Herschel Supply Opens First California Store in Santa Monica

Herschel Supply Opens First California Store in Santa Monica

A Fitting New First

In an unbelievable first, Herschel Supply has opened its first store in the state of California — and most notably, it’s located in Santa Monica! This is perhaps something we could’ve all assumed already existed, given how the brand easily captures the SoCal vibe, but Herschel Supply has now made it a reality.

Credit: Sam Wadieh

Herschel Supply, opened the doors to its first-ever California store on Saturday, August 19th, and in a prime location, it’s expected to be a hit. The 2,300-square-foot store is located at 1450 3rd Street Promenade and mirrors the distinctive energy of Santa Monica energy. Herschel’s Co-Founders Jamie and Lyndon Cormack collaborated with their in-house design team a Herschel’s Industrial Designer, Christopher Spears, to create an immersive customer experience and space with a clear juxtaposition of mixed materials, old and new, to evoke the brightness and airiness of a beach house.

Additionally, the space ties into its beachside location with white painted beams, pale pink dressing rooms, and a tile-wrapped cash desk. The store also includes images captured by renowned photographer Stephen Wilde

The Santa Monica store offers a wide selection of Herschel products, including but not limited to: 

  • New Classics — a complete redesign of the brand’s classic product range made with EcoSystem™ recycled fabrics.

  • Heritage™ Hardshell Luggage — Herschel’s newest hardshell luggage drop that features 4 sizes all built with 100% polycarbonate EcoSystem™ Hardshell that is made from 70% recycled post-use road barricade material.

  • Herschel Supply Uniform™ — the brand’s apparel line.

Credit: Sam Wadieh

Since launching in 2009, Herschel has solidified itself as a leader in the bag category and has continued to build upon its success through unique storytelling, category expansions, and one-of-a-kind collaborations.

The new store marks the continuation of Herschel Supply’s ambitious retail expansion plans to operate over 13 retail locations by the end of 2023, with a focus on key epicenters within the US and Canada. The Santa Monica store will be open Monday to Saturday from 10am-8pm and Sunday 11am-7pm.

You’re Invited: Curated Wines Hosting Sake Tasting Event

You’re Invited: Curated Wines Hosting Sake Tasting Event

Who can turn down a glass of sake, or a few? If you’re looking for something to bridge you into the weekend, here’s the perfect evening event.

Today, Curated Wines will present five different sake options that are full of flavor, and each one has a distinctive taste to provide a unique experience. Beginning at 6 PM, sommelier Jesse Brawner will present the Vine Connections Sake lineup, featuring a special sake from one of Japan’s few female Toji (a master brewer)!

Located on La Brea and Beverly, Curated Wines is a welcoming wine store for anyone purchasing budget-friendly options (mostly under $40) without sacrificing quality or taste. And, with the ability to offer sips, this wine store provides a more enjoyable and favorable experience.

In addition, tastings occur every Thursday through Sunday, with specially curated events happening throughout the month. Each in-store tasting features diverse varietals for all palettes.

Expanding on a passion for wine and food during COVID, dreams became a reality for Curated Wine’s owners, Keli Reynolds & Johnny Jos. A lawyer by day and a level III sommelier, Keli shares her fondness by leading tastings at their boutique shop. The brick-and-mortar store also serves as an events space bringing Johnny’s 15+ years of event and production to life working for companies like Insomniac and LucasFilm. Johnny saw a white space to share wines, securing appropriate permits to serve wine onsite and at large-scale events.

You can RSVP for the tasting event for just $25, here. Curated Wines is located at 353 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Pumpkin Spice And More Have Landed At The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Pumpkin Spice And More Have Landed At The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

It’s that time of year when we wait in anticipation of announcements for all things Fall-themed, like pumpkin spice drinks. And right on cue, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf have made their move!

Hey, Delicious! Fall Is Knocking

The longstanding Southern California icon amongst coffee and tea lovers launched their highly anticipated fall seasonal menu today, complete with a variety of flavorful options. Serving premium coffee and tea for the past 60 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf continues to keep a pulse on what consumers want, with the new menu offerings celebrating the nostalgic sweet, spicy, and savory flavors of the season: all things pumpkin, chocolate, and even orange.

That’s right, favorites alongside new surprises are here. The seasonal menu includes the return of the Pumpkin Spice collection of beverages, the all-new Valencia Orange Cream Cold Brew Tea and the Salted Caramel Mocha Latte and Ice Blended® Drink. In addition, guests can all indulge on a Pumpkin Old-Fashioned Donut to compliment any of the beverages.

