Carol Wolfe Featured in Ventura Boulevard Magazine

One of our top producing agents, Carol Wolfe, was highlighted in the February issue of the Ventura Boulevard Magazine. In 2019, Carol had another record breaking year in the Encino office. She was also recognized by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2019 as one of the Top 200 Influential Business Leaders in the San Fernando Valley.

Carol is an active member of the Encino Chamber of Commerce and supports the local community. Providence Tarzana Medical Center is investing $540 million to build a new state-of-the-art hospital, and Carol serves on the committee of real estate industry experts for what will be the largest health care construction project ever in the San Fernando Valley.

For the full Q&A with Carol, click HERE.

Valley Eats: Dessert

Whether you’re craving a sugar rush or merely seeking a side hustle from your diet, the Valley has plenty of baked, iced, swirled and poured gooey, crumbling goodness to tempt and treat you. From truffles and pastries to hot bubble waffles and some of the most inspired artisanal ice cream flavors anywhere, here are some of the best dessert joints in the area to dip a spoon or straw in when you’re in the mood for a sweet diversion.

Conejo Valley

Tifa Chocolate & Gelato

28888 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

What started as an online chocolate company now has numerous locations around the Valley, including this one in Agoura Hills. In addition to offering artisan chocolate bars from around the globe, they craft their own truffles, bon-bons, caramels and nut clusters. Chocolate not for you? Bite into one of their pastries and wash it down with an espresso or cold brew.

The Raspado House

540 N Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

This Thousand Oaks juice bar serves up shaved ice, smoothies and classic Mexican snacks. The shaved ice is best enjoyed during the forthcoming sweltering summer months, but in the meantime, they offer funnel churros, Latin ice cream, agua frescas and flavorful fruit desserts.

Carrara Pastries

28914 Roadside Drive, Suite 107 Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Traditional Italian desserts are the order of the day at this pastry shop. Try the Tiramisu (sponge cake soaked in Italian espresso), the Velina (maraschino-soaked sponge cake with chocolate mousse, hazelnut brittle center, hazelnut mousse covered in a chocolate glaze) or the Yogurt Wildberry (wildberry-soaked sponge cake, with yogurt and wildberry mousse and berries).

San Fernando Valley

Happy Days 

14552 Ventura Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 91403

If you hadn’t guessed from the name of the place, this café likes to keep things upbeat. So what better dessert to put a smile on your face then the churro waffle – which arrives on a stick, drizzled in chocolate – or the ice cream doughnut, stuffed with Nutella, glazed with chocolate and sprinkles, and served with strawberry and whipped cream?

Wanderlust Creamery

18511 Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, CA 91356

This ice cream spot’s flavors are the creations of co-founder Adrienne Borlongan, a former mixologist who designs the desserts herself, drawing upon a variety of international inspirations, some autobiographical. The Sticky Rice Mango, for example, is a nod to Thailand. You can probably guess which country the Earl Grey is a tip of the hat to.

Republic of Pie

11118 W Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Located in the NoHo Arts District, this eatery specializes in fresh baked goods – pies, scones and shortbreads – and gourmet coffees. As if there was any doubt you were in a coffee shop, they feature performances by local singers and songwriters from the area and invite you to settle in with some apple pie to write that best-selling novel you’ve always had in you.

Santa Clarita Valley

Wafflecomb 

26240 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

The owners of this Santa Clarita shop were inspired by their upbringing in Toronto, Canada, where bubble waffles were a favorite dessert. (Unlike the ones from Belgium, these waffles, which form bubbles when they are made, originated in Hong Kong.) Try one wrapped around scoops of café cream or mango ice cream, then topped off with gummy bears or Oreo crumbs.

Lady Di’s Cookies

26882 The Old Road, Valencia, CA 91381

Lady Di’s Cookies, which started in 1994 delivering their goodies as gifts, opened a retail spot in 2003. They now have two locations: one in Westridge Shopping Center and the other in Westfield Valencia Town center mall. They pride themselves on their always-fresh cookies, of course, but also serve brownies, gluten-free cupcakes, caramel apples, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Their all-natural ingredients include whole oats, dark chocolate, and brown sugar.

