Out and About: Newport Beach Edition

Looking to get away for one day of your weekend? Can’t afford (time-wise) to fly to Hawaii for just a day? Well, you are in luck. Just a few miles down the Pacific Coast Highway is the eclectic coastal city of Newport Beach. With an abundance of shopping destinations, dining experiences, day trips, and unique activities, Newport Beach is a memorable shift from the hustle and bustle of our lively LA homes. 

 

Morning

PLUM’S CAFE

Start your morning with a twist on brunch at Plum’s Cafe. Order mimosas or Bloody Mary’s and the coconut french toast for a classic spin on a local favorite. Don’t forget to make a reservation, seating fills up quickly. For a full weekend brunch menu, click here.

SIDECAR DOUGHNUTS

Walk across the street for a sweet bite from the original Sidecar Doughnuts location, for novelty flavors like maple bacon, or meyer lemon and thyme. Flavors are updated each month, for a full list click here.

BALBOA ISLAND

Bordering the Newport Beach Harbor and homes of celebrities on the water, Balboa Island offers a relaxing breezy atmosphere to all its visitors. Walk the circumference of the man made island, which is only accessible by ferry or bridge, to the historical Balboa Island Ferry which has taken passengers from the island to the Balboa Peninsula for over 100 years.

 

Board a Whale Watching Boat Tour, grab a quintessential frozen banana from Dad’s, plan a Duffy rental with family, or bring the kids to visit the Fun Zone.

 

Afternoon

RUBY’S ON THE PIER

 

For a kid-friendly lunch, walk to the end of the Balboa Pier to enjoy Ruby’s on the pier. With surfers and fisherman bordering both sides, your little one will surely be entertained with the beach city excitement.

LIDO MARINA VILLAGE

 

 

For a different ambience, travel up the peninsula to the Lido Marina Village for a roll of sushi from the daily happy hour at Nobu, or visit Malibu Farms for a fresh alternative.

Admire the view of the yachts in the harbor, the photogenic scenery, and the freshly picked flowers by French Buckets

Evening

FASHION ISLAND

 

Spend your afternoon with an elevated shopping experience found at the epitome of Newport Beach elegance, Fashion Island.

Stop at one of the finer dining locations Fashion Island has to offer. Then attend a film in the reclining leather chairs of The LotTo close the evening, walk through the koi pond and sit near the fountains. Enjoy the view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean and Newport Beach Harbor.

 

 

 

 

 

LA Eats: Your Guide to Restaurant Month

Los Angeles Restaurant Month is an event hosted semi-annually, with over 400 participating restaurants showcasing prix-fixe dining menus to foodies and self-proclaimed food lovers, for a lower than expected dining rate. We cover places in Los Angeles, the Westside, and the Valley. Enjoy one of these premier dining destinations from our guide below, or all of them! 

Valley

Sherman Oaks 

Mistral

When: January 17 – January 31
Where: 13422 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks 91423
Dinner Menu: $35

Having opened our doors in 1988, Mistral has consistently been recognized as among the San Fernando Valley’s best restaurants. Set within an elegant French bistro, guests are welcomed by seasoned and experienced staff members all charged with the sole purpose to provide you and your guests with an unparalleled dining experience.

Calabasas

SUGARFISH by Sushi Nozawa

When: January 17 – January 31
Where: 4799 Commons Way, Calabasas 91302
Lunch Menu: $20 
Dinner Menu: $39

SUGARFISH was created Kazunori and Tom Nozawa and the four other founding partners of the Sushi Nozawa Group. The legendary chef Kazunori Nozawa only served traditional-style sushi (i.e. no California rolls or spicy tuna rolls). His menu was only omakase (“leave it to the chef”).

Agoura Hills

Cafe Bizou

When: January 17 – January 31
Where: 30315 Canwood Street, Agoura Hills 91301
Dinner Menu: $29

At Café Bizou, they pride themselves in providing top quality service and delicious food in a family-friendly restaurant. Café Bizou Restaurant is the perfect setting for Business Meetings and Events, Family Reunions, Birthday celebrations or Rehearsal dinners.

