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21 Fun Things To Do for Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles (2016)

February 10, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Is love really in the air? It must be, because Valentine’s Day 2016 is only a few days away!

Whether you’re attached to a sweetheart or single and ready to mingle, Los Angeles has a whole bunch of Valentine’s-themed activities that’ll have you either falling in love all over again or opening your heart to someone new.

From special V-Day menus at some of L.A.’s best restaurants to a ScotsFestival (yes, for real) at the Queen Mary, the City of Angels offers a variety of ways to celebrate love in all of its forms.

Check out our handy list below!

Love Lock Los Angeles

The Love Lock Bridge up close. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

1. Valentine’s Menu At Blue Ribbon Sushi Los Angeles

Delight your date — your just yourself — with the best this Grove restaurant has to offer in this four-course menu for the holiday. The $80+ menu option includes assorted sashimi, sushi omakase, braised short rib and butter poached king crab legs, and assorted dipped strawberries. There’s also a $40+ option, which features fried chicken in place of the short rib and crab.

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2. Tinder Ball At Beelman’s Pub

Single, but tired of online dating? Take the online dating into a real-life sexy good time at the second annual Tinder Ball at this Downtown L.A. pub. Swipe right for this party’s kissing booth, a live date auction, and cocktails with names like “D.T.F.” and “Hearts on Fire.” The good times run on Valentine’s Day from 8:00pm until 2:00am.

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3. Champagne & Oysters At Knuckle & Claw

For the casual Cupid, this Silver Lake lobster roll mecca will be kicking back and keeping it low key with $1 oysters and half bottles of champagne from 5:00pm – 10:00pm on Valentine’s Day. Grab a seat on the Martha’s Vineyard inspired patio and don’t forget to order a whoopie pie for dessert the almond cream filling is finger licking good. No reservations required for stopping by!

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Oysters at Knuckle & Claw

Oysters at Knuckle & Claw. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

4. The Lady & The Tramp At El Capitan

Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day watching one of the greatest animated love stories of all time? From February 12-15, the classic tale of puppy love will run at various times at Hollywood’s El Capitan. Guests can celebrate with a special candlelit dinner before the movie, catered by Miceli’s (LA’s oldest Italian restaurant) inside the El Capitan Theatre, seating is limited, and reservations for dinner are required, so book soon! Dinner will include your choice of spaghetti with marinara sauce or spaghetti with meatballs with a garden salad, Miceli’s famous dinner rolls and mini cannoli for dessert. Be sure to check for discount tickets to the movie via Goldstar so you can splurge on the dinner! If tickets are sold out check out the link below for regular priced tickets.

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5. Beer & Cupcakes At Tony’s Darts Away

For the beer-lovin’ lovers, the Burbank pub is offering free red velvet cupcakes with every pint of the “My Bloody Valentine” beer from Alesmith Brewing Company. Tony’s describes the beer as having “notes of caramel and bittersweet chocolate and finishes with full-bodied sweetness,” which will go great with a yummy cupcake.

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6. The Notebook at Studio Movie Grill

Relive the love story of Noah and Allie in this beloved modern romance film, based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. The 2004 movie screens on Valentines Day at 7:30pm at the Simi Valley movie theater, which does serve dinner.

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7. Dinner At Necco Japanese Tapas

Looking for something a bit “royal” for the holiday? Fun fact: Chef Kenji Koyama is personal chef to singer Lorde and his West Los Angeles spot will feature a five-course prix fixe menu featuring roasted duck, Zuke salmon sashimi, lotus croquette, and more. From February 12 – 15, the dinner cost $100 for two and requires a reservation with at least one day’s notice.
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8. Dinner At The Larchmont

Get romantic at the Larchmont Village restaurant, which will be offering 5:00pm, 7:00pm, and 9:00pm seatings on Valentines Day for its three-course prix fixe menu. For $85 per person, the menu offers choices of foie gras torchon, harissa seared scallops, house ricotta tortellini, and more. See the link below for the full menu.

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9. Scavenger Hunt At Malibu Country Mart

If you’re feeling competitive, Malibu Country Mart is holding its third annual Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt. On Valentine’s Day at 11:00am, couples can be on the hunt for hidden jewelry boxes, vying for the chance to win the grand prize: $2,150 Vintage Malibu 18k yellow gold diamond pendant from the Kwiat Diamond. Other prizes include Malibu Country Mart giftcards. Sign up is from 10:30am to 11:00am. For more information and the full rules on how to participate visit this Facebook post from the country mart.

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10. Valentine’s Day Menus At Cliff’s Edge

Whether you’re celebrating your love on Saturday or Sunday, the Silver Lake restaurant is prepared with not just one Valentine’s menu, but two. On Saturday, the Valentine’s Eve prix-fixe menu contains three courses and an amuse (curried cauliflower soup mmm!) for $65 per person. On the big day itself, the Valentine’s Day menu is five courses and the amuse for $85. Dishes include a trio of oysters, Wagyu Steak Tartare, and more. See link below for the full menus.

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11. Birds Cafe/Bar’s Annual “Anti-Valentine’s Day” Party

Not feeling the love? Birds in Hollywood has you covered with its annual “Anti-Valentine’s Day” party, which already has sarcastic, un-romantic heart decorations hanging from the ceiling. In the past, the bash has featured voodoo dolls and pinatas to let you take aggression out on your ex. Reservations required.

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12. ScotsFestival and International Highland Games at Queen Mary

Looking for a different kind of Valentine’s Day? This Long Beach celebration of Scottish history features activities, athletics, dancing, entertainment and cuisine dedicated to the historic Queen Mary’s Scottish history. Tickets are $19 online for adults and $10 for kids 4-11 years old. Keep in mind our friends at Goldstar also have tickets for as low as $10 for admission on Sunday (while supplies last),

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13. Echo Park’s Pop-Up Bookstore On The Lake

Attention book lovers! In conjunction with the L.A. Art Book Fair, a “floating library” installation will, well, float along on the lake from Feb. 11-14 from 11:00am to 4:00pm. How do you get there? You can rent a pedal boat and take it from there.

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14. “That’s Amore!” Menu At Love & Salt

The Manhattan Beach Italian restaurant has a special three-course V-Day menu, which includes dishes like antipasto salad, eggplant Parmesan, baked ziti, and tiramisu. The dinner is available from February 12 – 14 and costs $45 per person. There’s also an option to add a bottle of the Love & Salt Dolcetto-Refosco blend for $45.

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That’s amore! Join us for Valentine's Day! ❤️ $45 per person plus sales tax and service charge. Bottle of #LoveandSalt Dolcetto optional. Starter (Choice ) Tuscan white bean soup, wilted escarole, parmesan torn ciabatta croutons Antipasto salad soppressata, marinated artichokes, olives, baby tomato, red onion, aged provolone, crispy chickpeas, oregano vinaigrette Entrees – choice (served with toasted garlic bread) Wood oven Eggplant parmesan, aged provolone, ricotta, chunky tomato sauce Baked ziti, house made fennel sausage, rustic tomato sauce, ricotta & bread crumbs “Chicken chop” Milanese, tri colore Caesar & roasted chicken jus Dessert (choice) Cannoli Tiramisu Ricotta cheesecake Wine 2012 LOVE & SALT Dolcetto $45 80% Dolcetto 20% Refosco, Santa Ynez Valley

A photo posted by Love & Salt #loveandsalt (@loveandsaltla) on

15. Harold and Maude at the Egyptian

Watch this 1971 cult classic film about an unconventional romance — a 20-year-old guy named Bud Cort and an 80-year-old eccentric Ruth Gordon — in Hollywood. The offbeat dark comedy screens at 7:30pm on Valentine’s Day.

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16. Valentine’s Day Metro Art Tour

Explore the art of the Los Angeles metro and indulge in some Shakespeare for a free tour from 2-4:30pm on Valentine’s Day. You’ll travel from Union Station to the Hollywood/Western station observing art and enjoying scenes by the Independent Shakespeare Company, who will be on the tour, too. The tour is first-come, first-served.

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17. Valentine’s Day “Free Play” At Neon Retro Arcade

Get your gaming on and chill at Pasadena’s Neon Retro Arcade, which is offering $10 for “Free Play” games (no tokens or quarters) on Valentines Day from 11:00am until midnight. Bringing a date? Don’t worry, they’ve got multiplayer games, too.

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18. Big Sunday’s Fourth Annual Valentine-Making, Bingo-Playing Community Breakfast

Show some love by doing some good. Big Sunday will host a morning of making Valentine cards, playing a rousing game of bingo, and a breakfast. The Do-Good bus will distribute those Valentines all around Los Angeles. The fun runs from 10:00am until 1:00pm on Feb. 14.

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19. Very Vegan Valentine’s Menu at Gracias Madre

Who says true love can’t be vegan? The delicious West Hollywood spot will have a special $50 per person four-course menu for the occasion — including dishes like ensalada higo asada and stuffed portobello en croix — as well as the Drake-inspired “Hotline Sling” cocktail for the night.
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20. Do Good Bus Volunteer V-Day Community Ride

Do good and experience a fun mystery on this bus ride that begins in Culver City. The destination is a secret, but the Do Good Bus does promise altruistic adventurism with Valentine’s Day candy, crafts, and lunch. The ride embarks at 9:30am on Feb. 14. Tickets are $45 for adults and lunch is included; kids 12 and under are free.

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21. Valentine’s Day Curling Lesson

Looking for an active and unusual Valentine’s Day date night? Take your sweetie to the L.A. Kings Valley Ice Center to learn the art and strategy of curling. The special one-night package includes curling rock chocolates and a rose. Get more information and discount tickets ($30 for a two-person package) via our friends at Goldstar.

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What are you doing for Valentine’s Day 2016 in Los Angeles? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!

