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 15.

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.

Candy for breakfast? 🍳🥓🙊 Ssshhh don't tell your mother. #Candytopia #Breakfast #SaturdayMornings

A post shared by Candytopia (@thecandytopia) on

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.

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!





There’s Going to Be a ‘Vampire Walk’ to Honor Tom Petty in The Valley on October 19

October 12, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Tom Petty fans reeled when word got out that the iconic rocker died on October 2. On Oct. 19 a particular sect of devotees will honor Petty with a parade through Sherman Oaks. The wrinkle? They’re all vampires!

The event is dubbed the ‘Tom Petty Memorial Vampire Walk’ by its organizer, onetime Valley goth kid Mary Soracco. Having long related to the references to Valley vampires, Soracco decided a Petty tribute was in order after his passing.

Among Petty’s most famous songs, Free Fallin’ has deep ties to The Valley. There is of course the now iconic lyric “All the vampires walking through the Valley, move west down Ventura Boulevard,”  The song’s video was also filmed in a San Fernando Valley neighborhood, with the Casa de Cadillac dealership, in all its Googie glory, figuring prominently.

The walk/singalong will begin at the Sherman Oaks Galleria at 7 p.m. You may wonder, why not near Ventura and Beverly Glen, where Casa de Cadillac still stands? Soracco decided that growing interest in the event would make parking in that bustling area impossible, and so she chose the mall, with its bounty of parking spaces, instead.

The event’s Facebook page currently shows more than 1500 people have declared they’re going or interested. All are welcome to join in.

The group will meet on the steps of the Galleria, at Ventura and Sepulveda — just look for the sign declaring “Vampires.”




Cool Spots, History, sightseeing

The Academy Film Museum Looks Like It’s Going to Be Amazing

October 11, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Good news for lovers of film and local history: Los Angeles is now even closer to finally being home to a world-class film museum. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has been in the works for years and while it’s not opening until 2019, more details were unveiled during a recent hard-hat tour on the site of what should be one of the finest museum spaces in the City of Angels.

Why is this so exciting?

To begin with, the museum will be housed within one of L.A.’s most architecturally significant structures located in the heart of Museum Row along Wilshire Blvd. Built in 1939, the May Company Building is a prime example of Streamline Moderne architecture and is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

Academy Museum Facade Rendering

Academy Museum Facade Rendering, Courtesy of Academy Museum

The building’s beauty is being enhanced by architect Renzo Piano, who will take advantage of the existing statement-making four-story gold-tiled cylinder backed by black granite that overlooks the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire. The plan is to transform the interiors and supplement the building with an additional structure: a glass and concrete structure housing a 1000-seat state-of-the-art movie theater, topped by a glass-domed terrace offering spectacular views of the Hollywood Hills and the Hollywood sign. Visitors will be able to move between the two connected buildings via glass walkways.

Meant to evoke a type of dreamscape, the museum will be a film hub for L.A. and quite possibly the epicenter of the film world. A second movie theater will be located in the main building, hereafter known as the Saban Building, as thanks to local philanthropists Haim and Cheryl Saban, who recently donated $50 million to the project. The museum will encourage lingering and sociability with a restaurant and a wine bar.

Academy Museum Glass Dome Facing South Rendering

Academy Museum Glass Dome Facing South Rendering, Courtesy of Academy Museum

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick Library, in nearby Beverly Hills, is home to a staggering collection of over 12 million photographs, 50 thousand movie posters, thousands of scripts and personal papers of such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, giving the museum literally millions of items to choose from in a rotating collection of film-related memorabilia.

Academy Museum Glass Dome Rendering, Courtesy of Academy Museum

Academy Museum Glass Dome Rendering, Courtesy of Academy Museum

Keep in mind the new space won’t just be about checking out historical objects. Visitors should expect an immersive experience, as a robust program of Saturday matinees, screenings, and performances will keep things lively. Selfie opportunities will abound, as one of the main features will be an area where visitors can pose while holding an Oscar. In addition, the museum will display iconic film props, including the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz (one of four pairs used for filming).

Mayor Eric Garcetti, on hand for the tour, mused that Hollywood has neglected its history for too long but that this museum is evidence that that is changing, along with the fact that the local government is working to bring film and TV production back to Los Angeles. “This town that has birthed an industry. Telling stories is eternal.”




