LA Dine N Club alternative-energy dining-reviews stories and pics mind-and-body-training-stories las-vegas-travel-story

veterans-green-zone

COMBINE SOCIAL DISTANCING WITH HAND WASHING PLUS A GOOD QUALITY FACE MASK AND WE CAN CONTROL THIS PANDEMIC - WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

shots-box

SHOTS BOX
A MONTHLY COCKTAIL SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE

As it is getting more and more difficult and unsafe to return to our previous “normal life,” which included being able to enjoy cool craft cocktails in a fun bar setting, at-home drinking has really surged since the pandemic began. I know I’ve been playing home bartender trying my very best not to have to settle for ho-hum or mediocre cocktails. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

unhinged

‘UNHINGED’
NEW RUSSELL CROWE THRILLER IN THEATERS AUGUST 21

I don’t know what’s scarier right now, a first-rate rollercoaster thriller or going to see a movie inside a movie theater. Stepping inside a movie theater, now that sounds like the making of a real-life horror movie. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

moby

MOBY
WATCH NEW ANIMATED VIDEO FOR “MY ONLY LOVE”

In support of his new release All Visible Objects, Moby has released a powerful animated video for his new single “My Only Love?” (Story continued click on picture above)

 

koe-organic-kombucha-cocktails

KÖE ORGANIC KOMBUCHA COCKTAILS
REFRESHING DRINKS PERFECT FOR SUMMERTIME

I recently wrote about KÖE Organic Kombucha, pointing out that I’ve never been a big fan of kombucha, but that I found this particular organic, fruit-forward beverage to be extremely tasty and refreshing. I also noted that it would be ideal to mix for summertime cocktails. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

sorry-not-sorry

SORRY NOT SORRY
COCKTAILS…FOOD…ROSÉ

Owning and operating a restaurant in Los Angeles has always been a challenging endeavor. But during a global pandemic, during this current COVID-19 era, it seems like running uphill with heavy weights strapped to you. It’s tough. (Story continued click on picture above)

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musso-and-frank-grill

MUSSO & FRANK GRILL
NOW OFFERING TO-GO & DELIVERY SERVICES

For the very first time in its storied century-plus history, the iconic Musso and Frank Grill has introduced a bold new “Musso’s To You” program enabling patrons to place to-go orders and enjoy delivery service seven days a week. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

lanea

LANEA
REOPENS WITH CRUISE-UP COCKTAILS AND TACOS TO-GO

Santa Monica’s Lanea has reopened its doors in time for its one-year anniversary with a new cruise-up take-out option featuring cocktails and tacos for pick-up, as well as expanded outdoor dining, and meal packages. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

islands-burgers

ISLANDS BURGERS
DONATING MEALS TO SENIORS

I have to admit that I like this story. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

kfc-plant-based-chicken

KENTUCY FRIED CHICKEN
TO SELL PLANT-BASED FRIED CHICKEN

Years ago, Kentucky Fried Chicken rebranded itself as KFC to distance itself from “fried”.  That was before the resurgence of the recent fried chicken craze. Well, now it’s almost distancing itself from “chicken” as it’s entering the popular and competitive meatless market with its own Beyond Meat plant-based offering. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

4th-street-market

4TH STREET MARKET GRAND RE-OPENING
SO CAL’S FIRST VIRTUAL FOOD HALL EXPERIENCE

Downtown Santa Ana’s cool food hall, 4th Street Market is celebrating its re-opening this Saturday with the Taste of 4SM, SoCal’s first virtual food hall experience from noon to 8pm. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

mirame-beverly-hills

MÍRAME BEVERLY HILLS
CONTEMPORARY MEXICAN CUISINE

This year has been a really tough one to be a restaurateur thanks to COVID-19.  We’ve seen so many beloved restaurants close and others struggle to sustain. And now, as in-room dining at restaurants has been banned for safety reason, Mírame, a Beverly Hills contemporary Mexican restaurant with a California sensibility, has just opened. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-mint

THE MINT
NOW OFFERING OUTDOOR DINING, TAKEOUT & DELIVERY

A favorite local live music venue, The Mint, established in 1937, is currently offering outdoor dining at its Pico Boulevard location in addition to takeout and delivery options. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-boys-amazon-prime

AMAZON PRIME’S ‘THE BOYS’
DIABOLICAL SEASON 2 DEBUTS SEPTEMBER 4

The long-awaited fan favorite superhero satire The Boys will return to Amazon Prime for Season Two this fall. The kickass show will premiere the first three episodes of its second season on Friday, September 4. New episodes will be available each Friday culminating in an epic season finale on October 9. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

barney's-beanery

BARNEY’S BEANERY
ROCKIN’ COMFORT FOOD SINCE 1920

Now, during a time when we’re all looking for a sense of normalcy, it’s comforting to have a good friend like Barney’s Beanery back in business again. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

spoon-by-h

SPOON BY H
IMPRESSIVE KOREAN LUNCH PLATE FOR TAKEOUT

Looking for something adventurous and amazing to eat during these days of being Safer at Home? If you’re getting tired of mundane meals then check out the latest and greatest offering by Spoon By H, the family-owned café and dessert shop in midtown. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

barebells

KAZAN BEVERLY HILLS
‘NOODLE HOUSE’ IS THE PERFECT COMFORT FOOD

Chef and restauranteur Ryu Isobe made a name for himself with his popular Tatsu Ramen restaurants. His new venture, Kazan Beverly Hills, which may have been the victim of unfortunate timing, is beloved for its out-of-this-world handmade soba noodles. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

pasadena-restaurant-week

PASADENA RESTAURANT WEEK
OFFERING THE FINEST IN TAKEOUT & DELIVERY

A city’s restaurant week has always been a great opportunity to discovery new and exciting dining destinations in addition to revisiting tried and true favorites. But this year, as we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic self-quarantine, Pasadena Restaurant Week has emerged with a twist. This year is its Take Out Edition. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

you-should-have-left

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT
AVAILABLE ON DEMAND

Once again, Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions are teaming up to allow movie-lovers staying in Safer at Home to enjoy first class entertainment, especially since no one is really going back to the movies these days. You want to talk about a real horror movie, I’m not heading back to movie theaters any time soon. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

barebells

KÖE
SOLID ORGANIC KOMBUCHA

I’ve been hearing about the benefits of kombucha for years but I could never get past the fact that I really don’t like its taste. I’ll be honest, I don’t care if something is good for me if it doesn’t taste good. So, imagine my surprise, when I discovered KÖE, an organic kombucha, that I think actually tastes good. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

barebells

BAREBELLS
FUNCTIONAL FOOD THAT TASTES GOOD

If you’re like many of us these days, the question of what to eat while at home is a big deal. When I was working in the office, I had a daily routine of small snacks throughout the day. But while in self-quarantine, many people have said, ‘Screw the rules.’ (Story continued click on picture above)

 

covid-19-relief-fund

ART BEYOND THE GLASS 2020
A VIRTUAL TELETHON FOR COVID-19 RELIEF

The Ninth Annual Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG) bartender benefit was held on Sunday, May 3rd as an all-day virtual telethon to serve as a COVID-19 relief effort. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

booze-to-go-in-la

A GUIDE WHERE TO ORDER
BOOZE TO GO IN L.A.

Because it will only take you so long to watch every episode of Tiger King on Netflix, there is a real need to live a well-balanced life during our ‘Stay at Home’ quarantine. And that definitely includes enjoying cocktails, beer and wine just like we did before when “normal” was, well, normal. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

food-pickup-and-delivery

FOOD PICKUP & DELIVERY
BOOZE INCLUDED

During these “Safer at Home” days where being self-quarantined is the right and responsible way to behave, the urge for good, hearty comfort food from our favorite restaurant or enjoying a damn good cocktail is still much desired. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

101-cider-house

101 CIDER HOUSE
DTLA CIDER HOUSE OF FUN

I’m not much a beer fan so I didn’t know where that would leave me when it came to cider. But after a recent cider tasting, much to my surprise, I liked what I tasted. Sure, I still prefer a neat spirit or a proper cocktail, but at least the ciders of 101 Cider House left quite an impression on me. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

hospitality-industry-associates-fund

COVID-19 FUNDRAISER
FOR BARTENDERS

A Go Fund Me campaign has been started to raise funds for bartenders affected by COVID-19 (AKA Corona Virus). (Story continued click on picture above)

 

stream-these-new-movies

STREAM THESE NEW MOVIES
THANKS TO CORONAVIRUS

Remember back when we weren’t living in self-quarantine? When we could go to the movies and see whatever new flick we wanted? Well, for one week, The Invisible Man was new and it was a hit. Then life changed as we know it and now we find ourselves in self-quarantine. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

street-food-vending

STREET FOOD VENDING
BANNED BY THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

The following was reported by Eater Los Angeles.

It looks as though the most robust street food vending city in America could be without its taqueros, pupusa makers, and fruit cutters for the foreseeable future as the Los Angeles City Council presented and passed a motion that effectively places a moratorium on street vending within city limits, stating during the evening that “it is necessary to impose a temporary moratorium on street vending in the public right of way to protect Angelenos from the novel coronavirus.” (Story continued click on picture above)

 

highlights-of-2019

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019
FAVE FOODIE & BOOZY MOMENTS

A time-honored tradition when looking ahead at the brand-new, upcoming year is looking back at the previous 12 months. While the New Year brings upon endless possibilities, it is fun to look back at highlights of the year gone by. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

orange-county-food-trek

O.C. FOOD TREK
SUNDAY FUNYDAY FROM IRVINE TO SANTA ANA

I love a good Sunday Funday, which of course always includes boozy brunch among its festivities. Recently I made the trek from L.A. to Orange County for a pleasurable afternoon behind the Orange Curtain. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

weho-bistro

WEHO BISTRO
NEIGHBORHOOD FAVE STEPS UP ITS GAME

I remember my first visit to WeHo Bistro, which I referred to in my review as a West Hollywood haven for fine French fare (also beloved for its free parking). It made a grand impression on me as I wrote it is a “wonderful place for delicious cuisine and tasty wines in a casual, yet inviting setting.” (Story continued click on picture above)

 

canary-santa-monica

CANARY
SANTA MONICA COCKTAIL LOUNGE SOARS

Part cool cocktail lounge meets edgy nightclub, Canary is redefining the laidback Santa Monica nightlife landscape. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

georgias-restaurant

GEORGIA’S RESTAURANT
REDEFINING SOUTHERN SOUL FOOD BRUNCH

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the good-for-your-soul Southern soul food of Georgia’s Restaurant, serving delicious comfort cuisine in Anaheim and Long Beach. And now, Georgia’s outpost at the Long Beach Exchange is serving up “soul-delicious” fare for brunch. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

bok-bok-chicken

BOK BOK CHICKEN

I have to hand it to a restaurant chain with a good sense of humor. When you read the name Bok Bok Chicken you might think that it refers to some ethnic cuisine but it’s not that complex. Instead it’s named after the clucking sound that chickens make. Pretty simple. Pretty funny. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

revelator-bar-avalon

REVELATOR: BAR AVALON
ELEVATED EATS IN ECHO PARK

Echo Park is an ever-evolving neighborhood that is enjoying a steep upswing over the past several years. It went from hoodie to trendy to borderline chic. First there were bars followed by coffee shops and dessert destinations and now with Revelator: Bar Avalon, a posh wine bar and restaurant serving elevated eats that has become a local favorite. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

nada-surf

NADA SURF
‘SO MUCH LOVE’ TO OFFER IN 2020

For anyone old enough to remember “Popular”, the summer anthem of 1996, by NYC’s Nada Surf, you may have pegged the band as a potential one-hit wonder. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886

THE RAYMOND 1886
A NEW ERA BEGINS

For years, The Raymond 1886 in Pasadena has been a favorite of mine, both for its fine fare and for its SoCal leading cocktail program. It has always been home to first rate comfort food and the best L.A. libations. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

black-star-burger-la

BLACK STAR BURGER L.A.
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING

L.A. loves a good burger and a good conspiracy story. And in this modern era of Russian hacks and collusion, the Russians have set up shop on trendy Fairfax Avenue and are selling the most beloved of American favorites—hamburgers. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

el-tejano-tex-mex

EL TEJANO TEX-MEX
WHERE THE FUN IS TEXAS SIZE

Who doesn’t love a good happy hour? The drinks flow freely and the atmosphere is filled with fun, fun, fun. And it seems to me that El Tejano Tex-Mex is in perpetual happy hour mode as it’s just a fun place to eat, drink and be merry. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

mandarette

MANDARETTE CHINESE CAFÉ
A LOCAL FAVE HAS DELIGHTED FOR DECADES

In a food scene where restaurant hot spots tend to sizzle and then quickly fizzle, and dining destinations come and go with little to no fanfare, it is a very impressive feat when a restaurant can stand the test of time. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chez-jay-santa-monica

