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626 Night Market this Friday and Saturday 7/18-19

July 16, 2014 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Seasonal, Shopping

I’ve been waiting for what seems an eternity for this to get here, but the 626  Night Market at Santa Anita Park is this weekend.  Great food, great people, fun chotskies and awesome food.  Yes, I was redundant, but the food is really the star at this event.

As a local I’d suggest skipping the Baldwin exist off the 210 as its been sketchy due to Gold Line rail connstruction the last several days.  Exit Santa Anita Ave and head south, make a right at Huntingon Drive and follow it to the main entrance for Santa Anita Park.  Next year, the Gold Line will be a fait accomplait and will give you instructions on how to get there from the Arcadia Gold Line Station, until then its freeway baby.

Parking is free, Admission is $3 per person.  Such a deal.

Deets: 626 Night Market 4PM-1AM Friday July 18 and July 19.  285 W Huntington Drive, Arcadia CA91007  MAP HERE

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Amy Alkon’s new book signing Tuesday June 3

May 24, 2014 in Books, Entertainment, Food & Drink, News, People, Shopping, Social issues, West Side

Los Angeles book launch party/reading! Amy Alkon’s “Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck”.  Tuesday, June 3, 6:30p-8pm at Diesel Books at the Brentwood Country Mart (address/map below).  Wine and snacks will be served.

This book has already gathered more than a few good reviews.  250 Words.com called it a must read for this summer.

And Wharton School’s Adam Grant called the book “outstanding work” and wrote this:

This book is a gem, hysterically funny and grounded in science. Amy Alkon explains why so many people are rude and how it’s possible to be courteous, even if you’re foul-mouthed and clueless about etiquette. If anything will convince my wife that my manners are better than she thought, this is it.
~Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take

Amy Alkon aka The Advice Goddess is syndicated columnist in about 100 newspapers.  She is also all over the web at blogging daily: http://advicegoddess.com.  She also has a weekly radio show: http://blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon (Nerd your way to a better life! with the best brains in science) 7-8pm Pacific Time, or available at the link and on iTunes or Stitcher
If you can’t make the reception but really want the book NOW, you can get it on Amazon HERE.

Details. Diesel Books, Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th Street, Suite #33, Santa Monica CA 90402 (310) 576-9960  MAP HERE

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Taste of Haiti fund raiser to rebuild schools

May 20, 2014 in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, Music, Shopping, Social issues

Nearly 4 years ago the island country of Haiti was devastated with an earthquake. International aid helped, but they have a long way towards rebuilding. Their education system took a huge hit and is in need of contnued help.  Taste of Haiti comes to Los Angeles as a fund raiser to continue rebuilding their schools and stuff.

Taste of Haiti is a celebration of all things Haitian and will take place on a rooftop in DTLA on Wilshire.  Food, Dance, and Music to celebrate their culture and share with those of us who can help with the cause.  High light of the event is food by Chef Jacques Laventure.

This isn’t free, tickets range in price from $20 to $100 with perks commensurate with your tax deductible donation.  Ticket purchase and more about the L.A. Event here.  More on the total Taste of Haiti Here.

Details: May 28, 2014 7:30PM, 3100 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90005

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Pasadena PizzaRev opens to a packed house

May 2, 2014 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

I popped in for lunch today with the lovely Mrs, and imagine my surprise to find a line some 35 deep and growing at noon. Turns out this Pizza Rev is in the ideal spot for a lunch crowd. Surrounded by shopping malls and offices in its East Pasadena location.

I absolutely love the pies from Pizza Rev.  You can build your own custom or chose one of their specials or recipe-down-pat varieties.  I can’t help but get creative and my pie was a custom, baked to order and really tasty.  The combos are pretty endless.  The addition of gluten free for those of you who watch that is a nice option.  Ditto the inclusion of vegetarian options.  Menu here.  Regardless of how you build it, you get a super thin crispy crust Roman style pizza in minutes.

As I posted the other day yesterday was their grand opening with proceeds going to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.  I talked with Dave Olson, the general manager for Pizza Rev Pasadena, and he said the turn out was unbelievable.  Easily ONE THOUSAND folks crossed their threshold for a made to order pizza yesterday.  He said they were beyond pleased with the response from the community.  Today wasn’t much different, big crowds and pretty much standing room only inside by noon. Read the rest of this entry →

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PizzaRev comes to Pasadena with a fundraiser 5/1/2014

April 30, 2014 in Contests, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

I like the local start ups that become a “chain” and PizzaRev is one of those. Even better, I love local businesses that support the community when they open up in town.  I wrote about them a while back and am totally jazzed they are coming to my corner of L.A. But whats not to love, thin crispy crust Roman style pie custom built to order.

