LADOT Resumes Parking Enforcement July 6

June 30, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Awful Los Angeles Parking Signs
Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

[Update, July 1]: Good news! Los Angeles will continue parking relaxed enforcement though the rest of July thanks to a vote from L.A. City Council on July 1.

Back in March, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an order that temporarily adjusted the way the city issued and collected fines for parking tickets. On July 6, LADOT will resume enforcement on several parking regulations that were previously relaxed.

Starting July 6, the city will enforce regulations including:

  • Residential street sweeping
  • Expired registration on a vehicle
  • Peak/rush hour and gridlock zone parking restrictions
  • Ticket/tow for abandoned vehicles
  • Loading zones (white curb) will resume 10-minute grace period

As a reminder, there are several parking restrictions that were not relaxed and that will continue to be enforced. These include:

  • Metered parking
  • Time limits within preferential parking districts for vehicles without a valid or recently-expired permit
  • Posted repaving, street repair, and utility work
  • Posted time limit zones in residential and commercial areas
  • All posted Temporary No-Parking signs
  • Blocking emergency access (alleyways, fire hydrants, etc.)
  • Colored curb zones
  • Parking restrictions for city-owned lots

There will also be some regulations that LADOT won’t enforce yet:

  • Overnight/Oversized Vehicle parking is still relaxed
  • Vehicles with recently expired Preferential Parking Permits will not be cited

LADOT has also extended the deadline for payment on existing parking fines to August 1. If you’re unemployed or suffering financial hardships, you may be eligible for a payment plan or to have late fees waived. Call (866) 561-9742 for more info.

If the city decides to relax parking enforcement again, we’ll let you know! You can also visit the LADOT Coronavirus Updates webpage for more details and the latest news.

Happenings, Things To Do

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Queens Hit The Road for ‘Drive N Drag’ Tour

June 23, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Photo by: Voss Events

Voss Events, the agency behind the annual Werq the World drag tour, is taking the show on the road with Drive ‘N Drag, and 12 RuPaul’s Drag Race superstars are along for the ride.

The queens will perform live from an elevated stage with extravagant lighting and jumbo screens, plus outdoor and radio-transmitted audio.

The cross-country tour makes a stop in downtown Los Angeles on July 24. Scheduled to appear are Gigi Goode, Kameron Michaels, Jaida Essence Hall, Naomi Smalls, Vanessa Vanjie, and Violet Chachki.

General admission is $60 and includes two people per car. Any additional passengers will need a $20 ticket. VIP tickets are already sold out, and organizers expect the rest to sell out soon. More information and tickets are available now on the Voss Events website.

Happenings, News, Things To Do

New Drive-In Movie Series Comes to Rose Bowl This July

June 22, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Rose Bowl Stadium
Credit: Daniel Hartwig via flickr

The Tribeca Drive-In cruises its way to the Pasadena Rose Bowl for a month-long series of movie screenings July 2-26. With drive-ins making a serious comeback across the U.S., most locations in SoCal are operating outside of county lines. The Tribeca Drive-In represents one of the most accessible local options.

“As an immediate and safe solution, we’re excited to bring new and classic works from filmmakers, creators, and artists to communities across the country through the Tribeca Drive-In series. As the nation begins to emerge from months of quarantine, we look forward to movie theaters reopening and hope that the Drive-In serves as a reminder of the magic of the moviegoing experience,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal.

The drive-in series takes place on select Thursdays through Sundays at participating locations across the U.S. The Los Angeles edition will partner with Comedy Dynamics July 9-12 to weave in several nights of stand-up comedy. Both classic and new movies are on the bill, including Jaws, E.T., Bridesmaids, Do the Right Thing, The Dark Knight, Straight Outta Compton, The Goonies, and Creed. The series is also promoting special free screenings for healthcare and frontline workers.

Tickets are on sale now at for $26.60 per vehicle with a $3.40 processing fee. A percentage of the proceeds will go to Black Lives Matter. View the full schedule of movies here.


40+ Outdoor Dining Options in L.A. To Enjoy Right Now

June 17, 2020 by Christina Champlin

As the days get warmer, spending time outdoors can be hard to resist. Enjoying a meal al fresco is one of the best ways to dine out while we continue to navigate the pandemic.

Here’s a list of restaurants with outdoor seating that you can enjoy right now. Keep in mind that some places have opened up their full restaurants. If you are strictly looking to sit outdoors, give them a call to make specific reservations ahead of time.