Things To Do

52+ Fun Things to Do for Halloween in Los Angeles 2017 (throughout the month of October)

October 2, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Being both woke and in need of escapism seems to be a recurring theme for 2017, making Halloween even more necessary than usual this year.

As the holiday falls on a Tuesday this year, the weekend preceding is absolutely JAM-PACKED with spookily-themed offerings. And that doesn’t even account for all the great Halloween-ish events leading up to the end of the month.

Whether you’d like to check out favorites like Griffith Park’s Haunted Hayride, Knott’s Scary Farm or the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, or party at a velvet painting museum, watch a vintage film with an audience or try to commune with the departed at a seance, our list below gives you plenty of options, creepy and otherwise.

Have any more ideas? Feel free to comment below and let us know.

Santa Monica Farmers Market Pumpkin

A sassy Jack O’ Lantern at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Credit: Brian Champlin

Keep in mind for some of the ticketing options (via Goldstar) we utilize affiliate links and receive a commission if you purchase through our links.

Halloween Ideas and Other Creepily Fun Activities for 2017

Listed below in chronological order from start date. Numbered for reference.

1. Haunted Hayride at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park with discount tickets available through Goldstar  (now through Oct. 31)

2. Boo at the LA Zoo (now through Oct. 31)

3. Knotts Scary Farm (now through Oct. 31)

4. Reign of Terror Haunted House in Thousand Oaks (now through Oct. 31)

5. Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor (now through Nov. 1)

6. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios (now through Nov. 4)

7. Wicked Lit 2017 at Mountain View Mausoleum with discount tickets available through Goldstar (through Nov. 11)

8. CreepLA: Lore (through Nov. 12)

9. Paramount After Dark Tours: Tales from the Other Side with discount tickets available through Goldstar (through Nov. 18)

10. Classic Horror Tuesday Matinees at LACMA  (Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31)

11. Silent Classic Horror Festival at Old Town Music Hall (Oct. 6-29)

12. Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch at Platform LA (Oct. 6-30)

13. Urban Death: Tour of Terror with discount tickets available through Goldstar (Oct. 6-31)

14. All-Night Horror Show at New Beverly Cinema (Oct. 7)

15. The Damn Devillez: Horror Cosplay Burlesque at Three Clubs with discount tickets available through Goldstar (Oct. 13)

16. Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th at Vista Theatre (Oct. 13)

17. 17th Annual Ghost Train in Griffith Park (Oct. 13-31)

18.  Beware the Dark Realm: An award-winning haunted house in Santa Clarita. (Oct. 14, 20, 21, 27, & 28) FREE

19. Italo Horror Disco in Highland Park (Oct. 18)

20. The Nightmare Before Christmas with 4-D Effects at El Capitan Theatre with discount tickets available through Goldstar (Oct. 20-31)

21. 34th Annual Hollywood Forever Cemetery Walking Tour (Oct. 21)

22. Halloween & Mourning Movie Night at Heritage Square (Oct. 21)

23. Halloween Film Festival at Los Feliz 3 Cinema (Oct. 21) FREE

24. Night of 1000 Devils (Oct. 21)

25. Monster Tour at Descanso Gardens (Oct. 21, 22, 28, 29)

26. Lucha VaVOOM: The Smell of Fear — A Halloween Spectacle (Oct. 25-26)

27. Double Feature: Brides of Dracula & Hollywood Scares at Alex Theatre in Glendale (Oct. 26)

28. Scare-amount Ranch in Agoura Hills (Oct. 27) FREE

29. ‘Romance Resurrected’ at the Museum of Broken Relationships – Co-hosted by We Like L.A. (Oct. 27)

30. Halloween Party With Rolling Stones Tribute ‘The Ultimate Stones’ at The Rose in Pasadena with discount tickets available through Goldstar (Oct. 28)

31. Project Club LA’s Project Halloween with discount tickets available through Goldstar (Oct. 28)

32. Velveteeria’s Hollywood Halloween at Velveteeria: Museum of Velvet Paintings (Oct. 28)

33. All Night Horrorthon at Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre (Oct. 28)

34. L.A.’s Day of the Dead at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Oct. 28)

35. Spanish-Language Screening of Dracula (1931) at Linwood Dunn Theatre (Oct. 28)

36. KCRW Masquerade Ball in DTLA (Oct. 28)

37. Angels & Demons: LA Halloween Costume Ball (Oct. 28)

38. Tales From the Crypt + Tribute to a Haunted Mansion at Bob Baker Marionette Theater (Oct. 28-29)

39. 14th Annual Halloween & Mourning Tours at Heritage Tour Museum (Oct. 28-29)

