65-Cent Sandwiches, Extended Hours at Howlin’ Ray’s & other Tasty News Bites

April 3, 2018 by Christina Champlin

Greetings fellow L.A. food enthusiasts. Looking to satisfy your weekly craving for delicious deals and newsy food bites? Let’s talk.

Hands down the deal of the week is at South Bay’s Mikey’s. They’ll be celebrating their 65 years in business with 65-cent sandwiches and pizza on April 7. In other big news, the hot chicken gods have answered the city’s prayers! Finally, Howlin’ Ray’s will now be open an extra three hours longer and while we suspect the line will still be there, the wait time for getting your Nashville Hot Chicken fix will probably be shorter over all. More intel below.

Lastly, this week’s event highlights includes The Collective Affair by 365DOTS  ‘Business of Food’ panel, Foodie Con, The 9th Annual L.A. Beer Fest and the 5th Annual Montrose Craft Beer Fest.

As always, enjoy all the tasty news bites below! Bon Appétit!

Cajun x Hawaiian Food in Pasadena

seafood boil crackin kitchen

Photo by: Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

Waikiki’s Crackin’ Kitchen just opened their second location right in the heart of Old Town Pasadena introducing Cajun cuisine infused with Hawaiian flavors developed by Michelin-starred chef Takeshi Omae. We got our hands dirty and taste tested the menu just for you. Read the full story here.

South Bay’s Mickey’s Celebrates 65 Years with $.65 cent Food Specials

The Mance family’s pizza and deli shop, Mickey’s marks 65 years of business on April 7. To celebrate Mickey’s will offer the first 65 people who come in on that day their choice of a free Mickey’s Combo, Sauce Sandwich or slice of pizza. Each customer thereafter that will be able to purchase those three items for only $0.65 each. The special runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Howlin’ Ray’s Finally Expands Hours

According to Howlin Ray’s Instagram, the Nashville Hot Chicken spot that drives insane lines of fans to their Chinatown shop sometimes with wait times as long as five hour has finally extended their hours. Now open Tuesdays through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the three extra hours (they used to close at 4 p.m.) will hopefully allow for shorter wait times, but we don’t think the line will go away any time soon.

Blue Ribbon Sushi Now Has a “Coachella Roll”


Photo Credit: Stephanie Liu for Blue Ribbon Sushi

Blue Ribbon Sushi located at The Grove has launched a “Coachella Roll” in celebration of the popular desert festival. The roll cost $35 and will be available April 13 and April 20, the Fridays of the festival. Coachella Roll is composed of Tamara Sushi with Albacore, Toro, Uni, Tuna, Shrimp, White Fish and Salmon topped with an edible garden of garnishes made to look like a beautiful flower crown.

Piencone Pizzeria, Creamery and Pub Opens on April 4 in Eagle Rock

Piencone is a new spot set to open on April 4 in Eagle Rock serving pizza, ice cream and alcohol in a massive 4,500 square foot space. Operated by Michelle and Corey Wilton, the husband-and-wife duo behind Four Café in Eagle Rock and bar expert Herb Gualpa, the new eatery will offer artisan pizzas, house made organic ice cream and a full bar serving a curated selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails.

Diners can find items like fresh mozzarella cheese, organic Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes and naturally leavened pizza dough fired in-house in a custom-made pizza oven. On the creamery end, house-made waffle cones, a rotation of six seasonal ice cream flavors and two choices of sorbet will be available. At the moment flavors include: Vanilla Bean, Maple with house-made Brown Sugar Pop Tart, Brown Butter Lavender, Meyer Lemon Buttermilk, Chocolate Hazelnut, Sesame Caramel, Vegan Coconut Passionfruit Sorbet and Vegan Mexican Hot Chocolate. Lastly the cozy 14-seat American-style saloon and library style bar will highlight 15 craft beers on tap as well as a canned beer selection; a rotating wine list; Kombucha on tap and a variety of innovative and classic cocktails.

Piencone’s large space houses five rooms including a main dining room, lounge, atrium area, full back patio and bar. Open all day, there is a counter service situation during the day and table service at night. Piencone is located at 1958 Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

Every Sandwich at Eggslut, Ranked by Los Angeles Magazine

Los Angeles Magazine recently stopped by the newest location of Eggslut at the Beverly Center to try all six sandwiches on the menu. See how the magazine ranked the egg-centric sandwich creations here.

Mi Corazon Silver Lake Launches Industry Night Mondays & Daily Specials

On Monday, April 9, Mi Corazon’s new Silver Lake location will launch Industry Night to celebrate hospitality professionals through discounted drinks and appetizers from 4-10 p.m. every Monday. Expect shots for $6, beers for $5, a “Cocktail of the day” for $9. Food specials include two mini potato flautas for $2, two mini hard-shell tacos (choice of chicken or beef tinga, or veggie) for $4 and two chicken flautas with chipotle mayo for $7. In addition Mi Corazon has daily specials that include Tacos & Tequila Tuesdays, Guero Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays and Weekend Brunch.

Food Events for this Week in L.A.

LA Beer Fest at LA Center Studios

LA Beer Fest at LA Center Studios

Wednesday April 4th, 2018

The Collective Affair by 365DOTS will hold their special ‘Business of Food’ panel with food bloggers and experts at Angel City Brewery in DTLA this Wednesday. Expect food by Brack Shop Tavern, Baldoria, Edmon, Nixon Chops & Whiskey, 71 Above and Beauty Bar Chocolates,

Bad Housekeeping at Good Housekeeping in Highland Park pops up every Wednesday now through May 30. On these nights you’ll find libations inspired by bad recipes of the past including a ‘glazed ham’ and cherry cordials cocktail.

Thursday April 5th, 2018

April 5 is National Caramel Day, celebrate by walking through a life sized CANDY LAND game board in Santa Monica thanks to Werther’s Caramel and Hasbro. This pop-up only happens for one-day only on the Santa Monica Pier.

Set in the back room of old school Chinese food joint, Genghis Cohen, The Setup Comedy Show features touring stand-up comics, late-night writers, and movie stars. Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

Friday April 6th, 2018

The last Autry Flavors themed “From Trail to Table in the 21st Century” is this Friday and will feature a discussion with modern cowboys on how to raise cattle, food stations serving natural grass-fed beef creations, access to the galleries and garden of The Autry, and presentations by chefs and food history experts.

Saturday April 7th, 2018

Hosted at The Reef in Downtown L.A., Foodie Con April 7-8 will feature shopping, book signings, cooking product demos, food court vendors from local restaurants and chefs,  plus beer, wine and spirits for sampling. Check for discount tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

The 9th Annual L.A. Beer Fest returns this Saturday to the Los Angeles Center Studios in Downtown L.A. for an afternoon of showcasing 80 breweries serving up 200 beers.

Celebrate the 4th birthday of Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing this Saturday. The party will include copious amounts of beer (30+), snow cones, music, games and more.

Sunday April 8th, 2018

The 5th Annual Montrose Craft Beer Fest will feature a wide range of breweries that include Wolf Creek Brewery, Hilltop Homebrewers, Bottle Logic Brewing and Hangar 24. In addition to beers there will be food samples, lawn games and photo booths.

Same Same, Silver Lake’s Thai wine bar, will celebrate its second anniversary this Sunday. At 6 p.m. they’ll host a party with blessings, Thai decorations, music and dancers, and a complimentary snack for all guests.

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Crackin’ Kitchen Brings Hawaiian-Cajun Food to Pasadena Starting This Friday

March 29, 2018 by Christina Champlin
crackin kitchen pasadena

Photo by: Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

Seafood boils aren’t easy to find in Los Angeles (with the exception of mega chain Boiling Crab), but there’s a new player in town coming to the heart of Old Town Pasadena. Crackin’ Kitchen, slated to open on March 30, will introduce Cajun cuisine infused with Hawaiian flavors to a spot near the intersection of Colorado Blvd and Arroyo Pkwy.

Originally from Waikiki, this will be Crackin’ Kichen’s second restaurant in the United States. The menu was developed by Michelin-starred chef Takeshi Omae who in recent years has worked alongside Iron Chef legend Masaharu Morimoto.

At Omae’s Crackin’ Kitchen, you can start with items like poke, Lomi Lomi Salmon salad, grilled oysters, seafood platter, mussel pots or a Maui Onion salad. Those looking for something more substantial can try the Guava Chicken Wings, smothered in a tangy sauce and tossed with Hawaiian macadamia nuts for added crunch. There’s also Chowder Fries, perfect for sharing and picking at during the meal. Drinks are colorful and sweet, with options including Hawaiian cocktails like Pele, Kauai Colada, and the Hawaii Blue. Most people, however, will probably come for the boils.

seafood boil crackin kitchen

Photo by: Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

The featured attraction includes lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams and other seafood, ordered by the pound, brought to the table in plastic bags and dumped onto the table. You get plastic gloves and bib for your convenience (you’ll need ’em).

