12 Spots for the Best Panaderias in Los Angeles

July 15, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

The richness of the Latino food scene in Los Angeles is no secret. And perhaps no institution epitomizes this cultural hallmark more than the humble, neighborhood panaderia.

From signature pan dulce, tamales and churros to the ubiquitous conchas (shells) along with elotes, chilindrinas, and empanadas made from family recipes, L.A.’s Latino bakery landscape is as dense as the city is sprawling.

Not that this is a bad thing.

If you’re new to the delectable delights of L.A.’s panaderias consider this list a starting point for some tasty adventures.

And hey, even if your Spanish isn’t so muy bien, don’t be discouraged. Just let your taste buds show you the way.

Buen provecho!

[RELATED15 Super Spots for the Best Nachos in L.A.]

la monarca bakery

Photo Credit: La Monarca Bakery

 1. La Monarca (Throughout LA)

La Monarca has eight locations serving up a variety of pan dulces made fresh and in true L.A. fashion. The coffee is organic and nothing is baked off-site. Their use of ingredients like guava, agave nectar, and coconut means their menu is filled with traditional items plus some with a little twist.

Must try: Cafe Oaxaca, tres leches cake, and horchata cake.

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2. Grand Casino Bakery (Culver City)

Facturas are to Argentine bakeries what pan dulce is to Mexican bakeries and the array of sweet and savory baked goods is enough to keep you full and happy even though they’re also a restaurant. Facturas (pastries) are usually covered in sugar, dulce de leche, or custard and here you’ll find a delightful dulce de leche donut, tres leches cake, and chaja (meringue peach cake).

Must try: alfajores, empanadas, apple tart.

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[RELATED12 Awesome Places to Eat in Culver City You Definitely Gotta Try at Least Once]

Positively dreamy, captured milk and kisses: the #cuatroleches cake slice ☁️🍰☁️

A photo posted by Grand Casino Bakery (@grandcasinobakery) on

3. La Favorita Bakery (Boyle Heights)

They’re the self-proclaimed home of the first “mini-concha” and bolillo and they consider themselves “the favorite” but they back up their bravado with some truly delicious conchas plus they also carry Argentine baked goods so you can also get a taste of alfajores and media lunas (croissants).

Must try: all the conchas and conchitas.

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4. La Espiga Bakery (Echo Park)

When the house specialty is tres leches you know you’re in the right place. You’ll find tres leches cakes at most panaderias but there is nothing quite as succulent and moist as a fresh and well-done tres leches cake. They’ve also got fresh tamales, conchas, and chocolate donuts.

Must try: flan, tres leches.

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5. Antequera Bakery (Santa Monica)

Antequerra Bakery is a small family-run Oaxacan bakery with conchas, regañadas and more. You have to order the rebanadas, their freshly baked sliced bolillos slathered in butter and sugar.

Must try: rebanadas (just in case that wasn’t clear!).

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6. Sonora Bakery (East LA)

It’s TINY but you don’t need a lot of time to sit and devour their baked goods. Their menu includes savory and sweet empanadas and they’re also known for their custom cakes.

Must try: the alfajor (short bread cookie with caramel and coconut shavings) and the bolillo (baguette).

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7. Panaderia San Fernando  (San Fernando)

It’s a hole in the wall in the Valley with big flavors and a devoted local following. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior typical of Valley strip malls, the freshly baked treats are not to be missed.

Must try: cookies and conchas.

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[RELATEDThe 21 Best Places to Eat in The Valley That Every L.A. Foodie Ought to Try Once]

 8. La Mascota (Boyle Heights)

This East LA staple has been around since 1952 and recently came under new ownership  that remodeled the place but didn’t remove its signature charm or menu. Expect long lines but it’s worth it in the end.

Must try: tamales and conchas

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la mascota bakery

Photo Credit: La Mascota Bakery

9. Panaderia La Fama (East LA)

It’s one of the oldest panaderias in East L.A. and in addition to pan dulces they offer sweet empanadas, adorable piggy bread (it’s just what you imagine), and fresh tamales.

Must try: conchas, chilindrinas, guava empanada.

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10. El Gallo Bakery (East LA)

The family-owned business opened its doors in 1949 continuing a tradition that started in Guadalajara. They offer quite an assortment of baked goods from conchas to galletas to my personal favorite, orejas. Heads up it’s cash only.

Must try: buttered cuernitos and payasos.

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el gallo bakery

Photo Credit: El Gallo Bakery Facebook

11. Panaderia Cuscatleca (Pico Union)

So they’ve got an Oreo cake but now that I have your attention let’s talk about their Salvadorean delicacies specifically the “Quesadilla Salvadorena.” Think of it as a marriage between a cheesecake and a pound cake. Got it? Ok now open up Google maps to get to La Espiga asap.

Must try: Quesdadilla Salvadorena.

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12. Panaderia Delicia (Highland Park)

They’ve got it all – specialty cakes, pan dulces, cookies, tamales and it’s made Salvadorean style.