For the health and safety of restaurant staff and diners, there are rules that guests must follow. We’ve included some of that information in this list, but we highly suggest also looking over the rules online or calling the restaurant if you have questions. Wearing a mask, social distancing, and cashless payments are among the most common rules we’ve spotted.

Lady Byrd Cafe (Echo Park)

The new cafe has expanded its parking lot into an outdoor dining oasis filled with plants and individual greenhouse dining pods.–> More information

Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen (Windsor Hills)

This Angeleno owned business offers breakfast and lunch, along with coffee, juices, and pastries. The Windsor Hills location has a patio to enjoy loaded toasts they nicknamed “Droptops” and fresh beignets. Note that the larger Inglewood location seen on HBO’s Insecure does not have outdoor seating. –> More information

Alcove (Los Feliz)

The beloved cafe with an extremely popular garden patio is now open for all-day service. More information.

Undergrind Cafe (Beverlywood)

This American comfort food spot has outdoor seating right out front. Open seven days a week, the menu includes shrimp and grits, sweet cream pancakes and a variety of unique lattes like the Peanut Butter Cup Latte. –> More information

E.P. & L.P. (West Hollywood)

Multi-level modern Asian hotspot E.P. & L.P. reopens its L.P. rooftop with a new and affordable menu and social distancing configuration. Expect inventive snacks, cocktails and hearty bar bites on the menu. There’s even a daily happy hour! More information.

Birdie G’s (Santa Monica)

Birdie G’s has extended their patio to wrap around the building. The dining room inside will have their windows and doors wide open as well. Chef Jeremy Fox and his team have also rolled out a new menu featuring preserved and fermented elements like a Koji-Rubbed Hanger Steak, creamed summer greens with artichoke miso and The Relish Tray filled with shunkiyo radishes fermented in chamomile kombucha, white kimchi sunchokes and more. –> More information

Grand Central Market (DTLA)

All vendors are now open and ready to serve the public inside the historic open-air market place. More information

A.O.C (Beverly Grove)

Suzanne Goin’s market-driven, small plates wine bar is open for dinner and weekend brunch. Its rustic European-style patio is a fine place to enjoy Chef Suzanne Goin’s famous Spanish fried chicken. More information.

Phat Birds (Silver Lake)

The fried chicken pop-up will return on June 19 with a residency on Kettle Black’s patio. More information

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Casita del Campo (Silver Lake)

This almost 60-year-old classic Mexican restaurant has a beautiful patio ready for you to enjoy chips, margaritas, and generous plates of comfort food like enchiladas and tamales. More information.

Masa Taco (Whittier)

The vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant has opened its patio for dine-in service on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. You can also pick up N95 face masks, disinfecting wipes, and more at its popular storefront. More information.

Alta Adams (West Adams)

Chef Keith Corbin’s ultra-cool soul food restaurant has reopened its patio for brunch. Reserve one of the four patio tables by calling 323-571-4999. A deposit will be taken during the reservation More information.

Dama (DTLA)

Chef Antonia Lofaso’s Latin-inspired DAMA has one of the chicest patios in the city. The tropical-themed space is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. More information.

Ester (Santa Monica)

Esters now has a new outdoor addition next to their patio. Sip on one of the 40 by-the-glass wine options selected by Kathryn Coker and nibble on Chef Jessica Liu’s new dishes. There’s been a reconfiguration of the space with bistro tables, lounge furniture, and rows of potted trees to separate guests from sidewalk traffic. –> More information

Spago Beverly Hills (Beverly Hills)

Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant will greet guests with temperature checks and aromatic sanitizing hand spritz upon entering. Face coverings are required when not seated at a table. Virtual menus viewed on your phone, reconfigured distancing seating, and an expanded outdoor dining space are a few of the recent updates. Spago is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner service and lunch is served Friday and Saturday. Guests are required to make a reservation in advance. More information.

Here & Now (DTLA)

Limited patio space is available for folks to sip cocktails like the Pandan Pistachio Piña Colada and munch on burgers, fries, and other casual bar bites. More information.

Nobu (Malibu)

This sushi restaurant sits right on the beach. The food is high-end and so are the spectacular views. More information.

Rosaline (West Hollywood)

Ricardo Zarate’s modern Peruvian restaurant is open for service, both in its open-air dining room and on its patio. All guests will be temperature checked upon arrival. Tables have been spaced out to adhere to social distancing rules. Reservations are recommended. More information.

