Top Lists

Drink to Your Health: 18 Good-For-You Cocktails

Salud! It’s not just something you say while clink-clinking your way to buzzdom anymore. Now you really can drink to your health thanks to the growing trend of healthy cocktails that contain everything from immune-boosting herbs to liver-cleansing veggies. Ironic? Lest we forget, alcohol itself was originally a form of medicine. So go ahead and raise a glass… or two. Just don’t tell your doctor I told you so.
Read More

Out & About: Rose Avenue

They say to stop and smell the roses. Well, I say stop and shop along Rose Avenue. This once sketchy stretch in Venice between 5th and 7th Avenues has really come along with the recent influx of restaurants and shops. In fact, it's already kind of blown up with a full-on residential and retail complex. Yep, the area has cleaned up nicely with nary a lingering waft of Venice grit. Welcome to the neighborhood...
Read More
Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen

What Food is Better Than Sex?

Foodgasm, oral gratification, gastrophoria. Call it what you want. The bottom line is that every now and again, you bite into something so delicious, so incredibly multisensory, it convinces you it’s better than sex. White truffles? (Wolfgang Puck seems to think so.) Bacon? (Take it from an Iron Chef.) Pancakes? (Who knew!) I asked some top chefs and restaurateurs to describe which foods really hit the spot.
Read More

Bark If You Love Bingo!

There will be plenty of balls flying around tonight in West Hollywood ... wait, let me specify: Bingo balls! That's because it's Legendary Bingo night at Hamburger Mary's with special guest Cesar Millan. The leader of the pack himself will be the celebrity ball caller during the“Bark If You Love Bingo” fundraising event...
Read More
Happy Father's Day!

Father’s Day in Los Angeles

Dad, Pops, Papa, Pa. Whatever you call the man responsible for your existence, it's time to celebrate him this Father's Day. But before you default to the same old shirt and tie routine, consider taking him out for a fun (and unusual) day out. From a brewtastic brunch to a totally badass day of music, here's a quick hit list of some places that might show Dad a good time this Father's Day.
Read More

The Great Gatsby Guide to LA

Even though I haven't read "The Great Gatsby" since it was mandatory reading in high school and have no intention of going to see what looks like one hot mess of a movie (which is really sad 'cause I'm an otherwise big fan of Baz Luhrmann), I have to admit I'm still kinda loving this media-induced frenzy for all things Gatsby...
Read More
Off to the races @ Hollywood Park

Hats Off: Kentucky Derby Hits LA

Hold your horses! Never mind the races. The most entertaining part of the Kentucky Derby is the absurdity taking place off the track. While most people will be celebrating the weekend with Cinco de Mayo tacos and margaritas, if you'd rather opt for a mint julep and an oversized hat that's not a sombrero, here are a few places celebrating the Kentucky Derby here in Los Angeles.
Read More

Out & About: Boyle Heights

There aren't any hot new restaurants or trendy shops cropping up along East First Street in Boyle Heights at the moment, and as far as gentrification ... ¿que es eso? But that's exactly the sort of no-fuss, authentic vibe that makes this stretch east of Downtown LA so appealing. Here are some of my favorite spots along this historic street.
Read More

7 Must-Try Food Trucks

We might not yet be a food truck nation, but Los Angeles for one is a city obsessed with meals on wheels. And being that I’m Mexican I can’t help but feel connected to this mobile food movement that dates back more than a century ago to LA's horse-drawn tamale carts. I love the current food truck movement and the many different flavors it brings. And although I’ve yet to find the perfect taco truck, here are seven trucks in LA that I'm really digging right now.
Read More

Celebrate Easter in Los Angeles

Easter arrives earlier than usual this year on Sunday, March 31, but that just means we get to celebrate sooner for this special holiday. Whether you want to get your church on at the Hollywood Bowl (without waking up before sunrise!), feel like a fab brunch with friends, or want to enjoy family time in the great outdoors, there's a whole lot going on this Easter weekend around LA and OC.
Read More
Stella Neptune's quirky cashmere creation

Shop Local: 5 LA Fashion Designers

We all know about the importance of eating local. Not only does the food invariably taste better, but you're helping the environment and supporting local farmers and purveyors. The same goes for fashion. Some of the coolest clothes are being made right here in Los Angeles. Here are some of my favorite LA fashion brands.
Read More
Memories with Barbra Streisand