Rita’s Italian Ice

26773 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Another refreshing stop to keep in mind as the days grow hotter, this counter-serve chain features a variety of cold treats, but the focus is clearly on the Italian ices and frozen custards. The frosty former currently comes in such fruitful flavors as strawberry, pineapple, and coconut.

Los Angeles and Westside Eats: Dessert

Whether you’re craving a sugar rush or merely seeking a side hustle from your diet, Los Angeles and the Westside have plenty of baked, iced, swirled and poured gooey, crumbling goodness to tempt and treat you. From matcha drinks and Parisian pastries to slices of cheesecake and some of the smoothest soft serve anywhere, here are some of the best dessert joints in the city to dip a spoon or straw in when you’re in the mood for a sweet diversion.

Birdie G’s

2421 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404

This industrial-chic eatery hasn’t been open a year and already the menu has declared the rose-petal pie “world-famous.” Anywhere else, that kind of self-congratulation would merit some heavy eye-rolling. But this dessert – rapturous rosy mousse married to a bed of savory pretzel crust – has rightfully earned kudos from coast to coast. We might also mention the honey date bundt cake or the matzo bark, with its chocolate and toffee, but really, order those only after you’ve finished every candied bite of their signature petal-smacked creation.

Matcha Village

2202 Sawtelle Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064

If you’re familiar with Japanese-style matcha desserts (matcha being powdered green tea leaves), this chain specializes in Chinese-style matcha. Standouts in the menu – which features cookies, ice creams and beverages – include such classics as soufflé and tiramisu as well as their signature Peking duck crepe. Vegan alternatives are also available at this Sawtelle spot.

Rocco’s Cheesecake

1701 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405

You don’t need dinner when you have cheesecake. As evidence of this, drop by this Santa Monica bakery to indulge in any of its endless eclectic flavors. Among the slices on hand: the White Chocolate Rose Petal Mango Lime, the S’Mores Some More and the Middle Eastern Baklava. Rocco’s is also both vegan and keto-friendly, so along with your espresso, cappuccino or cup of gourmet coffee, dive into a piece of their vegan cookies n’ cream.

Le Mervetty

319 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

This Beverly Hills bakery specializes in authentically Parisian desserts. But if you’re not feeling like the Le Canelé (caramelized crust surrounding a custard center), the Le Grand Merveilleux (layered with meringue and cream) or even a macaroon (is there ever a bad time for a macaroon?), they offer custom-made milkshakes, too, made with French vanilla ice cream and hand-designed with meringue, cookies, candy and other delicious, decorative toppings.

Bae

369 E 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Swoon over the soft serve in this Little Tokyo ice cream cafe. Their signature dessert is called Mixed Feelings: stark black and white swirled into a colorful sugar cone. The dramatic dark color is derived from charcoal, which is known to offer plenty of toxin-cleansing health benefits. If soft serve ice cream isn’t your style, they also offer pastries, a churro doughnut and a range of coffee drinks, including a charcoal latte.

Bae Bumsan Organic Milk Bar

534 S Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020

This buzzed-about Koreatown ice cream shop uses milk from Bumsan Farm Co., the leading organic dairy producer in Korea, to make its soft serve. Flavors are true milk, taro milk tea, matcha, chocolate, French latte and the vegan option hazelnut cacao. (Swirl flavors are select combinations: true milk and matcha, chocolate and French latte or taro milk tea and hazelnut cacao.) Once you’ve decided on a cup or custom cone, finish it off with sprinkles or cookies.

LA Weekend Events: February 28 – March 1

Whether it’s the final rose being handed out live, Pee-wee Herman going for a ride down memory lane or Oprah sitting across from Jennifer Lopez, there’s no need to escape to Margaritaville just yet – it’s all happening here in Los Angeles and the Westside this weekend.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2020

The Bachelor Live on Stage

The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 29 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 

Former stars of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette Ben Higgins and Becca Kufrin bring the drama, the revelations, the tears, the scandal (well, probably not) of an entire season and cram it into one rose-filled night. Promising to be the “ultimate fan experience,” the show will take a local bachelor and introduce him to local women from the audience. From there … well, do we really need to explain? For details on how you can attend, go HERE.