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Food

19 Spots for The Best Food in L.A. After Midnight

January 14, 2016 by Mallory Carra

Night owls, rejoice!

Los Angeles has plenty of yummy places to eat if you’re out and about and hungry after the clock strikes midnight, even beyond the standard come-to-mind fast food spots like In-N-Out or Tommy’s.

Granted, late-night in L.A. may not be quite as wide-awake as that certain other city that never sleeps, but angelenos still have plenty of options, whether you’re looking for diner style goodness, deli sandwiches, soul food, or some after-hours seafood grubbing.

Keep this rundown handy for when that post-bar-hopping hunger hits or when you’re simply on the hunt to satisfy your taste  buds in the wee hours of the night.

Check out the list (in no particular) below.

[RELATED: The Best 24 Hour Food Spots in Los Angeles]

Nothing beats a late night Yakitori run 😏 open till 1am folks! #littletokyo #lafoodie #welikelafood #dtlaeats

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1. Honda Ya Izakaya

“Izakaya” means to sit down, eat and drink comfortably and Honda Ya makes that possible with locations all around Southern California that are mostly open until around 1:00am. The restaurants offer traditional Japanese dishes like sushi, udon, soba, deep fried soft shell crab, and more. They also have a Yakitori menu where you can order up skewers of chicken skin, liver, beef balls, eggplant, bacon wrapped enoki mushrooms and much more.

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2. Fred 62

Getting a table after midnight at this Loz Feliz diner could be a long wait, but it’s well worth it. Fred 62 is open 24/7 and serves its famous mac n’ cheese balls, along with an extensive menu of breakfast, burgers, and sandwiches. They even have a Night Owl menu, inspired by dishes from some of L.A.’s most famous food trucks.

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3. The Pikey

This very popular bar and cafe serves local, organic farm produce and free range, cruelty-free meats until 2:am in Hollywood. In addition to the menu’s yummy plates and bar snacks, The Pikey will let you get in touch with your inner bon viviant with a mind-blowing selection of vintage whiskeys.

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4. Pacific Dining Car

Located in Santa Monica and Downtown L.A., Pacific Dining Car is always open and always delicious. The restaurant also offers a late-night menu just for night owls, which includes Eggs Sardou, prime rib open face sandwich, lamb burger, duck confit salad,  and a Training Day baseball 10 oz. steak named for and inspired by the Denzel Washington movie.

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5. L.A. Cafe

Whether you’re having a night out downtown or you want to order-in late at night, you can hit up L.A. Cafe, which is open 24 hours and offers delivery! Order from their extensive menu of tacos, breakfast dishes, salads, sandwiches, and burgers in person or online.

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6. Canter’s Deli

Open 24 hours, the Fairfax deli serves up legendary matzo ball soup, along with pastrami and corned beef sandwiches from an epic menu. It’s perfect for dinner before or after a movie at the nearby Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater.

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[RELATEDThe 10 Best Delis in Los Angeles]

#WhenHungerStrikes #Open24Hours

A photo posted by Canter's Deli (@cantersdeli) on

7. Crave Cafe

This is the Valley’s own 24-hour cafe with locations in Sherman Oaks and Studio City. Crave’s menu features sweet and savory crepes, salads, paninis, all-the-time breakfast, and even burritos. Take your pick!

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8. Greenblatt’s Deli

Craving a hot pastrami sandwich and some fine wine after midnight? Greenblatt’s Deli is for you. Open until 2:am every day, the Hollywood deli has triple decker sandwiches (you read that right) and an extremely delicious and well seasoned matzo ball soup, pair your late night meal with a glass of wine from their amazing selection.

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9. BCD Tofu House

Get your soon tofu on 24 hours a day and at various locations around SoCal at BCD Tofu House, which has locations in Koreatown, Garden Grove, Cerritos, Irvine, Torrance, Fullerton, Rowland Heights, and Reseda. In addition to soon tofu, BCD also serves spicy BBQ chicken, bulgogi, galbi, bibimbap, spicy raw crab, and much more.

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[RELATED 16 Best Places to Eat in Koreatown For Foodies Who Want to Explore the Neighborhood]

Feast… #koreatown style at BCD Tofu House. Tastes as good as it looks! #koreanbbq #tofu #kimchi

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10. 25 Degrees at the Roosevelt Hotel

Open 24 hours in the heart of Hollywood, 25 Degrees will let you craft your own late-night burger or you can order one of their creations. Wash it all down with one the hot spot’s famous spiked milkshakes, like the Guinness Milkshake, the Bananas Foster, or the Night Owl.

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11. Brite Spot

Open until 3:00am on Fridays and Saturdays, Brite Spot isn’t your usual late-night diner. The Echo Park eatery has some delicious vegan options (like veggie nachos, vegan burgers, and a BLTA with tempeh bacon), along with other classics like fried chicken, fish and chips, burgers, and sandwiches.

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12. Stout Burgers & Beers

Stout has an impressive menu of burgers and craft beers — what more could you ask for? Well, the burger joint has locations in Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Studio City that are open late for your hamburger needs. The Hollywood spot is opened the latest — until 4:00am — while the Santa Monica and Studio City restaurants are open until 2:00am.

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13. Johnnie’s Pastrami

Get your sandwich on at the Culver City landmark, which has been open since 1952. Like the name says, you can go for the pastrami sandwich plate or there’s always the beef burger plate, shrimp and fish plates, chicken plates, and chili cheese fries. They only take cash, but there is an ATM.

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14. Ruen Pair

You can get authentic and delicious Thai dishes like pad thai, pad kee mao,  and spicy shrimp salad at this restaurant, which has locations in Hollywood and City of Industry that are open until 3:00am. Take note: Ruen Pair is cash only.

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15. Comfort LA

When you’re looking for late-night soul food on the weekends you can always head over to the Arts District for a fried chicken plate at Comfrot LA.  The $12 special includes 5 chicken wings, two sides (mac n’ cheese on point) and a small square of cornbread.  Open on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00pm to 3:00am.

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16. Tatsu Ramen

Let some ramen soothe your late-night soul at either this shop’s Sawtelle or Melrose locations. Order up on Tatsu’s iPads, where you can build your own perfect bowl with broth, egg, and all the trimmings — then indulge in a ramen burger or pork bun side dish, too.

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[RELATED7 Spots for the Best Ramen in Los Angeles]

Hey everyone, we're open as usual during the #laborday weekend! Let #tatsuramen spoil all you #workaholics

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17. 101 Coffee Shop

Named for that nearby freeway, you’ll recognize this classic Hollywood diner from the movie Swingers. It’s no wonder those guys hung out here — 101 Coffee Shop is famous for signature dishes like Cajun catfish and eggs, silver dollar buttermilk pancakes, and the waffle brownie sundae with vanilla ice cream.

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18. Suehiro Cafe

This Little Tokyo spot may look unassuming on the outside, but inside, it’s famous for its popular homestyle Japanese dishes with lots of classic combination plates to choose from. Suehiro is open until 1:00am on weekdays and until 3:00am on Fridays through Sundays.

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19. Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine

If you’ve got a late-night craving, Bossa Nova has you covered from West Hollywood to West L.A. and Hollywood. Their never-ending menu has everything from sirloin steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salads, pastas and even custom pizzas. The Hollywood location is open until 3:00am throughout the week and extends its hours to 4:00am Thursday through Saturday.

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Where are your favorite late-night food spots in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food

17 Spots for the Best Comfort Food in L.A.

January 12, 2016 by Mallory Carra

After a long day of working hard and fighting traffic, sometimes you just want to curl up with the most delicious comfort food you can find.

From mac and cheese to burgers, ice cream to chicken and waffles — you name it, L.A. has it and does it well.

So whether you’re stressed out or just getting nostalgic over mom’s mashed potatoes, here’s a handy list of where you can head to get your grub on even if it isn’t Throwback Thursday.

Enjoy!

[RELATED14 Food Indulgences Every Angeleno Will Want to Try at Least Once]

Don't be sour. Just eat somethin' much louder.

A photo posted by A Craft Beer Bar (@beerbelly_la) on

1. Beer Belly

This Koreatown bar is famous for its extensive craft beer selection, but also it’s decadent food menu, which includes duck fat fries (seriously). To go with your fries, you can get bacon bacon mac and cheese, a giant hot snickerdoodle, deep fried Oreos, buttermilk fried chicken, and pork cheek chili cheese fries.

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2. Pie ‘N Burger

Since 1963, Pie ‘N Burger in Pasadena has been serving up the titular favorites, along with grilled cheese sandwiches, patty melts, chicken pot pie, a complete breakfast menu, and a long list of pie flavors for a yummy dessert.

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3. Afters Ice Cream

Located in Long Beach, Pasadena, and Orange County, Afters takes ice cream to a whole other level, they are known for something called the milky bun. Here’s how it works: Pick an ice cream flavor (such as Cookie Monster, Jasmine milk tea, and Vietnamese coffee) and topping, then it gets sealed inside a glazed bun. You’ll never look at ice cream the same way again.

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Milky Bun = 🍦 + 🍩

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4. Din Tai Fung

There’s nothing quite like Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) and no one does it quite like Din Tai Fung, which is famous for making them worth a long wait. Din Tai Fung can be found in Glendale, Arcadia, and Costa Mesa, as well as abroad, and serves up pork, pork and crab, truffle and pork, and silk squash and shrimp soup dumplings, among other yummy dishes.

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5. Nickel Diner

This cozy spot in Downtown L.A. has received rave reviews for a menu filled with childhood favorites with a decadent twist. The diner offers favorites like huevos rancheros, spicy pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, salads, and special recipe chicken salad, along with a dessert menu that boasts the one and only maple bacon donut and pop tarts.

