Out and About: Laguna Beach Edition

We aren’t reminiscing of everyone’s favorite realty show of the early 2000’s, but the OC is worth a visit, at least for the day. With Laguna Beach being a household name, the quirky seaside city lives up to its hype. Follow along palm-tree studded streets, strings of art galleries and sites to sit and sip amongst the buffs. Spend some time out and about in Laguna Beach:The Real OC (and our last mention of the show).

To start your day…

At the eatery the NY Times said had “the best avocado toast in the country”. The Stand Natural Foods has served as the town’s vegan centric restaurant go-to since the 70’s. With other deliciously hearty treats like their raw organic nut milks, you’ll be fully charged to start your day.

Afterwards why not take a stroll to the Laguna Art Museum, where you can view California based artwork in this custom-built gallery. The Museum was originally established in 1918 by the Laguna Beach Art Association, where local artists met in rustic cottage before moving a decade later to its current home.

For a one-stop-shop of activities for the whole family, The Ranch at LB is another place of daytime fun. While you can chose to stay overnight, the country club turned resort offers a range of things to do. From stargazing to cooking and mediation classes, garden tours, and even birdwatching. You’ll forget your on a day trip!

By the afternoon…

If you manage to tear yourself away from all that The Ranch has to offer, then make your way make to the bluffs for an afternoon reprieve and some light splurging.

The Montage Laguna Beach is a favorite among california locals and celebrities alike. With it’s Instagramable views and luxury offerings, lunch at their oceanside Mosaic Bar & Grill is almost too idyllic. But necessary. Take in the cool breeze and scenic views while enjoying gourmet cuisine in a serene setting.

After lunch, it only makes sense to enjoy some light retail therapy. For a beachy upscale vibe, Laguna Supply, a light filled boutique offers the perfect array of options for a modern OC woman.

And for the men, North Menswear is a fail proof spot, with Freenote shirts, Levi’s denim and more.

But if you prefer something with more of a nod to Laguna’s roots, then Thalia Surf Shop along PCH is a must. Focused on the towns rich surf history, is a trusted mix of clothing and gear dedicated to Cali’s most famous leisure activity other then hiking.

In the evening…

Selanne Steak Tavern restaurant, patio and interior

As the sun starts to set, opt for an early dinner at one of Laguna’s many culinary hotspots. Selanne Steak Tavern is a cozy, two story cottage built in 1934 feels like eating at your friends home, and co-owner Teemu Selanne, former NHL hockey player for the Anaheim Ducks, apparently likes it that way.

If you don’t quite feel like taking the trek back home, don’t forget The Ranch serves as a perfect staycation spot and under the Laguna night sky, s’mores fireside isn’t a bad idea.

The Best Deals for Dine L.A. Week

Don’t miss out on some of the best dishes available during LA’s favorite bi-annual restaurant event. Dine L.A. will be gone before you know it and so will these amazing opportunities to try the best in cuisine the city has to offer!

Ma’am Sir

Silverlake

The relatively-new upscale-Filipino spot was one of our picks for the best new restaurants of 2018 thanks to chef Charles Olalia, who first made a name for himself at the no-frills Rice Bar downtown before expanding into this beautifully designed date-friendly Silverlake location. For DineLA, they’re doing a 3-course dinner for $39 that includes a glass of wine.
S

APL

Hollywood

Another best-new-restaurant pick, this steakhouse from Jimmy Kimmel’s best pal/BBQ expert Adam Perry Lang’s part of DineLA’s new “exclusive” series, which highlights some of LA’s most high-end spots. It’s worth it here, though: there’s a room especially for dry-aged steaks below the restaurant, and Lang puts intense amounts of care into each cut. The steakhouse’s special menu is a $115 five-courser — pricey, but a huge savings on their traditional dinners.

Fundamental LA/Fundamental DTLA

Westwood/Downtown

The beloved casual mini-chain has locations in both Westwood and Downtown that are great for a quick lunch or a more sit-down-y dinner. Though they’ve got a four-course for $39 option in the evening, Stacey’s pick is for their great lunch deal: $15 gets you a sandwich or salad, a side, and a dessert or a drink.