Escape to Margaritaville

Dolby Theatre, 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

This musical inspired by flip-flop-wearing crooner Jimmy Buffett has earned raves since its debut in 2007. The plot involves a part-time bartender in a tropical paradise who falls for a tourist best-described as having an A-type personality. The songs, naturally, are all from Buffett, based on a book by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley. To join the party, go HERE.

saturDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2020

WW Presents: Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus

The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood, CA 90305

As part of her first U.S. tour in five years, the global icon seeks to inspire event-goers with discussions of health, well-being and personal transformation. For this event, she will be chatting with Jennifer Lopez for an intimate one-on-one conversation. For details, go HERE.

The Book of Mormon

Ahmanson Theater, 135 N Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

From the creators of South Park comes what the New York Times hailed as “the best musical of this century.” But you probably knew that already. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a musical that has broken into the pop culture lexicon quite like The Book of Mormon, which won nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. Yet the word continues to spread about the production, concerning a pair of mismatched missionaries. For more information, go HERE.

sunDAY, march 1, 2020

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure 35th Anniversary Tour with Paul Reubens

The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010

For the 35th anniversary of the cult classic that launched the careers of both Pee-wee himself, Paul Reubens, as well as future Batman and Beetlejuice director Tim Burton, Reubens is taking his prized red bicycle on the road, so to speak. He will be attending this screening at the Wiltern, after which he will take to the stage himself. For tickets, go HERE.

The Chieftains

Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

After five decades and six Grammys, the Irish folk group are embarking on their last tour to the U.S. Long acclaimed for introducing traditional Irish music to international audiences, the Irish government even awarded them the honorary title of “Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors” in the 1980s. Expect much dancing and strumming for their send-off. For more details, go HERE.

Economic Update for the Week Ending February 21, 2020

Stock Markets Lost Ground This Week

Stocks retreated this week after the number of new coronavirus cases increased, fueling fears of a global economic slowdown. China, the number one exporter of products and the number two economy, has entire regions where people are quarantined in their homes. They cannot go to work, or shop. It is widely believed that China’s moves to add stimulus to their economy will help. Yet the economic impact to China will still spill over to the rest of the world. Investors in the U.S. feel safe with the economy so strong, allowing markets to stay quite solid. Major U.S. stock market indexes hit all-time highs just one week ago but dropped off those highs this week as analysts forecasted a softening in corporate profits in the next quarter due to the impact of the coronavirus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 28,992.41, down 0.4% from 29,108.51 last week. It’s up 2.6% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,327.75, down 1.6% from 3,380.16 last week. It’s up 3.0% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 9,576.59, down 1.6% from 9,731.18 last week. It’s up 6.9% year to date.

U.S. Treasury Bond Yields 

The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.46%, down from 1.59% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.90%, down from 2.04% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.

Mortgage Rates Remain at Lowest Levels in Three Years 

The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on February 20, 2020 reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.49%, almost unchanged from 3.47% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.99%, almost unchanged from 2.97% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.25%, down slightly from 3.28% last week. Rates were even lower on Friday. Expect next week’s rates to be about 1/8% lower if they remain at Friday’s levels.

January 2020 California Home Sales Report 

The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single-family home sales totaled 396,550 in January on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. That marked a 10.3% increase from the number of homes sold last January. It should be noted that January 2019 marked the fewest sales in a month in over a decade. The number of sales has rebounded over the last several months. The statewide median price was $575,160, down 6.5% from December, and up 7.1% from last January. The median price is the point at which ½ the homes sell for more and ½ the homes sell for less. Perhaps there were an unusual number of sales at the lower end in January, as we have seen prices increasing rapidly due to multiple offers and low inventory. The unsold inventory index in January was 3.4 monthsdown from 4.6 months in January 2019. On a regional level the number of sales, median price, and supply of housing were as follows: In Los Angeles County the number of sales increased 16.7% from last January. The median price paid for a home in Los Angeles County was $617,520, up 9.1% from January 2019. There was a 3.2-month supply, down from a 4.9-month supply one year ago. In Orange County the number of homes sold increased 22.1% from one year ago.  The median price paid for a home in Orange County was $855,000, up 7.3% from last January. There was a 3.4-month supply, down from a 5.4-month supply one year ago. In Ventura County the number of sales rose 13.9% from January 2019. The median price in Ventura County was $660,000, up 7.3% from January 2019. There was a 4.8-month supply of homes for sale, down from a 7.2 month supply last January.

