Off-Ramp for February 6, 2010

Mixologist Julian Cox, Rivera's rising star

Some of the best food in town is at the new downtown restaurant, Rivera. And as KPCC's Steve Julian discovered, it also has some of the best drinks ... courtesy of the award-winning Julian Cox. Steve also discovered what you WON'T find there. Hint: You never have to say "rocks" or "no salt." Come inside for more photos of Cox and Rivera by Steve Julian.

Queena Kim eats a bacon doughnut at the Nickel Diner

Nickel Diner's chef Monica May and owner Kristen Trattner like to experiment with making pastries you wouldn't think of. One of the more notable ones: the bacon doughnut. Off-Ramp producer Queena Kim LOVES bacon and likes doughnuts ... but a bacon ... doughnut?

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“Of all the professions, journalism is the one that allows the least amount of space for absolute truths.” Those were the words of Argentine journalist and novelist Tomas Eloy Martinez, who died January 30th, and it's how Off-Ramp literary commentator Marc Haefele begins his remembrance of a journalist who made a difference.
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Stoltze to LA City Councilmembers: ever smoke pot?

The Los Angeles City Council approved a new ordinance that would shut down most medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. KPCC's Frank Stoltze wanted to know how many serving councilmembers have ever smoked the pot they're trying to regulate.
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Up! To The Oscars! Ed Asner speaks to Off-Ramp

Ed Asner talks about voicing the character Carl in the animated feature “Up!,” which was just nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. (This is our interview from the release of the movie.)
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Dancers vie for spot onstage at the Oscars

KPCC's Brian Watt talks to the other Academy Award competitors -- dancers vying for a spot on the stage on Oscars night.
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Pasadena Playhouse to Close

The curtain’s falling at the Pasadena Playhouse, possibly for good. The problem: no money.
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As Los Angeles Unified School District administrators are set to transfer dozens of campuses this year to non-profit groups that propose new methods to improve learning, the district's Frida Kahlo High School boasts of progress through an innovative East Coast model that got the thumbs up from a Grammy-winning musician in late January, when Adolfo Guzman Lopez went to the campus.

Dinner Party Download on Off-Ramp

In time for the Super Bowl, Dinner Party Download talks with ex-Onion editor Robert Siegel about his football movie “Big Fan.” And a drink based on a Japanese soldier who rose from the dead.
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President's Day is Monday, which means work for actor Barry Cutler, who travels the country to bring Abraham Lincoln to life for K-12 students. Some days, he plays Honest Abe for 2,000 kids.

Rabe Takes on World, Universe in Blog

Off-Ramp host John Rabe has a blog that's been called a "must read," and not just by him. Check it out, and please comment.
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