Happenings, Things To Do

31 Fun Things to do this Spring in L.A. (2018)

March 20, 2018 by Karin E. Baker
Swan pedal boat Echo Park Lake

New swan pedal boat at Echo Park Lake. Photo by Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

The first day of spring is here, and there’s no better time to start making plans in the city of angels! This season you’ll have the chance to visit a mermaid museum, put yourself in the shoes of a drug kingpin or a CIA recruit, sketch like Degas, watch classic films outdoors or in 1920s Hollywood movie palaces, or steer a swan boat. Also on the docket: Attend a food festival inside the Rose Bowl, see Flying Lotus at the Hollywood Bowl, or participate in a hyper-reality Star Wars experience.

Our list of some of the best spring events in Los Angeles will remind you of why this city is such a great place to live. Enjoy the season, and as always if you want to stay in the loop on all the best happenings around L.A., be sure to sign up for the We Like L.A. email newsletter.

1. Visit the Mermaid Museum – The interactive, Insta-worthy pop-up Mermaid Museum is coming to Hollywood from March 22-25 as part of a promotion of Freeform’s new series, Siren. -> More information

2. Suit Up for The VOID’s Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire – This hyper-reality experience combines virtual reality with physical environments to simulate a rebel mission to infiltrate a secret Imperial base. Now at the Glendale Galleria. -> More information

3. See What’s it Like to Work for a Drug Kingpin – Los Angeles’ newest escape room, Stash House, will allow you and your friends to get actively involved in a crime drama — with zero chance of going to prison. -> More information

4. Learn Degas’ Artistic Technique – During the Norton Simon Museum’s Night in Focus: Degas on March 24, view Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor, sketch dancers in the style of Degas while surrounded by his work, and more.  -> More information

5. Drink a Bunch of Beer – During the 9th Annual LA Beer Fest on April 7, sip a variety of unlimited samples of 200 beers from 80 different breweries. -> More information

6. Savor Delectable Food While Helping to Fight Homelessness – At Masters of Taste, taking place on the field of the Rose Bowl on May 7, some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, wineries and more will offer up handcrafted cocktails, exquisite bites, decadent desserts, fine wines and more, with 100% of the proceeds helping the homeless. -> More information

7. Take to the Streets – The latest CicLAvia event, Heart of the Foothills, will close certain streets to traffic on April 22, allowing Angelenos to bike, walk, and explore the off-the-beaten-path streets of San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Claremont. -> More information

8. Spend Time with Grunions – Go to Cabrillo Beach to watch a grunion run, attend the Grunion Fish-tival, or go to a Meet the Grunions event on various dates during spring 2018. -> More information

9. Improve Your Health – Check out Clean Made L.A. on April 21-22 for a vast marketplace, numerous speakers, yoga, a meditation hut and much more to help you create a healthier lifestyle. -> More information

10. Celebrate Bach’s 333rd Birthday – Visit Union Station on March 24 for a ten-hour marathon celebrating the music of the German baroque master — and enjoy free Starbuck’s coffee if you arrive early enough. -> More information

11. Fill up on Pancakes, Booze, & Art – When the Los Angeles Pancakes & Booze Art Show returns on April 28, check out the work of over 150 artists, listen to music, dine at the pancake bar, and sip some hooch. -> More information

12. Check out Art in Grand Park – At the Our L.A. Voices Arts Festival in DTLA, enjoy dance, music, theater, and visual art during a free public event April 27-29. -> More information

13. Celebrate The Dude – Watch a The Big Lebowski screening at the Wiltern or attend a Lebowski-inspired Bowling Party in Fountain Valley during Lebowskifest on May 25-26. -> More information

14. Party Like It’s 1977 – At the new immersive theater show Safehouse ’77, taking place at a Los Feliz bungalow until April 1, attend a “party” that’s actually a CIA recruitment. -> More information

15. Watch a Movie From a Rooftop – Rooftop Cinema Club is back in April, with screenings of both recent releases (Get Out, The Shape of Water) and enduring classics (Casablanca, All About Eve) atop the Montalban in Hollywood or LEVEL in DTLA. -> More information

16. Listen to Stories From a Secret Society of Women – Every month on the night of the full moon, the Secret Society of the Sisterhood (whose members include Pamela Des Barres and Mara Wilson) comes to the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery to share their most personal stories. -> More information 

17. Watch Classic Films at Hollywood Movie Palaces – The TCM Classic Film Festival returns to the Chinese Theater, the Egyptian Theater, the Cinerama Dome, and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel April 26-29 for four days of classic films, talks with the likes of Martin Scorcese and Mel Brooks, rare nitrate film screenings, and other events perfect for the classic film nerd. -> More information

18. See Neil Young, Jack White, Belle & Sebastian, Pretenders & More in Pasadena – Arroyo Seco Weekend returns to Pasadena June 23-24 for two days of live performances from some of the greatest bands of the past few decades. -> More information

19. Save the World (Virtually) – Visit Virtual Room in Hollywood for a group VR adventure in which you’ll go back in time to ensure a better future. -> More information

20. Ride a Swan in Echo Park – Savor the simple charm of steering a swan-shaped paddle boat around Echo Park Lake. -> More information

21. Enjoy the Return of Street Food Cinema – Listen to live music, dine from food trucks, and watch a movie screening outdoors when Street Food Cinema returns to parks all across the city. -> More information 

