Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 12, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 12




Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 12, 2015 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

You are hungry and you want something different, 
and this writer tells you to go to Robin’s Woodfire 
BBQ on Rosemead, you say “ I have driven by that 
place a thousand times and I thought it was just a 
coffee shop”. 

Do you have kids? I do, anyone need one until the economy picks up again, she is well mannered? 
Just kidding honey, but I will need that iPhone back, with the receipt. 

A certifiable winner on every Wednesday and Sunday Night is Robin's where the Kids eat for free!! I 
have a feeling we can all afford that one. With each adult entrée your child can eat for free from the 
kids menu. No kids, you say, well they also offer all you can eat Rib Tips for ($13.95). Wow!!! 

Now let's review an American favorite!!! It is also one of my 
personal favorites, BBQ, not the oven roasted version which 
Tony Roma's panders. No, Barbeque is made low and slow. 
Low heat and slowly cooked. There is only one authentic 
BBQ in The San Gabriel Valley; you guessed it, Robin's 
Woodfire BBQ and Grill in Hastings Ranch.

Owner and head politician Robin Salzer has perfected the 
BBQ at his name sake. Robin, will readily admit it took a 
few months to perfect the BBQ at Robin's. Robin hails from 
Milwaukee and opened Robin's 33 years ago this month. 
The original menu had everything from breakfast, to pizza, 
nachos and little bit of the BBQ. About ten years ago Robin made the decision to go strictly BBQ. 
"Everyone in the neighborhood, thought I was crazy," Robin recalled. But, "I decided to stay the 
course". The result is some of the best BBQ in all of Southern California. The awards in the past five 
years include: Best of City Search, numerous Best of Awards by local newspapers, write ups in the LA 
Times and a feature in Westways Magazine. 

Depending on the meat, each entrée is cooked between 4 to 6 hours on wood. The sauce is then put 
on the meat about twenty seconds before meat is done. This is done to avoid burning the outside skin 
of the meat. 

Prices range from ($8.95) for salads to ($35.95) for the ultimate Garbage Can Combo. Check out my 
food blog for pictures The combo includes chicken, beef ribs, tri tip, baby 
back, spare ribs and a beef link. The garbage combo is big enough for two people

What to order: The Beef Ribs are a must!! Four rib dinner ($19.95) and the six Rib dinner is ($29.95). 
Robin tells me the ribs are notched, thus insuring extra meat. For dessert order the peach cobbler, 
its house made.

What to avoid: Mondays & Tuesday, the restaurant is closed. They don't take reservations on the 
weekends, so I suggest making the visit on a Thursday Night. No separate checks. 

Four Stars. Worth the drive from anywhere in Los Angeles. Check out the website. Robinsmenu.
com for updated prices and hours.

395 N. Rosemead Pasadena. (626) 351-8885




By Sean Kayden

John Jagos began experimenting with making 
electronic music while attending Ohio University 
in 2009. After adopting the name, Brothertiger, he 
released his fanciful synth-laden debut EP “Vision 
Tunnels.” Since then, Jagos has released the critically 
praised LPs, Golden Years (2012) and “Future 
Splendors” (2013). With his recent move to Brooklyn, 
New York, Jagos is about to release his third LP, “Out 
of Touch.” The ten-track endeavor is an emotionally 
heavy outing, but it’s not overwhelming. Jagos takes 
a lot of personal experience and embeds it into his 
optimistic melodies. Underling themes of distress, 
apprehension, and fearfulness are present, but that’s 
only natural to explore for any artist in there twenties. 
As noted by Jagos, “Out of Touch” is a deeply personal 
record that explores the positive and negative aspects 
of trying to find one’s self in society in a post-college 
setting. Sure, the album focuses on all these things in 
life, but does it sound any good? The short answer is 
absolutely. Jagos’ chillwave arrangements, comforting 
vocals, and poignant lyrics clearly make this an 
entirely worthwhile experience to share. Often times, 
I found myself looking back in my own existence and 
“Out of Touch” is a prodigious piece of music that aids 
one along their own footpath.

