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Cinespia is Bringing a Winter Film Screening Series to Historic DTLA Theaters Starting Nov. 26

November 15, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Plenty of angelenos look forward to the annual summer screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. But what many may not know about is that the event programmers behind Cinespia (the folks who put on the Hollywood Forever screenings) have a new roster of special film events just for the 2016 winter season, all taking place at some of DTLA’s most renowned venues.

Cinespia will be hosting special screenings throughout the (slightly) chillier months at historic theaters located around Downtown Los Angeles. The creepy and kooky ’90s cult film Adam’s Family Values will kick off the movie series, which begins on Nov. 26 at the Palace Theatre.

Cinespia Palace Theatre

A Cinespia screening at The Palace Theatre. Photo by Kelly Lee Barrett for Cinespia

General admission tickets cost $20, and premium seating is $45, which allows you to skip the ticket and photo booth lines, while also including one photo booth print.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the movie screens at 9 p.m.

The next planned screening for the series is the Stanley Kubrick classic The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson, to be shown on Dec. 17 at the Los Angeles Theatre.

The screening also doubles as Cinespia’s annual holiday party, which will include a full bar, DJs, live music, Shining-themed rooms, a free photobooth, and few extra surprises.

Dress code is elegant/formal attire, and a jacket and tie are required for men.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the movie screens at 9 p.m.

Tickets for The Shining screening and party are priced at $24 for general admission and $60 for premium seating.

If you’d like tickets for either screening head over to Cinespia’s website to purchase.

And, of course, if any new screenings are added to the winter schedule we’ll be sure to update this post.

Enjoy!

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Happenings

The Main Street Electrical Parade is Coming Back to Disneyland in 2017

August 15, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Get ready for some brighter nights at Disneyland next year — the Main Street Electrical Parade will return to the Anaheim theme park for a “limited-time encore engagement.”

According to the Disney Parks Blog The Main Street Electrical Parade will end its run at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, in October, before returning to Disneyland in 2017 for the first time since it departed the park in 1996.

The lit-up parade also had a run at California Adventure, which ended in 2010. So Orlando’s loss is Anaheim’s gain and it should be a fun nostalgia trip, which will naturally begin with the parade’s theme song, “Baroque Hoedown.”

The glowing parade — which began at Disneyland in 1972 — is led by Tinkerbell from Peter Pan and features Disney favorites from Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, and a million shimmering lights in Main Street U.S.A., according to The OC Register.

Disneyland has not stated when exactly the Main Street Electrical Parade will return or just how long this “limited” engagement will be in Southern California.

They also haven’t stated where the parade will land next or if Disneyland is the last and final stop on its journey. The park ran an updated version of the nighttime parade as Paint the Night, which was a popular part of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration, but will end its run on Sept. 5.

Disneyland will be the only Disney property to still feature the 44-year-old beloved march through Main Street, so you should catch it while you can next year before the magical lights get turned off forever.

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Food

The Best Old School Places to Eat in Los Angeles

July 26, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Sometimes writing about food in the city of angels can be a bit treacherous. Not necessarily because it’s hard to find great cuisine but because when you do find a brand new gem serving up delicious bites there is this lingering worry in the back of your mind about whether your new favorite will make it past its first year of existence.

With so many new eateries popping up seemingly every single month week day, it’s always a treat to find the rare spot that has been in L.A. since the 50’s or 40’s  or even before then.

Some restaurants will make you feel like you’ve stepped in a time machine while others have been tastefully updated over the years, but the sticking point is there is usually a reason these places have been around for decades: The food still works, the service is top quality, and the longtime staff is, well, just the best.

So let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to see what’s on the menu if you feel like kicking it old school.

[RELATED8 Delicious Dishes That Were Actually Invented in Los Angeles (Allegedly)]

Do you remember your first Lawry’s meal? #TBT

A photo posted by Lawry's The Prime Rib (@lawrystheprimerib) on

Lawry’s Prime Rib

This Beverly Hills spot has been roasting up some of the city’s best prime rib since 1947 your prime rib comes with all the fixings and the famous original spinning bowl salad.

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Otomisan

Founded in 1956, this just may be the oldest Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles and the only surviving one located in Boyle Heights. They also serve some of the finest tempura you’ll find anywhere in the area.

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Otomisan Tempura

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Polo Lounge

Eat like a Hollywood hot shot at this old school breakfast spot that’s 100 years-old! From Sinatra to Monroe all iconic stars of yesteryear have had lunch and dinner here.

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Sunday brunch in the Polo Lounge 👌🏼 #pololounge #DCmoments

A photo posted by The Beverly Hills Hotel (@bevhillshotel) on

The Apple Pan

Pico Boulevard may have changed since this burger joint opened in 1947, but The Apple Pan has stayed the same, serving up its classic burgers, fries, and pies.

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Canter’s Deli

Since 1931, the landmark 24-hour deli has been serving up its classic menu on Fairfax Avenue. You can’t go wrong with the pastrami sandwich or matzo ball soup. There is no avoiding the bakery right out front, so be sure pick up some sweets to go.

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[RELATED: The 10 Best Delis in Los Angeles]

Canter's Deli in Los Angeles 1939

Canter’s Deli in 1939. Photo via Canter’s Deli

Musso & Frank Grill

Hollywood’s oldest restaurant has been around since 1919 — that’s before sound and color were in movies yet, but studio executives were still making deals in the eatery.

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Cole’s

Cole’s in Downtown LA also claims to have originated the French dip sandwich since 1908, but hey, the more the merrier, right? Dive into the au jus with options of pork, pastrami, USDA Prime Beef, turkey, and lamb.

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[RELATEDThe 21 Best Places to Eat in Downtown L.A. Every Dedicated Foodie Needs to Try Once]

coles sign

Photo Credit: Cole’s

Tom Bergin’s

You can’t defeat this good ol’ fashioned Irish pub in Mid-City. The Fairfax Avenue bar opened in 1936, but has closed and reopened several times in the past few years, proving those shamrocks on the wall and their Irish coffees are forever.

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Dal Rae

Feeling like sitting in a classic black and leather booths? This Pico Rivera steakhouse has all that and more in their current location — they opened somewhere else in 1951.

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Joe Jost

Now over 80 years-0ld this former Long Beach barber shop is a bar, eatery, and billiards hall serving famed sandwiches and pickled eggs.

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Philippe the Original

The Downtown LA mainstay first opened in 1908 and claims to have originated the French dip sandwich (it’s been disputed with Cole’s). Naturally, the hoagie with au jus is a must try here — and Philippe serves it with choices of beef, pork, ham, turkey, pastrami, and lamb.

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The Dresden

The old fashioned lounge has served dinner and drinks in Los Feliz since 1954 and has been featured in the movies Swingers and That Thing You Do! 

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Pacific Dining Car

With locations in Santa Monica and Downtown LA, the old school fancy steakhouse has been bringing the days of yore train-traveling vibes since 1921.

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Dining Car The Pacific Dining Car was born in a railway train car parked on a rented lot in downtown Los Angeles…

A photo posted by Pacific Dining Car (@pacificdiningcar) on

Bay Cities Italian Deli

Bay Cities has been around since 1925 and its sandwiches are unparalleled. Your life will never be the same once you’ve tried the Santa Monica deli’s “Godmother” sandwich.

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Chili John’s

This vintage Burbank diner comes complete with an old school U-shaped counter and will give you all the chili you could ask for. Chili John’s, open since 1946 in the Valley, has its roots in Wisconsin, where the original location still operates in Green Bay.

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Langer’s Delicatessen

The MacArthur Park spot’s legendary No. 19 pastrami sandwich has reigned supreme since 1947. The deli cooks up their pastrami in many other ways, too — including pastrami chili cheese fries and the hot pastrami sandwich, which Nora Ephron from The New Yorker once called the finest in the world.