Georgia’s (Long Beach)

The mother and daughter-owned soul food restaurant has patio seating in its Long Beach Exchange location. More information.

Imperial Western (DTLA)

The brewery inside Union Station gets a makeover as a Bavarian-style beer hall featuring German-inspired beers, steins, and sausages. There is ample space for social distancing inside and the patio has added seating areas to the space. There are a few easy guideline for enjoying the beer hall, give them a read here. –> More information

Cassia (Santa Monica)

The Southeast Asian restaurant with a California twist has re-arranged their entire dining room and expansive outdoor patio. There are also directional markers on the floor to help folks navigate the new space. –> More information

Fred 62 (Los Feliz)

The retro 90s diner is back with its huge eclectic menu and all-day breakfast. The sidewalk patio is a fun place for people-watching. More information.

FIA (Santa Monica)

The California Coastal restaurant is now open and its beautiful patio space is ready to serve dinner and brunch. More information.

Broken Spanish (DTLA)

Chef Ray Garcia’s unique latin eatery has reopened with an indoor/outdoor space and an expanded outdoor patio. Guests can dine on Tomato Tostada with Yuzu Kosho aioli, Weiser Farm’s Rainbow Carrots with mole Amarillo and more. –> More information

Little Beast (Eagle Rock)

The Craftsman bungalow space serves modern American fare. There is a patio on the east wing of the building. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner service. Reservations are highly recommended. More information

Margot (Culver City)

This stunning coastal Mediterranean restaurant is situated on the rooftop of Platform. Diners will enjoy a 360-degree view of the city inside the dining room and outside on the patio. More information.

Rustic Canyon (Santa Monica)

This Santa Monica institution has added larger, lower tables and an additional section to their sidewalk seating. Dine on Chef Andy Doubrava’s new seasonal dishes, like Steamed Sea Bass with Munak’s Sungold Tomato & Smoked Bone Broth and made-to-order Soft Pretzels with mustard. –> More information

The Original Farmers Market (Fairfax District)

All food vendors are now ready to serve the public. Customers are required to wear masks. Social distancing is enforced. Sanitizer stations are available at the entrance. More information.

Little Dom’s (Los Feliz)

The Italian eatery has reopened its dining room and cozy street curb patio. You must make a reservation to dine in. More information.

Faith & Flower (DTLA)

Chef Michael Hung is remixing a New American menu inspired by the diversity of our city. Enjoy kimchi deviled eggs, cod slow-roasted in a Szechuan pepper jus, and pork enchiladas in black sesame mole sauce. The entire restaurant is open for service including the front patio. Servers wear face masks, face shields, and gloves. More information.

Tallula’s (Santa Monica)

The globally inspired Mexican spot created a “Margarita Garden” by converting the majority of their large parking lot into an outdoor patio. Enjoy new dishes by Chef Saw Naing and crew like Organic Chicken Al Pastor Tacos with spicy pickled jalapeño and pineapple or the Crispy Rice Salad. –> More information

Madre (Palms & Southbay)

Both locations of Madre, an Oaxacan-focused restaurant and mezcaleria, have patios. The South Bay, however, has two. More information.

The Stalking Horse Brewery (West Los Angeles)

The British-inspired pub has an intimate patio in the back. Cornish fare and a selection of British beers are what make this place special. Open Thursday through Sunday. More information.

Bar Amá (DTLA)

There’s a new social distancing patio set up in the alleyway of Josef Centeno’s Tex-Mex eatery Bar Amá. Officially named Harlem Place, the space offers boombox vibes, cold beer, margaritas, tacos dorados, and more. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 1-8 p.m. Reservations are welcome. More information.

ama citá (DTLA)

Another Centeno space is now open with limited patio seating. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 1-8 p.m. More information.

Bäco Mercat (DTLA)

This Mediterranean fusion eatery has a new to-go window. Limited outdoor seating has been designed for those who want to dine in. Open from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. More information.

Hank’s (Pacific Palisades)

Hank’s at Palisades Village is open and serving American classics like the Denver Cut Pot Roast and Steak Frites. Its dining room and limited outdoor seating are available. More information.

Huckleberry (Santa Monica)

The bakery cafe implemented a few sidewalk tables and some limited indoor seating for dining on-site. –> More information

Playa Provisions (Playa del Rey)

Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson’s beachside restaurant is serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch on its newly expanded patio. To ramp up on safety, the space has been reconfigured for socially distant dining and plexiglass has been installed between indoor and outdoor booths. More information.