Must try: tamales and bolillos.

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Did we miss your favorite local L.A. panaderia? Hit us up with tips and your picks for the best in the comments below!


The City of Los Angeles Has a Brand New Guide For Renters’ Rights

July 13, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

Angelenos are well aware living in Los Angeles is expensive- it’s the 7th most expensive major city in the US- but how many are aware of their rights as renters?

Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced a new campaign to raise awareness of renter’s rights called Home for Renters backed by the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA).

The campaign has new guides in English and Spanish available online and will reach out to neighborhoods throughout L.A. with printed materials. The guides include both a landlord booklet and a tenant booklet.

According to Curbed LA, the rental vacancy rate is 2.7 percent  with rental fees reflecting the high demand and low supply (think: Uber surge prices as the norm).

In the LA metro area, Zumper determined the median cost for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,970 while a 2-bedroom will cost $2,900 monthly. The San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley (not included in the survey) are relatively cheaper but not exactly cheap.

The Los Angeles Times released a report earlier this year stating that “more than 1,000 rent-controlled apartments were taken off the market last year — a nearly threefold increase since 2013, according to a Times analysis of housing data. Evictions from such units have doubled over the same time.”

There are about 624,000 units- about 75 percent of apartments-  in Los Angeles that are covered by the rent stabilization ordinance, according to Home for Renters.

This covers all rental units built before October 1978, with the exception of single-family homes that exist on their own on a single parcel of land. Some units built after 2006 are also covered. With rent stabilization your rent may only increase by  3 percent each year.

The purpose of the city’s new campaign is let renters know they’ve got some power too, specifically when it comes to fees and eviction cases.

Under the current Ellis Act law landlords are permitted to evict tenants in order to demolish the building or take it off the rental market, in return for paying a relocation fee for the evicted tenants.

The Rent Stabilization Ordinance, passed in 1979, states what is legally allowed as reasons for eviction, includes what type of evictions require relocation costs be covered, and limits how much a landlord can raise rents.

To find out if you apartment is covered, call HCIDLA at 866-577-7368, or click here.

“The rent stabilization ordinance is the most powerful tool we have to keep families and neighborhoods together in a tight housing market. As we work to build new affordable housing, we also must make sure that residents know about the protections we already have in place,” Garcetti said in a statement.


New Museum Coming to DTLA With a Focus on the Art of Los Angeles

July 6, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

The art revolution in Downtown continues, this time with the announcement of a brand new museum focused on art from the city of Los Angeles.

The Main Museum, which is scheduled to open some time in 2020, will be located in the Old Bank District taking up 40,000 square feet of exhibition space on the ground floors of the Hellman Building and the Farmers and Merchants Building and will include a rooftop sculpture garden, according to the L.A. Times.

Unlike most museums, which, like L.A.’s newest, The Broad, rely on a private collection, the Main Museum’s curatorial focus will be on culling local resources.

Main Museum Rendering

Rendering of The Main Museum. Image via Tom Wiscombe

“Considering the environment of Los Angeles, I think we are better off using our resources doing things other than buying stuff. Residencies will be at the core of our program, rather than a collection,” said curator Allison Agsten, who previously served as the curator of public engagement at the Hammer Museum.

The museum is launching “Beta Main” starting Oct.30, a series of informal public programs that’ll take place at storefront spaces that have been completed. The 10-day event staged by Los Angeles artists Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers is a follow-up to their NYC performance at the Drawing Center in 2014 where Bowers taught Lacy how to draw.

The L.A. event will be the opposite with Lacy teaching Bowers the ways of a performance artist and will culminate on Nov. 8 (election day) with a special program.

There will be other public offerings including “Office Hours” where  artists based in the neighborhood can visit so that Agsten can get to know them and their work. There are also plans for an exhibition of the work of Boyle Heights photographer Star Montana.

Main Museum Rendering

Interior rendering of the Main Museum. Image via Tom Wiscombe

Construction of The Main Museum is estimated to cost $55 million, according to Curbed LA, with L.A. architect Tom Wiscombe helming the design.

Along with artistic renderings of the plans for the museum, Wiscombe’s website describes the new project as a “a three-dimensional space” where “Objects penetrate through floors, peek over rooftops, and inhabit dark interior voids.”

Renovations of the ground floor space- the first of five phases of  developing the museum-  is scheduled for completion by 2018 but Agsten plans pop-up events throughout the building phases.

“If someone says, I have an idea for a talk,” she told The Times, “I can say, come down and we’ll do it.”


Here’s the Complete Schedule for Sunset Concerts at Skirball

June 30, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

Starting next month the Skirball Cultural Center is hosting their sunset concert series for what will be the 20th annual year.

Running weekly from July 21 through Aug. 25, Sunset Concerts at Skirball will feature an array of contemporary and experimental artists showcasing sounds from a variety of genres.