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Make today the day that you discover Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries as your favorite thing in the whole world.

A photo posted by Langer's Delicatessen (@langersdeli) on

Greenblatt’s Delicatessen

Get your deli sandwiches and wine at this old fashioned Jewish delicatessen on the hip Sunset Strip, where its been located since 1926.

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Valley Inn Restaurant

Stationed in a building that was supposed to be a light store, the Sherman Oaks steakhouse has been open since 1947 and serves up some quality meat.

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Fosselman’s Ice Cream

The family-owned Alhambra ice cream shop has been scooping up tasty flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and more since 1919.

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[RELATED: 14 L.A. Ice Cream Shops Every Angeleno Absolutely Needs to Try Once]

Come and get some ice cream, the line isn't going to stay short for long! #FosselmansIceCream

A photo posted by Fosselmans Ice Cream Co. (@fosselmansicecreamco) on

Fisherman’s Outlet

The Downtown LA landmark has been around since 1961 and it doesn’t just cook up some delicious fish. Fisherman’s Outlet is also home to a seafood market and a seafood salad counter.

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Dan Tana’s Restaurant

Since 1964, this West Hollywood spot has been beloved by stars like Jack Nicholson, Cameron Diaz, George Clooney, Drew Barrymore, and so many others.

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Honorable mention:

What’s your favorite old school spot to eat in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lifestyle

These New Metro Safety Videos Will Scare The Living Daylights Out of You

June 25, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Welcome to Metro’s Safetyville, where hopefully the population won’t include you.

“Safetyville” is the yellow, stick figure-filled fictional world in a series of animated Metro safety PSAs released this week to demonstrate what kind of calamities can happen around Los Angeles trains if you’re not alert.

Each video begins with a cheery voice saying the phrase, “It’s a beautiful day in Safetyville,” and then proceeds describing a common L.A. public transit situation (like taking the Metro to the beach, because Angelenos can totally do that now). But everything doesn’t go according to plan — in fact, each video soon takes a much darker turn.

Example:

You guessed it: Safetyville isn’t all that safe, but actually pretty deadly.

Each Safetyville character meets their demise by not paying attention to oncoming trains, being distracted by cell phone posts, and even getting decapitated by a train’s closing door. And you thought not being able to find parking was a killer.

The videos have a wry, yet you-better-watch-yourself tone that’s reminiscent of Virgin America’s old flight safety video and a 2012 Melbourne Metro safety video called “Dumb Ways To Die,” which went viral a few years back and actually served as an inspiration for the “Safetyville” PSAs, according to Metro.

Last month, Metro expanded its reach to Santa Monica on the Expo Line, increasing interest in train travel. But these videos are a chilling reminder that even though you might not have to worry about traffic or crazy expensive parking fees at the beach anymore, you still need to stay alert, be present, and look up from your phone once in awhile. Staying safe is where it’s at.

So far, Metro has released six “Safetyville” videos to their YouTube channel and I suggest watching each of them until the end so you can hear its killer (ahem) pun.

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Lifestyle, View Points

6 Pieces of Sobering Advice For Anyone Moving to L.A. to Work in TV or Film

June 15, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Los Angeles is the City of Angels — but also the City of Movies, the epicenter of the entertainment industry. Depending on what circles you run in, you’ll probably come across lots of people in this town who moved here specifically to pursue a career in film and/or TV

For some it seems like it’s super easy to get their name on that grand marquee, while for many others, it’s a life-long journey with many twists and turns that may or may not lead to the promised land.

Personally, I came here as a Hollywood hopeful and scored an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where the motto is “Reality ends here.”

Let me tell you, though, there was no Oscar waiting for me on graduation day, just the beginning of capital-R reality.

But despite all setbacks — and there have been many — I’m still willing to work toward the dreams that lead me to this city and you should, too. I’m no expert at how to make, but I can share with you a bit about what to expect as your journey begins.

[RELATED14 Ways You’ll Be a Totally Different Person After One Year Living in L.A.]

View from Mt. Lee

Behind the Hollywood Sign. Photo Credit: James Gubera via flickr cc

1. It will be tougher than you think to break in

Most people are looking for that golden ticket to break in. I have gotten so much contradictory advice about it over the years and I’m sure you have, too. At USC, they kept telling my cohort you must must be an assistant in order to break in — and then one of my professors and several successful TV writers have told me otherwise. I’ve been advised by several different sources to only write scripts and not produce them, just write something for the sake of filming it, and don’t write, just video blog.

At the end of the day, you need to decide what’s right for you and how you’re going to make your own golden ticket.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Breaking into the entertainment industry is like breaking into prison: Once someone has done it one way, that way is blocked from everyone else. ” My other favorite quote is from comedian Jason Mantzoukas: “Everyone is dropped in the jungle, given a machete and told ‘Success is out there!’ And everyone has to cut their own path, which means if you find someone else’s path, don’t follow it because it’s not yours.”

2. People can (and will) be as awful as you see in the movies (narcissism, jealousy, stolen ideas etc…)

When I was in film school, many professors regaled my idealistic cohort with tales of their success, and, well, being allegedly getting pushed out of being credited on their hard work. It sucks, but it does happen due to certain circumstances. The world isn’t a perfect place and neither is Hollywood.

I’ve had friends (yes, friends) appropriate my own personal anecdotes for their screenplays, which was always fun to find out when they send you the script for your feedback and then use it to get signed to an agent. When you do have some success, you’ll notice that your colleagues aren’t as eager to celebrate it as you might have thought, but on the flip side, you too will feel that sting when someone else gets what you’ve been striving for.

It happens, because everyone in this industry is a little bit (or a lot) narcissistic. I once interviewed a psychologist for an article and she mentioned that one of her specialties is treating narcissists in Hollywood, because “we need it here more than anywhere else,” she said.

3. That said, you’d better have a thick skin

You know when you see all of those Hollywood assistant job postings that say you “must have a thick skin”? It’s true and definitely a requirement. Entry-level Hollywood jobs — whether you’re an assistant, gofer, PA, or working in an agency mailroom — require a lot of long hours, lumps taken, and coffee fetched.

My interview at a top movie studio included the test question, “Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper are in a brawl in front of you. What do you do?” I once interviewed to be the assistant of a top Hollywood agent, who saw my MFA and my journalism career on my resume, and dismissed me by saying, “You’re overqualified. Go write and be poor.” I worked for a talent manager who told me, “In order to do the glamorous stuff, we have to do all tedious stuff.” And that’s true — Hollywood life isn’t a glamorous red carpet.

(Actually, red carpets themselves aren’t that glamorous on the journalism side of things, either. I’ve covered a bunch as an entertainment journalist and it’s 85 percent waiting around and 15 percent glamour. Perhaps it’s a metaphor.)

[RELATED7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Give Up If You Moved to L.A. To Pursue Your Dreams]

4. Talent alone isn’t enough (work ridiculously hard, leverage your network, play the game a bit…)

There’s an old saying that says, “The cream rises to the top.” When it comes to the entertainment industry, that doesn’t happen without a ton of work and rejection behind it. I recently attended a Writers Guild of America event during which the Q&A session was filled with questions grilling a successful TV writer about how they broke into the industry. Their answer: Years and years of hard work — and setbacks. You have to be in it for the long haul.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get noticed these days — you just have to be creative with it. You can fund your passion project on Kickstarter, but you need actually follow through with it. You can put your webseries or vlogs on YouTube and, well, pray for a viral moment. You can enter all the film festivals and screenwriting competitions, but beware that costs will add up and you may not even place in the quarterfinals. You need to network, network, network, and find that person who thinks you have potential and is willing to check out your reel or read your script. They’re out there somewhere.

5. You will get criticized for your dream

I had a friend who literally laughed in my face when I told her I was applying to USC’s screenwriting program. I graduated with that MFA degree two years later.