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6. Barrel and Ashes

Chefs Timothy Hollingsworth, Rory Hermann and Michael Kahikina bring BBQ favorites to Studio City with their own deliciously unique twist. Feel like a good ol’ chicken sandwich? You should try Barrel and Ashes’ Best Damn Chick’n Sandwich. Pork rinds, hush puppies, pulled pork, brisket, ribs, pork n’ beans, and hoe cakes are also on the menu.

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The best damn chick'n sandwich ya ever had #barrelandashes

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7. Roscoe’s House Of Chicken and Waffles

Fried chicken and waffles separately are awesome comfort foods in their own right, but put them together and you get a very L.A. tradition that Roscoe’s does best. The eatery, which has various locations, is a favorite of many celebs, including rapper Snoop Dogg, who took soccer legend David Beckham there in an episode of his reality show.

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[RELATED: 13 Spots for the Best Waffles in Los Angeles]

8. Polka Polish Restaurant

The mere mention of pierogies could make a stomach happy. Polka’s delicious Polish menu includes that beloved dumpling in several varieties, which include stuffed cabbage, potato cheddar, jalapeno, beef and pork, spinach and light cream cheese, among others.

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9. The Parks Finest

Wednesdays will be your new favorite day once you try this Echo Park restaurant’s Worker Wednesday plate special, which is one epic meal for $12. The plate (available all day) consists of soothing favorites like BBQ chicken, creamy coconut beef, 16 hour slow roasted pulled pork, hot links, rice, veggies, and the popular bibingka a filipino take on cornbread.

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Worker Wednesday Plate

The Worker Wednesday Plate at The Park’s Finest. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

10. Carney’s

Delicious hot dogs and hamburgers are the specialty of this eatery inside a Union Pacific train car located on the Sunset Strip and in Studio City. The menu boasts cheeseburgers, turkey burgers, Angus burgers, Carney’s special recipe hot dog, and even a burger dog — a hot dog-topped burger.

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11. Daikokuya

What could be more soothing than a good bowl of ramen? Indulging in a hot bowl of legendary ramen from Daikokuya. With locations in Little Tokyo, Arcadia, Monterey Park, and West L.A., many Angelenos are fans of the eatery’s ramen bowls, which are made with noodles, boiled egg, seasoned bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and green onions in a pork broth.

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[RELATED: 7 Spots for the Best Ramen in Los Angeles]

12. Aussie Pie Kitchen

Get your pot pie on with this Santa Monica spot’s delicious savory Aussie pies available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And you’re not limited to just the usual chicken pot pie — Aussie Pie Kitchen also serves a “Greek” Veggie/Ratatouille pie, a cheeseburger pie, steak and shiraz, spicy Madras veggie, lamb and rosemary, and more. For that extra comforting feel, request your pie “tiger stacked” with mashed potatoes on the bottom and mushy peas on top.

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Monday lunch is served @aussiepiekitchen

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13. Chego!

Tucked away in a Chinatown shopping center, Chego has a menu filled with unforgettable rice bowls crafted by Chef Roy Choi. A personal favorite is the incredibly flavorful chubby pork belly bowl, but that’s not all — the Beefy T bowl, the Sour Cream Hen House chicken bowl, and the Leafy T tofu bowl are also amazing. Get ’em with a side of Oooey Gooey Fries and you’ll be in comfort foodie heaven.

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14. Idle Hour Bar

When people call this North Hollywood spot a barrel bar, it literally is shaped like a few barrels. Inside, Idle Hour serves up delicious beer-battered fish and chips, French dip with homemade potato chips, and a sloppy joe with Bourbon and Gruyere cheese on a Challah bun.

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15. Langer’s Deli

If you’re in the mood for classic pastrami, Langer’s is the place to look for the delicious meat in all the ways you could ever dream of: The legendary No. 19 sandwich, the hot pastrami sandwich, pastrami French dip, and a whole platter of it with fixins. And if you’re not looking for that meat, don’t worry — Langer’s never-ending menu will most likely have something else for you.

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[RELATED: The 10 Best Delis in Los Angeles]

Cool, classic and creamy cole slaw with hot pastrami and Swiss with Russian. Mmmmmmm.

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

16. Milk Jar Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic snack that’s hard to top, but Milk Jar Cookies on Wilshire go beyond serving just cookies. Cookies are sold as individual, half dozen or a dozen and in popular flavors such as banana split, chocolate chip with walnuts, Rocky Road, and chocolate caramel pecan. You also have the option to top it off with ice cream!

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17. Charcoal BBQ

If you’re a meat eater, a delicious rack of ribs has the ability to make you forget all your worries.  Sounds like you? Then head to Silverlake for Charcoal BBQ’s Kansas City-style barbecue. On Tuesdays, the restaurant offers all-you-can-eat ribs for $19.

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Where are you favorite L.A. comfort food spots? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lifestyle

13 Expectations Transplants Have About L.A. That are Actually False

January 5, 2016 by Mallory Carra

I grew up on the East Coast with a certain image in my imaginative mind of what Los Angeles was like — soaking up the sun while driving a convertible, going to the beach all the time, and lounging between classes at West Beverly High. Okay, fine — my frame of reference was mostly Beverly Hills 90210 at the time.

But that kind of stayed with me all the way until I finally moved here as an adult and I realized L.A. isn’t all beaches, sunshine and Luke Perry. For one thing, smog is very real (and also a verb for your car). Los Angeles also gets rain (hello El Nino) and, well, all that beach going really depends on where you live in the city — and if you even have the time.

In that regard, here are some other misconceptions transplants have about L.A. that, as it turns out, are actually false. Keep in mind the intent here isn’t to take glass half empty view of our city, but rather, to make sure the expectations of our soon to be co-residents line up with reality.

Take heed future angelenos!

Clutter's Park LAX

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

1. You Will Go To the Beach All The Time

While it’s true that there’s a whole coastline filled with beaches, you’re not always going to want to go to one. I mean, they can get really crowded during peak times, parking can be a real struggle (and very expensive), and not every Angeleno lives on the coast — it could take you awhile to travel to a beach. So yeah, those beach-filled 90210 summers are sadly not our lives.

RELEVANT LINK: 17 Fun Things To Do in Santa Monica Next Time You’re in the Neighborhood

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Beach. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

2. You Will Never Be Cold

When I moved here, I foolishly thought I’d be giving up Winter for good. “The temperature will never go below 50 degrees!” I thought. And then December rolled around — all I wanted was a big ol’ sweatshirt and coat. At night, it can get pretty darn cold in L.A.

RELEVANT LINK: 8 Fun Things To Do in L.A. That Are Way Better When It’s Winter Time

Los Angeles Weather Meme

3. You’ll Buy Veggies At The Farmer’s Market All The Time

L.A. is filled with farmer’s markets great and small, filled with local farmers, crafts, live music, and so much more. But hey, life happens and you may not always be able to make it. Farmer’s markets have set times and locations and, well, your hunger doesn’t, so don’t feel guilty if you end up buying some veggies at Ralph’s after work.

RELEVANT LINK: A Handy Day-by-Day List of Farmers Markets in Los Angeles

4. Everything Is 20 Minutes Away, A La Clueless

In the classic 90s teen movie, Cher’s dad tells her that everything in L.A. takes 20 minutes. I wish! I guess Mel has never driven from Santa Monica to Burbank at the height of rush hour — which has taken me an hour and a half, at least.

RELEVANT LINK: 9 Very Practical Things to Consider Before Moving to Los Angeles

Traffic in L.A. on the 101

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

5. You’ll Drive To Las Vegas All The Time

The realization that the Las Vegas Strip is a mere five hours from L.A. is exciting to most transplants…until they realize it’s five hours without traffic. And look, I love Vegas — it’s a great city and a lot of fun, but there’s a whole lot of other great getaways to see in driving distance of Los Angeles — Ojai, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and San Francisco — so why limit yourself to Paradise, Nevada?

RELEVANT LINK: 16 Mini Adventures Every L.A. Local (And Visitor!) Ought to Embark on At Least Once

6. In-N-Out Will Be The Best Burger You’ve Ever Tasted

Don’t get me wrong, In-N-Out Burger is awesome. I love it and always will. But a lot of new transplants and out-of-towners falsely believe it’s the greatest burger Los Angeles has to offer — and I have to disagree. As of writing this, I haven’t had In-N-Out Burger in a year (gasp!), because I’ve come to love the many other burgers in L.A. And that’s okay — start with Father’s Office in Culver City and get exploring.

RELEVANT LINK: 10 Spots For The Best Burgers in Los Angeles

PC Burger at Plan Check

The PC Burger at Plan Check. Image via Plan Check.

7. You Can Avoid Traffic If You Try Really, Really Hard

When I first moved to L.A., I foolishly asked my friend when traffic would be best for me to crosstown so we could hang out. She laughed at me and said, “It’s too hard to predict, so stop trying to.” Despite hearing that from a native Angeleno, I still thought I could avoid traffic — and I still try, but my expectations are lower. There is no escape. Traffic is a way of life. Grab an audio book or your favorite playlist and enjoy the journey.

RELEVANT LINK: 6 Smart Ways to Deal with Hellish Los Angeles Traffic

8. You Can Get Food Delivery Anytime You Want

Just because Los Angeles is a big city doesn’t mean you can order take out late into the night, like that other city that supposedly doesn’t sleep (ahem, New York). In L.A., ordering food delivery is a test in patience: You’ll have to wait about an hour for your food and most places close by 9-10 pm.

RELEVANT LINK: The Best 24-Hour Food Spots in Los Angeles

California Donuts in Koreatown

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

9. The Valley Is Terrible

Every city has their go-to complaint and L.A. tends to pick on the San Fernando Valley. Most transplants think: It’s too hot in the summer, it’s too far from everything, and it’s lame. Sure, it’s not the Sunset Strip or WeHo, which means a lot of good things, too. For instance, The Valley has parking — and sometimes it’s even free! Jackpot. There are also a lot of awesome restaurants and fun places to go.