Pasadena is getting their own with the grand opening is set for Thursday May 1st..  And its a twist with this opening…all of the proceeds from pizza sales will go to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA.  And even better…its a pay-what-you-want for your pie so if you really feel generous about supporting the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA you can pay more than the $8 suggested donation.  They open at 11AM and will remain open until 11PM.

To further celebrate their opening in Pasadena, they are giving away 5 winners “Free Pizza for a Year”.  Contest HERE.

Continuing the party into the weekend Sunday May 5 from 5-10PM is “Social Media Fan Appreciation Night”.  Show on your phone, or a print out you “liked” or “followed” them on facebook, twitter or instagram and you get a free pizza.  Yes…free.

Deets: PizzaRev, 3455 Foothill Blvd (At Halstead) Pasadena CA  MAP HERE.

 

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Menu Mining: Sage Organic Vegan Bistro

April 7, 2014 in Food & Drink, LA, Which Side?


This isn’t my first time to Sage, I must admit I do enjoy it. Great food keeps me coming back. And I do feel compelled to remind you I’m an omnivore that just enjoys great food prepared well, not a vegan with an attitude. (I really could give 2 squirts if its vegan or organic). Those rumblings aside, on to the food.

Sage Organic Vegan is a Bistro in Echo Park on Sunset at Logan. There is ample parking on pay lots off Logan and a short walk to the restaurant.

The ambiance is trendy bistro in a rehabbed 1920′s store front. Ample windows so its bright and cheery inspite of its mostly black and white and shades of gray interior. The staff is what makes this place, greeted warmly when you arrive and the service is attentive and wonderful the whole time. Read the rest of this entry →

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Menu Mining : best damn Almond Croissant in DTLA

April 4, 2014 in Downtown, Food & Drink, History, LA, Shopping

This past weekend I had reason to stop in at Les Noces de Figaro in DTLA. The place is a wonderfully restored bit of Los Angeles history. In its first life it served as a cafeteria, the marble and terrazo floors have been restored with care. Its really quite the sight to behold, the current iteration is a very nice 1930′s style French Bistro.

We were actually going in for a meeting up on the mezzanine level meeting and I wanted a little something to tide me over.  On the recommendation of @Ruth666, former blogger here I grabbed the Almond Croissant.  IT was terrific.  The usual butter layers of paper thin melt in your mouth bread with a big honkin’ wad of marizpan in the middle.  As if that weren’t enough, to drive home the point this was all about the nut…it was encrusted in slivered almonds.  Washed it all down with a cup of “Americano”. My gawd was that good.

Based on that one simple perfectly executed croissant I’ll be back to try a dinner there sometime soon.

Read the rest of this entry →

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Empty Bowls comes to Monrovia

March 22, 2014 in Art, Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, News, San Gabriel Valley, Social issues

Empty Bowls is an international grass roots movement. In simplest terms ceramists donate their talents, and sell bowls filled with donated food to support local food banks and hungry families. The cost of the finished and filled bowl is $10 and you get to keep the bowl to take home with you.  The proceeds from this event will be split between donations to the Foothill Unity Center and MUSD families.

In my little corner of L.A Empty Bowls is being coordinated by Meaghan McCarthy. She is working with the local adult school go create bowls.  Not just a few, but a goal of 500 bowls to be finished and ready for sale with food by the June 21, 2014 sale. Read the rest of this entry →

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626 re-explained

March 17, 2014 in Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley

I’m a fan of the Fung Bro Comedy, these guys are fun.  They adopted the 626 as their home, as did I.  Great place to be, worth the trip past East LA on the 10 or 210.  Actually their entire YouTube channel is fun…peruse their entries and learn a little more about my corner of L.A.

 

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Cheeseburger Week in Pasadena starts today

January 12, 2014 in Classic Eats, Entertainment, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim the CHEESEburger was invented in Pasadena.  Several reputable media sources have documented it taking place at the Rite Spot in 1924 by Chef Lionel Sternberger.  To celebrate the entire week, starting today 1/12/ through1/17/2014 is dedicated to the cheeseburger with Pasadena declaring it “Cheeseburger Week”.

Its such a big deal in Pasadena that not only did they declare it a special honorary week, but some 18 restaurants including my fave in Old Town Pasadena, Slaters 50/50 are celebrating the week with all sorts of specials.

Cheeseburger Week has a website and facebook page. Read the rest of this entry →

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Menu Mining: Doomies Home Cookin’

January 11, 2014 in Food & Drink, Hollywood

Let me preface this with I’m not vegan, vegetarian or carnivore. I’m an omnivore and appreciate good food when I find it. I do “meatless monday” for health reasons and have found a lot of really good all veggie places. This one is near the top.