For each event doors open at 7 p.m. with the music kicking off at 8 p.m.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early to secure seating and dine at Zeidler’s Café where they can check out the Sunset Supper specially created for the event (reservations are required). You can also view all the Skirball galleries (except Noah’s Ark) until 10 p.m.

Concerts are free to attend but keep in mind parking is $10, and cash only.

Just an FYI: The official event site mentions that should you keep your parking stub as that will act as your ticket to enter the concert.

If you’re taking an Uber, Lyft, or other ride-share service, organizers recommend you request the driver drop you off at the front steps so a Skirball staff member can provide you with a ticket.

Full schedule of performances listed below.


Schedule of Performances

Thursday, July 21, 8 p.m.  – Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

Thursday, July 28, 8 p.m. – Sinkane

Thursday, August 4, 8 p.m. – Thalma de Freitas

Thursday, August 11, 8 p.m. – M.A.K.U. Soundsystem

Thursday, August 18, 8 p.m. – Music Maker Blues Revue

Thursday, August 25, 8 p.m. –  Shai Tsabari and the Middle East Groove All Stars

More information can be found on the official Skirball Cultural Center website.


13 Awesome Spots for Late-Night Donuts in Los Angeles

June 27, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

Sometimes after a long day of work and attempting to eat healthy (key word: attempting) those midnight cravings hit hard and there’s literally nothing in the world you want more than a donut. Thankfully, Los Angeles is always ready and willing to answer the call.

You may remember we have previously catalogued a list featuring some of L.A.’s best donuts and now we’re here to help you when you need that late-night sugar fix.

Our criteria is simple: Candidates must be open past 10 p.m. (and if it’s 24-hours all the better) and they must offer delicious donuts.

Among the options below you’ll find cronuts, crullers, custard-filled creations and all the rest of the classics so whatever you’re looking for you’re bound to find it.

Now go forth and make Homer Simpson proud!

California Donuts in Koreatown

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

 1. California Donuts (Koreatown)

Famous for their Homer Simpson (think The Simpsons), Matcha Green Tea, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles and Oreo covered donuts, you will definitely want to try each of their delicious flavorful donuts. Their specialty donuts include the Snickers Bar (it’s as indulgent as you dreamed it would be with a snickers bar inside), and the Fruity Pebbles and Lucky Charms topped donuts. They’re probably most famous for their Panda Donut that gets people to pull out their phones as quickly as their wallets. It’s a nondescript shop with neon sign advertising that they’re open 24 hours seven days a week for those roaming the streets of Koreatown eager for a sugar fix at 2 a.m.

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[RELATEDThe Best 24-Hour Food Spots in Los Angeles]

2. Michelle’s Donuts (East Hollywood)

Their approach is back to basics so don’t expect trendy items but you can expect to pay $8 for a dozen (cash only) so there’s that. Open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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3. SK Doughnuts & Croissants (Mid-Wilshire)

There’s the cronut and then there’s the SKronut, their signature item with strawberries, chocolate, maple bacon, or glaze. SK’s version is airy in texture which is often missing from other bakeries making this trendy treat. Open 24/7!

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4. Donut Friend (Highland Park)

In the same vein as fro-yo shops this place provides a DIY option where you can pick your donut, filling, and toppings including nuts, sauces, and spices (yup) to create your ultimate treat. If you’re too lazy to make something their signature collection’s are there for you. We recommend the Jets to Brasil with a balsamic reduction, cream cheese and strawberry jam or the Lemon Weapon with blueberry jam, lemon cream, and a tart lemon glaze. Closed on Mondays. Open Tuesday- Thursday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight.

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5. The Donut Man (Glendora)

Jonathon Gold called it the “first destination donut” with its main draw being their seasonal (thus fresh) strawberry donut. Other seasonal offerings include peach and pumpkin and it’s located in the middle of nowhere so it may be a pit stop on a road trip or a late-night destination when all you want is a long drive and some fried goodness. Open 24/7 and cash only.

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6. Tasty Donuts (WeHo)

All you need to know is two words: blueberry donuts. It may not sound like anything special but it’s a harmonious marriage of blueberries, dough, and glaze. Open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

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7. DK Donuts (Santa Monica)

Their site claims their Double Decker O-Nuts were LA’s first incarnation of the cronut and they’ve developed quite a following thanks to it. Go for the Nutella strawberry twirl or the red velvet o-nut and lovers of ube can try the original ube donut with coconut and cream cheese or the ube bacon bits donut. They’re also known for the “Wow-Nut”, a waffle/donut hybrid, and we suggest the red velvet Oreo or the Reese’s Peanut Butter.  Open 24/7 and cash only.

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8. ICDC (Fairfax)

If you’re looking for something beyond the glaze they’ve got the grapefruit Campari-filled donut and a salted caramel donut with vanilla ice cream and espresso for an Italian twist. Fun fact: the name is an acronym for the items they offer (Ice Cream, Donuts and Coffee). Closed on Mondays. Open Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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9. Randy’s Donuts (Inglewood)

It’s rare that a donut shop’s design be as famous as the donuts they carry but Randy’s is an L.A. icon whose 45-foot donut-shaped sign gets your attention and the real thing keeps it. The assortment here is all traditional, including cake, jelly and old fashioned varieties, as well as apple fritters and bear claws. Open 24/7.