L’Antica Pizzeria (Hollywood)

This Neapolitan pizzeria is open every day for socially distant brunch, lunch, and dinner on its back patio. More information.

Malibu Wines & Beer Garden (Malibu)

The popular outdoor wine tasting spot is open on Friday and Saturdays, serving wood-fired pizzas from Two Doughs. Guests must wear masks. More information.

Interstellar (Santa Monica)

The market driven cafe has a patio for the public to enjoy an iced Orange Maple Latte as well as grab-and-go friendly items like a prosciutto, arugula sandwich with burrata cheese and truffle oil. –> More information

Marino (Hollywood)

Open since 1983, this Italian eatery has created an outdoor dining space with the help of some Astroturf and spaced out tables. Open for lunch and dinner. More information

Milo & Olive (Santa Monica)

The bakery and pizzeria now has sidewalk seating. For those who choose to dine inside, you’ll find spaced out tables and glass barriers when you walk in, at the check-out counter and along the bar top. –> More information

The Malibu Cafe (Malibu)

The outdoor California cuisine cafe located in Calamigos Ranch is going above and beyond to assure the safety of its staff and customers. Temperatures are taken in your car upon arrival. Sanitation stations are at the entrance of every facility. The giant yard games aren’t available, but paddleboats are open. Dining materials are single-use and disposable. Several functions are touchless including restrooms, payments, and ordering. More information.

BOA Steakhouse (West Hollywood & Santa Monica)

Both locations are open and have patios, but the West Hollywood location has a more spacious patio. More information.

Pasta Sisters (Culver City)

Pasta Sisters has two patios open with social distancing tables at its Helms Bakery location. More information.

Momed (Atwater Village)

The hidden Atwater Village restaurant has a patio larger than its indoor space. Enjoy Mediterranean dishes and possibly a temperature check. More information.

Malibu Farm Restaurant (Malibu)

The oceanside restaurant is open all day for patio dining. Make your reservation online. More information.

The Draycott (Pacific Palisades)

The California Brasserie is open for dinner and brunch on its gorgeous patio. Guests must wear a mask and will have their temperatures taken before being seated. More information.

The Rose Venice (Venice)

The large shaded outdoor patio is the perfect go-to spot for this globally influenced California restaurant. More information

Hawkins House of Burgers (Watts)

This old-school burger joint is 70 years old and offers patio seating. More information.

Sushi Roku (Pasadena)

Reopening on June 18, the contemporary sushi spot has a cozy patio space right in the heart of Old Town Pasadena. More information.

Katana (West Hollywood)

The epic patio overlooking Sunset Boulevard is open for service. The upscale Japanese fusion restaurant will require guests to wear masks. Should a guest find themselves without a mask, they can purchase one on the spot from the restaurant. More information.

Manuela (DTLA)

Manuela will welcome back guests for dining on its patio starting July 1. Hauser & Wirth gallery will also reopen to the public on this day, but you’ll need to make an appointment to see the exhibitions. More information.

Fun Stuff, Happenings, Things To Do

Street Food Cinema Pivots to Drive-in Format this Summer

June 16, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Street Food Cinema at LA State Historic Park
Image via Street Food Cinema

Street Food Cinema, recognized for pairing the outdoor movie experience with local food trucks for a night under the stars, will pivot to a drive-in concept this summer. The kick-off screening is on June 20 with 500 Days of Summer.

The movie series will take place at the Brandeis Bardin Campus in Simi Valley, outside of Los Angeles County but still within driving range for Angelenos.

Moviegoers pay a car entry fee of $20, and each individual guest in the car will need an $8 general admission ticket. Children ages 3 and under are free. You must have a car to enter.

For concessions, you can bring outside food and beverages, or take advantage of the on-site food trucks.

So far, the drive-in series is only scheduled through June:

  • June 20: 500 Days of Summer
  • June 21: Mrs. Doubtfire
  • June 26: Edward Scissorhands
  • June 27: The Princess Bride
  • June 28: Moulin Rouge!

To purchase tickets and get additional information, visit Street Food Cinema’s website here.

The City of Ontario, Ontario International Airport, and Street Food Cinema recently announced a series of free drive-in movie nights on airport property every other week from June 19 through July 31. Tickets for that particular series are going fast.