Out and About: Catalina Island

Escaping Los Angeles for a weekend or day trip is simple. Doing so without driving? Not so much. Which may make Catalina Island, located “26 miles across the sea,” the ideal getaway for the asphalt-fatigued. About an hour by ferry from Long Beach, San Pedro or Newport Beach, Catalina Island is nestled among California’s Channel Islands. For more than a century, this idyllic destination has been renowned among Angelinos for its wildlife, pristine beaches and isolated coves. What do the towns of Avalon, located to the south with its coastal cabanas, and Two Harbors, on the north end of the island, have in common? They’re both surrounded by rapturous ocean – without a freeway, traffic jam or flashing road construction placard in sight.

Morning

Catalina Island Conservancy

One of the oldest private land trusts in Southern California, the Catalina Island Conservancy offers more than 60 miles of unspoiled wilderness to explore – whether you’re on a hike or taking one of the conservancy’s eco-tours through lush, protected territory. Once you decide to relax to soak in the magnificent views, stop by the 37-acre hillside Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden (named for the chewing-gum tycoon who snapped up most of Catalina in 1919).

Catalina Island Museum

If you want to explore the history of Catalina Island and not only its natural beauty, this museum offers a window to its storied past. Current exhibitions include Esther Williams: The Swimming Queen of the Silver Screen, underscoring the island’s connection to Hollywood’s golden age. The museum’s permanent collection showcases artifacts, including Catalina pottery dating back to the 1920s, as well as photography detailing local life from the 1880s to the present.

Ride the waves or shore

Throttle up, either on earth or water. If you want to leave the land altogether, head out for open ocean riding off Catalina Island’s spectacular shorelines. You might even encounter one of the area’s dolphins. If you’re feeling like keeping the ground beneath your feet (or wheels, anyway), you can jump on an electric bike and go exploring on a two-hour, 10-mile tour, sans bottlenoses.

Descanso Beach Club

As Descanso Beach Club is pleased to point out, here you can actually imbibe with your feet in the sand without breaking the law. Descanso is also a restaurant and bar, so settle back in your cabana or at your ocean-side table with a margarita or a cobb salad while enjoying what is one of the last remaining private beaches in the state that is also open to the public.

 

Afternoon

Take a zip around

If all this sea-side serenity is proving a bit dull, get your pulse pounding by zip-lining above it all. The Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour promises to propel you as high as 300 feet over the canyon floor on a zipline that can run more than 1,000 feet. As the guides ensure you remain safe for your high-speed adventure, they will also regale you with tales of island history.

Go spotting the sea life

While there’s an abundance of wildlife on the shore, including bison, why stop there? This tour promises to carry you out into open waters where you’ll have the chance to spot dolphins, seals, sea lions and bald eagles. During the migration season, the tour also cruises local spots known for playing host to whales as the gentle giants make their journey through the area waters.

Fly above it all

If you would rather stay above it all, why not by helicopter? Boasting heart-stopping views, helicopter tours are available to send you soaring above Catalina’s highest peak, Mount Orizaba. This type of transportation may also suit you if you want to skip going out by ferry altogether. Private tours to the island depart from Los Angeles, Burbank, and Long Beach.

Get a taste around town

Hungry for a chance to explore local culture while sampling all that Avalon’s cuisine has to offer? This three-hour tasting tour should hit the spot. The food tour, we should note, is an all-ages affair. If you are over the age of 21, however, feel free to sign up for the Catalina Happy Hour Tour, which will allow you to take a sip of Avalon’s best bars.

Catalina Casino

Catalina Casino opened in 1929, a decade after William Wrigley Jr. purchased the bulk of Catalina Island. The Art Deco landmark now features walking tours of such areas as the theater, which was created for non-silent “talkies.” The ballroom, which has been completely restored to its former glory, continues to host events, including New Year’s Eve festivities, as well as private affairs, such as corporate retreats and weddings.

 

Evening

Bluewater Grill

Located in the historic terminal building, this restaurant offers prime waterfront vistas and, appropriately for the occasion, sustainable seafood – from steamed mussels to pappardelle with shrimp and scallops. If you’re interested in more than just a quick bite, however, Bluewater also hosts such culinary activities as oyster tastings.