Here’s a full rundown of the menu and what makes each of these offerings so seasonally sweet:

  • Pumpkin Latte, Iced Latte & Ice Blended® drink – The fall favorite is back! Reminiscent of the classic fall dessert, these Pumpkin beverages are a creamy blend of authentic pumpkin flavor combined with a delicate and festive blend of nutmeg and cinnamon. A sprinkle of cinnamon at the end completes the beverage and brings out the flavors of fall. Made with real pumpkin puree. Can be made with coffee and in pure style.
  • Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew – The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature Cold Brew with Pumpkin and a hint of vanilla bean, finished with a vanilla Cream Cap, a sweetened cold velvety smooth foam.
  • Salted Caramel Mocha Latte, Iced Latte, and Ice Blended® Drink – New to the fall menu, these beverages feature The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature espresso that is highlighted by a salted, buttery caramel flavor and Special Dutch chocolate powder that creates a sweet and savory beverage that is good for any time of day.
  • Valencia Orange Cream Cold Brew Tea – A new addition to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Cold Brew Tea Platform. This refreshing beverage is made with the iconic café’s signature cold brew tea and its Valencia Orange syrup, topped with a smooth vanilla cream cap.
  • Pumpkin Old-Fashioned Donut – New and just for fall, the pumpkin donut is perfectly spiced and glazed, and will complement all of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s beverages.

In case you needed any incentive to join the Coffee Bean® Rewards App, members received early access to the Pumpkin Latte and Ice Blended Drink, giving them weeks of yum before everyone else! The cream cap on top is that every month, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf drops a special offer for members to take advantage of, like discounts and freebies. Who knows what offer will arrive for September?

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also recently introduced the Everyday Essentials menu, where everyone can indulge in the best in coffee and tea for everyday prices. The new budget friendly menu features breakfast and drink bundles, a selection of rotating premium coffees and teas, along with food items that are thoughtfully priced to make everyday indulgence accessible.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s fall menu offerings are available to guests now through October 31, 2023. Visit The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for more information.

About The Coffee Beans & Tea Leaf® Brand

International Coffee & Tea Leaf, LLC, doing business as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® brand is a leading global roaster and retailer of specialty coffees and teas. It is widely credited for driving high quality and innovation to the coffee and tea industry. The company sources the finest ingredients and flavors from around the world, and hand blends coffee and tea for the freshest flavors. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® brand started the frozen coffee drink craze with the invention of The Original Ice Blended® drink and is also the first global coffee and tea retailer to offer cold brew tea. The company currently has 1,094 retail locations across the globe and can also be found in grocery aisles as well as specialty locations, including airports and hotels. For more information, visit www.coffeebean.com.
Smallhold Launches New Mushroom Rub Trio, Plus Q&A With The CEO

Smallhold Launches New Mushroom Rub Trio, Plus Q&A With The CEO

Last May, Smallhold began delivering locally grown, USDA Certified Organic specialty mushrooms to Southern California in its first West Coast expansion, alongside existing farms in Brooklyn and Austin. Now, a little over a year later, the sustainability-focused company is starting a new first, with the launch of a new product: a Mushroom Rub Trio.

In addition to the new release, Smallhold just recently earned their B Corp Certification—marking a significant milestone in the company’s dedication to addressing our planet’s greatest challenges. The number of B Corp businesses is over 6,000 long and growing, with Smallhold joining the ranks of Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and other vocal companies who don’t shy away from their stances on social and environmental standards. Smallhold voluntarily upholds rigorous social and environmental performance standards, fostering accountability and transparency. The company will measure and manage its impact on its workforce, local communities, and the environment with the same level of dedication and scrutiny that it applies to its financial performance.

Smallhold’s seasonings are thoughtfully crafted by their farmers to celebrate the distinct flavors of the 3 regions of their mushroom farms in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Austin. Boosted by mushrooms, these rubs do each region justice, as they capture the flavors and notes that many love about these locale-based highlights. It’s amazing to think that they may even be better for you than some offerings on store shelves, due to the fact that a mushroom base lies at the foundation of each rub’s existence.

Here’s a breakdown of each new offering in the Mushroom Rub Trio:

BROOKLYN: Savory + Crunchy. Atlantic Ocean meets Everything Bagel.
Use: Dredge your seafood and poultry, or sprinkle as a seedy garnish.
Ingredients: Lion’s mane mushrooms, garlic, poppy seeds, sea salt, onion, white sesame seeds, The Crop Project kelp.

Use: Rub on red meat and mushrooms for grilling.
Ingredients: Blue oyster mushrooms, kosher salt, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, ancho, applewood, smoked salt.

LOS ANGELES: Sweet + Spicy.
Use: Coat your veggies and tofu.
Ingredients: Trumpet mushrooms, sea salt, maple sugar, soy sauce powder, gochugaru, garlic, ginger, black pepper, black sesame seeds.

We’ve tested this tasty trio out, and were amazed at how authentic each blend came across our palates, making us instant fans. In addition, we had the opportunity to ask questions about Smallhold’s last year, the new release, and where they’re going in the near future. Read on for more from Smallhold’s  CEO & Co-Founder, Andrew Carter.

Q&A With Andrew Carter, CEO & Co-Founder of Smallhold

Hello Smallhold team! Congratulations for being the trailblazers that you are–and for all your success over the last year! Andrew, please share what your role is, and describe to readers what this year has meant for you and the Smallhold team achieving your new B Corp Certification and latest product launches.

Andrew: In 2017, my co-founder Adam DeMartino and myself modified a shipping container in Brooklyn to grow specialty mushrooms for restaurants and our surrounding community. We launched with one mission in mind: get more Americans to be excited about mushrooms, and all of the nutrition and variety the fungal Kingdom can bring to their diet. Six years later, Smallhold has warehouse farms around the country, can be found at major grocery stores and renowned restaurants, and just announced our B Corporation certification.