22. (Finally) Visit Candytopia – After a months-long delay, Candytopia finally brought its immersive, oh-so-sweet Insta-friendly experience to Santa Monica, where it will remain till July 4. -> More information

23. View Cherry Blossoms – Celebrate spring’s fragrant beauty during Los Angeles’ various cherry festivals. -> More information

24. Shop at an Immersive Pop-Up – Get stimulated during Na-Kel Smith’s multi-sensory adidas shopping experience in Downtown Los Angeles on March 24. -> More information 

25. Watch a Vintage Fashion Show as You Genteelly Sip Tea – Heritage Square Museum in Montecito Heights will host a Victorian tea and fashion show spotlighting 300 years of fashion history on April 14. -> More information

26. Decompress at a Sound Bath – Get bathed in healing sounds at Mystic Journey Crystals in Venice. -> More information

27. Purchase Limited-Edition Vinyl at Record Store Day – Buy limited-edition vinyl and more created especially for Record Store Day, an annual “holiday” for lovers of vinyl and indie record stores. -> More information

28. Visit a Shrine to Epic Fails – The Museum of Failure enjoyed a successful run in Downtown L.A. and has now made its way to Hollywood & Highland, where it will continue to celebrate such flops as Trump: The Game, Colgate brand lasagna, and Google Glass. -> More information

29. Step Back in Time to the Vaudeville Era – Watch a show featuring burlesque, snake charming, comedy, and aerial acrobatics, follow by a Speakeasy After Party, during The Return of Vaudeville at The Wiltern. -> More information

30. Stand up for Science – Support the environment, healthcare and scientific facts during The March for Science, returning to Downtown Los Angeles on April 14. -> More information

31. Listen to World Music at the Hollywood Bowl – KCRW is hosting six events making up the World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl this spring (and summer). The first event, on June 17, will feature Flying Lotus, Little Dragon, and another act to be announced. -> More information





Crustacean in Beverly Hills Reopened This Week After a $10 Million Remodel

March 16, 2018 by Karin E. Baker
Tuna Cigar Box

Tuna Cigar Box at Crustacean. Photo by Wonho Frank Lee

One of Beverly Hills’ most notable restaurants, Crustacean just reopened after an eight-month, $10 million remodel. A preview dinner for media this week offered a glimpse at what the public can expect from the new Crustacean.

The meal began off with tuna “cigars” — egg rolls filled with raw tuna and macadamia nut. With ash made of tubiko caviar, the cigars are beautifully served in a cigar box fragrant with instant smoke.

Other previewed items included a decadent roasted bone marrow with escargot imported from Burgundy; Crustacean’s version of Surf and Turf, pairing Wagyu carpaccio with wild salmon sashimi; braised lamb dumplings with galangal; and A5 Wagyu cooked on a pink Himalayan salt block. Also of note (and vegan as well), the heart of palm “crab cakes” and the karate salad made of kohlrabi, black truffle, crisped Kennebec potato, and garlic blossom.

Heart of Palm Crab Cake

Heart of Palm Crab Cake. Photo by Wonho Frank Lee

As part of the overhaul the bar program has been completely revamped. New offerings include High Tea Penicillin (black-tea infused Chivas, ginger, honey syrup, honey juice, and lavender) and the Artichoke Old Fashioned (composed of Cynar, bourbon, cognac, and five-spice syrup).

The decor, formerly featuring lots of red and reminiscent of French colonial Vietnam, has been majorly updated and now feels far more modern, light, and bright.

Crustacean’s hallmarks have long been the aquarium pathway built into the floor that’s home to a school of koi, and the famous garlic-roasted crab served with garlic noodles. The aquarium now wends its way even farther through the restaurant, while the crab and noodles are still a major draw — and deservedly so.

Crustacean Beverly Hills Press Preview - Cocktails

Cocktails at Crustacean Beverly Hills. Photo by Ian Bailey Photography.

Crustacean’s owners, the An Family, fled Vietnam in 1975 for San Francisco. Though they weren’t chefs back in Vietnam — the family actually employed their own chefs in their homes — Crustacean’s matriarch, Helene An, learned to cook in a family-owned Italian restaurant in the Bay Area to help support the family. Eventually a star chef was born, leading to the Ans opening  their fusion-Vietnamese restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1997.

The Ans confided that the property will soon be home to a second restaurant, the private Da Lat Rose (named for a beautiful city in Vietnam known for its profusion of flowers) that will open upstairs in May.

Crustacean is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays for dinner only. The restaurant is located at 468 N. Bedford Drive in Beverly Hills.




Things To Do

24 Fun Things to do for St. Patrick’s Day in L.A. ( 2018)

March 12, 2018 by Karin E. Baker

Have you made your St. Patrick’s Day plans in Los Angeles yet? March 17 falls on a Saturday this year, making St. Paddy’s an even more carefree holiday than usual. Get the party started early with a Leprechaun 25th anniversary screening in Los Feliz, or begin your day the healthy way and engage in a 5K in Redondo Beach. Or, check out a pub crawl — they’re happening in Hollywood, Downtown L.A., Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Elsewhere you can swing dance in Orange, visit DTLA’s art deco jewel, the Cicada Club, for a show that includes ’30-style tap-dancing chorus girls, enjoy corned beef, four different stouts and horse-racing at Santa Anita, chow on corned beef tacos at Angel City Brewery, or sip green beer in Marina del Rey.

Check out our rundown below for some of Los Angeles’ best St. Patrick’s Day events.