RELEVANT LINK: 5 Legitimate Arguments for Moving to The Valley

10. There’s No Green Space

Everyone thinks of L.A. as an urban jungle filled with smoggy air, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Los Angeles has a lot of amazing parks — think about just Griffith Park in terms of sheer acreage and hike-ability. It’s incredible. And free to go and park! Jackpot.

RELEVANT LINK: The 10 Best Parks in Los Angeles For Taking a Quick Break from the Grind of City Life

Los Angeles Basin viewed from Griffith Park

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

11. Runyon Canyon Is The Best Hike

Speaking of green space, Runyon is probably the most famous hike with famous folks and the wanna-be famous go to be seen and be seen. But it’s not the only hike in a city filled with — surprise! — lots of hidden nature walks, waterfalls, and mountains. From Griffith Park to the Santa Monica Mountains, there are plenty of other hikes of varying difficulty.

RELEVANT LINK: 5 Hikes You Gotta Do Your First Year Living in Los Angeles

12. No One Walks in L.A.

This is such a common misconception that there’s even a song named after it. There are actually tons of walkable neighborhoods, but they’re just a bit spread out form each other. So while you can’t walk from Downtown L.A. to Silver Lake and Downtown Santa Monica, you can certainly take a nice stroll around there. Truth is the best way to explore Los Angeles is on foot on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis. You just need to a will to forge the way.

RELEVANT LINK: 10 Secret (and Not-So Secret) L.A. Staircases That Are Totally Worth the Climb

Secret Stairs in Silver Lake

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

13. Everyone Works In Entertainment

Look, a lot of folks have come to L.A. with their sights set on Hollywood and with stars in their eyes — including transplants. They enroll in improv classes with sitcom dreams, toil in an assistant job, and only talk in Deadline headlines. But then there are the folks who have other dreams, like opening up their own store or restaurant, being a social worker, or any other job that has nothing to do with Hollywood — yes, they do exist and they’ll be happy to meet you.

RELEVANT LINK: 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Give Up If You Moved to L.A. To Pursue Your Dreams

What L.A. stereotypes have you found to be false during your time here? Let us know in the comments below!

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Fun Stuff, Lifestyle

10 Tiny Frustrations Angelenos Put Up With on a Regular Basis

December 20, 2015 by Mallory Carra

Let me start out by saying I really do love living in Los Angeles,

That said, occasionally, there are those little things that get to me, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

L.A. life is filled with tiny frustrations that we all face on a daily basis — and I mean more than just traffic and parking (although those are certainly among them).

I like to think that it’s how the scales balance — having 50-degree winters and basking in (mostly) daily sunshine don’t come for free, you know. Like any city, Los Angeles has its quirks, its perks, and its downsides. Hey, at least we don’t have to deal with the dreadful MTA like New Yorkers do or Midwestern freezing winters like Chicagoans do, am I right?

In any case, here are some of the tiny frustrations we Angelenos put up with on a daily basis.

Maybe if we call them out, they won’t seem quite as bad.

Traffic in L.A. on the 101

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

1. Traffic!

Of course this one is first! Traffic is a way of life in L.A. Need to go from Santa Monica to Burbank at rush hour? Good luck with that. Have to go from the Valley to Orange County? Talk about a road trip. It’s hard to beat rush hour — how is there traffic on the 101 at 11 p.m.? — but when you do, it’s the most glorious feeling. Beating traffic is truly a triumph.

2. Indecipherable Parking Signs

Simple street parking seems like such a rare thing in Los Angeles. It almost feels like pure luck if park on a street where the street signs have rules on merely one panel. If often leaves me wondering how on Earth are we supposed to figure out when to park, when to pay, when to leave, and what kind of permit you need?

[RELATEDSo Can I Park in a Yellow Zone? Los Angeles Parking Curbs Explained]

3. Lack Of Driving Etiquette: Turn Signals, Tailgating, Etc.

When I first moved to L.A., one of my (new) friends here warned me about this: Los Angeles drivers play fast and loose with turn signals. Some folks never signal. Some see that you’re signaling and they decide to speed up and beat you to the lane change. And then there are those drivers who decide that ride your tail so close and it makes you scared to break. Seriously, people — take a chill pill. I promise we’ll all get where we’re going eventually.

[REALTED13 Fun Places to Hang Out in L.A. Where Parking Doesn’t Totally Suck]

4. Fellow Angelenos Who Don’t Know How to Park

Street parking can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s so great when it’s plentiful and free, but then there are those streets where the only spot you find is one that could be a spot if only the car in front of it would just move up. Instead, they took up two spots. And don’t get me started on that guy in the Ralph’s parking lot who parks their car spread across two spots. Come on!

Alternatively, there are some folks who just quite grasp the concept of parallel parking. Take this this driver for instance…

5. Dog Owners Who Fail To Curb Their Pups

I love dogs — they’re cute and fun and totally lovable. I don’t, however, love the droppings they used to leave behind outside of my old apartment. Everywhere. Of course, that wasn’t the dogs’ fault; dog owners are supposed to take of this, but some don’t. Harrumph.

[RELATED13 Things Your Dog Really Wants To Do With You in Los Angeles]

6. Since We’re Talking About Parking…. The Parking Lots At Trader Joe’s!

Angelenos love Trader Joe’s and you can tell by the craziness of every TJ’s parking lot. By the looks of it, you’d think that the market was giving away free stuff, but nope, that’s just how crazy for Trader Joe’s L.A. denizens are. You can either try your luck for a spot, park far away or in the street (if that’s an option), or just try to go shopping during an off-peak time.

7. The Musician Neighbor

L.A. has so many creative types living amongst each other, so it’s pretty natural that you might live by what feels like at least three musicians. Sometimes their attempts at music can bring you peace on a lazy afternoon. And then there’s that neighbor who can’t help but play with pulsing beats until two in the morning. Really, dude?

8. Dating Someone Who Lives Across Town

Anytime I hear a date tell me he lives in the Valley or on the other side of town, my heart immediate falls. Going forward, that’s going to feel a bit like a long-distance relationship. I know, we should all try crossing La Brea every once and a while, but I feel like you’ll know that person is super special if you’re willing to withstand all the traffic to get to them.

[RELATED8 Truths About Dating in Los Angeles No One Ever Bothered to Tell You]

Made some cards for your valentine, now @poketo!! …Or you can send me one too.

A photo posted by Trisha Chan (@treeshachan) on

9. The ‘FREE’ CD Scam In Hollywood

Like any big city, Los Angeles has its share of scams — and I don’t just mean that friend of yours who is always running a Kickstarter to fund a “film” (which never gets made). Pro-tip: Never accept a CD from anyone. It’s a scam and if you wind up taking one or even giving these folks your name, they will most likely demand a donation of $10 or more. Just keep walking.

10. Leaf Blowers

Yup, we have leaves in L.A., which means we also leaf-blowers, many of which are operated at ungodly hours of the A.M.

And I know I’m not the only that notices these things because the City of Los Angeles has a specific complaint line and an ordinance in place just for the noisy tools. FYI: The ordinance states, “No gas powered blower shall be used within 500 feet of a residence at anytime.” The city means business.

What are the ‘little things’ that annoy you the most about living in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food

14 Best Places to Eat in L.A. if You Can’t Stop Thinking About Bacon

December 15, 2015 by Mallory Carra

You know it and I know it — when you’re craving bacon, nothing else will do. Some folks may claim the fad is over and done, but let’s face it: Bacon love is eternal.

Luckily for Angelenos, there are plenty of great places to indulge.

Keep in mind that in Los Angeles, bacon isn’t just for breakfast, either. The cured meat is available on donuts, pizzas, toast, dates, sausage, biscuits, and even cocktails. L.A.’s bacon love runs deep, and we’ve complied a list for you to have handy during those times when you simply can’t shake the craving.

Get ready for some bacon action that’ll have you salivating — and wishing you wore your stretchy pants.

List numbered for reference, in no particular order.

[RELATED: The 2016 LA Bacon Fest]

1. Coolhaus

Visit this Culver City creamery and you might find yourself happily overwhelmed with all the ice cream flavors you could ever want. If you’re feeling something sweet, savory, salty, and creamy, the brown butter candied bacon ice cream with satisfy all of those desires.

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2. Grub

This Hollywood eatery serves up beloved “crack” bacon — it’s so good that someone even wrote it a song! The delicious bacon can be found in many dishes on Grub’s unique brunch menu, which features dishes like The Kevin Bacon (eggs, “crack” bacon, and garlic and roasted potatoes), The Carnivore B.F.P. (a “big flippin’ pancake” with their bacon baked in and cheddar cheese), and more.

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3. Blue Daisy Cafe

Get your bacon brunch at this Santa Monica spot with the bacon crepe, which contains scrambled eggs, white cheddar, and cilantro. For the ultimate bacon brunch, pair it with the bacon Bloody Mary, because can brunch ever have too much bacon? (The answer is no, it cannot.) 

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4. Charcoal BBQ Melrose

Four words: Bucket of Candied Bacon. It exists and it’s proof that food dreams really can come true. The Melrose Avenue location of this BBQ restaurant has this popular, ahem, bucket on the dinner menu for a mere $4. Order and indulge to your heart’s content.

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Bucket of bacon

Image via Charcoal BBQ

5. Yummy Cupcakes

For fans of alliteration, this bakery in Burbank boasts bountiful baked cupcakes, including the Bacon Breakfast Bonanza. It’s a brown sugar cinnamon maple cupcake with bacon baked inside and frosted with a vanilla bean buttercream. On top, there’s more bacon and boysenberry syrup. Yummy indeed!

