Out & About: Santa Monica Edition

Originally established as a seaside retreat at the turn of the 20th century, today Santa Monica attracts families and renters to its beachside lifestyle, proximity to Los Angeles (just 15 miles), and overall high quality of life. Santa Monica has many things to offer from the famous Santa Monica Pier to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. There is surely a wealth of things to do for the whole family!

Snag a picture at the Route 66: End of the Trail sign

That’s right, the iconic Route 66 that runs all the way from Chicago to LA officially ends in Santa Monica.  As one of the first U.S. highways, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km), Route 66 served as the primary highway for those who migrated from east to west over the last century. This landmark sign overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Santa Monica Pier symbolizes the official stopping point of historic westward travelers.

Check out the Santa Monica Farmers Markets

Taking place every Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM, the market is located on Arizona Avenue between Second and Third Street; on Sunday, it’s at 2640 Main Street. Not only do these markets have organic produce you can take home and cook, but you can also find stands selling food you can eat right there on the spot! Established in 1981, the market aims to keep modest goals of providing reasonably priced, high quality produce to the city’s community.

Grab a drink at Chez Jay – The World’s Most Glamorous Dive Bar
1657 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

For nearly half a century this tiny bar has been a showcase for the adventurer Jay Fiondella’s treasure hunts, hot air balloons, and historic artifacts from legendary shipwrecks! Fiondella started and operated Chez Jay in 1959 and has been a sanctuary for celebrities coming to hang out through the years, from the likes of the Rat Pack to even the Jonas Brothers. If you’re looking for that “come as you are” experience with history, Chez Jay is the place for you.

Get a picture of the mosaic-covered – Farnam House

The Farnam House has been featured in national newspapers and television shows, and even won a TLC contest for the most interesting house in California! Louise and Aziz Farnam have spent 13 years applying various tiles, plates, and glass to their 1930’s bungalow in Santa Monica. This is one local gem that is absolutely worth saying you witnessed!

Have lunch at Santa Monica’s oldest restaurant – The Galley

Decorated with set pieces from the Mutiny on the Bounty and under the glow of multicolored Christmas lights, the booths are cozy and romantic. Offering delicious seafood and steak, ask about the now off-menu, “Favorite Land Food” they will still make it for you! A neighborhood staple since 1934, The Galley has been a long-time favorite for Santa Monica locals and visitors.

Weekend Events: November 15 – November 17

From tubing on snow in Elysian Park to Ice Skating in Perishing Square to a Wine Walk in Burbank, we have got you covered as far as cold-weather welcoming events go in the city! Take a peek at these events, grab a friend, get outside, and celebrate the coming holiday season!

Friday November 15th, 2019
Snow Day LA Tubing in Los Angeles

 Snow in L.A.? Yes, thanks to Snow Day L.A., a tubing park located in Elysian Park. The wintry pop-up packs acres of festive features, with synthetic snow and snow tubing, and trees decorated with icicles, snowcaps and lights. Just remember: This is still Los Angeles, so expect something that sort of resembles a snowy winter and not quite a full-blown Alpine experience. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy: Snow Day LA)

Time: 6PM – 10PM

Location: Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, Los Angeles, CA

Tickets: HERE

29 Rooms – Expand Your Reality Tour

The Expand Your Reality Tour is the latest 29Rooms experience from Refinery29 – a space where you’re encouraged to step into the art, wear the art, touch the art, and connect with others (and yourself) in the process. Created in collaboration with innovative talent, visionary artists, and your favorite brands, 29Rooms pairs the joy and play of exploration with the pulse of current events and culture.

Time: 1030AM, 130PM, 530PM, 830PM

Location: 4315 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Tickets: HERE

2019 Bai Holiday Ice Rink in Perishing Square

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square offers the quintessential winter activity in the heart of beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by art, lively activity, and the impressive city skyline, our outdoor ice rink lets you enjoy entertainment and ice skating under the sun and stars.