Diners are instructed to choose a seafood combo or ala carte item (all are served by the pound), pick a signature sauce from three options, decide on a spice level and select a few side dishes. The most important decision in my opinion is the sauce. White is made of Maui onions and lemon butter it is mild in flavor and suitable for those who absolutely cannot eat spicy. Red is Crackin’ Kitchens signature Cajun sauce made with Hawaiian chili. Then there’s the black sauce, made of Hawaiian cacao and cracked black pepper, it’s sweet, spicy and complex. The black sauce reminded me of the caramelized sauce from Cá Kho Tô a traditional Vietnamese Braised Fish in clay pot dish. If you enjoy mole on the sweeter side you’re going to like this one.

hawaiian malasadas crackin kitchen

Photo by: Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

A meal at Crackin’ Kitchen comes with a show if you have room for the two-person dessert. . Your server literally makes an edible drawing on your table covering almost the entire area with colorful sauces and sugars creating a rainbow, palm trees and waves for dipping. This food-art combo includes sourced fruit plus Hawaiian Malasadas, a Portuguese pastry made of egg, butter and milk fried and rolled in sugar

crackin kitchen dessert

Photo by: Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

Crackin’ Kitchen is located at 115 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. The grand opening is will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 30. All Dine-in Guests on opening night will receive $20 Gift Card, according to the restaurant’s website. Regular hours (starting March 31) are Monday –Friday Lunch: 11:30 a.m. –2:30 p.m. Sunday –Thursday Dinner: 4:30 p.m. –10 p.m. Friday & Saturday Dinner: 4:30 p.m. –11 p.m. Saturday & Sunday Brunch: 11 a.m. –4 p.m. .

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This Event Has You Meditate to ‘Purple Rain’ in the Studio Where Prince Recorded the Album

March 27, 2018 by Christina Champlin

Sunset Sound. Image provided by Shavasana Disco / Full Fat PR

Shavasana Disco allows people to visit studios where some of the most prolific albums have been recorded and meditate in them. Next on the list: Sunset Studio and “The Artist” himself.

Run by London-based meditation instructor Will Williams, April’s edition of Shavasana Disco will celebrate Prince and his album ‘Purple Rain’ with an event at Sunset Studios. The gathering is billed as part meditation and part classic album listening party in the studios the albums were originally recorded in. According to, Prince made Studio 3 in Sunset Sound his primary location for recordings between 1981 and 1987. A dozen albums, including Purple Rain, were recorded either in part or entirely at Studio 3. During the meditation the studios will be laid out exactly how they were when Prince recorded there in 1984.

The idea behind Shavasana Disco is that after joining in meditation your auditory perception (a.k.a. hearing) is heightened and you’ll be able to enjoy music much more deeply. Guests will listen to albums from start to finish, lying in silence and soaking up the rhythms. This upcoming edition of Shavasana Disco takes place on Wednesday April 4 from 7 to 9 p.m, and here’s the fun part: This particular meditation is free to attend, with tickets up for grabs through this submission page.  The wrinkle, however, is that only a limited amount of free attendees will be offered tickets.

Directions on the Will Williams website state that guests can apply for a ticket and the organizers will send a notification if the ticket has been confirmed by March 26 (we are past this date). According to a release, ticket-applicants will be informed if they qualified by “late March.” An attempt to sign up for the free tickets yielded an auto-email reply with the following message:

“Thank you for applying to win free tickets to The Shavasana Disco.

Please remember this is a ballot. If your name is drawn, you will hear from us with further details about the event a few weeks beforehand.”

At this point it is not clear how people are chosen to attend, if it is first come first serve or chosen at random via a raffle, though based on the email, it looks like luck of the draw. We Like L.A. has reached out to the Shavasan Disco’s PR rep for clarification on this point. Despite the ambiguity of the sign-up, we’re still a bit intrigued, but maybe not get your hopes up right away about being chosen for tickets.

UPDATE: Event organizers have responded to our inquiry to let us know tickets will be drawn at random from the pool of sign-ups.

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Where to Eat on Easter Sunday, an OutKast Tribute Dinner & other Tasty News Bites

March 27, 2018 by Christina Champlin

Easter is just around the corner! Have you made your meal plans yet? It’s not too late to make reservations at several brunch hot spots and we’ve got the perfect list to guide you. If the Easter is not your thing, check out a new restaurant this week instead. My latest excursion takes me to Glendale’s Plate & Petal, and I have a feeling you’re going to like it.

As always we’ll also suss out the best food and drink happenings in the city. This week’s highlights include a tasting with Ballast Point Brewing Company, 329 Day at Golden Road Brewery, The Long Table Event hosted by Darling Magazine and a Steak N Whiskey OutKast Tribute Dinner.

As always, enjoy all the tasty news bites below! Bon Appétit!

Where to Have Easter Brunch in Los Angeles

Easter falls on Sunday April 1. Celebrate the holiday with a beautiful spring time brunch, we’ve rounded up the best spots hosting special brunches this weekend. Check out our list here.

Additional Easter Events

Le Petit Paris in the heart of Downtown will host an Easter brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet highlights include black truffle scrambled eggs, hazelnut crepes, roasted lamb, and a decadent chocolate fountain. Make your cocktails bottomless with mimosas for $15 and bloody marys for $18.

THE Blvd at the Beverly Wilshire is hosting a three course Easter Brunch complete with a live jazz band and additional holiday add ons like crackable chocolate eggs filled with Easter confections, handcrafted chocolate ducks filled with Jordan almonds and caramelized chocolate truffles, a Champagne bar and seafood platters. See the full menu here.

We Like L.A. Visits Plate & Petal in Glendale


Branzino from Plate & Petal / Photo by Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

Located in Downtown Glendale, Plate & Petal is a breath of fresh air serving beautifully plated California cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. A small flower wall greets guests on the patio as they enter the cafe. On one side of the interior a colorful bakery section that tempts the eyes with dozens of delicious sweets. To the right is a sizable open-concept seating area with a couple rows of tables. The vibe is friendly and inviting.


Macaron from Plate & Petal/ Photo by: Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

Opened in July 2017 Plate & Petal has gained fans through their brunch offerings of avocado toasts, charcuterie boards, lobster mac and cheese, shared plates and a variety of gorgeous pastries and desserts.At the helm of the kitchen is Robert Antonyan, owner and head chef. Antonyan’s background comes from working closely with Todd English, opening L.A. hotspots such as Perch, Delphine and Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel Air.


Grilled Shrimp from Plate & Petal/ Photo by Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

Standouts at P&P include the grilled shrimp with chorizo bits and braised tender fennel, the tuna tartar generously layered with creamy avocado, and a branzino filet served with rainbow chard accompanied by a velvety carrot purée (the last one was my favorite).


Tuna Tartar from Plate & Petal/ Photo by: Christina Champlin/ We Like L.A.

In addition to the regular menu they also offer a separate vegan menu not listed on their website that includes cauliflower steaks and other seasonal vegetables.

Plate & Petal is located at 216 North Orange St. in Glendale.

Food Events for this Week in L.A.

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

Sea Level at Shade Hotel Redondo Beach will host an evening of beer tasting with Ballast Point Brewing Company. From 6-9 p.m. enjoy Ballast Point flights and waterfront sunset views for $15 a person. A ticket gets you a flight that includes Grapefruit Sculpin, Grunion, Sculpin and Aloha Sculpin, plus swag from the brewery.

Bad Housekeeping at Good Housekeeping in Highland Park pops up every Wednesday now through May 30. On these nights you’ll find libations inspired by bad recipes of the past including a ‘glazed ham’ and cherry cordials cocktail.

There’s a Belgian beer tasting event at Wurstküche Venice this Wednesday hosted by resident beer expert Wil Starr. The event will include beers from around the globe, exotic sausages and cheeses.

There’s a new dumpling spot opening on Melrose Avenue this Wednesday. Stuff’d is a fast-casual concept providing guests with unique savory and sweet dumpling options such as a Miso Black Cod and Strawberry Rhubarb Dumpling. Diners can also mix and match with “snack” size dumplings or go big  with the “stuff’d” option.

Take a Gin Crafting Class at Greenbar Distillery this Wednesday. Taste a flight of six gins while learning about the history, then guests will learn how to craft their own gin while enjoying gin cocktails.