1. St. Paddy’s with a Tiki Twist

What’s even better than $5 Guinness and Jameson specials? Change things up at Tiki No in North Hollywood on St. Patrick’s Day, where you can sip those enduring Irish potations, along with tiki classics like the Scorpion Bowl, Navy Grog, and the Suffering Bastard.

2. Listen to Pogues & Guns N’ Roses Tribute Bands in Hollywood

Proclaiming itself “the biggest party in Hollywood,” the Cahuenga Block Party at Hollywood and Cahuenga will feature live music all day (including Dirty Old Town, a Pogues tribute, and all-girl GNR tribute band Paradise Ktty), along with outdoor lounges, about a dozen DJs, an outdoor stage and a free drink with your early-bird ticket purchase.

3. Swing Dance While Surrounded by Art Deco Splendor

Downtown’s gorgeous Cicada Club, an art deco restaurant/nightclub built in the ’20s (it began as a posh haberdashery) is hosting a special St. Patrick’s Day show led by Johnny Holiday. A singer who performs in the style of Bing Crosby (Holiday’s uncle), this modern-day crooner will perform with his 11-piece dance orchestra. The show also features The Honey Taps, a charming troupe of ‘30s-style chorus girls.

4. Stout Tasting & Horse Racing at Santa Anita Park

The SGV’s landmark horse-racing track will celebrate the luck of the Irish in style with their Trackside Celebration. Your ticket gets you four 3 oz. stout tastings, a full craft beer, clubhouse admission, and access to trackside seating. Get more info and access to Goldstar (affiliate) discount tickets here. The day will also feature a special Irish trackside menu.

5. Run a 5K in the South Bay

Work up a sweat instead of (or before) carousing during the St. Patrick’s Day 5K in Redondo Beach. The course winds its way through Redondo’s scenic waterfront area.

6. Nosh on Corned Beef Tacos & Listen to Irish Music in a Downtown Brewery

St. Patrick’s Day at Angel City Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles will feature corned beef tacos, Irish coffee stout, Irish music from Opera on Tap Los Angeles, Americana rock band The Sound of Ghost… and NO COVER CHARGE!

7. Casey’s St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival

Casey’s St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival will shut down four blocks in downtown featuring DJs, dancing, Irish whiskey and beer, and more. The street fest will run from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

8. Party at a Westside Irish Pub

This 15-hour party at The Irish Times Pub in Palms begins at 9 a.m., allowing customers time to savor a hearty Irish breakfast. In addition, listen to hours of live music (including Celtic tunes from Red Wing Social Club), partake of Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage, play games and enjoy other festivities.

9. Vegan Food, Green Beer & Live Music in Marina del Rey

The St. Paddy’s bash at Brennan’s in Marina del Rey will feature both vegan and non-vegan food specials, along with green beer and live music from five bands.

10. 7th Annual Rock & Reilly’s St. Paddy’s Day Block Party

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while benefiting a good cause (MVP: Merging Vets & Players) at this Sunset Strip pub’s back lot shindig, back for a seventh year, which will offer partygoers 100 kegs of green beer, DJs, food, and lots of games.

11. Imbibe at Seven of Hollywood’s Coolest Bars

Visit seven of Hollywood’s coolest Bars during MiniBar’s “Hollywood Crawl of Fame.” Attendees will enjoy cocktail specials at this well-curated selection of Hollywood’s finest bars, with live Irish music and a party at the finish line. Buy a ticket for $25 — participating venues include MiniBar Hollywood, Ever Bar, The Parker Room, Sassafras, Sunset & Vinyl, Lost Property and Three Clubs.

12. Bagpipes, Guinness, Pac Man & More in DTLA

Brack Shop Tavern’s St. Patrick’s Day will include live bagpipes from 3-6pm, corned beef sliders, $7 Guinness pints, $5 green Budweiser, $10 Irish car bombs and $8 Jameson shots, along with Brack Shop’s usual game room fun: Pac Man, ping pong, darts and more.

13. Get Terrorized by a Leprechaun in Los Feliz

Start St. Patrick’s Day bright and early with a midnight screening of Leprechaun at the Vista Theatre — a beautiful 95-year-old vintage cinema in Los Feliz — in honor of the cult classic’s 25th anniversary.

14. Ten-Venue Hollywood Block Party & Pub Crawl

This pub crawl starts at St. Felix in Hollywood, then continues on to The Outpost, The Room, Pig ‘n’ Whistle and much more. Tickets are $18 and earn you some free welcome shots, amazing drink specials and access to the St. Pat’s photo booth.

15. Watch Burlesque in Long Beach

Enjoy the art of the tease when the Dirty Little Secrets burlesque troupe titillates and tantalizes guests at their “Getting’ Lucky” St. Paddy’s-themed show at Harvelle’s in Long Beach.

16. Engage in a Pub Crawl Through Downtown Los Angeles

Enjoy welcome shots with drink purchases, along with other tempting bargains, during this DTLA crawl that includes Library Bar, Broadway Bar, Crocker Club, Beelman’s, Golden Road Brewing, The Association, Sixth Street Tavern, Los Angeles Biergarten and other watering holes.

17. Ten-Venue Hollywood Block Party & Pub Crawl

Happening both the day before St. Patrick’s Day and on the day itself, you can sip drink specials like $2 beers, $3 well drinks, and $4 shots during this crawl that begins at either the classic Pig ‘n’ Whistle or The Outpost. Goldstar is offering a limited number of discount tickets to this crawl, so grab ’em while they last.

