Music

Reggie Watts Improvised Community For LA’s First Dine In Sound Dinner At Animal Restaurant

Los Angeles has an enormous community of creative people, whether they’re chefs, musicians, writers and editors, filmmakers, or something else, this city is brimming with talented people who are pursuing an artistic passion. The trouble is, there’s not a lot of places where people like this can meet up and talk about their shared vision.

LA is a notoriously isolated city — I’ve found it a bit lonely here since moving from Brooklyn’s unrelenting bustle — and people often remain sequestered in their own little corners of this sprawling city. The idea behind the DTS Space event series is to change that by bringing people together to experience sound in new ways — or ways that sitting with headphones alone doesn’t really offer.

Last night was the initial event in a new dinner party series by DTS Space called Dine In Sound, which brings together creative-minded people for conversation, dinner, and perhaps even possible collaboration, by hosting meals at different restaurants in Los Angeles and enlisting local musicians to provide entertainment. The dinner was held at Animal in the Fairfax district, with Reggie Watts on hand to freestyle some new music for the crowd, which was piped through the room via the various speakers at the tables connected by DTS Play-Fi, a wireless audio technology.

Given his role as the bandleader for the house band on James Corden’s Late Late Show, Watts adapted to the role of de facto host for the evening very quickly. His humorous attempts at “foodie” description between courses were as much a hit as his spontaneous musical performances, which set a light-hearted tone event for a brand new event attended by people who came into it as mostly strangers. By the end of it, that certainly wasn’t the case, and Watts’ gregarious spearheading was no small part of that.

Animal is one of the foundational spots of two of LA’s foremost restauranteurs, Jon & Vinny, who own and operate a small restaurant empire in the city that includes Trois Familia, Son Of A Gun, Jon & Vinny’s, and several others. The custom menu for the event included chicken liver pate, beet salad, pork belly sandwiches, two kinds of potatoes and rib eye steak, plus plenty more, and everything was topped off with tres leches cake resting on a bed of dulce de leche.

With guests like Ariel Rechtshaid and his girlfriend Danielle Haim, Kim Gordon, and the presence of Jon & Vinny themselves, the night was a crackling success that is sure to breed more connections and community within LA’s often isolated landscape. Plus, I’m sure it will have more than one attendee returning to Animal for more from their delicious kitchen.

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