Thursday March 29th, 2018

It’s 329 Day at Golden Road Brewery. Score pints of 329 Lager for $3.29, fries for $3.29, pitchers of 329 Lager for $13.29 and get a taste of a specialty infused 329 flight.

In honor of National Whiskey Day, The Bellwether will be offering a Whiskey Week menu from March 26-30. Partnering with Buffalo Trace there will be three off-the-menu cocktails that will be offered exclusively during Whiskey Week priced at $7 a drink. $1 from each Whiskey Week cocktail purchased will be donated to Road Dogs & Rescue, a local bulldog rescue.

Darling join forces with Winsome restaurant and Winc Wine to celebrate Women’s History Month with The Long Table event. The night will bring talented L.A. based female chefs together to cook a meal to remember. Chefs include Leslie Mialma, Pastry Chef of Winsome restaurant, Kuniko Yagi, Chef/Owner of the soon-to-open Pikunico, Nicole Rucker, Chef/Owner of Cofax Coffee, Rucker’s Pie & soon-to-open Fiona, and Shirley Chung, Top Chef star and Owner of the soon-to-open Ms. Chi Cafe.

Friday March 30th, 2018

Kali Supper Klub Presents a “Southernplayalistic Steak N Whiskey OutKast Tribute Dinner” hosted by Chef Julien Cox. The event will take place at The Newberry in DTLA and will include a five course meal highlighting prime cuts of steak paired with barrel aged whiskey cocktails.

Saturday March 31st, 2018

This Saturday head to Eagle Rock for Coffee + Kegs a fund raiser to raise funds for The Center at Blessed Sacrament. From 8 a.m. to noon Found coffee will donate all proceeds from drip coffee sales to the charity and from 6-10 p.m. Craft Beer Cellar will donate all proceeds from a special dedicated keg to the charity.

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A Waffles & Beer Fest, Funfetti Pancakes & other Tasty News Bites

March 20, 2018 by Christina Champlin

Another week, another new checklist of tasty spots to checkout in the city of angels.

Cocktail lovers can test their taste buds with a Glazed Ham Cocktail at pop-up bar Bad Housekeeping. Breakfast fans can head to Silver Lake for Funfetti pancakes thanks to by CHLOE. Happy Hour fans should definitely stop by We Have Noodles (also in Silver Lake) for their new $5 food menu.

This week there are several exciting drink and food events you’ll want to look into. Highlights include: A Greek Wine party, Boomtown Brewing oysters and beer pairing night, the Latin Food Fest, the L.A. Zoo Sustainable Wine+Dinner Series, a Waffles and Beer Festival and a BBQ Championship at Santa Anita Park.

As always, enjoy all the tasty news bites below! Bon Appétit!

Pop-up Bar Bad Housekeeping Serves Glazed Ham Cocktails & Other Weird Stuff in Highland Park

Bad Housekeeping’s “Chocolate and Wine’ cocktail Photo: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Good Housekeeping is a bar in Highland Park serving delicious craft cocktails but on Wednesdays now through May 30, the bar transforms into an alter ego Bad Housekeeping serving up libations inspired by recipes of the past like Glazed Ham or Hot Dogs. Don’t worry the cocktails are actually enjoyable to drink and you can read all about it here.

New Happy Hour Alert


Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

There’s a new happy hour in Silver Lake thanks to We Have Noodles. Starting this week from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. everyday, diners can score Crispy Pork Gang Gang, Eggplant Nahm Prik, Salt Pepper Wings and Fried Tofu Bites for $5. Seasonal draft beers and a grapefruit lager for $5 and a selection wines are $7 a glass during the one hour special.

by CHLOE. Specials Menu Update


Photo Credit: by CHLOE.

The fast casual eatery by CHLOE. in Silver Lake has updated their vegan specials. Highlights include a carrot ginger soup, roasted asparagus with tahini vinaigrette, a smashed avocado toast, basil lemongrass lemonade and Funfetti pancakes.

Checkout our visit to Silver Lake’s tiny eatery Scout

Scout’s spicy chicken sandwich. Photo: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Silver Lake’s new cafe Scout is a 240 square feet breakfast and lunch spot with a market highlighting local makers. They serve a variety of beverages including smoothies and coffee along side fresh salads, bowls and sandwiches, as well as breakfast burritos and toasts. Read all about our visit here.

Where to Find Vegan Pan Dulce

LA Taco recently highlighted a spot making vegan pan dulce in Highland Park. It’s called Delicia’s Bakery and they make them free of dairy and eggs. Owned and operated by the same Mexican family since 1990 the new assortment of baked goods is baked by Jose Casimiro Bran Ramirez, who has worked there for a decade. Expect concha, elotitos, cuernitos, cochinitos, and bizcochos at the bakery. Read more about it here.

Crustacean in Beverly Hills Reopens After $10 Million Remodel

Tuna Cigar Box

Tuna Cigar Box at Crustacean. Photo by Wonho Frank Lee via Crustacean

One of the most popular restaurants in Beverly Hills Crustacean just reopened after an eight-month and $10 million remodel. We experienced a preview dinner last week and wrote a play by play of what you can experience now at the new Crustacean. Read all about it here.

Food Events for this Week in L.A.

Oysters and Beer Pairing at Boomtown Brewing

Oysters and Beer Pairing at Boomtown Brewing

Tuesday March 20th, 2018

Greenbar Distillery has teamed up with The Burrito Project and a select list of local bars and restaurants, to provide thousands of burritos to those in need in the Los Angeles area. Simply go to a bar on the list and order a CITY Bright gin cocktail from there Greenbar Distillery will donate a burrito to The Burrito Project. Get more info here.

Wednesday March 21st, 2018

Odyssey: A Grand Tasting & Exploration of Greek Wines comes to the Petersen Automotive Museum with nine award-winning wineries spanning Greece, from the Islands to the north. Taste wines made from indigenous grapes found only in Greece and meet all the winemakers. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to LA Kitchen.

Thursday March 22nd, 2018

Boomtown Brewing will host an oysters and beer pairing. Guests can expect to be introduced to three oyster varietals and three Boomtown beers to enjoy.

Friday March 23rd, 2018

The 2018 Latin Food Fest is two days of food, beer & wine booths, celebrity chef demos, a michelada bar, a spirits expo, live performances and more. Happening in Santa Monica March 23-24.

The L.A. Zoo will once again host their annual Sustainable Wine+Dinner Series. Kicking off the series is the theme “Dinner Digest,” featuring Fiddlehead Cellars from Lompoc and L.A. Zoo Animal Keeper Kevin Gorowski at Ludden Plaza inside the Zoo’s Australian habitat.

Palm Desert Food & Wine returns to the El Paseo shopping district in Palm Desert for three days of tastings from leading chefs, breweries, and wineries; live cooking demonstrations; celebrity chef appearances; and other dining experiences.

Saturday March 24th, 2018

The new Waffles and Beer Festival debuts at Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles March 24-25 to celebrate the Swedish tradition known as Waffle Day. The festival will offer a wide variety of savory and sweet waffles and an array of craft beers for sale along with live music and more.

7th Annual Winner’s Circle BBQ Championship at Santa Anita Park is a delicious competition featuring BBQ from local and national restaurants, chefs and grillmasters. 

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Places to Eat on St. Patricks Day & other Tasty News Bites

March 13, 2018 by Christina Champlin

The luck of the Irish is with us this week bringing Angelenos a plethora of things to do and places to eat. You can celebrate St. Patricks Day early with a few limited time food specials featuring corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, green poke bowls, corned beef hash pizza and loads of Irish Whiskey.

The weekend will usher in all the crazy St. Paddy’s Day parties including Casey’s St. Patty’s Street Festival in DTLA, a 15-hour party at The Irish Times in Palms and a Stout Festival in Torrance. Celebrate responsibly and don’t forget to wear green.

As always, enjoy all the tasty news bites below! Bon Appétit!

We Like L.A. Epic St. Patricks Day Round Up


Photo credit: The Irish Times LA

Firstly, be sure to check out this list of  24 Fun Things To Do for St. Patricks Day. We’ve curated an eclectic list of events (yes there is food and alcohol involved) that will satisfy any green wearing partygoer. Find a Cahuenga Block Party, corned beef tacos, Casey’s famous St. Patty’s Street Fest, bar crawls, bagpipes, green food, block parties, a beer festival and much more. Now on to the eats…

Where to Eat Irish-ish this St. Patricks Day

Baldoria in Little Tokyo will host a special Corned Beef Hash Pizza on Friday and Saturday (March 16-17) for $8. Shots of Bushmills Irish Whiskey will be $3 on these days as well.