I had an extended family member yell at me that I would never make it in Hollywood and moving to LA was useless, so I should just give up. Sure, I haven’t made it, but I really like LA as a place to live and I’m not ready to give up.

At a recent event, I encountered a screenwriting colleague who I admired greatly and told this person I had returned to journalism. Their reaction? “Ew.” Minutes later, two TV executive producers praised my choice.

I mention those stories, because it’s only a sampling of the criticism I’ve got over the years from people close to me, but you know what? As the meme says, haters gonna hate.

6. You should go after it if you have the conviction

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank lived in a car with her mother as she auditioned for roles. Tyler Perry was homeless in Atlanta for six years while trying to fund the stage play that would launch his career. Charlie Chaplin, one of the most legendary figures in cinema, was homeless as a young boy and the experience would later inspire his most iconic character “The Tramp.”

These stories aren’t meant to depress you, but remind you that even those with great success had humble beginnings, hard times, and rejection. Remember: Even after all of those no’s, all you need to hear is one “yes” — from an agent, manager, casting director, producer, or executive — and then keep striving for the next one.


What’s your story like after you moved to L.A.? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food

17 Best Spots For Taco Tuesday Deals in Los Angeles

May 31, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Any day is a good day for tacos, that much is for sure. But in Los Angeles Tuesdays are an especially great day for the tortilla-wrapped treat.

Taco Tuesday isn’t just a fun alliteration to say — it’s a  mini celebration with weekly specials and discounts that you should definitely be taking advantage of.

The nice thing about tacos in L.A. can be summed up in a single word: options. like Ensenada-style tacos? It’s here. More into Oaxacan ones? You’ll find them here, too. And if you’re looking for a fusion twist a la Roy Choi’s famous Kogi BBQ, L.A. has got you covered.

But if it’s Tuesday and the craving hits you, consider the deals mapped out below for all your taco-related needs.

Enjoy!

[RELATED: The Most Searched Tacos in Los Angeles, According to Google]

1. Cabo Cantina (Various)

Casual Mexican restaurant with Mega Margaritas and seven locations across Southern California.

THE DEAL: All-you-can-eat tacos for $5.95.

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2. Te’kila (Hollywood)

Mexican cantina on Hollywood Boulevard with more than 150 bottles of tequila.

THE DEAL: $1 chicken, asada steak and carnitas tacos; $15 pitches of beer.

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3. Mission Cantina (Hollywood)

This Sunset Boulevard spot has classic decor such as stained-glass windows and boasts more than 100 kinds of tequila.

THE DEAL: $1 tacos.

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4. Hole Mole (Various)

Serving Mexican-style Southern California comfort food in Long Beach, Carson, and Tustin.

THE DEAL: Tacos from $1.19.

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5. La Cuevita Bar (Highland Park)

A bar with a comprehensive collection of tequilas and mescals, along with various events and specials throughout the week.

THE DEAL: Free tacos after 10 p.m.

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[RELATEDThe 30 Tastiest Eats You Can Get in L.A. For Only $1.00 (or Less!)]

 6. Cafe Bleu (Koreatown)

Upscale restuarant and sports bar featuring Korean-inspired bar food and all the big games on HD screens.

THE DEAL: $1.50 asada tacos and $3 Corona beer all night long.

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7. Don Chuy’s (Culver City)

Old school cantina with a comprehensive menu, which includes breakfast.

THE DEAL: Three street tacos for $4.

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8. Loteria Grill (Various)

Venerable Mexican restaurant chain with a full bar and six locations across Los Angeles.

THE DEAL: $3 signature tacos and $3 draft beers.

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[RELATED: 22 Superb Spots for the Best Happy Hour in L.A.]

9. Calle Tacos (Hollywood)

If you feel like a food truck, but don’t want to chase one down, this Hollywood Boulevard spot is your answer. It’s a food truck inside a building, with seating for customers.

THE DEAL: $0.99 tacos

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10. Marix Tex Mex (Various)

Get your Tex Mex on with epic margaritas and a daily 3 to 7 p.m. Happy Hour in West Hollywood and Santa Monica.

THE DEAL: $10 all-you-can-eat tacos dine in or $2 tacos at the bar.

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11. The Eight Bar (Downtown)

It’s a gastropub and bar located inside a Whole Foods — yes, you read that right. But don’t judge until you try the place.

THE DEAL: $2 tacos.

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12. Cocina Condesa (Studio City)

Restaurant in the Valley that features Mexican street food for brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour.

THE DEAL: Any two tacos for $5 after 5 p.m.

More information

[RELATED20 Tasty Spots For the Best Cheap Eats in The Valley]

13. Casa La Doña (Downtown)

Casual Mexican food with an awesome salsa bar.

THE DEAL: $1 tacos.

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14. El Torazo (Long Beach)

Small spot with a big menu of Mexican classics.

THE DEAL: $1+ tacos, $2.50 fish tacos, and $7 pitchers.

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15. TLT Food (Westwood)

Inventive and creative Mexican cuisine by the guys who run The Lime Truck, winner of Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race.

THE DEAL: Every taco on the menu is $3 on Tuesdays.

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$3 Tacos! All day long…@tltfood #tacotuesday #nomnomnom #foodie #taco #irvine #westwoodvillage

A photo posted by TLT Food (@tltfood) on

16. El 7 Mares (Boyle Heights)

As you could guess from the name, this spot specializes in Mexican seafood, with an expansive menu that includes molcajetes, lobster, ceviche, salads, and more.

THE DEAL: Fish tacos for $0.99.

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17.  Fiesta Martin Mexican Grill (Inglewood)

Family owned Mexican restaurant with epic drinks and yummy classic dishes.

THE DEAL: $1 tacos, including hard shell beef, chicken, potato, or bean, and soft tacos like birria, lengua, and tripe.

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What’s your favorite spot for Taco Tuesday in L.A.? Let us know in the comments below!

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Cool Spots

12 Totally Sick Views of Los Angeles You Can Get To Without a Big Fuss

May 17, 2016 by Mallory Carra

That saying how “no one walks in L.A.” isn’t true. Plenty of folks love to go for a peaceful walk and hike in Los Angeles.

But let’s face it, sometimes you just want to enjoy a gorgeous view of Los Angeles without all trudging and hiking and plodding that it sometimes takes to reach the summit of a great mountain or remote coastal cliff.

It’s not that you’re lazy. You’re just being economical with your time.

So if you need some instant zen (or maybe you just want to snap some cool photos), we’ve got you covered with a list of great spots where you can enjoy the view, but skip the trek.

[RELATED10 Free Places With Breathtaking Views of Los Angeles]

1. Vista Hermosa Park

Vista Hermosa Park Empty Bench

Vista Hermosa Park in Downtown L.A. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

You might take one look at the that bench and think it’s the same one made made famous the 2009 movie 500 Days of Summer, but you’d actually be wrong (that’s actually Angels Knoll, which is currentl closed) Nonetheless, Vista Hermosa will do just fine, with a peekaboo bench view of the DTLA skyline that’s sure to impress. Your best bet is probably to park on Toluca and then take a short stroll over to the top of the park’s hill to get the view.

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2. Hollywood Bowl Overlook

Hollywood Bowl Overlook View

A view from the Hollywood Bowl Overlook. Credit: Gaston Hinostroza via flickr cc

Along the famous Mulholland Drive, the Hollywood Bowl Overlook has glorious view of Downtown from right on top of the amphitheater. The parking lot is tiny, but if you can secure a spot, you don’t have to hike far to take in the view or listen to some tunes if a band is playing a concert below. Open sunrise to sunset (a Ranger may boot you out if you’re there outside those times).