Time: 1130AM to 930PM

Location: Perishing Square – 532 S Olive Street

Tickets: HERE

Saturday November 16th 2019
Burbank Winter Wine Walk

The Social Event Of The Year is coming back to Downtown Burbank. At 4pm The Wine Walk will get started! You MUST be 21+ to join the wine walk. Your ticket will get you samples from Wineries and Breweries in your favorite Downtown businesses. Each guest will receive a tasting cup and a map of the participating tasting sites in Downtown Burbank. Each tasting site will have a designated area set up for Wine Walk guests to sample the amazing wines or beers! Wine tasting will end at 7:00 pm. As you stroll through Downtown, you will be surrounded by a winter holiday ambiance of live entertainment, beautiful holiday lighting and snowfall from 6:45 pm-8 pm at the Main Stage!

Time: 4PM – 7PM

Location: Downtown Burbank (check-in address given when purchasing ticket)

Tickets: HERE

Explore the Culinary Jewels of Downtown Los Angeles on a Walking Tour

Savor the sights, sounds and flavors of Los Angeles on this fun food tour. Your knowledgeable tour guide will lead you on a leisurely three-hour walking adventure through this extraordinary downtown area, sharing stories of the city’s early settlers, Hollywood’s heyday, architectural background and the transformation of L.A.’s culture and food scene. Along the way you’ll get to enjoy tastes from unique eateries, including the best bakeries, authentic ethnic restaurants and renowned establishments currently creating a buzz in the foodie universe — six stops in all. By the end of the tour, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the city and its hidden culinary gems.

Time: 11AM

Location: Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles – 5454 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: HERE

Los Angeles Opera – The Magic Flute Opening Night

One of Mozart’s most enchanting operas, this supernatural tale, accompanied by his fine score has enjoyed much success since its premiere in Vienna in 1791. A popular draw since the 2013/14 season, this production, directed by Barrie Kosky in collaboration with British theatre company ‘1927’, is back for 2019 to inspire and delight audiences of all ages with its heady mix of hand-drawn animation and live performance. Get tickets now to immerse yourself in the art that is the opera.

Time: 730PM

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Tickets: HERE

Sunday November 17th, 2019
Water Lantern Festival

Los Angeles Water Lantern Festival is coming up on November 17, 2019! Voted #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA TODAY! Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. Magical nights in cities across the U.S. include food, games, activities, vendors, music and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water. As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns onto the water as we Light The Water together. Watch your unique lantern drift out into the water as it joins other lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection. It’s a night that you’ll never forget. Tickets are selling fast.

Time: 4PM – 9PM

Location: Whittier Narrows – 750 S Santa Anita Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733

Tickets: HERE

Autumn Festival

Delve into the arts, cuisines, cultures, and marine environments of Asia during the Aquarium of the Pacific’s eighteenth annual Autumn Festival. Autumn Festival highlights the traditions and cultures of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines through a weekend of learning opportunities and family entertainment celebrating the rich diversity of Asian and Asian-American cultures.

Time: 9AM – 5PM

Location: Aquarium of The Pacific – 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Tickets: HERE

“ASSSSCAT” Comedy Improv Performance

Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise’s longest-running, most beloved showcase “ASSSCAT” starts when a base cast of the theater’s current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that’s deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who’s there—that’s part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy UCB)

Time: 7:00PM

Location: UCB Theater Sunset – 5419 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90027

Tickets: FREE! First come first served.

 

Home Tips: Best Painted Pumpkin Ideas

Designing pumpkins is one of the many ways to decorate for this Halloween season. What should your pumpkin decorating kit contain? You’ll want to have a set of assorted craft paints, adhesive tape, gliding liquid, decoupage medium, glitter, foam figures and other miscellaneous materials that can be used to accent your pumpkin. What’s left is your imaginative ingenuity.

  1. Stained Glass Window Pumpkin

It’s a jewel-toned, geometric masterpiece inspired by stained glass windows! To paint this pumpkin, use stenciling tape to cover an all-over overlapping pattern on its rounded surface. Paint inside each taped area with in contrasting colors, being careful not to cross over the lines. Let your paint dry, then slowly peel back the tape to reveal the fun pattern and orange lines underneath.

