Los Angeles & Westside Eats: Pasta

Here’s the skinny on carb-conscious Los Angeles: 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.

Rossoblu

City Market South, 1124 San Julian Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Chef Steve Samson celebrates the summers he spent growing up in Northern Italy’s Bologna region with this Fashion District destination. The place is even named after Bologna’s soccer team. Not surprisingly then, the menu is as hearty as it is heartfelt, as personal as it is plentiful. Favorites include the tortellini in brodo (pasta stuffed with pork, chicken, mortadella, prosciutto and parmigiano reggiano), the pappardelle (duck ragu, complemented by pistachio) and Mom’s minestra nel sacco, in which parmigiano reggiano dumplings in a bag are dropped into broth.

Union Restaurant

37 Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103

Located in the center of Old Town Pasadena, Union is an Italian restaurant and wine bar aiming for a menu that balances Italian country charm with Californian culinary elegance. It’s hard to argue with the results. After sampling an array of appetizers (from the pork meatballs to the charred octopus), dive into what you really came for: the pastas. The squid ink lumachel offers loads of Maine lobster, with fennel, lemon, and truffle butter, while the torchetti arrives with Calabrese pork ragu, ricotta, rosemary and a chili oil chef Chris Keyser calls “pizza grease.”

Alimento

1710 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Zach Pollack’s Silver Lake restaurant doesn’t announce itself as one of the best places to dine in Los Angeles. Content to appear more like a neighborhood eatery than a high-end culinary destination, it’s nonetheless worth seeking out, regardless of whether you call Silver Lake home or not. As for what to order, two pastas are recurring standouts: the fusilli, splendid with clams and smoked butter; and the cheese-filled Tortellini In Brodo.

Viale dei Romani

623 N La Peer Drive, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Located in West Hollywood’s Kimpton La Peer Hotel, Viale Dei Romani thinks big. That’s evident in the size of their pastas, the plentifulness of their meats. But it’s also there in print when their menu declares that their Pasta Alla Piastra features “the world’s best Bolognese.” Whether that’s accurate or not, you can decide for yourself, although it is probably unlike any Bolognese you’ve had before.

Angelini Osteria

7313 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Since its opening in 2001, this Italian restaurant in Beverly Grove has become a cornerstone of classic dining in Los Angeles. If you know it, you also know their most celebrated dish: Lasagna Verde. But there is also much more to Angelini Osteria than simply this (admittedly flavorful) lasagna. The Veal Shank Agnolotti with White Truffles, for one, is delicious, although whether it’s worth the $90 price, we will leave for you to decide. As well, be sure to try the Linguine with Sea Urchin if you have the chance.

Felix

1023 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291

For chef Evan Funke, pasta is a sacred experience. That’s apparent as soon as you step into this climate-controlled space, where diners at any table can watch their meals scrupulously toiled over. The spiraled trofie is a favorite among pastas, served with basil pesto and cheese. Don’t skimp on the Sfincione, some of the most delirious out-of-body bread you will ever bite into.

 

Out & About: Paso Robles Edition

There’s more to Paso Robles than what you can bottle. Yes, the Central California Coast, immortalized by the movie Sideways, will probably always be associated with adventures and misadventures in wine-tasting. And indeed, Paso Robles, located about 170 miles north of Los Angeles, boasts more than 300 wineries, so it’s not like the grapes are going anywhere. But from boutique shopping to olive oil tasting tours to ziplining over vineyards, there is so much more to do there than simply sample Pinot (but never, as Paul Giamatti insisted, Merlot). Here’s a taste.

Morning

Olive Oil Tasting

There’s more to sample in Paso Robles than red or white. Thanks to the climate and fertile soil, the olive oil produced here is, quite correctly, called “liquid gold.” Along with more than a taste, you can also go sight-seeing through one of the abundant orchards and discover more about the process called “farm-to-press olive oil.” One such ranch is Pasolivo, which has been welcoming guests to their orchards and olive oil tasting room for more than a decade. All this, and you don’t even have to wait for a socially acceptable hour of the day to start.

