Worth the Hype: Jake Paul, Youtuber

Jake Paul Banner Color CMYKBy Lucas Lee ’21 and Matthew Lee ‘21

Jake Paul is a 20-year-old YouTube personality who rose to fame with his brother on a (now defunct) social media app, Vine.  His first YouTube video was a compilation of his old vines created in March of 2014, but his rise to fame on YouTube really took off this year.  Paul had a little over a million subscribers to start 2017, but that number has risen to over 11 million.  He has assembled a group of close friends in his community creating Team 10.  They have been involved in a lot of YouTube drama and are known for making music videos making fun of other YouTubers.  His most viewed video, a song he made with his group Team 10 “It’s Everyday Bro,” has amassed over 127 million views.  Paul has made many controversial videos, such as burning his own furniture and performing dangerous pranks on strangers.  He has lost his Disney contract on the show “Bizaardvark” due to his rowdy behavior.

In an online survey sent to middle school students, 86 percent of the 323 respondents said that Jake Paul is not “Worth the Hype.”

Many of the students expressed their dislike of Paul.

“Jake Paul’s videos were interesting at first, but then he starting fighting with his brother and other YouTubers, and the fact that he was narcissistic was starting to show,” Charlie Seymour ‘23 said in the survey.

Paul and his team were in the middle of an abuse allegation.  One survey respondent weighed in on the topic.

“He literally lied about an abuse case, made it look like his secretary was the victim, but did this to gain popularity and views of YouTube,” an anonymous survey respondent said.

While Paul’s videos may provide entertainment to viewers, the heights he is willing to go in order to get more views, money and self-gratification has proven troublesome, making him not “Worth the Hype”.

 

B Sweet brings Filipino flavors

IMG_0883By Emma Limor ’21

B Sweet Dessert Bar, located in the heart of the chic Sawtelle neighborhood, is the perfect place to find authentic Filipino and American desserts with the unique ambiance of a bar. While the prices are relatively high, ranging from $5-8 per dessert, the portions are proportionally large. Every delicious order can be shared among multiple people, which helps create their unique social vibe.

 
Though they are known for their variety of bread puddings, B Sweet has a lot more to offer. Bringing traditional Filipino flavors like ube (purple yam) and calamansi (citrus fruit) into their desserts has attracted customers from all over the city to experience flavors from halfway around the world.

 
Accompanying these Filipino flavors are classic American ones, such as the “circus cookies” cake, oversized brownies and cinnamon rolls. The shop’s menu changes every Wednesday, so each experience there is different.

 
The most popular dessert at B Sweet is the halo-halo. Meaning “mixed together” in Tagalog, this dish is an icon of Filipino culture, with 13 layers of traditional Filipino ingredients, providing an explosion of flavor. Featuring exotic red bean paste and sweet condensed milk, the halo-halo provides an Asian flair. While each flavor is delicious on its own, Filipinos don’t eat them separately. By doing what the name of the dessert implies, they mix it together. Mixing the oversized and overstuffed cup can be challenging, which makes the experience at B Sweet Dessert Bar even more interesting.

 

Halo, a dish that shares its same with the halo-halo, provides a unique culinary sensation. Featuring ube ice cream, the halo is created with a custom sandwich press. It is prepared by dividing a glazed doughnut into two parts, scooping ice cream onto one piece, and then reuniting the doughnut with heat fusion. The halo is served fresh from the press sizzling with caramelized glaze from the doughnut. The first bite harmonizes the frosty ice cream center and the hot doughnut shell. With contrast in temperature in just one bite, the halo is incredible. In comparison to the halo halo, it lacks depth of flavor but makes up for that with its temperature fusion.

 

Plan Check meets expectations

FullSizeRenderBy Hannah Han ’21

 

Clusters of small, brightly-lit Asian restaurants and dessert shops line the populated streets of Sawtelle Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Sawtelle is busy and popular, a cacophony of honking cars and chattering pedestrians strolling down the congested sidewalks.  It is a unique intersection of different cultures and foods, making it a desirable destination.

 

A few blocks north of the bustling main hub of Sawtelle is an inconspicuous restaurant named Plan Check. Plan Check serves American food and is most famous for its Plan Check Burger (PCB) and Cruller doughnuts, as well as its Da Buck Fity Wings.

 

Plan Check has restaurants located in Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, Fairfax and Sawtelle, and the food is reasonably priced, with dishes ranging from $6 to $23.

