Out and About: West Hollywood Edition

West Hollywood is full of amazing sites, bites, shops and sounds. The style of which depends on your preference. From the Rock History of the Sunset Strip to priceless art hung in Miracle Miles Museum Row. Spend a day on Route 66, and discover one of LA’s most popular neighborhoods!

From AM:

If your an early riser we recommend a morning jog along the city’s most famed hiking trail–Runyon Canyon.

Runyon Canyon

The trail is always buzzing with celebrities and LA locals kicking off their morning fitness routine. Feel free to bring your furry friend too as Runyon Canyon is a pet-friendly jogging trail with amazing city views!

After you have worked up your energy settle down for a quintessential California meal at the neighborhood favorite–BBCM or The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker if you can say that three times fast.

BBCM Cafe

Sit outside under perfectly pruned Olive trees while you enjoy the LA morning sun and their selection of gourmet organic menu options.

Once you’ve finished with breakfast, it is time to venture off to the days next destination. We recommend a quick Uber ride over to the Miracle Mile where LA’s top museums await you.

LACMA

Start off at LACMA to view a range of Modern Contemporary Art and Exhibits. For those that prefer the kind of art that hits the road, the Peterson Automotive Museum is right across the street.

Peterson Automotive Museum

And for our movie buffs, soon enough the Academy will debut their Museum right alongside LACMA where priceless wardrobes and set pieces from famed films will be on view.

Stride a bit further outdoors and you’ll likely smell before you see–the La Brea Tar Pits. Long before Tesla’s roamed the streets of LA, Mastodons called it home.

La Brea Tar Pits

This landmark exhibit is still an excavation site for paleontologists that continuously discover new artifacts preserved in the tar of its former residents.

Needing a bit more culture on the top of your Contemporary Sundae?  The MAK Center now serves as an Art & Architecture headquarters of LACMA but is most notably known as R.M. Schindler’s 1920’s abode. The homes current mainstay are the events and exhibitions that take place there throughout the year, as well as the children’s activities available daily.

To Afternoon: 

Once you’ve had your fill of Weho’s art scene, make your way to famed Melrose Ave. Predominantly known as the hub for the city’s best in unique and chic apparel.

Vivienne Westwood

From Vivienne Westwood to John Varvatos, there is something stylish for all.

After your fashion overhaul is complete, it’s time for an afternoon nosh! Don’t stray away from the street your on because Melrose Ave. also serves as a premiere dining destination.

For gourmet Mexican, Gracias Madre rains supreme. So much so you’ll have a hard time believing its a vegan restaurant! Feeling for a bite on the heavier side?

Gracias Madre

Across the way and by way we mean street, is Cecconi’s. From the owners of Soho House, Cecconi’s is a pristine take on southern Italian. Between the modern designed interior to the delectable menu options, you’ll feel molto buona(very good)!

Cecconis

After a filling lunch, we recommend taking part in West Hollywoods Architectural Walk. Created by the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance, Walkable Weho: Architecture & Golden Era Walk is a captivating walk along the city’s premiere living gems.

Villa D’Este- West Hollywood

Begin your journey at Tara, the historic landmark building named after Tara from Gone with the Wind. Gaze upon 15 of Weho’s most famed residences, ending on the historic La Fountaine. Designed by Leland Bryant, the apartments served as a former home to celebrities like Bette Middler and Steve Martin.

To PM:

By the time you’ve walked, shopped and seen yourself out, it’s nightfall in LA and the real fun begins! Depending on your preference, the night in Weho can take you to any number of places. We recommend starting off with dinner at beloved eateries like Lucques or The Tower Bar.

Tower Bar- Sunset Tower Hotel

You’re likely to see a few famous faces along with enjoying award winning meals.

For our funny boned individuals, the Sunset Strip is home to comedian stomping grounds the Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store.

The Comedy Store

Both establishments have welcomed the likes of Eddie Murphy to Chevy Chase and still do the trick to this day.

Needing something on the buzzy side, further down the strip you’ll find the famed Rock N’ Roll Road.

The Roxy

With landmark venues like The Roxy and The Viper Room, you’ll not only be in the presence of Rock legend history, you may also discover a new favorite band.

Inspired to sing your own heart out?

Blind Dragon

Blind Dragon is the areas premiere Karaoke Bar from the h.Wood Group team(The Nice Guy, Delilah, 40 Love) with creative craft cocktails and belt worthy tunes.

For those wishing to dance the night away, 1OAK is never a disappointment if you don’t mind the line to get inside.