The Oinkster brings back a holiday favorite for their Burger Of The Month. The Saint Patrick’s Burger is made of ground corned beef brisket patty topped with a fried potato and cabbage bubble n squeak round, Oinkster horseradish mustard and pickles on a potato bun. There’s also a Shake Of The Month too made of Fosselman’s Pistachio Ice Cream with white chocolate chips.

Daily Grill will offer Corned Beef & Cabbage served with steamed red potatoes, braised cabbage and horseradish. During brunch a Corned Beef Benedict will be offered as well.

The Morrison in Atwater Village will celebrate St Patricks all week through March 17 with special drink and food menus. You’ll find items like a Lucky Quesadilla, Warp O’ Gold and Irish Car Bombs to wash it all down.

Prank in DTLA will offer Bangers and Mash or Corned Beef Hash for $12. The bar will also have Guinness and Irish meets Canadian Whiskey pairing for $9.

Sip on The FLATS Red Beard cocktail, created by Head Bartender Shaun Summers, this drink pays homage to the red beards that rule the land of Ireland. Made with Bushmills Red Bush Whiskey, ginger, lemon, Angostura and a touch of honey.

At The Raymond 1886 you can get a shot of $10 Jameson Irish Whiskey and sip on The 1917 Tipperary crafted with Irish Whiskey, green chartreuse, Carpano Antica, and orange bitters, or The Irishman, offered as a beer and cocktail special for $18 with Irish Whiskey, lime juice and syrup, and a splash of Lager with the rest of the beer served in an ice cold glass.

Spinfish Poke House will serve Green Bowls on Saturday. The bowl includes ingredients such as cucumbers, seaweed salad, edamame, avocado and choice of fish served on top of a bed of green rice.

Pi Day in Los Angeles

Making Sunday as easy as pie.

A post shared by Winston Pies (@winstonpies) on

Celebrate Pi Day on March 14, with $3.14 circular hand pie from Winston Pies. Available all day while supplies last, the hand pies come in a variety of flavors, including Harvest Apple, Blue Ridge Blueberry, Dixie Classic Cherry and Chocolate Cowgirl. One lucky pie eater will find a Golden Ticket tucked away into the packaging, good for one pie, any shape or size, sold that day.

Dinner in a Cube with Richard Blais’

There’s a month long immersive cultural experience that ties food with art presented by ArtCubed LA coming to Los Angeles from May 11 to June 3. The series is focused on an artistic experience centered around innovation in subcultures of food, film, music and nightlife. The event is called ARTXFOOD and it will be held at Goya Studios in Hollywood. The event will have guests dine in a 56-seat supper club cube created by Los Angeles-based artist Greg Ito. Chef Richard Blais’ will create a four course menu that draws inspiration from Ito’s installations tying art and food together. After dinner guests are invited to an art viewing of paintings, sculptures, and architectural installations with a high-end mixologist bar experience. Tickets start at $170.

Greenbar Distillery Wants to Donate 10K Burritos to the Hungry With Your Help

Greenbar Distillery has teamed up with The Burrito Project and a select list of local bars and restaurants, to provide thousands of burritos to those in need in the Los Angeles area. Simply go to a bar on the list and order a CITY Bright gin cocktail from there Greenbar Distillery will donate a burrito to The Burrito Project. Get more info here  and make a difference while you sip on a cocktail!

Food Events for this Week in L.A.

Photo via Smorgasburg

Tuesday March 13th, 2018

Snacky Tunes heads to the El Rey for a night of live audience recording of the podcast that covers music and food. Guest for the evening include Wexler’s Deli, NIIA and Them Jeans. Ticket includes a plate of food from Wexler’s Deli! Check for discounted tickets before making your purchase. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

Down some tacos, drink some locally brewed beers and test your trivia skills this Tuesday during Tacos & Trivia night at Angel City Brewery in DTLA.

Wednesday March 14th, 2018

The 6th Annual STARS of Napa Valley Wine comes to the Peninsula Beverly Hills with magnificent tastes from around 40 of Napa Valley’s finest wineries.

Help celebrate Union’s four-year anniversary with a six-course “Farm and Field” dinner. The Pasadena restaurant will highlight local vendors that have been with them since day one including Grist & Toll, Flannery Beef, Dock to Dish seafood, DiStefano Cheese Weiser Family Farms and more.

Take a Gin Crafting Class at Greenbar Distillery this Wednesday. Taste a flight of six gins while learning about the history, then guests will learn how to craft their own gin while enjoying gin cocktails.

Every Wednesday Red Herring in Eagle Rock will knock 50% off their cocktail menu. We suggest trying Boss Loves Bubbles made with Mercat Cava, whiskey barrel bitters, sugar and orange twist garnish. Cheers!

Thursday March 15th, 2018

Los Angeles magazine brings its third annual Whiskey Festival to Santa Monica’s Museum of Flying. Meet master distillers, sip the finest whiskeys, learn new cocktail recipes and experience new labels while you savor gourmet hors d’oeuvres, listen to live music and enjoy unique experiences.

Friday March 16th, 2018

Kick off St. Patricks day weekend with a Santa Monica pub crawl (March 16 and 17) the crawl includes drink specials at around a dozen venues along Main Street.

Head to Hollywood for an epic St. Patty’s Day Pub Crawl. Join hundreds of partygoers as you roam Hollywood for the best drink specials in town. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

Westsiders put on your best green and partake in the annual Santa Monica Luck of the Irish bar crawl March 16-17. DISCOUNTED (via Goldstar)

Saturday March 17th, 2018

Checkout our recent post 24 Fun Things To Do for St. Patricks Day

Opera on Tap Los Angeles takes over Angel City Brewery in DTLA. A group of professional classical singers will bring opera to the people through performances in bars, breweries, and rock and jazz venues. The performance starts at 5 p.m. and is free to attend.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a whiskey tasting and education at Vertical Wine Bistro in Old Town Pasadena. The class features an introduction to whiskey basics, interactive tasting of four different whiskeys and includes appetizers served throughout the class.

Sunday March 18th, 2018

Smorgasburg LA returns this Sunday to DTLA for another round of awesome eats from some of the best local chefs without a brick and mortar. It’s free to get into the open air food and shopping market.

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The Museum of Failure Has a New Home at Hollywood & Highland

March 8, 2018 by Christina Champlin
Museum of Failure

Outside the Museum of Failure at Hollywood & Highland. Photo credit: Jake Ahles

Looks like the temporarily planned Museum of Failure failed to leave Los Angeles for good. The pop-up has found a new home at Hollywood & Highland, with doors swinging out open today, March 8.

Posited as a celebration of megaflops, The Museum of Failure features hopeless and hilarious catastrophes like Facebook Gifts, RCA SelectaVision,, and Google Wave. The newly opened H&H version also includes a section entirely dedicated to Hollywood’s biggest fails and a Failure Confessional where visitors can add their personal stories of failures to the collection.

Museum of Failure

Inside the Museum of Failure. Photo credit: Jake Ahles

Conceived by psychologist and researcher, Dr. Sam West, the museum began in Sweden back in 2017 and became a successful traveling exhibit of 100-plus examples of colossal flops. The L.A. edition made its debut on December 2, 2017 at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum and was an instant success. Fails prominently featured in the first run included Donald Trump’s board game, a Colgate (yes the toothpaste brand) lasagna, a Harley-Davidson Perfume, the Apple Newton, Google Glass and even artifacts that date back to the 17th century. These examples will also make an appearance at the new Hollywood location. New products are expected to be updated about each month or so.

It has not yet been determined if The Museum of Failure will be at Hollywood & Highland permanently, but there is no set end date, so you should expect it to stay open for the immediate future.

The Museum of Failure is produced by Special Entertainment Events (SEE). SEE is responsible for acclaimed touring exhibits like Titanic, Star Trek and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel The Exhibition.

Ticket Information:

General Admission (13 years and older) – $19
Seniors (65+)/Students/Military with ID – $14
Children (6 – 12 years old) – $12
Children (Under 6) – Free Admission
Group Tickets (10 or more) – $12 each

Exhibition hours are as follows:

Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday noon to 7 p.m.

The Museum of Failure is located at Hollywood & Highland 6801 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 277 in Hollywood.

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New Vegan Eats in Silver Lake, The Best Fish Tacos in L.A. & other Tasty News Bites

March 6, 2018 by Christina Champlin


la phil wrap jewel

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

Grab your notepad, because this week’s news bites are full of suggestions on where to eat in Los Angeles.