Burbank

Castaway

When: January 17 – January 31
Where: 1250 E. Harvard Rd., Burbank 91501
Dinner Menu: $59

Cape Grim Steaks. Pasture Bird. Mishima Wagyu. These are some of our culinary stars. Castaway will offer seasonally-inspired cuisine with a steak-forward focus including interesting cuts from the world’s best butchers and dry-aged in our in-house aging room with a Himalayan salt wall.

Calabasas

Saddle Peak Lodge

When: January 17 – January 31
Where: 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas 91302
Dinner Menu: $59

Part roadhouse, Pony Express stop, hunting lodge, European auberge, perhaps even a hint of a bordello, Saddle Peak Lodge has been many things to many people in its long history. For 100 years—some say even more—Saddle Peak Lodge has been a place of enchantment, romance and great dining for generations of those who seek a unique experience.

Westside

Santa Monica 

Water Grill

When: January 17 – 31
Where: 1401 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica 90401
Lunch: $35
Dinner: $59

For over 30 years, Water Grill has sated the palates of fish lovers. From the moment it opened, this flagship downtown restaurant from King’s Seafood Company has satisfied the need for a world-class fish eatery in Los Angeles.

Playa Del Rey 

Bacari PDR

When: January 17 – 31
Where: 6805 Vista Del Mar Lane, Playa del Rey 90293
Lunch: $20
Dinner: $29

Bacari PDR is a cozy little wine bar in an oddly shaped building on the main strip of sunny Playa del Ray that serves Italian Cicchetti (similar to tapas). You will find small but filling options like a stacked shrimp, mushroom, and juice-soaked bread tower, tender glazed pork belly, cheesy mushroom pizza, a thick burger covered in molten cheese, and hot clams.

Venice

Barrique

When: January 17 – 31
Where: 796 Main Street, Venice 90291
Dinner: $59

Michelin-awarded chef Antonio Muré brings eclectic Italian cuisine to life in Barrique’s cozy, romantic atmosphere with a Venice-style wine bar and rooftop terrace. Born in Porto-palo di Capo Passero, Sicily, and growing up in Parma, Emilia Romagna, Muré graduated from the prestigious Instituto Alberghiero di stato and spent his formative years cooking in some of Italy’s most celebrated restaurants. His unique approach to Italian cooking includes a variety of seasonal Italian creations like thinly sliced pan seared Buffalo with mustard grain dressing and Portobello mushroom salad and signature dishes like home-made red beet Tagliolini pasta in a Marsala quail ragú served on a bed of Taleggio cheese fondue.

Westwood

Audrey at The Hammer

When: January 17 – 31
Where: 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90024
Dinner: $49

Located within the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Audrey blends elevated and soulful cooking with a contemporary Southern California feel.

Los Angeles

Beverly Hills

a.o.c

When: January 17 – 31
Where: 8700 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles 90048
Lunch: $25 
Dinner: $59

After opening critically acclaimed Lucques in 1998, the duo of 3 time James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year 2018 Caroline Styne embarked on A.O.C., the area’s pioneering wine bar that first paired an indulgent list of wine by the glass with a menu of market-driven small plates.

 

Hollywood

APL Restaurant

When: January 17 – 31
Where: 1680 Vine St., Los Angeles 90028
Lunch: $20 
Dinner: $99

This restaurant is a BBQ restaurant by day & a Steakhouse by night. The restaurant is situated on the ground floor of L.A.’s first-ever high-rise, the historic Taft Building, and is a one of a kind dining experience.

Downtown

Faith & Flower

When: January 17 – 31
Where: 705 W. 9th St., Los Angeles 90015
Lunch: $35 Dinner: $49
Inspired by a global influence of flavors and techniques, complemented by the use of a wood-fired oven and pristine raw bar, this menu redefines Californian rustic cuisine.