Eight Korean BBQ

Koreatown

This KBBQ restaurant is known for eight different flavors of pork belly, which usually sets you back $60 — but during DineLA’s, the special menu here drops 4 flavors of pork belly, seafood and soybean stew, and mozzarella fried rice for $39.

Superfine Pizza

Downtown

This new-ish pizza spot’s from the chef behind beloved Italian restaurants Rossoblu and Sotto; here he’s using his deep Italian know-how for thin-crustiness that draws from both the NYC and Neapolitan styles of pie. For DineLA, he’s slinging whole pies with a salad and two drinks for $29, a crazy-good deal for a couple on a casual date-night.

Lawry’s

Beverly Hills

The beloved steakhouse is known for tableside service and old-school hospitality in totally Grandma-friendly digs — in keeping with that trend, the special menu is intent on filling you up for DineLA with BOTH a lobster tail and prime rib (!!). You also get their famous spinning salad, a side, and a dessert for $59 all-in.

Hip Hot

Monterey Park

A Jonathan Gold favorite (of course), this SGV Sichuan spot’s known for their spiciness — in fact, Mr. Gold called said their crab is stir-fried with “ungodly amounts of chiles and szechuan peppers.” If you’re into the heat, though, during DineLA, for $29, you’re getting an app, an entree, soup, dessert, and a coconut water to chill out your palate in between bites.

189 By Dominique Ansel

Mid-City

When Dominique Ansel — the inventor of the cronut and other sweet goodies — opened up his first full-service restaurant last year, the food world took a collective breath: Could he pull off savory as well? The answer’s a resounding yes, although the desserts are still the star of the show to many; at DineLA you’ll get to try ‘em both, since the $49 deal includes three courses (plus coffee!)

The Bellwether

Studio City

Ted Hopson’s bistro-ish spot in Studio City was one of the, uh, bellwethers of the Valley’s emergence as a dining destination. He’s going for broke with their deal, with eight choices on their DineLA menu and patrons picking any three for a $39 dinner: Options include wagyu steak tartare, meatballs, and the cheeseburger.

Fishing With Dynamite

Manhattan Beach

David LeFevre’s tiny seafood spot has been a long-standing neighborhood standby, thanks to its quaint charm and — more importantly — LeFevre’s penchant for getting the best seafood in town, all the time. The raw bar platter’s the longtime favorite, and it’s one of the offerings during DineLA as part of a four-course menu that also includes a glass of bubbly for $59 — a totally ridiculous deal.

Viale Dei Romani

West Hollywood

James Beard-nominated chef Casey Lane’s been an LA favorite for years thanks to Venice’s beloved Mediterranean spot Tasting Kitchen; his new Viale Dei Romani at the La Peer hotel has a gorgeous firepit-abetted courtyard and beautifully plated dishes. The lunch is the go-to for DineLA, but come hungry because $35 gets you four courses: a starter, a pasta, a protein, and dessert.

Courtesy of Thrillist.com

Weekend Events: Jan. 11-13

 Now that 2019 is in full gear, don’t let you weekends fall short of well-deserved fun. In the city of stars there is no shortage of thrills. We rounded-up the best “Angeleno” approved events to enjoy this weekend!

Read below for events happening in and round LA January 11-13.

Discover your inner Angeleno!

Friday Jan. 11th

Dine L.A.

Location: Los Angeles, Citywide

Presented by the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, dineL.A. returns with it’s 15-day dining event. The bi-annual dining showcase highlights the diversity of culinary experiences L.A. has to offer. Enjoy a variety of special lunch and dinner menus at more than 400 restaurants. Tickets are not required but reservations are recommended!

Click here for more information.

Once Loved. Twice Broken

Location: California Heritage Museum, Santa Monica

Join the California Heritage Museum for their opening of two exhibits: Chris Fraticelli’s Once Loved, Twice Broken and Gilena Simons Fortuna. The opening reception will takes place from 6-9pm with debut installations and over 24 sculptures from Fraticelli.