Best Oscar Moments 2013

The 85th Annual Academy Awards have come to an end and overall Seth MacFarlane did a pretty good job, don't you think? Per usual, the show was a bit too long and most speeches were boring recitations of people's names, but there were some memorable moments worth mentioning. Here are my top 5 favorite moments from the 2013 Oscars that kept me watching.
Read More
It's time for the Oscars

Oscar Parties For Regular People

Didn't get the invite to all those fancy Oscar parties going on around town? So what. Just because you haven't made the A-list (yet) doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little glitz and glam on Hollywood's biggest night. Whether you want to toast the Oscars with a bunch of hobbits or feel like living out your own A-list fantasy by strutting the red carpet, check out these fun Academy Awards celebrations for all the little people.
Read More
Valentine's Day candy

Valentine’s Day in LA

Single, searching, shacked up or shackled down. Whatever the case may be, Valentine's Day is here and so, like the dutiful commercial-holiday adherent you are, you're looking for a romantic spot to have a nice meal and perhaps enjoy a little entertainment. Or maybe you want a fun romance-free night out. Or maybe you just want to stay in, watch a Lifetime movie and treat yourself to some yummy sweets. No matter what you have in mind, you're bound to find something on this list. Just be aware that most of it doesn't come cheap. Whoever said love don't cost a thing lied.
Read More
Inside the Brasilian Blow Dry Bar

Perfect Tease: Get Blown in LA

Looking for a little blow? It's okay. Seems like a lot of people are these days. And it's ready for the taking on practically every street corner. That's because blow dry bars are all the rage right now. It's a growing trend around the country, but LA--trendsetting city that it is--is really where things have been heating up for the past couple of years. If you need a good blowout job but don't have a fortune to fork over, here are some fab spots to get your hair did for $35 or less.
Read More
True Food Kitchen's crudite - Photo by Mar Yvette

Gluten-Free Spots in LA & OC

In case you hadn't noticed, gluten-free dining is on the rise. Hardly a food fad, a gluten-free diet is a lifestyle that, if not managed, can result in serious health consequences. That's because gluten is a substance present in many foods and cereal grains like wheat, and a growing number of people are realizing that they have an allergy to it. So what's a gluten-free gourmand to do? Surrender to a life of boring steamed vegetables and a few pieces of fruit? Not even close.
Read More
Boardwalk Empire - Season 3

Boardwalk Empire in Los Angeles

Even though I'm still in utter disbelief that my beloved Jimmy was offed from the show, I can't get enough of HBO’s "Boardwalk Empire." Naturally, the crooked politicians and bootlegging crime bosses of Prohibition-era Atlantic City are always in full force, but what I really love is all the glitz and glamour. If you want to live it up in true Boardwalk Empire style, take a look at this list of places inspired by the days of backdoor speakeasies, snazzy-jazzy tunes and burlesque babes.
Read More
LA Market's Junk Food Platter

Hostess With the Mostess: Twinkies in LA

Holy Wonder Bread! In case you hadn't heard, Hostess is closing up shop. Evidently, the (in)famous baker and maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Hostess cupcakes, Ho-Hos and Wonder Bread is in bad health with more debt than they can chew. So what's a commercial-grade, highly processed food-loving fiend with a yen for nostalgia supposed to do? Here are a handful of places in LA where you can still get your Twinkie and Hostess cupcake fix. At least for now.
Read More
Thanksgiving turkey - Photo by Mar Yvette

Thanksgiving Dining in LA

Why cook when you can make reservations? It makes perfect sense that on the official day of thanks, you should be having fun and not slaving away in the kitchen. Whether you’re looking to splurge or save, celebrate with friends, family or on your own, check out our list for restaurants, caterers and a few events around Los Angeles that are ready to serve you on Thanksgiving Day.
Read More
SK bacon donut - Photo by Mar Yvette

Porkopalypse Now: Survival Guide

Baconopalypse. Parmageddon. Call it what you want, but the recent announcement about a world shortage of pork has had folks freaking out all over the place. (And piggies and vegans rejoicing.) But before all you porkophiles get your bacon bits in a bunch, relax. The world isn't about to turn into some ham-free hamlet. The shortage simply means that the price of pork will be going up next year. So until that time comes, here are seven places where you can sip, spoon and fork your pork without worrying that it's your last time for a taste.
Read More
Fun on the farm

Q&A: Future Foods Farm

Never mind Old McDonald. Future Foods Farm is truly the future of farming. It was created by chef/farmer Adam Navidi, who is using organic aquaponic farming, a food production system where the fish feed the plants, the plants clean the water and then the water is recirculated back to the fish. It's incredibly sustainable, efficient (it uses very little water), uses no chemicals or synthetics, and can be done anywhere--on a rooftop, in the middle of a desert, a city .. or in this case, an oil field in Brea!
Read More
Avila El Ranchito's frozen margaritas