Shopping

Once you’re done with the olive oil tasting tours, head downtown to bask in the temperate Central California climate and browse around what has become one of the hippest places to shop in San Luis Obispo County. In addition to artisan shops, upscale clothing boutiques, gourmet food and wine markets, you’ll find ample free parking, restrooms, a park to relax in and other new amenities that make Paso Robles such an attractive destination.

Estrella Warbirds Museum

Olive oil tasting rooms and boutique shops may not conjure images of military aircraft, but Paso Robles is also home to the Estrella Warbirds Museum, founded more than 25 years ago and now one of the fastest-growing non-profit museums on the west coast. Situated on more than 13 acres of land on the Paso Robles Municipal Airport grounds, the museum is dedicated to the preservation of military aircraft, vehicles and other memorabilia. In addition to offering group tours, the museum also gives visitors the chance to hop in a flight simulator (all day Fridays and Saturdays and by appointment on Thursdays and Sundays).

Hearst Castle

Roughly an hour’s drive from Paso Robles, Hearst Castle is one of Central California’s most iconic destinations. Located near San Simeon, at the northern end of San Luis Obispo County, the landmark was built between 1919 and 1947 by tycoon William Randolph Hearst and his architect Julia Morgan. Resting five miles inland atop Santa Lucia Range and boasting uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean, the historical site offers an extensive tour to visitors. For a longer stay, including wine tasting and lunch in the seaside village of Cambria, check out the Original Hearst Castle & Paso Robles Wine Country Tour from San Luis Obispo.

Afternoon

Golf

Less than an hour’s drive from Hearst Castle and located at the highest point in Paso Robles, Hunter Ranch Golf Course offers breathtaking views of some of San Luis Obispo County’s finest vineyards and wooded hills. Rated four and a half stars out of five by Golf Digest, the course features a restaurant with indoor and al fresco dining that overlooks the course. But if you want to try your swing somewhere else, Paso Robles is home to another 10 courses within a 30-minute drive, including the Paso Robles Golf Club.

Wine tour on horseback

If you’re looking to explore the rolling countrysides of Central California, what better way to do it than on horseback? Central Coast Trail rides offer such recreational activities as driving on a stagecoach to riding the trail to cattle drives. Or you can simply ride through the Paso Robles hills on a wine tasting sojourn. In fact, whether you want to tour a winery or distillery, or get there on horseback or on a bicycle, there’s a tour company and guide in Paso Robles for you.

Hike, zip, kayak or fly

If touring on horseback sounds tame, how about from a zipline? Hailed as a Sunset Travel Award finalist and a five-star-rated experience by TripAdvisor, Margarita Adventures offers the chance to take flight over Santa Margarita. For something decidedly less pulse-pounding, you can enjoy some quiet back-to-nature time on a kayak on Santa Margarita Lake. Or if you’d rather stay on land, there are trails for everyone from the novice to hard-core hiker to appreciate. Lastly, and if you can afford it, consider a tour of the area in a helicopter with Paso Air Tours.

Go for a dip in natural hot springs

It’s hard to believe there was a time before wine, but for centuries, Paso Robles attracted travelers, not for what grew on the vine, but what bubbled beneath the surface. As far back as 1795, Paso Robles has been written about as “California’s oldest watering place”— the place to go for mud baths. In 1864, the first El Paso de Robles Hotel featured a hot mineral springs bathhouse. These days if you want to go for a soak, there is the River Oaks Hot Springs, where you relax in an outdoor tub overlooking a vineyard while sipping on some sparkling wine.

Wine tasting

While wine-tasting might not be the only reason to travel to Paso Robles, it’s undoubtedly one of them. And with hundreds of wineries in the area – from Bordeaux to boutique – there should be no way for you to leave without finding the varietal for you.

Tin City

Far removed from the historic estates and storied vineyards you might imagine when picturing Paso Robles is this hub of “garagiste” winemakers. Located in an industrial park along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, Tin City leaves up to its corrugated name.

Evening

Les Petites Canailles

A recent and much-buzzed-about addition to the downtown scene, this French farm-to-table bistro hails from chef Julien Asseo and specializes in local ingredients. Think modern but casual with dishes including Beef Cheek Bourguignon, Wild Black Cod and Dayboat Scallops.

