Film and Foodie Review: Creed


The Film: As much as I would love to be knocked out by  “Creed”as many film critics and fans are, I am simply not.    I wanted to love the film.  For me there was only one moment that  felt electrifying  but then it was over…quickly.  The movie felt long.    The love story felt contrived.  Every time the love story entered, I wanted it to disappear.

What I did love was Sylvester Stallone’s performance as the veteran world champion heavy weight boxer of the world.  Stallone conveyed sadness and wisdom as it all seemed believable not only because of his acting performance but it is a story that a Rocky fan knows.  Fans have watched the underdog revel in simply good enough to contend with the best.  We the fans, have watched people believe in Rocky when he didn’t believe in himself.  We have seen Rocky grow from relationships and we have seen the relationships that he has lost along the way.  Thus,  the relationship between young Adonis Creed( son of Apollo) and Rocky is believable.    There is a convincing story of young man trying to have a connection with a Dad that he never knew.  It is plausible that a relationship with Rocky would be important to him.  It believable the Apollo’s death would haunt rocky_8colRocky enough that he would do just about anything for Apollo’s son because we watched Rocky and Apollo train together and become very close.  So when Rocky trains Adonis, the flood gates of wisdom pour out with movie history trivia quotes of the future.

It is hard to compete with scene stealing boxing opponents that Stallone was never afraid to put in the ring like Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and the Russian but I enjoyed the opponent of Adonis, “Pretty” Ricky Conlan played by Tony Bellew.  Albeit his appearances are rather brief in the film.  He is pretty, he had swagger and I was impressed with him.   In real life, Bellew is a British fighter who was once the WBC International Light Heavyweight Champion.

So what about the star?  Michael B. Jordan is a great actor.  I was impressed with him within 30 seconds of watching the independent film hit Fruitvale Station.  Jordan has superstar written all over him.  I look forward to hopefully seeing him in a range of roles in years to come.  As for for his performance in Creed,  he does a good job.  He really knows how to tap into a convincing range of emotions.  And you get to see it this film.  I anticipate seeing  a beefed up version of Adonis Creed in the sure to come next installment to this franchise.

Despite not being knocked about by this film, it is a generally good story with strong acting.  This movie sets up what I hope will be a better second installment.  And I hope, the writer is not stuck on this leading lady being the one for Adonis.  Nevertheless, the love story will not make or break the next film.  Although, the love story of Adrian and Rocky was absolutely weaved beautifully that you couldn’t walk out of film not knowing Adrian’s name.  With this film although, I saw the actress more than I wanted to see her.  I don’t remember the character’s name at all.  Don’t get me wrong, actress Tessa Thompson is a good actress.  The love story was just underwhelming. I know it sounds like I am looking for a love story but I am not.  What I was looking for was plenty of drama, action and the unbelievable music that elevates a Rocky film.  I saw some drama, some action and didn’t get enough of the unbelievable score.


The Food:  Hmn, I just finished watching muscles for two hours.  Do I want beefcake or cheesesteak.  Okay,  just stop for a proper Philly Cheesesteak.  The film also acknowledges soul food but the food for the soul of a Philadelphia location story has to be the cheesesteak.

The cast enjoyed cheesesteak nearly every day while on set in Philadelphia. Yahoo News reports, Jordan’s choice of ingredients might surprise you. Instead of picking a traditional Philly cheesesteak stuffed with delicious beef, the 28-year-old star prefers chicken. In fact, that was the controversial preference offered up by nearly everyone that Yahoo spoke to from the film, including director Ryan Coogler. The 29-year-old filmmaker doesn’t even like red meat, he said, so it’s got to be chicken. Tessa Thompson, who co-stars in the film, is also on the chicken bandwagon — but even more controversially, doesn’t like ketchup.-


Chicken Cheesesteak

As for Sylvester Stallone, the original Italian Stallion, he’ll take it with all the ingredients — even if, as he joked, the liquid cheese always ends up ruining his clothing.


  • Bonus commentary– This I did love, an explanation of “Gonna Fly Now.” It was a completely organic moment with Rocky and Adonis and a great ode to one of the great songs in movie history.