SANTA MONICA’S CHEZ JAY
OFFERS COOL, RELAXED ‘BACKYARD’ SETTING

In addition to celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2019, Santa Monica's iconic Chez Jay debuted its cool Backyard, which proved to be the perfect place to chill and hangout. While it may not offer a view of the Pacific Ocean, you couldn’t ask for a more relaxed place to nosh and drink. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

catalina-express-2020

CATALINA EXPRESS AND HOTEL PARTNERS OFFER
‘BEST OF WINTER’ MID-WEEK PACKAGES AND DISCOUNTS

A favorite quick and easy getaway of mine is visiting Catalina Island. Talk about getting away without having to really get away. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

highlights-of-2018

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018

I have to say, I was extremely fortunate to experience wonderful meals, cocktails and just plain damn good times in 2018. While I look forward to see and experience what 2019 has in store, it’s always fun to take a moment and look back. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-vintners-tavern

THE VINTNER’S TAVERN
ELEVATED CUISINE COMES TO CHINO

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I will travel for food. There’s something so very special about a great meal. When good eats combine with good company, they are the perfect ingredients for fond, long-lasting memories. We’re talking about more than just dinner—we’re talking an epic eating event. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

burrata-house

BURRATA HOUSE
THE SECRET IS THE CHEESE

Sometimes it’s the simple things that are indeed the best. Why complicate matters if you don’t have? It’s that concept that propels Burrata House, whose motto is ‘great ingredients make great food’, soar above the competition. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

surah-korean-bbq

SURAH
KILLER KOREAN BBQ IN BUENA PARK

When it comes to Korean BBQ, L.A.’s Koreatown is as good as it gets in the country. It’s a dining destination known around the world. But if you have to eat Korean BBQ outside of the Koreatown confines, then a trip to Surah in Buena Park will be time well spent. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

mi-piace

MI PIACE
A PASADENA INSTITUTION THRIVES

Folks who know their Old Town Pasadena history are well aware that before it became a trendy area, it was more ghost town than dining destination. And back in the day, the only businesses on sleepy Colorado Boulevard worth a visit were Cheesecake Factory and Mi Piace. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-allbright-west-hollywood

THE ALLBRIGHT WEST HOLLYWOOD
LAUNCHES AFTERNOON TEA

Staying true to its British roots, The AllBright, a chic West Hollywood private club for women, has launched Afternoon Tea service. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886

THE RAYMOND 1886
‘AROUND THE WORLD’ IN A GLASS

Drinking at The Raymond 1886, the notable forward-thinking Pasadena bar, is always an adventure but now it’s a real journey as this season’s new menu is a globetrotting sojourn “Around the World”. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chez-jay

CHEZ JAY
ICON TURNS 60 AND CELEBRATES WITH ‘50S ERA PRICES

One of Santa Monica's most iconic restaurants, Chez Jay, cordially invites guests to don their dapper 1950s attire and help celebrates 60 years of business on Saturday, November 16 with a 1950s specially priced 60th anniversary throwback menu. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-allbright-west-hollywood

THE ALLBRIGHT WEST HOLLYWOOD
CELEBRATING & CHAMPIONING WOMEN

We’ve all heard about the old school “boy’s club” culture where men, mostly white men, for decades met in a male-dominated structured environment where they excluded women and minorities and conducted business. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

masters-of-taste-2020

MASTERS OF TASTE
ANNOUNCES 2020 DATE & HOST CHEF

Attention all foodies! The date for the fifth annual Masters of Taste has been set. It will take place on Sunday, April 5, once again, on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl from 3 pm to 7 pm. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

cleo-mediterraneo-hollywood

CLEO MEDITERRANEO
HOLLYWOOD LOCATION IN IDENTITY CRISIS MODE

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Cleo Mediterraneo as I love its look, feel and Mediterranean cuisine. But a recent visit to the Hollywood location left me somewhat perplexed. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

SANTA MONICA COCKTAIL LOUNGE COMING SOON

In the ever evolving and exciting world of Los Angeles nightlife, Canary is a new nightclub soon to take flight. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

orangetheory-fitness

ORANGETHEORY FITNESS
SALUTES VETERANS WITH FREE CLASSES

West Coast Fitness, the leading area developer/franchisee of Orangetheory Fitness, is proud to announce that they will be offering free classes to all Veterans and Active Duty military from Saturday, November 9 through Monday, November 11. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

gray-tavern

ACCOMPLICE BAR
MAR VISTA GEM IS MORE THAN JUST A LOCALS FAVE

When Mar Vista’s Accomplice Bar first opened, it was a really cool bar in a very sleepy neighborhood next door to a fab Taiwanese restaurant. Then the two somehow morphed into one great hot spot, albeit with two separate entrances. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

gray-tavern

GRAY TAVERN
 STUDIO CITY GASTROPUB IS THE REAL DEAL

An upscale gastropub in Studio City, Gray Tavern boasts a reinvented and modern take on classic fare within a relaxed and urban setting where the fare is fresh and prepared with sustainable ingredients and features an eclectic menu by Executive Chef Josh Kennedy. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

luminario-ballet

DREYA WEBER, RENOWNED AREALIST & CHOREOGRAPHER,
JOINS LUMINARIO BALLET’S 
GALA BACCHANAL

Luminario Ballet is pleased to announce that renowned arealist and choreographer Dreya Weber, who has conceived work on stage and film for Madonna, Pink, Cher and many others, will be the guest star of the Company’s upcoming 2019 Gala Fundraiser, Gala Bacchanal.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

neighbor-venice

NEIGHBOR
VENICE TRENDY SPOT IMPRESSES

Some places just scream neighborhood hang. These are locations that are inviting and cool to spend time at. And in Venice Beach on trendy Abbot Kinney, Neighbor is that place. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

katsuya-dine

KATSUYA
COCKTAILS, SUSHI & BOLD EATS

When renowned chef Katsuya Uechi teamed up with nightlife mavens SBE, the result was a runaway hit with Katsuya, a touchstone for hip dining beloved throughout Southern California, Miami and the Middle East. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

alice-west-hollywood

ALICE
FRESH…SEASONAL…LOCALLY SOURCED

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the Bomb Brunch at Alice Restaurant at 1 Hotel West Hollywood. But dinner there is equally as enjoyable. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

pizza-girl

PIZZA GIRL
GETS SAUCEY WITH CERTIFIED-ORGANIC PASTA SAUCE

From the family that brought us D’Amore Pizza comes Pizza Girl Pasta Sauce, a line of USDA certified-organic, locally sourced and ethically-bottle marinara, puttanesca, and vodka sauces. And just like the popular pizza chain, beloved for its pizza pies, is a line of pasta sauces that are dynamically delicious. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

musso-and-frank

LEGENDARY MUSSO & FRANK
TURNS 100 IN STYLE

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Musso & Frank Grill the oldest restaurant in Hollywood is celebrating its milestone in a big way. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

barcito-la

BARCITO
SOUTH PARK’S LOCAL SOCIAL SPOT

One of the first things that you should know about Downtown L.A.’s Latin-themed hotspot Barcito is that they spell it “barcito” in all lower case letters; however, we’re opting for the traditional English spelling of “Barcito” as it is a proper noun. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

trejos-tacos-and-cantina

 TREJO’S TACOS & TREJO’S CANTINA
UNVEILS BEYOND ASADA TACO & BURRITO

The new wave of meatless options is picking up even more steam as Danny Trejo and his Trejo’s Tacos and his Trejo’s Cantina have added even more vegan menu items with the Beyond Asada Taco and Beyond Asada Burrito. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

super-size-me-2-holy-chicken

SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN!
FILMMAKER MORGAN SPURLOCK OPENS CHICKEN POP-UP

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock made a name for himself and shined a bright light on the fast food industry with his groundbreaking documentary Super Size Me in 2004. Now, as he readies the film’s sequel, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, he has opened his Holy Chicken Pop-Up in NYC. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

culina-&-vinoteca

CULINA & VINOTECA
LAUNCH NEW PRONTO MARKET LUNCH

One of my absolute favorite meals of the year was dinner at Culina & Vinoteca at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. It was a five-hour feast of indulgence and fine fare. It hit every note perfectly. So, when I returned recently for Culina’s Pronto Market Lunch, time was of the essence this time around as I couldn’t spend all day lazily lunching. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

los-angeles-times-the-taste

L.A. TIMES THE TASTE
                                     FOOD FEST DELIGHTED SO CAL FOODIES                                       

Over Labor Day weekend, for three nights the L.A. Times’ The Taste food event delighted foodies who came out in droves onto the Paramount back lot for unlimited bites and sips from an impressive lineup of restaurants that included the Bazaar by José Andrés, Rao's, Le Comptoir, Park's BBQ, SLAB, Salazar, Jitlada, Triple Beam Pizza, Employees Only, Freedman's, Ghengis Cohen, Bone Kettle and Izakaya Osen, to name just a few. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

georgias-restaurant

GEORGIA’S RESTAURANT
REDEFINING SOUTHERN SOUL FOOD IN LBC

What’s good for the soul must be good for the body, right? That just seems logical. At Georgia’s Restaurant, with locations in Anaheim and Long Beach, the Southern Soul Food is good for you, your soul and for whatever else ails you. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

citrus-grove-distillers

CITRUS GROVE DISTILLERS
A RIOTOUS GOOD TIME IN THE 909

You never know where a good time can be found but it’s safe to say that if you include a bounty of booze, well, your chances for enjoyment are amplified.  So when I made the nearly 40-mile trek from Hollywood to Claremont in the 909, I didn’t really know what to expect but I was hoping for the best. Mission accomplished. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-origin-of-love

‘HEDWIG’S’ JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL
HITS THE ROAD WITH ‘THE ORIGIN OF LOVE’ TOUR

Doing things in a loud, brash and angst-ridden fashion is the only way that Hedwig, of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame, would do anything, including his U.S. tour showcasing the songs and stories of Hedwig. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

alice-west-hollywood

ALICE
BOMB BRUNCH AT NEW MARKET PLACE RESTAURANT

I find two of my favorite pastimes to be so relaxing. I’m talking about hotel dining and weekend brunch. Put the two together and you have the perfect recipe for a long, perfect afternoon. Such was the case when I went to brunch at Alice at the posh 1 Hotel West Hollywood on trendy Sunset Boulevard. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886-summer

THE RAYMOND 1886
GROOVIE 70’S SUMMER LOVIN’ TO DRINK TO

‘Summertime and the livin’ is easy.’