Field of Light

This is the perfect place to take a relaxing evening walk after a day of wine tasting while enjoying the outdoors and scenic views under the evening sky. Last fall, the artist Bruce Munro created “Field of Light,” a spectacle of 60,000 illuminated glass orbs spanning more than 15 acres. Luckily for you, the art show was recently extended until June 30.

Home Tips: Creating a Remote Home Office

There’s more to remote work than just not wearing pants to the office. A truly effective work station, wherever it’s located, requires planning and consideration. In addition to the obvious organizational requirements (do you have enough chargers?) — Here are six tips to help you build a workspace that will maintain your health, focus and, especially, your 12-second commute. Regrettably, it’s slightly more complicated than putting your feet up on the coffee table while your favorite game show plays in the background. (Pants remain optional). 

 

RESPECT THE ERGONOMICS

It’s like your parents and teachers always told you: sit up straight. Bad posture can strain your neck and back, leading to headaches and other chronic issues. So when you set up your home office, make sure it includes an ergonomic chair designed for lumbar support. It won’t only help your body, but it will boost your productivity (by close to 20%, according to some studies). And don’t stop with the chair either. Look for the right keyboard and mouse. Just because you aren’t working at a traditional office doesn’t mean Carpal Tunnel Syndrome won’t follow you home.

BRING THE MUSIC

Bluetooth speakers and wireless headphones may not be welcome in most offices, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid cranking music at home. In fact, studies have shown people who worked while listening to music were more productive than workers who toiled away in silence. The genre of music is a personal choice, of course, but studies have revealed that classical music, ambient soundtracks and nature music are the most beneficial.

REMEMBER TO STRETCH

One of the downsides of remote work is that, with no one to talk to, there’s not much reason to get up and move around. On the flip side, there’s also no one to watch you pose like a tree on your yoga mat. Another good thing about working remotely: if you want to attempt some yoga, there are video tutorials online you can watch and learn from – in complete privacy.

EMBRACE THE DESK

Whether you’re at home or in a traditional office, you will be sitting at your desk for several hours every day. The difference is: you can choose your desk at home. Beware of too much clutter and keep it clean, but otherwise, find a desk you adore and personalize it with prized possessions, professional accolades and items with sentimental value. For a time, standing desks were hyped as a healthy alternative to sitting all day, but more recent studies have suggested extended periods of standing can create their own health (and productivity) issues.

BOOST YOUR POWER

If life is too short to wait for your decade-old computer to boot up, so is your workday. There is nothing like upgrading your Mac or PC to current specs to make you feel like a high-powered professional. Of course, whatever top-of-the-line machine you choose should suit your daily tasks, whether you’re coding or editing video. And while you are focusing on horsepower, don’t forget to treat yourself with a monitor to match. Your eyes will thank you for it.

GO GREEN

If you’re reluctant to add plants to your work environment because they require too much care, give a low-maintenance succulent, cactus or fig tree a chance. If they survive, you can branch out from there. The benefits of greening your home (office or otherwise) are well-documented: they naturally cleanse the air, relieve stress and even boost productivity.

Los Angeles Weekend Events Feb 14-16

Los Angeles and the Westside 

Whether it’s the curtain going down on Sting’s musical stint in LA or the spotlight rising on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s ode to German Expressionism, there’s a jam for you this weekend (including, it turns out, Tyrese’s love jam at The Forum). And if you’re not in the mood for music? There’s something for you, too. Here’s our rundown of what’s happening in Los Angeles and the Westside.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Hulu’s High Fidelity Record Store Takeover

LOCATION: Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles

Before it moves to its new location, Hollywood’s Amoeba Music is being taken over by the new Hulu series High Fidelity, based on the 2000 John Cusack comedy about a record store owner and his top five breakups. Among the original cast: Lisa Bonet, the mother of Zoe Kravitz, who stars in the new series. Expect custom branding, interactive experiences and free giveaways. Mixtapes are optional. For more information, go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15,  2020

Pan African Film and Arts Festival

LOCATION: Baldwin Hills Crenshaw, 3650 W Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Los Angeles

The country’s largest black film festival throws the spotlight on more than 150 films from the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific and Canada. In addition to the movies, look for fashion, forums, panel discussions and poetry. For details, go HERE.