Review by Crystal A. Johnson





Traditional Spanish Tapas



  • Aceitunasolives, sometimes with a filling of anchoviesor red bell pepper
  • Albóndigasmeatballswith sauce
  • Allioli: “garlicand oil” the classic ingredients are only garlic, oil and salt, but the most common form of it includes mayonnaise and garlic, served on bread or with boiled or grilled potatoes, fish, meat or vegetables.
  • Bacalao: salted codloin sliced very thinly, usually served with bread and tomatoes
  • Banderillas, or pinchos de encurtidos, are cold tapas made from small food items pickled in vinegar and skewered together. Also known as gildas or piparras and consist of pickled items, like olives, baby onions, baby cucumbers, chiles (guindilla) with pieces of pepper and other vegetables.
  • Boquerones: white anchoviesserved in vinegar (boquerones en vinagre) or deep fried
  • Calamaresor rabas: rings of battered squid
  • Carne mechada: slow-cooked, tender beef
  • Chopitos: battered and fried tiny squid, also known as puntillitas
  • Chorizo al vino: chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine
  • Chorizo a la sidra: chorizo sausage slowly cooked in cider
  • Croquetas: a common sight in bars and homes, béchamel with chopped ham, boiled egg, or whatever filings, coated in egg and grated bread and fried
  • Empanadillas: large or small turnovers filled with meats and vegetables
  • Ensaladilla rusa: (Olivier salad), potato salad made with mixed boiled vegetables with tuna, olives and mayonnaise
  • Gambasprawnssauteed in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce), al ajillo (with garlic), or pil-pil (with chopped chili peppers) or just grilled.
  • Mejillones rellenos: stuffed mussels, called tigres(“tigers”) in Navarre because of the spicy taste
  • Papas arrugadasor papas con mojo (see Canarian wrinkly potatoes) (Canary Islands): very small, new potatoes boiled in salt water, then drained, slightly roasted and served with mojo, a garlic, Spanish paprika, red pepper, cumin seed, olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and bread miga (fresh bread crumbs without the crust)
  • Patatas bravasor papas bravas: fried potato dices (sometimes parboiled and then fried, or simply boiled) served with salsa brava a spicy tomato sauce, also served with mayo or aioli
  • Pimientos de Padrón: small green peppers originally from Padrón (a municipality in the province of A CoruñaGalicia) that are fried in olive oil or served raw, most are mild, but a few in each batch are quite spicy.
  • Pulpo a la gallega(Galician-style octopus) or polbo á feira  cooked in boiling water and served hot in olive oil. Seasoned with paprika, for its recognizable red color + sea salt for texture and flavor.
  • Pincho moruno(Moorish spike): a stick with spicy meat, made of pork, lamb or chicken
  • Queso con anchoasCastillaor Manchego cured cheese with anchovies on top
  • Raxoporkseasoned with garlic and parsley, with added paprika, called zorza
  • Setas al Ajillo: fresh mushrooms sauteed with olive oil and garlic.
  • Solomillo a la castellana: fried pork scallops, served with an onion and/or Cabrales cheesesauce
  • Solomillo alwhisky: fried pork scallops, marinated with whiskybrandy or white wine and olive oil
  • Tortilla de patatas(Spanish omelette) or tortilla española: a type of omelet containing fried chunks of potatoes and sometimes onion
  • Tortilla paisana: a tortilla containing vegetables and chorizo (similar to frittata)
  • Tortillitas de camarones(Andalusia): battered prawn fritters
  • Zamburiñas: renowned Galician scallops(Chlamys varia), often served in a marinera, tomato-based sauce

Taste of Mexico 2015

If you have never been to the Mexico then please consider putting it on your to do list.  Sample the flavors of Mexico in liquid form like Tequila, Mezcal and agua frescas.  Try chapulines (grasshoppers),  a regional favorite of Oaxaca.  There are usually ceviches, tortas, tamales and tacos.

The Taste of Mexico seemed scaled down but this is not a bad thing.  Instead of a day and night event it returned to its humble beginnings as a night event only.  What I loved about it was the homier family style feel.  There were new touches like table and long bar tables.  There was amazing long salsa bar setup and long lines waiting to devour the sauces. 

Downtown Los Angeles: 5th Annual Taste of Mexico

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network (Crystal Johnson)

The Taste of Mexico’s signature event takes place under the stars with extensive food tastings, tequila tent, mezcaleria installation by Mezcal Legendario Domingo making its U.S. debut, Ilegal Mezcal, Mezcal Los Javis, Mezcal El Silencio, michelada beer garden by Victoria Beer and Guelaguetza’s Miche Mobil, and live entertainment by A Poco No!, Jarocho Group Tenocelomeh and Metralleta de Oro DJ Collective.

New Highlights from this year’s Taste of Mexico will include: Pettycash, Guerrilla Tacos, Colonia Publica, Corazón y Miel’s Bar extraordinaire Robin Chopra, Aqui es Texcoco, Taco Libre, Chichen Itzá, Día de Los Puercos Food Truck, Gabbi’s Mexican Kitchen and Cocina Condesa (full restaurant lineup below).