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6 Donut Friend

The popular Highland Park artisanal donut spot gets deep into the bacon love with the Bacon 182. It’s a donut with real maple glaze and bacon on top. If you’re vegetarian, fear not — Donut Friend also makes the treat with coconut bacon instead. Get yours fast, before both versions sell out for the day.

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7. Pizzeria Mozza

The Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Nancy Silverton pizza powerhouse on North Highland Avenue makes several pies featuring bacon, because everything truly is better with it. A favorite is the egg, bacon, yukon gold potato, and Bermuda onions pizza.

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Pizza for breakfast #ItsTheRightThingToDo…Serving Brunch every Saturday & Sunday 12-4pm #PutAnEggOnIt

A photo posted by Pizzeria Mozza (@pizzeriamozza) on

8. Animal

After an epic meat-filled meal at the Fairfax Avenue restaurant, opt for the bacon crunch chocolate bar and salt & pepper ice cream for a unique sweet and savory dessert. You won’t regret it.

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9. Café Dulcé

As its name suggests, the Little Tokyo cafe has got a lot of sweetness going on, including its own take on a bacon donut AND bacon donut holes, for the complete dessert bacon experience.

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10. Nickel Diner

This vintage Downtown LA diner has lots of dishes with bacon — including a breakfast one humorously named “Hangover Helper” — but most people talk the most about Nickel Diner’s maple glazed bacon donut, which is a heavenly feast for the taste buds.

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Nickel Diner Maple Bacon Donuts

Credit: Nickel Diner on Facebook

11. AOC

Want a date that’ll never disappoint? The 3rd Street wine bar’s popular bacon wrapped dates with Parmesan on the lunch menu always seem to satisfy foodies near and far. There’s also bacon included on the brunch menu as well.

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12. Wurstküche

If you’re looking for a bacon sausage fest, you’ve come to the right place. This sausage joint (which has locations in Downtown L.A. and Venice) has lots of succulent flavor packed in the Duck, Bacon & Jalapeno Sausage in a pork casing from their exotics menu.

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13. Manhattan Beach Post

Among the delicious dishes at Chef David LeFevre’s Manhattan Beach eatery, a foodie favorite is the bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with maple butter from the bread menu. The combination of sweet and salty is pretty unforgettable.

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14. Slater 50/50

When you think of Slater 50/50, you’re probably thinking of burgers. But that’s not the only place you’ll find bacon on their menu. The restaurant boasts an entire bacon cocktail menu — no joke. The selections include the Bacon Mary, Baconade, Bacon Old Fashioned, and the Chocolate Covered Bacon Banana. Indulgence at its finest.

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Where are your favorite bacon related dishes in Los Angeles? Let us know your picks in the comments below!

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Food

12 Spots for the Best Breakfast Sandwiches in L.A.

December 5, 2015 by Mallory Carra

What’s the only Los Angeles meal more satisfying than a well-made sandwich? A breakfast sandwich, of course (and I don’t mean a certain fast food creation that seems to rule the McMornings).

Angelenos are very lucky that so many eateries around the city boast some of the most delicious breakfast offerings around, and we’re definitely not slacking in the sando department.

Eggs, bacon, lettuce, tomato, sausage, pastrami — you name it, these breakfast sandwiches have got it, and they taste so very, very good, you’ll be wishing breakfast time was an all-day thing.

Check out some of L.A.’s best breakfast sandwiches below (listed in no particular order).

[RELATED: 10 Spots for the Best Bagels in Los Angeles]

Plan Check Pastrami Nosh

Image via Plan Check

1. Pastrami Nosh From Plan Check Kitchen & Bar

Plan Check may be best known for their delicious burgers, but the popular restaurant also has a decadent pastrami sandwich available for brunch. The Pastrami Nosh is an open-faced delight with a sunny-side up fried egg, smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese, kimchi mustard, and pickles. Lucky for Angelenos, Plan Check has multiple locations all over L.A.

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2. The BAM From C&M Cafe

It took me about six months to work up the courage to finally try the Palms cafe’s epic BAM! breakfast sandwich, which uses French-toast style cinamon buns as bread to the fried eggs, bacon, and sausage inside. It’s sweet and savory heaven.

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3. Mc_Abigaile At Abigaile

Behold this Hermosa Beach spot’s own version of McDonald’s Egg McMuffin — called the “mc_abigaile” (underscore included). What’s the difference? Well, the mc_abigaile gets its deliciousness from American cheese, fennel sausage, sauce, egg, and a side of tots for good measure.

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Abigaile Breakfast Sando

Image via Abigaile

4. Breakfast Sandwich At The Churchill

This Third Street sammie is a fan favorite of many Angelenos and is often declared the best in the city by many people. The Churchill’s Breakfast Sandwich features cage-free eggs, cheddar, bacon, avocado, and tomato jam served on sourdough bread.

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5. Scrambled Egg & Chorizo Sandwich From Sycamore Kitchen

Get your morning (or mid-afternoon) munch on by The Grove with Sycamore Kitchen’s scrambled egg and chorizo sandwich, which also comes with Swiss cheese, roasted onion, and pan de miel. It’s salty, it’s sweet, and it’s got a ton of flavor in each bite.

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[RELATED: 10 Spots for the Best Brunch in Los Angeles]

6. Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich From Clementine

There’s so much to love about this West L.A. eatery: Grilled Cheese Month (a special menu they run every April), and the biscuit breakfast sandwich. Clementine knows how to do darn good brunch fare, but this breakfast sammie features applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and a poached egg on a deliciously flaky buttermilk biscuit.

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Clementine Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich

Image via Clementine

7. GTA Egg Sandwich From Gjelina Take Away

If you can brave the wait, then breakfast sandwich heaven is yours to enjoy. The Venice mainstay’s take away menu boasts a lot of deliciousness for breakfast and brunch, but its GTA egg sandwich on an English muffin is a particular favorite. The GTA egg sandwich is equipped with braised kale, bacon, Gruyere, and hotsauce.

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8. BLT From Stir Market

Located by The Grove on Beverly Boulevard, Stir Market is an actual market with an amazing selection in a large and seemingly endless menu. For breakfast, the Stir BLT features an egg, Gruyere, heirloom tomato, and aioli. Stir also has wine, craft beers, and a coffee bar to help wash it down.

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blt-stir-market

Image via Stir Market

9. Fried Egg Sandwich From BLD

How much flavor can you pack into one breakfast sandwich? Let me count the ways in the fried egg sandwich from BLD on Beverly Boulevard. This sought-after sammie has bacon, a fried egg, Gruyere cheese, and aioli on toasted sourdough bread.

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10. The Fairfax From Egg Slut

It’s hard to top the name of this Grand Central Market eatery in Downtown L.A., but Egg Slut’s menu has many of the best breakfast sandwiches out there. But it’s The Fairfax sandwich that has captured the most hearts with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and Sriracha mayo on a brioche bun. And if you can brave Eggslut’s long line, it’ll all be worth it.

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Eggslut Fairfax Breakfast Sandwich

Image via Eggslut

11. French Toast Breakfast Sandwich From Eagle Rock Brewery Public House

French toast is a pretty decadent breakfast treat in itself, but in sandwich form? It’s absolute heaven. Eagle Rock Brewery mixes the best of both worlds in its French toast breakfast sammie, which has a fried egg, a bacon patty, and cheddar cheese on sourdough bread. It’s also topped with powdered sugar and served with maple syrup for the full effect.
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12. Fried Egg Sandwich At The Fat Dog

This West Hollywood joint boasts a comprehensive brunch menu — and a breakfast sammie — worth getting up early for. The fried egg sandwich comes with domestic prosciutto, Swiss cheese, baby argula, tomato. and a sunny-side up egg on a bun
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What do you think is the best breakfast sandwich in Los Angeles? Did we miss your spot? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food

16 Outstanding L.A. Lunch Deals Every Angeleno Needs in Their Dining Playbook

December 4, 2015 by Mallory Carra

Lunch.

You know it as the delicious mid-day break from work that can never come soon enough. But did you know it’s also an opportunity for one-of-a-kind meal deals in Los Angeles, allowing you to score some of the best food in city at bargain prices?

Sure, we have Dine L.A.’s week-long lunch and dinner deals at top restaurants taking place (usually) each January and July, but how about the rest of the year?

In the interim, make sure to bookmark this page for a list of top notch lunch specials (presented in no particular order) that’ll have you craving your next afternoon foodie adventure.

Enjoy!

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

The pizza of the day is: The Bianca with soppressata and broccolini. #5dollarsforthepotd #thisbeautifulpotd

A photo posted by 800 Degrees Pizza (@800degreespizza) on

1. $5 Pizza Of The Day Instagram Deal At 800 Degrees

The often-publicized social media deal is a steal and a very popular one among students. Here’s how it works: 800 Degrees posts its Pizza of the Day on their IG account on weekdays, then you go to your nearest location and order it — a whole pizza — for $5. A sweet bargain for you and your wallet.

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2. $9.50 Executive Lunch At Cafe Brasil

Get your fill of Brazilian cuisine from this West L.A. spot’s hearty lunch special on weekdays. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can choose from dishes that include sirloin steak, white fish, pork chop, and a vegetarian plate. Each one is served with rice, black beans, fried plantains, and salsa.

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3. $17 Sashimi Lunch Special At Sushi Gen

If you’re feeling like sushi in Little Tokyo, you can’t beat Sushi Gen’s sashimi deal. For $17, you get high-quality sashimi, rice, miso soup, tofu, and pickled vegetables.

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4. $12 Worker Wednesday Combo Plate At The Park’s Finest

Can’t decide what you want from the Temple Street spot’s BBQ menu? On Wednesdays, you can get a little bit of everything for $12 on Wednesdays. The combo includes generous portions of their candy-coated BBQ chicken, coco beef, pulled pork, hotlinks, rice, veggies and cornbread.

