Volunteers can help improve public lands around the country for the 26th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) on Saturday, September 28. More than 100,000 volunteers are expected to join in trail maintenance projects, park and river clean ups, tree planting activities, invasive species removal projects, as well as hikes and other fun activities. Events are in 49 states in local parks, state parks, battlefield parks and many iconic national parks, including Grand Canyon, Everglades, Mt. Rainier, Grand Teton, Zion, Joshua Tree, Shenandoah, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite. The Yosemite event even involves rappelling to remove trash from the edges of El Capitan and Mount Watkins. The day is a fee-free day for all national parks as well as many state and local parks.
Las Vegas is known for its shows, some more famous than others, but it’s a known fact that if you are headed to the Strip then that’s a top priority. Over the years I have watched a few shows during my visits including the Blue Man Group, a few Cirque de Soleil shows and then some. So I was plenty thrilled to be invited to a media preview of a performance by Xavier Mortimer, previously with Cirque but now a Las Vegas Strip headlining magician!
The 8th Annual Sunset & Dine Festival celebrating Hollywood’s eclectic neighborhood, a popular hub for restaurants, historic theaters, retail shops and entertainment studios, is coming up. Under the stars of Tinseltown, savor the unique flavors from Hollywood’s best eateries, including Cleo, Delicious Pizza, Farm Fresh To You, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, 25 degrees, Urban Masala, Intelligentsia Coffee, Rubies and Diamonds, and Wood & Vine, among others and enjoy variety of entertainment curated by Amoeba Music.
Where: Columbia Square Parking Lot, 1538 N Centro Ave, Los Angeles CA
When: Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 6-9 p.m.
Ticket Price: $50 available for purchase here
Tickets are available now through September 26, 2019. General Admission tickets are $50 which include food, beverages and entertainment. Children under 12 can attend free of charge. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Center at Blessed Sacrament, a nonprofit dedicated to ending isolation and homelessness in Hollywood by offering evidence-based wellness programs, building community, and connecting people to housing. See you there!
Enter the “'One Dish, One Story' Presented by BBVA” contest for a chance to win a trip to Spain to shadow the legendary Roca Brothers at their world-renowned restaurant - El Celler de Can Roca - and 2 tickets to the sold out BBVA Spanish Masters Dinner on October 3 at L.A. LIVE. Chefs who have confirmed attendance and will be cooking at the exclusive event include Jamie Bissonnette, Seamus Mullen, Holly Jivinand Culinary Emcee Ellen Bennet.
Chef Pano Karatassos of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group based in Atlanta, Georgia was in Los Angeles for his new cookbook, Modern Greek Cooking: 100 Recipes for Meze, Main Dishes, and Desserts, fresh from his win on Beating Bobby Flay on The Food Network. He also launched a new line of products that he sourced from Greece – olive oil, feta, olives and greek honey. They all have a story and he personally traveled to each city in Greece to source the products. He held a private dinner on the occasion at Otium in Los Angeles.
Discover Buellton hosted an invite-only media dinner to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the award-winning movie Sideways which was shot in the area and brought much fame to local wineries as well as a welcome spike in wine-drinking too. Held at the creative H Club space in Hollywood, the terrace restaurant made for a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy fresh summer fare and wines poured by Hitching Post, which is the restaurant featured in the movie as well.
My introduction to Autry happened almost more than a year or two ago I believe when I first attended a press event there and made a mental note to return but never did until yesterday. Unfortunately they didn’t have free entry on Tuesdays anymore as mentioned on their website but luckily the fee was only $14 so I didn’t have to turn back after having driven over to spend the day there. This isn’t a very large space to cover in a day but if your interested are in western history then you might spend a lot of time in just that area. Thankfully that’s their permanent exhibit so you can back often if you live in the vicinity.
Located conveniently across the street when you get off at Little Tokyo station on the Gold Line, this museum’s permanent exhibit offers a much-needed introduction to the role of the Japanese community in the US. While this occupies prime square footage, there are other visiting or rotating exhibits as well. The museum is open to the public all week long but offers free entry every Thursday 5pm-8pm and full day free entry on the third Thursday of the moment. They do have a donation box out to pay what you can/want at the entrance.
