It's no surprise that I love Los Angeles and all that it has to offer. What better time to #shoplocal than the holidays. You can stop by the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend which will be filled with local artisans (clothing, food, jewelry & more) pimping their wares just in time for you to stuff some stockings, or you can check out some of my local favorites below.
Too pretty to eat? or so delectable, you can't help but devour these decadent morsels, despite their dapper dress. The truffles that Jonathan Grahm creates are to-die-for. Just ask Oprah, who picked his chocolates as one of her favorite things, over whiskers on kittens. The bars and truffles are my favorite chocolates in Los Angeles, and I could have chocolate with every meal.
I love this bauble as a triumphant medal conquering your daily commute. These charms are the quintessential representation of life in Los Angeles, in the form of delicate freeway signs in precious metals. Whether as a symbol of your road trip through life or a way to proudly represent your Southland neighborhood, L. Makai's Commuter Collection necklace can be customized for anyone on your wish list. You can find the Commuter Collection this weekend at the Renegade Craft Fair Dec 14 & 15.
Finally marrying two of my favorite things: smoke and olives, Orgasmo de la boca smoked olives are true to their namesake: an orgasm in your mouth. In Bloody Mary's, on a cheese plate, or just to snack on while binge watching Homeland, Chef Alessandra's smoked olives are best enjoyed with company, or you may find yourself finishing off every last bite yourself.
Jazz Guitarist Chris Standring pairs up with singer songwriter Kathrin Shorr for an album of new holiday classics. These two are fixtures in the LA music scene and have succeeded in creating an album of original Christmas songs that warms your hearth and decks your halls with jazz & joy. This is a simple way to support local artists by purchasing some festive music for the holidays.
If you're not sure you're in the Christmas Sprit, you just need to step foot in Aldik's store during the holidays, and you will find every manner of tree, trimming, ornament, and tinsel. This is a wonderland of epic proportions with trees and decor in every style from traditional to whimsical to modern to handmade. If you didn't have enough holiday cheer, stop in here.
Curating the finest in vintage barware & an impeccable liquor selection, Joe Keeper also has the best gift basket for your cocktail curious cubicle buddy. All the ingredients you need to craft your own craft cocktail at home are conveniently curated into a gift box, along with the recipe from a classic cocktail or if you're adventurous, the secret ingredients to one of LA's finest bartender's signature cocktails. Shaken or stirred, the secrets will be revealed to you when you open your box.
What are some of your local favorites? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!
I have a new way for you to get wild this summer. Starting on July 11, The LA Zoo is hosting some summer night parties for the 18 and over set. Every Thursday Night in July, there will be food trucks, DJs spinning at the carousel & standup comedy at the petting zoo. Impress a date or bring your sweetheart to Wild Summer Nights at the LA Zoo. There's full bar service for those of legal drinking age, so you can also bring your buddies and just party with the animals.
WHEN: Thursdays, July 11, 18, and 25, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
- July 11: Live band So Many Wizards; Comedians Rob Gleeson and Jonny Loquasto
- July 18: Live band CHIEF; Comedians Francisco Ramos and Helen Hong
- July 25: Live band NO; Improv comedy troupe
WHERE: The Los Angles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027
The Los Angeles Zoo is located at the northeast corner of Griffith Park at the junction of the I-5 (Golden State)
and the 134 (Ventura) freeways. The Zoo is directly across from the Autry Museum of Western Heritage.
COST: The event is $18 for general admission, and $15 for GLAZA and KCRW members.
INFO: For more informationonline, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.lazoo.org/roaringnights or call (323) 644-6042.
All events are 18+ and up. No outside food or drink is permitted.
Around St Patrick's Day, it's alway so difficult to find a green drink that doesn't involve putting artificial food coloring into your beer and pretending that that's perfectly normal. There are plenty of naturally occurring green things in the world, so why is this so difficult? Luck of the Irish for you, I've got this Kiwi number that should fulfill your green party needs in more ways than one. You can thank SHOREbar for the recipe.
1/2 a Kiwi
1 oz Lime
1/4 oz St.Germain
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Build in shaker. Half a kiwi, lime juice, st.germain, simple syrup & muddle. Add Gin and ice then shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a kiwi wheel.
As always, if you would like to trust the pros with your imbibing, SHOREbar has got you covered. Check out their St Patty's Day celebration & maybe you'll get lucky.
Valentine's Day: the celebration of overprix-fixe plates, pressure laden plans of romantic bliss, and otherwise available single ladies crying themselves to sleep over re-runs of Sex in the City. So depressing that it kinda makes you want to re-live your last awkward moment of single-hood, the one where you went stag and got drunk in the parking lot (alone) - yes, I'm talking about Prom Night. In fact this could be your chance to tell Valentines Day & Prom Night to suck it - at the same time. Welcome to Big Bar's Bollywood Prom where there are no faculty chaperones to keep you from the Gin & Tonic Bar.
If you loved Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (mom, I'm talking to you), break out your saris or just some colorful pajamas and make your way out to Big Bar, because this year's prom theme is Bollywood. There will be a henna artist, an eye ball reader (yeah, I'm as curious as you are), delicious food and libations of South Eastern descent, and a coronation of Big Bar's Prom King & Queen (or King & King or Queen & Queen... it is Silverlake after all).
As if that weren't enough. There will be an elephant. Seriously. An elephant.