Click here for more information.

Movie Night at The Wiltern

Location: The Wiltern, Los Angeles

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage at The Wiltern this Friday with a showing of the 1997 beloved biopic, Selena. Relive her legacy on the theatre’s historical silver screen and enjoy vendors, photo ops and more.

Click here for more information.

Saturday Jan. 12th

Dimitris Papaioannou: The Great Tamer

Location: Royce Hall, UCLA Los Angeles

Visual Artists and choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou plays Royce Hall. A visually stunning and surreal pageant that grapples with the meaning of life, the mystery of death, time, destruction and reconstruction. Often referencing famous sculptures and paintings, Papaioannou uses the human body to create vignettes brimming with humor, horror, circus-like stunts and optical illusions.

Click here for more information.

Winter Sounds WEHO: Danny Janklow

Location: West Hollywood City Council Chambers

The City of West Hollywood’s Art Division and the West Hollywood Library present the 2018-19 Winter Sounds free Indoor Concert Series. Saxophonist and multi-talented Danny Janklow brings his soulful and innovative voice to Weho for a night of energetic sound. Having inspired thousands of listeners from Japan to Holland, Danny has also shared the stage with legends such as Stevie Wonder.

Click here for more information.

Nelaart Second Saturday Night

Location: Highland Park and Surrounding Areas, Los Angeles

The Highland Park and Eagle Rock districts of the northeast cluster of art galleries will collectively stay open late this Saturday and each second Saturday of the month. Discover new and known artists during this evening of arts and culture.

Click here for more information.

Sunday Jan 13th

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

Location: Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University

Enjoy an afternoon of intimate music and ecstatic dance energy between consummate performer Alasdair Fraser and California cellist Natalie Haas. Over the last sixteen years, the duo has created a buzz at festivals and concert halls around the world .

Click here for more information.

Rock 4 Relief- A Benefit For CA Wildfire Victims & First Responders

Location: The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Los Angeles

Rock 4 Relief takes this stage this weekend at the Ace Hotel. The benefit concert will be in support of victims, fire fighters and first responders of the recent California wildfires. The concert will feature performances from Sugar Ray, REM, Billy Idol and more. VIP ticket includes premium seat + meet & greet and photo opportunity.

Click here for more information.

Story Pirates

Location: Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts

What the New York Times is hailing a “Theatrical Treasure” , Story Pirates returns to the Wallis Annenberg for day of fun. This kid-centric company is a free outdoor musical sketch comedy. The stories are written by children and geared towards the tiniest of toddlers. Treat your little ones to a hearty afternoon of laughter and excitement!

Click here for more information.

LA Eats of the Week

It’s a new year and a new you so why not try something new when it comes to dining. Don’t opt for your usual lunch spot when LA is always dishing out something fresh. Whether it is AM, MIDDAY, or PM, we have you covered with a list of savory options.

Rise and Shine!

Daughters Deli

Daughters Deli- LA Eats of the Week

Location: West Hollywood

Continuing off of the legacy her parents started at the famed Langer’s Deli, is Daughter’s Deli-the hip new WEHO sandwich shop. Abit more refined than her family’s famed eatery, Daughters deli offers breakfast sandwiches along with deli classics.

Click her fore more information

Souffles

Souffle- LA Eats of the Week

Location: Koreatown

Hearing the name Souffle one might think of just the dessert found at your nearest fine dining eateries. Well Souffle in Koreatown offers that and more with their varying flavors of pancake style sweets. The perfect treat for anytime of day can be found here!

Click here for more information.

Fiona

Fiona-LA Eats of the Week

Location: Los Angeles

Longtime LA baker and pastry queen Nicole Rucker opens this daytime bakery and cafe on Fairfax serving crafted breads, pastries, and toasts with a helping hand from former Simbal chef Shawn Pham. Dishes get an LA-style infusion of Asian flavors like miso chicken soup and Japanese sesame butter toast with service from morning until 8 p.m. Starting this month, Fiona will take hours to 10 p.m. with a larger savory menu to serve the neighborhood.