Tour the Stars

After a day exploring the sea and land of Catalina Island, turn your attention to the stars above. “The Astronomy Experience” is an educational excursion in which participants can make the most of the pristine night sky. The tour starts at dusk and carries on to Buena Vista Point, near Wrigley mansion, where you’ll be offered insight into the heavens, complete with telescope.

Home Tips: Low-tech Ways to Green Your Home

Our robot overlords can power down for now. Along with the energy monitoring sensors. And maybe even the in-house recycling machines. As tempting as it is to rely on new technologies to help make our homes more energy-efficient, as well as environmentally responsible, let’s consider the decidedly low-tech and comparatively inexpensive tactics we can take now to turn our humble abodes greener. Here then are five simple ways to tackle energy usage (and the subsequent power bills) without making room for a single geothermal heat pump.

Throw some shade

Whether it’s baking your face on the beach or streaming in through your windows, manage your sunlight exposure. When it’s summer, draw the drapes and snap shut the blinds, especially when nobody is home. (The same logic applies in the winter when adding curtains can ensure heat doesn’t escape.) When you have the sunlight situation under control, caulk the windows and survey for drafts. If you feel one, it’s likely that cracks around the frame are to blame.

Pull the plug

All appliances generate heat, so keep them off until needed. For example, don’t run the dryer or dishwasher until after dark, preferably overnight. And if you want to cook, the grill on your patio or in your yard is preferable to the kitchen stove. (Cooling and heating are responsible for about half of a home’s energy use, followed by the water heater, the washer and dryer, and the lights.) Also, consider pulling the plugs on the notorious, so-called “vampire electronics,” which continue to gobble power even when seemingly switched off. These include everything from laptops and routers to gaming consoles and microwaves too, of course, televisions.

Hang them out to dry

No one is suggesting you break out your great-great-grandma’s washboard and start scrubbing away, but how you clean your clothes contributes greatly to how much power and water your home uses. (The washer and dryer combined account for about 13% of a home’s energy consumption.) Whenever possible, wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry, avoiding the dryer altogether. That simple choice can both reduce your bills and bolster the environment. Similarly, try to only wash full loads to maximize water usage.

Plant south-facing tree

This is an obvious one: planting trees can help make your property more environmentally friendly. Just make sure to plant them on the south side. The leafy barrier will keep your home cool during the summer by providing a barrier to direct sunlight. And during the winter, it will let your home’s interior retain warmth. Plus, your landscaping will look better for it.

Repair leaky faucets

It’s the little things that get you. So before you dismiss that drip-drip-drip, consider that the average leaky faucet (about 10 drips per minute) ends up wasting roughly 350 gallons per year. That’s about $20 every month extra on your bill. But multiple cracks in the plumbing can wind up costing several times that. Similarly, a leaking toilet can add about $150 to your monthly water bill. Given this, calling the plumber starts to sound like the cheaper, more appealing option.

Valley Weekend Events: February 21 – February 23

San Fernando Valley 

Celebrate everything and anything Dr. Dre, get a taste of the wine-making life or check out Larry David’s best TV pal on the comedy stage. Whether you’re in the mood for laughter or a new stage production, there’s plenty going on this weekend in the San Fernando Valley.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020

Dre Day Los Angeles

LOCATION: Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

The 7th annual Dre Day Los Angeles happens Friday at Echoplex and The Echo, spinning anything and everything Dr. Dre-related – from classics to club bangers to music produced by Dr. Dre to the original samples that kickstarted it all. This year, west coast DJ and producer Battlecat will once again be going back-to-back with J.ROCC. For ticket details, go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2020

The Open Exhibit Artists’ Reception

LOCATION: San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center, 18312 W Oxnard Street, Tarzana, CA 91356

The artwork here runs the gamut from sculpture and painting to photography and mixed media. Drop-in for the artist’s reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit itself runs until Feb. 29, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everything is open to the public and free. For more details about the exhibit, go HERE.

Wine Blending Class at Urban Press Winery

LOCATION: Urban Press Winery, 316 North San Fernando, Burbank, 91502

Here’s your chance to learn about all the things that go into a bottle – and then make your own blend as you learn about grape varietals. There will be plenty of discussion – and probably at least as much tasting. Learn more HERE

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020

Show Me A Hero

LOCATION: Urban Press Winery, 316 North San Fernando, Burbank, 91502

This romantic drama by Willard Manus and directed by Daniel E. Keough portrays the love story between Italian reporter Oriana Fallaci and Greek freedom fighter Alexander Panagoulis. You can find more information about stage production HERE.