40. The Haunt with No Name in Tarzana (Oct. 28-31)

41. The House on Haunted Hill in Woodland Hills (Oct. 28-31)

42. The Haunted Shack 20th Year in Torrance (Oct. 28, 31) FREE

43. Part Time Punks Annual Goth Ball at The Echo (Oct. 29)

44. Halloween Seance in Echo Park (Oct. 29)

45. Ghostbusters (1984) Screening at Egyptian Theatre (Oct. 29)

46. Harry Houdini Halloween Vigil at Dearly Departed Tours (Oct. 31)

47. West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (Oct. 31) FREE

48. Nightmare on Hollywood Boulevard with discount tickets available through Goldstar  (Oct. 31)

49. Carnival of Souls at Aero Theatre (Oct. 31)

50. Halloween Screening: Dawn of the Dead at Armand Hammer Museum (Oct. 31) FREE

51. Phantom of the Opera (1925) Screening with Organ at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Oct. 31)

52One Colorado will host store-to-store Trick-or-Treating, Halloween family portraits and an outdoor screening of ParaNorman. FREE

53. Haunted Hollywood Walk of Fame Tour (ongoing)

54. Dearly Departed Tours (ongoing)






18 Unique Brunches in L.A. if You’re Tired of the Same-Old, Same-Old

September 17, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Whether you prefer a boozy breakfast or a more caffeinated morning, few weekend outings top a solid brunch experience.

L.A. always offers up a plethora of places to get your brunch on, but sometimes you want to switch things up from your tried-and-true favorites. That’s where this list comes in.

Do you want to try breakfast pizza in a West Adams party atmosphere with live music? Chilaquiles in a 1920s Spanish-style house in Toluca Lake? Share brunch with your pooch in Mid-City? Listen to live jazz at a luxury retreat surrounded by nature in Westlake Village? Imbibe a breakfast Old Fashioned paired up with duck hash in Playa del Rey? We’ve got choices.

Take a cue from our list of NOT the same-old, same-old brunches in Los Angeles for fall 2017 (numbered only for reference, listed in no particular order).

1. The Mar Vista (Mar Vista)

This gorgeous space, opened in early 2017, is loaded with greenery and features a smartly designed Murphy bed-style stage that can be eased down the wall for frequent musical performances. Dedicated to using “ugly” produce, the Mar Vista’s menu is globally inspired and a refreshing addition to the up-and-coming neighborhood. This Sunday-only brunch is served in the company of chill DJ-spun tunes and live art. Food options include a beautiful “cranked bowl” of yogurt and shredded frozen fruit, chilaquiles, a smoked salmon-loaded baked potato, and a bacon & egg hotpot. Pair them with a bellini or a michelada for a boozy affair. -> More info here

2. Manuela (DTLA)

Located at Hauser & Wirth gallery, Manuela is an art-laden restaurant with a menu heavy on fermenting, pickling, preserving and in-house smoking. Many of the herbs, vegetables and fruit served here are grown right outside in Hauser & Wirth’s garden, while eggs come directly from the 12 rare-breed chickens in the adjacent chicken runs. Brunch offerings include hush puppies with molasses butter, grilled Texas quail with labne, a deer burger, Dungeness Crab Louie, and cinnamon churros with dulce de leche. -> More info here

3. Jane Q (Hollywood)

Located at the just-opened Everly Kimpton Hotel near the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, Jane Q. is a bright, airy, counter-style spot utilizing lots of fresh-off-the-farm produce. For brunch, try the Savannah B.E.L.T. sandwich (pickled green tomato, pimento cheese, bacon candy and a fried egg),  the roasted sweet potato with spiced walnuts, yogurt and pickled Fresno chiles, duck confit monkey bread enrobed in mushrooms and melted teleggio cheese, or the avocado parfait. Pair these dishes with an Aperol spritz, Smog City coffee porter, or Sicilian coffee. -> More info here

