Los Angeles Business Journal

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Restaurateur Looks to Add Consulting to Plate

DINING: Umami founder Adam Fleischman channels physics into new venture.

Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman serves up a consulting business with a side of ‘continuum physics.’

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Gunjan Bagla

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Graffiti Artists Paint Fashion Brand as Scofflaw

fashion: Muralists add retailers to suit over alleged use of work in products.

Italian fashion brand Roberto Cavalli, as well as retailers Amazon.com, Nordstrom and Zappos.com, are headed to court to face off against some unlikely opponents: a group of L.A. graffiti artists.

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Ports’ Backlog Sinks Schedules

SHIPPING: Executives discuss how they fight to stay afloat.

Execs at port-dependent businesses discuss being left high and dry by ongoing labor negotiations.

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Cosmetics Firm Takes Shine to Lip Gloss Brands

BEAUTY: Markwins buys Lip Smacker, Bonne Bell lines with plans for revival.

Markwins International expands its cosmetics coverage by buying two youth-oriented brands.

Tough to Swallow? Business Model Goes Vegan

MARKETING: Scout 22 says it expects steady diet of clients with new restricted focus.

It’s common for public relations and marketing firms to have a specialty, but new firm Scout 22 is taking things to an incredibly specific level: The firm bills itself as the first vegan public relations and marketing agency in Los Angeles.

Old Maker of Food Learned New Trick

Marco Giannini’s move into retail unleashed growing pet chain.

Former food maker Marco Giannini has found a new leash on life with his retail chain.

Licensor Will Take Off From LAX

RETAIL: Kitson says operator of shops running stores into ground.

Kitson’s deal for two LAX shops has resulted in nothing but turbulence with store operator Hudson.

Game Firm Makes Play For TV Idea

Red Interactive turns ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ joke into reality.

Red Interactive Agency channels TV show’s fictional Kwazy Cupcakes! into real-world app.

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LAX Hotels Aim To Land Events

LAX-area hotels hope business will take off with the addition of new event spaces.

Denim Maker Forges Links To Greens

AG Jeans swings for golf wear market with new line for men.

AG Jeans joins golf club with its new sportswear line for the links.

Yellow Pages Calls In Staff

ADVERTISING: Firm prefers personal touch for online ads.

YP, formerly Yellow Pages, believes online ad placement still calls for a human sales staff.

Restaurateurs Plan to Fill Plate With More Eateries

DINING: Blackhouse’s two co-founders look to pick up pace on new locations.

Since starting their Blackhouse Hospitality restaurant group in Los Angeles three years ago, chef Tin Vuong and business partner Jed Sanford have opened four restaurants, with one passing the test of famed Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold.

Expectant Dad to Feel Heat

Barry Knudson is expecting his first child in March with his wife, Kelsi. But before the baby arrives, Knudson, a beer enthusiast and casual home-brewer, concocted one more memorable batch: a spicy India pale ale.

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Insurer to Test TV Boundaries

Why Mercury General’s new TV commercials will air in states it’s not licensed to operate in.

Studio Offers Choice in Music Videos

Blind’s interactive process lets viewers control storyline.

Design studio Blind looks to increase bands’ options by giving viewers choose-your-own-adventure videos.

Labor Unions Take On El Super Grocery Chain

Labor unions in Los Angeles are going head to head with Paramount-based grocery chain El Super, again.

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99 Cents Only Chain to Pay $2.3 Million in Waste Disposal Settlement

Discount chain 99 Cents Only Stores of Commerce is opening up its register to pay out more than $2.3 million in penalties to settle a hazardous waste disposal suit brought by more than two dozen county district attorneys and city attorneys throughout the state.

Online Vendor Aims to Click In Europe

ESalon launches sites specifically to handle overseas markets.

ESalon heads overseas with websites tailored to sell its hair-color kits in specific Euro markets.

Former Best Western Shores Up Seaside Appeal

RENOVATION: Owner pays $13 million to upgrade look of Redondo Beach Hotel.

The Redondo Beach Hotel has reopened its doors after wrapping up a $13 million facelift.

Cleaner Has Solution To Cut Waste

Replenish Bottling eyes repeated success with resuable product.

Replenish Bottling looks to mix it up with cleaning products that use refillable concentrate.

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Beefing Up

FOOD: Premier Meat sees any additional business from launch of consumer-targeted Internet sales venture as gravy.

Premier Meat Co. looks to prove its chops by expanding into online sales.

Dov Charney Fired -- Again

Dov Charney has been fired by American Apparel Inc., this time for good.

Clothing Maker Falls Out Of Fashion With Investors

APPAREL: Guess shares fall on rough quarter; analyst upbeat about e-commerce.

Clothing company Guess continues to look for answers as quarterly revenue and profit fall.

Meal Ordering System Adds Review Site to Plate

INTERNET: ChowNow joins with Yelp to drive more orders to restaurant clients.

The menu is getting larger for clients of Venice’s ChowNow, an online ordering system and marketing platform for restaurants.