The Last Ship

LOCATION: Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

Sting is shipping out. This weekend is the last chance to see the rock icon in his acclaimed musical about a man who returns home after 17 years at sea to the shipbuilding community he grew up in. The Grammy winner provided the original music and lyrics for the show, which also features his songs, Island of Souls, All This Time and When We Dance. For details, go HERE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16,  2020

Valentine’s Love Jam

LOCATION: The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood

Singer, songwriter and actor Tyrese takes a detour between Fast and Furious sequels, performing at The Forum alongside Joe, Ginuwine, Avant, Dru Hill and Brownstone. Tickets range from $59 to $129. For details, go HERE.

Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen

LOCATION: Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, 90012

Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen collaborates with director Simon McBurney and his brother composer/dramaturge Gerard McBurney for Weimar Nightfall: The Seven Deadly Sins, set during the heyday of German Expressionism. Expect something vibrant and cynical. For more information go HERE.

Valley Eats: Barbeque

Not so long ago, the thinking was: Los Angeles and the Valley do barbeque like Texas does kale smoothies. But lately SoCal has smoked out praise from the unlikeliest places, including the Lone Star state, that spiritual home of the sauce-slathered, all-American cook-out. With that in mind, here are our local picks if you’re hankering for some brisket, pulled pork or short ribs.

Conejo Valley

Thousand Oaks Meat Locker

2684 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks

You can’t talk about barbeque in the Los Angeles area without mentioning the Thousand Oaks Meat Locker, established in 1957. Back then, it was a custom butcher shop. Nowadays, the menu has items with names that sound from a bygone era. The Manly Man Combination, for example, and the Manly Man a la Carte. If you’re coming with (a lot of) hungry friends, there is the Round-Up, as well, which feeds more than 20 and consists of five pounds of tri-top, 10 chicken breasts, 10 chicken hinds, plus your choice of two sides.

Tavern 101 Grill & Tap House

28434 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills

Located in Agoura Hills, this bar and eatery prides itself on American food and smoked barbeque. Menu items include a variety of sandwiches (even a veggie), burgers (including a turkey and chili cheeseburger) and steaks. Still, the emphasis is on the smoked flavors of their signature pulled pork, prime rib, Angus tri-tip and barbeque pulled chicken.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

The Village at Westfield Topanga, 6220 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. Building E, Suite 1480, Woodland Hills

The baby back ribs are the specialty at this family restaurant and bar, but the menu also includes a build-your-own-combo. Choice of hickory-smoked meats includes half-rack of baby back ribs, half-rack of St. Louis ribs, beef ribs, brisket burnt ends, sliced brisket, smoked turkey, barbeque chicken, pulled pork, tri tip, rib tips, spicy sausage link, and bacon and cheddar.

San Fernando Valley

Dr. Hogly Wogly’s Tyler Texas BBQ

8136 Sepulveda Boulevard, Van Nuys

A longtime staple of the greater Valley barbeque scene dating back to 1969, Dr. Hogly Wogly offers a menu of ribs, links, chicken and brisket, with all the Texas-style trappings. The secret to the “fall off the bone” barbeque? According to the doctor, it’s the secret house-made marinade.

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

116 S San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank

Just because it’s barbeque doesn’t mean it has to be American. Or that it can’t come with sake. Gyu-Kaku specializes in authentic Japanese Yakiniku in which customers share meats over a flaming grill. Their menu includes harami skirt steak in miso marinade and certified Angus kalbi short rib in tare soy marinade. Gyu-Kaku, by the way, translates to “horn of the bull.”

Boneyard Bistro

13539 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

The meats here are prepared Santa Maria-style, meaning grilled over coals of native coast live oak, also called red wood. While any of the barbeque options should satisfy the heartiest, hungriest BBQ lover, the Bistro also offers plenty of other food options, including some vegan dishes. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their wide range of craft beer.