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Randy's Donuts

Randy’s Donuts. Photo by: John Mueller via flickr cc

10.  Doughnut Hut (Burbank)

They’re primarily known for their French crullers which gives the donuts an airy, light texture. Get the orange or vanilla crullers, cinnamon glazed twist or the chocolate-filled powdered donut. Open 24/7 and cash only.

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11. Colorado Donuts (Eagle Rock)

They’ve been lauded as one of LA’s best interpretations of the cronut because they took it a step further and stuffed it with Reese’s cups or Oreos. Your diet will take a hit but every bite makes it worth it. Open 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday.

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12. Earl’s Donuts (Chatsworth)

Like most Valley joints, it’s an unassuming shop in a strip mall but it’s home to the traditional donut options that everybody loves. They’ve also got “cresnuts” (cronuts) filled with strawberry, covered in powdered sugar, or drizzled with caramel and you can’t go wrong with any option or you can go with a bear claw or apple fritter which has a nice crunch to it and is filled with apple bits. Open 24/7 and cash only.

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13. Fantastic Donuts and Croissants (Pico-Union)

Pretty much all donuts are worthy of Instagram but some are practically made for it as is the case with these donuts that prove carefully places marshmallows, chocolate dots, and cookies can transform them into cute animals.  Open 24/7 and cash only.

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Don’t see your favorite late-night donut shop on the list? Let us know in the comments below.


Female-Only Ridesharing Service Makes West Coast Debut in O.C. Next Month

June 27, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

Is an all-female ridesharing service an idea whose time has come for women who share safety concerns over solo usage of existing rideshare options like Lyft and Uber?

One startup down in the O.C. is banking on it.

See Jane Go is a new ridesharing app that is meant to be a safer alternative by employing only female drivers and only allowing women to hail a ride (though men can also ride if they’re with a woman).

The service, which first launched in Laguna Hills, plans to debut toward the end of July in the greater Orange County area then eventually expand to L.A. in the fall.

Interested riders can request  an update when the app is ready for download and drivers can currently sign up for more information.

We do know there will be a background check of driving records, a vehicle safety check, and that the vehicle must be less than 11 years old; the drivers will get 80 percent of the revenue plus tips. according to OC Weekly.

Traffic in L.A. on the 101

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

In order to create driver loyalty the company is partnering with a yet-to-be-revealed manufacturer for its 30 Rides program that’ll provide car payment coverage of about $300 if any driver provides 30 rides in a month in their new car.

See Jane Go was born after Savannah Jordan, 18, of San Juan Capistrano expressed interest in becoming a driver to her father William who was aware of the numerous reports of assaults related to Uber/Lyft.

Recently, there was a sexual assault case in Westlake with a fake Uber driver while an actual Uber driver who had threatened violence and stole a passenger’s iPhone was arrested in L.A. in April.

A photo posted by See Jane Go (@seejanegoinc) on

“The one thing that I love about See Jane Go is that it really does feel like family. We’re like a girlfriend,” Jordan told CBS. “You’re not going to feel anxious when you’re getting into this car. It’s going to feel so comfortable to you.”

A unique aspect of See Jane Go is that it allows drivers and passengers to “favorite” each other increasing the likelihood that a passenger will get the driver they liked.

“It’s not a guarantee that you’ll get Sally instead of Betty,”  CEO Kimberly Toonen told TechCrunch, “but it’s a smart algorithm so that your favorite driver will come up in the queue. They’ll get the hail before anyone else.”

The concept of the first all-female ridesharing service isn’t necessarily a new idea.

A service first launched in Boston with the debut of Safeher (formerly known as Chariot for Women), and others have popped up in recent months including DriverHer in Toronto.

[h/t: LAist]

Things To Do

10 Super Geeky Ways to Have a Good Time in Los Angeles

June 24, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

One of the great assets of living in a city with as much cultural breadth as Los Angeles is that, truly, there is something for everyone.

Whether you’re tantalized by tawdry Hollywood history, you’re all about table top role playing, or you just have a thing for the feel and sound of vinyl records, the city of angels is ready and willing to give you what you need when you need it.

And so are we!

The list prepared below is all about catering to your geekier inclinations, from video games and kitschy gift shops to an aviation themed eatery and a world dedicated to Harry Potter.

We hope you find something worth sharing.


via Hak5 / YouTube

1. Crashspace

There’s a laser cutter, a 3D printer, a maker bot, and pretty much every tool you’ve ever heard of (and probably some haven’t).

Crash Space (Collaborative Research Association of Social Hacktivity) is a non-profit organization that is a part of the growing global hackerspace movement. They’ve got 3D printers, a laser cutter, a maker bot, and more digital fabrication tools that would excite those who actually know how to use them. While the space is available to members only they do offer classes and workshops so if you think you’ve got the next million dollar idea here’s a chance to test the technology out. Crash Space holds an open house at 8 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month.