First up I want to highlight a new plant-based eatery in Virgil Village with a non-steak Philly Cheesesteak. Also of note: I’ll link you on where to get the best fish tacos in the city and a few hidden food spots to get your grub on. As for this weekend, Angelenos can look forward to Smorgasburg’s 2nd Annual Pop-up on the Pier in Santa Monica, a SoCal coffee discussion, the Big ‘Cap Beer & Cider Festival happening in Arcadia, a huge pork festival and much more.

As always, enjoy all the tasty news bites below! Bon Appétit!

Jewel Brings Health-Conscious Eats to Virgil Village

We Like L.A. paid a visit to Jewel a new plant-based eatery serving inventive and tasty food to the health conscious. On the menu you’ll find a Philly Cheesesteak, donuts and crab cakes all made vegan style. Read all about Jewel here.

Weird Places for Good Eats in L.A.

Foodies looking for good eats sans a brick and mortar should checkout Saveur’s story highlighting four weird places to eat in Los Angeles. From stuffed nann roti inside a West-L.A. Chevron to Mexican-inspired Korean tortas hidden in a swap meet these places are redefining the dining scene one bite at a time.

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The Best Baja Style Fish Tacos in L.A.

LA Magazine identifies L Fish Tacos in Boyle Heights and popular food truck Ricky’s Fist Tacos as the best places frying up pescado and goes onto compare the both letting readers know about the batter, creme, salsa bar and more.

The Federal Long Beach Rolls Out International Menus

The Federal Long Beach has introduced “Flights Around the World” a monthly series where they highlight a different foreign country each month through special prix fixe menus. The first stop will be Ireland in March. The Lunch Prix Fixe is $25 and will include an Irish Soup of the Day, House Cured Corned Beef Brisket & Boysenberry Sandwich, and a Blackberry and Apple Cobbler topped with a Honey Whiskey Ice Cream for dessert. The Dinner Prix Fixe is a $35 three course meal with the Irish Soup of the Day, a choice between Smoked Duck Breast Confit or Herb Roasted Sirloin Steak, and for dessert, the Blackberry and Apple Cobbler with Honey Whiskey Ice Cream. There’s also an optional  “Taste of Ireland Charcuterie Platter” for an additional $17. Lastly, the restaurant will offer a flight of three varieties of Irish whiskey for $18.

Food Events for this Week in L.A.

Tuesday March 6th, 2018

Down some tacos, drink some locally brewed beers and test your trivia skills this Tuesday during Tacos & Trivia night at Angel City Brewery in DTLA.

Wednesday March 7th, 2018

All-Star Chef Classic at L.A. Live in DTLA, from March 7-10, will feature dinners made by top chefs like Ludo Lefebvre, Michael Voltaggio, Jose Andres, Jose Garces and more. Events include a Vegetable Masters Dinner, an American Masters Dinner, All-Star Women Masters Dinner, Spanish Masters Dinner and strolling events like the Middle East Feast and Grill & Chill. Each event requires its own ticket. Check for discount tickets on select events via Goldstar before making your purchase.

Take a Gin Crafting Class at Greenbar Distillery this Wednesday. Taste a flight of six gins while learning about the history, then guests will learn how to craft their own gin while enjoying gin cocktails.

Marijuana Madness is an innovative burlesque and live music show coming to The Three Clubs in Hollywood this Wednesday. Travel back in time to 1937, when National Marijuana Prohibition became American law. Learn the truth behind the mass propaganda that insisted that cannabis led to moral decay and debauchery, resulting in persecution of marijuana users.

Thursday March 8th, 2018

Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling of Botanica will celebrate and support women in their industry and beyond by hosting two pop-up shops on International Women’s Day. There will be a pop-up flower shop from Whit Hazen, ceramics shop from D Ceramics, wine tasting of women made wines, free classes from Love Yoga and dish specials from women chefs and cookbook authors Gabrielle Hamilton, Ana Sortun, Alice Waters and Claudia Roden. See the full line up here.

The Belvedere at The Peninsula Beverly Hills has partnered with Casamigos for a new, weekly “Terrace Hours” happy hour launching this Thursday and available through summer. Every Thursday from 5-8 p.m., the outdoor Terrace will feature live music and a happy hour food menu with highlights that include Shawarma Tacos with hanger steak ($9), Charred Grilled Octopus ($9), Oysters on the Half Shell ($12 for 3), and a Roasted Cauliflower Flatbread ($12). Four specialty tequila-based Casamigos cocktails will be available for $10 each including a Mexican Negroni, Anejo Old Fashioned, Spicy Blood Orange Margarita and a Cucumber Basil Margarita.

CREAM will launch a Care Bears edition of their ice cream sandwich this Wednesday at CREAM North Hollywood. Get a taste of two Good Luck Bear Ice Cream Sandwiches, created exclusively for the Care Bears as part of the 2018 Colors of Caring campaign. The sandwiches will be available only until the end of March. Expect games, giveaways and a special celebrity appearance during the public party from 4-8 p.m.

March 8 is National Women’s Day, celebrate through food with a Taste of Feastly, Women’s Edition. Enjoy an evening of food and drink highlighting female chefs!

Del Frisco’s Grille in Santa Monica will celebrate International Women’s Day by bringing together Westside women in the community making a difference. The networking-style mixer will include an evening of pampering, appetizers by Chef Daniel Tiger, wine tastings from Prisoner Wine Company, manicures, massages and a raffle with gifts from local businesses including Philosophy and Pause Float Studio. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Westside Family Health Center’s Reproductive Health Services Program.

Friday March 9th, 2018

March 9 is National Meatball Day and Silver Lake Italian eatery Kettle Black will offer a Meatball Sandwich with fire roasted tomato, pickled fresno chili, parmigiano and basil for $7 during happy hour from 5-7 p.m.

Saturday March 10th, 2018

Stop by Santa Anita Park in Arcadia for the Big ‘Cap Beer & Cider Festival. The festival will include local and national craft beers, ciders and food trucks right alongside the racetrack.

Join a lively panel of SoCal coffee experts as they discuss significant developments in the region’s coffee landscape, beginning with early settlers who roasted beans over a nightly campfire to the rise of local commercial and specialty roasters and coffee houses in the 20th century. The panelists will conclude by exploring coffee’s Third Wave and the espresso bars and cafés that have taken over Southern California today. A reception with refreshments will follow the talk at 11:30 a.m. The discussion is free to the attend.

Smorgasburg’s 2nd Annual Popup on the Pier in Santa Monica returns for a one-day affair that will satisfy your tastebuds through 70+ vendors including goa-taco, Amazebowls, Shrimp Daddy, Lobsterdamus, Big Mozz and more.

Sunday March 11th, 2018

The 2018 LA COCHON555 heads to Santa Monica this Sunday for a three-hour culinary experience of all things pork. Taking place at The Viceroy, this delicious nationwide culinary tour will feature 100+ prominent chefs, farmers, sommeliers, distillers, brewers and barkeeps for a feast on responsibly raised heritage-breed pig and bottomless rounds of beverages.

Boomtown Brewery will be hosting a Spring Forward Family Fest event fun for all ages. Adults can kick back and enjoy Boomtown’s unfiltered, full flavored beers while children get their face painted, play in a bounce house, do arts and crafts, play games and more. Maple Block Meat Co will also be on hand with their awesome bbq to feed everyone. There is no fee to attend the festival.

“Top Chef” Season 14 Winner Brooke Williamson’s Hudson House turns nine on Sunday and they’re throwing a fiesta from noon to 5 p.m. The Redondo Beach gastropub will host an outdoor fiesta featuring live mariachis, a taco and elote station, cold craft beers from the Stone Hop Wagon, a Michelada bar, and Corralejo Tequila and Sombra Mezcal cocktails. Guests will also be gifted with a Hudson House anniversary t-shirt along with other fun surprises to be announced.

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Jewel Brings Health-Conscious Eats to Virgil Village

March 6, 2018 by Christina Champlin

Jewel in Virgil Village. Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

While Angelenos might roll their eyes at the mention of vegan, vegetarianism or gluten-free labels, Jewel could change that perspective with just one visit. Located in Virgil Village (tucked between Silver Lake and East Hollywood), Jewel serves seasonal, local, and sustainable plant-based food that’s both approachable and easy on the wallet. The restaurant opened its doors this past February.

Jewel is the creation of chef Jasmine Shimoda (formerly executive chef of the now shuttered The Springs), and wife Sharky McGee, a Gjelina alum. The duo is focused on offering accessible, healthy and sophisticated plates for the neighborhood.