4. The Ponte (Beverly Grove)

If the idea of pasta for breakfast appeals to you, check out this casually elegant Italian eatery that’s drawing crowds for its excellent Italian cuisine and superior cocktail list. At brunch, standout dishes include spaghetti pomodoro, which The Ponte’s chef Scott Conant perfected during his years with Scarpetta, and Eggs in Purgatory. A scrumptious take on shakshuka, it features eggs poached in house-made puttanesca sauce atop creamy polenta. Sip on a Lucano Correcto (composed of coffee-infused amaro, rum, coffee liqueur, coffee, chocolate bitters and cream) or the Bloody Mary made with green chile vodka. -> More info here

5. Herringbone (Santa Monica)

This seafood-focused eatery in Santa Monica offers a gorgeous, beachy decor, lush greenery, a playful vibe, and extremely fresh and delicious fish. Oyster fans will want to check out the Salt & Brine Bar’s fresh oysters with kimchi mignonette. At brunch, try the lobster scramble with Maine lobster and caviar, or the crab cake benedict with sriracha hollandaise. You can enjoy endless rose at brunch for $25. -> More info here

6. Friends & Family (East Hollywood)

Located in East Hollywood’s Thai Town, Friends & Family’s brunch is exceptional, offering dishes like olive oil fried eggs topped with chickpeas, harisa & yogurt with olive toast; baked pancake with rhubarb/blood orange house-made preserves; and duck in the hole (an egg fried within a slice of crusty bread, with a duck drumstick on the side). All the jams, breads and pastries served here are made in house, while heritage grains are used for the baked goods. Standout baked options include summer corn hand pie, spinach breakfast galette, and bacon leek quiche. Cool off with the agua fresca of the day. And who says you can’t finish your meal with a meringue ice cream sandwich? -> More info here

7. Delicious Pizza (West Adams)

Delicious Pizza — from the guys who started Delicious Vinyl — is home to one of the most delicious and unique brunch options in Los Angeles. At their West Adams location, it’s a friendly, multicultural scene that frequently offers live hip hop and jazz on Sundays. Check out the current exhibit at the location’s art gallery, then settle yourself on the spacious back patio to savor brunch selections like the Pick Me Up Pizza (topped with ricotta, mozzarella, homemade sausage and eggs), the Lean Green Pizza (laden with pesto, mozzarella, mushrooms, roasted peppers, pureed eggplant, basil and eggs), fluffy ricotta-heavy pancakes and some very tasty sangria. -> More info here

Brunch isn't complete without fresh passion fruit on top of Caramelized Pineapple Pancakes. Join us from 10 am – 2:30 pm!

A post shared by Aroha Restaurant and Bar (@aroharestaurant) on

8. Aroha (Westlake Village)

The only New Zealand eatery in L.A., Aroha is a beautiful, romantic space that’s great for anyone eating gluten-free, as every item on the brunch menu can be made sans gluten. Top brunch dishes include banana pancakes with rum caramel, caramelized pineapple pancakes, and New Zealand venison sausage and eggs. Try a brunch cocktail like the Hamilton (sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, lavender and lemon) or the Aroha Nui (Mount Gay Rum with butterfly pea flower).  -> More info here

9. Baltaire (Brentwood)

A beautifully sprawling dining room, a huge patio with a retractable roof, a ridiculously good-looking clientele and a cut-above wine list help make this ultra-glamorous Brentwood steakhouse a superior place for brunch (or any meal, for that matter). Try a glass of rosé with a globally inspired dish like the albacore and salmon poké bowl with yuzu ponzu, avocado, and house-pickled vegetables, Eggs Sardou with artichoke hearts, spinach, and hollandaise on a housemade cheddar-scallion biscuit, roasted cauliflower steak with lentil chimichurri and sunny-side-up egg, or an ahi nicoise with banyuls vinaigrette & peewee potatoes. -> More info here

10. mar’sel at Terranea Resort (Rancho Palos Verdes)

At mar’sel, enjoy stunning ocean views, exquisite food, and unique drink offerings like the Pacific Granita (a cocktail served tableside and cooled with liquid nitrogen until frozen), seasonal mocktails, and a sangria basket for two. The aforementioned basket offers your choices of three unusual sangrias, including a Pinot Grigio-based sangria with St. Germain, apricot, peach, lavender, gooseberries and a carafe of Prosecco for topping up. Notable brunch dishes include grilled wagyu with roasted bone marrow rice, bok choy, yuzu aioli, and a 65-degree egg; buttermilk fried chicken with a green juice shooter, kimchee, and wild arugula; and black-ink flatbread served with a soft scrambled eggs, diced pancetta, shaved pepato cheese and red chili. -> More info here

