LA Eats: Farm to Table Restaurants

Eating sustainably grown food is more than just a fad in California. Some of the best restaurants in the state are dedicated to the idea that the highest-quality ingredients are sourced locally. Indeed, some diners specifically choose to eat at restaurants that purchase the freshest local ingredients, discovering economic, social and environmental perks. Below is a list of 10 of the most respected and acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants across the Golden State.

Los Angeles: 

Ostrich Farm – 1525 W. Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026

Ostrich Farm is an intimate, 50-seat restaurant in Echo Park, run by husband and wife Jaime Turrey and Brooke Fruchtman. Much of the restaurant’s classic American heritage fare is cooked over a wood-fired grill and is often locally sourced, including some produce from the restaurant’s own garden.

Forage – 3823 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This family owned restaurant sources from urban growers. They collaborate with home growers and aid them in obtaining their certification with the county, taking farm-to-table to a whole new level.

Salt’s Cure – 1155 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

 

This sleek, modern spot only sources ingredients from California, all of which are butchered/crafted in house. All seafood is caught in the Pacific Ocean by local fishermen who exercise sustainable practices, and work within our coastal ecosystem. Produce is sourced directly from farmers and from the farmers’ markets around the Los Angeles area. Everything is house-made, in fact, from the ketchup to the bacon. A top pick for both sustainability, taste and craft.

Westside:

Malibu Farm – 23000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

At Malibu Farm, the beautiful location at the Malibu Pier, you’ll find everything and everything is homegrown. The owner, Helene, used to grow everything in her own personal garden and back yard farm. Now, of course, with the popularity of her restaurant, that isn’t entirely possible, though the eggs, persimmons, figs, lemons, pomegranates, apricots, asian pears, carrots, beets, asparagus, and fresh herbs still come from her home. She buys local strawberries, oranges, kale, chard, basil and tomatoes from local purveyor Larry Thorne; organic lemons, we get lemons and oranges year round from Mike Zacha; all potatoes and carrots from Weiser farms; Tutti Fruitt; and Maggie’s farm. The chefs shop every week at the Santa Monica farmers market. All breads are local from La Brea bakery and Rockenwagner; coffee comes from nearby Caffe Luxxe; tea from Charles and Company; Jidori chicken is purchased locally; cheese is Pomona-made from De Stefano. Just, wow.

Gjelina – 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Roughly 90% of the fare served is from local farmer’s markets at Gjelina, Travis Lett’s always-packed hot spot on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Get there early, and plan what you want to eat. The bread is out of this world. Hot tip: the veggie pizza is to die for. Go go go!

Conejo and San Fernando Valley: 

Fig & Sprig – 4774 Park Granada, Calabasas, CA 91302

A husband and wife team that focuses on farm to table and sustainable cuisine. Their goal is to treat guests like family and serve delicious food and beverages in a quaint atmosphere. At Fig & Sprig they focus on local, seasonal produce whenever possible and lovingly craft dishes to be healthful and delicious. They take pride in keeping our ingredients locally sourced, organic when possible and sustainable. They also have wonderful vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices for you to consider.

Farm Table – 6209 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Stop by for some quick and fresh fare! The modern rustic design of the restaurant pairs nicely with the farm to table status of the food. Perfect spot for a casual lunch with friends and family.

Home Tips: Protect Your Home While Out of Town

Protecting your home while on vacation is just as important as protecting the items you bring with you. This must-read guide will help keep your home safe! To fully enjoy your trip, plan appropriate home security and maintenance with this checklist. Of course, it is impossible to cover all the bases as life is unpredictable, but at least you can leave town knowing you did all that you could.

Get a Home Monitoring System

Home security is absolutely essential and there are many options (varying in cost) to choose from, so make sure you opt for one that fits your home/ needs. Some home security systems allow you to view live video remotely from your phone, so you are able to see what’s happening in real-time. This small investment is well worth your peace of mind!