Regional food from LA favorites Guelaguetza, La Casita Mexicana, Mexicano, Frida, Frida Tacos, Lotería Grill, Torta Co., Mexicali Taco & Co., Casa Oaxaca, Tortas Bravas, Candela Taco Bar, Yuca’s, Tacos Punta Cabras, Mercado, Yxta and more…

Mariscos from Ceviche Project, Coni’Seafood, El Coraloense, Pez Cantina and Mariscos El Faro Food Truck.

Sweet Additions include La Monarca Bakery, Artesana Ice Pops, Mr. Churro, Frijolitos Mobile Coffee Cart and freshly spun cotton candy made with tamarind, mango and chocolate flavors by Love Swirls Cotton Candy. A complete list of this year’s participants can be found on The Taste of Mexico Association’s website.

Photo by Multiculturalcookingnetwork (Crystal Johnson)

New to the Event is The Taste of Mexico MERCADO, a one day market showcasing Los Angeles’ finest local products, artisanal edibles, home goods and apparel. Confirmed vendors include: Mala by Patty Rodriguez, Lil’ Libros,  LA Libreria and more…

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

La Plaza De Las Culturas y Artes

501 N. Main st.  Downtown, Los Angeles

VIP HOUR : 6:00 – 7:00 pm

GENERAL ADMIN:  7:00 – 11:00 PM

Los Angeles Korean Festival

Already on its 42nd year, the Los Angeles Korean Festival has become a yearly event promoting the Korean culture as well as providing an instrument in which the different cultures of Los Angeles can come together in fun and entertainment. With the different cultural communities in Los Angeles and free admission, the Los Angeles Korean Festival does a wonderful job in promoting the Korean culture as well as advocating the cultural diversity, a characteristic that defines the city of Los Angeles is known for. With the idea of multiculturalism in mind, the Los Angeles Korean Festival has grown to be one of the largest ethnic celebrations in the nation.

There are festivals—-and then there’s LA Korean Festival. By weaving a deep-rooted fascination with culture, community, history and humanity through everything we do—from the expo to the global adventures we undertake —LA Korean Festival Foundation transcend run-of-the-mill with experimental and diverse take on a culture-based Festival. Burdened stereotype and presumptions of it being too traditional and “boring”; anticipation and the element of surprise possess the Festival goers with an utter sense of excitement with every year’s never-ending improvements, the LA Korean Festival is about to rock the city of Los Angeles.

When: Oct 1 through 4th


Seoul International Park
3250 San Marino St
Los Angeles, CA 90006


Click for Parking Coupon

Korean Festival



Los Angeles Restaurants: Enjoy National Dessert Day on Oct 14, 2015

Check out places in LA to satisfy your sweet tooth!

BierBiesl Imbiss

Sachertorte $5

One of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties, the cake consists of a dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam, coated in dark chocolate icing

Chocolate brownies


Esterhazy $6.50

A spiced buttercream, sandwiched between four to five layers of almond meringue dough. The torte is iced with a fondant glaze and decorated with a characteristic chocolate striped pattern

napolean cake


Messhall Kitchen

Banana Cream Jar Pie $9

Banana Cream Pie Dessert

Banana Cream Pie DessertVanilla wafer, whipped cream, toasted almond & Banana brûlée

Vanilla wafer, whipped cream, toasted almond & Banana brûlée 

Ocean Prime

Ten Layer Carrot Cake $12

carrot cake

Ten Layer Carrot Mexico

Cream Cheese Icing and Pineapple Syrup

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie $11

Peanut Butter Mousse, Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

Baked Alaska $12

primed baked alaska

Primed Baked Alaska

Pound cake with Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry Ice Cream, Toasted Meringue & Fresh Raspberries 

Carbon Beach Restaurant

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie $19

The Deep Dish Chocolate Chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce is a Carbon Beach Club favorite. 


Film and Foodie Review: War Room

War Room Poster

The Film: If you are Christian this a film that may renew your faith and if you agnostic you might find real hope.  War Room is a faith based film by the successful producer, the Kendrick brothers.  This dynamic duo have created small budget films with the hope of providing a bigger picture for people.  War Room is the next in a series films including Fireproof, Facing the Giants or Courageous by the Kendrick brothers.

War Room on a basic level is about a couple with marital problems but when they both dig deeper they find that they are more than war with each other.  Prayer is the the much needed weapon to save their lives.  This is a very touching film.  I witnessed people pull out tissue and wipe their eyes.  It is a great family film.  The movie features as the lead actress, Priscilla Shirer Christian Inspirational teacher/speaker.  How does she fair in the acting departing?  She does pretty well for her first crack at this.  Having seen the movie twice, I can recognize the lack of range in expression at times.  Nevertheless, the movie doesn’t suffer for it.- Review by Crystal A. Johnson

Click for Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundae

The Food:  Well, this film provides us with two great options.  When in theaters, make sure you go to a coffee house or an ice cream shop because you may find yourself with plenty to talk about.