Avocado Toast at Jewel. Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A

On the menu diners can find cleverly disguised vegan takes on crab cakes, a niçoise salad and even a Philly Cheesesteak. Jewel’s version of the cheesesteak is called the LAPhil, which comes in the form of a wrap. Braised yuba sheets take the place of steak and shiitakes, caramelized onion, pickled jalapeno, cashew fondu and scallion mayo come together to fill out the flavor profile.

This is not the first time the LAPhil has appeared on a menu. It received a cult following when Shimoda was chef at The Springs. Fans of the former restaurant will be excited to see it resurrected at a new location.

la phil wrap jewel

LAPhil at Jewel. Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

While Jewel is a plant-based restaurant, the menu is not exclusively vegan or gluten-free, as you’ll find items like breakfast burritos, pizza, noodles and donuts.


Vegan Donuts at Jewel. Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

For now Jewel is BYOB and plans to rolled out a curated wine menu hand-picked by Den Haan from Vinovore, a wine shop steps away from Jewel who supports female winemakers.

Jewel is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:40 p.m.

Jewel is located at 654 N. Hoover St. in Los Angeles.

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Food, Lifestyle

15 Great Places to Eat in Scottsdale, Arizona (on a road trip from L.A.)

February 27, 2018 by Christina Champlin
FnB featured

Dining at FnB. Photo by Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

This article is part three of our three-part guide on a road trip to Scottsdale. In part one we provide an overview of the best times to go and where to stay. In part 2 we highlight fun things to do in Scottsdale. In part three we discuss great places to eat in Scottsdale.

I’ve been eating in Los Angeles as a profession for almost a half decade now. My love for the food here can’t be understated. But now, after multiple visits and many meals, I realize Scottsdale has a growing place in my heart.

There is something extremely personal about eating in Scottsdale. I always look forward to trying something flavorful, something new, and something memorable, whether it’s the use of hyper local ingredients– like a glacier lettuce that resembled a fuzzy succulent– or spectacular combinations like sprout nachos drizzled in hot-pink beet creme.

I know I’ve only just begin to scratch the surface of all of the wonderful food available in Scottsdale, but I think I’m giving you a great starting point for a few culinary adventures of your own.

1. FnB

Chef Charleen Badman and Pavle Milic have one of the most beloved and recognized establishments in Arizona. What they are doing is truly special and from the heart. From cooking with hearty native beans to glacier lettuce, a leafy succulent locally grown in the desert, FnB is a culinary love letter to Arizona. They are one of the few spots pouring Arizona wine (Milic is a winemaker himself). The menu changes often and ingredients are sourced from local growers and makers, so you might not get the same thing twice. Start with a few appetizers, order lots of vegetables and for the main courses, get a steak and chop if available. Dishes are all designed to share.  –>  More information

2. The Mission

This modern eatery is influenced by Spanish, Mexican, Central American and South American flavors. With Arizona star Chef Matt Carter at the helm, expect superior homemade tortillas, arepas, and salsas, along with meats prepared on a plancha. The Mission has two locations, one in Old Town and another in Kierland Commons. The Kierland vibe is more modern and casual chic, while Old Town is more seductive, with a stunning glowing Himalayan salt wall. Both are very popular hot spots, so expect to meet some new friends while dining on table-side guacamole, Tecate Creekstone Skirt Steak and Short Rib Barbacoa. –> More information

We’re back at it tonight! Come through and get your weekend started! #DrinkCi

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3. Counter Intuitive

Considered one of the coolest bars in Scottsdale, Counter Intuitive is where people go for inventive drinks done right. Located in the heart of Old Town, the bar has a dark, speakeasy vibe and every drink is made with great precision.  –> More information 

4. Fat Ox

Another Matt Carter restaurant, this time a modern Italian-style fine dining concept, is one you’ll want to bring your appetite for. Designed like a traditional Italian eatery, the meal consist of a multi-course taste of Italian dishes reimagined through Carter’s eye. The format goes like this: first you choose a few antipasti, then cheeses to nibble on, after that you move onto house-made pastas and a couple of main courses that include a 40-ounce prime porterhouse and Duroc Pork Tomahawk. Yes, it’s a lot of food, but most plates are on the small side and are meant for sharing, so bring a group or order carefully.  –> More information

5. Diego Pops

This highly stylized modern-Latin eatery screams cool vibes, and the food is just as impressive. Brussels sprout nachos topped with street corn, garlic beet creme and a fried egg is the most popular item. We suggest you start with the nachos and move onto the tacos, where you’ll find succulent braised pineapple pork, beef machaca, and green chili chicken, to name a few. Any or all of the tacos can be converted into a taco bowl, which is pretty cool! –> More information

6. Hearth ’61

Chef Charles Wiley approaches the menu at Hearth ’61 with an ingredient-first mindset, pairing local produce and meats with traditional cooking styles and flavor pairings. Niman Ranch aged tomahawk ribeyes are cooked over a fiery hearth and served with rosemary truffle butter. You’ll also find a “roast of the day” seven days a week here. If available, order a side of the ancient grain risotto; complex grains replace the traditional arborio and will make you wonder why this wasn’t done sooner. –> More information


Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

7. Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen

Head to the Andaz Scottsdale’s restaurant during breakfast, lunch or dinner to get a taste of the desert. Borrowing from Sonoran and Native American ingredients and flavors, W&W transforms common dishes like pancakes by using blue corn, giving the breakfast favorite a satisfying crunch. As for dinner, try the whole Red River trout cooked on a plancha. If you’re looking for an even more unique dining experience the restaurant offers a glass box chef’s table where guests enjoy a front-row seat to their culinary experience from the kitchen to plate. –> More information

8. Goldwater Brewing Co.

Family-owned and operated, Goldwater Brewing Co. has 30 + years of brewing knowledge and one killer tap room with over 20 of their own craft beers on tap, as well as seasonal one-off brews. Head underground to their second tap room called Goldmine and you’ll gain access to barrel-aged beers.  –> More information 

9. North Italia

This modern Italian eatery makes their pastas, bread and pizzas from scratch. White truffle garlic bread is a great way to start the meal and their bolognese made with a traditional meat sauce is a comforting house specialty. Pizzas are handmade and can be made gluten-free by request. Popular pizza choices include Bacon & Egg, The Pig (comprised of three different types of sausage) and an experimental chef’s choice creation that changes daily. Located in Kierland Commons, this is the perfect spot to catch a meal after spending the day shopping.  –> More information

Get the girls together for a weekday lunch. It's always more fun to go family style!

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10. Frank & Lupes

When in the Sonoran Dessert, you eat Sonoran food. Originally from New Mexico, Frank & Lupes has been going strong for over 25 years serving awesome margaritas and a gigantic menu of all the greats like tacos, enchiladas, chalupas, chimichangas and more. Locals can’t get enough of the chicken mole enchiladas, poblano cream chicken and the weekly happy hour, with half-price appetizers and margaritas. –> More information

11. ZuZu

Located inside the Hotel Valley Ho, ZuZu is a vibrant restaurant offering American fare while supporting local farmers and suppliers. On the menu you can find intriguing dishes like Hokkaido scallops in shellfish butter, braised duck pasta and a Baker’s Bacon Chop: a loin back bacon chop smoked and lacquered in honey. Perhaps the most famous item on their menu is in the dessert section, the “Show Stopper Shake,” an ever-changing theme of indulgent shakes dreamed up by Pastry Chef Audry Enriquez even has its own hashtag #zuzushowstoppershake on social media. –> More information

12. Olive & Ivy

This casual Mediterranean-inspired hot spot overlooks the Scottsdale Waterfront’s Arizona Canal. Grab a seat on their massive patio and escape for a casual meal. On the menu you can find brunch dishes, as well as a variety of flatbreads. Durning dinner service, the menu expands to include fish and meat dishes. With a space this special, the evenings tend to be busy during cocktail hour. If you’re looking for happy hour, you might want to start here. –> More information

13. Cowboy Ciao

The Stetson Chopped Salad is legendary here at this local favorite, with rows of chopped arugula, pearl couscous, super-sweet dried corn and Ciao trail — a mixture of pepitas, blackcurrants and Asiago cheese — paired with your choice of salmon, chicken breast or fresh avocado. There are also unique dishes like buffalo carpaccio served with ry whiskey-infused dijon and juniper-cured and mesquite-smoked duck breast. –> More information

14. Postino’s

Do you love bruschetta, charcuterie boards and wine? Look no further — Postino’s is your kind of place. Known for their bruschetta boards, diners get to mix and match from a dozen options including smoked salmon & pesto, brie & apple to the traditional mozzarella, tomato & basil. Come before 5 p.m. and score $5 glasses of wine! There are two locations in Scottsdale: one in Keirland and the other in Highland –> More information

15. Virtù

Attached to the Bespoke Inn in Old Town Scottsdale, Virtù is Chef Gio Osso’s intimate Mediterranean-inspired restaurant. The menu is ever-changing, featuring handmade pastas, local produce and seafood sourced from distinguished fish markets in North America and southern Europe. Libations are just as notable, offering unique spirits and fresh-pressed juices in their cocktail program. Named one of the top 20 “Best New Restaurants” in the U.S. by Esquire magazine in 2013 and nominated for a James Beard award in 2014, a meal at Virtù is a memorable one.  –> More information

Visit for more information on Scottsdale Arizona.