This is a big step for the food industry, and reflects the importance of a company like this one. Smallhold is making specialty organic mushrooms more accessible and more understood, which will hopefully change our society’s impact to our environment with access to more sustainable, healthy, and fun-to-eat foods.  

We barely changed anything about Smallhold to become a B Corp. We were doing all of these things already. Paying a living wage, energy efficiency, circularity, sustainability, is all in the DNA of what we do, always has been. The B Corp process has allowed us to quantify it, explain it to the public, and, most importantly, find even more ways to improve in the years to come.  

Becoming a certified B Corporation is an ongoing journey. We’re continuously working to hold ourselves accountable, which means there’s a constant need of evaluation, adaptation and collaboration—a path worth pursuing. 


Last year, we covered Smallhold’s first West Coast launch of a certified organic mushroom farm here in Los Angeles. What has changed most for your team since that launch?

Andrew: With increased exposure and customer feedback, our customer base has grown, and we have garnered more recognition within the organic food industry. With each new farm we’ve opened, we keep learning more about what people really want in the communities we operate within, trusting our teams to lead, and finding genuine efficiencies of scale.

This has opened up many doors and opportunities for collaboration. In terms of major milestones, we recently announced our nationwide expansion with Whole Foods Market after becoming their fastest growing specialty mushroom supplier. You can now find Smallhold at 1,000+ retail locations across the country. 


Did you face any hardships during this time? If so, how did you overcome them?

Andrew:  Of course. We’re constantly balancing our goals as a business with what we want to see in the food system.  We’re putting compostable packaging in a section of the grocery store filled with a sea of plastic and styrofoam.  We’re bringing varieties like Lions Mane to communities that have never seen these mushrooms before.  We’re building a team to build and grow a company that is completely new for the industry.  All of these come with their challenges, and most of them are solved by constant perseverance and trusting our team to do the right thing.  There are barely ever situations where there is only one solution to a problem, and it’s important for our team members to step back and trust each other even if they may think differently.


Obtaining a B Corp Certification is a big deal—especially today—as we witness jarring developments in weather, climate, and connected systems all across the world. One forgotten aspect of those changes continues to be the communities who take the brunt of impact. Can you explain why reconnecting people with food, nature, and farmers is the mission at the core of Smallhold, and how this can potentially change how we view the world?

Andrew: The food industry is vast and has massive impacts on our environment.  Through chemical use, global shipping routes, emissions, water use, everything we eat is affecting our planet every day.  We think that by having a fun, tasty food, with tons of variety, colors, nutritional value, and more, that also has a positive impact on the environment, we can drive massive change on our planet.  The more people eat mushrooms, the less they’re eating of other, less sustainable products, so we want as many people as possible eating as many mushrooms as possible.  

At Smallhold, we tangibly give back to our communities through composting or donating 100% of our spent mushroom substrate, the blocks from which our mushrooms grow. It fills me with pride to know that we are collectively contributing to a more circular economy by supporting at-home mycologists, local gardeners, and farmers in the process. This happens at every Smallhold farm across the country, and we are committed to continuing it at future farms.

Through our public community activations, we have the opportunity to educate large groups of people and spread awareness of the incredible benefits of our mushrooms and mushroom farming in general. I truly believe that by doing so, we are making a positive impact on the environment and the climate.

One aspect that I find particularly rewarding is how our waste makes its way back into the soil through farming, composting, and other activities carried out by our community members. This not only minimizes waste but also has a significant effect on the pressing climate issues we face today. Healthy soil is crucial for keeping carbon out of the atmosphere, and our efforts in reusing millions of pounds of compost play a huge role in achieving that.

I am proud of our commitment to sustainability and the positive influence we have on our communities and the environment. By continuing to prioritize these practices and spreading awareness through education, we are actively working towards a more sustainable and nutritious future for everyone.


Mushrooms have seen great PR these days! Would you care to drop some common and little known facts about what makes them so great?

Andrew: Mushrooms are truly incredible organisms with diverse uses, from culinary delights to environmental remediation and health benefits. Their unique characteristics and contributions to the natural world make them a subject of ongoing scientific research and human fascination.

Mushrooms are nutrient-rich and a great meat substitute while also playing a vital role in the ecosystem by breaking down organic matter and recycling nutrients. For example, there is a lot of emerging research coming out about an antioxidant found only in mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms, called Ergothioniene, that has anti-aging properties and is extremely good for your health.   

The scientific community is just scratching the surface on mushrooms, both on how to grow them and how they can benefit our health and society.  That just makes me even more fascinated by them, and inspired to help more people become more familiar with them.  


People today are more interested in growing their own food for the first time in what’s probably the largest surge in a very long time—and most people think of greens, fruits and veggies for their at-home farming. How do you capture people on the idea of growing mushrooms at home, beyond just their nutritional benefits? Is it a more convenient and passive process than most other home garden choices?