The atmosphere at Doomie’s is a bit divey, you can see the kitchen from the tables and its cluttered, but not dirty. The bathrooms I can’t be as nice about…I wanted to disinfect my shoes after going in there. But this isn’t about the potty but about the food.

I went with an old pal last night who is a practicing vegan and she RAVES about how good the food is…all vegan, except a little bit of real cheese available to those vegetarians who do that stuff. Read the rest of this entry →

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Pizza Rev comes to Burbank

December 11, 2013 in Food & Drink, The Valley

I checked out the Pizza Rev Burbank location last night in advance of  their Grand Opening set for Thursday, 12/12.  I liked it, a good honest pizza without having to pay an appendage for it.  My son who tagged along absolutely loves them and looks forward to the Pasadena location opening after the first of the year.

What hooked me and him is that the pies are wood fired artisnal thin crusts that you can load up how you want as you go down the assembly line.  At each station there is an attendant to load up what ingredients as thick or thin as you want before it all goes into the stone hearth, open fire wood oven.  This pizza cooks fast too…3 minutes.  Perfect crispy, charred in spots perfection.

The dough is made daily.  The  4 sauces, red, white, bbq and olive oil are prepared from fresh ingredients.  They have several cheeses to choose from, the real deal buffalo mozzarella is the best I’ve had on a pie in years.  The remaining ingredients are all fresh prepped that day. They even include gourmet items such as sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.  Best part is the pizza is a flat charge no matter how much of the goodies you load on top of it.

They also do salads from chopped romaine.  The saladas are built to order with whatever toppings you want.  This too is done for a flat fee regardless of how much you add to the salad. Read the rest of this entry →

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Free stuff from Honda Black Friday until Christmas

November 27, 2013 in coffee, Driving, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Seasonal, Shopping

I don’t know which tagline to use for this post.  “Happy Honda Days” and “Helpful Honda Man” both apply here.  In short starting Black Friday through Christmas the Honda Dealers are sponsoring a fun promotion.  They’ll have guys in blue Honda shirts working the malls handing out free hot cocoa and coffee.  They’ll be passing out mints too to kill the coffee breath.  Drive a Honda?  Really look for their big blue Honda gas truck…they’ll fill you for free!  They did it last year and worked the city from The Valley to the South Bay…probably the same range again this year so do be on the look out.

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Press Days of the LA Auto Show

November 24, 2013 in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, environment, Events, Fashion, Food & Drink, Media, Technology

I can’t begin to tell you the fun I have at Press Days for the L.A. Auto Show.  Yes, its a lot of work but a lot of fun is interspersed during it too.  You get to meet some really interesting people from all over the world, both media and manufacturer types.  The reveals are 20 minutes long and 5 minutes apart.  You have two choices…hustle to each or pick and chose the ones you want to stake out and really see.  I always take the latter approach and have time to photo the exhibits with minimal people in the way.

Most of the manufacturers have some sort of refreshment set up.  Audi and Porsche each set up pop-up restaurants with free wifi.  Jaguar did a nice cafe this year too.  However, hands down my favorite was the food trucks AND beer truck at the Nissan stand.  Yes.   A beer truck dispensing ice cold beer, ipa and ale from Stone Brewing.  I had a nice cold glass of Arrogant Bastard thank you very much.

There are tons of other things going on during Press Days as well.  There are receptions and happy hours.  Notable ones were for the Design LA and Aftermarket Halls at the show. There is also the opportunity to get in and drive cars, mostly green cars on the last day (Thursday).   Read the rest of this entry →

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Monrovia French Market

November 10, 2013 in Entertainment, Events, Food & Drink, San Gabriel Valley, Shopping


This weekend was the first of what the promoters will be the first of many quarterly Monrovia French Markets.  Its held at the easy to find parking lot at St. Lukes at the corner of Foothill and California in Monrovia, pretty much equidistant between Myrtle and Mountain Avenues.

I went yesterday morning around 11AM.  The place wasn’t to packed with spectators but the vendors canopies were crammed solid with stuff.  In the spirit of a true Parisian market it was a lot of antique stuff, vintage and to its credit, little in the way of classic swap meet garbage.  More of a glorified garage sale than a true Parisian market.   I overheard a lot of vendors and they all said their big pieces and nicest pieces sold shortly after the 9AM opening so I can’t really say how good it was at opening.

Unlike a Parisian market this place didn’t have a lot of food or farmers market type merchandise and was missed. What was there was Cafe LuMar, a  local French restaurant selling stuff from a warming tray.  I would have expected at least cooked to order crepes, or am I asking too much?

Overall it wasn’t what I expected but then again I’ve done the real thing in the 15th Arrondissement a few years back so I did arrive with high expectations.  Would I give it another try next quarter?  Yes, as it holds promise and is just a short walk from my house.  When the next one is announced I’d post it here.