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3. Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory at Night

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Sure, Griffith Park has plenty of options for a fun hike up to the Observatory, but if you’re feeling like taking in a gorgeous view without the sweat, you can drive right up to the top. We’d recommend going at non-peak times, since it get get very crowded and parking can be a challenge otherwise.

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4. Kenneth Hahn Recreational Area

Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area

View from Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

This Culver City scenic park has lots of beautiful views. Want to see a waterfall? You got one. Feeling like feeding the ducks by a calm lake? Kenneth Hahn has that, too. You can walk to all of the park’s varying landscapes, but what’s nice is you can also drive each of them, too. The view of the skyline from the overlook at the top has been the spot of some of the most iconic skyline photo captures of L.A.

Keep in mind Parking is free on weekdays, but there is a fee on weekends ($6 for cars).

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5. City Hall Observation Deck

City Hall Observation Deck

View from City Hall Observation Deck. Credit: Joe Wolf via flickr cc

Check out this free and unobstructed view above Downtown without any tall buildings or tourists in the way. Public hours at the City Hall Observation Deck are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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[RELATED75 Fun & Free Things to Do in L.A. Every Angeleno Should Try]

6. Echo Park Lake

Echo Park Lake and Downtown Los Angeles

Echo Park Lake. Credit: collectmoments via flickr cc

The benefit of Echo Park’s own park/lake is that you see the body of water and its iconic fountain as soon as you drive up to it. Once you park your car, you don’t have to walk far to enjoy the pretty lake — in fact, you can take it in as you walk around it.

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7. Hilltop Park

This Signal Hill spot (just north of Downtown Long Beach) offers a lovely panoramic view of Long Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, and maybe even DTLA on a clear day. Parking is free on the street, but spots will be sparse during peak times (like sunset), most especially on weekends.

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8. Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier Sunset

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Sure, it’s a tourist hot spot, but for good reason — the pier offers some of the prettiest views of the one of L.A.’s most famous beaches. And if you want an easy-to-get-to view of the pier itself, the next-door Palisades Park is a peaceful, non-strenuous walk that’ll let you take in the famous Ferris wheel from afar.

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9. Pacific Coast Highway & Malibu Coast

Sunset at Point Dume

Sunset at Point Dume. Credit: Pachecho via flickr cc

On the way to Malibu, the PCH offers some of the most stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline. You can choose to hike down some rocks to see more, or you can appreciate it from the road. Pointe Dume especially has some lovely bluff viewpoints that aren’t hard to reach at all.

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10. Baldwin Hills Overlook

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Trail

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook: Credit: Eric Chan via flickr cc

One of the best views of Culver City can be seen from this high point, which has a steep incline to the top. If you’re not feeling like the climb, you can drive to and park at the top, but be aware there is a fee to park. If you decide to take the stairs, it’s a relatively short (but intense) 282 step walk to the top.

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11. Ascot Hills Park

Ascot Hills Park

Milo posing for skyline at Ascot Hills Park. Photo credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

This El Sereno park has an amphitheater and lots of hiking trails, but you don’t need to venture on a long journey to take in some breathtaking views of Downtown and the rolling hills. If you want a shortcut to the view of DTLA, park in the gravel lot on your left when you enter and head up the hill on the same side. Follow the path towards the left (west) as you head up the hill from the gravel lot and you should be able to spy the skyline with clarity.

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12. BONUS: Skyspace LA at U.S. Bank Tower (Coming Soon)

via Skyspace LA / YouTube

Scheduled to open in June 2016, Skyspace LA will be perched 1,000 feet and will become the largest open-air observation deck in the state of California, complete with a 360-degree view. There’s even a Skyslide, a 45-foot slide to glide down. Tickets for admission to Skyspace are on sale now and start at $19.

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What are some of your favorite views in L.A.? Let us know in the comments below!

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Things To Do

20 Terrific Things to do for Easter in Los Angeles (2016)

March 23, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Looking for a bit of Easter spirit in Los Angeles ?

In 2016 the holiday falls early on the last Sunday in March, but don’t worry — you’ll be able to hop right into some awesome spring fun all the same.

Plenty of options are in play, from Easter egg hunts for the kids to epic brunches and Bloody Mary’s for the grown ups (and perhaps even a requisite visit to see the Easter Bunny).

So don your Easter best and check out our list of sweet things to do for Easter in L.A.

Enjoy!

[RELATED: 14 Spots for the Best Bottomless Mimosa Brunches in Los Angeles]

1. Baltaire Easter Brunch Buffet

The Brentwood steakhouse is gearing up for an epic buffet feast, featuring housemade pastries, an extravagant iced shellfish station, and a carving station with meats like a Glazed Nueske Spiral Ham. You can opt for a Bloody Mary or the restaurant’s own Lavender Gin Fizz or Mezcal sour.  The buffet serves from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $75 per person and $45 for children.

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2. Fig & Olive Prixe Fixe Brunch

From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., the Melrose restaurant will be serving up a seasonally-inspired three-course prix-fixe holiday brunch for $40 per person. The dishes include choices of French Omelet, Rosemary Lamb, Steak & Eggs, Riviera Salmon, Crab Salad, Vegetarian Quiche, Provencal Carrot & Thyme Soup, and, for dessert, Clementine Vacherin or Chocolate Pot De Creme.

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3. Tanzy’s Easter Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar & Brunch

The Westwood spot is promising “no bunny biz” this Easter — just a Bloody Mary Bar of epic proportions. From 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Tanzy will stock a bar that includes different bases (Tanzy’s own from scratch, beef stock, clam juice), garnishes (crisp smoked bacon to cured meats, shrimp, cheese, veggies), and spirits (New Amsterdam Vodka, Evan Williams Bourbon Grey Goose Vodka). It’ll get you ready for a visit from the “Hipster” Easter bunny, who will probably have a tasty custom Bloody Mary of his own in hand.

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4. Bourbon Steak Los Angeles Brunch & Bloody Mary Cart

The Michael Mina Restaurant will offer a $59 three-course menu filled with options like Grilled Asparagus with sunny side egg, hollandaise and duck prosciutto, Fried Chicken & Ricotta Doughnuts with souther slaw, Michael Mina’s signature Lobster Pot Pie with brandied truffle cream and market vegetables, and some really decadent desserts. To drink, Bourbon Steak has you covered with a Bloody Mary Cart with lots of custom garnishes.

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5.Demitasse Roastery & Kitchen Easter’s Egg Tasting Menu

If you love eggs, listen up! Demitasse Roastery & Kitchen in Hollywood will host a Easter Egg Tasting Menu a five-course meal developed by Executive Chef Jeff Lustre. Dine on quail egg drop soup, coddled hen egg, duck egg ravioli, emu steak and eggs and Goose Tocino de Cielo egg custard. Tickets to Easter’s Egg Tasting Menu are $60.00 per person, $80.00 with wine pairings and purchasable online for both Friday and Saturday tastings.

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6. Mr. C Poolside Easter Brunch Buffet

It may only be March, but it’s never too early in the year to lounge by the pool in Los Angeles. The Beverly Hills hotel’s eatery will host a Venetian-style poolside buffet brunch with live music, and a mini Easter egg hunt. The buffet includes Cipriani classic pastas, made-to-order waffles, a carving station with a slow-roasted leg of lamb, and an ice cream and gelato stand. The brunch buffet is $105 per person ( $49 children 4-12 years old) and you can add bottomless Bellinis for an additional $30 a person.

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7. Esterel at the Sofitel’s Easter Brunch

Want it all? Esterel’s got in its Easter Brunch buffet, which is $95 per person for an endless spread for the holiday from 11:30 to 4 p.m. Among the comprehensive menu of brunch dishes are shrimp cocktail, oysters, Smoked Salmon & Charcuterie,  Quiche au Fromage & Quiche Lorraine, Crepe and dessert stations, and the chef edible garden.