Weekend Events: January 10 – January 12

Looking for something to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered. We pick out the best things to do in Los Angeles, the Westside, and throughout the San Fernando, Conejo, Santa Clarita, and San Gabriel Valleys. Check out our weekend events list that includes concerts, culture, sports, cuisine, and more!

Los Angeles 

Friday, January 10th, 2020

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

location: walt disney concert hall

Conductor Zubin Mehta leads an adventurous look at German Romanticism from the lushness of the full orchestra in Wagner’s final Ring opera to the concentrated brevity of Webern’s nine-instrument concerto. This is the perfect chance to enjoy some music, and appreciate the architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Get Tickets: HERE.

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

Whitney Cummings LIVE at The Comedy Store

Location: The comedy store, sunset blvd

Known for her stand-up comedy specials for HBO and Netflix, Comedy Central Roasts, multiple television series, and films, Whitney Cummings performs live at The Comedy Store this Saturday. Get Tickets: HERE.

MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Launches Free General Admission

Location: MOCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art is launching its free general admission on Saturday, with a free, family-friendly celebration at both MOCA locations. There will be a shuttle running between both locations. Tickets: FREE!

SUNDAY, January 12th, 2020

Smorgasburg LA

Location: 777 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Indulge your inner foodie and shopaholic at this weekly food-focused market. Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in America. With markets in New York and Los Angeles, they attract about 50,000 people each weekend to eat from over one hundred local vendors.

East LA Art Walk 

Location: East 1st Street, Los Angeles 90063

Not to be confused with the NELA Art Walk, the East LA event includes live music and art, fed by the surrounding area restaurants and taco stands. Sponsored by the small business owners of the 1st Street Corridor. No tickets are necessary.

Westside 

Friday, January 10th, 2020

Santa Monica Restaurant Week

Location: Santa Monica, CA

To celebrate California Restaurant Month and highlight Santa Monica as an award-winning, health-conscious culinary destination, participating Santa Monica restaurants and their chefs will craft delicious, healthy, and custom dishes centered around this year’s special restaurant week ingredient – the KUMQUAT. Check out the Santa Monica Restaurant Week Restaurants: HERE.

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

USC vs. UCLA Men’s Basketball

Location: UCLA

UCLA will host crosstown rival USC in Men’s Basketball. The Bruins and Trojans are each entering this weekend’s game with 1-1 records. Game time starts at 7:00 PM (PST). Get Tickets: HERE.

Downtown Walking Tours in Santa Monica

Explore more than 130 years of Santa Monica history in approximately two hours and six blocks on a docent-led walking tour of downtown. Learn about Santa Monica from its Wild West frontier beginnings to the sophisticated metropolis of today. Get Tickets: HERE.

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

Location: Redondo beach performing arts center 

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Head down to the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center to experience this in real life! Get Tickets: HERE.

ICE at Santa Monica

Location: 1324 5th Street, Santa Monica 90401

Every holiday season Downtown Santa Monica brings a little ice to our beachside community, transforming the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue into the winter wonderland known as Ice at Santa Monica, an 8,000-square-foot ice-skating rink. Get Tickets: HERE.

Valley 

Friday, January 10th, 2020

Beauty and The Beast: The Broadway Musical

location: Thousand Oaks civic arts Plaza

Step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, an international sensation that has been seen by over 35 million people in 13 different countries. Get Tickets: HERE.

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

Tour of Heritage Junction

Location: SAUGUS TRAIN STATION – Santa Clarita valley, ca

Inside Heritage Junction, the Saugus Train Station Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays (except holidays) from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. It is one of the most popular destinations in the Santa Clarita Valley.  No tickets are necessary.

Chinese New Year Festival in Monterey Park

Location: Monterey Park, ca

Ring in the Lunar New Year in the real heart of L.A.’s Chinese community at this annual two-day Monterey Park festival. This street fair takes over five blocks of Downtown Monterey Park with folk art, delectable bites and a carnival zone. The action kicks off Saturday morning with firecrackers and dragon and lion dances. No tickets are necessary.

