In celebration of the opening of our first West Coast shop, this week’s edition of 5 Friday Scoops centers on a quintet of L.A. things we love—some from the week that was, some from recent visits, and some from years gone by. Here we go:

1) THE TAO OF VAN HALEN, 1978-1984

“I live my life like there’s no tomorrow.” “Change . . . Nothing stays the same.” Van Halen gave us words we all should take to heart. But it’s “You’ve got to roll with the punches to get to what’s real,” the line from Jump, that remains one of Jeni’s all-time favorite quotes.

Photo of David Lee Roth in full flight, from 1980, by Lynn Goldsmith


Steve Nasker and Charlotte Stone are Pacific Wonderland, Inc., an L.A. duo in the business of shoes and chairs like this Scandinavian/Mid-Century/Southwestern mash-up:


Daikokuya operates a few locations in L.A. We can vouch only for the Little Tokyo spot (above), which serves ramen from heaven.


If you’re into prehistoric-looking horticulture, houses terraced into hillsides, and especially decades-old cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans, there’s nothing like an intra-L.A. road trip. To see more photos like the one below, check out Happy Tours: Los Angeles.

Lil’ Lemon Camper, Highway 1, just south of Malibu, 2013, Michelle Maguire.


Dogtown & Z Boys (2001) remains the skateboard documentary. But this week, thanks to Dangerous Minds, we know about the Dogtown & Z Boys‘ precursor, Skateboard Kings.

The 1978 documentary, made for a British TV series, centers on legendary skate dudes Tony “Mad Dog” Alva, Paul Constantineau, and Billy Yeron. As they cruise through their sunny days in the L.A. skate ‘hood known as Dogtown, the tribe skates or surfs (depending on the quality of the morning waves), gathers for eats (“Let’s crank some munch”), and explains the vibe (“L.A.’s definitely a party place. Everyone likes to go out and do what they like to do best.”).

The hard-boiled, socio-political narration, by a non-nonsense newscasterly fellow straight out of central casting, provides hilarious counterpoint to the skaters’ colorful patois:

“You’re young, male, and you live in the city. How do you prove yourself in the most materially comfortable country on Earth? How do you show courage, daring, skill, strength? How do you prove you’re a man? If you’re a Massai tribesman in Africa, you kill a lion. If you’re an Aborigine boy, you go on walkabouts. If you live in Dogtown, Los Angeles, you ride a skateboard.”