18. Swing & Latin & Ballroom Dance Party in Orange

Phil’s Ballroom Dance Studio in Orange is hosting a festive St. Patrick’s Day dance with live music. Don’t know how to dance? No worries — a pre-party swing dance lesson is part of the fun. In addition, this celebration at the oldest dance school in the O.C. will include giveaways, light refreshments and punch. Goldstar is offering discounted tickets while supplies last.

19. Bar Hop in Newport Beach

Engage in a day and night of Newport Beach bar hopping this St. Paddy’s. Your pub crawl map will guide you to numerous area clubs and bars where you’ll encounter specials on Irish whiskey and more, along with plenty of music. Our friends at Goldstar are offering some discounted tickets to this Luck of the Irish crawl.

20. Waterfront Patio Party at Whiskey Reds in Marina del Rey

Breathe in the ocean air and enjoy the views of MDR and the Pacific Ocean during the 5th Annual St. Patty’s Patio Party at Whiskey Red’s. For $20, you’ll enjoy small bites, dancing, DJs, party favors and drink special access: $4 green beer, $5 Jameson Shots, $7 Guinness, and $8 Irish Car Bombs

21. Feast on Dark Beers at the Stout Festival in Torrance

Are you bored with IPAs? At the N’owt but Stout Festival, taking place at Yorkshire Square Brewery in Torrance, enjoy exceptional dark beers, on cask and keg, from breweries hand-selected by the venue’s head brewer, Andy Black. You’ll sip pour after pour and get a stout beer education along the way.

22. Imbibe at Golden Road Brewing

Beginning at 10 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and continuing until 2 a.m., Golden Road Brewing will offer $5 pints of Irish Red Ale and Nitro Stout or $15 select pitchers. Live music begins at 2 p.m. with the band Green With Envy.

23. Party at One of L.A.’s Oldest Restaurants

One of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles — a longtime favorite of Walt Disney — the Tam O’Shanter will be home to an epic St. Patrick’s Day party. The party and live music begin at noon in a special tented area in the parking lot, with entry to the music tent is just $5. Or spring for VIP entry — it’s $175, but that gets you exclusive seating on the newly restored patio, five drink tickets, two hours of buffet access, VIP-only drink specials, and special VIP-only raffles with prizes from Tullamore Dew Whiskey, Carlsberg Brewery and Lawry’s Restaurants.

24. Pub Crawl Along Main Street in Santa Monica

This famed Santa Monica pub crawl happens on both March 16 and 17 includes drink specials at around a dozen venues along Main Street. The crawl will feature $3 beers, $4 well drinks and $5 shots.




Food, Happenings, Things To Do

35 Things to do for Valentine’s Day in L.A. (2018)

February 9, 2018 by Karin E. Baker

Valentine’s Day 2018 is just a few days away, and whether you love or loathe the annual holiday, the pressure is on to make it special.

Fortunately, whether you’re attached, celebrating Galentine’s Day with your posse, or single and looking to mingle, Los Angeles has plenty of activities that’ll have you feeling the love, from special V-Day menus at some of the City of Angels’ best restaurants to masked Mexican wrestling and screenings of classic films.

Check out our handy list below (numbered only for reference, listed in no particular order).


Photo Credit: Diana Kuo

Valentine’s Day Events in L.A. – 2018

1. Watch Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck fall in love in Rome during Cinespia’s screening of the 1953 classic Roman Holiday at the opulent Los Angeles Theatre in DTLA. Don’t forget to dress to impress and take a selfie in front of the crystal-bestrewn fountain on the second floor.

2. Ace Hotel in DTLA is offering several V-Day choices. Their restaurant, Best Girl, is offering a seafood feast. Get gussied up at the DIY corsage and boutonniere station. Watch a preview screening of F*ck Yes season 2 during this mixer and fundraiser, or enjoy free comedy.

3. During A Romantic Evening of Dance & Music at Union Station, enjoy a kizomba dance lesson, then dance to live music by Ricardo Lemvo y Makina Loca at one of Los Angeles’ most beautiful attractions.

4. Watch Diana Ross swan down the runway in the camp classic Mahogany, screening free at The Hammer in Westwood.

5. Indulge in divine decadence at the Ritz Carlton’s spa. “For the Love of Ice Cream” features a facial, scrub, mani-pedi, and couples’ massage which can be enhanced with a luxurious and fragrant ice cream sundae bath. Each treatment offers classic ice cream and sorbet flavors via organic oils, scrubs, and fresh ingredients to nourish skin and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit.

6. Mexican masked wrestling, burlesque and comedy converge during Lucha VaVOOM’s Valentine’s spectacle!

7. Los Angeles will be a true hotbed of burlesque this Valentine’s Day, and Goldstar Events is offering discounted tickets (while supplies last) to many of them. Check out The Lalas, The Damn Devillez, The Dollface Dames, Dirty Little Secrets or TRiPtease Burlesque.

8. Listen to jazz with a French accent when Angel City Brewery hosts a night of Gypsy Jazz in the Arts District.

9. Sigh over the romance of two canoodling canines when the classic Disney film Lady and the Tramp returns to Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre.