Andrew: Growing mushrooms at home can be a captivating and educational experience, and is definitely more convenient than other home garden choices. It also allows people to witness the fascinating life cycle of mushrooms, from spore to fruiting body. The process offers a deeper understanding of the fungi kingdom and its vital role in the ecosystem.

Home mushroom growing is also considerably faster than growing anything else – you can watch it grow in front of your eyes.  If you get a grow kit from a local mushroom producer, many varieties will grow within 7-14 days with minimal misting. There’s no better way to get someone excited about mushrooms than involving them in the growing process like that.


Smallhold just recently launched a new first: a Mushroom Rub Trio! What made your team come up with the idea to release a new product in this more traditional lane?

Andrew: The trio really came about because we dehydrate excess or funny-looking mushrooms so as to not waste them. We do sell them as straight up dried mushrooms, but we wanted to do something more creative with them and had the idea to ask each GM of our farm to develop a recipe for a seasoning blend. All three of them are chefs or food people in their own right, and created some truly delicious blends. 

Ultimately this was a really small batch project, but we prioritize it because it always comes back to getting more people eating and excited about mushrooms. They’re incredibly versatile and delicious. 


The rubs taste amazing, with each cleverly and accurately representing a city! How did your team come up with the flavors and choose which cities to launch with?

Andrew: Thank you! Honestly, we are just very lucky to have a multi talented team who are equally passionate about mushrooms, good food, and running tight operations. Mushrooms have a funny way of attracting like minded folks.

The cities represent where we have farms; the leader of each farm dreamed up their own ideal blend.

It’s important to note, too, that our Innovations team creates exciting things with our mushrooms and are skilled at commercializing products, so they guided the development process. This was a passion project but we’re curious if there might be a bigger demand down the line.


After a taste test, we found the Brooklyn rub to be a better (and likely healthier) “everything bagel” blend, and immediately put it to use with cream cheese on toast! Of course, seasoning blends can be universally applied, but do you have any recipes or combination recommendations that readers should give a try? 

Andrew: The really fun thing about the blends is that they are truly a “choose your own adventure” style trio. I like to add the Brooklyn blend to eggs, the Los Angeles blend to fish, and the Austin blend to anything I’m grilling–particularly Trumpet mushrooms since they stand up so well to high heat.


Finally, what goals do the Smallhold team have their sights set on for the next year?

Andrew: You might see some more mushroom products coming out of our kitchens and into the real world later this year… stay tuned!

Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, Plant-Based Fast-Casual Restaurant Launches + Q&A

Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, Plant-Based Fast-Casual Restaurant Launches + Q&A

There’s a new booming restaurant in town, so make sure you say “Hey!”

On August 5th, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, a new, fast casual, plant-based, and all non-GMO restaurant, celebrated their grand opening. The restaurant’s delicious and vibrant plant-based menu features warm bowls, fresh salads, and hot tacos and sandwiches, served up with house-made pickles, sauces, and drinks. Even the sides are noteworthy, with fresh takes on sweet potato fries, coleslaw, soups, and more!

Perfect for summer, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen features a variety of refreshing drink choices, like wild blueberry lemonade, strawberry mint lemonade, and spiced hibiscus tea. Stomachs are grumbling and mouths are watering by just thinking about it.

Showing their dedication to the environment we all rely on, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen also partnered with Friends of Ballona Wetlands, offering the unique opportunity for guests to take home a complimentary plant with the purchase of an entree.

On Mondays only, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen will supply a limited amount of pollinator-friendly plants, curated by Friends of Ballona Wetlands.

Firm believers in not just serving food, but also dishing helpful information about how we can all do our part to look out for our planet, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen is walking the walk, too. How about a scoop of education with that meal?

If you’re looking to pick up a quick and fulfilling meal (and pollinator-friendly plant) from Hey Sunshine Kitchen, the fast-casual restaurant is located in Culver City, at 3863 Overland Avenue Culver City, CA 90232.

It was a long journey to the opening of Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, as expressed by Co-Founders, Heather Golden Ray and Jenny Engel, and we had the opportunity to ask the duo some questions about how the restaurant came to be, what to expect in coming years, and more. Read on for more details below.

A Q&A With Co-Founders Heather Golden Ray & Jenny Engel

Q: Please share what your roles are at Hey, Sunshine Kitchen and describe to readers what this opening has meant for you and your team.

We are sisters, mompreneurs, and lovers of the planet. We have been business partners since 2007 in the plant-based space. We opened our first restaurant, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen earlier this month! Our restaurant is plant-based, non-GMO, and our ingredients are high quality. We are a fast-casual concept in Culver City seeking to inspire our community to nourish their inner shine through plant-based eating.


Q: How long did it take to get from the initial vision to the eventual opening day, and what did that process entail?

It took us truly a lifetime to bring this to fruition. Each moment leading up to this built upon itself in some magical way. Zooming in, about four years ago, the idea crystallized, and we set the wheels in motion. The process that followed was a roller coaster of emotions and challenges, an odyssey that could fill the pages of a book! The initial stages involved meticulous planning, all while maintaining a focus on our core values: exceptional vegan cuisine and sustainable practices. Navigating the regulatory landscape and city procedures demanded resilience. We took each challenge in stride, committed to translating our vision into reality. Our opening day was the culmination of countless hours of hard work.