11. The Bellwether (Studio City)

How do you improve on a Bloody Mary? Find out at The Bellwether in Studio City, where Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary is not only made from vodka infused in-house with habanero, but is also garnished with an adorable mini BLT. This Studio City eatery also features Pimm’s Cups, cocktails on tap, and brunch dishes like Eggs in Purgatory (baked in spicy tomato sauce with Calabrian chili, ciabatta bread and pecorino), the Ploughman’s Burger with Branston pickle and clothbound cheddar, or a vanilla kouign-amann. -> More info here

12. Sawyer (Silver Lake)

Serving up seasonal California cuisine with a nod to Southern U.S. influences, this Silver Lake eatery, inspired by Mark Twain’s classic Tom Sawyer, is a beautiful, airy space offering superior cocktails and seafood-centric fare. Try brunch on their lovely patio, enclosed with birch trees, olive trees and vibrant bougainvillea on chilly days the roaring fireplace can be seen put to use.  Standouts include smoked trout salad with horseradish creme fraiche, Maine lobster roll, the catfish po’ boy, pork loin breakfast sandwich and cornmeal blueberry pancakes. -> More info here

13. Ray’s & Stark Bar (Mid-Wilshire)

Situated next to LACMA behind one of L.A.’s most iconic photo sites/artworks —- Chris Burden’s Urban Light — Ray’s recently instituted its “Barky Brunch,” with a menu of canine-friendly dishes, including a chicken liver and brown rice cookie, a steamed chicken and broccoli bowl or a giant bone shaped pizza crust. Their human companions can brunch on dishes like a crispy pork belly sandwich with scrambled eggs and arugula; Croque Madame with béchamel, pistachio ham, aged gruyere, fried egg, and rosemary; or eggs tartine with Maitake mushrooms. -> More info here

14. The Tripel or Playa Provisions (Playa del Rey)

Brooke Willamson’s two Playa del Rey restaurants both offer great brunch experiences. Like the idea of a beer-centric brunch? Then visit The Tripel, known for its amazing beer flights. Here you can savor unique brunchy fare like the sweet carrot farrow with wilted kale, linguica, poached egg, and truffle pecorino, or duck hash with lobster-salted peewee potatoes, duck confit, fried egg, pancetta, and vinegar-cooked greens. At Playa Provisions, you can gaze upon the beach, listen to live jazz, sip the Breakfast Old Fashioned (bourbon, cold brewed coffee, Frangelico, and chocolate bitters) and partake in a coconut chia seed pudding, a bagel topped with beet-cured salmon, or Nutella and banana French toast. -> More info here and here

15. Cascabel (Toluca Lake)

This unique Mexican restaurant is housed within a beautiful 1920s Spanish house with original details. Exposed beams, wooden floors, windows made of leaded or stained glass, seating made of turquoise velvet or burnished leather, and an enormous snake painted on one of the walls all contribute to the very cool decor at Cascabel. Serving Mexican food with a strong L.A. influence, you’ll want to sip on a rosewater margarita, a michelada or a jamaica sangria while enjoying dishes like smoked bacon guacamole, chile relleno with chorizo, shrimp and chile soup, toast topped with anchovies, or chilaquiles with sesame salsa. To really enliven an already festive scene, Cascabel will soon feature live Latin Rock bands during Sunday brunch. -> More info here

16. The Raymond (Pasadena)

Housed within a 19th-century Craftsman house, The Raymond is a gorgeous spot to get your brunch on. Tucked away off Fair Oaks Avenue, the location transports guests into a serene hideaway far from the bustling streets of Pasadena. At 1886, The Raymond’s bar, talented mixologists painstakingly create some of the best cocktails in Los Angeles. A perfect brunch libation is the gin-based Ramos Fizz, lightly fragranced with orange-flower water and topped with frothy egg white. Or you may want to try a whimsically named cocktail such as the Foghorn Leghorn (made with peach black tea-infused bourbon) or the mezcal-based Woody Woodpecker from the new Cartoons & Cocktails menu. Brunch-time standouts include grapefruit brûlée, apple fritters with maple syrup, avocado eggs benedict topped with chipotle hollandaise, and savory breakfast tacos stuffed with lightly gamey house-made lamb bacon, avocado, black beans and fried eggs. -> More info here