Leave a key with a friend or family member

While you can put a hold on newspapers and mail (which you should do), you can’t predict when random flyers or forgotten Amazon orders will be left at the front door. By having a trusted friend or family member stop by every day or two, you can avoid unexpected deliveries being left out. This trusted individual can also maintain your normal routines such as watering plants, bringing trash cans to the curb, etc.  Don’t forget to compensate them with love and appreciation for their help!

Install an outdoor sensor light

It’s simple install for those of you who aren’t tech-savvy, and you can pick one up on Amazon for less than $20. Motion-sensor flood lights prove to be useful year-round for general home security whether you’re home or not, and often are equipped with technology to have them turn off and on at certain times of the day.

Disconnect your garage door

It’s no secret that technology can be easily hacked, especially by more experienced or motivated criminals. Garage door openers (depending on what brand they are) can sometimes be opened by universal remotes. Yep, you read that correctly. You must be proactive! Disengage your garage door opener and opt for a manual lock.

Advertise Your security

Having a security system will most definitely deter burglars, so advertise it! Post these stickers near your most obvious and accessible entry points like your front and back door, as well as side doors off your garage. You can even buy a pack of stickers online (Amazon has many options) if you haven’t been able to implement your security system before your next trip.

Use lights to create the illusion that someone’s home

Darkness is another trademark of an empty house — it also allows thieves to sneak in undetected. Nix that vulnerability by leaving a few lights on. Better yet, use motion detector lights to illuminate any intruders, or opt for smart lighting so you can set the lights to a timer and control them remotely.

Don’t broadcast your plans online

One of the most popular green lights for those savvy burglars are social media. Yes, you read that correctly. Avoid posting about your vacation on social media until after you return (make sure your kids avoid doing so as well). By sharing travel plans, you’re advertising that your house will be empty. You can never be completely sure who sees that information, especially if you have many followers or a public profile.

Adjust the thermostat

Adjust the thermostat to prevent the HVAC system from needlessly heating or cooling empty rooms. Programmable smart thermostats make this a lot easier, and you can remotely adjust them to comfortable temperatures for when you get back.

 

Out & About: Places to Give Back This Holiday Season

Family time, presents, bright lights, and plenty of delicious food to go around the table are what we know as the holidays. However, many people are not so fortunate, especially here in Los Angeles where the homelessness crisis has continued to worsen over the last year. From cooking meals to spending time with terminally ill children, to donating baby supplies to parents in need. Your helping hands and most importantly your time and smile are needed to brighten up the holiday season for someone this year!

Midnight Mission

Downtown’s midnight mission offers counseling education, and job placement to the city’s homeless population, as well as food, shelter, personal hygiene, and medical care. For the holidays, the Mission holds special events in addition to regular meal services and food donation drives. Note: Midnight Mission asks that female volunteers come with a companion since this is an all-male facility.

Union Station Homeless Services

San Gabriel Valley’s largest social services agency, offers year-round community meal programs and other services for the area’s homeless population: including emergency shelter, children’s education and recreational activity and adult classes in parenting, nutrition, and money management. Union Station Homeless Services has also hosted Dinner in the Park for over four decades, named the biggest potluck in the nation by the Los Angeles Times: This organization helps give warm holiday meals to more than 7,000 homeless, low income, and senior citizens.

Fred Jordan Mission

The Fred Jordan Mission has provided clothing, blankets, and food to the homeless for more than 50 years. For the holidays, volunteers hand out food bags, toys and blankets, and sing carols!

Food on Foot

Donating gently used clothing, shoes, blankets as well as food! You can sign up to volunteer anytime, and it usually costs $25 (which serves as funds to feed about five people per day).

L.A. Regional Food Bank

Come help distribute food this holiday season with L.A. Regional Food Bank. Volunteers are needed for special events, food sorting, and food drives: including the organization’s yearly Operation Gobble, where volunteers will help inspect, sort and repackage food for delivery during the holiday.