Click here for more information.

Midday Cravings

Pikunico

Pikunico-LA Eats of the Week

Location: DTLA

A sister restaurant of the famed Hinoki and the Bird in Century City, Pikunico is Top Chef alum Kuniko Yagi’s newest establishment. This venture is a bit more of a casual karaage restaurant at DTLA’s The Row competing in LA’s fried chicken war. See for yourself as a lunch time reprieve.

Click here for more information.

Jolie

Jolie- LA Eats of the Week

Location: Bel Air

New to the hills of Bel Air is this French Riviera inspired eatery offering a fresh array of lunch and dinner options. Jolie’s French-Mediterranean menu is the work of chef Cody Dickey, who was previously running the show at Carbon Beach Club in Malibu, and was also in the kitchen at Gato in New York City. Let your tastebuds travel to the Cote D’Azur.

Click here for more information.

Washoku

Washoku- LA Eats of the Week

Location: Studio City

Katsu-ya brings affordable omakase to the valley with Washoku, a traditional sushi spot not far from the original location. Have your pick of classic sushi dishes or opt for the all-star multi course option at a wallet worthy $28. Arrive early if this omakase selection fancies you as only six orders are available per day.

Click here for more information.

What’s for Dinner?

Blackship

Blackship- LA Eats of the Week

Location: West Hollywood

Italian is fused with Japanese at Weho’s new favorite date spot. Blackship is helmed by another Hinoki and the Bird alum, chef Keiichi Kurobe and dazzles with fascinating dishes. Opt between the hamachi bolognese or carbonara ramen with chashu as you sit beneath a dazzling outdoor patio space.

Click here for more information.

Los Balcones

Los Balcones- LA Eats of the Week

Location: Studio City

The long-standing Peruvian favorite of Hollywood has expanded to the Valley. Los Balcones takes over the former location of Girasol on Moorpark with hot take son classic dishes. Try the Chuleta Adobo porketta with smoked tomato pepian corn and pickle escabeche. Or savor over the Locro Pappardelle with roasted pumpkin ragu, goat cheese, zapallo hummas, and pepitas.

Click here for more information.

Atrium

Atrium-LA Eats of the Week

Location: Los Feliz

Los Feliz, with its limited retail space, doesn’t often get big new restaurants. With Beau Laughlin and Jay Milliken working on this restaurant for what seemed like years, Atrium is finally opened behind Skylight books with a wide, crowd-friendly menu of innovative Californian fare from chef Hunter Pritchett. The soaring space feels modern and fresh while the warm service help push out everything from passionfruit hamachi crudo to a robust dry-aged steak au poivre with Sichuan peppercorns.

Click here for more information.

Your Award-Winning Golden Globes Party Guide

If you are like the rest of us, awards season means one thing…watch parties! Unless you happen to be invited to one of these star-studded events, then lucky you. If you don’t happen to be so lucky to snag an invite, our guide below will surely make you an award winning host. So grab your left over NYE confetti and a bounty of Jiffy-Pop for your Golden Globes watch party 2019!!

Food

A few great suggestions are Chicken Meatballs with Cumin and OrangeGolden Rosemary Garlic Mixed Nuts, and Moroccan Shrimp with Pomegranate Sauce. For an easy treat, try dipping the tops of donuts in a simple icing, and then adding gold sugar or sparkles. Use store-bought glazed donuts (easy!), mix together some confectioners’ sugar and milk to make a thin glaze (also easy), and dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze then into gold sprinkles.

Cocktails

If you’re looking for some signature drinks to spice up the evening, look no further than the Golden Night Cocktail from Salt & Wind or a Sparkling Golden Globes Cocktail. Or if you don’t want to mix up a cocktail, a little champagne, sparkling wine or cider is just as chic in a golden sparkled rimmed glass.