  1. Chalk-Painted Pumpkins

The chalk paint trend is ever strong, having inspired us to create a set of these elegant floral pumpkins. We love the combination of a matte chalk finish and these large stencil designs! Thy match any fall décor perfectly.

  1. Glittered Pumpkins

There’s no denying it – everything is better with glitter. Both pumpkins are coated in a fine sprinkling of shimmer – gold and copper, respectively – and one is polka-dotted while the other is crafted with the visual effect of dripping in luxury.

  1. Falling Leaves Pumpkin

Autumn-inspired silhouettes add simple charm. To paint this pumpkin, adhere the leaf stencil to the pumpkin and pounce the inside of the stencil with white craft paint. Slowly, peel off the stencil and re-adhere it to a new spot on the pumpkin. Repeat this method until the pumpkin’s entire rounded surface is covered in leaves.

  1. Chalkboard Menu Pumpkin

If you’re a hostess, you’re bound to throw at least one dinner party sometime this season. As for your décor? Turn your plain pumpkin into a chalkboard menu for the guests. Because a coat of chalkboard paint turns it into a writing surface, the sign can be written on, wiped clean and written on again to cover every event from Halloween trick-or-treating to your Thanksgiving feast.

  1. Typography Pumpkin

We love the art of typography, and what better words to use than the wonderful, spooky phrases of Halloween? This pumpkin is dark and spooky – just how we like out Halloween celebrations.

  1. Abstract Expressionist Art Pumpkins

Abstract Expressionist artists – Pollock, Rothko and Franz Kline – all use sophisticated designs. Similarly, the trio of pumpkins pictured here are inspired by some of the greatest artists of our time.

  1. Glamorous Spider Pumpkin

The glamorous pumpkin dons a blinged-out spider that’s too chic to be scary. To paint this pumpkin, coat the entire surface in a high-gloss black. Let dry, and then map out a spiderweb using adhesive gems. As the finishing touch, a faux spider can be painted, glittered and given a pair of stick-on gem eyes.

  1. Skeleton Pumpkin

A skeleton with a devilish grin like this is just the thing your front porch needs this Halloween. Kids will love to help come up with their own spooky, silly, up-to-no good expressions.

  1. Cheshire Cat from “Alice in Wonderland” Pumpkin

Oh, that grin. It’s unmistakably the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. This modified take on a classic children’s book character is painted on a pumpkin freehand style and the result is just purr-fect.

Content Sourced from: Martha Stewart Living

LA’s Best Comedy Clubs

April is National Humor Month, but here in LA we can have a good laugh all year round. With famed comedy clubs like The Laugh Factory or the Comedy Store, there is no shortage of humor. So have a laugh today or any day of the week with our round-up below of LA’s best Comedy Clubs!

The Comedy Store

Location: 8433 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA, USA

The Store was started by comedian Sammy Shore and his wife Mitzi, parents of Pauly Shore. At the original location on the Sunset Strip, the Belly and Main rooms feature lesser-known talents, while the Original Room hosts frequent visits from nationally recognized comedians. Many famous faces have graced the stage at The Store – Dave Chappelle, Chelsea Peretti, Gallagher, Judy Tenuta, Andrew Dice Clay, Leslie Jones, Andy Kaufman, and Chris Rock, just to name a few. As if your night couldn’t get any happier, they even offer discounted parking, which is virtually unheard of on the Strip.

Click here for more information.

The Groundlings

Location: 7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax, CA, USA 

The Groundlings is an improv school and theater that boasts a trove of famous alums like Melissa McCarthy, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, John Goodman, and Jim Rash – the list goes on. They offer totally improvised shows as well as sketches that have been practiced and perfected. Audience participation is integral to improv, so get ready to interact! But if that’s not your thing, hit up a Sunday show, where you simply kick back, relax, and laugh your face off.

Click here for more information.