Holidays From the Heart (CHLA)

This program aims to lighten up the holidays for chronically ill children and their families. There are a number of ways you can help, including sponsoring a family or providing bulk gift items (clothing, diapers, making a monetary donation, or serving as a volunteer (shopping for gifts, distributing gifts).

Baby2Baby

This organization works year-round to ensure that no child is without the basic necessities of childhood; accepting donations all year long for items that will benefit children (infants to age 12) including but not limited to car seats, clothing (children’s and maternity), hygiene items (toothpaste, soap, sunscreen), coats, and more.

Crayon Collection

Upcycle gently used crayons, providing children with crayons and saving our landfills. Being a part of Crayon Collection allows families with children of all ages an easy way to volunteer and make a difference.

Brighten the Holidays (Salvation Army)

This program helps families who are experiencing hard times due to unemployment, medical issues, homelessness or other challenges. From generously providing family dinners to donating toys to put under the tree, help the Salvation Army lend a hand with holiday events to those who need it most.

 

 

 

LA Eats: Los Angeles Farmers Markets Edition

Fresh fruits, homemade soaps, local sweet honey, eggs straight from the farm to crisp vegetables! Los Angeles has farmers’ markets all over the metropolitan area for your shopping convenience! Check out this list we put together by area for you!

Valley

Calabasas

When: Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm

Where: 23504 Calabasas Road, Calabasas, CA 91302

Encino

When: Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm

Where: 17400 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Northridge

When: Wednesdays 5 pm to 9 pm

Where: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324

Sherman Oaks

When: Tuesdays 3pm to 8 pm

Where: 14006 Riverside Dr. Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Burbank

When: Saturdays from 8 am to 12:30 pm

Where: 101 N Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank, CA 91502

Westside

Melrose Place

When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm

Where: 8248 Melrose Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90046

 

Beverly Hills 

When: Sundays from 9 am to 1pm

Where: 9300 Civil Center Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Century City

When: Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm

Where: 10100 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90067

 

Hollywood

When: Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm

Where: 1600 Ivar Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90028

Santa Monica

When: Sundays from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm

Where: 2640 Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90405

Marina Del Rey

When: Wednesdays from 11 am to 3 pm

Where: Vía Marina &, Panay Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Los Angeles 

Historic Downtown

When: Sundays from 9 am to 2 pm

Where: 209 W 5th St. Los Angeles, CA 90013

 

Pershing Square

When: Wednesdays 10 am to 2 pm

Where: 532 S. Olive St

 

Crenshaw

When: Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm

Where: 350 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

Central Avenue

When: Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm

Where: 4301 S Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90011

 

Echo Park

When: Fridays from 3 pm to 7:30 pm

Where: 1146 Logan St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

 

 

Out and About: DTLA Edition

Los Angeles is full of bold history and unparalleled attractions. The home of Tinseltown. A pinnacle point of the Gilded Age. All synonymous with Downtown Los Angeles – a creative mix of the times, both new and old. Take an Angels Flight on LA’s only Funicular. Hear masterpieces at Disney’s Concert Hall. Spend a day in DTLA and enjoy a true piece of quintessential California. Keeping in mind the many areas of DTLA to explore, we will focus on the highlight reel of day to night activities in this Out and About: DTLA Edition.

Breakfast in the morning…

Start your morning off the Parisian way with a trip to DTLA’s beloved Bottega Louie.

Before Laduree was kind enough to make it’s long overdue west-coast appearance, Bottega Louie was the only place one could get a luxury Macaron collection whilst enjoying a french style brasserie. While there are more than a few shops that offer that perfect Parisian treat in Los Angeles, Bottega Louie will always hold a special place in our Angeleno hearts. Try the delectable Beignets served with Raspberry compote or the Tuscan Farro and Eggs tossed in Rainbow Carrots, Fresh Kale, and Mushrooms.

ART to see…

After you finish your trip down french cuisine lane, your not too far to have your pick of art on display at The Broad or MOCA.