Related: A Guide to Drive-in Theaters Around SoCal

Fun Stuff, Happenings

There’s a Free Drive-in Movie Series at Ontario Airport

June 15, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Photo Credit: Ontario International Airport Instagram

The City of Ontario, Ontario International Airport, and Street Food Cinema recently announced a series of free drive-in movie nights on airport property every other week starting June 19. The series kicks off with Ford v Ferrari, which was partially filmed at the Ontario International Airport.

Two 50-foot screens will be set up on a remote parking lot on the northern edge of the airport, while sound will be delivered through FM radio.

“The drive-in movie experience is something so many of us remember fondly, and the City is proud to be able to offer these events to our community in light of what we’ve all been through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a wonderful opportunity for movie-goers to enjoy a night out with their families and watch a film from the comfort and safety of their vehicle,” said Dan Bell, Communications & Community Relations Director for the City of Ontario, via a statement.

The series continues with The Sandlot on July 3, The Princess Bride on July 17 and Napoleon Dynamite on July 31. Tickets for the first two movie nights are already sold out. Tickets for The Princess Bride will be released on July 6 and for Napoleon Dynamite on July 20. Online reservations allow one pass per vehicle on a first-come, first-served basis with capacity set at 300 cars.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and movies start at 8:30 p.m. Street Food Cinema will also set up on-site food options. Poutine Brothers, the Grilled Cheese Truck, Afters Ice Cream, and My Delight Cupcakery are on board.

While the event is free, movie-goers are encouraged to bring donations of canned or boxed food to support local food banks. That’s a pretty sweet deal for a fun night in San Bernardino County!

More information about Drive-in Movie Nights can be found here. Please be prepared to adhere to social distancing rules. This includes wearing a mask, maintaining distance from other parked cars, and staying in your vehicle during the screening.


This Massive Online Bake Sale for Social Justice Features L.A.’s Best Chefs

June 15, 2020 by Christina Champlin

Pies will take center stage this Friday when Los Angeles chefs, bakers, and food personalities lend their skills to Pies For Justice. The one-day virtual bake sale will raise funds for Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and The Gathering for Justice.

Pies for Justice is organized by Gather for Good. They expect over 200 pies, both sweet and savory, from over 50 chefs to appear in the online bake sale. The public will get the chance to purchase them on June 19 starting at 9 a.m. All pies are first-come, first-served and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to both organizations in their fight for racial justice.

Participating restaurants include n/naka, Birdie G’s, Dulan’s Soul Food, A.O.C, Providence LA, All Time, Sqirl, Cake Monkey, Rustic Canyon, and more. Evan Kleiman from KCRW’s Good Food and award-winning chef Sherry Yard will also be baking for the event.

Pies For Justice takes place on Juneteenth, a significant day in history often celebrated as the one true independence day for African Americans. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas to demand that slaves be set free. Texas was one of the last states to hold onto its slaves, despite President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.

On Friday, June 19, visit the Pies for Justice page here to select a pie (or two) for this deliciously worthy cause. You can pick up your pies on June 20 between noon and 3 p.m. Each chef will contact buyers with specific pickup instructions after purchase.

Culture, Lifestyle

Public Gardens in Los Angeles That Aren’t Closed

June 10, 2020 by Christina Champlin
The Huntington Cherry Blossom Trees. Photo by: Brian Champlin

As the city slowly opens back up, Angelenos are excited to leave the confines of their homes for more than just a grocery run. We’ve compiled a list of outdoor L.A. sanctuaries where you can stretch your legs and get some fresh air. If you want to smell the flowers as you stroll mindfully to the sounds of songbirds and humming insects, these are the gardens to explore.

Arlington Garden (Pasadena)

This three-acre water-wise public garden highlights the flora that grows in SoCal’s climate. It’s divided into seven areas, including citrus groves, Mediterranean plants, desert cacti, and more. The garden is free and open daily from 8 a.m. to sundown, except on Tuesdays when closed for maintenance. Pets are welcome. Due to COVID-19, guests must wear a mask and are not allowed to use the furniture. Social distancing is enforced. Bringing your own hand sanitizer is also highly encouraged. More information.

Descanso Gardens (La Cañada Flintridge)

Descanso Gardens spans 150 acres and houses the largest camellia collection in North America, a five-acre rose garden, a Japanese garden, and a whole lot more. Some physical distancing modifications have been put into place and all guests must wear a facial covering. Tickets are released on Tuesday mornings starting at 10 a.m. and must be purchased online in advance. They’re $9 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for kids 4 and younger. More information.