Santa Clarita

Smokehouse on Main

24255 Main Street, Santa Clarita

This Santa Clarita restaurant promises a “gourmet twist” on traditional barbeque offerings: Southern-style spices, southern sides, slow-smoked meats and 30 craft beer on tap. But if you’re in the mood for a burger, try the Wall (a single grind brisket patty, pepper jack cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, Ortega chili) or the Colossal (two single grind brisket patties, onion jam, spring mix lettuce, Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, sharp cheddar, five cheese blend sauce, all topped off with a fried egg).

Rattler’s Bar B Que

26495 Golden Valley Road, Santa Clarita

For casual diners and families in Santa Clarita, Rattler’s Bar B Que mesquite barbeque is part of the local dining lexicon. They cook their meats for as much as 24 hours before introducing their signature sauce over a live mesquite fire. For those looking for more than barbeque, Rattler’s offers salads as well as such non-BBQ sandwiches as the Santa Fe chicken and the French dip.

Stonefire Grill

23300 Cinema Drive, Santa Clarita

With a focus on freshly and simply prepared meals, the grilled menu at this casual dining restaurant includes boneless chicken, baby back ribs and tri tip, all served with your choice of mesquite barbeque, lemon garlic or pepper garlic, and all topped with Gorgonzola butter.

LA Eats: Barbeque

Not so long ago, the thinking was: Los Angeles and the Valley do barbeque like Texas does kale smoothies. But lately SoCal has smoked out praise from the unlikeliest places, including the Lone Star state, that spiritual home of the sauce-slathered, all-American cook-out. With that in mind, here are our local picks if you’re hankering for some brisket, pulled pork or short ribs.

Los Angeles and Westside

Maple Block Meat Company

3973 Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles

Located in Culver City, Maple Block is a breakout among barbeque fans in Los Angeles and abroad – most notably, Texas Monthly magazine. The obvious care they put into their meats shouldn’t come as a surprise then – and it’s apparent from their mouth-watering brisket and smoked sausage to their pork spare ribs and free-range chicken. The menu doesn’t distract from the meats either, offering the basics: two sides, pickles and either regular or spicy sauce.

Max City BBQ

4729 N Eagle Rock Boulevard, Los Angeles

This Eagle Rock eatery specializes in barbeque, Southern-style, with meats like ribs and pork smoked as slow as a drawl. Along with such barbeque-friendly side dishes as baked beans and cornbread, they also draw from local ingredients for their coleslaw and collard greens.

Slab BBQ

8136 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles

Burt Bakman became an Instagram sensation from his backyard as the man running the L.A.-based smoked-meat sensation, Trudy’s Underground. Now he’s at Slab, cooking up brisket, pulled pork, ribs and smoked chicken. For sides, choose from collard greens, mac n’ cheese and corn on the cob, among others.

Ugly Drum

Smorgasburg LA, 777 S Alameda Street, Los Angeles

Don’t discount deli food when prepared under the watchful eye of a master smoker. Located in downtown’s open-air Smorgasburg market, Ugly Drum dishes up some of the most delicious, mouth-watering pastrami you will ever encounter. Get a tall stack of it or in a sandwich, with coleslaw on the side. And while there’s the requisite mustard, you don’t really need it.

Morfia’s

4077 Lincoln Boulevard, Marina Del Rey

From this cozy Marina Del Rey location, the folks at Morfia’s dish up pit-smoked meats, including what they describe as the only true genuine Texas-style dry-rub mesquite pit-smoked barbeque around. But even though you’ll obviously be pre-occupied with what’s for dinner, including the authentic southern sides, be sure to leave room for dessert, whether it’s the Baklava cheesecake or the homemade pie.

Baby Blue’s BBQ – Venice

444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice

Memphis ribs, Texas-style beef brisket and pulled pork simmered in Guinness beer – and a down-home atmosphere. Before you get to the mains, though, start out with the “Suicide King” (two slices of cornbread topped with your choice of meat, cotija cheese, remoulade and sauce) or smoked, dry-rubbed wings. And after dinner, while they offer both a key lime pie and a chocolate pie, seek out their specialty, the banana pudding.