 “Beyond The Infinite” is the grand opener for Jagos 
and it’s a real beaut. The oscillating synths and lush 
soundscape mixed with Jaogs lyrics that look inward 
rather than outward all form perfectly together. So 
right off the bat, we have something incredibly moving 
to set the stage for “Out of Touch.” “Wake” features 
warm, wistful vocals constructed around electronic 
music that leans toward the soft-rock side. Jagos 
showcases ambient tones over his sanguine lyrics. “Fall 
Apart” is yet another lovely tune that encouragingly 
moves forward as it progresses. Jagos utilizes his 
signature ethereal quality again and everything just 
falls into place effortlessly. In many ways, the album 
is shaping up to be the feel-good record of the season. 
While many life-changing themes are explored, 
optimism is always center stage. With all that’s dark in 
the world, Brothertiger tries to shed light in the most 
unforeseen places.

 The title track delves into 80s synth-pop and there’s 
nothing to complain about here. It’s an electro-pop 
track showcasing exceptional sounds that evolve 
into something memorable. While Brothertiger stays 
within a particular soundscape, no two tracks really 
feel much the same. Jagos is able to craft something 
new and special each go around. “Engulfed” starts off 
with bouncy and tropical beats. The chilled vibe and 
dreamy impression it gives off definitely makes the 
listener feel at home. As the album moves forward, 
we land on “Grenada,” a peaceful, nostalgic track that 
really hits every note faultlessly. It’s utterly affecting 
and meditative in every aspect of the song. Jagos has the 
remarkable propensity of writing just the right lyrics 
for his immaculate sounds. Everything goes hand in 
hand making “Out of Touch” feel like the perfect 
album. “Drift” ends this latest chapter for Brothertiger 
and it’s another spotless example in perfection. The 
impactful song is colorful and engaging with pleasant 
vocals and comforting emotion throughout. In the 
end, I was deeply moved, inspired, and enlightened by 
the complete journey that was offered. “Out of Touch” 
speaks volumes beyond the listener finishing the 
record. It will linger with you, stick inside your mind, 
and enter into your soul. Frankly, it’s captivating to say 
the least. Brothertiger’s latest composition brings a lot 
to the table as Jagos firsthand approach to songwriting 
and outlook on life is splendid, touching, and authentic 
all at the same time. 

 Grade: 8.5 out of 10

Key Tracks: “Wake,” “Fall Apart,” “Engulfed,” “Upon 
Veridian Waterways”

Jeff’s Book Pics By Jeff Brown

All The Wild That Remains: Edward 
Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the 
American West by David Gessner 

 An homage to the West and to two great 
writers who set the standard for all who 
celebrate and defend it.Archetypal wild 
man Edward Abbey and proper, dedicated 
Wallace Stegner left their footprints all 
over the western landscape. Now, award-
winning nature writer David Gessner 
follows the ghosts of these two remarkable 
writer-environmentalists from Stegner’s 
birthplace in Saskatchewan to the site of 
Abbey’s pilgrimages to Arches National 
Park in Utah, braiding their stories and 
asking how they speak to the lives of all 
those who care about the West.These two 
great westerners had very different ideas about what it 
meant to love the land and try to care for it, and they 
did so in distinctly different styles. Boozy, lustful, and 
irascible, Abbey was best known as the author of the 
novel The Monkey Wrench Gang (and also of the classic 
nature memoir Desert Solitaire), famous for spawning 
the idea of guerrilla actions, known to admirers 
as “monkeywrenching” and to law enforcement as 
domestic terrorism, to disrupt commercial exploitation 
of western lands. By contrast, Stegner, a buttoned-down, 
disciplined, faithful family man and devoted professor 
of creative writing, dedicated himself to working 
through the system to protect western sites such as 
Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado.In a region 
beset by droughts and fires, by fracking and drilling, and 
by an ever-growing population that seems to be in the 
process of loving the West to death, Gessner asks: how 
might these two farseeing environmental thinkers have 
responded to the crisis?Gessner takes us on an inspiring, 
entertaining journey as he renews his own commitment 
to cultivating a meaningful relationship with the wild, 
confronting American overconsumption, and fighting 
environmental injustice, all while reawakening the 
thrill of the words of his two great heroes.