Those are of course lyrics to a popular song but also a SoCal mantra as those are words to live by in these parts. And those lyrics definitely rang true to me sipping on an inspired cocktail off the new 70’s Summer Lovin’ menu at The Raymond 1886 where its summertime and the drinkin’ is easy. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

alice-after-work

ALICE AFTER WORK
NOW THIS IS ONE HAPPY HOUR

Who doesn’t love a good happy hour? Any chance to dine and drink discounted always sounds good to me. And now Alice, the chic new market place restaurant at the swanky 1 Hotel West Hollywood is offering its Alice After Work.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

dos-hombres

DOS HOMBRES
‘BREAKING BAD’ STARS GO FROM METH TO MEZCAL

One of the most badass TV shows of the last decade was easily Breaking Bad. And in the show nobody cooked better meth than Mr. White and Jesse Pinkman. Now that dynamic duo of actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are teaming up again, only this time they’re crafting mezcal in real life. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

national-oyster-day

MONDAY IS NATIONAL OYSTER DAY
CELEBRATE WITH OYSTER DEALS ALL OVER TOWN

In honor of National Oyster Day, which is Monday, August 5, here’s a list of restaurants that will be celebrating all things oysters with great deals to indulge on some tasty treats. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

stairway-to-heaven

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
A TOUR OF SILVER LAKE’S PAINTED STAIRWAYS

Nowadays what can be better than an Instagram-inspired workout? Getting your cardio on in the great outdoors while posting popular social media pics is what it’s all about these days. And taking on the Silver Lake painted stairways is just the way to do it. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

celestino-ristorante-2019

CELESTINO RISTORANTE INTRODUCES
NEW THREE-COURSE POWER LUNCH

One of my very favorite Italian restaurants, Celestino Ristorante in Pasadena, is introducing its new Summer Power Lunch Menu created by Owner and Executive Chef Calogero Drago offering a flavor-packed Three-Course Prix-Fixe Lunch Menu, which also includes a non-alcoholic lunchtime beverage for $32 per person. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

south-city-fried-chicken

SOUTH CITY FRIED CHICKEN
SETS UP LUNCHTIME POP-UP AT PREUX & PROPER

We’ve all heard the saying, everything old becomes new again. Well, that motto is definitely true of the L.A. food scene but most times change is good and life without reinvention gets old fast. And with that notion in mind, the powers that be have relocated South City Fried Chicken down the street to Preux & Proper. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

once-upon-a-time-in-69

ONCE UPON A TIME IN ‘69
EXHIBIT LOOKS IN THE WORLD OF CHARLES MANSON

Once upon a time, fifty years ago this summer in Los Angeles a series of grisly events occurred that drastically shifted culture by ending the hippie era of peace and love and altered the world’s perception of humankind as we know it. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

hotel-maya-music-fiesta-2019

HOTEL MAYA WILL BE SMOKIN’ HOT DURING ITS
‘LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC FIESTA 2019’ AUGUST 2-4

Long Beach’s Hotel Maya is a local favorite for its live entertainment. Its brunches are always a good time combining excellent fare, drink and music, and now its upcoming ‘Latin American Music Fiesta’ taking place August 2, 3 and 4 will feature five live performances in three days at Fuego at the water’s edge. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

health-nut

HEALTH NUT
A HEALTH OBESSED KARDASHIAN FAVORITE

It’s always great when a restaurant has steady regulars—loyal customers. So I can only imagine that it must be a restaurant owner’s dream come true when some of your regulars happen to be world famous. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

michelin-la-bib-gourmand-awards

MICHELIN RELEASES
L.A. BIB GOURMAND AWARDS

The Bib Gourmand awards are a tier below the famed and much sought-after Michelin star system, representing worthwhile restaurants that don’t quite meet the star standards. But these restaurants are still worth checking out in their respective categories and price points. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

culina-and-vinoteca

CULINA & VINOTECA
MODERN TUSCAN CUISINE THAT SOARS

I’ve always been a fan of hotel restaurants, well, great hotel restaurants where the dining experience is akin to vacation life without actually having to get away. Enter a posh hotel and even you, a local, can feel like you’ve escaped from the mundane and the daily rat race. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-broadwater-plunge

THE BROADWATER PLUNGE
PATRICK DUFFY’S FAMILY BAR IS A GEM

Depending on what generation you hail from, you may know actor Patrick Duffy from the juggernaut TV show “Dallas” (1978-1991) where he played the iconic and hunky Bobby Ewing or as one of TV’s favorite dads on the hit sitcom “Step by Step” (1991-1998). (Story continued click on picture above)

 

hatch-yakitori-and-bar

HATCH YAKITORI + BAR
WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

When talking about a Japanese izakaya restaurant that celebrates yakitori, let’s first make sure that we’re up to speed with the terminology. An izakaya is a casual Japanese pub popular for after-work drinking—think Irish pub or tapas bar. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

national-tequila-day

NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY
COCKTAIL RECIPES THAT WORK YEAR ROUND

Here’s a fun tequila fact that you might not be aware of. Did you know that all tequila is mezcal yet not all mezcal is tequila? Yes, that’s right? (Story continued click on picture above)

 

trejos=coffee-and-donuts

TREJO’S COFFEE & DONUTS
NOW SERVING BREAKFAST

What started off as an immediate booming taco empire quickly morphed as actor and now restaurateur Danny Trejo launched a coffee and donuts outpost, and then founded his own cerveza (beer) to sell to the masses. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

fozzy-tours-with-iron-maiden

FOZZY
HITS THE ROAD WITH IRON MAIDEN

For old school rock purists, it ain’t summer concert season without an Iron Maiden show to go wild out. And this summer, Maiden fans will ‘up the irons’ as the heavy metal heroes set up show at Banc Of California Stadium on Saturday, September 14. And in the middle of the chaos will be WWE legend Chris Jericho and his rock band Fozzy, which will share the bill with the UK greats. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

eataly-la-terra

BRUNCH AT TERRA AT EATALY L.A.
THIS WOOD BURNING ITALIAN GRILL GETS BRUNCH RIGHT

While no one in their right mind would say no to a trip to Italy, it’s not easy or affordable to just get away. Well welcome, to Eataly L.A. where the food, wine, drinks and market are as authentic as possible. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

tuck-room-tavern

TUCK ROOM TAVERN
SUMMER BRUNCH BONANZA

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I do love a nice, long boozy brunch. And one of the best day-drinking brunches in town can be found at Westwood’s Tuck Room Tavern. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

trejos-cerveza-hecho-en-la

TREJO’S CERVEZA
HECHO EN L.A.

Actor and restaurateur Danny Trejo has become a Los Angeles fixture with the runaway success of his business ventures, including Trejo’s Tacos, Trejo’s Cantina, and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts. New additions include Trejo’s Music (his own record label) and Trejo’s Cerveza. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

art-beyond-the-glass-vlll

ART BEYOND THE GLASS VIII
CELEBRATING 8 YEARS OF COCKTAILS, COMMUNITY & A GREAT CAUSE

Now celebrating its eighth year, Art Beyond the Glass VIII will take place on Sunday, June 23 at Los Globos in Silver Lake. L.A.'s premier cocktail culture festival, Art Beyond the Glass VIII will feature more than 100 top bartenders making cocktails and showcasing their artistry, from painting and sculpture to photography, live music and more, all while raising funds for Beautify Earth! (Story continued click on picture above)

 

trejos-tacos-2019

TREJO’S TACOS
NOW SERVING AT THE ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET

Danny Trejo is at it again. The movie star who has been making a name for himself most recently as a respected restaurateur with his Trejo’s Tacos, Trejo’s Cantina, and Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts has opened yet another taco shop, this time at the iconic Original Farmers Market. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-hudson-weho

THE HUDSON
WEHO FAVE RELAUNCHES

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, West Hollywood’s The Hudson, a local favorite, has relaunched with a venue upgrade and revamped menu. Ten years in L.A. is a pretty big deal as restaurants and bars come and go so quickly that being able to last a decade in this town where trends don’t last long should be applauded. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

concerto-italian-fusion

CONCERTO
ITALIAN FUSION COMES TO LIFE IN KOREATOWN

You could say that Concerto, formerly Caffé Concerto, in Koreatown feels very homey and that might actually be because it used to be an actual house. Look at the outside and you’ll see a two-story house in K-town. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

khong-ten-cocktails

KHONG TEN
NEW SEASONAL COCKTAILS HIT THE SPOT

Ever since I discovered Khong Ten, a modern Vietnamese restaurant serving exciting California-inspired Vietnamese dishes in West L.A., I feasted at dinner, and indulged at brunch, including a Bánh mì bonanza. And recently I sojourned through the new, seasonal cocktail menu. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

kass-wine-bar-restaurant

KASS WINE BAR + RESTAURANT
MICHELIN STARRED CHEF CHRISTOPHE EME DELIGHTS

The revitalization of La Brea Avenue has been exciting to watch over the last decade as the busy city street once known as the place to buy antique furniture and rugs has morphed into a hub for quality sushi, fine dining and all things brunch. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

ruben-rueda-musso-and-frank

BELOVED MUSSO & FRANK BARTENDER
RUBEN RUEDA DIES AT 67 OF NATURAL CAUSES

Ruben Rueda, who worked his magic as a bartender at Hollywood’s iconic Musso and Frank Grill for a remarkable 52 years, passed away on Friday, April 26 of natural causes at age 67 at Whittier Hospital Medical Center. The announcement was made by Mark Echeverria, the restaurant’s COO/CFO/Proprietor, and a fourth-generation family member/owner.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

georgias-lounge

GEORGIA’S LOUNGE
A SOPHISTICATED SOUTH BAY COCKTAIL LOUNGE

The South Bay, in this case Redondo Beach, is known for its chill atmosphere. It’s all about the laidback beach life where beers tend to run aplenty. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

birds-and-bees

BIRDS & BEES
DOWNTOWN BAR STILL ABUZZ

When Birds & Bees opened back in January 2017, the Downtown L.A. bar was abuzz as a handcraft cocktail speakeasy gem. Now at the ripe old age of two, there’s a new management and bar team in place but the look, feel, and, above all, the drinks still impress—maybe more so than ever. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

roccos-tavern

ROCCO’S TAVERN
A SPORTS BAR THAT SCORES A TOUCHDOWN

When it comes to sports bar, Rocco’s Tavern, which sports locations in Studio City, Culver City, Pasadena and Westwood, aims to be in a league all its own. And ever since it partnered with former L.A. Rams running back and NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, the result has been a Super Bowl sized good time. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

barnsdall-friday-nights

BARNSDALL FRIDAY NIGHTS 
WINE TASTINGS COME ALIVE THIS SUMMER

This summer, when you need to wind down, you won’t find a better or more chill way than to “wine down” at Barnsdall Art Park's Friday Nights Wine Tasting Fundraiser, which lasts all summer long through September 6. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886-dine

THE RAYMOND 1886
AN OLD FRIEND WELCOMES A NEW FACE

I must admit that I’ve experienced numerous good times at The Raymond 1886, a lovely restaurant and bar tucked neatly along Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena. If you’re not careful, you might just miss the place, which means missing the opportunity to indulge in a fine meal or brilliant cocktail session. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

khong-ten

KHONG TEN
IT’S A BANH MI FEST

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Khong Ten and it’s bold and daring ‘New Vietnamese’ hybrid cuisine. It’s a great spot for dinner and drinks but it’s also a must-visit for lunch and especially weekend brunch where báhn mi sandwiches and day drinking make for a great time. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

porkfolio-korean0bbq

PORKFOLIO KOREAN BBQ
A MIGHTY, MODERN TAKE ON TRADITIONAL KOREAN BBQ

If you’re looking for a mighty and marvelous barbecue experience in the Arcadia area, look no further than Porkfolio Korean BBQ at the Santa Anita Westfield Mall.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

masters-of-taste-fourth-annual

FOURTH ANNUAL MASTERS OF TASTE
WELCOMES HOST CHEF MICHAEL HUNG

Always one of my favorite events of the year, Masters of Taste food festival is turning four this year. Moving from May to April this year, come celebrate and be part of the 4th Annual Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival taking place on Sunday, April 7 from 3 pm to 7 pm on the field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

khong-ten

KHONG TEN
MODERN VIETNAMESE CUISINE HITS WEST L.A.

Your imagination, not to mention your palate, may conjure certain images and expectations when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, so you'd be apt to broaden whatever may come to mind when visiting Không Tên, a fantastic New Vietnamese restaurant in West L.A. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

jalapeño-petes

JALAPEÑO PETE’S
WHERE THE FIESTA DOESN’T STOP

Fans of fun, hearty fare and festive libations in the San Fernando Valley need look no further than Jalapeño Pete’s in Studio City. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

totoyama-sushi-ramen

TOTOYAMA SUSHI & RAMEN
SERVING THE BEST RAMEN IN HOLLYWOOD

Hollywood Boulevard is aligned with stars and celebrities where talent shines bright. And a new star on the block of fame is Chef Yukinari Yamamoto whose Totoyama Sushi & Ramen is delighting lovers of fine Japanese cuisine. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

farmhouse

FARMHOUSE
A TRUE FARM TO TABLE GEM

Restaurants love to use the term ‘farm to table’. They’ve been using it for years, implying that their food is as fresh as possible. At Farmhouse at the Beverly Center, it’s not the chef that’s the star, it’s the farmer himself—ensuring the ingredients and the best and freshest possible. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

sur-restaurant-lounge

SUR RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
A STAR-WORTHY BRUNCH

Fans of reality television will be no strangers to posh SUR Restaurant & Lounge in West Hollywood as its part of the popular Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives universe. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

brera-ristorante

INTRODUCING BRERA RISTORANTE
NEW NAME, SAME GREATNESS

What’s in a name? Sometimes change is good but it’s the tried and true consistent quality that matters. Factory Place Hospitality Group, which also own and operates The Factory Kitchen and sixth+mill pizzeria and bar, has renamed its high end Officine BRERA to BRERA Ristorante as the Downtown LA trattoria has transitioned to a new, simplified and more approachable name. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

stranger-things-parody

‘STRANGER THINGS’ PARODY
BACK AGAIN AT ROCKWELL TABLE & STAGE

Back by popular demand, Rockwell Table & Stage has extended its run of the “Unauthorized Musical Parody of Stranger Things” currently playing four nights a week in February and Thursday and Friday for the first three weeks of March. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

easys-diner

EASY’S
AN ELEVATED NEW AGE DINER

Dining inside an L.A. mall just became a thing to do thanks to celebrity restaurateur Jeremy Fall’s Easy’s inside Beverly Center.  Think new age diner offering high-end culinary eats with an expanded food, drink, and cocktail menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

longship-brewery

LONGSHIP BREWERY
A VIKING ATTITUDE ABOUT BEER

Longship Brewery is, like its Viking namesake, exploring. In this version it is an exploration of the sea of taste that lands on some unique flavors. This exploration of taste is what excites head brewer Charles Nation “This is the first time I have been able to experiment with Commercial equipment “after years of being a home brewer Charles found himself introduced to the owner of  Longship Brewery, Dan Jachimowicz. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886

THE RAYMOND 1886
‘TALL TALES & COCKTAILS’

With the start of a new year and a new winter season, change is upon us at The Raymond 1886. The ever-venerable restaurant and leading bar has been a pillar when it comes to serving quality food and cocktails. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

south-chicken-fried-chicken

SOUTH CITY FRIED CHICKEN
TRAVEL ACROSS THE USA ONE BITE AT A TIME

A foodie favorite these days is a damn good fried chicken sandwich. People will line up for hours for a tasty one. And one of the most satisfying fried chicken sandwich joints, without super long lines, is South City Fried Chicken in Downtown LA. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

joe-and-the-juice

JOE & THE JUICE
JUICE BAR / COFFEE SHOP LANDS IN L.A.