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8. Ivory On Sunset Easter Brunch

The Mondrian LA spot in West Hollywood is plating three special dishes for Easter Brunch: Rabbit Confit (with Frisee, Watermelon Radish, Baby Beets, & Raspberry Vinaigrette),  Black Truffle Deviled Eggs (with Espelette Pepper), and  Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb (with Roasted Pee Wee Potatoes, Rainbow Chard). The rest of Chef Brian Malarkey’s delicious brunch menu will be available as well. Brunch serves from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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9. Vivaine Prixe Fixe Easter Brunch

Chef Michael Hung’s Beverly Hills restaurant is celebrating its first Easter with a special three-course, prixe fixe brunch menu for $56 per person.  Some of the choices for the courses are Poached Duck Eggs, Soft Scrambled Farm Eggs, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Arctic Char Baked in Parchment, and Chocolate Hazelnut Torte.

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10. Ocean Prime Easter Brunch

Usually this Beverly Hills restaurant is only open for dinner on weekends, but Ocean Prime is making an exception for Easter Sunday. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., they’ll be serving Crab & Eggs, Three Cheese Quiche, Blackened Salmon Salad, and more, which you can pair with a Blood Orange Mimosa or wine to cheers to the end of Lent.

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11. Valerie Confections Chocolates

Even adults can hunt for some Egg-cellent Easter goodies, like these incredible chocolate eggs. Award-winning chocolatier Valerie Gordon has debuted an Easter Collection of chocolate eggs (including Golden Eggs with gold leaf) anyone would be delighted to find in their basket. They’ll be available Valerie locations in Echo Park, Downtown, and Silverlake, as well as online.

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12. Big Bunny’s Spring Fling At the LA Zoo

It’s not Easter without a bunny or two. From March 25-27, the zoo is hosting its annual celebration of Spring and Easter with crafts, music, and real live bunnies to pet. It’s Easter fun for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout all three days.

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13. Downtown Easter Fest in Grand Hope Park

If you’re looking for an epic Easter Egg Hunt, the annual Easter Fest in Downtown will have 14,000 of ’em hidden around. The park’s event will also boast multiple bounce houses, arts and crafts, music, and so much more fun stuff to do. And it’s all for a good cause — some of the proceeds will go to help ministries in Skid Row.

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14. Kidspace Egg Hunt At the Kidspace Children’s Museum

Bring the little ones to hunt for Easter candy-filled eggs in the Galvin Physics Forest or enjoy dance and art lessons at the Pasadena museum on Saturday and Easter Sunday. FYI: There will be bunnies to pet from the Bunny World Foundation and they will be cute. Pre-registration is required and costs $4.

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15. Bugs Bunny Cartoons at the American Cinematheque

It’s rabbit season! Celebrate Easter Sunday by taking in some toons featuring one of the most famous rabbits on the big screen at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. The theater is having an egg hunt at 3:3o pm. before the cartoons start at 4 p.m. Tickets are $11 but we found half off tickets on Goldstar while supplies last.

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16. Marina Del Rey Easter Brunch & Champagne Brunch Cruise

Take to the water with the Easter Bunny for this two-hour Hornblower brunch cruise, where you can enjoy a buffet on board, and champagne a-flowing with a great view. Tickets cost $68.95 per person and the boat leaves at 10 a.m., 11 a.m.,  and 2:30 p.m.

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17. EGG-ceptional Celebration at the LA Arboretum

On Saturday, the LA Aboretum in Arcadia will be hosting an Easter egg hunt for kids of all ages throughout the day. Reservations are not required and baskets for the hunt will be provided. All you need is a ticket ($5 per child plus admission) and some Easter determination.

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18. Easter Breakfast at the Aquarium of the Pacific

Spend Easter morning with the creatures of the sea and a delightful breakfast in Long Beach from 8 to 10:30 a.m. For $45 per adult and $25 a child, the price includes sweet and savory breakfast pastries, Blue Whale Breakfast Casserole, Citrus Ham, and a $5 gift certificate to Pacific Collections Gift Store.

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19. Huntington Beach Easter Hunt

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., celebrate the holiday at Huntington Central Park in Orange County by hunting for thousands of pounds of candy, playing games, enjoying live music, and taking a selfie with the Easter Bunny (of course). The Huntington Beach Kiwanis Club will be hosting a pancake breakfast and hot lunch for the occasion.

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20. Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt on the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary is pulling out all the stops for an egg-cellent holiday. The Easter Egg Hunt has toys and candy available to find, as well as a special egg with a Golden Ticket for the Queen Mary Easter basket. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s a champagne brunch aboard, which costs $69.95 for adults and $24.95 for children. The festivities run from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

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What are you doing for Easter in Los Angeles this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lifestyle

11 Moments That Prove Los Angeles Has Become Your True Home

March 22, 2016 by Mallory Carra

You hopped off the plane at LAX with your dream and your cardigan, a la Miley Cyrus, but that doesn’t mean you’re a true Los Angeleno  — at least not yet.

It’s one thing to physically reside in Los Angeles, it’s another to identify the city of angels as your one true home.

The reality is the journey from transplant to true angeleno is one of experiences.

Whether you’re an L.A. native or freshly arrived, becoming an “angeleno” is something that happens over time. I’ve been here for six years and I still wonder about my bonafides, but I guess it’s all about the process.

Within that process there are those quiet, subtle moments, as I’m sure you’ve had too, where you’ll catch yourself and realize that this city has truly gotten into your bones.

From parking wisdom and beating Waze to playing tour guide for out-of-towners or instantly recognizing obscure L.A. pop-culture references, below I’ve catalogued a few of the moments that have stood out over the course of my transformation during the past six years.

Not everyone’s journey will be 100% the same, but perhaps you might recognize just a few of these from your own story…

Awful Los Angeles Parking Signs

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

1. When You Celebrate Finding The Holy Grail of Parking

You know you’ve a true angeleno when you have the intel, the patience, and the resourcefulness to find a free and clear street parking spot in one of those hard-to-get-parking areas, like Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Brentwood, just to name a few. And it’s not just about the act of finding the spot, it’s the mental fist-pump you do every time your little hidden gem of a spot is available. This is because you recognize the difficultly in what you just accomplished, and you celebrate the achievement duly.

2. When You Beat Waze

Sure you could always use the directions provided by Waze and Google Maps — but after you drive a route enough times, you’ll get a sense of the traffic patterns and flow. You’ll also notice that one street or that one turn that no app has ever suggested, but taking it seems to make all the difference (especially when it comes to avoiding a suicide left type of situation that Waze can sometimes lead you to). Eventually the app will probably figure it out too, but until then, you can take pride in your ‘secret’ knowledge.

3. When You Catch the Pressed Juice Bug

L.A. is known for so many things, but you have to admit that pressed juice and kale are pretty much everywhere. So much that sometimes, you’ll find that you’re totally in the mood for a kale salad and a $9 cup of fresh juice. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that — especially since you have so many options.

Beaming Pressed Juices

Fresh juice selection at Beaming in Santa Monica. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

4. When you survive a day at the DMV to get your California license

There’s nothing quite like letters D-M-V to send a shiver down your spine. It’s absolutely no fun and borders on torture, but changing over your license at the DMV — whether it’s when you first move here or when you know it’s time — is an experience that takes your devotion to the city to a whole new level, on top of the literal fact that you will now have an actual California / Los Angeles identification card.

Just make sure to clear your schedule for the whole day, bring all documentation, and get ready to wait it out.

5. When you complain that 55 degrees is cold

When the temperature falls below 60 degrees, get ready for all of the East Coast and Midwest transplants to shrug and say, “You think this weather is cold?” Well, if you’ve been living in Los Angeles long enough, it certainly feels cold! When you live every day like it’s 68 degrees and sunny, anything below will make you want to add layers on layers.