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

Thousand Oaks Philharmonic presents Opus 56

Location: Janet & Ray Scherr Forum Theatre

Spend the afternoon with your friends and family and enjoy some classical music at the theatre. Get Tickets: HERE.

2020 XTERRA Boney Mountain Trail Run

Location: Rancho Sierra Vista / Satwiwa National Park

This would be race #3 of the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series – XTERRA Boney Mountain 6k and 21k Trail Runs!  This is the Grandmother of the Series.  All courses are professionally marked, staffed with excellent happy volunteers and medics, and supplied with Aid Stations serving Gatorade, water, and energy gels and bars.Cheer on your friends as they finish, climb the podium in 5-year age group categories, eat all the Baja Fresh tacos you like, drink some Beano Vino coffee, get a VFE massage and enjoy the XTERRA racing scene.  Experience the massive backcountry on these extremely satisfying trail half marathon and 6k trail runs. Get Tickets: HERE.

 

Tech News: Uber Helicopter Service

Tech News: Uber Helicopter Service

Uber, the ride-hail company, launched a premium helicopter service in New York City. This service consists of 8-minute flights to John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Airport from Downtown Manhattan. Uber intends to expand the service to more US cities. They will eventually offer this option to daily commuters who travel between different parts of the city.

This prestigious service is a reference to the premise Uber launched with a decade ago: offer a sleek and convenient transportation option to customers with too much disposable income so they can feel like “ballers” while traveling. This time, the question is whether Uber can convince the Wall Street crowd, near the helipad, to upgrade from a car to a chopper.

The cost is approximately $205 for a one-way Uber Helicopter flight from Manhattan to the JFK airport. It takes approximately 50 minutes to complete. That includes the fact that you need to take an Uber Black Car to get to the helicopter pad which could take from 10-20 minutes based on where you are being picked up in the city.

Considering above factors, it can take about the same amount of time to order an UberX and travel to the airport. 90% of the time, that will be more cost effective than the Uber Helicopter. As Uber expands its fleet of cars to scooters, bikes and now helicopters, it wants to give users more options for getting from one place to another. It envisions replacing helicopter trips with autonomous electric flying cars to make transportation faster and (in theory) safer. Under the Uber Air division, it’s working on a class of flying electric vehicles that can take off and land vertically. The company is expected to launch its first set of electric aircraft in Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, in 2023.

Uber helicopters probably won’t help to reduce the traffic in big cities like LA or New York. However, they do add an interesting way of travel for people who are looking for a more sophisticated experience. The real highlight of the Uber Helicopter trip is the view of New York from above the city. There’s nothing more astounding than amazing view of your city!

Home Tips: Organizing Into the New Year

Home Tips: Organizing Into the New Year

Each New Year inspires resolutions of change and growth with organization of life at the top of mind. Start gradually with attainable intentions, and eventually you will find yourself in an organized oasis of a life. Check out our tips below! 

USE A CALENDAR

Create calendar reminders to stay organized important events, appointments, anniversaries and birthdays ahead of time to prepare. You can even use a datebook to avoid overbooking yourself!

DE-CLUTTER

Everything has a home, including you! Find a place to designate items to maintain cleanliness in your space. Anything without a place to be can be donated to your community.  

COLOR-COORDINATE

When choosing baskets, bins, and buckets for organizing, choose similar colors to the style of each room for a clean, consistent look throughout. use this tip to organe your closet for further color coordination.

UPDATE FILING SYSTEM 

Start small! organize files with broader file names, store old files, and have copies of important documents prepared.

STAY ON TIME

Allow extra time for appointments and events requiring travel. You can also set your clocks at home a few minutes faster to stay ahead all year long!

USE CHECKLISTS

Life gets busy! organize checklists by type. errand checklist in the car, a morning checklist, what to get at the grocery store, etc. Keep them on your phone or computer to avoid losing your sticky note!

MONITOR SPENDING 

Create a budget and stick with it. Stay on top of organizing your bills with calendar reminders, and mark them as they are paid. Don’t forget about automatic withdrawals!