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2. Royce’s Arcade Warehouse

We haven’t been shy about our love for Royce’s Saturday Freeplay (re-opening July 2016) with games including Space Invaders, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter II, Marvel vs. Capcom, Frogger, Galaga, Pac-Man, and Arm Champs II. While free-play is on hold until next month you can still rent out the whole space for parties or rent out certain games. All in all it’s an arcade lovers haven and for vintage gaming novices it’s a great way to test out different games at no cost (read more about them in the related post below).

UPDATE: As of fall 2016 Royce’s has amended their program so it’s $3 to gain admission on Saturdays. They’ve also adding a Threeplay Fridays program into the mix starting on Oct. 22, 2016.

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[RELATED19 Free (and Fun!) Things To Do on a Saturday in Los Angeles]

Royce's Arcade Warehouse

Royce’s Arcade Warehouse. Photo credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

3. Meltdown Comics

Meltdown is a one-stop shop for comic book fans carrying titles from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Vertigo and Manga and as well as sections devoted to Tintin and a collection of zines. It spans 9,000 sq. ft. so it’s practically an understatement to say their collections are extensive. If you want a chance to really delve into the world of comics you can check out Meltdown University which offers drawing, Photoshop, and marketing and promoting your work.

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4. Time Travel Mart

If you’ve ever said that your ultimate super power would be to time travel rest assured you no longer have to wait for the DeLorean to show up at your front door. TTM has two shops (Mar Vista and Echo Park) that specialize in tapping into our time travel fantasies with kitschy gifts and gadgets galore. From centurion helmets to Victorian iPods to a portable wormhole, the history buff and the sci-fi geek are bound to find a tchotchke or two that fires their imagination. The proceeds from the shop benefit 826LA, a literary nonprofit that provides free tutoring for students ages 6 to 18 and even hosts writing labs and sells their work at the shops.

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[RELATED5 Reasons The Time Travel Mart is More Awesome Than The Name Already Suggests]

Time Travel Mart in Echo Park

photo credit: 826LA

5. Game Empire

Sure board games at pubs or bookstores are hard to come by but this board game emporium puts others to shame in the best way. They’ve got Castellion, Boss Monster, Hanabi, Innovation, Ultimate Werewolf, Fairytale, Love Letter, Flip City, Star Realms, Coup, and The Resistance: Avalon. Game Empire hosts a board games and Dungeons & Dragons night every Wednesday.

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6. Dearly Departed Tours

There’s no shortage of themed tours in L.A. but for those looking for something a little off-beat and macabre this should do it. They offer eight tours including the Tragical History Tour and the Hollywood Movie Tour. The former is a multimedia ride through Hollywood and Beverly Hills to places like the house where Michael Jackson died, the pay phone in front of The Viper Room used for the River Phoenix 911 call and the infamous house where the Black Dahlia was found. In October horror film fans get a chance to visit the locations of classics including Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street as well as Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Scream 2 with Michael Myers as their tour guide (all decked out, of course).

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[RELATED7 Haunted Places in L.A. Where You Can (Allegedly) Dine With the Dead]

7. Midnight Screenings of Rocky Horror Show

It’s been 40 years but still the cult is as strong as ever and thanks to the Nuart Theatre there’s no need to wait for an outdoor movie company to host a screening cause they’re hosting one every Saturday at midnight.

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8. Proud Bird Restaurant

The iconic restaurant is nearly half a century old and at the beginning of this year was closed for an upgrade that will turn the 50,000 square-foot building into a food hall.  The original menu will presumably still be available alongside a variety of food and beverage kiosks surrounded by aviation memorabilia with floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic LAX runway views and a suspended P-40 Flying Tiger replica. The newly redesigned eating space (which will feature a array of options) is set to re-open around November of 2016.

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9. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios

After YEARS of pining for the Wizarding World to make its way to L.A. we finally got our long-awaited chance to achieve our dream of joining Harry, Hermione, and Ron in Hogwarts (owl not included). You can visit Ollivander’s to pick a wand – well technically the wand picks you- and finally know what’s it’s like to down a glass of butter beer. If you’re a true fan you’ve likely already got your own Gryffindor or maybe even Slytherin gear so don’t be afraid to wear it with pride while you wait in line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (3D ride) and Flight of the Hippogriff, an outdoor coaster

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via Inside The Magic / YouTube

10. Amoeba Hollywood

The storied history of this beloved record shop means most Angelenos have at least heard of it if they haven’t already stopped by the iconic shop on Sunset. It’s the self-proclaimed largest independent music store carrying thousands of records from back in the day to contemporary releases. They also CDs, LPs, DVDs, 45s, 78s, 12”s or video games and you can get up to 30 percent in store credit. They host free live shows that have included the likes of  Cobra Verde, Patti Smith, Paul Westerberg, Neko Case, PJ Harvey, the Raconteurs, Ceci Bastida and Paul McCartney. Make sure to follow them on Twitter for concert announcements and giveaways. 