A juice bar and coffee shop beloved around the world with over 200 locations in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, Joe & The Juice has made its way to L.A. landing on trendy Third Street, Melrose Avenue, and South Santa Monica Boulevard.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

bone-kettle

BONE KETTLE
SOUTHEAST ASIAN KITCHEN INSPIRES IN PASADENA

The bold and daring flavors of Southeast Asia come alive in Old Town Pasadena at Bone Kettle, where guests can indulge in rich and comforting flavors that truly define what comfort food is all about. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

los-angeles-athletic-club

LOS ANGELES ATHLETIC CLUB
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES

For more than 125 years, The Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) has remained dedicated to its mission of providing for the body, mind and spirit of its members.  A private club that features state-of-the-art athletic and spa facilities, award-winning restaurants, bars, luxury meeting, conference, and hotel rooms, and an array of social, business, and athletic events, membership, indeed, has its perks. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

flappers-comedy-club-restaurant

FLAPPERS COMEDY CLUB & RESTAURANT
HOME OF LAUGHS & GOOD EATS…NO JOKE

Los Angeles can be argued is the center of the entertainment universe, and while that obviously means film, television, sports, and music, let’s not forget the rich history the city has in comedy. Many of the world’s best comedians started off at local comedy clubs. And indeed, that tradition hasn’t changed. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

commerson-dine

COMMERSON
LA BREA AVE DINING GEM TURNS THREE

La Brea Avenue has seen quite the revival over the years, first with Rascal in 2011, then with the addition of chic shops, which replaced the rows of rug and antique stores, followed by posh eateries like République, Sugarfish, Sycamore Kitchen, and Odys + Penelope. And now celebrating its third year, Commerson, a popular neighborhood bistro, is yet another reason to pay a visit to the Mid-Wilshire district. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

byron-blatty-wines

BYRON BLATTY WINES
OPENS TASTING ROOM AT GOOD MEASURE

If you’re looking for something to toast and drink to in this brand new year, well, the husband and wife team of Mark and Jenny Blatty of Byron Blatty Wines have just opened their new wine tasting room at Good Measure restaurant in Atwater Village.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

hotel-maya-presents

HOTEL MAYA PRESENTS
12 MONTHS OF ‘MAYA-ACHIS’

With triumphant trumpets, giant guitars and velvet voices, some of Southern California’s most exciting and popular mariachi bands will be spicing up Sunday Brunch at Hotel Maya in 2019. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

casa-noble-tequila

TALKIN’ TEQUILA
WITH CASA NOBLE’S FOUNDER JOSE “PEPE” HERMOSILLO

Mexico’s Casa Noble has enjoyed a rich and noble tradition as its distillery has been making tequila since 1776.  The brand itself launched in 1990 and quickly earned a reputation for being a high end, fine hand-crafted tequila. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

best-of-2017-dinning

MY FAVORITE EXPERIENCES OF 2017

Looking back at 2017, there were plenty of fine meals and liberating libations had. While I relished trying new restaurants and bars, as well as revisiting venerable favorites, a few special meals stood out among the pack. This is just me looking back so there’s no real ranking among these favorites of mine. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

scissorhands

‘SCISSORHANDS’
HOLIDAY FUN AT ROCKWELL TABLE & STAGE

Get in on this season’s holiday cheer by revisiting a Tim Burton classic with Scissorhands, a fun musical parody of Edward Scissorhands playing through the end of January at Rockwell Table & Stage. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

la-ax-axe-throwing

LA AX
LOS ANGELES’ PREMIER AXE THROWING SOCIAL CLUB

Either while watching The Walking Dead or any number of zombie fun-filled apocalypse action entertainment, the thought of wielding an ax (or axe) has definitely crossed my mind. What would it be like to hurl an ax at the living dead? How heroic or badass would that feeling be? (Story continued click on picture above)

 

christmassy-as

CHRISTMASSY AS F*CK
‘TIS THE SEASON

The fine, festive folks at No More Heroes in West Hollywood (formerly Now Boarding) are definitely in ultra-holiday mode with the launching of their 'Christmassy as F*ck' pop-up. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

casa-noble-tequila

WANT TO SPEND A NIGHT IN A MEXICAN TEQUILA BARREL?

Tequila drinking may result in waking up in some very interesting places, however, a tequila barrel would hardly be a realistic option. But visit the Casa Noble distillery in Tequila, Mexico, located 45 minutes south of Guadalajara, and you can make that a reality. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

celestino-ristorante

CELESTINO RISTORANTE
IT’S MUSHROOM & TRUFFLE TIME!

With fall underway, one of my personal favorite highlights of the season, even beating out most holiday fun, is the onset of “truffle time” at Celestino Ristorante in Pasadena. And that’s because no one, and I mean no one, does truffles better. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

revel-avila

REVEL AVILA

A Mexican spirit made 100% from blue Weber agave, sound familiar?

Produced in the Morelos region of Mexico, the second smallest state in the country, the location means the spirit can’t be identified as mezcal nor tequila. Instead, this new spirit is called avila. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

lunetta-at-night

LUNETTA AT NIGHT
DINING & DRINKS UNDER THE SANTA MONICA MOON

Where there’s sun, the moon follows. When the day is done, it’s night time. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

catalina-island-whats-new

WHAT’S NEW ON CATALINA ISLAND

Consistently named one of the best island getaways, Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the Southern California cost, is a unique blend of laid back vibe, rich and historic past, features water and land activities to suit any taste and modern-day amenities and services for every budget. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

mild-sauce-la

MILD SAUCE
A CHICAGO FAVE COMES TO L.A.

Sometimes you wonder, how does this taste so good? It must be the sauce, right? Are we talking “secret sauce”? Foodies along busy Olympic Boulevard along the border of Beverly Hills have been talking about sauce, Mild Sauce that is, these days. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

fat-greek-sandwich-back

FAT SAL’S
THE FAT GREEK SANDWICH IS BACK

The folks at Fat Sal’s have brought back a fan favorite for a limited time with the return of The Fat Greek Sandwich. Not as an over-the-top creation as some of the other Fat Sal’s monster sandwiches, The Fat Greek comes across as an oversized tasty gyro. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

rock-house-sliders

ROCK HOUSE SLIDERS
ROCKIN’ SLIDERS, SHAKES & FRIES

The concept behind Rock House Sliders where the burgers are small but are definitely packin’ isn’t too ambitious or grandiose. “Keep it simple” – that’s their motto with a menu that offers sliders, shakes and fries. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-nice-guy

THE NICE GUY
NOW SERVING THE NICEST VEGAN DISHES

For folks who like to hangout where it’s hot and hip, The Nice Guy is no stranger. The upscale lounge from the H.Wood.Group—the hospitality team behind such nightlife staples such as Delilah, Harriet’s Rooftop, Petite Taqueria, and SHOREbar to name a few—offers intimacy and privacy especially with its no photos policy. Sure, it’s chic, but who knew the eats are as impressive as the décor? (Story continued click on picture above)

 

rogers-burgers

ROGER’S BURGERS
THE BIGGER, BETTER BURGER

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, every meal can’t be a white tablecloth, four-star affair. Sometimes we just need fast and simple—but still delicious. Never compromise when it comes to flavor. So, when I stumbled upon Roger’s Burgers, I was stoked to find a damn tasty, bigger, better burger. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

preux-and-proper

PREUX & PROPER
MODERN SOUTHERN CUISINE HITS THE FASHION DISTRICT

The term ‘southern hospitality’ refers to southerners’ particularly warm, sweet and welcoming nature—especially their knack for extending a gracious invite into their homes to weary travelers. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chalio-mexican-restaurant

CHALIO MEXICAN RESTAURANT
AN MEXICAN ‘EAST LOS’ FAVORITE


Every culture’s cuisine has dishes that are considered staples. Sure, you might think when it comes to Mexican food that they might be tacos or burritos, favorites for sure, but the real defining dishes are the ones that bring back memories of family and holidays and celebrations. Dishes like menudo (beef tripe) and birria (goat stew) are staples and at Chalio Mexican Restaurant in East L.A., they are menu signatures. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

masala-grill-los-angeles

MASALA GRILL
OFFERING FINE INDIAN FUSION

I often think of Indian food as international comfort food. I wasn’t necessarily raised on it but when I discovered Indian cuisine, with its rich, lovely sauces, it felt like I found nirvana. I a fan of burying meats and rice with sauce as I just love the flavors the combination creates. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

frida-mexican-cuisine

FRIDA MEXICAN CUISINE
SUNDAY MARIACHI BRUNCH BUFFET BONANZA

There’s something so pleasing and relaxing about a long and lazy Sunday brunch. It’s just the ultimate in “me time” pleasure possible. Add to the experience a bottomless bar and a boffo buffet and, well, you found the perfect way to cap off your week or start it, depending on your outlook. And the Sunday mariachi brunch buffet at Frida Mexican Cuisine is one of my favorite options to choose from. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

carnival-in-san-diego

CARNIVAL IN SAN DIEGO

The San Diego West Coast Multicultural Carnival & Festival at San Diego’s SDCCU was great fun. Carnival day was Aug 11th. The Festival included an All White Party on the day before, a Carnival after party on Sat night, and the day after events on Sunday. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

cleo-mediterraneo

CLEO MEDITERRANEO
SHARABLE PLATES NEVER TASTED SO GOOD

From the sbe group and its founder Sam Nazarian has come some of L.A.’s most popular eateries such as The Bazaar by José Andrés, Katsuya, and Umami Burger to name just a few. Another of the group’s most popular dining destinations includes Cleo for mighty Mediterranean cuisine. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

frida-mexican-cuisine

FRIDA MEXICAN CUISINE
A GASTRONOMIC JOURNEY THROUGH MEXICO

Taking a grastronomic journey through Mexico isn’t as hard as you might believe, especially in Los Angeles where Mexican cuisine is a staple of our daily diet. Fare from all over Mexico can be found in the City of Angeles.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

petite-taqueria-dine

PETITE TAQUERIA
BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH

Ever since Petite Taqueria opened, it became an immediate hot spot for the posh crowd to dine on Mexican comfort food. The setting is chic and it is located next door to trendy nightclub Poppy, so it was an instant part of the L.A. nightlife scene. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

no-10-restaurant

NO. 10 RESTAURANT
ITALIAN EATERY SCORES A GOAL!

The L.A. Italian restaurant game, especially around the Beverly Center area, just got better with opening of No. 10 Restaurant, impressive Italian eats from former professional soccer player Alessandro Del Piero. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

true-food-kitchen

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN
BETTER FOOD FOR BETTER LIVING

I think it’s a pretty accepted fact that we are what we eat. What we eat sustains us and the better we eat, the better we feel and perform. And the folks at True Food Kitchen believe that better food results in better living. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

8-korean-bbq

8 KOREAN BBQ
WHERE PORK RULES THE ROOST!

Korean barbecue is no longer a fad or a phase or even a hot, trendy concept. No, it’s now fully ingrained into the Los Angeles culinary landscape. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-thirsty-merchant

THE THIRSTY MERCHANT
A VALLEY VILLAGE NEIGHBORHOOD HANG THAT GETS IT RIGHT

Who doesn’t a love a good neighborhood hang? Even if it’s not in your hood, the fun ones are always worth visiting. At The Thirsty Merchant in Valley Village, it’s all about the grub, beer, hooch and games. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

aloha-poke-co

ALOHA POKE CO.
CHICAGO POKE PIONEER HITS L.A.