Red Carpet

The entrance sets the tone for the entire party, so why not wow your guests and welcome them in style? You can never steer wrong with a red carpet. If you don’t have an actual red carpet, you can use a roll of red paper, fabric, or a long red plastic tablecloth. You can even go a more simple route and just decorate your entrance with gold stars and helium balloons.

Photo Booth

The paparazzi may not be hanging out around your house, but if you give your guests a selfie stick, you can pretend like they are. If you still have gold or silver Christmas wrapping paper and New Years photo booth props laying around the house, then you’re halfway to the finish line on this one. Put the wrapping paper on the wall and set out the props and selfie stick. It’s as simple as that. Trust me, your guests will have no problem taking it from there.

Print out our Golden Globes ballot below for even more party fun for you and your guest!!


Courtesy of: TaraTeaspoon.com

Weekend Events: January 4-6

It’s a new year, it’s a new you. Whether or not you followed through on your resolutions so far in 2019, you deserve to treat yourself to a weekend of fun in LA. In the city of stars there is no shortage of thrills. We rounded-up the best “Angeleno” approved events to spruce up your first weekend of the year!

Read below for events happening in and round LA January 4-6.

Discover your inner Angeleno!

Friday, January 4th

First-Time Fridays at LACMA

You haven’t been to LACMA you say? Well luckily for you, LA’s Contemporary Museum of Modern Art accepts this and offers First Time Fridays. This monthly event invites guest to explore the museum from 3:00pm-8:00pm for LA residents. If you let the ticket office know it is your first visit to LACMA, you will receive a free poster and discounts at the LACMA store, LACMA Cafe and C+M.

Click here for more details.

Abbot Kinney First Fridays

AK’s neighborhood block party returns this Friday on the “coolest block in America”. Whatever your craving, you’ll be sure to find something with new and old food trucks joining the event and merchant discounts plus late hours.

Click here for more details.

LA Lakers vs. New York Knicks

NBA tickets to see the Los Angeles Lakers play the New York Knicks are sure to be selling quickly! Fans from both sides of the nation won’t want to miss this exciting regular season game! If you want to be there to catch all of the action you’d better act now. Secure your seats so you can cheer on your favorite team!

Click here for more details

Saturday, January 5th

Watson Adventures’ Thrilla at the Getty Villa

Roam for Romans on a unique scavenger hunt that transports you to ancient Greece and Rome via the Getty Villa. You’ll follow a trail of clues and answer fun, tricky questions. Discover facts you never knew about the odd aspects of gods, goddesses, and the inventors of the toga party.

Click here for more details

Golden Globes Foreign Language Nominee Symposium

Discover the best foreign language films of 2018. This year’s five nominees include Capernaum from Lebanon, Girl from Belgium, Never Look Away from Germany, Roma from Mexico, and Shoplifters from Japan. The symposium will also include a free roundtable with the Directors for each of the nominated films. The panel will be moderated by Mike Goodridge, former HFPA member and VP turned festival director and programmer. Advance sale tickers are available until 5:00pm January 4 but will still be available for standby the day of.

Click here for more details

Bricks LA 2019

Come share your love of Lego and discover hundreds of fan created models at the Pasadena Convention Center ! Enjoy their vendor area with new, used, and unique brick accessories as well as building techniques and panel discussions. It will be a weekend of fun for all ages.

Click here for more details

Sunday, January 6

Annual Carroll Shelby Cruise-In

Come see some of the fastest, rarest and most beloved Shelby’s of all time. The Petersen will celebrate Carroll Shelby’s birthday by having a cruise-in on the third floor parking structure of the museum. All car enthusiasts are invited to participate in the car show and contest. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Click here for more details

A Faery Hunt Magical Adventure

Named by Nickelodeon the “Best Children’s Theater” in Los Angeles, A Faery Hunt delights as a magical adventure. Auntie Angelica leads the audience on a gentle journey to help the Faery royalty! With the help of the audience and the Faeries, it’s a musical filled afternoon with fun, laughs and surprises.

Click here for more details

LA Kings Holiday ICE at L.A. Live Final Day

Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean the fun has to be. Don’t miss out on the last day of the LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live. Skate your way through the weekend as a family fun activity or date night.