Thus concludes our three-part series! If you’re looking for more road trip and/or getaway ideas originating from Los Angeles, check for our guides to Ojai and Palm Springs.

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Lifestyle, Things To Do

16 Fun Things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona (on a road trip from L.A.)

February 27, 2018 by Christina Champlin
taliesin west frank lloyd wright

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

This article is part two of our three-part guide on a road trip to Scottsdale. In part one we provide an overview of the best times to go and where to stay. In part 2 we highlight fun things to do in Scottsdale. In part three we discuss great places to eat in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale really does offer something for everyone. Sports fans come for spring training, the Cactus Bowl and to golf at the many links. Year-round there are events and tours at a bucket-list of architectural and artistic spaces including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, and Arcosanti, an experimental micro-city built by Paolo Soleri. For the outdoorsy type, hikes in Scottsdale are picturesque, with towering saguaros dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see. If you’re more into shopping and digging for vintage treasures, the city is filled with antique stores and boutiques, not to mention a huge mall.

For whatever kind of adventure you’re looking for in Scottsdale, start with the list below and you can build your own itinerary that’s custom suited for your personal tastes and the time of year you’re visiting.

1. Taliesin West

A national historical landmark built by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West is home to the FLW Foundation and SOAT, an architecture school. The headquarters of the Taliesin Fellowship established in 1937, Taliesin West was built by FLW and his apprentices on acres of isolated land in the middle of the desert where they created a community in balance with the surrounding environment. Today it is considered one of Wright’s masterpieces and the best example of personal architecture. Seven original apprentices still live there today, and students from all over the world come to study at the school each year. One of the most stunning examples of FLW’s work on the West Coast, the community is a must-visit for those interested in design and architecture. Taliesin West is open to the public for tours, and reservations are strongly recommended. –> More information

2. Cattle Track

Tucked away on a dirt road in a residential neighborhood is Cattle Track, an arts compound of great historical significance. Built in 1937 by engineer George Ellis, the community is comprised of workshops and homes to forward-thinking artists and craftsmen. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, Catttle Track provides students and artists a place to continue their work and explorations in their perspective fields. Past residents include sculptor Louise Nevelson, Native American painter Fritz Scholder and painter Philip C. Curtis, who went on to found the Phoenix Art Museum. Today, the studios of artists-in-residence can be toured for free Monday through Saturday. If you’re lucky, you might get artist and manager of the compound Mark McDowell to guide you. He’ll tell you all about the history of Cattle Track and introduce you to some of the artists and their work. –> More information

Photo Credit: Canal Convergence

3. Canal Convergence

View larger-than-life art installations over the Scottsdale Waterfront and canal during the annual Canal Convergence. Free and open to the public, guests can participate in workshops, interact with engaging art pieces and enjoy live performances. The 2018 Canal Convergence will take place February 23-24 and March 2-3. –> More information

4. Scottsdale ArtWalk

Every Thursday, the Arts District turns into the Scottsdale Artwalk. From 7 to 9 p.m., dozens of galleries open their doors to the public for a nighttime art-viewing party. A 40-year tradition, the ArtWalk is a great way to get to know the Scottsdale art scene, which includes Southwestern art, Russian Impressionist and contemporary. I suggest making a reservation at a nearby restaurant or planning a cocktail stop to make a full night out of the ArtWalk. –> More information 

mike mcdowell sonoran preserve

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

5. Hike The McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses over 30,000 acres of permanently protected land for the public to enjoy. There are a handful of trailheads with varying levels of difficulty. We hiked the Gateway Trailhead, a 4.5 mile loop of easy-moderate difficultly with no shade, and gradual inclines and declines.  Here visitors can catch a view of thousands of towering Saguaro cacti, neon green palo verde trees and wildflowers. Additionally, the preserve provides a home for wildlife including roadrunners, desert birds and the javelina, an Old World pig found in the Southwestern parts of the United States. If you are looking for a fun and educational visit, consider hiking with Arizona Outback Adventures. A guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a tour on foot or by bike while providing water and snacks for the trip, as well as local knowledge of the plants, animals and general history of the area. You can take a look at all AOA’s services here. Finally, let me just offer another reminder that if you are in Scottsdale in the hotter months, plan your outdoor activities, such as hiking, in the early hours of the morning to avoid the desert heat, sunburn, and/or dehydration. –> More information

6. Vintage Shopping

Arizona has a plethora of vintage shops, but not all are created equal. Fashion by Robert Black is an upscale store organized by color that carries highly sought-after labels like Chanel and YSL. Vintage By Misty is also a hot spot for gently-used labels. If you are more of an antique mall type, head to Antique Trove and search through the many booths of goodies from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and beyond. Lastly, if you drove from L.A. to Scottsdale, you would have passed the city of Phoenix along the freeway and seen a Costco-sized building called Brass Armadillo. This is the biggest antique mall I personally have ever seen and it’s become one of my all-time favorite places to search for retro hidden treasures.

cosanti arizona

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

7. Cosanti

Located in Paradise Valley, Cosanti is a designated historical site designed by Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri. This studio and gallery feature experimental earth-formed concrete structures built by Soleri and his apprentices. This is also where Soleri’s famous bronze bells are cast every weekday morning; visitors are invited to observe the process in the foundry. The wind bells can be purchased and are seen hanging all over the outdoor gift shop and beyond. –> More information

8. Arcosanti

If you visit Cosanti, you will hear about Arcosanti, located in Mayer, Arizona about 1.5 hours away from Scottsdale. Paolo Soleri’s life’s work was to build a micro-community that wouldn’t negatively impact the environment. The space never fully took off, but Soleri’s vision lives on today. At Arcosanti, you’ll see students, artist, architects and the general public who come to experience life in this futuristic community. Open to the public for tours, Arcosanti is also a place you can stay at for next to nothing — as little as $30 a night. Guests are granted access to the in-ground pool (seasonal), nightly views of the Milky Way, complimentary breakfast in the café, and workshops where you work with Arcosanti residents and others. Just know it’s not a five-star resort, but more of a place to get in touch with nature and Soleri’s work as you live mindfully for a few days. –> More information 

9. Golfing Scottsdale

Arizona is a golfer’s dream. There are over 200 golf courses between Scottsdale and Phoenix, and each one offers unique layouts set on breathtaking landscapes and resorts. It’s hard to pick just one spot. My two suggestions are complete opposites of one another. Troon North in Scottsdale is considered the most scenic, with desert terrain weaved across the course and an unbeatable view of the vistas of Pinnacle Peak. McDowell Mountain Golf Club, tucked away in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, provides an eco-sensitive design featuring wetlands, mesquite and cactus on the course. –> More information 

10. Arizona Wine Tasting

It may come as a surprise to learn that Arizona has a wine scene, but go for a wine walk in Old Town Scottsdale and you’ll soon be sipping on chardonnay, merlot, grenache, syrah and more at one of their many tasting rooms. –> More information


Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

11. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) exhibits some of the coolest contemporary art in the world, as well as Arizona artists. I highly suggest paying a visit to the museum, especially to check out Knight Rise, artist James Turrell’s Skyspace located in the courtyard of SMoCA. Visitors can walk into the space to observe the ever-changing light of the desert sky and, of course, snap a few photos. –> More information

12. Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Explore the history of the West at this award-winning museum. Scottsdale’s Museum of the West features exhibits of Hopi pottery, rare cowboys and Indians movie posters, and unique stores from the Greater Western region of America.