17. Four Seasons (Westlake Village)

Located in Westlake Village, the verdant Four Seasons Hotel is an outstanding place to get away from it all. Lushly landscaped and surrounded by mountains, the resort offers a Jazz and Champagne Brunch every Sunday on its gorgeous Waterfall Lawn. Listen to live jazz as you sip champagne and enjoy the farm-to-table buffet featuring freshly made sushi, crab legs and other seafood, fresh-baked bread, organic produce and much more. -> More info here

18. Valerie Confections (Echo Park)

Valerie Confections offers up tea and dishes that pair well with it, their recently expanded tea program includes small-batch artisanal tea brands offering robust flavors like velvet cacao, blood orange, and smoky green akinomori houjicha. Settle in on the shaded patio with a hot, aromatic cup as you enjoy dishes like kale and goat cheese bread pudding with a fried egg, the croque madame with onion marmalade, or an herb-and-goat-cheese scone. -> More info here





Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Brings a Massive Artistic Collaboration to SoCal Starting This Week

September 14, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a massive artistic collaboration focusing on Latin American and Latino art, launches on September 14.

Five years in the making, PST:LA/LA is the second installation of arts initiative Pacific Standard Time. The first PST program took place in 2011 and 2012 and told the story of the birth of L.A.’s art scene, from 1945 to 1980. This second initiative, PST: LA/LA, examines the Los Angeles art scene through the lens of Latin American art and its impact on the City of Angels.

Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA continues through January 2018 and offers hundreds of different exhibitions and programs at 70-plus cultural institutions across Southern California, from Santa Barbara to San Diego and points in between.

This celebration of the cultural diversity of Los Angeles begin on September 14, with a major and FREE launch party in Downtown Los Angeles’s Grand Park. Then, on Sunday, September 17, immerse yourself in Latinx culture when over 50 exhibitions are open to the public, free of charge, during PST: LA/LA‘s Free Day.

With such a staggering number of shows and events on view, you might feel a little overwhelmed wondering which ones you should check out. No worries — we’ve compiled a list of select highlights from the PST: LA/LA events we think are worthy of your time.

From Latin America to Hollywood: Latino Film Culture in Los Angeles, 1967-2017 at The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, one of Los Angeles’ most noteworthy institutions for film preservation. is behind some of the best screenings in the city at their state-of-the-art facilities in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, both of which frequently offer screenings, open to the general public, for just $5 per person.

During this special screening series, numerous Latinx film luminaries, including Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Gregory Nava and Lourdes Portillo, will appear as special guests participating in Q&A’s accompanying the screenings. See some of the most notable films from Latino and Latin-American filmmakers, including 1981’s Zoot Suit (don’t miss the exhibition of original 1940s zoot suits in the lobby!), Y Tu Mama Tambien, Born in East L.A., La Bamba, a Spanish-language version of 1928’s Dracula, El Norte and more.

One of the most exciting screenings takes place on October 7. Hollywood Home Movies: LA/LA Special Edition will feature original home movies starring Latino stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Desi Arnaz, Dolores Del Rio and Gilbert Roland. -> More info here

The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility at Craft and Folk Art Museum

Visit CAFAM, in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood right near LACMA, to view The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility.  Featuring artists from numerous different disciplines, including design, architecture, painting, photography and  sculpture, it examines the border between the U.S. and Mexico as a physical place and as a source of imagination and possibility. This socially engaging show at this small-but-essential museum features work from Teddy Cruz, Adrian Esparza and more. -> More info here

Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in LA at Los Angeles Central Library

Recognizing the richness of Oaxacan culture and its people’s impact on Los Angeles, this show at the L.A. Central Library in DTLA includes an installation in the library’s rotunda from Oaxacan artist collective Tlacolulokos, a short documentary by Oaxacan filmmaker Yolanda Cruz, and 60 different public programs. On Saturday, September 16, you’ll want to attend the free opening party celebrating this new exhibition. -> More info here

Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985 at LACMA

Mexico has had a huge impact on the design sense of Californians, so it’s fitting that a major museum finally examines this relationship. Looking at Spanish Colonial Inspiration, Pre-Columbian Revivals, Folk Art and Craft Traditions, and Modernism, delve into the aesthetics of both locations via hundreds of objects, including architecture, photos, drawings, and films, for a sense of both locations’ structures. Consider the work of design luminaries like Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, Luis Barragán, Clara Porset and more in a new way. -> More info here