Jeff Garlin

LOCATION: Flappers Comedy Club and Restaurant Burbank, 102 E Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA

Jeff Garlin is the co-star and executive producer of HBO’s series Curb Your Enthusiasm. Or maybe you recognize him from The Goldbergs. Behind the scenes, he has directed Jon Stewart (Unleavened) and Denis Leary (Lock-n-Load) in their respective HBO specials as well as episodes of Curb. Garlin lives in Los Angeles and Chicago with his wife and two sons. According to his bio, his hobbies include napping. (He said it, we didn’t.) For details, go HERE.

Conejo Valley

Ali Wong talks about milk and money, Young the Giant gets intimate for a cause and Malibu goes to the dogs. Expect all this and more as we run down what’s happening this weekend in the Conejo Valley.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020

Jeanne Robertson

LOCATION: Civic Arts Plaza Theatres, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks, CA

Years after being named Miss Congeniality in the 1963 Miss America competition, the former Miss North Carolina garnered national attention as a humorist and public speaker. In 2009, she even went “viral” when clips of her speaking engagements made the rounds online. Now at the age of 76, Robertson continues to charm audiences. To learn more about her show, go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2020

Ali Wong: The Milk and Money Tour

LOCATION: Fred Kavli Theatre – B of A Performing Arts Center, Thousand Oaks

How to stand out among the abundance of Netflix comedy specials? For Ali Wong, whose special Baby Cobra proved a breakthrough, the answer was simple: she did it when she was seven months pregnant. Wong’s career has been ascendant ever since, including with the Netflix rom-com, Always Be My Maybe, which featured a scene-stealing turn at self-parody from Keanu Reeves. For information about Wong’s stop in Thousand Oaks, go HERE.

Living Room Conversations for Entrepreneurial Women over 40

LOCATION: 29500 Heathercliff Road, Malibu, CA 90265

Billed as an engaging conversation with an ocean view, this event curated to inspire and support entrepreneurial women, especially those over the age of 40, features Laura McHolm, named 2019’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Los Angeles Business Journal. Her company, NorthStar Moving, is the largest moving company in California and one of the fastest-growing in the entire U.S. For more information about the event, go HERE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020

Malibu Paws

LOCATION: Malibu Farmer’s Market, Malibu Civic Center, 23555 Civic Center Way, Malibu 90265

In the mood for puppy love? Then drop by the Malibu Farmers Market Malibu Paws Awareness Day, where dogs of all ages (and maybe a few cats) will be looking for belly rubs. Once you’re here, you will have the chance to learn about farm animals, squirrels and even say hi to a few miniature therapy horses. Later, they’ll be raffling off tickets to tour the wolf sanctuary known as the Apex Protection Project. For more information, go HERE.

An Evening with Young the Giant

LOCATION: Casa Escobar Malibu, 22969 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA

Los Angeles quintet Young the Giant perform this intimate, acoustic concert to benefit Life Rolls On, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with disabilities. The group was founded by world champion quadriplegic surfer Jesse Billauer. Young the Giant first broke through with their 2010 debut album, featuring the hits My Body and Cough Syrup. For more information, go HERE.

Santa Clarita Valley

Get up and running for a good cause or simply wake me up before you go-go to a concert. It’s all on tap this weekend in Santa Clarita.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020

Tommy C and the Black Widow Grease Band

LOCATION: Newhall Family Theatre, 24607 Walnut Street, Santa Clarita, CA

Tommy C and the Black Widow Grease Band bring their Detroit sound to the Newhall Family Theatre with special guest the School of Rock All-Stars. Tickets are $10 with 10% of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. During Tommy C’s career, he served as the musical director for Chubby Checker and played on stage with Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and The Temptations, among others. For tickets, go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2020

Careless Whisper

LOCATION: The Canyon – Agoura Hills, 28912 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills, CA

Don’t let the sun go down on Robert Bartko, who pays tribute to the late George Michael with pitch-perfect vocals, presence and dance moves. For tickets, go HERE.