Where are your favorite geeky hangout spots in the city of angels? Let us know in the comments below!


So the Ikea in Burbank is Being Converted into a Massive Apartment Complex

June 21, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

If you’ve ever walked into an Ikea and found a room you wish was yours well now you just might just have the chance to actually live there… sort of.

Crown Realty and Development has invested $400 million to revitalize downtown Burbank and that includes providing new housing by way of a 765-unit apartment complex with about 40,000 square feet of retail space on the site of the Ikea.

The project is part of the “I Heart Burbank”  campaign and though the developers hope to complete the project by 2020, it’s still too soon to tell. The changes are part of a bigger plan to upgrade the Burbank Town Center, set to undergo a $60 million renovation. Plans include an outdoor ice rink, a farmer’s market, and the entryway on Magnolia and San Fernando Blvd. will be redesigned to be more walker-friendly and more of an open space, according to the LA Times.

[RELATED17 Fun Things To Do In Burbank If You’re in The Neighborhood]

Burbank Ikea

Burbank Ikea. Photo credit: Joe Wolf via flickr cc

Lovers of Swedish meatballs who have no fear of anything that requires hours of assembling have no need to fret because ground already broke on a new Ikea in Burbank and it’s set to be the largest in America. It’ll be about twice the size of the current Ikea taking up about 456,000 feet on a 22-acre lot about one mile from the original location and it’s set to open in Spring of 2017,  according to CurbedLA.

The apartment complex is also meant to address the housing shortage in Los Angeles. Per Curbed LA, City data shows that no new housing has been permitted or built in the area around the shopping center in the last 15 years

“We’re trying to give the city a sense of place, a community space where people can come and gather. It’s a place for the citizens to come and be with their friends and family and just enjoy themselves. It’s also a place where new employees that are coming into Burbank can call Burbank their home instead of having to live outside the city,” said Jim O’Neil, vice president of Crown Realty and Development.


17 Spots for the Best Happy Hour in The Valley

June 17, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

In my opinion the pub scene in the Valley is severely underrated (and perhaps under appreciated), which is a fact I’m totally OK with as it means us locals get to enjoy some of the best happy hours in L.A. all to ourselves.

But maybe not for long.

This post is all about spotlighting some of the finest San Fernando Valley happy hour spots you may not know about already.Our list includes restaurants and bars so you can find a variety of happy hour offerings with an ambiance to match your mood, from recently opened ‘hipper’ spots to hole-in-the- wall joints that have haunted the SFV forever.

After all, nothing beats that special time of day once your work is done and you can finally chip away at the weight on your shoulders with drinks and food that tastes even better cause it’s not taking away too much from your hard-earned paycheck.

Enjoy the list!

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

Whether you need a drink to celebrate (or to cope) post #debate, #publicschool818 has you covered! 🍻🇺🇸

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1. Public School 818 (Sherman Oaks)

This popular chain aims to teach customers a lesson on good eats made with fresh produce and craft beers. Their “recess” menu includes $4 craft beers, $5 well drinks, and $10-$15 half liter wines while their food menu ranges from $4-$7 with items include Parmesan truffle frites, chorizo mac ‘n’ cheese, and ahi tuna poke.

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2. The Smokehouse (Burbank)

Their menu is sprinkled with happy hour staples including loaded potato skins, fried pickles, and wings. It runs from 4 – 7 p.m. Monday through Fridays at the bar and lounge with well drinks and beer priced at $5 and wines by the glass for $7.

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3. EMC Seafood & Raw Bar (Woodland Hills)

It’s all about the $1 oysters at this sophisticated seafood eatery located in The Village. Daily happy hour runs 4 – 7 p.m. with $1 oysters (chefs choice only) and round two a late night happy hour running Sunday through Thursday 10 p.m. to midnight and Friday-Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The late night menu is more expansive and includes oysters for $1.50 and discounts on small plates like calamari and fish tacos. Plus, $5 draft beer, glass of house wine, sangria, lemon drop and cosmos.

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$1 oysters from 5pm-7pm daily! #emcseafood #happyhour #koreatown #oysters #shuck

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4. Cascabel (Toluca Lake)

Chef Alex Eusebio of Top Chef fame and wife Sara Mann Eusebio opened up this Mexican eatery (the name means rattlesnake) in a former residence offering cozy vibes and gourmet eats. Happy hour is every week from 5 – 7 p.m. with select appetizers including their classic guacamole for a cool $4, select wines are $2 off , draft beers are $5 , and margaritas are $8 .

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5. Tonga Hut (North Hollyw00d)

L.A’s oldest Tiki bar (established in 1958) with its dim lighting, eclectic jukebox offerings, and lounge space is unsurprisingly also a great spot for happy hour. It happens every day from 4 – 8 p.m. with $3 well drinks, $2 PBR, $2 Miller Lite, $5 drafts, and $3 shot specials.