The Troubador

Otherwise, the true all-nighters venture over to the city’s Santa Monica Blvd for a truly lively atmosphere. The Troubador is always sure to put on a good show being another landmark musical hub.

Doheny Room

Next door The Doheny Room serves bites and sips downstairs with a NY club like atmosphere upstairs. And with party favorites like Pump, The Abbey, and Revolver throughout the street, you’ll have your pick of places.

No matter how your night ends, you can do no wrong along Route 66

 

 

LA’s Best Outdoor Ice Skating

There is nothing that says the Holliday season is here more than a glide around your neighborhood rink. And while for those of us in LA a cool day on the ice is far and few between, the options this December are grand. So grab your winter wear and head to one of the Ice Rinks listed below for a jolly good time!!

LA KINGS HOLIDAY ICE – L.A. LIVE, WESTFIELD TOPANGA, THE PIKE OUTLETS (NOV 10, 2018 – JAN. 6, 2019)

LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE
LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE I Photo courtesy of L.A. LIVE
LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE I Photo courtesy of L.A. LIVE

The Los Angeles Kings are hosting their popular holiday outdoor attraction, LA Kings Holiday Iceat three locations: L.A. LIVE (Nov 10, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019), Westfield Topanga in Woodland Hills (Nov. 17, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019) and The Pike Outlets in Long Beach (Nov 16, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019). The Kings and AEG opened the first Holiday Ice Rink at L.A. LIVE in 2009, and it’s since become an annual L.A. holiday tradition. This is the third consecutive year the Kings have hosted an outdoor ice rink in Woodland Hills and Long Beach, both in their same locations.

Dates of operation at each rink is subject to change. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the LA Kings Holiday Ice website.

HOLIDAY ICE RINK PERSHING SQUARE (NOV. 15, 2018 – JAN. 21, 2018)

Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square at night
Photo courtesy of Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square, Facebook

Now in its 21st year, Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square kicks off its 2018-19 season on Nov. 15 and runs daily through Jan. 21, 2019. Framed by skyscrapers and adorned with festive holiday lights, L.A.’s largest outdoor ice skating rink spans 7,200 square feet and welcomes more than 54,000 skaters and 450,000 spectators annually. General admission for each one-hour session is $14, including figure or hockey skate rental.

To purchase advance tickets and for more info, visit holidayicerinkdowntownla.com or call (213) 624-4289.

A portion of proceeds will benefit the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks. Go Metro to the Pershing Square Station and receive a $1 skating session discount.

ICE AT SANTA MONICA (NOV. 3, 2018 – JAN. 23, 2019)

Ice at Santa Monica
Ice at Santa Monica | Photo courtesy of Downtown Santa Monica, Facebook

Every holiday season, Downtown Santa Monica transforms the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue into Ice at Santa Monica. The 8,000 square-foot ice skating rink brings a winter wonderland to the beachside community and has become a beloved annual tradition. Admission is $15 for all-day skating, including skate rental. The Randy Gardner School of Skating provides ice skating lessons with experienced professionals for skaters of all skill levels.

For more information, call the Ice team at 310.260.1199.

QUEEN MARY CHRISTMAS (NOV. 23, 2018 – JAN. 6, 2019)

Queen Mary Christmas
Queen Mary Christmas

Discover new traditions mingled with old-fashioned holiday cheer at the Queen Mary Christmas. Stroll the beautiful decks of the legendary ship and experience thousands of twinkling lights, carolers and musical performances, meet and greets with Santa, and more. Slip on a pair of skates and glide around the True North Ice Rink located atop the Sports Deck of the Queen Mary – 181 feet off the ground – with a 360-degree view of the Long Beach skyline and harbor. The glittering stars and historic smoke stacks will light your way!

WESTFIELD SANTA ANITA (NOV. 30 – DEC. 16, 2018)

Outdoor ice skating at Westfield Santa Anita
Photo courtesy of Westfield Santa Anita

Enjoy ice skating without the cold at Westfield Santa Anita! Embrace all things winter with Westfield’s free synthetic ice rink on The Promenade. Donations will be accepted and 100% will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills. On Saturdays (Dec. 1, 8 & 15), Winter Nights at Westfield Santa Anita presents music, a hot cocoa station, and artificial snow on The Promenade. On December 8, enjoy a special performance from Lythgoe Family Panto featuring Princess Flinda and Elphaba. Winter Nights is free and open to the public!