10. Ever Bar at the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Hollywood is throwing an anti-Valentine’s Day party on February 14. From 4-7 p.m., enjoy drink specials, conversation heart cookies decorated with sayings like “Meh” and “#singleforlife,” and the opportunity to “shred your ex,” courtesy of a paper shredder ready to destroy photos, love letters and other mementos to help you leave the past behind.

11. Spend V-Day doing something different and partake in a candle-making workshop. Learn how to make scented lotion candles — and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine — at We Olive in Pasadena.

12. Listen to a pair of piano players perform audience requests during this Valentine’s edition of Dueling Pianos at St. Rocke in Hermosa Beach.

Pie is for lovers.

A post shared by Winston Pies (@winstonpies) on

Valentine’s Day Dining Options – 2018

13. If you’re a fan of classic Hollywood, your best choice for Valentine’s Day might be Musso and Frank. Celebrating a century in business in 2019, this onetime haunt of stars like Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin (he used to park his horse outside) is offering a special V-Day menu that includes old-school dishes like vichyssoise, oysters on the half shell, seared foie gras, roasted venison chop and s’mores for dessert.

14. Present your Valentine with a sweet treat, such as FrankieLucy Bakeshop’s Cupid’s Poop, a V-Day version of their famous Unicorn Poop, a strawberry and vanilla meringue; or Pop Hearts (heart-shaped hand pies) or a Pie Gram from Winston Pies.

15. Riverside’s elegant Mission Inn, a historic Mission Revival-style hotel dating back to 1876, is offering Festa dell’Amore, beginning with a stroll through “Lover’s Lane,” its historic walkway beautifully illuminated with red, pink and white lights. There will also be live serenades, romantic Valentine’s dinners (the lobster bisque is incredible) and themed cocktails in the Inn’s four restaurants.

16. The Venue, a chic subterranean restaurant in Koreatown, is offering a special Valentine’s Day menu that includes a sparkling cocktail, your choice of starters, including oysters with uni, a main course such as filet mignon or 5-spice duck breast, and chocolate-covered strawberries or chocolate budino for dessert. The Venue is known for its superior food, amazing cocktails and 13 private karaoke rooms.

17. Enjoy a truly elegant dinner at Beverly Hills’ iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where its two restaurants, the Michelin-starred CUT and THE Boulevard, are offering curated menus of exquisite food, with choices including roasted bone marrow, Wagyu beef tartare with oscietra caviar, and Maine diver scallops.

18. On the other hand, if your taste or budget is more Netflix and chill than Beverly Hills Wagyu, Mickey’s Deli in Hermosa Beach is offering a heart-shaped pizza on February 14 for $15.99.

19. Mi Corazon, a newly opened Mexican restaurant in Silverlake with a goth vibe, is offering a $49 prix-fixe menu, with cocktails offering including the Queen of Hearts (gin mare, aperol, St. Germain, and lemon) and La Granada Real, with mezcal, pomegranate-rosemary shrub and champagne.

20. Instead of Valentine’s Day dinner, try afternoon “Tea for Two” in the Living Room of The Peninsula Beverly Hills. $90 per person, this themed afternoon tea includes traditional high tea offerings, from savory finger sandwiches to sweet, bite-sized pastries and scones.

21. WP24, Wolfgang Puck’s modern Chinese eatery on the 24th floor of the Ritz Carlton in DTLA, offers incredible views, along with 3, 4 or 7-course tasting menus featuring dishes like Peking Duck, Sterling sturgeon caviar, and Fanny Bay oysters. To dine with more privacy, book a private rooftop cabana!

22. Spending Valentine’s Day with a group of friends? Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks is offering a great deal only on this day: a pitcher of margaritas will be just $1 with the purchase of four entrees. Dating back to 1956, this historic restaurant’s owners previously operated eateries in Tijuana and Olvera Street. Try the filet mignon tacos, lobster enchiladas, and the esquites.

23. Downtown’s gorgeous Le Petit Paris, a brasserie owned by restauranteurs from Cannes, is offering a romantic three-course dinner inspired by Adam and Eve.

24. Savor a Valentine’s Day sundae at Halo Top. The beloved ice cream brand’s only shop, located at Westfield Topanga, is offering a medley of red velvet ice cream, brownie bits, fresh strawberries, and drizzles of chocolate and strawberry on a red “puffle”cone for $9.95.

25. Pasadena’s exceptional Celestino Ristorante is offering classic Italian dishes especially for Valentine’s Day, including heart-shaped ravioli, rack of lamb with balsamic and mint, and pappardelle with pheasant and mushroom.

26. The Raymond and 1886, a beautifully maintained 19th century cottage with some of the best cocktails in the city, offers a four-course prix-fixe menu, with choices such as Japanese gold hamachi, Oaxacan corn soup, roasted duck, and passionfruit chocolate cake.

27. mar’sel, located in Rancho Palos Verdes at Terranea Resort, is offering a 5-course lover’s menu that includes caviar and burrata, butter-poached Lobster, Wagyu NY strip steak, strawberry shortcake, and more for $155 per person.

28. The InterContinental in Century City is offering lovebirds a dinner that’s both elegant and a good value. Enjoy three courses, including dishes such as lobster bisque, sous vide brisket or house-made passionfruit cheesecake, for $50 per person, or $70 each with wine pairings.

29. Del Frisco’s Grille in Santa Monica is offering a decadent special for Valentine’s Day: a 12 oz. Wagyu Bone-In Steak topped with truffle butter for $59, perfect to pair with a glass from their well-curated wine list.