L.A. County Arboretum (Arcadia)

This 127-acre botanical garden is home to plants from all over the world, a peaceful lake, and famous roaming peacocks. Tickets are timed and can only be purchased in advance online. Visitors will need a face covering to enter and must practice physical distancing. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $11 for seniors (62+) and students, $5 for children 5–12, and are free for children under 5. More information.

Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden

This water-wise public garden and certified nature habitat is located in Polliwog Park. The area practices Earth-friendly gardening and is known to attract many birds and butterflies. More information.

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Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden (Pasadena)

The two-acre Japanese Garden has plans to reopen on Sundays starting June 28. Designed for peaceful strolling, the grounds feature a 15-foot waterfall, a pond, and a teahouse. Guests must register ahead of time online to gain access to the garden. Admission is $7.50 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. Members are granted free admission. A few areas will be closed to the public, including the teahouse, at this time. More information.

California Botanic Garden (Claremont)

The 86-acre garden is devoted to the conservation, research, horticulture, and celebration of California native plants. Timed ticket reservations must be made online. Guests are required to wear a mask, avoid contact with others, and leave when their time slot is over. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors (65+) and students, $4 for children 3–12, and free for those under 3. More information.

The Huntington Chinese Garden. Photo by: Christina Champlin

The Huntington (San Marino)

The Huntington set its public reopening date for July 1, while members can access the grounds on June 17 with advance tickets. For now, the 130-acre garden is the only area open, and admission will not grant access to the museum spaces or library. There are several areas that you must explore, including the Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, and Desert Garden. Due to COVID-19, guests must wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing rules.

The Huntington will open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Tuesdays, a day when the gardens have typically closed. The addition of Tuesdays, plus special evening hours throughout the summer, will allow more guests to visit despite the gardens’ reduced capacity. Tickets are released three days in advance and cost $25 (weekday) to $29 (weekend) for adults, $21 (weekday) to $24 (weekend) for seniors and students, $13 for children 4–11, and free for kids under 4. There will also be two free days in July as well. All reservations must be made online. More information.

South Coast Botanic Garden (Palos Verdes Peninsula)

The 87-acre botanic garden is home to over 2,500 different species of plants from around the world. To see them for yourself, make an advance reservation online. Visitors will need a face covering to enter and must practice physical distancing. Ticketed Special Dog Walking hours occur on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month this summer with a $4 dog admission. Tickets to the garden are $15 for ages 13 and up, $11 for seniors (62+), $5 for children 5–12, and free for children under 5. More information.


A Guide to Drive-in Theaters Around SoCal

June 8, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Electric Dusk Drive-In
Credit: Electric Dusk Drive-In on Facebook

There’s been a growing trend of hitting up drive-in theaters during the pandemic. Catching a flick inside your car is not only nostalgic, but also adheres to the social distancing rules we’ve implemented for our health. Here’s a list of open drive-ins you can cruise into along with a few new rules related to COVID-19. Generally speaking, prepare to stay in your car unless you’re going to the restroom or concession stand, during which you’ll have to wear your facial covering and practice social distancing.

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre in Montclair is open nightly. It’s $10 for adults and $1 for kids 5-9. For a single ticket, you can choose to see just one movie or watch both films playing on the same screen. Current double features include Becky/The Hunt, Groundhog’s Day/Jumanji: The Next Level, and The Invisible Man/Arkansas. The snack bar includes candy, fountain drinks, Mexican fare, and more.

COVID-19 Rules: You must purchase tickets and view the movie from inside your car. You can only leave your vehicle to go to the restroom or snack bar and must practice social distancing at all times. If you break the rules, you will be asked to leave without a refund.

Van Buren Drive In in Riverside is open nightly. Like Mission Tiki, it’s $10 for adults and $1 for children 5-9, which gets you two films on the same screen. They also have a snack bar.

COVID-19 Rules: You must purchase tickets and view the movie from inside your car. You can leave your vehicle only to go to the restroom or snack bar. You must practice social distancing at all times. If you break the rules, you will be asked to leave without a refund.

Paramount Drive-In Theatres in Paramount is open nightly and will operate at 50% capacity. Tickets are $10 for adults, $3.50 for kids 5-8, free for children under 5. Current films include The Wretched and Trolls World Tour.

COVID-19 Rules: Cars must park 9 feet apart. Customers must remain inside their vehicle during the movie. Each vehicle may only be occupied by members of the same household. Congregating is prohibited; social distancing will be enforced. Face coverings must be worn when exiting vehicles. Bathrooms will operate at 50% capacity (eight people at a time). Concessions are to-go only.