 

The Hollywood Improv

Location:  8162 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove, CA, USA 

One of the many great things about The Improv is that big names drop in all the time. Any night of the week, patrons are pretty much guaranteed a stellar line up, with the possibility of someone like Louis C. K. or Dana Carvey stopping by for a set. Check it out during the week, and make sure to show up early to hang out by the bar for Happy Hour. Nothing is better than half-priced drinks and a night of laughs.

Click here for more information.

The Laugh Factory

Location: 8001 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA, USA

Los Angeles comedy and The Laugh Factory are synonymous with each other. An appearance by a vet comedian can be guaranteed on the bill almost any night of the week. Rest assured, the rotation of regular local comedians is sure to leave you breathless in your seats. Speaking of seats, they’re all pretty close to the stage, making it easy for comics to include the audience in their acts.

Click here for more information.

The Second City Hollywood

Location: 6560 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA, USA 

Alan Alda, Dan Aykroyd, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and Keegan-Michael Key have all graced the stage at the Second City Hollywood, the L.A. spin-off of the original Chicago comedy team. Known best for their classes, SC Hollywood also offers structured and improv comedy shows. What makes them unique is their focus on creating a theater experience, whether it be improv, sketch, or even musicals.

Click here for more information.

The Upright Citizens Brigade-Hollywood

Location: 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA, USA

UCB holds up as one of the best places to see improv and sketch in Los Angeles. Like many other clubs on this list, this place has spawned talents that have gone on to join shows like SNLThe Daily Show, and Parks & Rec. UCB puts no limit on who can enjoy a show there as all ages are welcome. Every member of the family can enjoy a show for less than $10 per person.

Click here for more information.

LA Eats of the Week: Game Day Bites

While you can always opt for a “Dodger Dog” at the stadium, sometimes game day has you craving a bit more. No fear, your local expert is here! We’ve rounded up the top rated foodie spots near Dodger Stadium so you won’t have to! Don’t waste time searching for where to grab a bite. Use our guide to sort through the food clutter so you can cheer on our team to World Series victory (or like as close as we can get).

Chinatown

Chimney Coffee House

Location: 1100 N. Main St., Los Angeles

Fuel up before the game at Amnaj Bholsangngam’s speciality coffeehouse. Enjoy breakfast combos like their Chimney Pancake Breakfast and Waffle Platter. The Belgian waffles are served alongside sage-black truffle pork sausage, herb roasted breakfast potatoes and a bacon-wrapped egg. Can it be game day all the time?

Burgerlords

Location: 943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles

A game day meal isn’t complete without something from the grill. Brothers Fred and Max Guerrero are serving up burgers steeped in tradition. Their father founded The Oinkster so naturally the siblings have found success with their grab and go window–Burgerlords. Bite into their double cheeseburger featuring thin, griddled patties crafted from chuck, brisket, and short rib. All orders come with a melted American cheese blanket, lettuce, tomato, onion, and thousand island dressing on a sponge bun.

Howlin’ Rays

Location: 727 N. Broadway #128

Howlin’ Rays started as a food truck run under the craftsmanship of chef Johnny Zone and his wife Amanda Chapman. The pair studied hot chicken straight from the source–Nashville–and it shows. Enjoy their speciality fried chicken alongside a buttered bun and cabbage slaw, pickles and spicy “comeback sauce”. If you’re catching a weekend game go for the chicken and waffles topped with Bulleitt bourbon syrup. Need we say more?

Echo Park

Ostrich Farm

Location: 1525 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Ostrich Farm dishes out as your gourmet option for an early dinner or weekend brunch before the game. The menu frequently changes but features starters like salt cod croquettes or chicken liver mousse. Afterwards you can move onto entrees like the wild mushroom risotto and grilled Pacific salmon. If you arrive on the earlier side of the day your brunch options range between smashed egg with feta or smoked salmon tartine.