Click here fore more details

Your Holiday Cocktail Guide

With Christmas just a week away, we know there is one thing on your mind! Holiday Cocktails!! Just as true as the spirit of Christmas, the “Spirits” of Christmas are your key to surviving Manic Monday with your in-laws. So check Cranberry Spritz off your list because have rounded up the best seasonal beverages to put you in a holly jolly mood.

Juniper Champagne Cocktail

Juniper Champagne Cocktail

The addition of homemade juniper syrup and fresh pine sprigs makes champagne feel even more festive.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry sparkling wine, such as Prosecco
  • Unsprayed pine sprigs, for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and juniper berries to a simmer in a pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 1 week.
  2. For each cocktail, combine 3 tablespoons juniper syrup with 1/2 cup sparkling wine in a glass. Garnish with a pine sprig; serve immediately.

Eggnog

Eggnog

There’s no substitute for homemade eggnog during the holidays! Our latest, greatest version combines silky custard with three types of booze — bourbon, rum, and cognac.

Freshly grated nutmeg offers a more delicate flavor and aromatic scent than the pre-ground variety. The eggs in both the base and the meringue are cooked, so food safety shouldn’t be a concern.

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 large egg yolks, plus 2 large whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Large pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces bourbon, such as Michter’s or Maker’s Mark
  • 2 ounces dark rum, such as Appleton Estate
  • 1 ounce cognac
  • Unsweetened freshly whipped cream, for serving
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring milk and salt to a bare simmer. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot milk mixture into yolk mixture.
  2. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is just thick enough to coat back of spoon and hold a line drawn by your finger, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add cream, bourbon, rum, and cognac; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixer bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm (it should feel smooth between your fingers), 2 to 3 minutes. (For fully cooked eggs, a thermometer inserted into meringue should register 160 degrees.) Remove from heat. With a mixer on high speed, beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold into eggnog.
  5. Pour into glasses (or a punch bowl); top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Cranberry Margarita

Cranberry Margarita

Margaritas aren’t just for summer! Cranberry simple syrup makes the frozen cocktail festive enough for the holidays.

Cranberry simple syrup gives this frozen cocktail a festive crimson hue — perfect for the holidays!

INGREDIENTS

For the Whole-Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces frozen cranberries (2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest

For the cocktail

  • 1 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
DIRECTIONS
  1. Make the Whole-Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup: Stir together sugar, cranberries, lime zest and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, until cranberries just start to burst, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
  2. Make the cocktail: In a blender, combine tequila, lime juice, 4 cups ice, and 1 1/2 cups cranberries and syrup from Whole Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup. Blend until smooth. Divide among 4 margarita glasses.

Daniel Webster’s Punch

Daniel Websters Punch

Massachusetts senator David Webster allegedly gave this potent punch recipe to a friend before he died in the mid-nineteenth century. Our iteration combines fruit with black tea, rum, sherry, Bordeaux, and Champagne.

Sherry, Bordeaux, Champagne, rum, and black tea meld with fruit in this knockout punch recipe that’s adapted from “The Steward & Barkeeper’s Manual” (1869). It can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 black tea bags, preferably PG Tips
  • 12 ounces Oleo Saccharum
  • 8 ounces fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons), plus 2 more lemons, sliced into thin rounds, for serving
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Jamaican black rum, such as Hamilton
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) oloroso sherry, such as Lustau
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Bordeaux red wine
  • 1 pineapple, sliced into thin rounds, plus leaves for serving
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Champagne brut or prosecco brut, chilled
  • 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds, for serving
  • 12 star-anise pods, for serving
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags; let steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add oleo saccharum, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is translucent. Remove lemon peels with a slotted spoon; discard. Stir in lemon juice, rum, sherry, and wine. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  2. When ready to serve, line the inside of a large punch bowl with pineapple slices (do not overlap). Fill one-third of the way with large ice cubes. Slowly pour tea mixture into punch bowl, making sure not to disrupt pineapple slices. Top with Champagne; gently stir to incorporate. Float lemon and orange slices on surface; sprinkle with star anise and nutmeg. Serve over ice.