While both museums offer their own range of Modern Contemporary Art, each will provide you a unique experience and proper dose of culture.

Needing a literary fix? The Los Angeles Central Library boasts stunning architecture and rare books.

Satisfy your inner book worm then head over to the Grammy Museum for a different collection of art with one of a kind pieces to gander at from musics biggest legends.

structural wonders to see…

For those who have an admiration for the great architecture of LA, the Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tours is here to assist. As they guide you through and by DTLA’s iconic facades, you’ll have your choice of style. Choose between tours of modern skyscrapers or the Historic Core, Art Deco icons or Victorian mansions. A true display of LA’s most beautiful building.

On the chance you opt out of the walking tour, you should at least add the Bradbury Building and Spring Arcade Building to your list of sites to see.

The two are unlike one another as the Bradbury is DTLA’s oldest commercial building established in 1893. While much of the space is utilized for private office use,  movie buffs may recognize its iconic iron staircases from the climax of Bladerunner.

After this historical stop, save sometime to venture to the next one, if not only to at least pick up a mid morning reprieve. The Spring Arcade building still brims with the beauty of its 1924 structure.

Enter the terra cotta archway as you walk through a glass-roofed alleyway of dining options.  Stop by the Green Grotto Juice Bar and pick up a tasty beverage to go before your afternoon begins!

Up Noon…

By this point your thinking, “I’ve done enough walking today”. Well venture over to Grand Park, not for the cardio but to take in the bright urban oasis.

Refurbished in 2012, the park has 12 acres of sprawling space to lounge and people watch other than the performances and gatherings it plays host to throughout the year.

If your starving Grand Central Market is the only ideal destination to appease your midday cravings.

A downtown landmark since 1917, the food hall boasts over 30 different vendors ranging in international cuisine.

Once you’ve chosen and chased away those hunger pains, Angels Flight-the worlds shortest railway is mere steps away.

Thanks to the success of the Hollywood hit film Lalaland in which it was featured and enough community demand, the once stalled hillside attraction was reopened in 2017.

SHOPPING ESSENTIALS…

We are sure by now your wondering when you will get to splurge a little. Figat7th is the next destination which offers all of your favorite fashion finds like Zara and Mac(for unique pieces the Art District does not disappoint).

After you’ve picked up the items you’ll quote as “necessary” brace yourself for unparalleled views at our next stop.

Taking the day to new heights…

Que Skyspace, locate din the US Bank building is a high-rise experience to be had for all.

Glide your way down on the 45ft glass Skyslide suspended 1000 feet in the air  to their observation deck for unobstructed views of the city of stars. A site seeing experience like no other.

Taking it to Old town…

The oldest section of the city, El Pueblo and Olvera Street were established in 1781 as a farming community.

Brimming with authentic Spanish style, the area boast 11 historical structures and a range of independent street vendors.

Once you’ve explored enough here make your last afternoon stop Union Station(pun intended).

The last of the great American rail stations is just as handsome as the day it opened, with its mission style exterior and grand art deco interior touches.

When night falls…

As the evening sets in there are a few options to keep your DTLA outing going well into the night. Stop by LA Live to catch a game at the Staples Center or experience the only 4D entertainment in LA at Regal Cinemas.

Seeking a bit more of a stage based experience? Both the Music Center and Disney Concert Hall boost world-renowned performing arts engagements.

Set the stage…

At the Music Center much of the shows put on are courtesy of the Centre Theatre Group.

At the north end, the Ahmanson Theatre presents pre- or post-Broadway fare, while the smaller Mark Taper Forum stages a wide range of new plays. Also part of the Music Center, the grand Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is the home base for LA Opera, as well as occasional concerts and dance events.

The Disney Concert Hall is not only a marvel of modern architecture but home to LA’s award-winning Philharmonic.

Hosting a plethora of concerts and shows throughout the year, it is an experience not to be missed.