It all began as a roadside berry stand and Chicken Dinner Restaurant in the 1920s that has now evolved into one of Southern California’s most popular theme park destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year - Knott's Berry Farm. Four themed areas are filled with rides, shows, and attractions here with truly something for everyone. There’s also the Knott’s Soak City Water Park theme park which is perfect for summers. And guess what?
Beach destinations are always a great option to enjoy some much-needed rejuvenation and relaxation so with the Memorial Day long weekend coming up soon (and July 4thlong weekend following not too far away), here are a few getaways to plan for if sandy shores and ocean blues are calling your name. Although I admit, you might want to spend much longer than the weekend at some/all of these spots!
Sparkling wine tasting was the agenda for the day as producers participated in this premier American showcase for the very finest in champagne and sparkling wines. While distinguished producers poured bubbly for guests. Chef Nancy Silverton and team prepared bites for the brunch portion of the event. Some of my favorites included Acinum Prosecco NV, Boschendal Wine Estate’s Brut Rose, Colmant Cap Classique’s Brut Reserve, Hakkaisan Sake Brewery’s clear and sparkling sake, Ken Forrester Wines’ sparklehorse, M. Bonnamy’s Rose, Pisoni’s Trentoc 2013, DSimonsig Wine Estate’s Brut and Tenuta Pederzana’s Lambrausco Gibe 2017.
Dine GPS, the Greater Palm Springs Restaurant event of the year, is coming up end of this month and you need to be well versed with the area and what’s in store to make the most of your time when there. Of course, dining is going to be the highlight of your visit if you head over during the festival but there’s so much more within the different cities that make up the GPS area, which consists of Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs, Palms Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta and Indian Wells, Indio, and Rancho Mirage. I learned more about their plans for this year’s edition at a sneak peek press preview organized in Los Angeles, where we recreated some of the menu items from this year's many offerings. GPS is just a few hours drive away from L.A and a quick/easy weekend getaway if you’d like to head out on a whim. It is also a great additional road trip if you are visiting the city of angels. Here are a few more ways to enjoy the ten days of the event...
The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl in association with Japan House Los Angeles presented Satoyama Photography Exhibition at Union Station highlighting Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s dedication to all things natural. Narisawa is considered to be among the best restaurants in the world, and one look at Satoyama Scenery will give you an idea why! While invited guests were privy to a guided tour of the Satoyama Exhibition with Narisawa at Union Station, a few others were lucky to lunch with chef at a ticketed event in Orsa & Winston, which also featured a Q&A with local food critic Jonathan Gold. Also in attendance was Brazilian photographer Sergio Coimbra who brought the photography collaboration to life.
For Angelenos or those visiting the city of angels, celebrating mom with a special meal should be a no brainer given all the fantastic eateries and other dining options available here within minutes of any popular area. Make reservations at one of these venues to enjoy a fun day out with mom on May 12, just a few days away. The specials are certainly worth the visit and the food is definitely served to impress. Enjoy, and let us know in the comments where you celebrated!
Effervescence, America’s leading epicurean event centered solely around Champagne and sparkling wines is back in Los Angeles May 3-5, 2019. A great way to celebrate the first weekend in May and Cinco de Mayo as well. The three-day festival kicks off May 3rd with a once-in-a-lifetime dinner hosted by Krug and festivities pour into the weekend with the Grand Champagne Tasting featuring top Champagne producers, and master classes taught by leading experts. An exclusive Gala Dinner at Jar will be hosted by California’s leading female celebrity chefs: Suzanne Tracht, Nancy Silverton, Dominique Crenn and Dahlia Narvaez. To top it off, Nancy Silverton will host the More Bubbles brunch featuring sparkling wines from around the world for collectors, winemakers, and enthusiasts.
According to the National Recreation and Park Association, 55 percent of Americans choose picnics and al fresco dining as their favorite summertime outdoor activity, followed by 40 percent who enjoy going to the beach. I think I am in both categories – come spring and summer, I love heading to the beach for a weekend bike ride and then a picnic brunch. Not surprising then that Santa Monica’s ocean-facing Shore Hotel has a new Spring Picnic At The Shore package so you can do both!