Not every meal needs to be a gourmet feast. Yes, that’s really true. Sometimes we want quick and easy, but always first rate. And since I’m often craving poke, I was psyched to discover Aloha Pok? Co. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886

THE RAYMOND 1886
‘WEALTH & HELLNESS’ SUMMER COCKTAIL MENU

Summer’s here and the time is right for another new cocktail menu from the mad scientist kids at The Raymond 1886. This season is all about looking inwards, taking in a deep breath to lock into “Wealth and Hellness”, which is the staff’s way to get cheeky with the current fervor of the health movement. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-guest-house

THE GUEST HOUSE
NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS

From restaurateurs Rose and Aram Serobian of Los Feliz and Silverlake’s beloved Home restaurants, which have been feeding east-siders for nearly 20 years, comes The Guest House, a cool and casual spot sporting a dynamic craft cocktail program located next door to Home on Hillhurst Avenue. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

brothers-of-the-wind

BROTHERS OF THE WIND

The U.S. premiere of Epic Pictures "Brothers of the Wind” starring Jean Reno, Manuel Camacho and Tobias Moretti, was well received by the young audiences of the San Ysidro school district. The June 19 showings were at several schools compliments of Epic Pictures. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

montresor-french-bistro

MONTRÉSOR
FRENCH BISTRO SHINES IN STUDIO CITY

The one and only Chef Paul Shoemaker has done it again. One of the hardest working chefs in the L.A. culinary scene, Shoemaker is now running the kitchen at the new French Bistro Montrésor in Studio City while still helming The FLATS in Beverly Hills while prepping the launch of his upcoming restaurant Verse—billed as a discovery of food, drink and entertainment. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

point-five-espresso-bar

POINT FIVE ESPRESSO BAR
ITALIAN ESPRESSO BAR MEETS AUSTRALIAN CAFÉ

I’m a big fan of all-day breakfast—or brunch if you prefer. And at posh Point Five Espresso Bar on Melrose Avenue, Italian espresso bar meets Australian café and the result is hit for seasonally inspired good eats. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

blackbird-pizza-shop

BLACKBIRD PIZZA SHOP
WHERE HEARTY PIES & BEER RULE THE ROOST

I think if you’re good at something, say making pizzas, then you shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel and support a huge menu. Keep it simple. At Blackbird Pizza Shop on trendy Melrose Avenue, the aim is to be a neighborhood hang offering quality pies and beers. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

toms-urban

TOM’S URBAN
YOU POUR. DRINK. EAT. SCREEN.

I’ve previously reviewed Tom’s Urban at L.A. LIVE, an over-the-top bar and restaurant where bigger is better. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

harissa-dine

HARISSA
TASTE THE MEDITERRANEAN

Fans of flavorful food should be familiar with harissa—a hot chili pepper paste that offers a vibrant and wonderful kick to any dish, although it is mostly associated with the cuisine of Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Syria. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

fat-sals-dine

FAT SAL’S
FAT BREAKFAST SANDWICH

The creative minds at Fat Sal’s like to say, “We’re making sandwiches over here” but sometimes I have to wonder if their motto should be “we’re clogging arteries over here” or even “we’re making heart attacks over here.” (Story continued click on picture above)

 

60out-yhe-cartel-room

60OUT ESCAPE ROOM
CAN YOU ESCAPE FROM ‘THE CARTEL’?

I was always somewhat skeptical about escape rooms, that is, until I actually tried it. Then I was hooked. They’re a fun test of wits and it’s fascinating to see how individual personalities come into play—whom rises as team leader; who becomes the dominant player; and who becomes just plain annoying? (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-at-home-bartender

FOR THE AT-HOME BARTENDER
YOU “CAN” DO IT!

Looking to impress friend and family with your at-home cocktails? Well, one big step in wowing folks is in your presentation. While looks can be deceiving, it’s that first impression when you present your cocktail that may make something think, ‘this guy really knows what he (or she) is doing.’ (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-montalban-summer-movie-series

THE MONTALBAN SUMMER MOVIE SERIES
ROOFTOP CINEMA IN THE HEART OF HOLLYWOOD

The Montalbán is once again showing outdoor films on its rooftop this summer. The Montalbán Summer Movie Series carries on the historic venue’s tradition of screening films since 1933. The five-month series will run through Halloween night. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

memphis-barbeque

MEMPHIS BARBECUE
SUMMER TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR MEMPHIS BBQ

Summer has begun! Yes, and that’s reason enough to celebrate. For some that means fun in the sun at the beach, but for others, especially foodies, that means its barbecue time! Sure, it’s pretty much always barbecue weather in sunny Southern California but during the summer you really have to step your BBQ game up. And there’s no better and easier way to be the king of your neighborhood barbecue than by grilling Memphis style. Or grilling meats from Memphis, Tennessee to be exact. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

madre-south-bay

MADRE
A SOUTH BAY MECCA FOR MEZCAL

Some things in life are definitely worth the effort. For me, I’ll make the sojourn for good food and drink so making the haul to the South Bay, Torrance to be exact, to Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant and Mezcaleria from L.A. was completely worthwhile. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-henry-dine

THE HENRY
BILLED AS “THE GREATEST NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT”

Who’s a fan of modesty these days? Do you even want modesty when it comes to your local neighborhood restaurant and bar or do you want bravado—dare I say arrogance?  Well, The Henry, newcomers along trendy Robertson Boulevard, is billing itself as “the greatest neighborhood restaurant.” (Story continued click on picture above)

 

barnsdall-park-wine-tastings

FRIDAY NIGHT WINE TASTINGS
RETURN TO BARNSDALL PARK

With summertime approaching, there’s no better time to relax than by enjoying a glass a wine in the glorious outdoors at Barnsdall Park’s 10th Annual Friday Night Wine Tastings being held May 25 through August 31 every Friday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.  (Story continued click on picture above)

 

gotta-have-s-more

GOTTA HAVE S’MORE
DESSERT HAVEN OPENS IN FAIRFAX’S LITTLE ETHIOPIA

Because who doesn’t love decadent desserts, the opening of Gotta Have S’more along Fairfax Avenue along Little Ethiopia is a welcome treat. Opening on Thursday, June 7, the shop promises to offer a new take on the campfire classic. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

locali-healthy-convenience

LOCALI
HEALTHY CONVENIENCE NEVER TASTED SO GOOD

Everybody loves a good grab-n-go spot, especially when the eats are fab. But it’s even better when the food is good for you too. Locali, arguably L.A.’s first conscious convenience store with locations in Hollywood, Venice, WeHo, and Downtown opened in 2009 and has steadily expanded providing Angelenos with healthy and hearty food made with organic ingredients and, as they like to say, love. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

beauty-essex-dine

BEAUTY & ESSEX
LUSH & LAVISH

Summer 2017 saw the TAO Group reimagine and rebuilt the Cahuenga Corridor with a slew of hotspots, including TAO and Beauty & Essex, as well as the hipster hotel haven that is the Dream Hollywood.  Gone is sketchy Hollywood and in its place is a new swank and chic area that is nightlife central. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

pink-dot-pinkarita

PINK DOT LAUNCHES
CRAFT COCKTAILS-ON-DEMAND

For over 30 years, Pink Dot has been delivering whatever grocery store items we need directly to us—from sandwiches and snacks to booze, smokes and even condoms. They like to think of themselves as “room service for your home”.  Well, that room service has recently stepped up its game with the offering of craft cocktail kits available on-demand.

 

salt-cocktails-alex-montoya

KURA’S KATSU SANDO
SUNDAY NIGHT POP-UP

In what has been a foodie favorite since launching at the end of 2017, Kura Sushi’s nod to traditional Y?shoku Katsu and its Katsu Sando pop-up is the perfect, chill way to end the weekend. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

domingos-italian-deli

DOMINGO’S ITALIAN DELI
THE ‘LITTLE ITALY’OF THE VALLEY

A family-run mainstay beloved for its handmade sandwiches, sausages, ravioli, sauces and breads in an intimate deli and mini market, Domingo’s Italian Deli is the legit Little Italy of the San Fernando Valley. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

sweet-chick-dine

SWEET CHICK
COMFORT FOOD WITH A SOUTHERN ACCENT

There was a lot of buzz when Sweet Chick first opened on trendy Fairfax Avenue. The Southern chicken joint with four locations in New York, including Brooklyn, Lower East Side, Prospect Heights and Queens, is co-owned by rapper Nas—a hip hop guru—so expectations were high.  Would Sweet Chick be legit?  Would it be all flash and no substance?  And the answer?  Sweet Chick delivers with good eats and tasty drinks. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chefs-in-training

HIGH SCHOOL CHEFS-IN-TRAINING
TURN FLOUR INTO GOLD

The countdown is on and 36 top culinary finalists representing public high schools from across Greater Los Angeles will compete against the clock. Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) will create the intensity of a real restaurant kitchen for a select group of L.A.’s high school seniors this Friday, May 18. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

danielle-vega-graduation

DANIELLE VEGA
‘GRADUATION DAY’

All good things must come to an end and for the cast and crew of Hulu’s original series East Los High, graduation day came in the form of a Season 5 TV movie (now streaming) that brings closure to the story of the faculty and students at an East L.A. high school. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

salt-cocktails-alex-montoya

COCKTAILS AT SALT
Q&A WITH ALEX MONTOYA

There aren’t that many things better than enjoying a good drink with a killer view and at SALT at Marina Del Rey Hotel, it’s hard to beat a good cocktail in hand while looking out at the beautiful marina view.  (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chef-roy-yamaguchi

CHEF ROY YAMAGUCHI
10 QUESTIONS WITH THE FAMOUS HAWAIIAN CHEF

During a casual conversation with James Beard award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi I noticed that he likes to use the word “aloha”. I know it as Hawaiian for ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ but it also means affection, peace, compassion, and mercy. And that’s the vibe he desires his staff to embrace and embody at all his popular restaurants, including his brand new Humble Market Kitchin at Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chef-mark-gold-salt

Q&A WITH SALT’S
CHEF MARK GOLD

I love dining at hotel restaurants.  I love that feeling that you’re on vacation—living it up while escaping from the mundane.  And dining at SALT at Marina Del Rey Hotel with its killer marina view offers a relaxing spot where you can indulge with a first-rate meal. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

sailor-jerry-spiced-rum

SAILOR JERRY SPICED RUM UNVEILS REDESIGNED BOTTLE
HONORING TATTOO LEGEND NORMAN “SAILOR JERRY” COLLINS

Check this out rum heads, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, created to honor the Father of American old school tattooing, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, has launched a bold new bottle design with iconography and imagery that further highlights the life and times of Collins. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

best-dining-of-2016

BEST OF 2016

Looking back at 2016, I have to confess that I was fortunate to enjoy some stellar meals—some even more than once.  From high end and pricey to “are you really going to eat that?” to relishing a second-to-none sandwich from a French Quarter hole in the wall, the quality of good eats knows no price tag.  What’s good is good and below are my favorites of 2016. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

Scott Herman virtual trainer

VIRTUAL TRAINER SCOTT HERMAN
WANTS YOU TO BE A ‘10’ IN 2018

An avid workout fiend, Scott Herman first gained attention s a cast member of MTV’s “Real World: Brooklyn.” The show’s ‘fit guy,’ Herman has been a gym rat since the age 12. And now, as a virtual trainer via his very own site, the New Hampshire native is out to get the worldwide web fit. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

monkey-shoulder-debut

MONKEY SHOULDER DEBUTS
“THE MONKEY MIXER”

Monkey Shoulder, the blended malt Scotch whisky, has brought fun back to serious cocktails in a big way, with the introduction of its oversized Monkey Mixer. Drawing cheeky inspiration from a cement truck’s design, the traditional cocktail shaker has been upgraded and transformed into the ultimate cocktail machine.  (Story continued click on picture above)

 

catalina-island-two-harbors-vacation

TWO HARBORS
THE OTHER SIDE OF CATALINA ISLAND

For some, escaping to Avalon on Catalina Island is getaway enough; an island vacation from the craziness of life on the busy mainland. However, some people really like to getaway and want remoteness and peace when on vacation, even if it’s just a temporary break. For those travelers, Two Harbors, located on the West End at the island’s Isthmus, is the perfect destination.(Travel story continued click on picture above)

 

cirque-school-mind-and-body

CIRQUE SCHOOL:
PREPARING YOUR MIND & BODY FOR NEW HEIGHTS

Health & Fitness: Tucked very unassumingly on Hollywood Blvd, in a back alley warehouse, Cirque School is like no other gym in town. Actually, founder Aloysia Gavre doesn’t like to use the G-word. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

trejos-cantina-dine

TREJO’S CANTINA
‘MACHETE’ STAR WORLD DOMINATION CONTINUES

You have to hand it to actor Danny Trejo as he just never seems to slow down these days. The former character actor turned leading man turned restauranteur is not so quietly taking over the L.A. landscape with his Trejo’s Tacos, Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, and Trejo’s Cantina. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

sunset-vinyl-hollywood

SUNSET & VINYL
A HOLLYWOOD HIDDEN BAR SO WORTH FINDING

I hate to use the term “speak easy” as I think it’s played out these days but every once in a while, a bar comes around that makes you work to find it and the payoff is (or at least should be) absolutely satisfying cocktails. Downtown’s Birds & Bees is such a bar—find the hidden yellow door and enjoy cool craft cocktails—as is Sunset & Vinyl—a cocktail lounge with no visibility or signage tucked neatly above 800 Degrees Pizzeria in Hollywood. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

mom-mexican-cuisine

M|O|M
ORGANIC MEXICAN CUISINE THAT DELIVERS!

It’s a pretty common belief that most things are best when they’re just like Mom made them. It’s what we know and what we love. Now, when you’re referring to your Mexican food as modern organic Mexican, well, that’s just like nobody probably ever said before, but why can’t your Mexican grub have a fresh, modern and organic taste? And that’s exactly where M|O|M steps in. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

twoheys-tavern-dine

TWOHEY’S TAVERN
CLASSIC AMERICAN COMFORT GETS ELEVATED

Foodies may well be familiar with Twohey’s Restaurant, an Alhambra American fare favorite for more than 75 years, which has since relocated to South Pasadena. An elevated version of Twohey’s—Twohey’s Tavern—has also set up shop in Pasadena and is offering a more elevated menu with a fine cocktail program. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

same-same-thai

SAME SAME THAI
CELEBRATE ITS SECOND ANNIVERSARY

In celebration of its two-year anniversary, Silver Lake’s Same Same Thai wine bar is throwing itself a birthday party on Sunday, April 8 with a special in-house event and it is the perfect preview for Songkran (Thai New Year’s festival), which runs from April 13 to April 15. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

uncle-paulies-dine

UNCLE PAULIE’S
NYC-INSPIRED DELI IN THE HEART OF L.A.

As a native of Los Angeles, I grew up a fan of delis. And L.A. has some top ones in Bay Cities, Langer’s, Greenblatt’s, and Canter’s to name a few. But just like pizza, New York City has the rep as of doing it better—justified or not. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-madera-group-toca-madera

THE MADERA GROUP
LEADING THE WAY WITH TOCA MADERA & TOCAYA ORGANICA

Three years ago, entrepreneurs Tosh Berman and Amrou Manaseer and their Madera Group redefined the L.A. dining scene with the opening of Toca Madera, which aimed to reimagine traditional Mexican cuisine by taking a modern approach using locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients paired with bold flavors.  (Story continued click on picture above)

 

petite-taqueria-dine

PETITE TAQUERIA
COZY MEXICAN TACO BAR FOR THE POSH CROWD

From the friendly folks at h.wood Group with their finger firmly pressed on the pulse of everything posh in Los Angeles comes Petite Taqueria. Other nightlife venues from the group include Delilah, The Nice Guy, Blind Dragon, The Peppermint Club, and Poppy among others, and Petite Taqueria combines hip hotspot with good eats. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

little-fluffy-head-cafe

LITTLE FLUFFY HEAD CAFE
WHERE CHEESE TEA (YES, CHEESE TEA) IS A THING

In the current foodie, Instagram-crazed world that we live in, daring and eccentric tends to lead the way—especially if it looks good in a photo. So, imagine my surprise when I heard of cheese tea, yes, cheese tea. Who knew? (Story continued click on picture above)

 

ainoko-dine

AINOKO
WHERE MEXICAN OMAKASE COMES TO LIFE

Culinary fusion has been a popular trend for years. Blending cultures to create flavorful dishes is a fine concept—when it works. But lets face it, they often tend to be safe pairings. So, when heard about Ainoko and its Mexican Omakase, well, I was very interested. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

masters-of-taste-2018

MASTERS OF TASTE 2018

The return of Masters of Taste means foodies can once again savor the finer things and be part of L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival took place on the field of the historic Pasadena Rose Bowl. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

petite-taqueria-dine

PETITE TAQUERIA
NOW OFFERING ‘MEZCAL MONDAYS’

Our friends at Petite Taqueria have really come up with the cure for “The Mondays” with its latest offering—Mezcal Mondays! (Story continued click on picture above)

 

petite-taqueria-dine

NORTH ITALIA
SANTA MONICA

I always love the notion of ‘getting away without getting away’, a short daytrip respite to recharge and refuel. That can include a day in the mountains, an adventure in wine country or something as simple as a drive to Santa Monica to experience some North Italia cuisine. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

zombie-apocalypse-the-raymond

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!
NEW SCOTCH SPIN ON A TIKI CLASSIC

There’s something to be said about being able to improve on a classic. It’s rarely ever done right as it’s a hard feat to improve on a tried and true favorite. Case in point, the classic Zombie—a rum-based Tiki legend. And this drinking season the dynamic duo of Jesus Gomez and Adam Vaughn at The Raymond 1886 brought to life their Zombie Apocalypse and this scotch Zombie boggles the mind and taste buds. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

jurassic-park-musical-parody

UNAUTHORIZED ‘JURASSIC PARK’ MUSICAL PARODY
A SHOW 65 MILLION YEARS IN THE MAKING

Dinner theater, in my opinion, never brings to mind a quality production of any sort. Personally, I imagine the blue haired set watching a sloppy show eating an early bird dinner. That’s not the case with live entertainment at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz where the eats are solid, the entertainment daring and the energy always high. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

elton-john-oscar-party

ELTON JOHN’S ‘OSCAR’ VIEWING PARTY
WILL FEATURE DINNER FROM CRUMBLE CATERING

Elton John’s Academy Award viewing party has become a beloved tradition in this town. And this year, on Sunday, March 4 at West Hollywood Park in West Hollywood, Crumble Catering will once again prepare over 1,000 five-course meals in a massive undertaking seamlessly executed by some of the top Chefs in the industry. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

katsuya-la-live

KATSUYA L.A. LIVE
SPORTING ITS TEAM SPIRIT(S) LOUD & PROUD

Props to Katsuya L.A. LIVE for proudly showing off its L.A. team spirit by crafting some creative concoctions in support of L.A. teams Lakers, Kings and Clippers. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

fat-sals-dine

THE FAT FUHGETTABOUTIT!
WTF FAT SAL’S?

Our good friends at Fat Sal’s are at again. Never ones to be satisfied with a simple or ordinary sandwich, they definitely believe bigger is better and simple sucks. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

black-angus-steakhouse

BLACK ANGUS STEAKHOUSE
SERVING SOLID STEAKS FOR OVER 50 YEARS

Let’s face it, not every meal is going to be a five-star affair. Our wallets and waistlines couldn’t handle that. Sometimes we just want a solid meal without the need for overindulgence. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

buffalo-wild-wings-ktown

K-TOWN BUFFALO WILD WINGS
BIG SCREEN, BEERS & WINGS!!

I’m not really a sports bar kind of guy as I prefer better quality eats and definitely demand better cocktails than your average run of the mill sports bar can manage. But, every once-in-a-while, I don’t mind watching the big fight or big game in a sports bar setting—you know, ample big screens with grub and suds to go around. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

xo-on-beverly

XO ON BEVERLY
CAL-ASIAN LOCAL EATERY LETS LOVE TAKE OVER

Chef Michael Hung of XO on Beverly believes in letting love take over with his cuisine. Best known as the chef who opened Faith & Flower, Hung’s latest concept offers a California-Asian menu where he likes to muse “food is love”. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

commerson-dine

COMMERSON
DON’T OVERLOOK THIS LA BREA AVENUE BISTRO GEM

La Brea Avenue has seen quite the revival over the years, first with Rascal in 2011, then with the addition of chic shops, which replaced the rows of rug and antique stores. Posh eateries like République, Sugarfish, Sycamore Kitchen, and Odys and Penelope followed. And now celebrating its second year, Commerson, a popular neighborhood bistro, is another reason to pay a visit to the Mid Wilshire district. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

twoheys-original-restaurant

TWOHEY’S ORIGINAL RESTAURANT
TO CLOSE FEBRUARY 1 AFTER 75 YEARS

The new year will start with the closure of tried and true foodie favorite as Twohey’s Restaurant in will close on February 1 after serving family-friendly American fare, including its famous burgers, onion rings, and award-winning soda fountain hot fudge sundaes, for the last 75 years. Sadly, the original Twohey’s Restaurant’s lease was not renewed. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886-winter

THE RAYMOND 1886
‘THE FINAL SOLSTICE’ WINTER MENU

A new year and a new season is upon us and that means that a brand-new cocktail menu is now being served at The Raymond 1886—the boldest and most daring cocktail haven in these drinking parts.  The new winter cocktail menu is aptly titled The Final Solstice and it is 11 drinks strong—from a potent Zombie to a ‘ginny’ liquid science experiment to wintery goodness in a glass.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-federal-bar

THE FEDERAL BAR
RINGING IN ‘NYE’ IN STYLE

There are a million ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the City, some grand and some subdued. I sometimes opt for low-key as the rest of the year tends to be at a manic pace but sometimes celebrating with a fine meal is joyous enough. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

non-meat-options

SUSTAINABLE NON-MEAT OPTIONS
BOFFO OR BUST?

There are several different schools of thought by meat eaters when it comes to meatless cuisine. Some are apt to try; some think it’s a healthier option; others scoff or run away; and some just don’t get it. As a food blogger, I’m open to try just about anything and, personally, I’m a fan of a lot of vegan food, although the idea of Tofurky or turkey from a box just sounds wrong. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

bibibop-asian-grill

BIBIBOP ASIAN GRILL
BUILD YOUR OWN HEALTHY BOWLS

Sometimes simple is best. And because not every dining experience can be fine dining, I’m always on the lookout for a good, casual spot to enjoy an affordable meal. Enter BIBIBOP Asian Grill, a Korean style concept offering healthy, sustainable dishes with an Asian twist. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

800-degrees-pizzeria

800 DEGREES PIZZERIA

Pizza is one of those special food items that I grew up with. It was and still is an absolute favorite. It’s also one of the only few dishes that I can think of where I’ve said, you can’t mess up pizza. But I know better that than. Indeed, pizza is not just pizza. There’s good pizza and then there’s off the charts good pizza. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

emporium-thai

EMPORIUM THAI
WESTWOOD THAI CUISINE THAT SOARS

I’m a huge fan of Thai cuisine but I usually tend to stick to my tried and true favorites. But occasionally I will branch out so when I got the call to try Emporium Thai in Westwood, I was game.(Story continued click on picture above)

 

pez-cantina

PEZ CANTINA
WEEKEND BRUNCH WITH NO BOUNDARIES

People who know me well know that I’m a big fan of quality day drinking. Relax, no intervention is necessary, I just like a long, lazy day spent with damn fine cocktails. And when you can combine that favorite pastime of mine with a quality meal, well, now you’re talking about brunch! And one my new favorite Downtown LA brunch spots is Pez Cantina with its bottomless fun. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

madera-kitchen-hollywood

MADERA KITCHEN
COMFORT FOOD IN SWANKY HOLLYWOOD SETTING

I’ve written about Madera Kitchen before, I love its décor and setting and could see that it was on the cutting edge of the revitalization of the Cahuenga Corridor, which has now seen the neighborhood become one of the city’s hottest spots in part thanks to Madera Kitchen and The Running Goose before the TAO Group propelled it to new heights.  (Story continued click on picture above)

 

fat-sals-sandwiches

FAT SAL’S
WHERE OVERSIZE SANDWICHES ARE HEROES

I have to admit it’s a little off putting and somewhat scary when a restaurant uses the term “fat” in its name. And we’re talking “fat” not “phat”. It makes me wonder do they know something I don’t? Is this their way of taking no responsibility as you gain immediate poundage or assume no liability when cardiac arrest strikes? Either way, I have to hand it to the creators of Fat Sal’s (Josh Stone and Sal Capek) because their oversize sandwiches are mighty tasty. (Story continued click on picture above

 

catalina-island-vacation-get-away

CATALINA EXPRESS BIDS FOND FAREWELL TO ‘BIRTHDAY RIDE’ PROMOTION
AND GIVES THANKS TO ITS MANY BIRTHDAY ISLAND PARTNERS

On its 30th anniversary in 2012, Catalina Express launched its “Birthday Ride” promotion and its “Birthday Island” partnership. Since then, the ferry company has been proud to continue the promotion for six years, which has resulted in nearly 500,000 registrations and 200,000 round-trip voyages. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

red-o-dining

RED O
MEXICAN DINING DONE RIGHT

Chef Rick Bayless is one of biggest culinary names in the country when it comes to Mexican food. I’m a big fan of his bold and daring Chicago restaurants and have enjoyed meals at his Red O Southern California outposts on Melrose Avenue, which first opened in May 2010, and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. Other Red O locations include Newport Beach and La Jolla. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

umami-burger-jaden-smith

JADEN SMITH’S UMAMI BURGER X IMPOSSIBLE LAUNCH
STARS AND FAMILY COME OUT TO SUPPORT AND CELEBRATE

Proving that everybody loves a good burger, celebrity spawn Jaden Smith hosted his Umami Burger Artist Series launch party at The Grove to celebrate his Jaden's Impossible Trio collaboration with Impossible Foods. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

music-tastes-good-2017

MUSIC TASTES GOOD 2017
MUSIC & FOOD FEST DELIGHTS

The second annual Music Tastes Good festival just wrapped up its sophomore effort in the Southern California port city of Long Beach and it was the perfect mix of rock concert meets foodie fest. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

timeout-best-burger-la

TIME OUT LOS ANGELES
NAMES BEST BURGER IN L.A.