Dinner time…

If you want a bit more high-flying views along with your evening feast, 71 Above is literal in its name of providing you just that.

Set 950 feet from the ground level, 71 Above offers elevated modern American Cuisine with elevated views.

If you didn’t make it to the Arts District for your shopping spree, it is worthy of ending your night there. Providing some of the most unique restaurants and bars in the city of Los Angeles, the Arts District is a culinary and cultural haven.

If you know anything LA’s iconic dining scene, you’ll Bestia falls right to the top of the list. We recommend the the Spaghetti Rustichella—a small pyramid of noodles under Dungeness crab.

Italian not quite your flavor? No fret! For savory steak frites try Church & State  a marvel of french cuisine. After dinner finish your night Everson Royce Bar-a hidden neighborhood gem.

The end… We hope you enjoyed OUR GUIDE TO A day in DTLA!

LA Eats: Staple LA Restaurants That Are Decked Out for the Holidays

The best thing about the holiday season in Los Angeles is that “Holidays in Los Angeles” can mean just about anything. Surfing in the ocean to snowboarding in the mountains, Southern California is the place to be during the holidays. Because of that, we are finding that there are timeless dining institutions that  go full out on holiday decorations every year without fail. Through them we find respite in a magical land of tinsel, garland and boughs of holly, if only for a couple weeks!

The Smoke House – 4420 W Lakeside Dr, Burbank CA 91505

It should come as no surprise that Burbank’s premiere retro steakhouse, a favorite haunt for Old Hollywood, goes pretty hard on holiday decorations (including a pair or illuminated nutcrackers that stand guard near the front door). Eat some comfort food, enjoy a Manhattan, and bask in the holiday glory.

El Coyote – 7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036

Another storied local institution known for keeping its Holiday lights up all year round, El Coyote takes things one step further by draping its dark comfy booths with plastic poinsettias and installing a tree and a cute holiday displays in the foyer. Be sure to ask for your burrito “Holiday-style,” smothered in both red and green salsa.

The Galley – 2442 Main St, Santa Monica CA 90405

It might not seem fair to include Santa Monica’s oldest restaurant on this list, if only because the strands upon strands of multicolored Christmas lights lining its tiki-pirate ship dining room are left up all year long. However, you should probably visit the beachside favorite in December anyway, at least to sip a Mai Tai with the cheery regulars. Maybe you’ll even cajole Captain Ron into telling a couple jokes.

Barone’s Famous Italian – 13726 Oxnard St, Valley Glen CA 91401

The crispy-crust, rectangular Sicilian pies served at Barone’s are tasty, but the real reason to come to this Valley Glen pizzeria is the sweet 1940s décor. It’s like an Italian grandmother’s postwar dining room frozen in amber, complete with red carpeting and carved wood trim. As you might imagine, it looks even more amazing after the Holiday decorations go up. Plus, there is spumoni for dessert.

HMS Bounty – 3357 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90010

Rumor has it that Richard Nixon and Winston Churchill were among the famous faces known for knocking back a drink or two at Koreatown’s famed 69-year-old nautical- themed dive bar. All we know is that the holiday decorations are cheery and bright, the bar snacks are solid and you always count on the Wise Man’s Special to provide a Start of Bethlehem-worthy glow.

Taix – 1911 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90026

The sparkly holiday decorations are up at Echo Park’s long-running French restaurant, including some elf dolls that look like they might come alive when your back is turned. Taix’s classic French onion soup is always a good bet, but look out for the annual dessert special, Buche de Noel, which should appear on the menu the next couple of weeks.

**Content sourced from LA Magazine.

LA Eats: Where to Brunch With Your Family In Town

Your family is in town for the holidays.  There are so many places to show them in our city, and even more places to take them to eat. We’ve got you covered as far as LA’s most quintessential brunch places they need to try.

