Giggin’ with James

Kenley’s longtime friend and bass player James Touzel played a show with Tyler Matthew Smith at The Mint earlier this summer. It was the first time we’d been to The Mint, an intimate venue on Pico and a great place to catch a show. Earlier this year, LA Weekly recently named it one of the top five historic rock clubs in the city, and noted that Johnny Depp had been spotted there this spring.

Too bad Depp wasn’t in attendance this time, but Tyler Matthew Smith put on a good show. Smith is a singer-songwriter who alternates playing the saxophone, flute and the guitar on his songs. His sound is kinda folksy, jazzy, bluesy and a little jammy. James, who lives in San Francisco, has focused a lot on standup bass lately, but for this show he played electric.

James’ older brother, Jeremy (who is a teacher in Orange County) joined us later.

Before the show, Kenley and I caught up with James at Tom Bergin’s Irish restaurant on Fairfax. It’s one of L.A.’s oldest restaurants and reopened in May after being closed for renovations for almost a year. Some consider Tom Bergin’s the inspiration for the ’80s TV show “Cheers,” and Julia Roberts used to hang out there, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The U-shaped bar is a great place to have a beer or the signature Irish coffee. But while the menu has been redone, the food isn’t amazing, and it’s pretty expensive for what you get. If you go, order the mushroom pie. They also have really good and crispy french fries. Tom Bergin’s also just started serving brunch, according to Grub Street LA.


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