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6. The Woodman (Sherman Oaks)

Ryan Sweeney is one of L.A.’s top craft beer connoisseurs (Surly Goat, Sweeney’s Ale House) at this Sherman Oaks watering hole you can choose from around 16 beers on tap, mostly from California that you probably won’t find elsewhere. Happy hour is every day from 4:30 – 8 p.m. with $4 wine, well drinks, and select craft beers.

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[RELATED: 16 Bars in The Valley Every Pub Enthusiast Needs to Have on Their Radar] 

7. Vino Wine and Tapas Room (Encino)

When in (hypothetical) Spain you dine as the Spaniards do with a table covered in a multitude of small bites. Their Tapa Hour menu includes a tortilla Española (potato omelet) with chorizo, patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy aioli), bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese, and –of course – ceviche. Vino hour includes sparkling wine, beer, and mimosas for $4, their acclaimed sangria for $5, and red and white wine for $6 everyday from 4 – 7 p.m.

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8. Boneyard Bistro (Sherman Oaks)

When a happy hour menu includes fried mac ‘n’ cheese and Kobe Beef Chili Cheese Donuts you can get comfortable because it’s going to be a good night. This is a barbecue joint so naturally the menu includes a few protein-heavy items including a Jr. BBQ sandwich, ¼ of baby back ribs, and what is without a doubt one of their guiltiest pleasures- something called bacon blocks. Happy Hour is from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and all draft beers and wines by the glass are 25 percent off and well drinks are $5.

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Hickory Smokin' Deviled Eggs? We won't say no. #BoneyardBistro

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9. Tipsy Cow (Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills)

It’s been a beloved gastropub in the Valley since opening the Sherman Oaks location in 2014 and just recently they’ve expanded to Woodland Hills. Their happy hour runs all week from 3 – 7 p.m. and everyday from 10 pm. till closing with a food menu that includes short rib cheesesteak, burgers, and tacos while their select beers, house wines, Tipsy Mule, and Ventura Lemonade (vodka and house-made vanilla bean lemonade) are just $5.

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10. Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ (Burbank)

It’s a favorite cook-it-yourself Japanese BBQ restaurant and they don’t skimp on their happy hour deals offering happy hour ONLY full courses for two, ala carte grilling items like toro beef at $3.95, appetizer specials like shrimp tempura for $6.95, and even a wide selection of ramen, soups, noodles and bibmbaps all on specials. Top all that off with $1.95 Sapporo drafts.

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11. The Fat Dog NOHO (North Hollywood)

The pooch-inspired eatery is a sleeper hit in the Valley for those in the know offering a week day happy hour that runs from 3- 7 p.m. with select draft beers ranging from $3-5 and food items ranging from $3-7  including their beloved Swedish meatballs, BBQ pork belly sandwich, and potato skins with brie cheese.

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#happyhour bites #ftw! #noho #fairfaxave 4pm -7pm Monday to Friday! #wineoclock

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12. The Blue Dog Beer Tavern (Sherman Oaks)

One of the best in the 818 with a happy hour that gives a taste of what they’ve got to offer happening Monday through Friday from 3 – 6 p.m. The food menu includes sliders (pick two of some of their signature burgers), chili cheese fries, and nachos while beers, wines, and ciders range from $3.99 to $7.50.

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13. District Pub NoHo (North Hollywood)

The bar features 24 seasonal craft beers on tap including the Angelino from Angel City Brewery and Allagash Curieux Everyday from  2 – 7 p.m.  $2 off draft beers and $1 bottle beer

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

14. Bar One Tap Room (Valley Village)

The only thing better than discounted drinks is free food and at Bar One they’re offering free pizza with $1 drafts and wine, $7 beer flights, $4 sake bombs, and $5 off wine bottles. Happy hour runs from 6 – 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and they also host several special events including karaoke, loteria night, and burlesque.

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15. Maradentro (Studio City)

This seafood haven is just more than a year old and comes from the guys behind Yxta Cocina Mexicana and Mercado. Their “hora feliz” runs Monday 5 –10 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 5 – 7 p.m., and 4–6 p.m. on weekends. The menu features craft cocktails, wine and beer from $4-$9 and a selection of upscale Mexican fare by Chef Jose Acevedo including their dependably delicious guacamole, carnitas nachos, and tostada de ceviche ranging from $6-$10.

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16. The Oaks Tavern (Sherman Oaks)

The Oaks features your neighborhood bar staples including karaoke, trivia, beer pong and free popcorn plus not one but two happy hours everyday from open to 7 p.m. with $2 well drinks and $1 – 1. 50 off select draft beers and late night happy hour Sunday through Thursday from 10 – 11 p.m. with $5.50 well drinks and specials on select drafts and shots.

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17. Sol Y Luna (Tarzana)

Chances are you frequent this down-home Mexican restaurant regularly if you live in the Valley, so its happy hour deals are as extensive as you may expect with half-off appetizers  weekdays from 3 – 6 p.m. which includes tasty eats like steak quesadilla, chicken wings, and taquitos among other favorites. Margaritas are a must especially at just $4.