 

The decor is clean, modern and industrial, with polished wooden tables and metal bar stools.

Customers usually sit on the patio, so the inside of the restaurant is quiet and dim, lit only by fluorescent fixtures hanging from the ceiling.

 

The Smokey Fried Chicken is one of Plan Check’s most popular dinner items and, like most of the dishes on the restaurant’s menu, it is served in a small cast iron platter. Chunks of tender, moist chicken coated in crispy batter lie in a pool of smoked milk gravy. Two spicy, pickled okras are arranged artfully on the platter, and a small pile of sweet yam preserves sits underneath a chicken leg. While the chicken is cooked perfectly, the batter is bland, and the puddle of gravy is mediocre at best, more similar in taste to lukewarm fatty mayonnaise than traditional Thanksgiving gravy. The dollop of sweet yam preserves is the highlight of the dish; reminiscent of autumn, the yams add some needed color to the meal.

 

The Plan Check Burger (PCB), the restaurant’s specialty, is served in a black cast iron dish as well. Panko bread crumbs are sprinkled liberally across the top bun of the burger, adding a crunchy, textured layer to the warm dome of bread. Sandwiched in between the two buns of the burger are layers of caramelized schmaltz onions, cold mixed pickles and warm, half-melted Americanized dashi cheese. A thin sheet of Ketchup Leather, a dehydrated square of house-made ketchup invented by the Plan Check franchise, melts into the patty, adding to the complexity of the dish. Every bite reveals layers of hard work and time, from the briny, perfectly-grilled beef to the ingeniously-crafted square of Ketchup Leather.

Both the chicken and PCB can be accompanied by a side of fries, either sweet potato or regular. The potatoes, which are fried in tallow fat, are crunchy and browned, and the insides are deliciously warm and starchy. The French fries are served with a side of house-made, unrefined ketchup, similar in taste to salsa.

 

Overall, the PCB was much more satisfying than the Smokey Fried Chicken. Although the food was a bit lacking in some respects, for the most part, it was well-prepared and artfully crafted.

Fatamorgana brings bold flavors

IMG_0860.jpgby Sandra Koretz ’22

A gelato staple in Rome, Fatamorgana has opened up its first location in North America. Located in Studio City and minutes away from the Upper School, Fatamorgana has over 300 recipes, 60 of which are on display every single day. Some flavors are dairy-, gluten- or egg-free. Their delicious gelatos are not only healthy, but they taste amazing. The flavors vary from prickly pear and passion fruit to over 10 different varieties of chocolate. Fruit flavors such as raspberry and mamey, a tropical fruit, are sweet and light yet tangy and creamy.

Must try flavors also include the basil, passion fruit and Madagascar chocolate gelatos. Customers are able to watch all of the gelatos and meringues being made through the glass window of the shop. The shop also offers sushi and cake made out of gelato. The indoor ambience inside is sophisticated, and the shelves inside are stocked with Italian goods such as soda and hazelnuts. Two scoops of gelato cost $5.50, while nine scoops cost $9.70. The people of Los Angeles are now able to experience the famous gelato of Rome.

Izakaya sushi satisfies customers

IMG_1627.JPGMia Feizbakhsh ‘22

Japanese sushi restaurants have opened up in various places around the Los Angeles area, and this one-of-a-kind deluxe sushi is worth customers’ time.  Izaka-ya, by the owners of Katsu-ya, is a smaller, more casual version of Katsu-ya, the original ultimate sushi chain managed by SBE, a company that sought to be known for its food, design and atmosphere.  The Izaka-ya located on 3rd Street in West Hollywood has tons of different sushi.

From the moment one walks through the door, craving some spicy tuna, to when one walks out full of albacore, Izaka-ya is an experience like no other.  Wooden boards with Japanese writing on them adorn the walls, and sections of brick peek out, giving the restaurant a modern yet rustic feel. Behind the sushi bar, there are unique drawings of different fish used in the restaurant.

When it comes to the menu, Izaka-ya has a lot of variety, from sashimi, nigiri and hand rolls to a tender teriyaki chicken.  One of the restaurant’s best sellers is popcorn shrimp, shrimp tempura with an irresistibly delicious creamy sauce. The price ranges from the $2 miso soup to the $29 foie gras on Kobe beef.   On average, cut rolls and hand rolls are from $5 to $15, excluding the Katusya special hand rolls. There are so many delectable options including the restaurant’s favorites and Kobe-burgers for meat lovers.  Overall, Izaka-ya never disappoints.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

cmyk-cupcakesby Sophia Musante ’22 and Francis Ross ’22

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Apple cinnamon cupcakes with an apple caramel filling, cinnamon buttercream and a caramel drizzle.