Matilda: The Musical

LOCATION: Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 Main Street, Newhall, CA

Based on Roald Dahl’s classic about a girl with psychokinetic powers, this production explores the effect she has on her teacher, Miss Honey, while enduring the school’s child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. For more details, go HERE

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020

Mardi Gras Madness 5K/10K

LOCATION: 24201 Valencia Boulevard, Santa Clarita, CA

Put one foot in front of the other to benefit SOAR (Students Off And Running) of Santa Clarita. Family-friendly Mardi Gras Madness is fun for all ages. Plus, there’s no pressure – feel free to pace yourself however you like. Strollers are welcome. For more information, go HERE.

The Bellisima Bride Bridal Show

LOCATION: Hyatt Regency Valencia, 24500 Town Center Drive, Valencia, CA

Sip champagne, mingle with loved ones, meet talented strangers – and it’s not even your wedding day yet. Whether you’re newly engaged or checking out final vendors, Bellisima offers everything you could want when planning for the big day. For details, go HERE

 

LA Weekend Events: February 21 – February 23

Whether you’re in a mood for stand-up from some of the hottest comedians around or hoping to get your game on (or simply hoping to watch someone else get their game on), there is no shortage of events to check out this weekend in Los Angeles and the Westside.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020

Jo Koy

The Forum 3900 W Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood, CA

Comedian Jo Koy, who has cultivated a following thanks to his frequent appearances on The Adam Corolla Show, brings his stand-up act to The Forum. The comic, whose real name is Joseph Glenn Herber, premiered his latest comedy special, Jo Koy: Comin’ in Hot, last June on Netflix. For ticket information and details, go HERE

Blue13 Dance Company

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Acclaimed for energetic performances that mix hip-hop, ballet, modern and traditional Indian dance, Blue13 Dance Company showcases its theatrical contemporary style in the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts’ Bram Goldsmith Theater. The program includes the world premiere of Terpsichore In Ghungroos. For tickets, go HERE

Saturday, February 22,

DreamHack Anaheim 2020 

Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA

DreamHack hosts the Madden 20 tournament, open to any competitor over the age of 16 with prizes totaling $25,000. The 24 hour-a-day festival weekend promises to be crammed with pro e-sports tournaments, cosplay contests, live music, film screenings, panel discussions, workshops and keynote speakers. For more details, go HERE

Hannah Gadsby

The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, 90015

The Australian comedian, writer and actress had been touring for more than a decade when her 2018 Netflix special, Nanette, introduced her to new international audiences. Now she’s bringing her new show, Douglas, to Los Angeles. Note that this is a phone-free experience. For more details about the performance, go HERE

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Museum of Selfies

6757 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028

No, it’s not only about you. Museum of Selfies is a fresh, immersive, interactive exhibit in Los Angeles, promising to bend your mind – and your definition of what a selfie can be. That might mean plunging into a gold bath, getting turned upside-down (literally) or relaxing in an emoji pool. For more details about the museum, go HERE

Curator Walk-through of Paul McCarthy: Head Space, Drawings 1963–2019 

Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Chief curator Connie Butler and curator Aram Moshayedi lead a walk-through of this exhibition of drawings and works on paper by Los Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy. Currently showing until May, the exhibit highlights 600 works on paper selected from McCarthy’s archive. Mediums and materials range from charcoal and graphite to ketchup and peanut butter. For more information, go HERE.

Valley Eats: Pasta

Here’s the skinny on carb-conscious Valley areas: the pasta is plentiful. Take that, Keto diet. From traditional dishes to fresh pasta to the flavorful spooning of Italian classics with Southern California produce and protein, locals have no shortage of eating options when they’re in the mood for a little (or a lot of) Italian. Here are some of the best.

Conejo Valley

Nonna

951 S Westlake Blvd, Suite 102, Westlake Village, CA 91361

For owner Jacopo Falleni, the cuisine isn’t merely about satisfying your appetite, it’s about rekindling memories of family. Among the dishes, the Florence-born Falleni counts as favorites are the Fiori di Zucca Ripieni (battered zucchini blossoms with ricotta cheese marinara) and the Ravioli Ricotta e Spinaci (ricotta with spinach, Parmigiano and butter sage sauce). Other standouts sure to leave good memories: the Strozzapreti (Italian sausage with ragu, tomatoes, onions and cream), the Cacio E Pepe (Spaghetti Gragnano with pecorino romano and hand-crushed black pepper) and the Tagliatelle Bolognese (beef and pork ragu with shaved parmesan).