Valley Weekend Events Feb 14-16

San Fernando Valley 

One of the youngest headliners in the country brings her comedy to Burbank, the Bard rocks out and organizers of LAWineFest branch out. Whether you’re up for an epic musical production or an intimate one-woman show, there’s plenty going on this weekend in the San Fernando Valley.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Taylor Tomlinson

LOCATION: Flappers Comedy Club Burbank – Main Room – 102 East Magnolia, Burbank

One of the youngest touring headliners in the U.S. right now, Taylor Tomlinson started performing stand-up when she was 16. A decade later, she has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Conan as well as being recently named a Top 10 Comic to Watch at Montreal’s Just for Laughs festival. For more details about her club show, go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020

LAWineFest Celebrates 15 Years

LOCATION: Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N Verdugo Road, Glendale

After more than 20 events, LAWineFest organizers are staging the inaugural LAWineFest at East Valley. In addition to the chance to taste award-winning wines and beers from around the world, this event promises opportunities for ticket holders to mingle with winemakers, sommeliers and craft brew-masters. For more information, go HERE.

Hamlet the Rock Musical

LOCATION: El Portal Theatre, Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood

Opening this weekend, this musical re-imagines the 1976 Broadway production for the 2020s. Directed by Bill Castellino, whose award-winning credits include Tommy, this sung-through story based on Shakespeare’s classic, boasts 35 original songs and self-described “rock-and-roll swagger.” Composer and lyricist Cliff Jones delivers the original score while Craig Fair provides additional music, lyrics and orchestrations. For details, go HERE. 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2020

Intro to Stand-Up Comedy

LOCATION: Glendale Arts, 116 W California Avenue, Glendale

So you think you’re funny, huh? This class aims to teach aspiring comics the basics of stand-up comedy as well help professionals hone their skillset. The class includes lessons on joke structure, joke writing and basic performance techniques as well as the do’s and don’ts of the craft. Registration is required and seating is limited. For details, go HERE.

Wake Up Little Susy

LOCATION: Whitefire Theatre,13500 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

This one-woman show, which follows a bubbly woman named Susy over the course of more than 50 years, features 28 characters, music and even a puppet. Porter writes and performs while Jessica Lynn Johnson directs this hour-long comedy. For details, go HERE.

Conejo Valley

A music legend feels the Earth move (without the earthquake), bird-spotters flock to Malibu State Park and Isabella Rossellini takes the stage alongside her dog. Expect all this and more as we run down what’s happening this weekend in the Conejo Valley.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

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

This Tony-and-Grammy-winning musical charts the rise and creative rebirth of Carole King, the music legend whose personal and professional life was marked with heartache and glory. Expect all of King’s classic songs – from I Feel the Earth Move and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman to You’ve Got A Friend and the title song, Beautiful. For more details go HERE.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020

Malibu Film Festival

 LOCATION: 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu

This showcase of independent U.S. and international films bows this year with Johnny Strange: Born to Fly, a documentary about the Malibu-born extreme adventurer and wingsuit BASE jumper, who gained notoriety as a teenager by ascending the tallest mountain in each continent. A Q&A will follow the screening. For information all the films on tap at the festival, go HERE.

Link Link Circus by Isabella Rossellini

LOCATION: Malibu Playhouse, 29243 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

Isabella Rossellini transforms herself into various historical figures including Aristotle for this “theatricalized lecture” about the connections between humans and animals. Her own dog Pan plays a role, assisted by puppeteer and handler Schuyler Beeman. For details, go HERE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2020

San Fernando Valley Audubon Bird Walk at Malibu Creek State Park

LOCATION: Malibu Creek State Park, 1925 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas

Break out the binoculars. Hopeful bird spotters can expect to glimpse as many as 50 bird species during this walk along Malibu Creek, the most common being the Oak Titmouse, the California Quail and the Acorn Woodpecker. The walk kicks off at 8 a.m. on the third Sunday of every month. For details about where to connect with the group, go HERE.