The second edition of this event series included a stop in Los Angeles, bringing together women in hospitality for a full day of sessions, panels, workshops, Q&A and networking. Topics included latest trends, success stories, branding, finances and more. Author Cyndie Spiegel opened the event while Chef Missy Robbins was the closing conversation. Here are a few scenes from the day!
Held at the gorgeous Crustacean in Beverly Hills, this was an exclusive media invitation to learn more about the Como Hotels properties. The beautifully organized seated dinner featured some of the best offerings from Master Chef Helene An and Executive Chef Tony Nguyen. The eight-course dinner was a delightful experience and the company was equally lovely. Here’s a rundown of the delicious plates we were at the receiving end of, a visual pleasure as well as a flavorful one…
Kingdom of Colors, a photography and video art exhibit organized by The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (ithra) displayed the visual arts and culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 20 unique artists. The 3-day event held early April at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood was well-attended and applauded for the efforts by the country to open the doors to local talent to be discovered by the world.
If you haven’t heard - L.A. received grand mention in the Forbes article, Top 20 Places Women Are Traveling in 2019, which highlights findings from Airbnb’s first-ever report on the top places women in the U.S. and internationally are traveling. Los Angeles ranked as the #1 destination for women in the U.S. and the #3 destination for women internationally. According to a Global Solo Travel Study conducted by British Airways, nearly 50% of women globally have taken a holiday by themselves and 75% of women are planning a solo trip in the next few years. Of those surveyed, 58% of American women had taken a solo trip in the U.S. Los Angeles definitely has something to offer everyone – a quick look at just a teeny bit of what is going on right now is enough to convince anybody to take a trip here!
Egg House, a funky egg-themed pop-up, has opened its third location amid the boutiques and cafes on Melrose Place. Unlike the previous two stops, the LA location will run for one month only, without any extension. Or so they say at this time but we'll see ;)
You’ve seen it in the news everywhere – there is a beautiful superbloom that the state of California is experiencing right now thanks to the heavy rainfall received this year. People are posting pictures and media has covered it far and wide – flowers as far as the eye can see in orange, purple, yellow and other shades typically unaccustomed for the desert state. For those habituated to the dry green landscape found in the southwest, these are welcome sights to behold. But the superbloom is attracting attention from locals and visitors alike and many parks have already restricted visitation due to the masses flooding the area. Protecting the habitat is essential.
Sometimes I am surprised at the hidden gems I find in and around Los Angeles. The Curious Palate is one of those, located in the busy Santa Monica Place mall. You’d think most people would have heard of it but two years into business at that location, they are still building their client base. While the regulars continue to stop by – they were busy at dinnertime earlier on in the week – it’s the new foot traffic that needs to head here.
I assumed anyone that heads to the movies (they are located right by the AMC) would possibly stop by here for a meal or at least to grab a drink and snack but that isn’t necessarily how it works. At the exclusive menu tasting, the co-owners Mark Cannon and Elliot Rubin shared their experience moving from their Venice location to this larger spot at the top floor in the famed mall.
Los Angeles’s leading farm to fork restaurant FARMHOUSE opened doors in the city amid much fanfare March last year at the Beverly Center – the launch day party was the talk of the town for days after. The city’s culinary aficionados certainly took note of the grand debut and many remarked rather surprised that the space was helmed by Executive Farmer Nathan Peitso.
You did read that right…Executive Farmer. Peitso comes from more of an agricultural background, farming at Kenter Canyon Farms until this venture was announced. While meat is served at FARMHOUSE, Peitso shines the rare spotlight on veggies, many of which are from his own farm and the rest sourced from other local farms. If you wanted to know where your food came from, there’d be no doubt when dining here.
Qatar Airways is offering Business Class passengers a new level of luxury and innovation on flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with the introduction of its globally-acclaimed Qsuite Business Class concept. The award-winning Business Class experience debuted on routes between Los Angeles and Doha daily in February 2019. The “City of Angels” will be the sixth gateway in the U.S. to operate the “First in Business Class” product.