Tramonto Bistro Malibu

22235 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

Think of this upscale Italian eatery as just like home – albeit with views of the Pacific, an inviting Tuscan-flavored atmosphere, delicious pasta and an impressive wine list. Start off with an appetizer such as the Burrata (honey-drizzled mozzarella stuffed with mascarpone cheese) or the Arancini (stuffed rice balls with beef, peas and mozzarella) before following with the Turkey Ragu or Pescatora Linguini (Manila clams, shrimps, black mussels and calamari). And be sure to leave room for one of their home-made desserts like the Ice Cream Extravaganza.

Spruzzo Restaurant & Bar

29575 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265

 Spruzzo may be known primarily for their traditional pizza (which they make in a wood-fired brick oven), they have a variety of pasta options, including the Linguine Seafood, comprised of shrimp, clams, mussels, and calamari served in a white wine tomato herb sauce. In addition to the traditional Italian food, Spruzzo offers a view of the Pacific as well as an outdoor heated patio with a fire pit.

San Fernando Valley

Panzanella Ristorante

14928 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

This Sherman Oaks restaurant offers Italian and Sicilian food and wine, paying homage to the southern Italian heritage of the Drago family, which owns and operates it. To start, try the fried calamari, the baked eggplant with mozzarella or thin-sliced prosciutto. From there, move on to the handmade penne with sliced sausage, broccoli and pecorino cheese; the spaghetti with black pepper and pecorino cheese; or the pappardelle with wild boar ragu. The restaurant takes its name, not from pasta, but salad. Chef Giacomino Drago calls Panzanella “Italy in a bowl.”

Maggiano’s Little Italy

6100 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Woodland Hills, CA 91367

This family-friendly Woodland Hills restaurant has been serving up Italian-American fare from their scratch kitchen for more than 25 years. Dishes range from the Gnocchi and Italian Sausage (with basil and tomato vodka cream sauce) to the Braised Beef al Forno (with red peppers and spinach) to the Rigatoni Arrabbiata (with your choice of grilled chicken or Italian sausage). Their specialty, however, is the Rigatoni D, which is herb-roasted chicken and mushrooms, served with caramelized onions and marsala cream sauce.

MA’s Italian Kitchen

267 N Pass Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505

MA’s didn’t start out as a restaurant, but rather as a catering business, serving their Italian fare to nearby studios. The response they received on Hollywood sets inspired them to open this relaxed Burbank space, where Italian fare is served imported wines. Expect made-from-scratch dishes such as ravioli, rigatoni Bolognese and Margherita pizza.  If you’re in the mood for seafood, try the Clam Linguine with your choice of white wine or marinara, or the Shrimp Scampi with linguine, shrimp, white wine, butter, shallots, garlic and lemon.

 

Santa Clarita Valley

Bella Cucina Italian Restaurant

27911 Seco Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Serving authentic Italian cuisine in Santa Clarita, Bella Cucina’s signature fare includes the Penne alla Vodka and Chicken Tequila, as well as vegetarian and seafood options. And if you’re in the mood to dine outdoors, there is no better space than their expansive year-round patio.

Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant

26940 Theater Drive, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Complete with red-and-white tablecloths, this Italian restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes, including Italian pastas, entrees and pizzas. Portions are described as “family-style” so don’t expect to leave feeling hungry. Pastas include the Eggplant Parmigiana, topped with marinara sauce, Roma tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, and the Chicken Saltimbocca, with prosciutto and sage, served with artichoke hearts, lemon, capers and lemon butter sauce. 

Piccola Trattoria

18302 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91351

Located north of the Sierra Highway and Soledad intersection in Santa Clarita, Piccola Trattoria is minutes from Valencia, Canyon Country, Saugus and Newhall. Settle in for a meal in their dining room or outside on their patio. Pastas range from the Capellini al Pomodoro (angel hair pasta with tomato, garlic and basil) to the Spaghetti alla Pescatora (spaghetti pasta with shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and calamari) to the Risotto ai Funghi (creamy carnaroli rice made with wild mushrooms). The name Piccola Trattoria translates to “small restaurant” in Italian.