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5. $6.99 Lunch Specials At Palms Thai

This Hollywood eatery has a comprehensive lunch menu filled with stir fried, pan fried, and curry dishes for only $6.99. Served from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m, you can choose between beef, pork, all-white meat chicken, or steamed tofu — shrimp is $1 more. Most of the dishes also come with sides.

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6. Under $10 Sandwiches At ink.sack

Yes, you can totally eat the creations of Michael Voltaggio for under $10 bucks — in delicious sandwich form. The comprehensive and affordable sandwich menu includes the popular Spanish Godfather, cold fried chicken, banh mi, grilled cheese, and much more.

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7. $9.75 Baby Blue Plate Special At Mendocino Farms

In the mood for a Mendocino Farms sandwich but pressed for time? Opt for the Baby Blue Plate Special, which lets you choose half of one of their yummy sandwiches plus a soup or deli side salad for a delicious combo that’ll tide you over until dinner.

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8. $15 “Gaucho Lunch” At Fogo de Chão In DTLA

Get the famous Brazilian churrascaria experience for a fraction of the cost at lunch time. Fogo de Chão’s “Gaucho Lunch” starts at $15 and includes full access to the Market Table and Feijoada Bar. The price of the protein varies by cut (up to $10), meaning the grand total of your lunch could cost no more than $25.

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Light lunch in #dtla @fogorestaurants #lafoodie #foodoftheday #nomnomnom #downtownla

A photo posted by We Like L.A. (@welikela) on

9. $20 Lunch Tray At Kiwami

For the amount of sushi you get, this special is worth the price at this Studio City spot. The lunch tray comes with seared albacore with crispy onion, Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, salmon sashimi with chopped avocado and onion, baked crab roll, and spicy tuna on crispy rice.

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10. $15 Korean Sushi Bowl Hwe Dup Bap At A-Won

In 2012, Jonathan Gold named this dish one of the 60 Korean dishes Angelenos must know. Hwe Dup Bap is a sashimi salad bowl and it’s a favorite at this Koreatown restaurant. Filled with veggies and sashimi, the special comes with rice as well.

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11. $15 Bara-Chirashi Bowl At Sushi Tsujita

Last year, Los Angeles Magazine called this lunch special one of the best sushi deals in Los Angeles. Served on Tuesdays through Sundays from noon until 2:30 p.m., Sushi Tsujita fills the bowl with sushi rice and a selection of sashimi, but it’s good luck if you can get it — they only serve 15 of these dishes per day.

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12. $10.95 Lunch Buffet At India’s Restaurant

Known as one of the best Indian buffets in the city, India’s weekday lunch time smorgasbord offers many delicious dishes from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The buffet features samosas, sag, dal, chicken and goat curry, paneer, raita, and naan. On Saturdays and Sundays, the price for the lunch buffet is $12.50.

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13. $9.99 Bossam (Pork Belly) Plate At Kobawoo House

This lunch dish at the Koreatown mainstay is a bit smaller than its dinnertime cousin (which costs more than $20), but hey, it’s still some very delicious pork belly. The special plate comes with a few sides and a bowl of dean jang chigae (stew).

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14. $6.99 Chicken Plate at Dino’s Chicken & Burgers

The famous char-broiled chicken comes with two sides for a super affordable lunch at Dino’s multiple locations around Southern California. For $8.99, you can opt for a whole chicken. Yum!

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15. $9.99 Lunch BBQ Buffet At Dream Korean BBQ

If you’ve ever experienced the thrill of Korean BBQ, you know that it can be delicious — and expensive. The good news is you can get your KBBQ on without straining your wallet at the Western Avenue restaurant. The lunch buffet includes access to the salad bar, as well as beef brisket, beef bulgogi, chicken bulgogi, and pork belly.

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16. $20 Bar Special At Pizzeria Mozza

Class up you mid-day meal with this deal for wine, pizza, and dessert at this Highland Avenue restaurant. The special is served on Mondays through Fridays from noon until 5 p.m. and a late-night version is served on Sundays through Thursdays from 10 p.m. until midnight.

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What’s your favorite L.A. lunch deal? Let us know in the comments below!

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Happenings

20 Christmas Activities To Do In L.A. That’ll Help Bring Out Your True Holiday Spirit

November 26, 2015 by Mallory Carra

Los Angeles proves that you don’t need snow on the ground or below-zero temperatures to enjoy the holiday season. Even with only a slight chill in the air, L.A. has plenty of fun events that’ll get you in the Christmas spirit. They’ll make sure you go from saying “bah humbug” to singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

From tree lightings to movie screenings to ice skating rinks, special Christmas lights, and much, much more, you won’t need to look far to get into the holiday swing of things.

Check out the list below to see a list of some of local favorites for the season.

(Numbered only for reference, in no particular order)

LA Zoo Lights

Image via LA Zoo

1. L.A. Zoo Lights

It might sound a little weird to walk through the zoo in the dark with no animals to be seen, but it’s actually really fun! The L.A. Zoo is illuminated with lots of holiday-themed lights on the trees and zoo structures. For some discount ticket options to the after-hours spectacle, be sure to check our affiliate friends over at Golstar

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2. Holidays at Universal City Walk

City Walk will be hoppin’ with holiday spirit and an epic Christmas tree. Live music performances from artists like We Are Scientists and Michelle Williams will fill the cool air with tunes. From Nov. 29 to Dec. 25, Santa will be in the Snow Zone ready to take selfies and check if you’ve been naughty or nice. Plus, fake snow will fall every hour from 6:00pm to 9:00 pm nightly to give you a taste of winter.

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3. Unique L.A. Holiday Market

With Christmas and Hanukkah on the horizon, it’s time to look for gifts and stocking stuffers for everyone from your loved ones to your boss. If you’re looking to go unique and special, check out the Unique L.A. Holiday Market on Dec. 5 and 6 from 11:00am to 6:00pm. at the Penthouse of the California Market Center. Admission is $10 (plus fees) in advance and $10 at the door, while parking is $6. Kids 12 and under get in for free.

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4. Lights on Display in Sherman Oaks

Since moving to Los Angeles in 1999 Mike Ziemkowski (a professional video editor by day)  has taken his childhood passion for Christmas decorating to amazing heights, creating an annual Christmas lights display (it’s called ‘Lights on Display’) in the front yard of his Sherman Oaks home that rivals any professional show you’ll ever see. Worth taking a trip to check out if you’re doing a tour of the city just looking for the fanciest Christmas lights displays you can find.

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via Lights on Display / Vimeo

5. Artisanal L.A. Holiday Show

One of my favorite events in this city have been Artisanal L.A. shows. If you loved — or missed — the Spring and Fall shows, you’ll definitely need to check out the Aristanal L.A. Holiday Show on Dec. 5 in Old Pasadena from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. The event, held on Holly Street and beyond, will feature local businesses and makers selling unique gifts, and you’ll be able to get photos with Santa. Admission is free.

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6. Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Growing up on the East Coast, my family would often drive around certain neighborhoods to admire amazing decorative Christmas lights. Here in Southern California, you can do the same, but with boats. For the past century, the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade has been illuminating the beachy seas with colorful lights and Christmas spirit. From Dec. 16 through 20, the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce will host the 107th edition of the parade in Newport Harbor.

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7. CHILL at the Queen Mary

You won’t need any Netflix to pair with this CHILL. The annual frozen adventure at the Queen Mary in Long Beach returns on Nov. 20. You’ll be able to experience Winter by walking through the extensive Ice Kingdom ice sculpture exhibit, where the temperature is 9 degrees. Yep, you read that right. CHILL will also feature ice tubing and skating, a Victorian Village, polar paintball. swinging sleigh ride, and the Enchanted Forrest hedge maze. Tickets are $34.99 for adults and $24.99 for kids. Goldstar also has discount ticket offers for most of the available dates.

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8. Christmas at Disneyland

The Happiest Place on Earth will be the Merriest Place on Earth until Jan. 6. The theme parks and resort will feature a Christmas Fantasy Parade, Jingle Cruise, a Frozen Sing-A-Long at California Adventure, a Winter Village at Downtown Disney, opportunities to meet Santa, and so much more! Park admission required to partake in the festivities.

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9. Knott’s Berry Farm’s “Knott’s Merry Farm”

There’s lots of Christmas fun at Knott’s Berry Farm, Charlie Brown! And yup, the theme is the endearing comics character and his friends. Snoopy dances on ice in the “Merry Christmas, Snoopy!” show and Chuck celebrates the holiday with the Peanuts gang in the live show “Christmas Time Is Here, Charlie Brown.” Admission is required for the merriment. Be sure to check the folks over at Goldstar for discount ticket packages if you plan on going.

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10. Go Ice Skating

No snow? No problem! Angelenos still love themselves some ice skating in the winter — and there are plenty of opportunities to get your skate on. The Pershing Square Ice Rink in Downtown, ICE in Santa Monica, and the Burbank Ice Rink all feature smooth and cold rinks to show off your moves on the ice. Admission fees and skate rental costs vary with each rink, so make sure to check their respective websites before go.

11. Holiday Lights Tour in Venice by Reel to Real

Every year during the holiday season the Venice Canals sparkle with the gorgeous reflection of Christmas lights, and what better way to explore the spectacle than through a walking tour provided by Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours. Your guide Jonathan Kaplan will provide a unique insight into the history of Venice while guiding you to some of the neighborhoods’ most treasured spots and hidden gems. The special Christmas tours start in the afternoon and last around 3.5 hours. Offered Dec. 15 to Jan. 4.

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via vv55sst / YouTube

12. Shop in the “Snow” at The Grove

L.A. rarely gets snow, but during the holidays, The Grove is willing to give you the illusion of snowflakes from 7:00pm – 8:00pm nightly while you shop ’til you drop for presents. It may sound hokey, but it’s pretty darn magical as the “snow” falls and surrounds the outdoor mall’s impressive Christmas tree.