Los Angeles Weather Meme

6. When you successfully play tour guide for your out-of-town friends/family and take them to see more than Hollywood Boulevard

A lot of people think of Hollywood Boulevard when they think of LA — after all, the Oscars are filmed at the Dolby Theater — but you know you’re a true Angeleno when you can show your parents and out-of-town visitors what your version of LA is. It could be your favorite coffee shop, the best juice shop in your neighborhood, or your favorite hike.

Pro-tip: Find some good ideas for your out of town friends from our big list of free + fun to-dos around Los Angeles.

7. When you learn to use your time stuck in traffic wisely

Neophyte angelenos tend to get super frustrated in traffic and focus their energy on that. Once you’ve been here more than a minute though, you’ll know how to maximize your time spent in your second home — aka the car. Books “on tape,” playlists, and NPR all come in handy when you’re in stuck in the rubberneck. Some people even do their makeup, and smoke, among other things in the car — not that I necessarily recommend that. But you’ll find ways to do what you need to do.

Traffic in L.A. on the 101

Typical day-time traffic on the 101 moving through DTLA. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

8. When you totally get all those LA references in pop culture (Tupac’s “California Love,” Clueless, Randy Newman, The Kardashians, etc)

Before I moved here, most Los Angeles pop culture references went over my head, but when I had been here for awhile, they all suddenly began to click and make sense. Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” name-checks Imperial Highway, Santa Ana winds, Victory Boulevard, and more. A true Angeleno will understand why going to a party in the Valley was a big deal for Cher in Clueless and know all the Kardashian landmarks.

9. When you’ve tried at least 5 different variations of the In-N-Out secret menu

The In-N-Out secret menu will feel like the greatest discovery when you first arrive in Los Angeles. Knowing about the secret menu — “animal style,” chopped chilis, the “Flying Dutchman” and all — makes will make you feel like you’re part of an exclusive club (even though pretty much everyone knows about it already by now).

Still, once you’ve tried enough of the options, you’ll settle on your ol’ standby for when you need an In-N-Out fix and you’ll feel right at home.

3x3 at In N Out

A 3×3 with animal style fries. Credit: Laine Trees via flickr cc

10. When you spot a celebrity and it’s no big deal

When you first move or visit Los Angeles, you might freak out when you see celebs in their natural state — you know, if you’re into all that Hollywood stuff. But once live here long enough, you’ll eat, drink, and shop among plenty of recognizable and unrecognizable stars and it just be another day in the city of angels.

Ho-hum.

11. When you see the Theme Building at LAX and say, “I’m home”

If you’re originally from somewhere else, flying into LAX from your hometown might feel like some kind of weird dream or suspended reality. But once you fully embrace your angeleno-ness, L.A. will be your true home and, no matter where you go, you’ll be anxious to return.

LAX Theme Building

LAX Theme Building. Photo Credit: Amatullah Guyot

Welcome home.


Are you a transplant who now considers L.A. your home?  What sealed it for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food

16 L.A. Spots You Gotta Try If You LOVE Breakfast

March 12, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Whether you’re an early riser or a late AM snoozer, we can all agree that a delicious breakfast is one of the best motivators for getting out of bed every morning.

And luckily for us, Los Angeles has some of the yummiest and most creative morning treats around. From specialty pancakes to egg sandwiches, burritos to rice bowls and BLTS, the endless list of options can be kind of overwhelming.

So where to start?

Well, allow us to help pare down your choices with a handy selection of the top places to get your breakfast on in L.A.

It’s not necessarily an exhaustive list of every great breakfast spot in our city, but we feel the mentions below have to be at the top of any Los Angeles breakfasting bucket list.

Rundown numbered for reference, in no particular order.

Enjoy!

[RELATED16 Spots for the Best Brunch in Los Angeles]

1. Ledlow

This Downtown LA restaurant has plenty of morning treats on its menu. The Breakfast combo comes with fried eggs, duck fat potatoes, and crispy pork belly. The menu also includes coddled eggs Benedict and avocado and cream toast.

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2. C&M Cafe

This Palms spot offers up some of the most amusing breakfast creations west of La Brea. If you’re looking for a sweet ‘n’ savory pick-me-up, order the legendary BAM sandwich, made with a French toast cinnamon bun. Want to go full-on savory? Check out the stacked-high and mighty Enjoy Guys! burger. You can’t go wrong with breakfast served all-day, every day.

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3. Sqirl

From 8:00am-4:00pm, this hip Silver Lake cafe serves breakfast in the form of delicious rice bowls, several different kinds of yummy toasts (including avocado toast), rice porridges, and other seasonal specials. We won’t judge you if you order everything that has Sqirl’s famous jams on it either.

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[RELATED10 Excellent Places to Eat in Silver Lake You Definitely Gotta Try Once]

Closet Basics: Vans + APC's. Sqirl Basics: R2 + B2.

A photo posted by @sqirlla on

4. Rae’s Restaurant

If you’re looking for the most famous biscuits and gravy in town, then look no further than this Santa Monica mainstay. Open since 1958, Rae’s also cooks up a mighty corned beef hash with three eggs and a slice of pineapple. They’re cash-only, so make sure to stop by the ATM first.

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5. Blu Jam Cafe

With locations in Studio City and Melrose, you can consume a delectable all-day breakfast from the Valley to Hollywood. Blu Jam Cafe’s breakfast menu is everything you could want, craving elbow macaroni for breakfast? Order Kamil’s Breakfast. Feeling like a Carbonara dish? Order the Brunch Carbonara. Keeping it healthy? Take a gander at the Health and Fitness menu. It’s all in there!

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6. Egg Slut

With a name like that, the eggs better be good — and the wildly popular Grand Central Market stand does not disappoint. There’s a line for this one, too, but Egg Slut makes it all worth it with a menu of delicious eggy sandwiches on brioche buns like The Fairfax and egg and cheese combos with either bacon or sausage.

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[RELATEDThe 21 Best Places to Eat in Downtown L.A. Every Dedicated Foodie Needs to Try Once]

7. Gjelina

This Venice favorite serves up delicious dishes all the time — including during their 8:00am- 11:00am breakfast hours. Wake up with a 6-grain porridge with fruits and buckwheat honey, lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes, Moroccan baked eggs, and so much more.

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8. Farmshop

Take your breakfast cravings to Santa Monica for delectable French toast, house-made pastrami and poached eggs, and the Farmer’s classic. Make sure you’re up early since breakfast is 7:30am – 10:30am Monday through Friday while brunch runs 8:00am – 2:00pm on weekends.

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9. Republique

Walk in, take in Repulique’s gorgeous courtyard, and then take a look at the Hancock Park spot’s delicious breakfast menu, which is served until 3:00pm. Favorites include the kimchi fried rice (yup, for breakfast — just go with it), Croque Madame, Anson Mills Corn Waffle Ranchero, and so much more.

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[RELATED: The 15 Best Bakeries in Los Angeles]

10. Eat This

Follow the request of this Hollywood restaurant’s name and indulge in some bottomless mimosa, a truffle egg and cheese sandwich, mini-cinnamon rolls, and corned beef hash topped with fried eggs. Then, you can find out if Eat This should add the word “Definitely” to its name.

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11. Little Sister

With locations in Downtown L.A. and Manhattan Beach, Little Sister brings its A-game to the DTLA breakfast scene with its Vietnamese-style breakfast plate, Chinese savory doughnuts, breakfast congee, Vietnamese sticky lotus rice with pork, and more all on one plate!

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12. Griddle Cafe

If a hearty breakfast on the Sunset Strip is just what you need, than the wait at this popular Sunset Boulevard restaurant will be worth it. The portions are huge, the pancakes come in wacky flavors like Oreo filled and Red Velvet, plus the coffee is French pressed, can’t go wrong there.