Because everyone loves a damn good burger, the folks at Time Out Los Angeles decided to declare the city’s burger king. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

melrose-umbrella-company

MELROSE UMBRELLA COMPANY
VOLUME V…MEET THE NEW BOSS

“Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

So sang Roger Daltry on The Who classic “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” That line refers to things changing but not really changing. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

smith-&-Cohen

SMITH & COHEN
SERVING OVERSIZED COMFORT FOOD IN CENTURY CITY

The concept behind Smith & Cohen in Century City is a simple one—serve quality comfort food, combining classic New York deli with all the fun and energy of a modern L.A. bar and grill. The eclectic menu aims to satisfy all taste buds with its offerings of pastrami on double baked rye bread, to burgers, salads, tacos, homemade cheesecake, and breakfast all day. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

john-m-sofio

SHAPING L.A. NIGHTLIFE
ONCE HOTSPOT AT A TIME

Few people have their finger on the pulse of L.A. nightlife the way that John M. Sofio does. That’s probably because Sofio and his design/build firm Built, Inc. actually shape and construct the nightlife landscape having created some of the city’s best and most lavish hotspots, including The Nice Guy, Delilah, Bootsy Bellows, The Peppermint Club, Pink Taco, Blind Dragon, and Trousdale, among many others. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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BIRDS & BEES
ABUZZ WITH SOPHOMORE MENU

Sometimes it’s easy to impress with a debut effort. You’re fresh and new or in the case with most artists, you’ve been working all your life for your big break. Often it’s the sophomore effort that will make or break a career. It’s the chance to prove you’re not a fluke or a one-hit wonder. In the case of Birds & Bees Bar Manager Bethany Ham, the bar’s second cocktail menu is her chance to separate herself from mentor Marcos Tello who crafted the impressive original menu and showoff what she’s capable of. Consider this new summer/fall combo menu a winner. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

southern-smoke-bbq-brewhouse

SOUTHERN SMOKE BBQ & BREWHOUSE
BBQ GOODNESS IN THE HEART OF SANTA CLARITA

The Drew Barrymore dark comedy original Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet followed a real estate agent turned zombie who feasted on live, human flesh, but the real Santa Clarita diet is less barbaric, possibly messier and is loaded with guilt free goodness thanks to the first-rate barbeque courtesy of Southern Smoke BBQ & Brewhouse in Newhall. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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DELICATESSEN BY OSAWA
NEW CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE DELI HITS PASADENA

Pasadena foodies have reason to rejoice as Delicatessen by Osawa, a contemporary Japanese style delicatessen, is now offering quality, fresh eats in a casual and affordable setting. Billed as the first contemporary Japanese deli-style restaurant in Los Angeles, the powers that be behind Osawa, owner Sayuri Tachibe and Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe, are making it easy to indulge in fine, fresh fare. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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U.S. VETERANS CHOICE COMEDY AWARDS

It has been said that laughter is the best form of medicine and that mantra was put to the test and passed with flying colors at the first annual U.S. Veterans Choice Comedy Awards, which were held at the Hollywood American Legion Post 43. (Story continued click on picture above - Watch Full Show)

 

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TAIX FRENCH RESTAURANT
CELEBRATING 90 YEARS OF FRENCH COUNTRY CUISINE

Earlier this year I started going out to dinner with some good friends trying to hit up as many of L.A.’s classic restaurants as possible. For our first dining destination, I choose Taix French Restaurant. As an L.A. native, I have seen the Sunset Boulevard French restaurant all my life, yet never ventured in. Over the years, I even heard it sported a great happy hour but still didn’t go. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

hendrick's-gin

HENDRICK’S GIN
GIANT CUCUMBER GARNISHER WOWS

Because everyone loves a good drink and a grand party, Hendrick’s Gin, which is infused with cucumber, unveiled what Ambassador Mark Stoddard describes as “an eye-popping, wondrously strange cucumber slicing device” that made its way across the U.S. over the summer with the sole purpose of offering the most beautifully garnished Hendrick’s Gin cocktails. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-highlight-room

A HOLLYWOOD ‘DREAM’ REALIZED
AT THE HIGHLIGHT ROOM

For anyone well familiar with Hollywood, the revitalization and reimagining of the Cahuenga corridor by the TAO Group is staggering. The one-time seedy corner of Cahuenga and Selma began improving some years back, but now, it has exploded into the hottest and most posh part of town. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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MA’S ITALIAN KITCHEN
FAMILY STYLE HEARTY COMFORT FOOD

It’s always fun when you find a hidden dining gem, let alone a true standout in of all places an oversized Burbank mini mall dominated by a Vons supermarket. In what used to be Frankie’s Italian Kitchen, a local’s favorite, has now become MA’S Italian Kitchen (it’s MA’S and not Ma’s as each letter is named after one of three restaurant owners). A cute and charming family-friendly restaurant, MA’S serves hearty and heavenly Italian comfort food. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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DANNY TREJO
‘MACHETE’ STAR TO TACO BARON & BEYOND

“Life begins at 70!”

That’s what a proud Danny Trejo declared at the grand opening of his Trejo’s Cantina in Pasadena. Since March 2016, the Machete star whose resume includes nearly 300 films, including Heat, Con Air, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn and Reindeer Games has morphed into quite the restaurateur with his Trejo’s Tacos, Trejo’s Cantina, Trejo’s taco truck (present at every Rams home game) and Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

tao-corporate-chef-marc-marrone

10 QUESTIONS WITH
TAO CORPORATE CHEF MARC MARRONE

Some chefs love subtly in their cooking style while others love to be big and lavish. The art of fine dining is in the little nuances but sometimes bold and daring is what catches the eye’s attention. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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WALKING INTO THE SUNSET
A BELOVED PARK RANGER RETIRES

It’s a rare treat to live out a childhood dream. Ranger Ernie Ybarra did just that. Serving the City Of Los Angeles’ Park Ranger Services for 27 years, Ranger Ernie is now retiring. Having spent most of those years at Griffith Park, Ernie was a public hike guide for the last 15 years, which is something he fought for because of high public demand. The hikes are free and allow early risers, by 7:30am on Sunday mornings, to enjoy a wonderful time in the wilderness by hiking for three to four hours. The day starts at the Ranger Station at Griffith Park where anywhere between 10 to 100 hikers will follow Ernie on a rewarding journey. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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LUCHINI PIZZERIA & BAR
NY STYLE PIZZA & BAR COMES TO HOLLYWOOD

I grew up saying there were two foods that you couldn’t mess up: pizza and pancakes. And part of my reasoning could have been that I just loved them both so much. While I don’t believe that wholeheartedly anymore, you can definitely make pancakes and especially pizza exceptionally well. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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‘BAR STAR’ LUIS NAVA
THIS SUMMER’S COCKTAIL MVP

Everybody loves a Cinderella story—rooting for the little guy. So, when someone starts at the bottom and works their way to the top we just have to cheer them on. But I fear calling Luis Nava a bartending star on the rise is a bit misleading since he’s technically not even a bartender. OK, is that misleading or just missing the mark entirely? Either way, this “bartender” at The Raymond 1886 in Pasadena has made two of the best new cocktails you’ll have this summer in-and-around Los Angeles. So yeah, maybe he is a bartending star on the rise. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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KATANA
STAR STUDDED FARE ON THE STRIP

There was a lot of buzz back in 2002 when Katana first opened on the Sunset Strip. The space was beautiful and the owners were basking in the success of their three Sushi Rokus. Katana (which means “samurai sword”) was the focal point of the grand Piazza del Sol, a stunning 1920s Mediterranean building on the Strip just down the street from fancy Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian as well as the House of Blues. While those two local landmarks have since closed, Katana is still going strong. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

fuego-brunch-series

FUEGO’S MONTHLY BRUNCH SERIES
JULY’S DESTINATION IS BRAZIL

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of brunch and I’ve been loving the ongoing brunch series at Fuego at Hotel Maya in Long Beach where once a month brunch doesn’t require a passport as you’re transported to a Latin American destination where Executive Chef Victor Juarez takes you on a delicious culinary tour through. Live Latin music accompanies each and every Latin brunch. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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COGNAC
NOT JUST FOR THE JET SET CROWD

It’s funny how when you get into drinking you often dip a toe or two before diving head first into the stiff waters of various spirits. For some, first it’s beer followed by raiding your parent’s liquor cabinet before falling in love with a few spirits that quickly become your go-to types of booze. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-hideout-los-angeles

THE HIDEOUT
THE ‘IN’ PLACE TO BE THIS SUMMER

Who doesn’t love a cool, swanky, dare I say chic, spot to getaway to? Well, thanks to the folks at STK Los Angeles, the modern steakhouse and lounge at the W Los Angeles in Westwood, their new lounge simply called “The Hideout” is going to be this summer’s go-to spot to chill, beat the heat, and getaway without getting away. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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BARNSDALL FRIDAY NIGHT
WINE TASTINGS COME ALIVE THIS SUMMER

This summer, when you need to wind down you won’t find better and more chill way than to “wine down” at Barnsdall Art Park's Friday night Wine Tasting Fundraiser, which lasts all summer long through September 22. (Story continued click on picture above)

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ART BEYOND THE GLASS VI
SUPER BOWL OF COCKTAIL EVENTS IS BACK!

There are three things that tell me that summer has damn well started: My birthday happens June 10 and my over-the-top celebrating leaves me exhausted and somewhat guild-ridden; the weather starts getting too damn hot for my liking; and another sensational Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG) extravaganza looms at the end of the month. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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BEST ‘FANCY NOODLES’
IN LOS ANGELES

Food trends come and go, and while our obsession with favorites such as burgers, tacos, sushi and pizzas have been long lasting, more recent food crazes include poké, fried chicken sandwiches, spicy fried chicken, and the most recent one I’ve become hip to is noodle dishes. And I’m not talking about regular noodles, no, these are high-end noodles often prepared with lobster or crab or some other fancy ingredient. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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208 RODEO
COMFORT FOOD THE BEVERLY HILLS WAY

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills may very well be one of the most famous streets in the world. Known for its shopping, glitz and glamour, Rodeo Drive means a lot of things to people—from elegance to excess. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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THE RAYMOND 1886
SUMMER COCKTAILS ARE LOONEY TUNES!