Brite Spot

Location: 1918 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Brite Spot has been an Echo Park favorite since 1949 with a makeover courtesy of former owner Dana Hollister in 2013. Now under new ownership, Brite Spot features new dishes sure to add some shine to your day. Menu options include the Fried Green Tomato Benedict and the Southern Decadence (buttermilk biscuit, fried chicken, bacon cheddar, pork sausage gravy, sunny side up egg and home fries).

Guisados

Location: 1261 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

The renowned eatery is known for their homestyle braises served on handmade corn tortillas made to order from fresh ground masa. The menu includes steak picado, mole poblano, tinga de pollo and chorizo to name a few. If you can’t decide on which to try, their sampler plate features six mini-tacos you can mix and match.

Silver Lake

Alimento

Location: 1710 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles

Inspired by Italy’s regional traditions, Alimento breaks the mold of not strictly adhering to them. Chef-owner Zach Pollack’s menu consist of small plates, pastas and large platters for sharing. For an Italian take on the Dodger Dog is their “Pig in a Blanket” made with mortadella, spelt pastry , brovada and stracchino.

Night + Market Song

Location: 3322 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

A major hit in West Hollywood, the Silver Lake edition of Night + Market also delivers. Chef Yenbamroong’s adventurous northern Thai street food is served sharing style alongside sticky or coconut rice. Dine on gaeng khua pak boong (southern style coconut curry) or khao soi neua-mae sai (curried noodles with braised hanger steak).

MH ZH

Location: 3536 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

A newer entry in L.A.’s thriving Middle Eastern culinary scene is Mh Zh (pronounced mah zay). The reasonably priced menu offers hot and cold options that showcase uniquely plated vegetable-driven choices. Enjoy dishes like the branzino alongside potato with charred lemon and greens in tarragon butter. For a dish on the cooler side Bub & Grandma’s Bread with herb techina pairs perfectly to their grilled beet and hazelnuts.

Weekend Events: March 29-31

With all of the hustle and bustle in Los Angeles, narrowing down your weekend activities can be more of a jam than traffic on the 405. Thats why at Rodeo Realty, we sort through the event clutter to provide you the top choices. So add some spring to your step as you dive into LA’s best weekend events happening this Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31st!

Discover your inner Angeleno

Friday, March 29

LA Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks(Friday Night Fireworks)

Location: Dodger Stadium

The Dodger’s new season officially kicked off this week and with that a line-up of home run game-day events. Enjoy a Fireworks spectacular as you cheer on the Dodgers to victory this Friday. Read through our Out & About: Dodgers Game Day Guide for how to spend your day at the old ball game!

Click here for more info.

Maren Morris- GIRL The World Tour

Location: The Wiltern

Watch country music’s newest star Maren Morris take the stage at The Wiltern this weekend only. After rounding out a worldwide tour as Taylor Swifts special guest, Morris leads her first solo World Tour. Cassadee Pope is also in the lineup as Morris’s special guest.

Click here for more info.

7th annual Latin Food Fest

Location: LA State Historic Park

The 7th Annual Latin Food Fest returns to LA Historic State Park to celebrate hispanic culinary excellence. Don’t miss Fridays kick-off party “Chefs Night out” where you’ll enjoy cocktails, music, a silent auction and raffle to attend Saturdays “Gran Tasting”.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, March 30

Grease: 50’s Prom presented by Street Food Cinema

Location: Million Dollar Theatre

Grease is the word this Saturday at the Million Dollar Theatre. Hand Jive your way downtown for a 50’s Prom themed screening of the Hollywood classic with special guest and Pink Lady Jamie Donnelly in attendance. The event will feature food from the Grand Central Market, speciality cocktails, prom photo booth, DJ and more!

Click here for more info.

Native American Festival

Location: Shoreline Village

Native American Festival comes to Long Beach this Saturday for it is annual family friendly celebration. The festival will include live performances, dream catcher making for kids, artist exhibits and other activities. The event is free and open to the public.

Click here for more information.