Credit: James Michael Juarez

Q: How did you come up with the concept of Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, and how did you want to differentiate it from other fast-casual restaurants?

We came up with the idea for Hey, Sunshine Kitchen as a way to promote healthier eating within our community. We wanted to create a space where everyone no matter their dietary preference, could enjoy flavorsome, innovative, and hearty plant-based meals. Through Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, we hope to showcase how delicious and satisfying plant-based food can be.


Q: Were there any unforeseen moments when things got tough and you doubted yourselves or if it was even worth attempting? If so, how did you overcome these challenges?

Absolutely, the journey of opening a new vegan restaurant came with its share of unforeseen challenges. Navigating these hurdles required determination and adaptability. For example, convincing some traditional diners to try vegan cuisine posed a challenge. To address this, we focused on educating our customers about the benefits of plant-based eating through menu descriptions and engaging staff. Remembering our initial purpose and the passion that ignited the idea of the restaurant kept us going. We leaned on our supportive team and sought guidance from mentors in the restaurant industry. Embracing adversity and finding solutions not only strengthened our determination but also reinforced our commitment to providing Culver City with a delicious vegan dining experience.


Q: How did you come up with the menu offerings?

We played with so many iterations of the menu for years. We had a plant-based BBQ idea at first, but ultimately, we decided on super fresh and healthy warm bowls, salads, tacos, and sandwiches that are all eco-friendly and non-GMO, plus pop with vibrant color and flavor. We wanted to create a space where everyone could enjoy flavorsome, innovative, and hearty plant-based meals. Through Hey, Sunshine Kitchen, we hope to showcase how delicious and satisfying plant-based food can be.


Q: Can visitors expect seasonal items?

Being five weeks in, we currently don’t have specific seasonal items on our menu,  but it’s a concept we are eagerly working towards as we continue to grow and evolve.


Q: It may still be early, but are there any plans or desires to open other locations in Southern California?

Yes, we do plan to open other locations regionally and expand within California and be able to grow even beyond that. Over the next few years, we will focus on our restaurant here in the Los Angeles area and see where that takes us. Eventually, we are hoping to grow nationally and potentially franchise out.


Q: What are the main priorities that go into what you offer, and how do you ensure your standards are met? For example, sustainable sourcing and freshness?

Our main priorities revolve around offering quick, delicious, and sustainable plant-based options. Freshness is crucial in fast-casual dining. Our menu is designed to incorporate seasonal produce, ensuring that every dish bursts with flavor and nutrients. Our chefs are trained to execute with precision, crafting meals that align with our culinary vision. Our commitment to sustainability, freshness, and taste remains unwavering, reflected in every plant-based meal we serve.


Q: Can you explain the importance of partnering with Friends of Ballona and why this environmental cause is important to you?

We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Friends of Ballona Wetlands to help support pollinator conservation. Through this partnership, Hey, Sunshine Kitchen will be giving complimentary pollinator-friendly plants to guests on Mondays while supplies last, when they purchase a meal. It is important for us that anyone that comes to Hey, Sunshine Kitchen for a dining experience is that they understand our passion for sustainability and the health of our planet.


Q: Is there anything coming on the horizon that you’d like to tease?

While we’re incredibly passionate about our current venture and dedicated to making it the best it can be, we also have aspirations to bring Hey, Sunshine Kitchen to more locations. The response we’ve received from the Culver City community has been amazing, and it has further fueled our dreams of expanding our reach.


Q: What are your goals for the next 5 and 10 years?

Ultimately, our overarching goal is to grow Hey, Sunshine Kitchen into a beacon of mindful consumption, inspiring individuals to choose ethical and sustainable options that benefit both themselves and the planet. By focusing on these core principles, we aim to create a legacy that extends far beyond delicious meals, enriching the lives of both our patrons and the global community for years to come.

Lake Tahoe Sojourn

Lake Tahoe Sojourn

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies the third-deepest lake in America and the 10th-deepest in the world, Lake Tahoe. It is a glistening gemstone in the wilderness filled with clear water and alpine trees. This is a lake that is claimed by both Californai and Neveda, and it is stunning no matter which direction you look at it from.

It is a 7 and a half-hour drive from Los Angeles, but what a drive! Of course, you can fly for $150 and be there in under two hours (stop in Reno and find your way to the lake).

We opted for the slow ride through the 395, with visits to Bishop, California, Lone Pine, Mammoth Lakes, Mono Lake, and finally South Lake Tahoe. Our destination is the Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe, with its spa and Casino. And just like that, we arrived. This is the weekend before the 4th of July, and there is a buzz about it. Dogs—to be sure, this is a dog-friendly hotel—and staff friendly!


The hotel sits across the street from the lake, but it is a short walk to the lakeshore.