THE RINK – DOWNTOWN BURBANK (DEC. 13, 2018 – JAN. 6, 2019)

Kristi Yamaguchi visits The Rink in Downtown Burbank
Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi visits The Rink | Photo courtesy of Downtown Burbank, Facebook

Downtown Burbank’s most festive holiday tradition is back for outdoor ice skating, fundraising events, and special performances. The Rink in Downtown Burbank will be open from Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 through Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. A great way to celebrate the holidays, The Rink in Downtown Burbank is just steps away from more than 400 shops and restaurants, and the recently renovated Burbank Town Center. Located next to Burbank City Hall at the corner of Third Street and Orange Grove Avenue in Downtown Burbank, hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, extended to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Courtesy of: Discover LA

Out and About: Abbot Kinney Edition

Everyone’s favorite hipster neighborhood is your new go to spot. Or at least it will be for delicious fare, specialized shops, and a proper daily dose of art after your read below. Spend your day in Abbot Kinney and…

Take some time to step outside your neck of the woods.

In the morning…

Gjelina

If you are lucky enough to snag a primetime reservation, we recommend starting your morning or early afternoon off at Gjelina. The Venice hotspot is constantly buzzing and the food is other worldly.

The Beach Life

Venice, CA

After you have fully food charged make your way over to the famed Venice Boardwalk. From colorful locals to unique speciality shops, and designer residences. You’ll find everything you need from sites, sounds, and a true feast for the senses.

Go Surf LA

Always wanted to try surfing? Go Surf LA provides year round lessons at the pier with wetsuit and board rental available starting at $80 per lesson.

During your afternoon…

“Shopper’s paradise”

Abbot Kinney Shops

Once you have filled up on seaside fun head back over to AK’s boutique paradise. Named by GQ’s “Style Bible” as “The Coolest Block in America”, Abbot Kinney Blvd is teaming with a vibrant collection of shops from vintage wear to modern designers. Stop at Tina Wakino’s Bazar, a mix of classic and expertly chosen pieces. The shop as been a Venice staple for more than 15 years with finds like Indigo-dyed textiles, furniture, jewelry, and other antique objets d’art.

Warby Parker

Need a new pair of shades? Warby Parker’s West Coast flagship store is a beachy eyewear haven. The interior of the boutique is the perfect coastal ambience you’d expect in a Venice shop with artwork by Geoff McFetridge. What’s better about this optical option over the rest is that with each purchase of eyewear , Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses to charity.

Midday cravings

Salt Air

Now that you’ve seen a little and shopped a little, it’s time for an afternoon bite! It wouldn’t quite be a day by the sea without some oceanic cuisine. Salt Air has you covered. With their Connecticut-style lobster roll or perfectly poached flaky salmon you’ll feel refined and refreshed at the same time. Pair these menu pick’s along with a serving of summery shelling beans and charred shisito peppers and we will need a new word to describe ourselves other than stuffed.

So much time for activities!…

With appetites accommodated and shopping goals met, it’s time for a midday stroll to work off that Lobster Roll. The Venice Canals serve as the quintessential afternoon reprieve.

Venice Canals

Built in 1905 by the Abbot Kinney himself as part of his “Venice of America” plan, once wondered all the way through Venice Blvd. Registered as a Historic landmark in 1982, the canals reach is a bit shorter but the journey through is just as wonderful. Stroll along visitor friendly pathways of the luxury homes that line this Venice staple.

Beyond Baroque

Before your evening begins, a trip to Beyond Baroque is almost entirely necessary. The Arts Center is considered one of the most famous literary incubators in the country. Founded by George Dury in 1968, the center is housed in the former Venice City Hall building. The nonprofit public space is used to cultivate  and expand the public’s knowledge of newfound literary art. They do so through poetry, fiction, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction.

As the sun sets…

Scopa

If your tuckered out on activities, consider your evening guide a much needed rest. Abbot Kinney is known for many things, and its cuisine truly pushes the threshold of being number one. From aforementioned go-to’s like Gjelina to celebrity hotspots like Scopa and The Butchers Daughter, your palette can do no wrong. We recommend stepping outside the norm and into the vegetable box to be exact.

Plant Food and Wine

Plant Food & Wine from Chef Matthew Kenney is a sleek vegan restaurant on the quit end of AK. And while you might say your no Vegan, to that we say it all depends on what you get. From the kimchi dumplings being almost too pretty to eat to the carrot soup being almost too good to not order three more rounds, you’ll leave plant-based satisfied.