Classic Lentil Soup Recipe

I’ve e always loved Lentil Soup. It’s always been a favorite of mine. There’s something so comforting about it… It started lentil-soup-2out during my childhood years when I’d come home from school and my mom would have a can of Progresso Lentil Soup piping hot and ready for me and my sister.

I like the sultry crisp bite of the lentils, the hearty bite of the potatoes, the smooth tangy bite of the spinach and finally the hot warm broth with the underlying taste of the smoky cumin….. wow! I kinda sound real profesh writing like that! I’m even surprising myself!

Although my beloved Progresso soup did not have the taste or depth that the one I make now does… it did open my eyes to what this marvelous soup could be.

Now my son asks me for this delicious soup when he comes home from school!

It’s good, it’s hearty, it’s inexpensive to make and is almost a meal in itself! Make a little mixed green salad on the side and you have a fantastic dinner any night!  -Contributor- Michelle Karam – Feb 2010


I’ve e always loved Lentil Soup. It’s always been a favorite of mine. There’s something so comforting about it… It started out during my childhood years when I’d come home from school and my mom would have a can of Progresso Lentil Soup piping hot and ready for me and my sister.

I like the sultry crisp bite of the lentils, the hearty bite of the potatoes, the smooth tangy bite of the spinach and finally the hot warm broth with the underlying taste of the smoky cumin….. wow! I kinda sound real profesh writing like that! I’m even surprising myself!

Although my beloved Progresso soup did not have the taste or depth that the one I make now does… it did open my eyes to what this marvelous soup could be.

Now my son asks me for this delicious soup when he comes home from school!

It’s good, it’s hearty, it’s inexpensive to make and is almost a meal in itself! Make a little mixed green salad on the side and you have a fantastic dinner any night!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes cut into small cubes
  • ½ red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked thru
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • ¼ cup plain tomato sauce
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon cumin


Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add onion, carrot, celery and pepper. Allow to sweat or cook on the stovetop until the onions are translucent or you can see thru them. About 5 minutes. Add the lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings and allow to cook on a med-low simmer for about one hour. Add spinach and cook for 10 more minutes.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil on top… mmmmm!!!!

Optional Ingredients

  • ½ cup uncooked small pasta shells
  • ½ cup diced smoked ham (that will be added when the vegetables are sweating in the oil)
  • 1 sausage diced or sliced – spicy chicken sausage is excellent!
  • ½ cup canolini beans
  • ½ cup croutons – add upon serving

La Feria de Los Moles – 8th

The most important folkloric event in Los Angeles, The 8th Edition of ‘La Feria de Los Moles’ (Mole Fair), brings more flavor and delicious mole this year from Puebla & Oaxaca.

This delicious event includes a special presentation on the origin of the famous mole, which is one of Puebla & Oaxaca’s main dishes, a delicious and fun gastronomic debate amongst judges from the Mexican states known for their mole, and tastings of the different mole styles for all in attendance. Which mole do you like the most?mole

On October 4, La Placita Olvera will once again witness this celebratory feast filled with flavor and featuring an array of delicious moles that go from sweet to salty and hot. This year, for the first time an array of delicious pastries and other dishes will be prepared right along with mole, the unique star of the event.. Mole is a dish that originated from the collision of indigenous and Spanish cultures in Mexico.

You are invited to join the flavor of an event that brings together a record assistance of over 30,000 people of all ages, generations and cultures, offering more than 13 different Mexican moles to enjoy.

The delicious event starts at 10:00 a.m. and lasts until 7:00 pm. taking place at Olvera St., Los Angeles. Entrance is free and dishes are available for purchase.


Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold speaks about Feria de Los Moles (2012):


Los Angeles: First Official Oktoberfest celebration

Chef Mairinger grew up at the Oktoberfests in his Austrian homeland – “It’s where I had my first beer –Oktoberfest Hat 2 (don’t ask how old I was).  I was also a champ at all the midway games and love the crazy hats.” 
Come celebrate Oktoberfest at BierBeisl Imbiss with traditional entertainment and authentic food and drink:  oversized beers, giant pretzel, pork shanks + spaetzle, beer flights, Austrian donuts, sweet and savory knoedels, sausages (of course) and more….all served on festive tables in The Spring Arcade, in the heart of downtown LA’s historic core.  Prizes for best lederhosen and best dirndl and best hat.
Date:  Saturday October 10 and Sunday October 11    Time:  11 am – 2 am
Tickets available thru EventBrite 
Ticket Price:  $30 includes entertainment, 10 oz beer, pretzel and official BierBeisl Oktoberfest T-Shirt.
Special donation tickets available to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an organization formed to fight childhood cancer.  For VIP ticket information and reservations, contactoffice@bierbeisl-imbiss.com