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by 
Sarah Vowell

 From the bestselling author of Assassination 
Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, an insightful 
and unconventional account of George Washington’s 
trusted officer and friend, that swashbuckling teenage 
French aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette. Chronicling 
General Lafayette’s years in Washington’s army, Vowell 
reflects on the ideals of the American Revolution versus 
the reality of the Revolutionary War. Riding shotgun 
with Lafayette, Vowell swerves from the high-minded 
debates of Independence Hall to the frozen wasteland 
of Valley Forge, from bloody battlefields to the Palace of 
Versailles, bumping into John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, 
Lord Cornwallis, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette 
and various kings, Quakers and redcoats along the 
way. Drawn to the patriots’ war out of a lust for glory, 
Enlightenment ideas and the traditional French hatred for 
the British, young Lafayette crossed the Atlantic expecting 
to join forces with an undivided people, 
encountering instead fault lines between the 
Continental Congress and the Continental 
Army, rebel and loyalist inhabitants, and 
a conspiracy to fire George Washington, 
the one man holding together the rickety, 
seemingly doomed patriot cause. While 
Vowell’s yarn is full of the bickering and 
infighting that marks the American past—
and present—her telling of the Revolution is 
just as much a story of friendship: between 
Washington and Lafayette, between the 
Americans and their French allies and, 
most of all between Lafayette and the 
American people. Coinciding with one of 
the most contentious presidential elections 
in American history, Vowell lingers over the 
elderly Lafayette’s sentimental return tour of America in 
1824, when three fourths of the population of New York 
City turned out to welcome him ashore. As a Frenchman 
and the last surviving general of the Continental Army, 
Lafayette belonged to neither North nor South, to no 
political party or faction. He was a walking, talking 
reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of the revolutionary 
generation and what the founders hoped this country 
could be. His return was not just a reunion with his beloved 
Americans it was a reunion for Americans with their own 
astonishing, singular past.Vowell’s narrative look at our 
somewhat united states is humorous, irreverent and wholly 

My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book 
One by Elena Ferrante

 A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most 
acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, 
and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and 
Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a 
meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the 
story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature 
of friendship.The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but 
vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing 
up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each 
other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as 
their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and 
Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are 
reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise 
the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous 
change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante 
tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as 
it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the 
relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable 
Elena and Lila.Ferrante is the author of three previous 
works of critically acclaimed fiction: The Days of 
Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. 
With this novel, the first in a tetralogy, she proves herself to 
be one of Italy’s great storytellers. She has given her readers 
a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous 
in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a 
stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many 
fans and win new readers to her fiction.The above from 
Amazon .com

On the Marquee: Notes from the Sierra Madre Playhouse


By Artistic Director, Christian Lebano

 We have finally begun rehearsing Ira Levin’s 
Deathtrap! This diabolical show was originally slated 
to open on October 2 but because of the extensions 
of Always…Patsy Cline we moved it to a January 15, 
2016 opening. It is my great good fortune that the 
cast and designers have all stayed with me through 
the various postponements – and after the first two 
weeks of rehearsals, I can say with certainty that 
you are in for a real treat. This is a dynamite cast 
and we are having a ball figuring out how to murder 
each other (in the show!) and plotting just how much 
blood we’ll use!

 Acting is pretending. All of us in the theater 
were probably once those kids with hyper-active 
imaginations who jumped at the chance to play cops 
& robbers, pirates or superheroes, or to re-enact our 
favorite TV shows. So to get to work on a show where 
part of the consideration is how to hold a crossbow so 
it looks most menacing, or how to believably die on 
the hearth rug, or exactly when to scare the audience 
is just so much fun.