Kismet

The flaky bread that Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson serve at Kismet along with a soft-boiled egg and labneh is very good day or night, but somehow especially fantastic for brunch. Add a scone with lemon cream and maybe some cinnamon babka toast and one is likely all set.

Salt’s Cure

Thoughtfully sourced, California-grown ingredients form the foundation of Chris Phelp’s cooking at Salt’s Cure. Brunch is especially fantastic with things like biscuits and gravy, as well as oatmeal griddle cakes, on the menu.

Sqirl

Sqirl may very well be LA’s quintessential brunch. Come early, order the brioche toast with four different jams and the sorrel pesto rice bowl, and leave with a full understanding of the hype surrounding the place. Seriously. Come early. The line gets LONG, but it is SO worth it.

Republique

Get your hands on their Margarita Manzke’s crazy delicious pastries and fill up with brunch favorites like brioche French toast and kimchi fried rice.

The Rose Venice

Venice denizens arrive at The Rose in droves on weekend mornings for Jason Neroni’s pitch-perfect cooking. Particularly good is the wide range of pastries that pair nicely with the restaurant’s exceptional coffee. Many individuals with short layovers at LAX are known to take a cab to The Rose for brunch, and risk missing their connecting flight for this food. Yep. That good.

Sweet Butter Kitchen

Sweet Butter is an airy, brunch-y rustic cafe spot that has some delicious vegan options (highly recommend the Vegan PB cookie). It’s a rarity in the Valley and worth a visit if you happen to be over the hill from LA proper. You order at a counter and then pick a seat in the sun-lit central patio, which isn’t overly spacious, but isn’t crowded either.

Little Dom’s

Your favorite pasta haven is also a secret breakfast destination. There is never a wait. Pop in for Italian-leaning specialities like ricotta cheese pancakes with fresh blueberries, scrambled egg bruschetta, breakfast pizza, and breakfast meatballs with poached eggs.

Blu Jam

Crunchy French Toast. That’s all. Blu Jam keeps opening new locations (they even just opened a Tokyo location), but that hasn’t seemed to ease the crowds. Prepare to settle in for a bit of a wait for a table at the no-reservations cafés, but have faith that your patience will ultimately be rewarded.

Go Get Em Tiger

Most folks make their way to Go Get ‘Em Tiger for the coffee, which remains among the best in town. But if you’re planning to sit for a spell and enjoy your drink, maybe you should have something to eat too, right? To sate you, they have one of the best breakfast sandwiches in LA. The attention to detail that goes into every single plate out of their kitchen is clear. I mean, look at these eggs on that flaky biscuit.

Jon & Vinny’s

Do you like pizza? Do you like breakfast? Well, Jon and Vinny have a little something just for you, and it’s called breakfast pizza. And while, ok, they may not have invented the idea, they have pretty much perfected it — and then gone and created five different versions. Don’t forget to order a bombolone doughnut to go along. Also, their pancakes. Yep. They did it again.

Poppy + Rose

Poppy & Rose brings some Southern and soul food touches to dishes like pulled pork hash, rib-tip breakfast burritos, and their signature, buttermilk fried chicken and waffles with smoked honey butter.

Homestate

Don’t need to fly all the way to Austin to find breakfast tacos! Homestate is your spot in the Los Angeles area! Truly. Just as good. Flour Tortillas are a must. Queso too.

Malibu Farm

Another classic. Enjoy a farm to table brunch with your family with the amazing views of Malibu. Get their early to get parking and avoid the wait. There are two locations on the SAME pier. Same menu. Winning!

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.

Home Tips: 8 Ways To Elevate Your Thanksgiving Tablescape

What makes a Thanksgiving table memorable to the guests? At first you may think it would be the turkey or other holiday fixings. However, it really is in the atmosphere you create. A traditional Thanksgiving consists of the standard foods: turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, ect. You have a similar meal year to year. To make it a memorable one, elevate your tablescape and create a unique experience for your guests. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a formal affair, with each plate flanked by a platoon of flatware. Instead, your table can highlight your personal style. Choose colors, textures, and patterns to set the scene in a welcoming homecoming for your loved ones.