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13. The Grub

Two words: Crack Bacon. How could you not answer a wake-up call like that? Get to Hollywood and devour that delicious bacon on its own or you can get it cooked inside The Carnivore B.F.P. (Big Flippin’ Pancake), included in the Omelet Opera, or just as part of the Kevin Bacon plate. The choice is yours. Breakfast on weekdays is served starting at 11:00am and weekends starting 9:00am.

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14. BLD

The letters may stand for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (get it?), but consider concentrating on the B when you pay this Beverly Boulevard restaurant a visit. Served until 3:00pm, BLD’s breakfast menu features ricotta blueberry pancakes, a fried egg sandwich, and seven different types of Benedicts, including a vegan option.

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15. Nick’s Coffee Shop

Who says L.A. doesn’t have diners? This Pico-Robertson eatery has a huge menu that’ll satisfy even the most picky of the bunch. The extensive breakfast service includes a list of “Traditional Breakfasts,” like whole ham steak and eggs, grilled pork chops, eggs and applesauce, Spam and eggs, and more.

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[RELATED: The 13 Best Diners in Los Angeles]

16. Jon & Vinny’s

I know, I know.  Jon & Vinny’s is known for their pizzas and pastas, but breakfast is pretty fantastic at the Fairfax diner, too. You wouldn’t want to miss out on Nutella toast, breakfast pizza, and a BLT served on Gjusta Ciabatta would you?

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Where are your favorite spots for breakfast in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food

16 Best Places to Eat on Melrose Ave

February 29, 2016 by Mallory Carra

When I first visited Los Angeles years ago a cab driver told me and my friends that Melrose Ave was the hans-down the coolest place to hang out in the city.

After living here for more than a minute, I’m not exactly ready to cosign that claim but what I have discovered is that strip of culture along Melrose contains some of the finest places to eat in all of L.A. So many, in fact, that we figured the street itself deserved its own food list. And here it is!

From the Larchmont area to Hancock Park to West Hollywood, we searched for the best places to eat along Melrose Ave and listed it out all to help you explore, eat, and enjoy.

Rundown starts after the jump, in no particular order.

[RELATED17 Best Places to Eat in the Fairfax District]

New pizza tonight from @hekthereck House made #pancetta ,butternut squash, taleggio & oregano. #youwantpizza

A photo posted by Osteria La Buca (@osterialabuca) on

1. Osteria La Buca

Whether its a delicious pasta and pizza dinner or brunch, you won’t be disappointed at this spot on Melrose and Wilton. The east Larchmont Italian restaurant cooks up some yummy pizzas like the yolk-tastic “Neighborhood Pizza” and can’t-miss pastas like the nero spaghetti and short rib ravioli.

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2. Osteria Momma

The finest cusine of Italy’s Veneto Region can be found at this Larchmont Italian eatery. Popular dishes include the delicious Pappardelle al Fumo, Bigoli Neri alla Bottarga (squid ink pasta!), and the burrata felice (fresh burrata cheese with grilled eggplant and confit tomatoes).

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3. The Larchmont

The Larchmont can feel like a home, literally — the restaurant is inside a hundred-year-old, two-story Craftsman house in the heart of Larchmont Village. Executive Chef Michael Bryant’s southern roots and French training shine through his fresh take on California garden-to-table cuisine. Comforting dishes like charred Spanish octopus, roasted chicken and spiced lamb shoulder are home runs.

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Larchmont Chicken

Roasted Chicken at The Larchmont. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

4. Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood

You’d never think it from this unassuming Hancock Park spot, but Mario’s boasts some of the best Peruvian cuisine in L.A. Favorite dishes include the lomo saltado and a seafood fried rice. And, of course, you’ve gotta try the green aji sauce — it’s a must for Peruvian food and Mario’s version has gotten rave reviews.

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5. Osteria Mozza

In addition to pastas and wine, the Hancock Park Italian restaurant has a mozzarella bar — yes, you read that right, cheese lovers. The mozzarella bar on Melrose features heavenly burrata and bacon, burricotta and spiced walnuts, Bufala mozzarella and salame salad. As for non-cheese, an Osteria Mozza favorite is the grilled octopus.

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In the mood for something #fancy tonight? #burrata with #caviar, red onion, egg & chives 🏆

A photo posted by Osteria Mozza (@osteriamozza) on

6. Providence

Chef Michael Cimarusti’s Hollywood restaurant has received multiple James Beard Award nominations for dishes like geoduck, wild Japanese tai snapper, Santa Barbara spot prawn, and many other seasonal and signature plates. Can’t decide what to get? Go for one of Providence’s multi-course tasting menus for lunch or dinner with wine pairings.

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7. Tatsu Ramen

With locations on Melrose and Sawtelle, Tatsu Ramen has the market cornered on delicious ramen you can order and customize via iPad. And they don’t just serve ramen at their bustling locations — Tatsu also offers ramen burgers and pork buns to snack on while you slurp your noodle-filled broth.

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[RELATED: 17 Spots for the Best Ramen in Los Angeles]

8. The Village Idiot

No one does pub grub quite like The Village Idiot. The Fairfax bar’s got beer (of course) along with brunch service, lunch, and supper. No matter the time of day, you can count on The Village Idiot for yummy classics like fish and chips, full English breakfast, steak and potato pie, and more.

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Order in 7 #sundayroast #sundayfunday #lawinter #comfortfood

A photo posted by the village idiot (@villageidiotla) on

9. Melrose Umbrella Company

It may not rain often in Los Angeles, but the Melrose Umbrella Company cocktail bar is ready anyway with its decorative umbrellas. The Fairfax bar has an old-timey feel that’ll take you back and awesome cocktails you can throwback for a fun night out. During the day, Melrose Umbrella Company now features coffee service as well.

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10. Blu Jam Cafe

Before it was a thing at McDonald’s, this Fairfax cafe was doing all-day breakfast like a champ with some of the most inspired dishes in town. Chef Kamil’s breakfast comes with elbow macaroni, and there are rave reviews for the Blu Jam Benedict and Eggs Florentine. If you’re keeping it light and healthy, don’t worry — they also have a “Health & Fitness” menu, too.

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11. Froma On Melrose

This Beverly Grove deli has limited seating, but not a limited menu. Froma is all about delicious cured meats, cheeses, wines, and a popular breakfast panini. They also sell many other paninis and sandwiches, flavorful pizzas, and burgers for a quite bite to eat with a classy glass of wine.

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12. Ink

On the corner of King and Melrose, Michael Voltaggio’s renowned restaurant has been cooking up a whole lot of rave reviews for its dishes. Give the salt & charcoal potato, egg yolk gnocchi, pork cheek, and other seasonal dishes a try for a dinner to remember.

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What's for dinner tonight? See you at the bar or make it a night.

A photo posted by ink. & sack by @MVoltaggio (@mvinkla) on

13. Crossroads

Chef Tal Ronnen’s Vegan restaurant has plant-based Mediterranean dishes for brunch and dinner. The Beverly Grove restaurant has a menu of dishes like the Crossroads Benedict, fried “chicken” and waffles, Kite Hill cheese plate, lentil flatbread, spicy “meatball” pizza, and other vegan versions of traditional favorites.

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[RELATED17 Delicious Spots to Go on Date Night with an L.A. Foodie]

14. The Hart and the Hunter

Located at the Palihotel, The Hart and The Hunter is a little hard to find, but it’s a gem once you step inside. The butter biscuits have received raves, as well as the avocado toast, smoked trout plate, and their own spin on the breakfast sandwich with pimento cheese, breakfast sausage, avocado, and a sunny side egg on sourdough.

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15. Gracias Madre

Currently the hippest WeHo vegan restaurant and with good reason. Gracias Madre is a regular celeb haunt — Jay-Z and Beyonce have been spotted here — with some of the most delicious vegan food that even non-vegans will fall in love with. Pair their plant-based Mexican cuisine with some of their creative cocktails for a meal to remember.

