L.A. Gets a Taste of Some East Coast Institutions!

If you live in L.A. but occasionally find yourself in a New York State of Mind, then I have good news for you… at least where your appetite is concerned!

Two of New York City’s most amazing restaurants are branching out into our neck of the woods, and I’m already salivating about it!
First up on the menu, Rao’s, a famous Italian restaurant that’s been operating since 1896! The East Harlem establishment’s specialties are so popular that the current owners opened a second Rao’s in Las Vegas, and after observing that success, they are now taking this biz to Hollywood! Reservations are now being accepted – I already went and checked it out myself, and I can tell you personally, it’s the read deal! I am sure it will find a happy home here. I definitely wasn’t disappointed!
If Italian isn’t your thing, though, then you definitely need to check out Hakkasan. This place elevates Chinese food to an artform – no pungent take-out boxes of orange chicken here! Originally founded in London, Hakkasan experienced roaring success when it opened its doors over here in the U.S., including its location near Times Square in NYC. It’s not cheap, but the quality of both the food and the experience is so worth it! Another cool little service that Hakkasan provides is that, if you use their valet, they will go and get your car when you pay your bill so that it will already be waiting for you when you leave! They also tally the cost of the valet in your dinner bill so you don’t have to worry about it. How cool is that?
So, if you have a special occasion coming up, or if you just dig some fine dining East Coast-style, I highly recommend either of these great places. Or both! Why not?



Breaking Up with “Breaking Bad”

What does a guy do after he’s won ALL the Emmys? This is a question Bryan Cranston surely asked himself when the series finale of “Breaking Bad” was announced!

No doubt “Breaking Bad” made him a household name, but many of us had our first experience with him as the goofy dad on “Malcolm in the Middle” (for which he was also nominated for several Emmys). It’s safe to say that Cranston is pretty much the perfect actor – he’s just as great in dramatic roles as comedic ones . Now that he’ll have all this extra free time, more movie roles will pour in. He already has no less than 5 projects either waiting for release or just getting started, including high profile flicks like a Godzilla reboot and Kung Fu Panda 3 but also more low budget indie fare like the crime drama Cold Comes The Night and a comedy called Get a Job. We definitely haven’t seen the last of Bryan Cranston, and that’s a very good thing! But what about his cohort, Aaron Paul? Aaron’s had a pretty good run at the Emmys as well, having already scored himself two trophies for his role as Jesse Pinkman. We definitely hope to see more great things from Aaron in the near future. He has two projects currently in post-production, and it won’t be long before other filmmakers snatch him up. Personally, I’d love to see a full-length version of his tour de force starring role in “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”. “Breaking Bad” will soon be closing up shop for good, but there’s still plenty of great stuff to look forward to from their stars.

In the meantime, check out our interview with Aaron Paul at the YH Studio below!



‘Lost Angels’ Explores L.A.’s Outcasts

In 2009, London-born Thomas Napper was the second unit director on the film The Soloist, which took place within the L.A. homeless community, and it inspired him to more closely explore the plight of these societal outcasts.
In the film, Napper documents the daily lives of 8 people who live on Skid Row and sheds some light on an easily misunderstood lifestyle. In order to survive, they have to work together, there’s no choice. For those who maybe turn a blind eye to this dark side of L.A. in their day to day lives, you finally get to know these people as human beings and even get attached to them, rooting for them to succeed and grieving for those who aren’t so lucky.
The biggest takeaway is how everyone in this community fully accepts one another… How ironic, the rest of us could certainly learn a thing or two from them in that regard. No wonder so many choose to remain there.
It’s such an engrossing film, and believe it or not, it is pretty uplifting. I encourage anyone reading this to check it out on Hulu (for free) right now and purchase the DVD. Check out their Official Website to keep up with any upcoming screenings.


Classified Channels “Inner Ninja” to Take Over U.S. Airwaves!

Luke Boyd, better known as Canadian rapper and producer Classified, is finally getting some love Stateside!