I always welcome the start of a new season not by the blooming of flowers or change in weather but by the new complex cocktails that come out of the mad scientist kids’ minds at The Raymond 1886. Summer in particular always features a slew of forward thinking and daring array of libations and this new menu, and ode to ‘cartoons and cocktails’, is no exception. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

blind-dragon-sunset-strip

BLIND DRAGON
SEXY & CHIC TIKI BAR ON THE SUNSET STRIP

In this city, most things once hot become hot again. Reinvention and reimagining is what it’s all about so it should be no surprise that Blind Dragon, which was hot a couple of years ago as a hidden, star-studded Asian-inspired nightclub, is back again. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

wine-pairing-202

WINE PAIRING 202

The standards of basic wine pairing 101 were white with fish red with meat. This convention like so many others overtime has changed. I was fortunate enough to speak with Fernando Gaxiola of Baja Wine + Food to ask what has changed in pairing wine with food. Fernando is someone who pairs wine and food as a passion. He was very open and sharing about his process (Story continued click on picture above)

 

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AN AVOCADO WALKING TOUR OF L.A.
THE GREEN MACHINE THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU

I grew up with the saying, ‘an apple a day will keep the doctor away’ but now I’ve learned that the same can be said of the avocado. I recently learned that avocados can help people meet the heart-healthy diet goals of the American Heart Association, which include eating a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

food-blogger-jose-martinez

WHEN A FOOD BLOGGER
GOES ON THE WAGON

How is that New Year’s resolution of yours coming along? For most people, the new year began with a commitment to get healthy or at least in better shape. I’m no different. I’m committed to working out but as a food and drink blogger weeknights can often consist of extravagant feasts to review or binge drinking to write about a bar. What happens when a blogger decides to go on the wagon? (Story continued click on picture above)

 

havana-club -rums

RUM WARS
HAVANA CLUB RUMS FROM CUBA & PUERTO RICO SQUARE OFF

Some of my fondest memories of visiting Cuba have to do with drinking the island’s cherished Havana Club Ron or as we call it in the States, rum. Whether it was sitting at the beach or hanging out with friends or while smoking a cigar a gentleman had just rolled for me, doing so while sipping on fine Havana Club Añejo 7 Años neat was as good as it got. And now those good times can continue to roll a whole lot easier. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chef-hannah-an-10-questions

10 QUESTIONS WITH CHEF HANNAH AN
CHEF TALKS NOODLES AND CRUSTACEAN FAMILY SECRETS

For anyone who grows up in a successful family business there are two usual schools of thoughts—tow the family line or branch out on your own. For Chef Hannah An, the eldest daughter of the famous Crustacean Restaurant's House of An family, the family business has been delighting the palates of diners for years. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

mint-leaf-pasadena

MINT LEAF
INDIAN COMFORT FOOD DONE RIGHT

A good friend of mine lives in Altadena and I knew as soon as he moved there that I wanted to introduce him to Mint Leaf, a comfy and cozy Indian restaurant that serves top notch Indian comfort food. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

pink-taco-dine

PINK TACO
SUNSET STRIP FAVE NOW SERVES WEEKEND BRUNCH

A Sunset Strip go-to spot for drinks and Mexican fare, Pink Taco has been a favorite for revelers and foodies for years. More than just a Mexican restaurant, Pink Taco features an almost club-like energy that’s perfect before or after a night on the town. But now it’s new weekend brunch, although a tad low key, has proven just as fun and satisfying. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-parker-room

THE PARKER ROOM
A HOLLYWOOD CRAFT COCKTAIL BAR WITH HISTORY

Hollywood is filled with lore and great stories of days gone by. Back in the day, stars shined brighter than ever—onscreen and in beloved venues where icons made history. Now, The Parker Room, a new bar and lounge on Vine Street, is channeling the spirit of famed jazz pioneer Charlie Parker and other luminaries. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-salon-cocktails

THE SALON
NOHO’S NEW CRAFT COCKTAIL BAR SOARS

Billed as “a craft cocktail hideaway tucked inside The Federal Bar in NoHo,” The Salon has put North Hollywood into the craft libation game. While I always liked grubbing at The Federal Bar, I’ve never been a fan of its cocktails, let alone craft cocktails, but now things have changed at the popular gastropub. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

spring-dtla-dine

SPRING
THE SOUTH OF FRANCE COMES DTLA

When Chef Tony Esnault took over the kitchen at Church & State, he brought back to life a once vibrant and beloved restaurant.  But when he and his wife Yassmin Sarmadi, who also owns Church & State, opened Spring in downtown the concept and vision was there’s from the get-go. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

church-&-state-bistro-dt

CHURCH & STATE BISTRO
A DOWNTOWN FAVE STILL THRIVES

Sometimes the most buzzed about restaurants never seem to live up to their hype. Downtown's Church & State Bistro was all the rage when it first opened in 2008 and now, nearly ten years later, it still delivers a quality meal. (Story continued click on picture above)

bombay-palace-beverly-hills-dine-review simon-la-dine-review lexington-social-house-dine-review mezze-cuisine-dine-review

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VIVA HOLLYWOOD
A SPICY MAKEOVER CREATES A NEW LA LA LAND HOTSPOT

Like a starlet who has seen better days, reinvention is second nature in Hollywood. Whether it’s a drastic facelift or a slight nip and tuck here and there, a new look builds buzz and creates interest in Tinseltown. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

birds-bees-downtown

BIRDS & BEES
DOWNTOWN’S FABULOUS 50’S INSPIRED BAR

Let me tell you about the Birds & Bees cocktail bar—a forward thinking throwback 1950’s inspired bar that lovingly looks back with nostalgia and runs full throttle straight ahead into a bold world of handcrafted cocktails. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

chef-hannah-an-10-questions

SERAFINA SUNSET
HOTSPOT & GOOD EATS ALONG SUNSET STRIP

This city loves a hot spot and in the case of Serafina Sunset, scandal in the form of a high-profile celebrity divorce as well as stellar eats, has really elevated the profile of a chic spot in demand to be seen on the Sunset Strip. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

la-best-fried-chicken-sandwich

LA’S BEST FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICHES

With Thanksgiving behind us, chances are you’re done with turkey until Christmas so here’s a ‘Best of’ fried chicken sandwich list to keep your foodie cravings running strong. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

orange-county-get-to-know

GET TO KNOW ‘THE O.C.’
AN EATING & DRINKING GUIDE BEHIND THE ORANGE CURTAIN

As a Southern California native and resident, Los Angeles is the center of my universe. Yet some 40 miles to the south is Orange County—another world onto itself as far as I’m concerned. It’s home to Disneyland, conservative politics (they didn’t name their airport after John Wayne for nothing), punk rock (think Social Distortion), and surfing with its own Dick Dale the King of Surf Guitar playing the soundtrack. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

60out-escape-rooms

60OUT ESCAPE ROOMS
CHALLENGE YOURSELF & ESCAPE IF YOU CAN

You find yourself blindfolded and shackled in an unknown room. What do you do? There’s no time for apprehension as you need to find your way out. That’s the world of escape rooms—based on the “escape the room” video games where these life size, real life scenarios force a team to band together to escape from their current captive circumstances. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-hamburger-hamlet-dine

THE HAMBURGER HAMLET
AN OLD FAVORITE ON THE RISE AGAIN

Los Angelenos of a certain age can always wax fantastic about their favorite eateries growing up. There were institutions we all loved that have long since passed. One such beloved L.A. hotspot was The Hamburger Hamlet, which first opened in 1950 on Sunset Boulevard. Immediately it became a Hollywood landmark giving way to locations all over town and eventually the country. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

red-o-santa-monica

RED O SANTA MONICA

Chef Rick Bayless is one of biggest culinary names in the country when it comes to Mexican food. I’m a big fan of his bold and daring Chicago restaurants and have enjoyed meals at his Red O SoCal outposts with locations on Melrose Avenue (which first opened in May 2010), Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and Fashion Island in Newport Beach for years. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

serafina-sunset-pizza

SERAFINA SUNSET
NOW SERVING RICHEST PIZZA ON THE BLOCK

Where pizza is concerned, there’s often a snobbery by New Yorkers that they have the best pies in the country. Yes, they even refer to their pizzas as pies. Chicago tries to lay claim too but we just know that’s not true—although I am a big fan of its hearty deep dish pizza. Los Angeles often gets a bum rap in the pizza game. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

serafina-sunset-dine

SERAFINA SUNSET
BRUNCH BONANZA ON THE SUNSET STRIP

Los Angeles is never shy of celebrity-driven hot spots where the food delights and the décor is star-studded and loaded with chic swag. Such a spot is Serafina Sunset—a popular New York City restaurant from the lauded Serafina Restaurant Group. Founded by Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato, the duo has opened several successful restaurants in NYC and Serafina Sunset, which also includes co-owners Mel B of Spice Girls fame and Stephen Belafonte, is a SoCal hit. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886-lunch

TRUXTON’S AMERICAN BISTRO
REINVENTING CLASSICS & SERVING CRAVEABLE DISHES

If you’re looking for hearty comfort food on the west side, look no further than Truxton’s American Bistro. Raising the bar when it comes to standard neighborhood American bistro fare, the Truxton locations in Westchester and Santa Monica are neighborhood favorites, beloved for their reinvention of classic dishes at affordable prices. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-raymond-1886-lunch

LUNCH AT THE RAYMOND 1886
A NEW LOOK AT AN OLD FAVORITE

It’s always great to look at an old favorite in a new light as it can offer you an added appreciation for what you love. I didn’t think it was possible to become more of a fan than I already am of The Raymond 1886 in Pasadena but then again, I had never been for lunch. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

catch-la-dine

CATCH L.A.
10 QUESTIONS WITH CHEF ANDREW CARROLL

Superficially speaking, a favorite Los Angeles pastime is stargazing. It’s all about seeing and being seen and the city’s current hotspot is Catch L.A., a globally influenced seafood restaurant with other locations in New York, Dubai and Playa del Carmen. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

robert-lasardo-plays-with-fire

ROBERT LASARDO PLAYS WITH FIRE
AND LIVES TO TELL THE TALE

Our favorite Hollywood villain, actor Robert LaSardo, has once again penned yet another thought provoking book of gut wrenching poems and provocative photos. The follow-up to his stirring Choices: Inside Out, his latest effort, Playing With Fire, is a rousing collection of personal confessions and poetry, paired with gritty images that really bring LaSardo’s prose to life. (Story continued click on picture above.)

 

d'vine-lounge-bar-dine-story

D’VINE LOUNGE BAR
ESCAPE TO A WORLD OF DIVINE WINE

In my opinion, there aren’t too many things more relaxing in life than enjoying a fine glass of wine. No matter the setting, if I find myself with a glass of wine in my hand then my troubles seem to get just a little further away. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered D'Vine Lounge Bar in Downtown L.A. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

firefly-dine-story

FIREFLY
A VALLEY FAVORITE CONTINUES TO IMPRESS

A valley institution for years, Firefly on Ventura Boulevard is a Studio City go-to place for all things “cool” for people in the know—because if you don’t know it’s there, you’ll pass it without blinking an eye. There’s no signage outside letting you know there’s a restaurant and bar before you. But if you’re hip to the spot, then you know where to get away to a swank and inviting setting where you can relax in style and enjoy a drink or indulge in a great meal in a chic environment. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

wolf-creek-brewery

WOLF CREEK BREWERY
AWARD-WINNING HANDCRAFTED BEER FROM SANTA CLARITA

It’s no secret around town that I’m not the biggest beer fan. In fact, I say it all the time. If I drank beer then I’d really have problems. I have to have some standards that limits my alcohol intake. But that doesn’t mean I’m completely opposed to beer. And when I hung out at Wolf Creek Brewery in Santa Clarita, I had a damn good time. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

the-tuck-room-tavern-dine

THE TUCK ROOM TAVERN
A WESTSIDE BRUNCH FAVORITE

I’m a big fan of a boozy weekend brunch. There’s nothing better than relaxing during a long daytime meal, hopefully taking in a nice view with good company enjoying great food and drink. And at The Tuck Room Tavern, I found one of the best brunches on the west side. You can even make a whole day out of it by starting with brunch and catching a movie all at the same place. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

1886-raymond-2017

1886
CUTTING-EDGE BAR SALUTES THE GREATS

There’s no better way to start a new year than kicking off the season with a new cocktail menu from 1886—the most daring and innovative bar in town. This new winter cocktail menu is inspired by inventors, innovators and legendary pioneers, which is appropriate considering the mad scientist kids at 1886 are the most innovative mixologists in the L.A. bar scene. (Story continued click on picture above

 

rock-&-reillys-dtla

ROCK & REILLY’S DTLA
AN IRISH TROUBLEMAKING ROCK PUB

Downtown Los Angeles, the heart of the city, is a buzz once again. There’s nightlife action, bars galore, fine dining to be had and sports action to be enjoyed. But it’s not always about fancy eats or even cheap street food, no, sometimes you just want good, hearty comfort food and drink. (Story continued click on picture above)

 

rock-&-reillys-dtla

NIGHTHAWK: BREAKFAST BAR
SERVING BOOZY BREAKFAST ALL NIGHT LONG

I have to hand it to late night guru Jeremy Fall