30. TART Restaurant at the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in West Hollywood is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a three-course, $40 per person menu, featuring offerings like grilled pork belly, bone-in short rib with blue cheese cremeux and Atlantic trout with lentils and fennel butter.

31. Union in Pasadena is offering a prix-fixe dinner for two from Chef Bruce Kalman. $75 per person, the menu includes chilled Hama Hama Blue Pool Oysters, Saffron Gnocchetti Sardi, Pitman Farms Roast Duck and lemon verbena panna cotta.

32. Lawry’s the Prime Rib, the iconic Beverly Hills restaurant, is offering a romantic dinner for two for $125 featuring a glass of champagne for each person, the famed spinning bowl salad, California cut of prime rib (or seasonal fish) with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach or corn, plus Yorkshire pudding and chocolate-covered strawberries to share.

33. Santa Monica’s Shangri-La Hotel, a boutique hotel noted for its gorgeous art deco architecture, is offering a three-course dinner with live music and a rose for each lady for $60 per person.

34. Culver City wine bar Hayden is offering Happy Hour all night long, with select glasses of wine at $8 and oysters for $1.50.

35. Santa Monica’s True Food Kitchen is offering a selection of Valentine-themed cocktails, each $12, on their “Sip With Someone Special” menu. Come sip Hot in the Dark (lime, ixá organic tequila, jalapeño, pomegranate), War of the Roses (rose petal, lime, pomegranate infused vodka, prosecco), Melts My Heart (bourbon, sweet vermouth, campari ice cubes) and more.

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day 2018? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!








Food, Happenings

Tickets for the ‘Saved by the Bell’ Diner Pop-up Go on Sale This Friday

January 31, 2018 by Karin E. Baker

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting more news about the local outpost of Saved by the Max — the Saved by the Bell-inspired pop-up diner that held Chicagoans in thrall for an entire year — you’re in luck. The official Los Angeles opening date of May 1 has finally been announced, and tickets will go on sale this Friday, February 2 at 9 a.m.

Though Saved by the Max will look like the sitcom’s The Max diner, with its neon decor, jukebox, and vintage video games, there’s more to this eatery than mere ‘90s nostalgia. Its chef-driven menu was created by Brian Fisher, who helmed the kitchen at Michelin-starred restaurant Schwa in Chicago’s Wicker Park.

As in Chi-town, the menu here will offer dishes like the Kelly Kapowski Monte Cristo, A.C. Sliders, the Bayside Burger, the Preppy BLT and Mac & Screech.

Image via Saved by the Max

As we told you last fall, Saved by the Max will be located at the West Hollywood Gateway shopping center at La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. “First semester” will run through early October, with plans for the pop-up to eventually make its way around the country.

Each tickets includes admission and dinner. As Saved by the Max was a smash success in Chicago, reservations are highly encouraged. Walk-ups will be limited.





There’s a Total Lunar Eclipse on January 31 and Griffith Observatory is Hosting a Public Viewing Event

January 23, 2018 by Karin E. Baker

A total lunar eclipse will occur on January 31, 2018 and this blood moon will be a supermoon and fully visible in Los Angeles.

So where would one go in L.A. to find an ideal view of such an event? Griffith Park, of course. Specifically, the Griffith Observatory, which will host a free public viewing in the wee hours of the morning from 3:45 to 7:00 a.m (weather permitting!). Observatory employees and local volunteers will staff telescopes and binoculars to help visitors enjoy superior viewing of the moon during eclipse time. According to, the maximum eclipse will occur at approximately 5:29 a.m.

The Observatory grounds and its parking lot will open at 3:45 a.m., as will the cart for The Café at the End of the Universe. The Observatory building will be closed during the viewing.

Lunar eclipse from Griffith Observatory

Lunar eclipse as seen from Griffith Observatory. Photo by Michael R. Perry via flickr cc

Moderate-to-large crowds are expected, and as always at the Observatory in recent years, parking will be limited. If you aim to attend be prepared for road congestion and long uphill walks to the Observatory. Lawn furniture will not be allowed, but you’re welcome to bring a blanket, which you may need with overnight lows expected in the high 40’s or low 50’s. If rain is forecast for the eclipse as of Tuesday, January 30, at 3:00 p.m., the Observatory will cancel the event. Be sure to check out the Griffith Observatory website for possible notice of cancelation before attending.

Keep in mind if skies are clear the eclipse should be visible to the naked eye throughout SoCal. It’s safe to view a lunar eclipse without eye protection, and a telescope is not necessary. This particular blood moon will be the only lunar eclipse visible in L.A. until 2019.




News, Tips

Reminder: Metro Will Offer Free Rides on Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve

December 24, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

How’s this for a holiday gift from the city of Los Angeles: Enjoy a few drinks this Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve without worry about finding a designated driver or dealing with Uber and Lyft surge pricing.

As in years past Metro will be offering fare-free rides late into the night on both holiday evenings. On Christmas Eve, Metro rail and bus lines will be free of charge from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. on December 25.

Then, on New Year’s Eve, ride Metro rail and bus lines free of charge from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. on January 1, 2018. All rail lines will run every 20 minutes. All Metro Rail Line Stations with fare gates will be unlatched and fare boxes and validators will not deduct fare.