Born and raised in Enfield, Nova Scotia, Classified has been dishing out great music since 1995, with multiple Canadian Hot 100 hits and 14 studio albums already under his belt! You could say this guy is a pretty big deal in his home country, but we’re excited to hear that his music is starting to trickle down across the border!
We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about his newest self-titled album, especially his song “Inner Ninja.” The album itself debuted on the Canadian album charts at #1, and the single reached #5 on the Canadian Hot 100. This guy is definitely going places!
“Inner Ninja” features David Myles and is a refreshing take on the hip-hop/rap scene, with lyrics that are light and a beat that’s pop-based. If you love the song like I do, then you definitely need to check out the visuals that go with it! It’s impossible to watch it and walk away without a smile. It’s a party in 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
Even though he’s been doing his thing up north for years, he is a fresh face for American hip-hop enthusiasts, but I think he will be embraced with open arms; even he refers to his momentum in the States as a “new start.” You’ll definitely have “Inner Ninja” on repeat this summer!
Check out the “Inner Ninja” video below!


Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson Reunited!

It’s been 8 years since Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson had us busting a gut to their antics in the 2005 flick Wedding Crashers. So, what sorts of shenanigans could Vaughn and Wilson get into almost a decade later? Well, looks like they’ve traded in crashing weddings for crashing Internet corporations!
The Internship follows two out-of-work salesman who worm their way into a cushy internship with Google. It’s the classic story of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” – they lose their jobs thanks to growing digital advancements, so they attempt to get into the tech game themselves. It’s weird to think of Vince & Owen being “the old guys” now; you just don’t see very many 40-something interns that often!
I, for one, am really excited to see this duo on the big screen together again. Their chemistry, their ability to play off each other and improvise makes them one of the best comedy teams out there. It’s hard to believe that this is only the 3rd film they’ve appeared together in (the other one being 2004’s Starsky & Hutch) because it seems like they’ve been together forever!
We recently caught up with Vince to get his thoughts on how to nail the interview for that perfect internship and, as always, he had some unique words of wisdom!

The Internship also stars Jessica Szohr and Josh Gad, who stopped by the YH Studio:


The Three Buzziest Games To Come Out of E3 2013!

The E3 Expo kicked off yesterday at the L.A. Convention Center, and there is already a buzz about some of the games being showcased. We’ve been getting a firsthand look at what the gaming world is about to unleash on the world, and we handpicked a few as the most highly-anticipated!

1) Ubisoft is known for their super successful games, such as Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, and Far Cry, and its upcoming release promises more of the same. Watch Dogs surrounds the player as the character Aiden Pearce (voiced by Noam Jenkins) and his ability to hack into various electronic systems currently under the possession of the city. The purpose of this is to control or completely destroy it via numerous objectives given to the player. One really standout component of Watch Dogs is the ability to do online multi-player co-op, where someone might be the shooter and another could work the surveillance cameras to take down the systems more effectively.
2) Action-adventure games are always top-sellers, and we expect Activision and Bungie’s Destiny to be no different. Destiny is already being slated to blow Call of Duty out of the water, which is a pretty bold statement and would be an impressive feat considering how popular that game is. It is set to be released sometime in 2014 on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. This is one game we are keeping our eyes peeled for, so put it on your radar too.
3) Can EA do any wrong when it comes to a sports-related game? Drake (a HUGE fan of  the FIFA games) introduced the popular soccer game franchise’s newest addition, which has multiple improvements that are sure to enhance the gaming experience, such as: player movement is more precise and exact to allow a new variety of shots and passes; players are able to protect the ball from opponents; shooting accuracy has increased; ball physics have been added; and there is more teammate awareness. This is just to name a few. These additions will definitely give gamers a more realistic experience.


The Xbox One is One in a Million!

All of the hype surrounding the Xbox One is completely warranted. Not only are the hottest games coming out on this console, but there are new features that come with it that will completely change the way we interact online, play games, and, best of all, watch TV. Yes, the Xbox One really does all of this!