Dave Marotta and Friends

LOCATION: Bogie’s, 32001 Agoura Road, Westlake Village

Longtime LA studio bassist Dave Marotta – who has toured with such artists as Gino Vanelli and Kenny Loggins, among others – brings along Rick Cowling and vocalist Mollie Weaver for this show. Cowling currently works with Loggins while Weaver, who has collaborated with the Dave Matthews Band, is a back-up singer on The Voice. For details, go HERE.

Santa Clarita

The silent film era is celebrated with a showcase of screenings and memorabilia, the English Beat just can’t stop touring and a classic myth gets a modern update. And if you’re feeling like spending your Sunday on a hike, how about joining some four-legged rescues as they go exploring? It’s all happening this weekend in Santa Clarita.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Newhallywood Silent Film Festival

LOCATION: 24151 Newhall Avenue, Santa Clarita

The inaugural Newhallywood Silent Film Festival will be screening more than a dozen silent films, including The Mark of Zorro starring Douglas Fairbanks, Little Annie Rooney with Mary Pickford and the horror classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. In addition to the films, the festival has gathered a rare collection of props, costumes and other memorabilia. For details, go HERE.

 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020

The English Beat

LOCATION: The Canyon – Santa Clarita, 24201 Valencia Boulevard, No. 1351, Santa Clarita

Dave Wakeling is making sure the beat goes on. The leader of The English Beat, recognized as founding members of the British two-tone ska movement alongside The Specials and The Selecter, continues to tour four decades after the group’s 1980 debut album, Just Can’t Stop It. For ticket information and details, go HERE.

Eurydice

LOCATION: The MAIN, 24266 Main Street, Santa Clarita

This new production from playwright Sarah Ruhl aims to modernize the classical myth by presenting the events from the heroine’s point-of-view. When a young woman is killed on her wedding day, she discovers her father in the underworld and ultimately must choose to either stay with him or return to the world of the living and her grieving groom. For details, go HERE.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16,, 2020

A Dustland Fairytale: The Killers tribute

LOCATION: The Canyon – Santa Clarita, 24201 Valencia Boulevard, No. 1351, Santa Clarita

Like the name suggests, A Dustland Fairytale is a tribute to Las Vegas’s The Killers. Expect all the hits, ranging from Mr. Brightside to When You Were Young. For details, go HERE.

Wagging Tails on the Trails

LOCATION: Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita

Join the volunteers of The Brittany Foundation as they take their adoptables on their monthly hike away from the rescue. The foundation is a non-profit focused on the care and placement of dogs who are otherwise deemed hard-to-adopt. The February hike gets underway at Central Park in Santa Clarita. To volunteer and meet some new four-legged friends, go HERE.

Out and About: Laguna Beach Edition

Just because it might be too cold to snorkel doesn’t mean you can’t go beach-hopping in winter. After all, chilly weather in California means pulling on a sweater, not scraping ice off your windshield. And if you are in the mood for a day trip to sand and surf in February, what better place to visit than Laguna Beach, about an hour south of Los Angeles? The ocean views alone are worth the drive, no matter what season it is or which thick wool garment you need to pack.

Morning

1000 Steps Beach

Go for a hike without straying from the coastline. First off, the name is deceiving: 1000 Steps Beach is actually closer to 200 steps. But that doesn’t mean you should treat this steep climb lightly either. In fact, it will probably have you wondering how a mere 200 steps can feel like several times that number. Once you’re at the top, though, the magnificent view is worth every aching muscle. Parking is available on the north side of the Pacific Coast Highway.

Heisler Park

North of Main Beach, this popular spot accesses several beaches, including Rockpile Beach and Picnic Beach, which are found on either side of Monument Point. But along the way, the park itself has trails, gardens, picnic tables, sculptures, charcoal grills, a gazebo that’s especially popular during wedding season, and other amenities. Oh, and the view is stunning.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Free to visit – so you have no excuse not to go – the staff and volunteers at this center nurse rescued marine mammals back to health before returning them to the ocean. If you can, try to drop by mid-day around 3 p.m. since that’s when the seals and sea lions are being fed and are at their most active. (Note to pet-people: if you’re heading to Laguna Beach with your dog, who will want no part of such activities, there is an off-leash dog park in the Laguna Canyon.)