–> More information

13. Musical Instrument Museum

Music fans can check out the Musical Instrument Museum featuring instruments from around the world and special displays such as John Lennon’s piano and Jonny Cash’s guitar. For those looking to get more hands on, head to The Experience Gallery, where the public is encouraged to play a variety of instruments from the collection. –> More information

14. Spring Training

Baseball fans will want to head to Scottsdale during spring training to catch some of their favorite teams from around the United States play. The weather is perfect during the early spring, making this a great day out with sports-loving friends and family. –> More information 

15. Take a Walking Tour of Public Art

Explore Scottsdale’s public art collection by using an interactive map to discover 70 permanent and 30 temporary artworks that include George-Ann Tognoni’s famous bronzes, James Turrell’s Skyspace, Paolo Soleri’s Bridge and much more.  –> More information

16. Arizona Biltmore

If you’re a Frank Lloyd Wright fan then the Arizona Biltmore, while not technically in Scottsdale, is definitely worth the 30-minute drive. Opened in 1929, this legendary hotel became known as the “Jewel of the Desert.” Frank Lloyd Wright served as consulting architect on the project, which was led by Wright’s former student Albert Chase McArthur. The property sits on 39 acres of land and was regarded as a playground for the rich and famous in its earliest days. Today it’s considered an architectural landmark. Featuring an epic art deco pool with a waterfall, champion golf course, and AAA Four Diamond dining, the Arizona Biltmore is an all-around luxury getaway. –> More information  

Next up: Great Places to Eat in Scottsdale

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Lifestyle, sightseeing

An Angeleno’s Guide to a Scottsdale Road Trip

February 27, 2018 by Christina Champlin
mike mcdowell sonoran preserve

Photo Credit: Christina Champlin / We Like L.A.

Looking for an uncomplicated and unconventional road trip this year? Consider Scottsdale, Arizona. The journey from Los Angeles is a snap, there’s lots to do, and the food won’t disappoint. In short, it’s the perfect drivable destination for Angelenos looking to change things up.

Known for its golf courses, spa resorts and stunning desert trails, Scottsdale is a quintessential vacation spot. But this desert city has a whole lot more to offer than pool time and tee times. There is a thriving wine scene, superb restaurants and exceptional hotels. For art enthusiasts, the city is dense with culturally significant artist communities, historical architecture built by icons such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri, plus numerous publicly funded community art works and projects.

To get you started on your exploration of Scottsdale we’ve put together a three-part guide to fill you in on all the sights and bites. In this section, we’ll cover the best times to visit, plus a few exceptional lodging options. In part two, we’ll dive into the best things to do in Scottsdale. Lastly, part three will provide a list of great places to eat.

So fill that tank, grab a friend, and pack your overnight bag. The southwest is calling.

When is the Best Time to Go to Scottsdale?

Peak season to visit Scottsdale is from January to April. Highs temperatures average in the low 70s to low 80s during this period, making it both the most desirable and most expensive time to visit. If golfing, hiking and other outdoor activities (like MLB Spring Training) are on your agenda, this is probably your ideal window to be in town.

From May to June, the area experiences a dry summer where temperatures often spike into the triple digits during the day. This dry period is followed by the “wet summer” from July to mid- September. The daytime temps stay up, but the air is more humid, with afternoons cooling off and sometimes inviting thunderstorms via air drawn up from the Gulf of Mexico.

If you wish to avoid the high temperatures and humidity, consider visiting during the winter season, when temperatures are mild and nights are brisk. Fall temperatures are in the high 80s — still pleasantly warm, but the city boasts clear skies and crisp evenings.

My road trip to Scottsdale took place during mid-May, and for what it’s worth I experienced both sides of the weather coin. On the first half of my trip in I was in pleasant 80-degree weather teetering into the 90s at times, which was enjoyable when exploring the city and taking a morning hike at the Sonoran Preserve. The last two days the mercury leaped up to 105. I spent most of my daytime indoors at attractions like The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Regardless of when you choose to visit Scottsdale there are going to be some tradeoffs. The benefit of traveling in the off-season is scoring a big discount on extraordinary hotels. The downside? It’s HOT!

Also here’s one final pro-tip: Whenever someone offers you a bottle of water, always take it! Hydration is key.

Getting There

The drive to Scottsdale is a 5.5-hour (sans traffic) straight shot on the 10 freeway. You’ll pass through the San Gabriel Valley, Riverside and Palm Springs. Ultimately Blythe will be the last California city you’ll see before entering Ehrenberg, Arizona.

There’s a certain stark, minimalist appeal to the landscape along the way. You might just call it barren. For me the real highlight was when I started seeing majestic brick red mountains and towering saguaro cacti that line the Sonoran desert. It’s said it takes about 10 years for a saguaro to reach even 1 inch in height, and it isn’t until around 70 years of age when the plant will reach over 6 feet tall and finally begin producing its first flowers. On my drive, and all during my stay in Arizona, I routinely saw 10 to 20-footers. It inspires a certain kind of awe, I think.

One note: Be sure to stop for coffee and gas up in Palm Springs because there isn’t much in the way of gas or food once you keep driving east, or at least not in between Indio and Blythe.

Where Should You Stay?


Photo Credit: Hotel Valley Ho

Hotel Valley Ho

Standard room: $300+ for peak season & $150+ for offseason

Hotel Valley Ho, located in Downtown Scottsdale, was originally designed by Edward L. Varney in 1956. Recently restored back to its glory days by Westroc Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Valley Ho has been described by famed author and architect Alan Hess as “one of the best-preserved mid-century modern hotels in the country.” The 241 rooms on the property include swanky suites located in The Tower, a Presidential Loft Suite and funky boutique rooms. I stayed in one of the Tower Suites equipped with a full kitchen, walk-in closet, a washer/dryer, living room and a private balcony. The total mid-century immersion had me getting in touch with my inner Don Draper. Aside from a hip vibe, the resort has everything vacationers need: a spa, multiple pools, top notch room service, and a seasonal American restaurant and bar located on the property. One tip: Be sure to stop by the concierge desk where resident historian Ace Bailey can tell you all about the history of the hotel and its strenuous redesign, alongside interesting tidbits on how old Hollywood spent their time at the hotel. –> More information


Photo Credit: Andaz Scottsdale

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa

Standard room: $379+ for peak season & $194+ for offseason

Occupying 23 acres of desert landscape, the Andaz Scottsdale is a mid-century modern beauty paying homage to the local art scene that inhabited the surrounding area long before the hotel’s conception. At every turn guests are introduced to artwork from Cattle Track, a historic art community that has a residency at the resort. You’ll find artists on the grounds making pottery, painting and creating. On occasion, the hotel also hosts workshops with the artists. The theme continues when you set foot in one of the bungalow style rooms, where you’ll see a mix of mid-century and local art. On premises activities include dining at Weft & Warp Bar + Kitchen, taking a dip in the three picturesque pools, and relaxing at the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary.  –> More information

Mountain Shadows

Standard room: $414+ for peak season & $153+ for offseason

Interested in a calm and serene stay while in Arizona? Minimalist modern luxury resort Mountain Shadows, located in the heart of Paradise Valley, is just a short drive from Scottsdale. Tucked away in the shadow (literally) of Camelback Mountain, the highly stylized resort was originally built in 1959 and has recently reemerged as a luxury resort featuring 183 guests rooms, 42 condominiums and suites, a restaurant, two pools and an 18-hole golf course. The amenities and the stunning backdrop will make it hard to leave the premises while on your trip. –> More information

saguaro scottsdale

Photo Credit: Saguaro Scottsdale Facebook

The Saguaro

Standard room: $180+ for peak season & $92+ for offseason

Located in Old Town, The Saguaro is central to everything you’ll want to see while in Scottsdale. A short walk from the hotel, you’ll find the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, hip restaurants, shopping, art galleries, Arizona wine tasting rooms and popular bars. The rooms are hip, colorful and a notch up from your standard chain hotel, but with competitive pricing, making The Saguaro one of the more affordable places to stay in Scottsdale. –> More information

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

Standard room: $432+ for peak season & $170+ for offseason

Looking for a family-friendly hotel option? The Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch is the perfect choice. The 27-acre property features a waterpark, indoor rock climbing and even something called Camp Hyatt offered daily for parents looking for a parental break. Kids don’t have all the fun at this resort — there’s also a great golf course, live concerts during certain seasons, an in-house spa, ten pools with waterfalls and even a gondola where classically trained singers serenade guests as they head to several restaurants located on the grounds of the Hyatt.  –> More information

Find your happy place.

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Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

Standard room: $483+ for peak season & $190+ for offseason

Looking for an ultra-sophisticated getaway? Look no further than Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, an award-winning resort on 53 private acres housing casitas, suites and private estate homes, each with breathtaking views. Located in Paradise Valley, the luxury resort is also home to elements, Food Network star Chef Beau MacMillian’s restaurant–> More information

Next up: Things to do in Scottsdale

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