First off, every option is no longer just at your fingertips, but at your lips too, thanks to the verbal command feature. Plus, Xbox One will remember what you most frequently watch and play to better serve you and help enhance your experience. This information is stored and is added to your own personal home screen. You can visit it anytime to see what’s currently trending to get suggestions.  It almost knows you better than you know yourself!
Aside from personalization, the Xbox One will bring you games like you have never seen them before. Graphics will be so precise that it will feel like you are right there with the characters, the action, and the drama. It’s like virtual reality in the comfort of your couch. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a much better option to me.
This console is definitely the biggest thing to hit the gaming world this year, but I am also excited for something that can be added to your Xbox One. It’s called the Xbox Smartglass, but that’s almost an understatement, because it’s actually genius! This app allows your smartphone or tablet device to interact directly with your Xbox, essentially acting as a second screen!
If being verbal isn’t your thing, then let your phone or tablet lead the way to what you want.  With the touch of the screen, you can navigate around the Xbox dashboard and select what you want to watch or engage in.
Need to search something? Simply type it into your personal device and the options will show up on the TV screen. Watching a movie? Get information on the characters, synopsis, or fun facts straight to your phone. Playing a game? Transform your tablet into a second screen to add to the experience and offer up another viewpoint. With Smartglass, your phone or tablet become your ultimate companion. What was once used solely to make calls now turns into a remote control that does much more than adjusting the volume or selecting a channel.
Technology has come a long way, and the Xbox One and Smartglass are the epitome of advancement. A special edition Xbox One called “Xbox One Day One Edition” is already up for presale and includes special edition packaging, an exclusive achievement, and a commemorative controller. It will come out sometime in November of this year — get your hands on one before the supply runs out! I can confidently say that you will not regret the early purchase.


Keeping Up With The Janoskians!

It might be easy to dismiss The Janoskians as just a bunch of troublemakers, in the vein of the “Jack Ass” guys, but there is way more to them than that. This group of five mischievous Australian lads does like to stir the pot, no doubt about that, but you can’t deny their cleverness and humor. By their own admission, they mean no harm – they just want to entertain!

Made up of brothers Beau, Jai, and Luke Brooks, along with Daniel Sahyounie and James Yammouni, The Janoskians have gained popularity (and notoriety) over the last couple years thanks to their hilarious and often pretty elaborate YouTube videos, featuring them pulling pranks and stunts upon the unsuspecting public. In addition to that, though, the boys produce a number of skits and parodies (like their send-ups on “Man vs. Wild” and Paranormal Activity). They have further expanded their horizons into the world of music, and they have record deals with Sony Music Australia and Jay Sean! Their first single, “Set This World On Fire”, dropped in September, and their newest single, “Best Friends”, was released just last week. Pretty impressive for a group of juvenile delinquents, huh?


Usher In The Summer With Drop City Yacht Club

You guys, I think we have found the official summer jam of 2013!
Drop City Yacht Club’s breezy “Crickets” has been taking off since it was released in late-March, and as we get closer to summer, the more steam it’s picking up.
The hip-hop group (consisting of A-Wolf, Kristo, and THX) are originally from San Francisco, and for this tune, they enlisted the help of Def Jam artist and producer Jeremih to lay down the smooth hook. And while the title of the song could easily refer to those pesky insects that keep us up all hours of the night during the summer, it’s actually the sound a poor guy hears when he approaches that foxy lady at the pool party and asks her out, only to be met with… you guessed it, crickets!

A-Wolf describes the group’s vibe as “somewhere between Beastie Boys and Beach Boys”, and honestly I can’t think of a more accurate description than that!
Take a visit to their Official Website to download their EP, Crickets, and to keep up with all the latest, like their debut album, which is scheduled to drop in the fall.


Shailene Woodley Poised to Become the Next Jennifer Lawrence!

the book of mormon 130912Shailene Woodley has a slate of big, highly-anticipated projects on the horizon that are likely to catapult her into legitimate superstardom on par with the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, or Emma Watson.
The 21-year-old has been acting pretty much her whole life, but her big break came when she was cast as the lead on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” in 2008. In the meantime, she dabbled in films too – playing the daughter of none other than George Clooney in the critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film The Descendents.
Now that “Secret Life” is ending its 5-season run this year, she has more time to devote to movie projects. Firstly, she won the lead role of Beatrice Prior in the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. Given the trilogy’s cult popularity, I won’t be surprised if this series does actually become the next Hunger Games.
In the meantime, Shailene is also busy filming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, having been tapped to play Spidey’s other main love interest, Mary Jane Watson! If this sequel does half as well as the first one, then Shailene is destined to become a household name.
But wait, there’s more! Shailene will balance her blockbuster roles with a more dramatic turn in a film adapation of John Green’s acclaimed novel The Fault In Our Stars. Again playing the lead, Shailene will have the opportunity to show off those acting chops we all saw and loved in The Descendants. I predict many more awards and accolades on the horizon after this comes out!
I’m proud to say that we had the soon-to-be megastar in our YH Studio during her Descendants run and even got to celebrate her birthday with her! Check out that interview below, as well as a chat with her from the set of “Secret Life”, and be sure to keep a sharp eye on her in the coming year!