Photo by Ella Gonzalez
Weekly Culture Collection is a column that gives you the best things to eat, see and do at Pepperdine, Malibu and the surrounding Los Angeles area. It’s like The New Yorker’s Goings on About Town section but not as high-brow, and there is no dandy with an eyeglass. It also has nothing to do with New York.
In the pandemonium of adjusting to class and school schedules and in attempt to divert your attention via sensory inundation, this week explores the best things to satiate your gustatory and visual senses.
1305 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
It might be said that there is something rather pretentious about the Los Angeles food scene. Perhaps it is the need to embellish dishes with unnecessary ingredients (gold, truffles, kale), deconstructed fare flaunting itself on Instagram, and restaurant trilogies that arise amid the welter of a sticky summer heat. It doesn’t hurt if the restaurant has a name that causes one to question his or her ability to pronounce. MTN is pronounced “mountain,” and it is Venice’s latest addition from the folks who brought Venice Gjusta and Gjelina.
While it lacks the guttural sound of its predecessors, it more than makes up for it in izakaya cuisine (a Japanese gastropub where it’s every bit as much about the food as it is about the drinks). Elevated in price (ramen worth over one hour of minimum-wage work), style and ingredient, MTN is a culinary force shrouded in a dose of ambiguity and mystery.
Their website lacks a menu, their Instagram a disparate paring of unrelated images. Any semblance to a restaurant is gleaned from restaurant reviews that bespeckle the internet and the most trusted “foodie” sources. One Yelp review reads, “I got the ramen; it is beautiful. Especially in my mouth.” Wonderful. It shouldn’t be any other way … or in any other orifice. Three dollar signs for MTN because it’s $18 to $20 bowls of ramen.
Sept. 9, 2017 — Nov. 4, 2017 — 2525 Michigan Ave., E3, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is an initiative supported by grants from the Getty Foundation that explores Latino and Latin American art in Los Angeles. From Sept. 2017 to Jan. 2018, more than 70 institutions across California will be participating in the initiative. At Bergamot Station, visitors can enjoy art by Cuban artists Alejandro Gómez Cangas, Maykel Linares, Darwin Estacio Martinez, Luis Rodriguez NOA, Adislen Reyes Pino and Eduardo Rubén. Their exhibition is titled “I COME FROM EVERYWHERE, AND EVERYWHERE I GO” / “YO VENGO DE TODAS PARTES Y HACIA TODAS PARTES VOY.” The title of the exhibition comes from a poem by Cuban revolutionary José Martí, an apt title for a culturally rich and diverse Los Angeles.
Equipped with brothy ramen and enough socially enlightening art to soldier on amid the bedlam of school, let MTN and Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA be the remedy for academically-induced chaos and all other anxieties.
Follow the Pepperdine Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic