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ani phyo, frances fisher, eva, moby, diamondsnake

Moby was performing with his new heavy metal band DiamondSnake last night in Hollywood, where I bumped into Frances Fisher and Eva. We had a blast dancing up a storm. You can see Moby on stage behind us rocking out to his new Heavy Metal music.

Lead singer Phil Costello’s voice is incredible. They have a song called Rock and Raw, give it a listen on their homepage. These guys are a funny!

moby diamond snake phil costello

It was way past my bedtime of 10pm, and I lasted to about midnight, but left before they finished their set, unfortunately. I hope to get to see DiamondSnake again, maybe along with NYC tour next month.

DiamondSnake was sporting vegan guitar straps, very cool! Choosing vegan has the biggest impact on helping to save our planet and stop animal suffering. Besides, a vegan diet, and especially a raw vegan diet, helps with weight loss, increases health and our immune system, and gives us tons of energy to rock on roll!

It’s official, I now like Heavy Metal music. Moby…I love you!



Watch video: 9 min, 51 sec

In this episode I talk about my new raw food uncookbook, Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, on Day 2 of my new book tour here in Hollywood at Erewhon. Brother Echo from Raw Sangha created this great episode documenting my presentation, talk, and book signing. I had a great time speaking with Brother Echo. He’s a glow of bright light sharing his great gifts with our world. Thanks Brother Echo!

raw sangha ani phyo raw food essentials erewhon hollywood

ani phyo raw food essentials at erewhon in hollywood los angeles, ca

For weeks, friends had been calling to say they saw a poster of me on Beverly Blvd. Now I can see why. Erewhon is the greatest store in the world for everything raw. Juan Hernandez has been the Erewhon force behind this great raw department. I’m holding a print gift from Tyler Golden, my food photographer, of my Mandu Dumpling recipe from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. I love it!

ani phyo vincent gallo raw food essentials

Another photo in front of my poster, this time with one of my favorite actors and directors Vincent Gallo. He directed and acted in Buffalo ’66 (1998) with Christina Ricci, who I love too. I attended high school in Buffalo, and enjoyed watching this film years ago. Buffalo ’66 was the first time I saw the camera effect when the set stays still and the camera pans 360 around the characters. This was a year prior to the same effects in the Matrix film.

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood erewhon

It was another packed house on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Erewhon in Hollywood. I demonstrated how to make my Strawberry Kream Pie using dates, cashews, vanilla, and strawberries. The lovely Christy Morgan (in purple) volunteered to help me portion out the tastes and get them into the crowd. Everyone loved the dessert, it was fast and easy to make, and tasted delicious.

I talked about the importance of probiotics in our diets. In America, we take antibiotics, which kill off all our healthy intestinal flora. Probiotics will help us to regain balance in our digestive tract. My new book includes a chapter on probiotic drinks including kefir and kombuch, and another on probiotic pickled vegetables inspired from my Korean heritage.

ani phyo raw food essentials erewhon

I always love signing books after a talk and food presentation. It’s when I really get to connect with people and hear their stories. These two lovelies are getting married soon, and told me they’re planning to have 3 raw cakes at their wedding.

dana ani phyo raw food essentials erewhon hollywood los angeles, ca

I had previously met Dana at one of the Community Services Unlimited gardens, where she was elbow deep planting greens in the dirt. Her garden is beautiful, very well maintained, and full of the most delicious plants. Read my post on the CSU, Inc gardens.

Thank you to Juan for hosting, Christy for helping, Tyler Golden for taking photos, and Raw Sangha’s Brother Echo for filming yesterday’s event. Brother Echo said he’d have a video up that I’ll link to in a day or so. Thanks everyone for joining me and celebrating my new book!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

Friday evening was the first stop along my book tour for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. Book Soup arranged a special and very early drop shipment of my books to be delivered 3 weeks early. Official sale date isn’t until June 1st. So, Book Soup is where I got to see my new book in person. It’s always super exciting to hold a copy in my hands. And the book looks great. Hard cover, 2 color with beautiful color food inserts taken by Tyler Golden.

Tyler brought me a gift! A large print of my Mandu Dumplings framed. I love it!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

I talked about my goals for Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, which is to strip away the misconception of raw or healthy being expensive or time consuming. I hope to make raw food preparations easy and accessible to everyone. I begin with stripped down BASIC recipes, then build up from there to create variations and different, new flavors.

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood minah

Minah is a fellow Korean American who lives near Pasadena and goes to college in NYC. Check out her book on  my lap. It’s dog eared, marked up, and worn. I love this! A sign that Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen has been put to good use. Minah shared with me how my raw recipes feed her, gave her mental clarity and focus, and charged her through school. Bravo!

ani phyo raw food essentials at book soup hollywood

Belita, to the left in the above photo, is a mother who I had a discussion with about how her little girl gravitates to fresh fruit while her boy reaches for vegetables. It’s natural for kids to love whole, fresh fruits and vegetables. After all, candy colors are inspired by fruit and vegetables. In the center is Tyler Golden, food photographer, and then Minah.

To the right is Kurt, who I discovered works in South Los Angeles (which used to be called South Central LA) with kids. He lives in Venice, all the way West at the ocean, and takes public transit downtown daily to work and back. I’m very impressed! He found his way to Hollywood from downtown via public transit, and luckily got a ride back to the west side from Belita. It’s rare to meet people who don’t drive their own cars here in LA.

I’m now working with Community Services Unlimited in the same neighborhood as Kurt, so we’ll be seeing more of each other this summer through our gardening, cooking classes, and fund raising dinner events for kids and the community in South Los Angeles.

The lovely Thea took these photos for me, and unfortunately, we didn’t get a photo together.

Professional photos taken by Tyler Golden from last weekend’s kick off book tour events. The first two are from Book Soup in Hollywood on Friday May 7, 2010.

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

The following images are from Saturday May 8th at Erewhon in Hollywood.

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

ani phyo raw food essentials hollywood california

Thanks Tyler Golden for the beautiful color food photos in Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, and for these lovely pictures too.

More photos were taken and a video was shot by Brother Echo of RawSangha. Check out photos here, and video coming soon.

kato banks, ani phyo, andy caldwell, raw food los angeles, ca

Last night I met up with old school friends from back in the SF rave days in the early 90s. Above is a photo of me with Kato and DJ Andy Caldwell who was spinning last night in Los Angeles.

Andy’s set wasn’t until 12.30am. And yes, it was a Monday night. To help us all stay awake that late, six of us met for a raw food dinner beforehand.

michelle belegrin, dawn knepley, capm petersen raw food

I always have my camera on me, and was so disappointed I forgot it last night! So these low resolution photos were all taken with my Blackberry instead. Above are Michelle, Dawn, and Capm, sitting on the other side of the table from me. It was interesting that 4 out of the 6 of us were at least 1/2 Asian. Michelle is half Chinese, Dawn’s half Korean, Kato is half Philippino, and I’m full Korean. As I look around, I realize this is our beautifully diverse America. I’m still processing how our USA media doesn’t represent the multitude of cultures that really make up our United States.

After shutting down the cafe, we then headed over to Hollywood to find a packed club, especially for a Monday night! The crowd was totally mixed with what seemed like 1/2 Asians, and another 1/4 at least of other people of color. It was also a huge range of ages, from 21 to 70. There were several groups of older Asians, they looked like my mom’s age, dancing like crazy. This was the first time I’d seen this, ever. And it was awesome.

It was really fun to be part of rockstar Andy’s entourage, being escorted into the club and up onto the stage. We even got to hang out and dance next to the DJ booth all night long.

ani phyo, andy caldwell hollywood the playhouse

I love dancing, and it was a huge treat to dance to Andy’s beats. He’s usually super busy traveling to perform all around the world, so it was a rare opportunity to see him here in LA. Dancing for me is a spiritual practice. Letting go and flowing is cathartic.

ndy caldwell dj hollywood, ca

Before I realized, it was past 2am. Michelle told me the party ended at 3am, which was about 5 hours past my bedtime. So, she and I headed out. By the time I got to bed, it was past 3am. I still woke up at 8am. I know that’s 5 hours of sleep, but I feel tired today. I’m finding it to be harder and harder to stay up late anymore. I don’t think it’s a sign of aging, but rather, perhaps it’s just about being more responsible and taking better care of myself. Either way, last night was totally worth it! I got to catch up with old friends, and danced my legs off to the beats of Andy Caldwell. It was so fun!!!

andy caldwell paul harris

This is a photo of Andy Caldwell and Paul Harris, who was spinning prior just before the change over.

japan town los angeles, ca

Living in the center of Los Angeles, I walk and ride my bike around my neighborhood, rarely drive, and hardly ever make it downtown. Saturday, I decided to explore downtown LA. I started at by USC at the California Science Center and watched the new Hubble 3D IMAX. It was incredible to see images Hubble captured, and I recommend everyone to go see this film. It’s only 45 minutes long.

Next, I visited a new (to me) Japan Town mall in downtown LA where I stumbled upon a really cool bookstore and an Asian grocery store. I stocked up on my sea vegetables: Arame, Hijiki, Nori, and picked up a bottle of Yuzu (orange paste with green hot pepper). Sea veggies cost much less at the Asian market than at a natural food store. I even ran into an old friend who lives in Santa Monica who happened to be shopping downtown too.

The photo above was shot at dusk, so the sky is an amazing blue color. I’m learning that dawn and dusk are the money shots for architecture.

Los Angeles at night

I was with Benny, an amazing photographer who’s photos are found on many of the architecture magazine covers out there. Benny Chan’s aerial photo series are printed huge, maybe 10 ft tall, if I had to guess. Standing in front of the images makes me loose my stomach as if I was really flying up in the helicopter with him. Read about Benny’s show in the LA Times.

Benny’s been inspiring me to shoot dusk and nighttime city shots, especially from the top floor of high rises. You can even find the crescent moon in the photo above. It was a beautiful city scape on a warm LA evening.

On the way home, I stopped off to visit my friend Kato Space who was hosting an old school house party in Hollywood with special guest DJ Garth, from the Wicked Crew in San Francisco. I love dancing. Besides the prior evening at Pink Floyd, I hadn’t been out dancing for months.

Dancing directly raises my level of happiness and well being. It’s a spiritual practice for me to let go and to feel the flow. It was so much fun, but way past my bedtime.

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