Sacred Art in the Age of Contact: Chumash and Latin American Traditions in Santa Barbara at UCSB

Even if you’re not a fan of organized religion, you may find tremendous beauty in this show of art focusing on traditional spirituality. Borrowing work from local collections, from the time of the first contact between the Chumash and the Spanish in the late 18th century and onward, this peek at early colonial art may inspire awe, or at least a greater sense of local history. -> More info here

Photography in Argentina, 1850-1910 at The Getty Center

Argentina, long perceived as very different from her Latin American neighbors due to a large middle class, a sizable number of European immigrants, and, until 2001, a strong economy, is the focus of this show featuring 300 works by 60 artists. A room of visuals focusing on Evita Peron, the myth of the gaucho, and a series examining people of wealth literally trapped behind bars in their own homes are just some of the highlights of this fascinating cultural examination of South America’s second-largest country. -> More info here

Photography in Argentina

From “Photography in Argentina, 1850-1910” on exhibition at The Getty Center. Photo by Christina Minh.

Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico at Skirball Cultural Center

Born in Mexico but raised in the U.S., Jewish writer Anita Brenner was part of the inner circle of Mexican Modernist artists of the 1920s, including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Jose Clemente Orozco. At this exhibition at then Skirball, learn about Brenner’s impact on introducing the United States to the artistic wonders of Mexico. -> More info here

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 at The Hammer Museum

Experimental artworks from 100 women from 15 Latin American countries (and Latina and Chicana descent) comprise this show at Westwood’s Hammer Museum. Via photography, video and installations, examine the impact of feminist and radical women’s art and their influence around the globe. -> More info here

Cuba: Antes, Ahora / Cuba: Then, Now at The Music Center

This four-day exploration of the rich musical heritage of Cuba offers free Afro-Cuban dance and percussion workshops, along with performances from 48 Cuban artists, including Malpaso Dance Company, Grammy-winning jazz composer Arturo O’Farrill, Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours, and more. -> More info here

To view the entire schedule for PST: LA/LA, click this link, and savor these many opportunities to dig into this massive undertaking sure to create a lasting impact on Los Angeles culture.





You’ve Got One More Chance to Get Tickets to the ‘Infinity Mirrors’ Exhibition at The Broad

September 13, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

If you’re one of thousands of people who fruitlessly tried to purchase tickets to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibition on September 1, you’ll soon have another chance to get tickets for this much-anticipated show. At noon on October 2, a new slew of tickets — 40,000 of them, to be exact — will go on sale for Infinity Mirrors, opening at The Broad on October 21. 

Infinity Mirrors is the first museum show surveying the lengthy career of the avant-garde Japanese artist. Six of Kusama’s kaleidoscopic Infinity Rooms, along with large-scale installations and major paintings, sculptures and works on paper, are the focus of the exhibition.

[RELATEDThere’s a Free Cake-Themed Infinity Chamber in L.A. Starting Sept. 1]

Kusama and her Infinity Rooms came to the forefront of Angelenos’ consciousness after The Broad’s 2015 opening, when her Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away became a wildly popular draw. Covered with mirrors and lit by hundreds of LED lights, the resultant mirrored chamber appears to be an endless galaxy.

“Infinity Mirrored Room—Love Forever” – Image via The Broad

A true maverick, Kusama has experienced hallucinations due to mental illness since she was a child. At age ten, she began creating art as a way of dealing with her mental disorders and has been voluntarily living in a psychiatric institution in Tokyo for the last 40 years.

“Infinity Mirrored Room—Dots Obsession – Love Transformed Into Dots” – Image via The Broad

50,000 tickets sold out pretty much immediately on September 1, so to get yours, be sure to log onto The Broad’s website right at 11 a.m. on October 2. Tickets are $25 each, and The Broad has provided additional info on how to buy tickets here.

Infinity Mirrors will be at The Broad in Downtown Los Angeles through January 1, 2018.





Angels Flight is Resuming Service Starting This Thursday

August 30, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

One of Los Angeles’ most iconic landmarks is about to reopen after a four-year closure. First unveiled in Downtown L.A. back in 1901, Angels Flight will resume service on Thursday, August 31 after an extensive restoration and recondition.

Billed as “the shortest railway in the world” (it’s just 298 feet long), this funicular  transports passengers up the steep incline connecting Hill Street to California Plaza.