Half The Story: Self Portrait Workshop

Location: LAMAG, Los Angeles

“A picture is only ever half the story”. Join LAMAG, David Alekhuogie and Mariah Garnett as they create a mixed media self-portrait of your personality, talents and experience. The programming supports the solo exhibitions of both artists focusing on the various perceptions of the self through photography.

Click here for more info. 

Sunday, March 31st

Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival

Location: Columbia Park, Torrance

Spring bloom is everywhere-meaning it’s cherry blossom season! The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival takes place this Sunday. Don’t miss an array of crafts and fun centered around the blooming cherry blossom. The event will also feature delicious cuisine, performances and activities like origami making.

Click here for more info.

Pasadena Festival of Tea

Location: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden

It’s Festival season! No not the palm springs party kind, we’re talking about the cultural line up closer to home. Pasadena Festival of Tea returns for their third annual celebration of tea and garden lovers alike. Local vendors will be serving up tastings alongside tea ceremony demonstrations, artists exhibits and a tea marketplace of course.

Click here for more info.

8th Annual European Car Show

Location: Petersen Automotive Museum

The 8th Annual European Car Show drives into the Petersen Automotive Museum this Sunday. Presented by California Car Cover, dub-nation Events and HRE Wheels is an amazing lineup of cars, raffle prizes and more. The show is open to all European automobiles new and old.

Click here for more info.

 

LA Eats: March Madness Sports Bars Edition

March is many things. Spring…Leprechauns…and for sports fans March Madness. With the highlight of College Basketball Season kicking off and our brackets breaking down potential winners one question remains. Where does one watch the big game? Read below for LA’s best sports bars to cheer on your team because this round-up is a guaranteed 3-pointer!

Clearman’s Galley

Location: San Gabriel, CA

San Gabriel bar and restaurant Clearman’s Galley is not only offering tons of TVs for catching all the March Madness action, they’re also doing a bracket that customers themselves can enter, with the winner earning a $200 gift certificate to the restaurant.

Rocco’s Tavern

Location: Pasadena, CA

With locations from Westwood to Pasadena, Rocco’s Tavern is obviously doing something right. The Green Street location in Pasadena is small but mighty, and for March Madness is doing limited happy hour deals starting at 9 a.m. Thursday for the early games.

Mr. Furley’s Bar

Location: Glendale, CA

Inexpensive cocktails, comfort food, and lots of TVs make Mr. Furley’s a natural place to catch all the college basketball action in Glendale.

Barney’s Beanery Burbank

Location: Burbank, CA

Barney’s Beanery is a staple mini-chain across Southern California. The places are always bustling with sports fans and casual drinkers just in for a nightcap, and the hearty familiar fare keeps everyone happy.

Common Space Brewery and Tasting Room

Location: Hawthorne, CA

Common Space is one of the more talked-about breweries in Southern California right now. The casual Hawthorne warehouse space is kitted out with lounge seating, communal tables, and a few well-placed TVs for catching the action. Everyone loves the beer too, of course.

The Fields LA

Location: Los Angeles, CA

There may be no better place to catch the NCAA tournament action than at the Fields, attached to LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium just southeast of Downtown. With multiple vendors to choose from, loads of TVs, and the upstairs Free Play restaurant from Tim Hollingsworth, this place has it all.

Hi Tops

Location: West Hollywood, CA

San Francisco export Hi Tops is now in West Hollywood, turning on the TVs for big night games and offering a variety of cocktails and beers in addition to some pretty awesome nachos.

Bludso’s Bar & Que

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Bludso’s is a must for any sports fans. The casual spot for brisket, sausage links, and drinks is wall-to-wall with televisions, and it’s not uncommon to find fans of different teams crowded together around the same tables, yelling at the action on the screens.

Busby’s West

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Busby’s is synonymous with Westside sports watching. The anchor bar has for many years seen fans come to cheer on their squad, especially during the busy March Madness tournament.

Beer Belly Long Beach

Location: Long Beach

Long Beach has really embraced the second location of Beer Belly. The popular comfort food and craft beer corner spot isn’t as rowdy as some other local hangs for watching the games, but the menu and design still make this place a must for locals looking to watch some college basketball.