Indigo Table Setting

Take a break from fussing with formal floral centerpieces and display wispy dried branch stalks in different vases instead. For a snow-kissed look, lay them on paper and spray them with white floral paint before arranging. Block-printed linens are costly to buy but surprisingly simple to make using little more than textile paint, muslin fabric, and woodblock stamps.

Dried Flowers Table Setting

The key to keeping your Dried Table Setting breezy yet modern is to stick mostly to one variety per vase (the mashup of white stoneware also stands out nicely on a rust tablecloth), and line them up loosely. The spare palette will work all winter; for a change of scenery, just swap out the vessels.

Fall Harvest Table Setting

This is debatably the easiest and most eye-catching, wilt-proof centerpiece. Simply place candles on small glass dishes, and cover them with curvy lamp chimneys (which you can find for dollars at hardware or antiques stores). Fill in spare spaces with fruit and foliage. When guests arrive, light the wicks and bask in the glow.

Cozy Rustic Table Setting

Feelings of gratitude come naturally in autumn, peak season for ethereal light, rich colors, and happy homecomings. This Thanksgiving, play up those elements with a simple yet special table that celebrates great food and close-knit company. Pull up a cushioned bench to a spread of easy earthly delights.

Soft Metallics Table Setting

In this Soft Metallics setting, glints of gold and silver play off of soft pink and yellow colors throughout . Positioned on and around the mantel, arrangements of carnations, mums, scabiosa seed heads, and grasses bring natural beauty to the setting. Especially… without crowding the table.

Bright Yellow Table Setting

Working with a golden yellow palette, the look was anchored with a table runner made with metallic glazed linen. The mix of old and new pieces of ceramic vintage dinnerware are all shades of creamy white, which makes for a unique tablescape.

Pattern Play Table Setting

Botanical dinner plates were the starting point for this table. A fresh color palette pulled from the floral pattern—yellow, lavender, brown, and gray—ties everything together. Sleek gray side plates are a contemporary counterpoint to the vintage pattern on the dinner plates.

Richly Colored Table Setting

Sometimes, simplicity is key. This was the thematic vision from Deputy Creative Director Ayesha Patel on this Thanksgiving table, which incorporates natural materials and textures: burlap for place mats, a leather tie for the carafe, and block-printed napkins.

 

Agent Story: Agents Devin McNichol and Aaron Bernbach Give Back During the Holidays

Devin McNichol and Aaron Bernbach (of the McNichol Bernbach Group of Rodeo Realty), hosted their first annual McNichol Bernbach Group Thanksgiving Food Drive. They hosted the event on Saturday November 23rd, 2019 in front of the Rodeo Realty office based in Pacific Palisades.

For those who brought more than two cans or packages of non-perishable food items to the drive, they qualified for a token. This token was good for a complimentary lunch, catered by Ortiz Kitchen (a Los Angeles based gourmet food truck).  Along with a complimentary lunch, those who donated received a raffle ticket to enter into a drawing for gift cards to local businesses in the Pacific Palisades area.

The first two people who showed up to donate ended up having their complimentary lunch together, realized they were neighbors, and made coffee plans for the following week. Both McNichol and Bernbach were “thrilled to hear about this” as their mission for the event was “all about bringing the community together and giving back” as stated by Bernbach.

The McNichol Bernbach group shared they “had over 100 people donate and collected over 800 pounds of food” – talk about making a difference! All donations were sent to the Westside Food Bank. The Westside Food Bank provides more than five million pounds of food each year for those in need.

On top of hosting a Thanksgiving Food Drive, the McNichol Bernbach group recently delivered 500 pumpkins throughout Pacific Palisades in October. These two are not shy about giving back to the community.

To view their listings, click HERE.

To learn more about the Westside Food Bank, click HERE.