Ginger Red-Wine Spritzer

Ginger Red Wine Spritzer

Fresh rosemary adds a lovely woodsy aroma to this fruity, bubbly Pinot Noir-based cocktail.

INGREDIENTS
  • Ice
  • 1 1/3 cups Pinot Noir
  • 1 1/3 cups ginger ale
  • 6 teaspoons cherry-flavored liqueur, such as maraschino or kirsch
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Fill four glasses with ice; add 1/3 cup Pinot Noir and 1/3 cup ginger ale to each glass. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons cherry-flavored liqueur to each glass. Stir to combine and serve with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Maple-Bourbon Cider

Maple Bourbon Cider

A pinch of cayenne pepper turns up the volume on this refreshing cocktail made of bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider.

INGREDIENTS
  • Ice
  • 6 ounces bourbon
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • Cayenne pepper
DIRECTIONS
  1. Fill four glasses and a cocktail shaker with ice. To shaker, add bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider; shake vigorously. Strain into glasses and top each with a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Vodka-Mocha Cocktail

Vodka Mocha Cocktail

Never choose between a dessert cocktail and a cup of coffee again! For the best of both worlds, shake up a shot of espresso with chocolate, sugar, vodka, and ice, strain, and finish with whipped cream.

Can’t decide between a post-dinner drink and a hit of caffeine with something sweet? This mocha cocktail should satisfy both cravings.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 ounce chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Hot espresso shot (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 ounces chilled vodka
  • Ice cubes
  • Heavy cream
DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine chocolate and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Pour espresso shot over chocolate mixture; stir until smooth. Add vodka and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously several times, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Spoon over top a few tablespoons of heavy cream that’s been whipped just until silky and thick; stir with a toothpick to create streaks. Serve immediately.

Adonis Punch

Adonis Punch

Serving big-batch drinks like this fruity gin-and-rosé punch at holiday parties is definitely the way to go. Guests can help themselves, and you can focus on hosting!

Float cranberry ice cubes for a more festive punch bowl — drop 1 or 2 cranberries into each ice cube mold before filling with water and freezing. This recipe comes from Sas Stewart of Stonecutter Spirits.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup, preferably cranberry
  • 1 750ml-bottle sparkling rose
DIRECTIONS
  1. Stir together gin, pomegranate juice and simple syrup in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Add ice cubes and sparkling rose just before serving.

COOK’S NOTES

For a cranberry-infused simple syrup, add 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries to saucepan with water and sugar before cooking. Strain the syrup once cool, and discard or reserve the cranberries for another use.

White Out

White Out

Freshly grated nutmeg and aromatic star anise give this creamy gin-based cocktail a flavorful boost.

Spices add a complementary note to most cream-based cocktails — grated nutmeg and aromatic star anise add flavorful dimension while also providing a visual accent in this recipe from Sas Stewart of Stonecutter Spirits.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin (2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cream (3/4 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon creme de cacao (1/2 ounce)
  • 3 to 4 dashes Jamaican or Angostura bitters
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling
  • 1 star anise, for topping
DIRECTIONS
  1. Shake together gin, cream, creme de cacao, and bitters vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker for 8 to 12 seconds. Strain into a chilled brandy snifter glass. Sprinkle with nutmeg and float star anise.

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

Weekend Events: Dec. 14th-16th

As we find ourselves in the midst of the holiday season, the bounty of festive events in LA is a plenty. From performances of the Nutcracker to a Winter Wonderland in South LA…

Discover your inner Angeleno!

With all the hustle and bustle of our weekday routine we bring you a curated list of the weekends top activities happening throughout the city of stars.