Tasty Tequila Cocktails

Whether you take it in the form of a shot, a sip or swirled in a cocktail, tequila is one drink that can be enjoyed in many forms. And there are plenty of places around Los Angeles that are doing it right. From a deliciously fragrant cucumber lavender margarita at the newly opened Tortilla Republic to a full-on Tequila University at Ortega 120, here's a quick hit list of where you can get tasty tequila cocktails around LA and OC.
Read More
A little psychedelic cinema @ Newport Dunes

Outdoor Movie Nights in LA & OC

If there are two things that Angelenos love it's enjoying our fabulous weather and watching a good movie. So it's no wonder that outdoor movie-watching has become a summer tradition here in Los Angeles. And the list for these al fresco film nights seems to grow every year, most of them free of charge. So whether you're looking for a cinematic experience in the cemetery (only in LA, right?) or want to kick it old-school at a real drive-in theatre (remember those?), here's a quick hit list for some of this season’s can't-miss outdoor movie experiences.
Read More
Cod Save the Queen!

LA Guide to Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Even if you don't have a lofty title like Dame Judi Dench or Sir Ben Kingsley, there's no reason you can't live it up like an English noble. That's because the Queen's Diamond Jubilee has arrived, marking the 60-year anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign on the throne. So what exactly does all this have to do with us here in Los Angeles? Try 15-cent afternoon tea, fabulous garden parties and yes, English food truck fare. Cheerio!
Read More
La Poubelle happy hour - Photo by Mar Yvette

Street Scene: Franklin Avenue

Sitting in the shadow of the towering Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre is where you’ll find Franklin Avenue, the epicenter of Franklin Village, one of LA’s more newly recognized neighborhoods. Wedged between Argyle Avenue on the west (right off the 101 freeway) and Van Ness Avenue on the east, the Franklin strip is one of those areas that really comes alive after dark. I recently spent an evening here with a fellow writer to check out this zone where cool kids, celebs and comics come out to play. Here’s my list of places both old and new that are worth a visit.
Read More
Zeke's BBQ - Photo by Mar Yvette

Ask Mar: Best BBQ in Los Angeles

Now that Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, the official season for outdoor grilling and cold beer swilling has arrived. And of course, you think outdoor eating, you think barbecue. So it was only a matter of time before someone emailed me for a few BBQ recommendations. Read on for a few of my personal 'cue favorites.
Read More
Wilson Harding Clubhouse - Photo by Ian O.

Thursdays: Twilight at the Club

We all know that Thursday has been the new Friday for years now, so there's no reason to put off until Friday what you can absolutely do on Thursday. Enter the return of Twilight at the Club, a Thursday night party at Griffith Park where cool local bands play, drinks and food abound and people willingly dress up like Carlston from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
Read More

Running Adventures in Ventura

Screeeech!!! Wait! Stop! It's banana hammocks run amuck! Okay, so these greybeards in top hats have nothing to do with the outdoor running activities in Ventura, California, but really, is there a more inspiring photo to get you moving? If you're ready to lace up something other than your mankini (like, say, your sneakers) there's no better place to do it than Ventura, that coastal town located between Malibu and Santa Barbara with miles of trails, roads and beachfront to run (and walk) on. On your mark, get set, go!
Read More
Taberna Mexicana's tasty margaritas - Photo by Mar Yvette

Tasty Margaritas & Chips in LA

Arriba, arriba! National Margarita Day and National Tortilla Chip Day have come and gone (February 22 and 24, respectively), but let's face it--those fauxlidays were just there to keep us going until Cinco de Mayo. And now that May 5 (aka everyone's favorite excuse to consume an excessive amount of margaritas and tortilla chips) is just around the corner, it's the perfect time to find out where to indulge around town. Read on for some of my favorites spots to get the tasty power couple.
Read More
Plant a Seed Bistro, watch it grow.

5 Small New Restaurants in LA

Los Angeles might be a city that espouses ‘bigger is better’ at almost every turn, but one thing I’ve noticed lately is the number of small restaurants opening up around town. Nice as it is to eat somewhere with lofty ceilings, a great outdoor patio and enough space that you’re not worried you're going to knock over your neighbor's wine glass, small spaces can be very charming, ultra cozy and well, just plain cute. Whether it’s by design or simply a coincidence, here are six restaurants in LA that prove bigger doesn’t mean better.
Read More