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13. Holiday Sing-A-Long At The Walt Disney Concert Hall

On Dec. 19, you can sing all the Christmas classics accompanied by the Hall’s huge pipe organ, a choir, and a jazz combo to get you in that holly, jolly spirit. Before the performance kicks off, a pre-concert “Winter Wonderland” party will feature free hot chocolate and an opportunity to get a selfie with Santa.

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14. Holiday Lights Walking Tour

From Nov. 28 until Dec. 30 Downtown LA Walking Tours will lead a 6:30 p.m. trek through the illuminated bliss of DTLA’s Christmas and Hanukkah lights. The walking tour lasts two hours and meets at Los Angeles’ Union Station. Tickets for adults are $15, while children 13 and under are free.

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15. LA County Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Music Center Plaza will light Los Angeles County’s very own Christmas tree on Nov. 30 at 5:30pm Sip on free hot chocolate while you enjoy music performances, as well as the evergreen itself. Admission is free.

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16. Union Station Tree Lighting Ceremony

As an alternative to the Music Center you could head over to the tree lightning ceremony at Union Station on the same Monday, (Nov. 30) featuring an official kick-off ceremony plus a performance from the All-American Boys Chorus.

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17. Street Food Cinema Screens Christmas Vacation

Holiday movies are a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit, so how about an ol’ favorite — National Lampoon’s classic tale Christmas Vacation, starring the always hilarious Griswald family. The comedy will screen at the Palace Theatre in Downtown L.A. and will feature lots of fun activities, like a photobooth with drunken Santa, a stocking stuffer boutique, a Naughty or Nice station, and drunken cake pops.

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18. Hollywood Christmas Parade

Usher in the Christmas season on Nov. 29 with the Hollywood Christmas Parade, grand marshaled by Penn and Teller this year. According to the website, the parade route will travel from Hollywood Blvd. and Orange east to Vine, south on Vine to Sunset Boulevard and west on Sunset and then turning back to Orange. Tickets for the grandstand are available through Ticketmaster.

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Hollywood Christmas Parade

Image via Hollywood Christmas Parade

19. Mr. C Poolside Cinema Screens Love Actually

One of my personal favorite Christmas movies is Love Actually, even though it’s more about love and loss than the holiday itself. The 2003 modern winter classic will screen as part of this Beverly Hills poolside screening series at Mr. C on Dec. 22 at 7:00pm You can laugh, cry, and feel Christmas all around (a la Billy Mack in the movie) in a heated poolside tent with dinner, cocktails, and popcorn. Tickets start at $35.

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20. It’s a Wonderful Life at the Arc-Light Hollywood

Perhaps no movie in history embodies the Christmas spirit more than this 1946 classic starring Jimmy Stewart. Catch a special screening at the Arc-Light in Hollywood on December 16.

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What are your favorite things to do for Christmas in and around Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lifestyle

12 Rookie Mistakes People Make When Renting Their First L.A. Apartment

November 15, 2015 by Mallory Carra

I remember the day I signed the lease to my very first Los Angeles apartment five years ago. My heart was pumping like crazy and I was super nervous, because I had no idea what I was getting into — literally. I was signing the lease while I was 3,000 miles away in New York City.

But that’s only one of many rookie mistakes newbie Angelenos make when they rent their first apartment in Los Angeles. After all, apartment searching is an insane process — it’s not easy and it’s by no means perfect. We all take a misstep or two on the way to finding that elusive dream abode.

That said, here are some more mistakes people commonly make while looking for that perfect L.A. apartment.

Hopefully it helps you in your search!

1. Starting Your Apartment Hunt Too Early

I like to get a jump on things right away. A few years ago, I started my hunt for a new place three months before I was looking to move… and people laughed at me. While other cities (like NYC) start their searches way in advance, Angelenos tend to look for rentals the month they’re looking to move and landlords look to fill vacancies right away. Keep that in mind when you start your preliminary search.

2. Paying Full Price For A Westside Rentals Account

Westside Rentals can be really great. In a rental market where you must act fast, Westside Rentals’ constantly updated listings can benefit you for the money you pay for the account. But if you’re short on cash, there are other ways to find a place. I found my current apartment by walking around the neighborhood I wanted to live in and calling up all the vacancies I saw. I kept in touch with my current landlord until a place opened up.

3. Thinking It’s Purely First-Come, First-Serve

It’s definitely not. I actually got an apartment here because I was the first non-smoker applicant he had at the open house. Another landlord offered me a place because he liked my “strong legs.” Ahem, I did not go with that apartment.

4. Get Talked Into Renting A Place You’re Not Sure About

Look, landlords want to fill their vacancies as much as you want a place to live. Some landlords can be really eager to fill the vacancy — sometimes too eager. I got approved for several apartments in LA that I was a little unsure about — including one in a unsafe neighborhood — but the landlords seemed to not want to take no for an answer and kept pushing me to sign the lease. That answer soon made my answer a firm “no.”

5. Assuming Street Parking Availability

They say assumption is the mother of all mistakes, and when it comes to parking in L.A. this is especially relevant. If you find yourself in a scenario where the apartment you’re considering doesn’t come with dedicated parking, make sure you know the street parking situation around your area backwards and forwards. That means permitting issues, overnight restrictions, street sweeping times, congestion and overall availability. Even if you have a dedicated spot, it’s still important to be aware of these things if you ever want to have guests come over and visit.

Crazy L.A. parking sign

Not all L.A. street parking situations are created equal. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

6. Thinking You’re The Only Applicant

Don’t get your hopes up that you’re the first to arrive at a great apartment. If a place as been listed for even a day, there’s a good chance an apartment has a ton of applicants already — especially if it’s on Westside Rentals. I once showed up to an open house of an okay apartment and upwards of 50 people showed up. As we waited to go in, folks were filling out the application sight unseen. Get ready to get competitive.

7. Assuming Apartments Come With Fridges And/Or Certain Appliances.

In my experience, this seems to be a purely Los Angeles thing: Most apartments don’t come with fridges. That was the case with my first apartment here — I had to go half-sies on a fridge with my roommate at the time. My previous apartment had a microwave — albeit one from the 1970s. You can’t assume all apartments are equal when it comes to appliances.

8. Settling & Making Too Many Compromises On What You Want

The search can be long, hard, and tiring. There will be points where you want to give up and just take that weird Santa Monica studio with a closet and a hot plate for $750 a month (true story). Make a list of things you want in that dream apartment and don’t settle for less. Sure, you might have to make some compromises — maybe you won’t get hardwood floors this time — but have faith that you will find (most of) everything you want.

9. Not Testing Your Commute

Do some testing with Google Maps or Waze to understand the reality of your commute. Google Maps now features a really cool feature: You can ask it to predict your commute at various times during the day and you should use it. People underestimate their commute time in L.A. — remember how Clueless joked that everything is 20 minutes away? — and this is a key factor in how happy you will be with your new place.

Traffic in L.A. on the 101

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

10. Not Actually Seeing The Apartment

As I mentioned above, I rented my first apartment sight-unseen from NYC. I got lucky — it was a nice place in Los Feliz — but it was also on the noisy Los Feliz Boulevard, so I barely got sleep while I lived there and overheard many drunken car accidents. So I definitely advise that you see the your new potential abode before you sign that lease.

11. Not Walking Around the The Neighborhood (Assuming You’re Able)

You really don’t know a neighborhood until you take a walk in it and make sure it has everything you want/need. If you absolutely must have a walkable neighborhood, make sure you actually walk around in it. Do you like living within a stone’s throw from bars, where you can drink the night away? Or would the noise drive you nuts? Truth is finding a walkable neighborhood is easier to do in L.A. than you would think, assuming you do the (no pun intended) leg work.

12. Not Using ALL The Tools At Your Disposal

It would be a major mistake to only rely on one single source of information when it comes to your apartment hunt. But don’t worry, We Like LA has got you covered with this handy list of 10 Must Use Tools For Apartment Hunting In Los Angeles. Perhaps most important of all these, make sure you read  L.A. County FAQ on living and renting an apartment in Los Angeles. Know your rights!

Last Word

Most of all: Don’t give up! Apartment hunting can feel like a full time job, but don’t worry, it’ll over before you know it and you’ll have the apartment of your dreams.

Do you rent in Los Angeles? Do you have any experiences prospective renters might be able to learn from? Let us know in the comments below!

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Food, Lifestyle

9 Pro-Tips for Angelenos Who Love Shopping at Trader Joe’s

November 10, 2015 by Mallory Carra

After a bit of flirtation with Ralphs and Vons, I have returned to shopping for food at the greatest place: Trader Joe’s.

I used to shop there all the time when I lived in New York City, but then I took a break when I got to LA, because, to be honest, the parking lots were insane and I wanted to try different places, but now that I’m back, TJ’s feels better than ever.

I think I’ve also come to appreciate more all the amazing products to be found in the super market — because it’s definitely not your ordinary supermarket. And you’ll enjoy your Trader Joe’s shopping experience even more if you know how to make the most of it.

Here are some tips for doing just that.

1. Stakeout The Best Time To Go 

Like I said above, parking kept me away from my local Trader Joe’s for awhile, because of the crazy parking situation. Then I moved and that TJ’s also had an impossible lot. It seems like every single TJ’s in LA has an insane parking lot, so I’ve learned which of my local TJ’s to go to (I live by two) and exactly when, so I don’t fight or stress over parking.

2. Zero In On The Items With The Best Value

While most of the products in Trader Joe’s are pretty affordable, there are some that happen to give you more bang for your buck. Coffee beans are super affordable and TJ’s will let you grind them up right there. Need to try that new coffee first? The sample section/table always has some java available for tasting. Other top value items include seasonal holiday items (boxed chocolates, cookies, hot cocoa mix for baskets and stocking stuffers) and organic meat.