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What’s your spot for the best happy hour in the Valley? Let us know in the comments below!


L.A’s First-Ever Cat Cafe is Coming to Melrose Ave

June 13, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

Angelenos who have a soft spots for cats can rejoice because coming this fall they’ll have the chance to cuddle all the cats–and possibly rescue some too–with the opening of the city’s first-ever cat cafe.

D.C.-based cat cafe Crumbs & Whiskers now has a home on the West Coast, more specifically on 7924 Melrose Avenue, and is set to open this fall.

Founder and proud cat lady Kanchan Singh developed an experience not that different from the recently-opened Dog Cafe  by recruiting shelter cats looking for homes. Guests can expect between 15-20 cats at the cafe at a time, she told LAist.

Cat Cafe Los Angeles

Image vai Crumbs and Whiskers

The featured cats will be about nine months old or older (when a cat’s immune system is fully developed according to Singh), though they will occasionally throw kitten parties, something that’ll likely happen during the grand opening (join the wait list here).

Pricing information is not available for the L.A. location but the D.C. cafe sells 75 minutes of cat cuddle time for $15 or you can purchase an all-day pass for $35 (students for $25). Snacks and coffee will come from a local eatery and will likely follow the lead of the D.C. menu with most items being less than $5. Limited availability walk-ins last 15 minutes for $5.50.

If you can’t wait till fall to get your cat fix you can check out CatCon June 25-26.


The Natural History Museum’s Adults-Only Sleepovers are Back Starting June 17

June 13, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

For those of you who grew up watching The Land Before Time films, enjoyed playing with Creepy Crawlers, and had an insatiable curiosity for life science this “nerd-chic” night means you can still nerd out but you can now do it with beer and stay up past midnight.

The Natural History Museum is once again hosting adults-only slumber parties starting on June 17 with dates through October.

Each event kicks off at 7 p.m. and runs until 8 a.m. the following morning.

VP of Annual Giving Danielle Brown's PJs on point at tonight's adult #sleepover. #nhmallnighter

A photo posted by Natural History Museum of LA (@nhmla) on

The overnight experience includes science talks with NHM experts, museum trivia games, a scavenger hunt, a Secrets and Legends Museum tour, dancing with music from a DJ, a midnight movie screening and a buffet with craft beer and wine and a breakfast buffet. The night wouldn’t be complete without some mingling with the dinos by sleeping in the Dinosaur Hall along with a behind-the-scenes evening tour.

Natural History Museum Sleepover

Credit: NHM on Facebook

Full schedule of themes/films below:

June 17 -18: “Buggy Nights” is all about insects with a screening of The Fly. 

July 16 – 17: “Up Owl Night!” is all about all-nighter birds with a screening of The Birds.

Aug. 12 – Aug. 13: “Living in a Material World” focuses on how radiation and nuclear waste affects minerals.

Aug. 26 – Aug. 27: “Snailed It!” is all about the love dart shooting land snail.

Oct. 29- 30: “You are NOT the Father” is about the mating habits of bats. There will be a Halloween costume contest.

All guests must be 21 or older to register. Tickets are $119 per person for members and  $135 per person for general admission.

For more information visit

Things To Do

North Hollywood’s Free Outdoor Summer Movie Series is Returning for 2016 Starting on June 11

June 8, 2016 by Virginia Isaad

Attention Valley movie lovers looking for some summer fun!

The International Film Festival North Hollywood is bringing a lineup of free outdoor summer film screenings at parks throughout NoHo starting on Saturday, June 11.

Best part? They also threw in FREE popcorn so you’ve got yourself a fun movie night outdoors without ever having to pull out your wallet.

The family-friendly event takes place at various parks throughout North Hollywood and guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or a folding chair (a certain amount of chairs will be provided).

As with any screening we encourage guests to arrive about an hour early to secure a comfortable spot.

Full schedule below of dates, times, and films below.

[RELATEDHere’s The 2016 Schedule for Moonlight Movies on the Beach]

2016 Schedule

June 11 at Jaime Beth Slavin Park: The Croods at 8:15 p.m

June 25 at NoHo Park: Maleficent at 8:30 p.m.

July 16 at Victory Vineland Rec Center: Inside Out at 8:30 p.m.

July 30 at NoHo Park: Clueless  at 8:15 p.m.

Aug. 6 at Jaime Beth Slavin:  Evan Almighty at 8:15 p.m.

Aug. 13 at Victory Vineland Rec Center:  Men in Black at 8 p.m.

Aug. 20 at  NoHo Park: Gravity at 8 p.m.

Aug. 27 at Valley Plaza Park: Cinderella (2015) at 8 p.m.

Sept. 10 at Valley Plaza Park: Frozen at 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 at NoHo Park: Blue Crush at 7:30 p.m.

For more information visit or the official Facebook event page.