Pico Metro Station

Pico Station in Downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Brian Champlin

On NYE, in addition to the free hours from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m., Metro will operate 24-hour, overnight service on Metro Rail, plus the Orange line (the rapid bus line that makes its way across the Valley from North Hollywood to Woodland Hills or Chatsworth) and the Silver line (a limited-stop bus line which travels from El Monte and Downtown L.A. all the way to San Pedro). Get more details on riding Metro on New Year’s Eve here.

If your New Year’s Eve plans include attending the N.Y.E.L.A. celebration at Grand Park, you’ll be happy to know that there will be enhanced Metro rail service to accommodate the thousands attending the free DTLA festivities. In addition, show your TAP card at a Grand Park information booth and get a free pair of 2018 party glasses.

As always stay safe, and enjoy the holiday festivities as we mark the turn to 2018.




Things To Do

Here’s a Huge List of Things To Do for New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles (2017 -> 2018)

December 20, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching the time to make plans is exactly RIGHT NOW! Thankfully, Los Angeles has options.

NYE 2018 in L.A. promises something for everyone. This year includes free bashes at Grand Park and Angel City Brewery, a black tie gala in Beverly Hills, swing dancing at Knott’s Berry Farm, Sir-Mix-a-Lot at the Queen Mary, fireworks in Marina Del Rey, a daytime NYE event for kids, and MUCH more.

As always, follow the links below for more info. And if you know of any other worthy events happening we ought to include then feel free to leave a comment.

New Year's Eve 2017 Aboard the Queen Mary

New Year’s Eve 2017 Aboard the Queen Mary. Photo credit: The Queen Mary

New Year’s Eve To-Dos 2017 -> 2018

Price noted in parenthesis. Numbered for reference only, listed in no particular order.

1. N.Y.E.L.A. at Grand Park (free)

2. Dita Von Teese’s New Year’s Eve Gala Show at the Ace Hotel ($49.50-225)

3. Prohibition NYE at Union Station ($175)

4. The Raymond’s/1886 New Year’s Eve Bash ($100)

5. New Year’s Eve on The Queen Mary with Sir Mix-a-Lot, with discount tickets available through Goldstar ($119/$72 while supplies last)

6. Angel City Brewery Presents No Cover New Year’s Eve (free)

7. Bootie LA: New YEARS EVE 2018 at Resident DTLA ($30)

8. Hermosa Beach New Year’s Eve Celebration With Ball Drop & Live Music (free)

9. Dave Chappelle & John Meyer at The Forum ($80-395)

10. Hudson House’s New Year’s Eve ’70s Disco Party ($40)

11. Classic Hollywood Roosevelt New Year’s Eve ($155-185)

12. New Year’s Eve Ball at The Edison ($100)

13. Havana Nights NYE Celebration at the Shade Hotel ($95)

14. New Year’s Eve Night Dive at the Aquarium of the Pacific ($25-30)

15. Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve at The LA Zoo ($40-69)

16. Brighter Future NYE Party ($20-95)

17. Marina del Rey New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Glow Party (Free)

18. Insomniac’s Countdown NYE ($99-319)

19. New Year’s Eve with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox at Walt Disney Hall ($75-175)

20. Magicopolis’ Magical NYE, with discount tickets available through Goldstar ($75/$37.50 while supplies last)

21. Speakeasy Fireworks Long Beach New Year’s Eve Cruise ($70-129)

22. New Year’s Eve Black Tie Gala at Montage Beverly Hills ($395)

23. NYE 2018 Cleopatra’s Ball at Hollywood Egyptian Theatre ($109-149)

24. Minimal Effort NYE at The MacArthur ($59-149)

25. New Year’s Eve Ball at the Continental Club ($40)

26. Dollface Dames Burlesque Bash at Bareburger ($40, or $20 discount tickets available through Goldstar while supplies last)

27. Kidspace Noon Year’s Eve at the Rose Bowl (free)

28. Knott’s Berry Farm NYE with Swing Dance, Salsa & Fireworks (Included in admission price of $49-79)

29. New Year’s Eve at the Waterfront in Downtown Long Beach (free)

30. BOOM! Drug and Alcohol-free New Year’s Eve at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium (free)




Food, Happenings

There’s a Candytopia Experience Coming to L.A. in December

December 11, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

If you’ve dreamed of the Candy Land game come to life, or visiting the candy-festooned gingerbread house from “Hansel and Gretel” (minus the cannibalistic wicked witch), then you’re in luck: Candytopia hits Los Angeles on December 19.

The latest pop-up experience merging Instagramability with sugar consumption, Candytopia — in the vein of The Museum of Ice Cream or Happy Place —  promises immersion in a candy-coated wonderland.

Various rooms and installations replete with candy-inspired creations like marshmallow tsunamis and flying unicorn pigs will provide a bounty of selfie opportunities, while luscious edible surprises will be available for consumption.

Tap into your sweet tooth at LA Hangar Studios in Boyle Heights, which will play host to Candytopia until March 15.

Tickets are currently on sale but with most experience rooms, they are projected to sell out quickly so we recommend grabbing your tickets ASAP. General admission is $30, or $23 for kiddos 3 to 12, while children 3 and under are free. Samples of sweetness, include in the ticket price, will be dispensed throughout the journey.

Eye candy… 👀 Visit our fantastical factory of yum. #Candytopia

A post shared by Candytopia (@thecandytopia) on

Candytopia was created by Jackie Sorkin, best known for TLC’s show Candy Queen. Her over-the-top sweet creations have garnered a coveted client list that includes Oprah and Katy Perry.