There is something to be said about what must be called “lodge style.” It is a rustic and rugged style built of wood and stone. It’s heavy and solid, and if anything can be called lodge style, it is the famous Lone Eagle Grill, which is one of the restaurants in the Regency. With vast views of the lake and at night, the open-air pits along the boardwalk provide a unique, romantic setting. The menu is also rustic, as it offers up Duncan Ranch Elk Strip Loin or Grilled Ra King Salmon Filet. Venture out a little further, and one can end up at Pier 111 Bar, which is a 275-foot suspended pier over the lake. And it is beautiful and the perfect place to mingle. Our first activity is the fine art of axe throwing, a newly appreciated sport that requires the throwing of a heavy axe at a target from a distance. It is not an easy sport, and as this is summer, it soon requires that we find shade in the verdant courtyard of the hotel.

After the strenuous axe-throwing workout, it is a good time to visit the Stillwater Spa, which offers facials, body treatments, and massages. All treatments spring from a sense of renewal and calm, and the physical Spa itself is testimony to this notion. But adventure calls once again, and we are drawn to the lake shore, where an afternoon yoga session is about to begin. In the distance, on a floating pier, is the unique Pier 111 bar. Located at the end of the floating pier, it is home base for speedboat adventures and, of course, cocktails. Back at the hotel itself, the large outdoor pool is one of four different pool areas. The large pool has a winding waterway that leads into the hotel itself. It is summer, the weather plays easy, and a night swim turns out to be a good idea. Another day, another activity.  As the sun sets on the lake, we take to our kayaks and head out into the lake, where the shoreline grows smaller. It is a fun fact that the name Larry Ellison is often mentioned. Ellison is the CEO of technology company Oracle, and he is rich. It is his property, Cal Neva Resort & Casino property, which is a 13-acre property that occupies much of the view from the kayaks. (Rumor has it he has sold the property.)


There is nothing quite like doing yoga by a lake.

The lakeside yoga event series is hosted by DJ JOOLZ and local yoga instructor Alexandra Farrar. There is music, there is sand, there is water, and there is Yoga. DJ JOOLZ is spinning out quiet vibes as Alexandra Farra leads a group of 25 through the various yoga positions. It’s all for a good cause, as the suggested $10 donation will benefit Incline Elementary School’s “Step Up for Stem” program.

The lakeside yoga sessions  take place on September 14, and September 28, with registration beginning at 5 p.m. and the classes starting at 5:30 p.m. Following the classes, attendees are welcomed to relax and unwind at The Nest Bar and Grill for a post-yoga happy hour.

We venture around the lake on bikes, with the Regency as our starting base. The Alpine air, the clear skies, and the trails along the lake provide a unique opportunity to see the lake from a many angles.

As all things must come to an end, it is time to pack it up and leave all this behind, with regret—so many unique experiences were offered, we felt like we had scratched the beautiful surface.

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino


DJ JOOLZ and local yoga instructor Alexandra Farrar lead the Yoga by the Lake. Above: Zuke Oshiro, DJ KOOLZ, and Alexandra Farrar enjoy a post-Yoga moment.

The vast “lodge style” of The Lone Eagle Grill; a view of the resort; the spa faciltities, a lone kayaker; sunset on the lake.

Oh Mona!

Oh Mona!

Left to right: Pesce Crudo, Spaghetti alle Vongole, Caesar Salad, Casarecce.

Below: Calamari Fritti; Devin in the new digs; a view of the restaurant; Executive Chef Freylin Morales Salazar

“A rare gem that feels like Ettore Sottsass meets Taylor Swift on a date night gone right.”

Downtowner Devin Carlson has designed and opened Mona Pasta Bar, a rare gem that feels like Ettore Sottsass meets Taylor Swift on a date night gone right. Carlson’s reimagining of the former 9th Street Ramen space is a welcome, sexier surprise to the row of storefronts stretching to Spring Street.

Walking into the slowly seductive, jewel box space you feel a comforting intimacy that prepares you to relax and savor the delightful Italian wine selections and smartly crafted menu. Chef Freylin Morales (Silverlake’s L&E Oyster Bar) offers sensual takes on Italian stalwarts from delicate, light as a feather calamari fritti; a divine pesce crudo in kosho beet vinaigrette from the appealing list of starters to pastas including spaghetti alle vongole and casarecce with lamb sausage and rappini. The vongole suffered from an uncharacteristic overdose of butter but that won’t deter future explorations into the menu including a whole branzino for a fair $37 and a coffee-dark rum tiramisu!

Carlson’s experience crafting a successful fashion line and immersive yet minimal designed environments shines through joyfully at Mona.

Address: 111 West 9th Street, Los Angeles, California 90015

Happy Hour 5-7pm Wednesday thru Sunday

Website: www.monapastabar.com

Dinner Hours:
5pm-9pm Wednesdays and Sundays, 5pm-10pm Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
Happy Hour: 5pm – 7pm nightly (all wines by the glass – $10, dishes $10 – $13)

Menus (dinner and beverage):

Reservations or Walk-Ins: Available on OpenTable and walk-in’s also welcome at the bar
Executive Chef: Freylinlsai Morales Salazar
Architect/Interior Design: Suplex Agency
Floral Artist: Lera Pen
Other Design Collaborators: Bar Stools by Suplex Agency – Build by OTG, Soffit Sculpture and
Bathroom Artwork by DOT

Things To Do This Coming Week In SoCal

Things To Do This Coming Week In SoCal

The days of summer are dwindling down, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. As summer moves into its sunset phase, there are even more events on the horizon to capture new memories and precious smiles, making it it easy to find things to do in SoCal. From gut-friendly snacks to share with friends, to live music from The Chainsmokers, here’s what’s happening this week across Southern California.