Though Angels Flight may not be one of the most necessary modes of transport in the city, it’s arguably the most charming. It features two beautiful vintage train cars with wood-paneled interiors and wooden seats and striking crimson boarding stations on each end.

Angels Flight has a prominent place in pop culture, appearing in at least half a dozen film noirs of the 1940s and ‘50s and earning worldwide attention and interest after its appearance in last year’s La La Land.

Designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1962, Angels Flight was shuttered in 1969 due to the redevelopment of Bunker Hill. It wasn’t reopened until 1996, but was again shut down in 2001 after a fatal accident. Resuming operations in 2010, Angels Flight suffered a minor derailment in 2013.

Angels Flight is easy to reach by subway, as it’s located right near the Pershing Square station. There’s plenty to do while you’re in the area, as the tiny railway’s location is a short stroll from Grand Central Market, MOCA, the Broad, the Music Center and the Central Library.

This historic gem will once again be open 365 days a year and the fare will be $1, or just 50 cents if you have a Metro pass.




Things To Do

16 Cool Things to do For the 4th of July in Los Angeles (2017)

June 29, 2017 by Karin E. Baker

July 4 is just around the corner! Do you know what you’re doing on Tuesday?

Whether you want to visit an art museum, attend a rooftop dance party, view an outdoor movie, see a traditional fireworks show, or savor a gourmet dinner followed by pyrotechnics, we’ve got you covered.

Below is our quick, easily scannable list of 15 fun things to do in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Enjoy!

July 4 Rose Bowl Fireworks

Fireworks at The Rose Bowl for July 4. Credit: Daniel via flickr cc

1. See fireworks at the Rose Bowl. Americafest is still going strong after 91 years!

2. Attend a rooftop soiree at the Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A. Hang out by the pool and listen to Motown tunes, along with classic soul, disco and funk, during California Sol 4th of July.

3. Attend a stylish gourmet food event in Studio City, followed by fireworks, at CBS Studio Center’s 4th of July Fireworks & VIP Celebration.

4. Enjoy an oceanside holiday during the Redondo Beach 4th of July Fireworks at Seaside Lagoon. Situated next to a lagoon, the day will include giant inflatable slides and a DJ playing both patriotic and party music.

5. Celebrate Independence Day in an old-timey fashion in Topanga Canyon. Theatricum Botanicum’s 3rd Annual Independence Day Old Fashioned Barn Dance and Barbecue features innocent pleasures from days of yore, like a pie-eating contest, watermelon seed-spitting contest, horseshoes, and more.

6. Watch an outdoor movie. Cinespia at Hollywood Forever is hosting a screening of the classic sci-fi adventure Jurassic Park, followed by fireworks.

7. Go to Grand Park for a festive afternoon and evening during its 4th of July Block Party. Enjoy live music, dancing, 30+ food trucks, and dazzling fireworks ascending from the roof of nearby Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

8. View an all-American patriotic parade — with skydivers! — during the Pacific Palisades 4th of July Parade & Fireworks Show.

9. Another option for celebrating Independence Day by the ocean is this free event in San Pedro: the 67th Annual John Olguin Southbay July 4th Spectacular.

10. Celebrate the unveiling of a new monument slated to be the Statue of Liberty of the West Coast during the L.A. Freedom Festival in Century City.

11. If you’re in the West Valley, you might want to check out the July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza in Woodland Hills, with food from 15 or more local eateries and a 15-minute pyrotechnic display.

12. If you’re near Long Beach head over to the Queen Mary for their Fourth of July that party that includes a performance by The Pointer Sisters plus family games, arts, crafts, and a big-time fireworks spectacular. Discount tickets for the show are available (while supplies last) via Goldstar.

13. Reputedly the best fireworks show on the Westside is July 4th at the Marina, with two prime spots in Marina del Rey ideal for watching the show, complete with synchronized music.

14. The Hollywood Bowl is famously one of the best spots in L.A. for watching fireworks. This July 4, a dazzling spectacle will set the skies above Hollywood aglow, capping a performance from three-time Grammy-winning a cappella ensemble Pentatonix.

15. Visit a museum! Though many L.A. museums are closed on July 4, the Getty Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., LACMA’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and The Broad will open at 11 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.

16. Fireworks, food trucks, live music, games and prizes add up to a day of family fun during the Culver City Fourth of July Fireworks Show.