Limited engagements taking place this Dec. 14th-16th

Friday, Dec. 14th

Moscow Ballet: Great Russian Nutcracker

Moscow Ballet: The Great Russian Nutcracker

Location:  The Wiltern

Christmas is coming and so is the one and only Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker: Dove of Peace Tour! Presenting world class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, and a 2 dancer Dove of Peace with a 20 foot wingspan.  The Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life for all ages, “Kids wide-eyed with delight!” says the New York Times. Experience the Dove of Peace Tour, spreading goodwill in over 100 cities across North America in 2018. Get seats now for the whole family and make memories for a lifetime at Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker!  www.nutcracker.com

Barry Manilow- A Very Barry Christmas!

Barry Manilow: A Very Barry Christmas

Location: Microsoft Theater

iHeart Radio’s KOST 103.5 Presents: Barry Manilow – A Very Barry Christmas! Pop culture icon Barry Manilow performs his special holiday concert on Friday, December 14. With worldwide sales of more than 80 million records, Barry Manilow’s success is a benchmark in popular music. His concerts sell out instantly. He is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records) and Billboard Magazines. Click here to purchase tickets.

Artisanal LA Holiday City Market

LA Holiday City Market

Location: Bank of America Plaza, Downtown

Gear up for the holiday season at this holiday pop-up, boasting over 20 artisanal vendors including makers, crafters and chefs. Local makers and crafters will display one-of-a-kind, festive goods to toast the season of oversized sweaters and hot chocolate (if L.A. weather permits). Find the fair in the lobby of DTLA’s Bank of America Building.

Saturday, Dec. 15th

Winter Wonderland-South LA

Winter Wonderland-South LA

Location: Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw

On Saturday, December 15th, Council member Marqueece Harris-Dawson will be hosting the 4th Annual Winter Wonderland at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw from 12 pm-4 pm. Winter Wonderland will be filled with fun holiday activities. Winter Wonderland will have snow sledding, a toy giveaway, food trucks, and music.

Susan Feniger Book Signing

Susan Feniger Book Signing

Location: Huntington Library, Pasadena

Susan Feniger of Border Grill and the Food Network’s Too Hot Tamales will be at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in the 1919 Café signing copies of Cooking with Too Hot TamalesMesa MexicanaCity Cuisine, and Susan Feniger’s Street Food. Meet the TV personality, restaurateur, cookbook author, and chef known for her eclectic and adventurous globally-inspired cuisine. Purchase one of her cookbooks from the 1919 Café to meet Chef Feniger and receive a personalized message inscribed in your book!

Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time is here

Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time is Here

Location: The Soraya, Northridge 

Songbird Dianne Reeves rings in the holidays at The Soraya with timeless jewels from her album Christmas Time is Here. The reigning diva of jazz was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Juilliard, recognized for her “breathtaking virtuosity, improvisational prowess, and unique jazz and R&B style.” Join us for an evening with the four-time Grammy Award-winner for an unmatched holiday treat.

Sunday, Dec. 16th

Hammer Family Flicks: A Christmas Story

Hammer Museum Presents-A Christmas Story

Location: The Hammer Museum

Ralphie wants one thing for Christmas—a Red Ryder BB rifle—mounting a full-scale, hint-dropping, Santa-begging campaign in the face of a nasty bully, an overworked department-store Santa, and other wintry calamities in what the New York Times calls “maybe the best Christmas movie ever.” (1983, dir. Bob Clark, 94 min.) All ages are welcome. This free program is not ticketed.

An Afternoon of Poetry & Performance

 

An Afternoon of Poetry and Performance at The Broad

Location: The Broad Stage

Red Hen Press and the Broad Stage are proud to present An Afternoon of Poetry and Performance. The performance features California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, contemporary poet Blas Falconer, and award-winning composer Morten Lauridsen with award-winning musicians Rod Gilfry and Carin Gilfry. The spiritual depth of Morten Lauridsen’s music will make for a thrilling venture into the radiant beauty of soul language.

Handels Messiah: Walt Disney Concert Hall

Handels Messiah-Walt Disney Concert Hall

Location: Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA

The perennially popular Handel’s Messiah jubilantly conducted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon and sung by the Los Angeles Master Chorale is a Christmastime concert experience not to be missed.