 And for me it is such a pleasure (and relief) to be 
back in the rehearsal room. It’s been a year since 
I last directed and I’ve really missed it. Bringing 
life onto the stage is always a challenge – you have 
to balance making the characters real enough for 
the audience to recognize them but also theatrical 
enough to tell the story. As a director I have to make 
sure that the story is being told and that the plot 
points are clear (and in a thriller that is even more 
important) – I think of that as making the dominoes 
fall. You remember that thing we did with dominoes 
when we were kids? arranging them to watch as a 
pattern was made when the first one caused the 
next to fall – that’s what I do in the rehearsal room. 
One of the things you think about is the audience 
being able to follow the action around the room – for 
example, if an actor reacts immediately to something 
another actor says or does the audience won’t see it. 
So you have to build in little delays for the audience 
to turn from one actor to another. That way they 
will see both the thrust and the parry. It all gets very 
technical and specific and is why it takes so long to 
rehearse a show.

 I am thrilled too that we’ve already begun 
selling tickets! We haven’t done a non-musical 
play since The Odd Couple last spring and haven’t 
done a thriller in years – and clearly there is pent 
up anticipation. I’ll let you know how things 
are coming along – but I hope you’ll join us for 

* * *

 A Christmas Memory continues to delight 
audiences. It really is perfect for all ages and speaks 
to a time when Christmas was much simpler. A 
Christmas Memory runs through the holidays to 
December 27. Get your tickets soon as the Sunday 
matinees are already sold out. There is still room 
at several of the Saturday matinees and during the 
evenings. There is no chance of extending this one. 
Please visit our website at SierraMadrePlayhouse.
org or call Mary at 626.355.4318 to arrange your 

Jeff’s History Corner By Jeff Brown

1.Abraham Lincoln is best known for abolishing 
slavery and keeping the United States together 
through the Civil War, but he also helped the country 
become the scientific and engineering powerhouse 
we know today.For example, Lincoln signed the 
Morrill Act in 1862, creating a system of land-
grant colleges and universities that revolutionized 
higher education in the United States, notes 
famed astrophysicist and science communicator 
Neil deGrasse Tyson.”Known also as the people’s 
colleges, they were conceived with the idea that 
they would provide practical knowledge and science 
in a developing democratic republic,”. Notable 
land-grant institutions include the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, Cornell University, the 
University of Florida, the Ohio State University, 
the University of Arizona and the schools in the 
vast University of California system.Lincoln, the 
16th president of the United States, also chartered 
the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1863, 
establishing the august body that advises Congress 
and the president about science and technology 
matters to this day.The speech, which Tyson called 
“The Seedbed,” reflects on the importance of the 
NAS, and of science generally to the United States 
and its future.”In this, the twenty-first century, 
innovations in science and technology form the 
primary engines of economic growth,” Tyson’s 
speech reads. “While most remember Honest Abe 
for war and peace, and slavery and freedom, the time 
has come to remember him for setting our Nation 
on a course of scientifically enlightened governance, 
without which we all may perish from this Earth.”

2.Abraham Lincoln lost five separate elections 
before being elected president.For Lincoln, electoral 
successes had to be taken hand-in-hand with failures. 
Since losing his first race for the Illinois General 
Assembly in 1832 he had gone on to lose a race for 
the U.S. Congress, two races for the U.S. Senate, and 
one campaign for a vice-presidential nomination. 
His ambition was unchecked, however, and by 1858 
he was a national player in the new Republican 
Party and perhaps its most prominent intellectual 
voice. He won the 1860 Republican presidential 
nomination after a tough battle at the national 
convention, defeating notable opponents William H. 
Seward, Edward Bates, and Salmon P. Chase, before 
wading into the four-way general election against 
Democrat Stephen Douglas, Southern Democrat 
John Breckinridge, and Constitutional Unionist 
John Bell. Lincoln and Douglas, rivals from the 
Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates of 1858, squared 
off in the north while Breckinridge and Bell divided 
the southern states between them. In the end the 
demographic dominance of the Republican Party 
gave Lincoln a victory, even though he lost every 
single southern state by a large margin. By the time 
he was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, seven southern 
states had seceded.

Christopher Showerman (HaHa), Diane Kelber (Sook), and Patrick Geringer (Buddy) in A Christmas Memory. 
Photo by: Gina Long

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