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16. Lucques

Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s WeHo cozy spot that serves up delicious lam, braised short rib, chicken confit, and more to sink your teeth into. Be sure to stop by for Lucques’ well-known Sunday Suppers, which has a different menu every weekend. Suppers cost $45 per person for three courses, it’s worth it.

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Honorable Mentions:

Alfred Coffee and Kitchen

All About the Bread

Carlitos Gardel

Duff’s Cakemix

Taste on Melrose

Smoke.Oil.Salt

Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen

What are your favorite spots on Melrose Ave? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food

16 Spots for The Best Pizza in Los Angeles

February 17, 2016 by Mallory Carra

As a native New Yorker I know it’s hard to find the pizza I grew up with anywhere but NYC.

In some ways I suppose the memories of a childhood are impossible to compete with, but here’s a hard-to-believe truth: You can totally find amazing pizza in Los Angeles, as long as you know what to look for and where to look for it.

A lot of folks just focus on New York style pizza and get disappointed, but L.A. has plenty of other varieties you should try. Make-your-own, fancy, not-so-fancy, thin-crust, deep-dish and, of course, vegan.

So if you’re looking for a new pizza spot or just want to try a place you’ve never been to before, check out our handy list of the best in L.A. (presented in no particular order, numbered only for reference).

[RELATED: 15 Spots for the Best Vegan Food in Los Angeles]

It's a pizza kind of day! Get ready #demsottoboys #datsottogirl #pizza #sottola 🍕🍕🍕

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1. Sotto

This Pico-Robertson spot is underground — literally. Sotto is located underneath Picca on Pico Boulevard, but word of its amazingly flavorful pizzas has reached far above ground. Why should you go for the pizzas on Sotto’s menu? The consensus is that the dough is incredible and pie options are unique, take the Guanciale pie for example, it’s topped with house-cured pork cheek, ricotta, scallions and fennel pollen.

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2. Jon & Vinny’s

Ever since this Fairfax restaurant opened last year, folks can’t stop talking about Jon & Vinny’s and its delicious Italian dishes and pizza pies. Popular pizzas at this hot spot include the White Lightening (with pickled jalapeno), El Chaparrito (with chorizo), and L.A. Woman (with local burrata cheese).

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3. Pizzeria Mozza

Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali’s beloved Hancock Park pizzeria’s extensive menu of gourmet pies have Angelenos singing Pizzeria Mozza’s praises. The comprehensive menu includes pizzas with fennel sausage, eggs, Yukon Gold potatoes, bacon, Priscuitto di Parma, and so much more. And if you’re there for a weekday lunch, you must check out their $20 Bar Special, which includes a glass of wine.

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New #pizzetta on the menu! #Lardo, scarmoza, guanciale & cipolloni. 🎉🍕

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4. DeSano Pizza Bakery

Looking for authentic Neapolitan pizza? The pies made in DeSano Pizza Bakery’s 900-degree wood-burning ovens from Naples will do the trick for that craving. Favorites inlcude the classic Margherita, the lasagna pizza, and bianca pie.

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5. Bestia

Renowned for their incredible pastas, this Downtown Italian restaurant also has pizzas that will blow your mind. Fan favorites include the Burrata pie (with San Marzano tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives, and fermented chilies) and the Alla’nduja pizza (with housemade spicy ‘nduja, black cabbage, and fennel pollen).

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[RELATED: The 21 Best Places to Eat in Downtown L.A.]

6. Prime Pizza

If you’re feeling like having a regular ol’ slice and a coke, this Fairfax pizza joint brings a New York-style special to L.A. You can get two cheese slices and a soda for $6 (that deal sounds a lot like NYC) or you can get a delicious pie of their classic pizzas, like cheese, pepperoni, and barbecue chicken.

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[RELATED: 17 Best Places to Eat in the Fairfax District]

7. Gjelina Take Away

This hot spot on Abbott Kinney is a favorite of regular Angelenos and celebs like Beyonce and Jay-Z. Their take away shop next door is just as popular, especially its menu of over 15 pizza choices. Popular picks include the mushroom, squash blossom, and Gruyere.

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8. 800 Degrees

At 800 Degrees’ various locations, building your own pizza never tasted so good. Or you could just go with the proven specialty pies on their menu, like the Quattro Formaggi, spicy meatball, and Angry Bee (soppressata, garlic, honey, and Caribbean chiles). OR you can just order the $5 Instagram special — that’s right, $5 for an entire pizza pie.

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The #potd is: The Margherita with pepperoni and pesto. #magnificence #5dollarstoday

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9. Hollywood Pies

Enough about New York-style pizza; let’s talk about Chicago deep dish. This Mid-City pizzeria on Pico Boulevard boasts authentic deep dish pies on its menu, but when you order, remember that this kind of love takes time. Patrons report that the pies are about a 45-minute wait, but it’s worth every minute.

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10. Love & Salt

The venerable Manhattan Beach California-inspired Italian restaurant has many amazing pasta dishes, but let’s talk about Love & Salt’s renowned wood oven pizzas. Patrons go crazy for the duck egg pie with pancetta, panna, potato, rosemary, mozzarella and Parmesan. Other popular pizzas include the tomato pie and the pepperoni pizza.
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$20 🍔&🍺or🍷 the last hour of service every night at @loveandsaltla !! #loveandsalt #latenightlove

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11. Prova Pizzeria

Prova brings its 100-year-old pizza recipe to West Hollywood, which its owners declare to be “the art of pizza.” The restaurant serves up yummy pies with and without tomato sauce,  like the “La Vito” (which comes with Pistachios), the “Vesuvio” (which is enough for two people), and gluten-free pies.

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12. The Coop Pizza 

Looking for that old school pizzeria? For forty years, it’s been tucked away on National Boulevard in Palms, right across from the 10 and what will soon be the Palms Metro station. The Coop is cash only, and mostly serves delivery and take-out orders — but there is an ATM at the liquor store next door, just FYI. You can get your pizza on by the slice or in small, medium, or large pies with various toppings.

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13. Town Pizza

Vegan pizza — that word combination doesn’t always conjure up deliciousness in people’s minds, but that’s only because they haven’t been to this Highland Park eatery. Town Pizza’s unique menu of signature pizzas has something for everyone: meat, veggies, vegan and gluten-free! The pies even have creative names like “The Fig and the Pig” (prosciutto, fig and fried sage with mozzarella on a garlic olive oil base) and “Beauty and the Beet” (Garlic olive oil base, mozzarella, roasted garlic, goat cheese, beets & ricotta cheese, topped with fresh organic arugula).

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14. Abbot’s Pizza Co.

Of course, pizza on Abbott Kinney Boulevard is going to have its own flair, and this Venice pizza joint certainly does. Abbot’s pies and slices come on a bagel crust (seriously) and you can choose from pizzas like Five Onion (with five kinds of actual onion), goat cheese, chicken curry, Popeye’s chicken, and the salad pizza.

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15. Tomato Pie Pizza Joint

With locations in Silverlake, Melrose Avenue, and South Pasadena, Tomato Pie offers pizza by the slice and pies made-to-order in medium, large, and gluten-free. Menu options range from the simple — the “Grandma” Margherita and the “Mr. White” Bianco — to the little bit more complex, like the Syracuse-style hot wing and the Pesto pie.

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16. Lamonica’s New York Pizza

Located in the heart of Westwood, Lamoncia’s has been serving up slices for more than three decades and is the only joint on this list that claims to import their dough directly from Brooklyn (and dough really does make all the difference). For the late-night eaters, make sure you take advantage of the $9 after 9pm deal (gets you a large 17″ pie) available daily, and all-day Sunday.

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What’s do you consider to be the best pizza in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

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