Take Cann On A Roadie Trip

As of today, Cann, the #1 cannabis beverage brand, has announced the expansion of their Roadie offering to 31 additional states! Originally sold only in California, these Canns without the can are perfect for discreet on-the-go consumption. Simply tear, pour, and mix perfectly with any drink—no powders. 

Available in Cann’s three core flavors—Grapefruit Rosemary, Blood Orange Cardamom, and Lemon Lavender—each Roadie will leave you feeling perfectly social and just a little buzzed. The beauty of Cann’s products lie in the fact that you will have no hangovers, whether you have one or five! Each liquid sachet contains just the right amount of lift (2mg of THC & 4mg of CBD) wrapped up in a delicious beverage.

Cann’s Roadies are available for $24 a package, containing a total of 8 sachets. The expansion includes the following states: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, IA, IL, IN, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TX, VA ,VT & WV.

Visit BelliWelli’s Pop-Up in Venice

If you’re looking for gut friendly snacks, BelliWelli has just the weekend attraction for you! The better-for-you snack brand known for its viral “Hot Girls Have IBS” billboard campaign, will be popping up at The Brig in Venice on Saturday, August 12 from 8 am to 6 pm to hand out free bars.

All bars are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and low FODMAP certified plus packed with belly benefits such as real probiotics and fiber – making them the perfect gut-friendly option. The brand will be sampling the OG flavors including Chocolate Chip, Strawberry Shortcake, Birthday Cake, and Cinnamon Swirl in addition to their newest Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate.

Attend SANZO x COVRY Eyewear Launch Party at Costa Mesa Flagship

You’re invited to celebrate the first collaboration between COVRY, the AAPI- founded eyewear label for low-bridge noses, and Sanzo, the Asian-inspired sparkling water brand at COVRY’s new flagship store in Costa Mesa, CA!

The launch party will be a fun-filled event with Sanzo mock-tails, gift bags with personalized fruit chains and fruit-inspired manicures! The new collection features a fresh silhouette in three color ways inspired by the vibrant colors and distinct characteristics of three Asian fruit flavors from Sanzo: Lychee, Calamansi, and Yuzu with Ginger. Each co-branded pair, made from plant-based materials, retails at $125, and reflects Sanzo’s essence through thoughtfully crafted frame colors and a charming fruit decal.

The party will take place on Saturday, August 12, from 12 pm to 3 pm at the COVRY Eyewear store (2651 Irvine Ave, Suite 120 Costa Mesa, CA 92627),

Catch Free Movies Courtesy of Vidiots & Pluto TV

Got movies on the mind? Have a date night this weekend (Aug. 12-13), as Los Angeles’ non-profit video store and theater, Vidiots, will be hosting a free movie weekend courtesy of Pluto TV. This event is part of the leading free streaming television service’s ongoing support on independent theaters.

Vidiots will be giving away tickets to select screenings of six different films completely FREE — plus complimentary Pluto TV swag and popcorn. To book free tickets, visit vidiotsfoundation.org/film-series/plutotvfreemovieweekend. However, note that tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. The theater is located at 4884 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041. Here’s what’s on the schedule:

  • Saturday, August 12

    • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron: 2pm

    • Attack the Block 4:30pm

    • A View to a Kill: 7pm

  • Sunday, August 13

    • Freaky Friday: 12:45pm

    • La Dolce Vita: 3:15pm

    • First Blood: 7pm

Watch The Chainsmokers Debut First-Ever ‘The Party Never Ends’ In LA

Who wouldn’t want to catch The Chainsmokers live!? Taking place on Saturday, August 19th, the prolific, GRAMMY award-winning duo have been eager to do something special, momentous and different for their fans, and this debut will be just that. The Chainsmokers are gearing up to unveil their new live show experience series, The Party Never Ends — which has been years in the making!

Step up your weekend activity fun while you have time, as The Party Never Ends will make its epic debut at Los Angeles State Historic Park (the first time they have played in LA since 2019) with an incredible lineup of world class electronic music talent, immersive activations and more.

Though they’ve spent most of their lives on stage, circling the globe and playing more than 200 shows per year, every chapter of The Party Never Ends will be just as energetic and lively, as they transform special locations into day-long celebrations of inclusivity, collaboration, and fun—The Chainsmokers way. 


Celebrate National CBD Day With Cann + New Roadies Expansion

420 and 017 aren’t the only days dedicated to marijuana! Apparently there’s another on August 8th, titled National CBD Day, in case you were looking for any reason other than it being a normal Tuesday to indulge. But who says you have to take part during the week? Celebrate with a Cann or two, or with the latest Cann product to see an offering expansion: Roadies!