 

Courtesy of: Eater LA

Out and About: Spring Bloom in SoCal

If you don’t know from the crazy amount of butterflies migrating through the city last week, spring is in bloom. With such is the arrival of California’s Wild Flowers. A site to see for those visiting the sunnier side of Cali, the wild flowers are experiencing a Super-Bloom this year.  An event not to be missed as this only occurs every 10-15 years. If you’re looking for the best way to really ring in the floral season, we have the City-Guide for you. Get some instagram-able photos and spend some time Out and About with Spring in SoCal.

From Arcata to San Diego the state flower is in full bloom and so is our guide of where to find them.

Death Valley National Park

Here is where you will find the full super bloom experience. The Mojave Desert is home to the wildflower event, although this years scarce rains did not result in its usual bloom, it’s still a sight to see.

Joshua Tree National Park

While in Death Valley, you can make your way to Joshua Tree which happens to be part of the Mojave. Blooms have already started here near the park’s south entrance and are expected to last longer thanks to cool temperatures.

Channel Islands National Park

These five islands that make up the park 25 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara coastline have a bounty of unique wildflower offerings. On Anacapa, Santa Barbara, and San Miguel islands, yellow coreopsis began blooming in January and will last through the month. The flowers are endemic to the Channel Islands but only found now on Santa Rosa Island.

Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area

In late March, the flanks of this summit (50 miles northwest of Santa Barbara) and nearby Grass Mountain begin bursting with a range of wildflowers. Hyacinth, shooting stars, buttercups, milkmaids, Johnny-jump-ups and poppies are just a few of the many flowers found here.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

At this nearly 1,800-acre reserve about 75 miles north of Los Angeles, are rolling hills blanketed in poppies. The season for these hillside foliage’s begins in April, lasting through early May. While the poppies are the showstopper here, keep your eye out for other wildflowers like California Aster and blue lupine. Since this area received several more inches of rain then usual in 2019, a super bloom is expected here too.

Pinnacles National Park

Around 8-miles south of San Jose is Pinnacles National Park. The wildflowers here can be seen in March, showing most in May. Depending on rainfall and temperature one would find a mix of milkmaids, shooting stars bush poppies and orchids.

Fun things to do in LA this March

There’s more to this month then March Madness. With so many fun activities in LA we thought you might need more then the weekend round-up. Read below for a collection of events happening throughout  the month and discover your inner Angeleno!

The Other Art Fair is Coming to Downtown L.A. (March 28-31)

The Other Art Fair Los Angeles returns to Magic Box at The Reef. The Fair takes place March 28-31 for the 3rd edition of its independent artist showcase. See a curated selection of over 140 independent artists and check out thousands of pieces for every budget in one space.  -> More information

The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival (March 31)

The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival comes to Columbia Park on March 31 for a unique blend of cultural performances with a fun variety of crafts by local artisans, centered around the blooming cherry blossom. -> More information

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Celebrates César Chávez Day (March 31)

This free celebration features a guest speaker from the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Xipe Totec Aztec dancers, live music by Lorenzo and the Carnales, plus art, garden, and culinary workshops -> More information

Courtesy of: WeLikeLA

Your Holiday Cocktail Guide

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

Juniper Champagne Cocktail

Juniper Champagne Cocktail

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

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

Eggnog

Eggnog

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

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

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

Cranberry Margarita

Cranberry Margarita

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

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

INGREDIENTS

For the Whole-Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup

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

For the cocktail

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

Daniel Webster’s Punch

Daniel Websters Punch

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

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

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

Ginger Red-Wine Spritzer

Ginger Red Wine Spritzer

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

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

Maple-Bourbon Cider

Maple Bourbon Cider

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

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

Vodka-Mocha Cocktail

Vodka Mocha Cocktail

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

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

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

Adonis Punch

Adonis Punch

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

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

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

COOK’S NOTES

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

White Out

White Out

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

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

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