Salt & Straw

Finish up on a sweet note at craft creamery Salt & Straw. The artisanal ice cream shop is a Portland transplant with an extensive menu boosting flavors both sinful and curious. Try the Almond brittle and Slated Ganache or go for true Cali style  with a scoop of Avocado Strawberry Sherbet. Can’t decide on just one? For $10 guest can have an ice cream flight of four flavors from the classic and seasonal menus.

Your Holiday Travel Guide

The best part of the holidays other than quality family time is the time to get away. While we love the sites and scenes in the city of stars, sometimes it’s nice to spend the festive season abroad. With that in mind we have rounded together the top destinations to jet off to between Hanukkah and the New Year, so pack your bags for the great Winter escape!

 

Mexico’s Pacific Coast

While Puerto Vallarta is always a guaranteed great time south of the border, the beach town of Sayulita delivers its own level of style. Just 20 miles south from the major resort area, this is plentiful of vintage board shops and hammock strung guest homes. Feel like splurging? In between beach shack margaritas and local bites are NYC and Parisian designers tucked into brightly painted boutiques. Your winter getaway awaits!!

Tbilisi, Georgia

While this destination may seem an unlikely choice for a winter get-away, it is an ideal spot for those looking to find a different skiing scene. While places like Aspen and Switzerland never disappoint, the same can be said for Tbilisi. With its jumble of colorful balconies, Art Nouveau facades and picturesque flea markets, its the perfect combination of Eurasian wonder.

Botswana

It’s the place where HRH Prince Harry swept nor HRH Duchess Megan off her feet. It is also one of the most extraordinary safari experiences you can find in this region of the South African Nation. The Okavango delta is overflowing in wildlife found throughout the areas protected park and game reserve. With the area’s new found press, Wilderness Safaris was lucky to open it’s new luxury tented suites; Oorokwe Camp at the right time. With bleached timbers and private deck , these accommodations along the border of Moremi Game Reserve is fit for any Royal or visitor alike.

Nepal and Bhutan

As we promised, this is a list of destinations perfect to visit during the winter months, and the area of Nepal and Bhutan holds true to that promise. Stay at the famed Dwarika Hotel–an oasis of architectural charm and traditional luxury, one of many luxury hotel options in the area. Then take your exploring to new heights by enjoying a helicopter ride to the top of The Taktsang Monastery. There you will enjoy a picnic lunch above the clouds followed by a hike down to tour the Monastery. When do we leave?

India

While India almost speaks for itself as a travel choice, this year marks a historic opportunity to visit. This year the country celebrates  150 years since the birth of Gandhi. Also while there one can see the wonder of Nagaland and the Kaziranga National Park-home to asiatic rhinos and some of Asia’s last surviving former-headhunting tribes.

Tohoku, Japan

Japan has always served as a fascinating and unique destination full of culturally exquisite finds. With so many area’s to chose from to explore, why not venture off the beaten path? Tohoku, 90 minutes north-east of Tokyo offers incredible natural landscapes. Perfect for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter, it is a year round escape. Wander through the village of Kakunodate, home to Samurai legends and artisan workshops, reminiscent of the Edo period.

Mackenzie Country, Otago, New Zealand

We all know New Zealand as the land of Hobbiton(or Lord of the Rings fans know this), but the island nation is more than fantasy in it splendor. With it’s glacial highlands and sunken valleys, visitors are recommended to enjoy the country’s Alp region for hiking, biking and luxury accommodations.

Nusa Penida, Indonesia

 

While Bali and the Gili Islands already serve as world renowned vacation spots, the island of Nusa Penida is just as breathtaking. Located just of the south east coast of Bali, Nusa Penida offers untouched landscapes. Amongst the beauty is a chance to soak in the natural wonder of the Giri Putri Cave or Angel’s Billabong. Stay at the Kabeh Jati Garden Villa for a perfect nights rest.

Panama

While 2019 will be a celebration off Panama City’s 500 year history, mid-December begins it’s season of the best time to travel to the region. While the country is small in size, it offers vast options of exploration. From it’s white sand beaches and  indigenous culture and it’s to tropical rainforest and misty highlands, your adventure awaits.

Palomino, Columbia

With it’s beautiful; Caribbean beaches and and stunning wildlife, Palomina is the ideal holiday escape. Enjoy surfing or floating via tub down the Palomino River and its natural beauty. With it’s amazing range of seafood and luxury stay options, this Columbian destination awaits your well deserved visit.

