning about the celebrated and debated Cole's on Monday, March 9 from 7-10:00 p.m. with a tour at 8:30. Sponsored by de LaB (Design East of La Brea), a group that gathers folks to raise awareness of the built environment and special projects in locales west of a certain avenue, 213 designer Ricki Kline (also of Seven Grand, Golden Gopher and Broadway Bar) will discuss the creative process behind rehabilitating the treasured landmark. Add Cole's to the list of eateries de LaB has temporarily transformed into lively educational venues, including the Edison, Kitchen 24, and Blue Velvet (coming next month). Explains co-organizer Alissa Walker, "we're huge fans of everything Cedd Moses and 213 are doing for downtown so it was a natural choice to have an event at Cole's. It will be such a treat to have designer Ricki Kline tell us how he was able to acquire all those gorgeous period details in the just-opened bar The Varnish." Bonus! Sample Sasha Petraske and Eric Alperin's masterful cocktails at the aforementioned speakeasy -- we won't say anymore -- and take advantage of special French dip and drink discounts offered to event participants. 118 E. 6th St., Downtown, (213) 622-4090.

-Jessica Ritz