Vineland Drive-In in City of Industry is open nightly. Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children 5-9, and free for kids under 5. Current films include La La Land, Capone, Booksmart, and The Addams Family (2019).

COVID-19 Rules: You must watch the movie from inside your car, and wear a mask when visiting the restroom or snack bar. Social distancing will be enforced. You must leave one space between cars when parking. If you fail to follow the guidelines, you will be asked to leave without a refund. Credit cards are strongly encouraged. Otherwise, exact change will be accepted.

Rubidoux Drive-In Theatre in Riverside is open nightly. Tickets are $9 for adults and $1 for kids 5-9. Each ticket gets you both movies playing on the same screen. Current selections include Becky, The Hunt, The High Note, Knives Out, and more.

COVID-19 Rules: There are no COVID-19-related rules noted on the website. Please call ahead for any questions.

Electric Dusk Drive-In plans to return in fall 2020.


Resources for Businesses Affected by Looting

June 8, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Boarded up empty stores on Melrose Avenue. Photo by: Christina Champlin

If you have a small business in Los Angeles affected by recent vandalism or looting, you may be wondering what your insurance will cover and what the city is doing to help. We’ve gathered some info below to help you assess the situation.

What’s Covered?

While national chains’ losses are usually covered by large insurance policies, it may vary widely when it comes to small businesses. The degree of coverage comes down to the policy purchased. The policy purchased likely depends on how deep the business owner’s pockets are.

Many businesses are required by their lease agreements to have basic insurance. Most business owner policies cover property damage and loss, regardless of the cause. However, not all businesses hold insurance that covers inventory and equipment against loss. It may be helpful to look for language like “riots or civil commotion” in your policy to figure out what’s covered. Businesses with no insurance at all will need to cover losses out of pocket.

Inventory and equipment are likely covered under a standard business operator’s policy. Business interruption insurance typically covers lost revenue, but may come with conditions. In a 2015 article published in Insurance Business Magazine following unrest in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray, the magazine notes, “Business interruption coverage, however—which covers lost income—is only triggered when the insured business incurs direct physical damage or the government shuts down an area due to property damage caused by a peril covered by the company’s insurance policy that prevents customers or employees gaining access to the premises.” Recently, the California Department of Insurance urged businesses to go through their fact sheet on insurance coverage during civil unrest.

Chance of Some Relief From Your Insurance

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has called on adjusters to be on the ground as soon as possible to help affected businesses quickly access their insurance benefits. Lara is also considering an emergency declaration that would allow insurers to use out-of-state adjusters to speed up the process.

Due to COVID-19, Lara ordered insurance companies to refund part of commercial premiums for businesses affected by the pandemic through May. He is now calling to also extend that grace period through mid-July. Businesses affected by looting should contact their insurance companies about the grace periods, possible premium rebates, and to check if they qualify for lower rates.

The Department of Insurance is also offering its assistance in submitting claims and answering questions about coverage. Businesses that need help can contact the office here.

L.A. Metro Loan

The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) announced the Transit Oriented Communities Small Business Recovery Loan Program to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Funded by L.A. Metro, the program offers up to $20,000 in loan funds to cover operating expenses for eligible small businesses located within a quarter-mile of a major transit stop in L.A. County. You can complete applications directly at from noon on Monday, June 8 until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19. The loans are on a first-come, first-served basis. Find more information on the program and eligibility here, or email or call (626) 943-3818.

Help From the City

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has offered affected Los Angeles business operators free building inspection and debris removal. L.A. Sanitation is providing roll-off dumpster services for debris as well. Garcetti noted he is also working on proposing additional financial assistance directly to affected businesses.

[Update, June 7, 4 p.m.:] The L.A. County Office of Emergency Management asks business owners with damages to register online so that the city can connect them with future disaster aid. You can fill out the short online survey here. If you know a business owner who doesn’t have access to the internet or who doesn’t speak English, you can direct them to call L.A. County’s Disaster Help Center at (833) 238-4450, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

When Can I Reopen?

Businesses that were minimally damaged can reopen after repairs are made without permits. Those with heavier damage, such as fire damage, must apply for permits to reopen.

Crowdfunding Help

Several businesses around the city have launched their own crowdfunding campaigns to help with costs. Here are some local businesses we spotted on GoFundMe.

To create your own crowdfunding campaign, find more information here.