Have Child, Will Travel

Being a new dad to a crying baby can be tough. But Erik Evens and his wife, Robin Lee, found a way to cope when their daughter was born six years ago.

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Male Delivery

HEALTH CARE: Plastic surgery center Marina ManLand joins retail trend of crafting attractive settings for men.

Plastic surgery center Marina ManLand has joined some retailers in presenting its businesses as a guy thing.

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Byline Sideline

ADVERTISING: Agencies produce digital, print magazines to tout content-creation skills to clients.

Agencies take a page from publishing and produce magazines to show off knack for content creation.

City Brought Meat to Table

San Gabriel lobbied hotel for steakhouse as part of push to diversify dining.

Development: San Gabriel has so many Chinese restaurants it told a hotelier to make room for a steakhouse.

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Screenwriter Homed In On Interior Decoration in Hedder hery and hery

Former writer-actress Meridith Baer made room for herself in home decoration.

Travel Has Vintage Appeal

When Grant Kirkpatrick, partner at architecture firm Kirkpatrick Architects in Marina del Rey, decided to make his four-acre plot of land in Paso Robles into a vineyard seven years ago, his wife, Shaya, had an idea.

Mystery Key To Event’s Attraction

Guests get 60 minutes, clues to figure way out of Escape Room L.A.

Interactive attraction Escape Room L.A.’s 60-minute mystery puts participants on the clock.

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Grocer Hoping for Long Shelf Life on Internet

ONLINE: Thrive plans to deliver with natural foods sold at wholesale prices.

Thrive Market hopes its Amazon-style delivery clicks with shoppers.

Tractor Dealer Has Pull

Westrax helps China’s LiuGong break ground in California.

Shaved Snow Makes Cut at Snack Shop

Co-owners see frozen version of acai bowls as potentially hot item.

Snow Flower Ice looks to heat up sales with a frozen version of acai bowls.

Furniture Firm to Make Rooms With Brand Deals

licensing: Amini looks to partnerships to add lines in art, rugs, light fixtures.

It takes more than furniture to make a home feel like a home.

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Solo Shops Buy Into Franchises

RETAIL: Investors spur quick jump into expansion mode.

Franchising is for established, growing chains, right? Not anymore, as one-location shops are quickly getting into it.

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Goods To Go

Online retailer ships away on partial payments

Le Jolie believes it has the goods on low-price online rivals with its partial payment financing policy.

Mattel's American Girl Brand Expands to Mexico

American Girl is packing up and taking a trip to Mexico. El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc., which owns the doll brand, on Thursday announced plans to open three shop-in-shop American Girl boutiques through a partnership with El Palacio de Hierro, a high-end retailer in Mexico. The first two American Girl shops will open next summer in Mexico City followed by a third location in fall 2015.

Wall Street Likes What It Sees in Medical Scanner

HEALTH CARE: RadNet sees boost in patient visits courtesy of Obamacare.

Obamacare nurses gains in patient visits and stock price for medical imaging center operator RadNet.

Road Less Traveled

It’s going to get pretty bumpy for Sara Rotman next year. She’ll be hitting the road as an off-road race driver.

Sightseeing Business to Offer Rolling Digital Ads

TOURISM: Starline moves to equip one of fleet’s buses with electronic billboard.

It’s easy to spot the double-decker buses, often filled with tourists, driving down Rodeo Drive or Hollywood Boulevard.

Lobster Truck Coming Out Of Its Shell

Cousins Maine to take crack at franchising crustacean business.

Cousins Maine Lobster initiates pincer movement by franchising its food truck business.

Wall Street Takes Car Parts Seller’s Stock for Spin

AUTOMOTIVE: Shares of U.S. Auto Parts rise after investors back subsidiary.

Outside parties’ investment in struggling subsidiary revs up shares of U.S. Auto Parts Network.

Facial Provider Heads Into Single-Service Sector

Retail & Restaurants: Face Haus bases low-cost treatment on model used by Drybar.

Luxurious facials last an hour, often have to be scheduled in advance and don’t come cheap. But one local company plans to change all that.

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With Twist

Matchmaker uses DNA tests to pair up daters

Dating: Matchmaker Julie Ferman looks to turn romance into a science by using DNA tests to pair people.

Eyewear Maker Has New Vision

RetroSpecs adds own line of pricey frames alongside restoration business.

Eyewear: Frame restorer RetroSpecs & Co. hopes customers like the look of its original collection.

KKR Sweet on Lemonade

Lemonade Restaurant Group, a cafeteria-style restaurant chain based in West Hollywood, has sweetened a deal with global investment firm KKR of New York.

Kids Café Tunes Up With Karaoke

Chirp allows children to raise their voices while parents hang out.

Retail: Café Chirp cues up karaoke to pull in kids as well as their parents.

Fashion Week Has Designs on Up-and-Comers

Apparel: Producer hopes fresh focus can help boost status of low-profile event.

Apparel: Producer of Los Angeles Fashion Week looks to tailor struggling event around up-and-coming designers.

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