Laguna Art Museum

Southern California has always been a hotbed for artists, so it’s probably no surprise there are more than 100 art galleries in Laguna Beach. How do you choose which one to visit? Try keeping it local. Dating back to 1918, the Laguna Art Museum showcases only works of art that were either created by California artists or portray life and history in the state.

Afternoon

Hiking Trails

For all the attention the beaches (deservedly) receive, don’t overlook the hundreds of miles of trails and paths that can be discovered and explored here. Some of the best hikes can be found in Crystal Cove State Park and the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Crystal Cove alone boasts 2,400 acres of wilderness. And if bird watching interests you, Laguna Beach is a bird sanctuary, meaning it is home to several unique and endangered species. You can find more about how to view them at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park website.

The Murphy-Smith Bungalow

If you’re a history buff or simply curious about the origins of the area, check out one of downtown’s few standing beach cottages. Built in 1923, the Murphy-Smith Bungalow is also home to the Laguna Beach Historical Society. And if you’re even more fascinated by local history, take one of the tours offered by Mother Nature Walking Tours. If you’d rather go exploring on your own, there are maps at the Visitor Center that will guide you along. Some of the area’s historic bungalows and cottages date back to the late 1800s.

Shopping

There is much more to the local shopping scene than “made in Laguna” flip flops (although you can find them, if you’re interested). Among the town’s notable boutiques and retail shops: Amenah, which carries its own clothing line as well as accessories crafted by local artisans; Thalia Surf, where you can find swimwear, surfboards and kids’ clothes; and Pearl Street General, which offers wine, craft beers, gourmet food and coffee.

Wine Tasting in the Canyon

What is a California day trip without a wine tasting? Look no further than Laguna Canyon Winery which ships its grapes from low-yield vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys to the Laguna Canyon for processing. Impressively, they have been honored multiple times at the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition, the largest contest of California-made wines in the world.

Evening

Eating Out

If you plan to dine in Laguna Beach, the view is at least as important as the menu. Las Brisas, for example, offers a flavorful fusion of Mexican and California cuisine, along with oceanfront dining. And there is Driftwood Kitchen, which proclaims, “Any closer and you’d have to swim.” Not surprisingly then, the menu doesn’t skimp on seafood ranging from sea bass to scallops.

Crescent Bay Park

Come for the day, stay for the sunset. Crescent Bay is situated at the point where Cliff Drive and Viejo converge off the North Coast Highway, a perfect spot to unwind while watching the sun sink into the Pacific. If you’re still looking to explore after dark, check out Taco Loco, which is open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Rodeo News: Lou Woolf Receives Congressional Recognition

Sherman Oaks agent, Lou Woolf, was awarded a certificate of special congressional recognition in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

Brad Sherman, the current Congressman, bestowed this award upon Lou at the Attic in Sherman Oaks. The city District 4 Councilman, David Ryu, swore Lou Woolf in as a returning board member of the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce.

Lou currently serves on many boards and congregations. Recently, he was attached to a street fair that had over 100,000 people in attendance!

Check out Lou’s website here to keep up with his community involvement!

Rodeo News: Zane Grey Estate featured in LA Times and Curbed LA

Beverly Hills agent, Wayne Saks, lists the famed Zane Grey Estate in Altadena. Set against the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains sits this beautiful estate.

The property is on the National Register of Historic Places as it is the former home of the famed Western novelist, Zane Grey. The property not only housed Zane, but had the architectural brilliance of Chicago’s Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey (also designed the Rose Bowl, Huntington Library, and other California landmarks).

Curbed LA highlighted that the property remained in the Grey family for decades, last trading hands in 1970. In recent years, it’s been the site of an underground farmers market as well as a popular Airbnb rental, but now it is ready to start a new chapter.

The Los Angeles Times highlighted that Zane Grey is considered one of the greatest writers in the Western Genre. Grey penned more than 90 books over the course of his career. Between 1911 and 1996, 112 films were adapted from his works.

See more photos of the listing: HERE!