We Like L.A. Believes Black Lives Matter

June 1, 2020 by Brian Champlin, Juliet Bennett Rylah and Christina Champlin
Photo by Juliet Bennett Rylah

Los Angeles is hurting right now. Our television sets and Twitter feeds are bombarded with images of chaos and destruction, of protest and outrage. Some of us have been in the streets and seen those images for ourselves.

Wherever you are, whatever your outlook, we urge you to remember this: at the center of all this uncertainty, outrage, and unrest is a righteous truth. An injustice against one is an injustice against us all. And right now, injustice abounds in communities around the country. It has for a long time.

George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis was an atrocity, and yet it was only one of the most recent committed against a black American by law enforcement. Outrage and anger are deserved. The time for reform is long overdue, and the moment for change—real systemic change—is upon us. 

We believe black lives matter. If we want our city to flourish in the future, to meet our highest aspirations and keep our most cherished promises, then change needs to happen and it needs to happen now.

We are here for it. We are standing up. We hope you will, too.

If you want to help, here is a list of resources to consider:

Where you can donate:

The George Floyd Memorial Fund

Black Lives Matter

The Minnesota Freedom Fund helps pay bail/bond fees for protestors in the state, but is also suggesting other organizations to donate to as well.

Campaign Zero, a national organization aimed at ending police violence.

Black Visions Collective, based in Minnesota.

Peoples City Council Freedom Fund: This L.A.-based fund helps pay for legal support, bail, fees, medical costs, and more for protestors arrested here in Los Angeles. They also provide direct monetary support to Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

Reclaim The Block, funds help organize Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that promote community health and safety.

Can’t decide? Click here to split your donation among several relevant groups.

How you can take action:

Support a local black-owned restaurant. Or a black-owned coffeeshop. Or find more black-owned businesses here. Or here!

Register to vote.

Follow key organizations, like Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Colors of Change, Showing Up for Racial Justice, the ACLU, and the Innocence Project.

Go to a protest. But remember, COVID-19 is still active in our community. Wash your hands, wear a facial covering, practice social distancing, and stay home if you’re sick!

Check out the People’s Budget, dedicated to making sure Los Angeles’s budget reflects the values and needs of the city.

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Police while she slept in her own apartment. Visit to find out how you can take action right now.

Resources for learning: 

Black Lives Matter L.A. has three toolkits you can download: Healing Action Toolkit, Chapter Conflict Resolution Toolkit, and #TalkAbout Trayvon: A Toolkit for White People. They have a reading list, too.

This Google doc is full of great resources for white people who want to be better allies and engage in anti-racism work. 


Here’s What L.A.’s Jacaranda Bloom Looks Like Right Now

May 25, 2020 by Christina Champlin
Jacaranda bloom in Westwood. Photo by Christina Champlin

If you’ve driven around Los Angeles lately, you’ve surely spied some of the blooming jacaranda brightening neighborhoods all over the Southland. The ravishing purple blossoms are hard to miss, whether lining a residential street or poking up over a freeway wall.

The trees were originally popularized in Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, and in the near-century that’s passed, they’ve been planted all over the city. They typically bloom between April and June and, based on observations, we are definitely in peak jacaranda season.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I drove around the city to snap some shots of what this year’s bloom looks like in a variety of neighborhoods. Check out the following photos and be sure to scroll down below the gallery to see some instructions on how you, too, can locate clusters of these blossoming beauties.

Jacaranda bloom in Sherman Oaks. Photo by Christina Champlin
Jacaranda in bloom in Los Feliz. Photo by Christina Champlin
Jacaranda bloom in Westwood. Photo by Christina Champlin
Jacaranda bloom in Westwood. Photo by Christina Champlin
Jacaranda bloom in La Cienega Heights. Photo by Christian Champlin
Jacaranda bloom in Crenshaw. Photo by Christina Champlin

Finding a Jacaranda Bloom

Chances are you probably live closer to a jacaranda bloom than you think. And if you’re not able to just step outside your door and see these purple delights on your morning walk, then here’s a tip:

Time Out L.A.’s Michael Juliano created this map with data from L.A.’s Bureau of Street Services, which has an online map of every tree on L.A. streets.

Using that map as a starting point, I located some of the most densely packed streets and looked up the addresses on Google Maps to see what the composition might look like in real life.

Hint: I’m not listing the addresses above (just the neighborhoods), but you can use the same procedure to hunt a few photo-worthy Jacaranda-lined streets, too. Enjoy the bloom!