‘Hood Clichés Meets Hipster Food Culture at Kitchensurfing’s Preview Dinner in Venice, a Guest Post and Review by My Older Brother Rojelio Cabral

The following story was written by my older brother Rojelio Cabral. It documents his experiences while eating at a dinner hosted by Kitchensurfing–a chef dispatching catering/pop-up hybrid service of sorts–in Venice. I’ll save you guys the embarrassment of browsing through my old cheesy, grammar nightmare (yes, even more than now) “early years” archive of food writing in 2006 and let you guys know that he basically is responsible for The Glutster. He started taking me out to restaurants and showing what’s up with good food, both fine dining in the Westside and hole-in-the-wall regional Asian in the SGV, in 2005.

If interested in finding out more about him, his art, his work and his influential LA graffiti history impact, check out his fancy new website: Rocreate.com . Or his gallery, on 50mm Los Angeles.


A private home in the Venice triangle, Venice’s most desired real estate, tucked between Abbot Kinney and Grand Blvd. Chic start.
Entering, I spied the chefs preparing purple-y suction goodness –partial to octopus I am. Initial impression = promising.

Stars of the night (in order):
Lamb Chops with a pistachio, mint, basil pesto. Excellently grilled.
Polenta patty, or cake, whichever –the base looked like an orange, cut in rings– grilled, piled with baby broccoli, pine nuts, currants and splashed with balsamic vinegar.
Pavlova –a meringue, a dollop of lemon curd, cream and a sliver of fig topped with a blueberry, and other seasonal fruits.

Dark. Dining.
Credit awarded to the organizers, who decided to take advantage of the pleasant Venice night, and deck, and moved the dining outdoors.
De-credited for the poor lighting –er, no lighting.
“Ugh, I can’t see what I’m eating!” became the common refrain of the night. Although a candle was brought onto the food table toward the end, better than never, the darkness was frustrating enough to distract. I come from visual-dominant ilk and flavors enter through the eyes first. A wow moment missed indeed.

Back to the food.
Despite the murk, the eats delicious and the textures sumptuous.
[Except for the chicken, with house made BBQ sauce, which tasted bland (?!). Inexplicably. Though it was succulent.]
There was an Orzo concoction, um Summer Salad, impressive in it’s range of flavors and a Crispy Chorizo with pomegranate bursts (and chicory) that was bright and remarkable. The (Firecracker) Shrimp on a skewer was above par in its sushi-like mouth feel, though cooked. Yummy, but neither sweet nor spicy as billed. Go figure.

The folk.
Didn’t like that they had canned Modelo beers, for hipster purposes. It is possible that the organizers were thinking cost-effectiveness, in contrast to the model home. However, I heard more than one attendee –too comfortably, almost flippant– claim some for slumming hipness factor. Modelo beer may be cool, but the way these guys and gals were handling it as über cool was decidedly not cool.

Stranger still, two otherwise nice guests too casually share “Where are the gangsters? Pfft, I came to Venice because [the dangerous lowlife element] keep the riff-raff out. A murder (they might’ve said ‘killing’) or two keeps it real.” Riff-raff, she explained, referred to the affluent.
The comment may be true. A hood-bred person could get away saying as much. If you’re a seemingly well-bred, uppity bougie, in PR, meeting new people, it comes off as callous and in bad taste.

Keeping it classy, I kept my offense –and I don’t get offended– to myself. People can say what they want. I’m a fan of agreeing to disagree. It’s only civil.

Kitchensurfing.com soft launched a service. They’ll dispatch chefs, for one or many, to home or office, or wherever needed to prepare a meal. Since their service is not about handling the décor, the food being rather worthy, they can be forgiven for the lighting.

Tonight! My Eastside O.G Graffiti Older Brother at Pasadena Museum of California Art’s “Street Cred” Exhibition

So after an international 16-year hiatus, my brother–and first ever role model in life–Rojelio Cabral has decided to give the L.A art world another whirl. He started last week at Crewest’s “No Biters Allowed” show, and now, he has two installations on display at Pasadena Museum of California Art’s “Street Cred” exhibition.

For this presentation, he has collaborated with his fellow L.A graf. legends TEMPT, PRIME, DEFER, SLICK, EYE ONE as well, as one of his custom pieces that he constructed while at his residency in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Some Spain Street Sculptures

Like me, much of his work is directly inspired by the rawness and bedlam that is punk-rock, specifically the 80’s L.A Hardcore scene. The opening will be tonight from 7-10 PM. Check out this teaser video he made for today’s show in the meantime, can anyone guess the song and band he used for it? He he. Hint: “What We Do is Secret!”

If you see me at the show, say what’s up yo!

(taken from the Pasadena Show of California Art Website)

Street Cred: Graffiti Art From Concrete To Canvas
May 15-Sept. 4, 2011

Internationally renowned as one of the most fertile grounds for graffiti art, the City of Angels has its own idiosyncratic graffiti styles created from filtering the innovative New York “wildstyle” through local influences such as gang writing styles. The Los Angeles artists featured in Street Cred currently represent a broad range of genres through their fine art production, from letter-based formalism to Surrealism. Co-curated by Steve Grody and PMCA Exhibition Manager Shirlae Cheng-Lifshin, this exhibition will also include Grody’s photographs from the crucial years of the graffiti scene, providing key insights into the visual “language” of graffiti, its development in Los Angeles, the ways in which the street work informs the canvas work, and how the two worlds interact.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Michael Alvarez, ANGST, AXIS, Chaz Bojórquez, CODAK, CRAOLA, DASH 2000, Ekundayo, EYEONE, HASTE, Paul SKEPT Kanemitsu, Alex Kizu, KOFIE, MAN ONE, MEAR ONE, Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez, Jose Lopez, Erick Montenegro, Nicnak, PUSH, RISK, Jeff Soto, Evan Skrederstu, RETNA, REVOK, SABER, SHANDU, Jesse Simon, SINER, and ZES.

This exhibition is curated by PMCA Exhibition Manager Shirlae Cheng-Lifshin and graffiti historian Steve Grody.

Made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

Additional support has been provided by 33third / Mid-City Arts and Brandy and Ed Sweeney.

KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad

Live Painting By The Mobile Mural Lab

Cash Bar

$5 Admission/ Free for PMCA Members

Pasadena Museum of California Art
490 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 568-3665

Tonight! My O.G-Eastside Graffiti Older Brother Featured in “No Biters Allowed” at Crewest Gallery


So apparently, alternative forms of artistry runs in my family. My older brother, Rojelio Cabral, will have some of his work featured in tonight’s show called “No Biter’s Allowed” at Crewest Gallery. My brother is credited with being one of the first writers to hit up in the “heavens” back in 1985, that is, the freeway overpasses along San Gabriel Valley and all of Eastern Los Angeles. He is the founding member of FB and one of the founding members of UTI.

He also pretty much shaped who I am now, basically being the raw benefactor responsible for my blog through out the early years (2006-2008).

His work exhibited tonight was directly inspired by the late Chicago 80’s Hardcore band “Life Sentence” and the angst of growing up between the graffiti and punk-rock worlds during that influential phase of Los Angeles graffiti.

“Its not in retaliation to MOCA’s current graffiti show but it is a comment on it” he tells me over a dinner of my mom’s rice and lentejas last night.


So come down tonight if you can and support another Cabral boy who has made a difference in L.A!

PS. The pho at Blossom restaurant down the street are is actually not that bad and the wine list at Pete’s Cafe (a block away) is even better!