3. Gluten-Free Options That Won’t Break The Bank

If you’re gluten-free, markets are stocked with more options for you than ever, but you still need to make sure you’re not paying an arm and a leg for for specialty treats. Some stores which shall not be named, ahem, charge a pretty penny, but Trader Joe’s has lots of affordable options for you.

Trader Joe's Cheese Section

Credit: Christina Minh / We Like L.A.

4. You Can Sample Anything — Not Just At The Free Sample Table

You can sample pretty much anything at Trader Joe’s — just ask We Like L.A. chief foodie Christina Minh, who has asked to sample products successfully before and knows others who have been able to do it, too. Lifehacker publicized the tip as well. It’s good to know in case you can’t choose between two delicious and tempting cheeses.

5. But The Free Sample Table Is Rad, Too

I’m not ashamed to admit that I head right to the sample table when I enter my local TJ’s. Yes, it’s free food, but I always find out about stuff I didn’t know they had from there, so it’s a win-win for me and Trader Joe’s. One time I sampled a delicious veggie egg roll with gyoza sauce and I wound up buying them both!

6. Use The Fearless Flyer

Unlike some of the other useless junk mail you may receive, Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer contains lots of cool tips and deals that you should definitely be aware upon your next trip to the store.

Trader Joes Frozen Section

Credit: Christina Minh / We Like L.A.

7. Use The Website

Trader Joe’s may lack a social media presence, but its official website is very useful. Can’t think of what to make for your next meal? Check out their comprehensive recipe section that’s broken down by meal and course.

8. Check Out The Many Cookbooks Devoted To TJ’s Recipes

If you think it’s just me, you, and the crazy parking lot that love Trader Joe’s, you would be wrong. The TJ’s fanbase is so devoted that there are lots of cookbooks out there centering around recipes using products from Trader Joe’s. And how many books? Well, I saw a tent filled with them at the LA Times Book Festival a few years ago.

9. Don’t Feel Like Making It Yourself? TJ’s Probably Has It

I’m on the go a lot and I don’t have as much time to cook as I used to, so one of my favorite discoveries at Trader Joe’s include stuff like clarified butter, creative ready-made salads, pre-cooked rice, and steamed lentils, – all of which will cut your cooking time in half.

What are your hacks and/or best practices for shopping at TJ’s? Let us know in the comments below!

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Lifestyle

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

October 16, 2015 by Mallory Carra

Listen up, transplants: Whether you want to admit it or not, the city of Los Angeles is going to change you.

You’ll start to notice the changes slowly but surely, and then one day, BAM! Suddenly you’re asking a barista about pressed juices at a vegan restaurant before you head go on a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains (well, at .east that was my big “A-ha! You’re an Angeleno” moment).

I moved to L.A. five and a half years ago after spending most of my life as a New Yorker, taking the subway, wearing giant winter coats, and referring to highways by their given names, like the “Van Wyck Expressway.”

So you can imagine moving to L.A. was quite an adjustment, but I happily adapted to driving all the time, 50-degree winters, and conversing in freeway numbers like in Saturday Night Live’s popular “The Californians” sketch.

Here are some changes you too may notice about yourself after a year of living in L.A., but don’t worry, it’s all good.

Just let it happen…

Runyon Canyon View

Runyon Canyon. Credit: Ryan Vaarsi via flickr

1. You’ll Become More Laid Back

Coming from NYC, I noticed this in myself gradually. When I first moved here for grad school, my L.A. friends called me “aggressive,” meanwhile I was always seen as “laid back” in New York. These days when I talk to family in the Empire State, they always wonder how I can be so “relaxed” when there is so much to do. L.A.’s laid back nature will rub off on you, too.

2. You’ll Start Assuming Everyone Works in ‘The Industry’

Being the home of Hollywood, L.A. attracts entertainment industry dreamers (that’s how it reeled me in). About 90 percent of the people you’ll encounter will have one or more of the following: A film degree, a powerful Hollywood boss, a hellish story about the industry, an incredibly lucky dream experience, and big dreams. Some folks are still chasing that dream, while some go the corporate path.

So when you finally meet that one person who works as a social worker, has a degree unrelated to film, TV or communications, and isn’t obsessing over news on Deadline, it’s like…whoa. You’ll learn to embrace the moment.

3. You Won’t Freak Out About Earthquakes Anymore

Much like that scene in LA Story, earthquakes (eventually) will be no big thing. Of course, you’ll feel some fear leading up to the first one, but I promise that once it happens, you’ll be fine. Then, you’ll actually start sleeping through them and you’ll feel like a true Angeleno.

4. You Will Become More Fit (Or You Will Try)

Back in New York, I was never into working out, since I was always walking around the city. Once I moved to L.A., I decided to take up running and yoga, as if my osmosis — most of my friends had some kind of fitness regime, not to mention every single person outside seems to be running, biking, rollerblading, surfing, or going to and from yoga or Pilates. It’ll be enough for you to want to give one of those activities a shot during your first year.

[RELATED10 Super Fun Ways to Get Fit in L.A. Without Joining a Gym]

5. You Will Have a Vegan / Vegetarian Phase

As I approached the one-year anniversary of my move to L.A., I went vegetarian for a few months. I just got tired of meat and wanted to try something different. And it wasn’t too hard to do it, either — with so many great vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based restaurants, you’ll find yourself at least appreciating the cuisine, if not giving up meat for a little while.

Spicy Tuna Roll The Springs

Spicy Tuna Roll at The Springs. Credit: Brian Champlin

6. You Won’t Walk as Much, But You Will Hike More

The famous song states that “Nobody Walks in L.A.” That’s not exactly true — we don’t walk in L.A., we hike. Even if you’ve never been into trekking into nature, you will find yourself on a trail sometime during your first year, because you’ll probably be invited on one by friends or just take it up via osmosis — and don’t worry, you’ll love it.

7. Celeb Sightings Will Not Faze You

When you first move here, you’ll get starstruck. You’ll keep your eyes peeled for celebs, you’ll be so excited to spot a movie premiere and a red carpet. But soon, it’ll get pretty standard and you’ll get more annoyed that the movie premiere is rerouting traffic than excited that it exists. You’ll even know where exactly some stars hang out, but mostly head to those spots when you’re hosting out-of-towners you want to impress.

8. Parking Will Become VERY Important to You

It’s true — traffic and parking in L.A. can suck sometimes and some places have worse reputations for those things than others. You’ll learn pretty quickly how to time your travel, which events to avoid if you don’t feel like emptying your wallet to park or when you should just take Uber or Lyft.

[RELATED13 Fun Places to Hang Out in L.A. Where Parking Doesn’t Totally Suck]

9. You’ll Slowly Become Numb to How Much Time You Spend in Your Car

One of the first ads I heard on the radio here said, “In Southern California, your second home is your car.” I laughed at the time, but it’s so true. Within one year, you’ll learn just how comfortable you can get in your car after spending hours in there driving and sitting in traffic. Sometimes, you’ll even find yourself sitting in there for no reason.

And if you’re female, you’ll realize how most of your shoes can end up in your trunk (ahem). Hey, different occasions call for different shoes and somehow, your trunk will also be the second home to your flip-flops and high-heels. At least you’ll always be prepared.

10. You’ll Start Taking The Beach for Granted

One of my friends had a saying: “If you want to go to the beach in L.A., just turn left.” But it’s so easy to forget just how close and easy it is to go to the beach on any given day with all the day-t0-day pressures of work and life weighing you down. And on some days, you’ll actually remember that you live 15 minutes from the beach, race over there to watch the sunset, and let all those stresses melt away.

Santa Monica Pier Sunset

Santa Monica Pier Sunset. Credit: Felipe Valduga via flickr

11. You’ll Stop Referring To L.A. Simply As “California” (Like Most East Coasters Do)

One of my own pet-peeves is when L.A. newcomers refer this city as California, as in “I love living in California!” True, you do live in California, but live here a bit longer and you’ll come to learn that L.A. isn’t representative of living in the rest of California, just like NYC isn’t representative of living in the rest of New York state. I guess you just have to live here to appreciate it.

12. You’ll Appreciate Rain (Especially During This Drought)

L.A. has always had a reputation for not having much rain — which is why all the malls and high schools are pretty much outdoors — but hey, now we’re in a pretty serious drought. On the rare occasion that it does rain, you’ll come to enjoy the sweet sounds of the raindrops, the cool air, and the precious water feeding the plants and (kind of) washing your car.

[RELATED: 17 Awesome Things to Do in Los Angeles When It Rains]

Rain Free Car Wash Meme

13. You’ll Always Remember to Bring Your Sunglasses (And Keep Spares In Your Car)

There’s a hilarious Portlandia sketch in which Fred and Carrie decide to travel from Portland to Los Angeles, and when they exit their cab, they’re blinded by the L.A. sun. It’s funny because it’s true — the sun here is so bright, you gotta wear shades. Within the first year, you’ll learn to keep a set of sunnies everywhere you are, so you don’t get blinded by the light.

14. You’ll Realize Just How Close — Or Far — Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, and San Diego are on a Spontaneous Road Trip

During your first year in L.A., there’s going to be a point where you need to get away from the traffic and smog — just for a little bit. And that’s when you’ll venture out on the (mostly) open road to one of the many gorgeous and amazing nearby cities for a short-term getaway. Las Vegas is a five-hour drive (if traffic is kind). San Diego, Temecula, Santa Barbara, Los Olivos, and Ojai are about two hours away (on a good day). Disneyland is an hour away — again, when there’s no traffic.

On second thought, you may never be able to get away from the traffic, but that’s something you’ll just get used to anyway during your first year in L.A. 😉

Did you move to L.A. from another city or state? How have you changed since transplanting? Let us know in the comments below!

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