There’s a Holiday Movie Edition of Rooftop Cinema Club All Throughout December

December 1, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Savor the magic of the holiday season, cinematically speaking, when The Ultimate Holiday Movie Series comes to Rooftop Cinema Club at the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood!

Rooftop Cinema Club made its debut in Los Angeles in 2015 and has since become one of L.A.’s most beloved outdoor movie events. This new holiday-themed series debuts on December 1 with the charming Will Ferrell comedy Elf and continues most nights through December 23.

Part of what makes Rooftop Cinema Club so special is the unique venue. Perched high above Hollywood and Vine, Rooftop Cinema Club atop the Montalbán offers great views, supremely comfortable lawn chairs, audio via wireless headphones, and blankets for chilly nights, if needed. Comforting hot drinks, including mulled wine, will be available for purchase.

Presented in conjunction with Time Out, this series of 29 different screenings will focus on cherished seasonal films, going back as far as the 1940s (It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street) to as recent as 2015 (Todd Haynes’ Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara). In addition, enjoy ’80s classics like A Christmas StoryWhen Harry Met Sally, Die Hard, Scrooged, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and Trading Places, eternal Tim Burton films like Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, or the delightfully lowbrow Bad Santa.

The complete schedule is listed below. You can purchase tickets via the official website.

Happy holidays!

Rooftop Film Club Los Angeles

Image via Roof Cinema Club

December 1: Elf (7 p.m. )

December 1: When Harry Met Sally (9 p.m.)

December 2: Muppet Christmas Carol (5 p.m.)

December 2: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (8 p.m.)

December 3: Miracle on 34th Street (5 p.m.)

December 3: Carol (7:30 p.m)

December 5: It’s a Wonderful Life (8 p.m.)

December 6: Love Actually (8 p.m.)

December 7: Die Hard (8 p.m.)

December 8: Home Alone (7 p.m.)

December 8: Scrooged (9 p.m.)

December 9: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (5 p.m.)

December 9: Trading Places (8 p.m.)

December 10: Muppet Christmas Carol (5 p.m.)

December 10: Nightmare Before Christmas (7:30 p.m.)

December 12: It’s a Wonderful Life (8 p.m.)

December 13: Love Actually (8 p.m.)

December 14: White Christmas (8 p.m.)

December 15: Elf (7 p.m.)

December 15: A Christmas Story (9 p.m.)

December 17: Edward Scissorhands (5 p.m.)

December 17: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (7:30 p.m.)

December 19: The Holiday (8 p.m.)

December 20: Bad Santa (8 p.m.)

December 21: Love Actually (8 p.m.)

December 22: Home Alone (7 p.m.)

December 22: Home Alone II: Lost in New York (9 p.m.)

December 23: Elf (5 p.m.)

December 23: It’s a Wonderful Life (8 p.m.)

The Ricardo Montalbán Theatre is located at 1615 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.




Happenings, Things To Do

The Museum of Failure is Opening in Los Angeles This Weekend

November 30, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

A shrine to epic fails is about to make its mark on Los Angeles.

The Museum of Failure, which began earlier this year in Sweden, has now hit the road, allowing Americans to discover the stories behind these 100-plus examples of major flops.

The L.A. edition of the MoF debuts at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum on December 2. Featured fails range from Donald Trump’s board game and the orbitoclast lobotomy to Colgate lasagna, Harley-Davidson Perfume, the Apple Newton, the Betamax, and Google Glass. Each was unveiled with great hope for success, and each one sank like a lead balloon. Learn about these, along with dozens of other product and service fiascos, at this provocative new museum.

Image via Museum of Failure

Delve into disaster at The Museum of Failure, located at 900 E. 4th Street in Downtown’s Arts District, through February 4.

General admission tickets are $15. Goldstar is offering a limited number of discounted tickets so grab them before they sell out!

Exhibition hours are as follows:

Wednesday: 2 to 6 p.m.
Thursday/Friday: 2 to 8 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday: noon to 7 p.m.
Closed: Mondays/Tuesdays plus Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.




Food, Happenings

Eataly LA Opens This Friday

November 2, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Rejoice, Angelenos! The long-awaited Los Angeles outlet of beloved Italian marketplace Eataly is finally opening its doors on Friday, November 3.

Located at Westfield Century City, this bastion of Italian cuisine will feature three gleaming floors of high-quality Italian pleasures.

Eataly LA includes four restaurants, two cafes, nine takeaway counters, and a small cooking school run by Lidia Bastianich where you can view food demos and get hands-on practice in the art of preparing fine Italian cuisine.

One of the most notable eateries here is Il Pesce Cucina, a seafood restaurant focusing on sustainability from Michael Cimarusti of Providence.

The marketplace will sell an astounding 2,000 different artisanal food products imported from Italy, including nearly 200 types of olive oil, gelato, baked goods (including squid ink bread!), bronze-cut pasta, hand-made mozzarella and much more.

In addition, you can choose from a selection of top-quality edible local goods, including over 100 California wines and tasty produce and products specially selected from small farmers across the state.

While you’re there, you’ll want to check out the mozzarella station, the lasagna station, the meatball station, a station featuring fried items, a chocolate counter offering 50 varieties of single-wrapped Venchi chocolates, and take home a Neapolitan-style pizza flash-cooked (in 90 seconds) in gold ovens.

Our advice: get there early on opening day — complimentary mozzarella will be given to the first 100 people in line!