 

 

Your Thanksgiving Cocktail Guide

Maybe you enjoy avoiding(or barring through) deep conversations about your life with your Aunt Esther… Or simply love the holiday occasion to indulge, we’ve rounded up the best beverage recipes this season. So take a seat and a sip, because this Top 10 list is sure to make you the Thanksgiving MVP.

Pecan Pie Martini

Pecan Pie Martini
INGREDIENTS
  • 6 oz. Rumchata
  • creme de cocoa
  • bourbon
  • Ice
FOR GARNISH
  • 3 tbsp. caramel, microwaved until pourable
  • 1/4 c. toasted chopped pecans
  • Cool whip, for garnish
  • whole pecans, for garnish
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon, for garnish
DIRECTIONS
  1. Place caramel and toasted chopped pecans on separate small shallow plates. Dip the rim of each glass first into caramel and then into chopped pecans to coat.
  2. Combine Rumchata, creme de cocoa, and bourbon in a large cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold, 30 seconds. Pour into martini glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream, a whole pecan, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Apple Cider Mimosas

Apple Cider Mimosa
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • (750-ml.) bottle bubbly
DIRECTIONS
  1. On a small plate, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip champagne flutes in water to wet the rims, then dip in cinnamon sugar mixture.
  2. Fill champagne flutes 1/4 full with apple cider, then top off with champagne.

Cranberry Mules

Cranberry Mules
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1/4 c. lime juice, plus extra for garnish
  • 3 oz. ginger beer
  • Handful fresh or frozen cranberries
DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine cranberry juice, vodka and lime in a glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer, whole cranberries and garnish with a lime wedge.

Caramel Apple Spritzers

Caramel Apple Spritzer
INGREDIENTS
  • apples
  • Lemon wedges (to prevent apples from browning)
  • 1/2 c. Caramel
  • 1/4 c. cinnamon-sugar
  • 750-ml bottle moscato, chilled
  • 1 c. green apple vodka, chilled
  • 1 c. Sprite, chilled
DIRECTIONS
  1. Make apple cups: Slice off the top of each apple. Use an apple corer to remove the inside of the apple until you’re about 1/2″ from the bottom of the apple. Squeeze lemon juice inside the apple cups to prevent apples from browning.
  2. Dip the rims of the apple cups in caramel then coat in cinnamon-sugar.
  3. Make spritzer: In a large pitcher, combine moscato, green apple vodka and Sprite and stir. Pour spritzer into apple cups and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Spiked Milkshake

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Milkshake
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • pumpkin spice Oreos, plus more for garnish
  • scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • Salted caramel, for drizzling
DIRECTIONS
  1. Place vodka, pumpkin spice Oreos, vanilla ice cream, and milk in a blender.
  2. Pour mixture into serving glass and drizzle with salted caramel sauce.

Maple Bourbon Cocktail

Maple Bourbon
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 ounces bourbon (I used Makers 46)
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 dashes of angostura bitters
  • orange peel + maraschino cherry for garnish
DIRECTIONS

Add ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into ice filled glass. Garnish with orange peel and cherry. Serve and enjoy!

Apple, Pumpkin Beer Cocktails

Apple Pumpkin Beer
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces good-quality bourbon
  • 9 ounces apple cider
  • 2 1/2 ounces lemon juice
  • 12 ounces pumpkin ale
  • ice
  • Cinnamon sticks and cranberries for garnish
Directions
  1. In a cocktail shaker, shake together the bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Pour into 4 glasses filled with ice.
  2. Pour the beer evenly into each glass.
  3. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and cranberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pear and Thyme Fizz

Pear and Thyme Fizz
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups good-quality apple juice
  • 1 ripe but firm pear, very thinly sliced
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur (I like grand marnier)
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine (champagne, prosecco, cava, etc.)
Directions

1. In a pitcher, combine apple juice, pears, thyme and liqueur. Stir together, then refrigerate for 2 – 4 hours to allow the pears and thyme to infuse the juice with flavor.

2. Divide between 6 champagne flutes, discarding thyme, then fill remainder of each glass with champagne. Garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh thyme. Bottoms up!

Cava and Pomegranate Cocktail

Cava and Pomegranate
Directions
  1. Fill 12 flutes with cava.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of the pomegranate juice to each flute
  3. garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.

Hard Cider Sangria

Hard Cider Sangria
Directions
  1. In a pitcher, combine the apples with the orange, apple juice, lemon juice and brandy.
  2. Just before serving, add the hard cider(Angry Orchard, Stella Artois, etc..).
  3. Serve in tall glasses over ice.