Fall has started, and with it the desire for seasonal flavors has emerged. These delectable cupcakes are the perfect fall treat to satisfy cinnamon craving taste buds. A delightful addition to any autumn party or simply a delicious sweet treat to go along with hot spiced cider, Cinnamon Apple cupcakes are the best way to swing into the fall season. The recipe, which we borrowed from the Java Cupcake blog, may appear complicated but is rather simple in practice and worth the effort.

Ingredients
Cupcakes
·      ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
·      ½ cup sugar
·      ½ cup brown sugar, packed
·      2 eggs
·      1 teaspoon vanilla
·      1½ cups flour
·      1 tablespoon baking powder
·      ½ teaspoon salt
·      ½ teaspoon cinnamon
·      ½ cup milk (substitute apple juice if needed)
·      ½ cup chopped apples
Filling
·    1 large apple, chopped
·    2 tablespoons butter
·    ¼ cup sugar
·    ¼ cup dark brown sugar
·    1 teaspoon vanilla
·    1 tablespoon milk mixed with 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
Buttercream
·    ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
·    ¼ cup vegetable shortening
·    1 pound sifted powdered sugar
·    2 – 3 teaspoons heavy cream
·    remaining filling
·    ⅛ teaspoon salt
·    ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
Cupcakes
·      Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line the cupcake pan with liners.  Either a mini cupcake pan or a regular cupcake pan works.
·      Cream the butter and both sugars together.
·      Add in the eggs one at a time. Then add the vanilla and beat for about two minutes. If needed, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
·      Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the batter. Mix by hand for five or six strokes. It should not be fully mixed at this point.
·      Add in the milk then mix. Stop mixing when all the flour and milk have been integrated.
·      Gently fold in the apples, being careful not to over mix.
·      Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick comes out clean, usually around 17-19 minutes for regular cupcakes and 12-15 for mini cupcakes. Test them with a toothpick one or two minutes afterwards, keeping in mind that the cupcakes will continue to bake for a few minutes after removing them from the oven.
·      Leave the cupcakes in the pan for three to four minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Filling
·    Melt the butter on medium-high heat in a medium pan.
·    Add in the apple, both sugars and vanilla. Make sure the apple is chopped into small pieces. Stir in the pan until the mixture begins to bubble, typically around five minutes.
·    Add the milk and cornstarch mixture. After this bubbles, cook for one to two minutes until the mixture thickens.
·    Remove the mixture from the heat and continue to stir for one minute.
·    Let the mixture cool.
·    Using a piping tip, create a hole in the center of a cupcake and fill it with the mixture. Do this to all the cupcakes then set aside the remaining filling to use in the buttercream
Buttercream
·    Cream the butter and vegetable shortening together.
·    Add ½ of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
·    Add 1-2 tablespoons of the heavy cream and mix until it is fully combined.
·    Add the cinnamon, salt and remaining apple mixture, saving some of the caramel from the apple mixture to drizzle. Mix until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
·    Add the remaining cream, adjusting the amount until reaching a desirable consistency.
·    Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Following this, mix on high speed for one minute.
·    Frost the cupcakes using either a piping tip or a knife. Drizzle the caramel from the apple mixture or another caramel sauce on the cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon.
· Enjoy!
Recipe credit: the Java Cupcake Blog. Betsy Eves, October 21, 2011 https://javacupcake.com/2011/10/apple-cinnamon-cupcakes/

 

‘It’ meets viewer expectations

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by Emma Limor ’21

“It,” a recent remaking of a movie originating from a classic Stephen King book, came to theaters on Sept. 8.  Blending horror and comedy, “It” achieves great reactions from its audience.

The film provides enough horror for people who love it and enough comedy for people who do not.

“It” tells the story of a group of young children in Derry, Maine.  When kids begin to mysteriously vanish, a group of brave children seeks answers to these disappearances.   As they find clues, they begin to have hallucinations of their greatest fears.  Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard), an evil clown, reveals himself in these hallucinations, insinuating that they would become his next victims.  Knowing that Pennywise will continue to murder, the children embark on a journey to stop him.

The main characters all have different backgrounds and thoughts, making them especially relatable and likable.  The movie allows viewers to experience a variety of emotions as it contains moments of joy, comedy and fear.  Although the movie’s main objective is to excite the audience, it presents a motif of camaraderie and bravery as these children suffer through and eventually stand up to different forms of bullying.

“It” is rated R for violence/horror, bloody images and language.  Viewer discretion is advised for younger students as explicit language is prevalent and some scenes are especially gory. Part II will be coming out soon.

 

‘Big Little Lies’ is a big hit

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by Katharine Steers ’22

Awarded with eight Emmy’s, ”Big Little Lies,” is a mysterious, comedic, provocative mini-series. The show, starring Reese Witherspoon (Madeline Mackenzie), Nicole Kidman (Celeste Wright) and Shailene Woodley (Jane Chapman), takes place in Monterey, California.

“Big Little Lies” gives viewers a snapshot of motherhood and the roles women occupy outside of a real housewife narrative where female relationships are shallow, petty and backbiting.

“Big Little Lies” offers something more in depth.  The story centers around a group of mothers, each with their own set of issues. Madeline struggles with her choice to forego a career for motherhood and navigating relationships with her teenage daughter, her ex-husband and his new younger wife.  Renata is the power executive who is rife with insecurity about being a good enough mother. Celeste is the perfect, beautiful and accomplished stay-at-home mom which from the outside has it all together, and finally, there is the young single mother Jane, fighting to support her son.

“Big Little Lies” touches on subjects that are more appropriate for an older age group. However, the theme of friendship throughout the season is something younger viewers could relate to. Despite the antagonism between these women fueled by their insecurities, when one of the  woman’s husbands is unmasked as a violent abuser, the women come together without hesitation to protect their fellow mother. Each of these characters is flawed, and each struggles with insecurity and self-doubt about their life choices. The show is beautifully shot and visually pleasing. 5 out of 5 stars.

Williams steps in as a guest dance teacher

By Caroline Jacoby ’22

DSC_0176 Shayla Williams, a guest dance teacher, taught dance students a style known as stepping on Sept. 22.

Williams used to work in the Admission Office, but left two years ago and now works for her own production company. She used to be a dance performer and specialized in step dancing, which she started when she was in school. Williams continued stepping all the way through college and was named captain of her school team. Williams has been teaching step dance classes a few times a year ever since dance teacher Joe Schenck learned about her step experience through a faculty dance team for Spirit Day.

“[The class] was a terrific experience for all of our kids to learn something that I don’t really know anything about,” Schenck said.

Step dancing, a type of dance that dates back many centuries, is a style largely based on footwork and other patterns, creating a rhythm without music. The methods of footwork, including stomping, clapping and kicking, are used to pace the dance and keep the rhythm. Though stepping has been a part of African American culture for many years, it is most commonly seen in styles like tap or Irish step dance. This traditional type of dance is not usually a part of dance curricula at the school, so several of the students said they learned something new.

“It was super fun and really interesting, and the fact that step has been around for so many centuries is really amazing to me,” Cory Porter ‘22 said.

Rehearsals for fall play begins

By Matteo Perez ’22SAMSUNG CSCEugean Choi ’21 Spectrum

“A Diary of Anne Frank”, written as an adaptation of the actual diary of Anne Frank, will be performed on Nov. 17-19 in the Katzenberg Black Box Theatre.

The play was written in 1955 following the events of World War II. It is about a young girl who had to go into hiding because of the Nazi occupation.

“It’s her story of optimism despite all the things that happened to her and her family,” Jim Doughan, performing arts teacher and director of the play, said.

Doughan spoke of why he chose the play and why he believes the play is relevant in today’s society.

“We need a reminder about these kind of things, particularly in a time of politicians talking about building walls, and Charlottesville. We need a reminder of hope and optimism,” Doughan said.

Thirty-seven students tried out for the play on Sept. 14-15, and on Sept. 16 the cast list was announced. Five male students and five female students were cast. Students rehearse every day of the week from 3:25 to 5:25 pm.

“It is a little bit much, but I think it is important that we get in as much practice time as possible,” Greta Zumbrunnen ’21, who plays Anne Frank, said.

Other cast members spoke of working with Doughan and the cast.

“I think Mr. Doughan is an amazing director. He is a great mentor to all of us. He has great relationships with the cast and really loves working with us. Going to rehearsal after school is by far the most fun part of my day, and every day it is what I look forward to most,” Walt Schoen ’21, who plays Peter Van Daan, said.