Looking for something unconventional to do on Valentines Day?
Look no further: Bollywood Prom at Big Bar
6:00 pm-Midnight. Free Admission. No reservations.
1929 hillhurst avenue
los angeles, ca. 90027
t: 323.644.0100 | f: 323.644.0111
I love the heat. Summer is my favorite time of year, because under normal circumstances (read: 60 degree weather) I am bundled up like an eskimo. 'Tis the season for picnics, bug bites, and romantic rendezvous' under the stars. As the drive in movie theater fades further into history, a new twist on the idea is popping up all over the LA area, just in time for summer. No matter what your cine tastes may be, there is something for everyone. So without further ado, here are a few select choices for movies sans theater:
Street Food Cinema wants your belly to be happy. Like the Cemetery screenings, they offer parking, grass & music... but that my friend is where the similarities end. If you have been itching to try some of LA's gourmet food trucks, here is an opportunity to sample a few at once AND get your summer movie on. The movie selection reads like your dorm movie collection if you went to college in the last 5 years: Napoleon Dynamite, Talladega Nights, Bridesmaids, & the 40 Year Old Virgin. But, they did throw in a few cult classics like Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sixteen Candles & Weird Science, if you wanted to get your '80s on. A band plays before every screening (check the schedule for listings) and your dogs on a leash are permitted.
- Food Trucks! Quintessential Los Angeles gourmet food trucks
(so you don't have to over think the picnic thing)
- Bring your furry friend. Dogs are allowed.
- Exposition Park has quite a few helicopters flying overhead.
- Food truck lines can get long & you should bring cash because not all of the trucks take plastic.
Cemetery Dance Party
Cinespia has been showing movies in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for 10 years. DJs spin before and after the movie, so there is more of a party vibe. That could also be because they allow alcohol. They pick great classic movies to show as diverse as Lolita, Nightmare on Elm Street, Chinatown, Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke & Labyrinth.
- It's in a cemetery. Kinda cool, if you're into that sort of thing.
- Great movie selection
- Alcohol is permitted
- To park in the cemetery you have to prepay online.
- Lines to enter get pretty long.
- Bringing your own food is the only option
- No Dogs allowed
Thank the Academy
Oscars Outdoors is a summer screening series at the Academy's new open-air theater, located on the Academy Hollywood campus. If you're not an Academy member, this will probably be your one chance to see their new campus. There will also be food trucks provided by Roaming Hunger, but no fuzzy friends allowed. Their screening schedule is full of Academy greats ranging from Casablanca, to the Goonies, to the Princess Bride, to a Wizard of Oz Sing-Along! Tickets are super affordable ($5 for non-Academy members and $3 for Academy members) and there is free on-site parking. Picnic baskets, beer, & wine are permitted. There will be a different movie EVERY Friday & Saturday through August.
- Free Parking
- Cheap tickets ($5 for non-Academy members)
- The selection of films is very Family Friendly
- Movies are selling out FAST. There is a standby option, but if you want a guaranteed seat, you gotta buy online.
- Patrons must have an advance ticket in hand in order to access the Academy's free parking lot on Homewood Avenue.
See Calendar for screening schedule.
Tickets $5 | Parking FREE if you buy tickets in advance
Outdoor Cinema Ninja Tips
- Bring low chairs: so you don't obstruct anyone's view
- Bring Blankets: picnic blankets / warmth for when the sun goes down / claims your space on the grass
- Get there early for the best seating: you can always picnic while you're waiting
- Check Goldstar Events for deals on tickets
Westsiders take note. You don't have to go all the way Downtown to experience Little Tokyo. This little strip of Sawtelle Blvd is the mini Westsider destination for all things Japanese. You can easily walk the short stretch of Sawtelle Blvd that is chock full of Izakaya & Japanese cuisine ready to broaden your horizons beyond sushi. In addition to the great food, you get a healthy dose of Japanese Culture by way of boutiques, karaoke bars & Asian Spas. Here's just a quick taste.
Orris - If the Japanese had tapas, this would be it. Chef Shiro is a master with small plates. He blends French cooking with Japanese flavors & the result is delicious.
Chabuya Noodle Bar - This is the Ramen House. Noodles all day long.
Robata-Ya (skewers) - This would be your neighborhood pub, if they barbecued mini skewers & served sake. They have a great happy hour & you can order ordinary things like grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon or be adventurous & try the deep fried chicken cartilage (kara-age). My personal favorite: grilled shishito peppers and Yaki-Onigiri (grilled rice ball).
Curry House - for true Japanese Curry. If you have never had a delicious flaky breaded pork cutlet (Pork Katsu) with Japanese curry, you are in for a treat.
Black Market - Filled with great low brow art, clothing & knickknacks worthy of urban hipsters. All the hand selected items are filled with healthy dose of dark humor and disdain for authority (and that is a good thing). This is where I found Fomato: the most amazing greeting card creator of all time.
Giant Robot - The magazine is Asian at its core but pop culture to the max & the store is a wunderkamen of beautiful beasties. If you don't understand what I mean, perhaps you should just check it out.
There is the huge Mitsuwa Market on Centinela where you can find everything from freshly baked red bean buns to the infamous Pocari Sweat. In addition to the market itself, you can pick up quick eats right there in their Japanese food court: ramen, soba, & bento boxes are all available.