As of today, August 11, Cann, the #1 cannabis beverage brand, has announced the expansion of their Roadie offering to 31 additional states! Originally sold only in California, these Canns without the can are perfect for discreet on-the-go consumption. Simply tear, pour, and mix perfectly with any drink—no powders. 

Available in Cann’s three core flavors—Grapefruit Rosemary, Blood Orange Cardamom, and Lemon Lavender—each Roadie will leave you feeling perfectly social and just a little buzzed. The beauty of Cann’s products lie in the fact that you will have no hangovers, whether you have one or five! Each liquid sachet contains just the right amount of lift (2mg of THC & 4mg of CBD) wrapped up in a delicious beverage.

Cann’s Roadies are available for $24 a package, containing a total of 8 sachets. The expansion includes the following states: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, IA, IL, IN, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TX, VA ,VT & WV.

Cann is among the best brands around to shop, party, and be social with. Their social tonic, microdosed with CBD and THC, is the perfect blend of bubbly, sweet, and not too filling or strong—making way for a safe evening of mood setting without the hangovers induced by alcohol.

Cann is also offering 30% off their starter pack all week long! So if you can’t get lit during the week, there’s still time to take part in the fun later, while saving some dollars.

National CBD Day is also a special day to celebrate and spread awareness about the usages and capacities of cannabidiol, a hemp-based compound that is touted for its ability to relieve pain and anxiety.

Cann has revolutionized the way we see CBD and THC products – creating a tonic made for a controllable high experience and a healthier alternative to alcohol, that still lets you have a buzz. Cann is microdosed with 2mg THC and 4mg CBD, which offers a similar feeling to a glass of wine.

The brand has paved the way for cannabis products and other brands, creating a more accessible way to get buzzed without a dreaded hangover. No stranger to speaking out about the stigmas associated with cannabis, Cann is dedicated to educating people about the ins and outs of cannabis use, and they make the perfect first sip for anyone who’s curious and willing to learn a bit on National CBD Day.

Murad Skincare Partners With Porsche For New Product Launch

Murad Skincare Partners With Porsche For New Product Launch

Contributions by Anthony C. Stafford

A “Fast Track To Clear Skin”

Speed is the name the game, and Murad Skincare couldn’t have partnered with anyone who could understand it better than Porsche.

On August 4th, Murad released their new Rapid Relief Acne Sulfur Mask, complete with a launch event hosted at Porsche Experience Center LA. Influencers, make up artists, and media made rounds on the speedway patio, which provided front row seats to witness professional drivers whisking away willing passengers on a 2-lap run around a curvy course. A stellar representation of what Murad has concocted with the new Sulfur Mask—in addition to their other rapid performance products—whiplash was practically served on a platter throughout the event.

From delicious small bites zipping around from the Porsche Cafe, to a quick snapshot skin analysis from the Murad team, it’s clear that the brand has created a line of products that are so astonishingly powerful and fast, that they’re practically working right before your eyes.

Also in attendance was Stacked LA—a rapid-install permanent bracelet brand—who had their very own booth where visitors lined up to get gold or silver bracelets. Meant to last forever (or as long as you want), these bracelets, necklaces, rings, and anklets uphold their luster and quality while being low-maintenance.

Murad provided personalized goodie bags for guests based on their skin analysis, snapped via iPad. This analysis included unique details, like the detection of fine lines, wrinkles, red spots, sun damage, and pore size and volume. From there, Murad’s specialists recommended an assortment of products, including their Clarifying Cleanser, Daily Clarifying Peel, Clarifying Water Gel, Oil & Pore Control Mattifier Sunscreen, and of course Rapid Relief Acne Control Mask.

The Rapid Relief Acne Sulfur Mask touts rapid clearing of breakouts, thanks to its 5% sulfur content, plus rapid absorption of oils from kaolin, rapid exfoliating from salicylic acid, rapid replenishing from Austrian peat, rapid refreshing from eucalyptus, and rapid rinsing.

Most notably, reviewers are loving Murad’s lineup, claiming incredibly fast improvement of their skin between one and three days—or after three uses. Murad Skincare products can be purchased at their website, Murad.com, Ulta.com, or Sephora.com, and in-store.

Healthy Skin Throughout Pregnancy

Healthy Skin Throughout Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a miraculous experience as you bring another life into the world. At the same time, it causes a huge transformation in your body — including your skin. Learning how to care for your skin during pregnancy will help you feel happier and healthier.

Why Does Pregnancy Affect Your Skin?

Your skin is your largest and most sensitive organ, reacting to even minor hormonal changes. During pregnancy, when your body experiences significant hormonal shifts, it’s no surprise your skin may reflect the changes.

You may notice changes like acne breakouts, the appearance of melasma or dark patches and even the formation of stretch marks. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, especially if it’s your first time getting pregnant. However, keep in mind that these changes are to be expected.

4 Tips For Maintaining Healthy Skin During Pregnancy

It’s never too late to care for your skin, especially during this time. Check out these tips for keeping your skin clear and soft.

1. Build a Gentle Skincare Routine

Consistency is key and routines help you develop new habits that will benefit you in the long run. If you’re not used to a skincare routine, now is the best time to practice. You can do your routine at any time of day, but for best results, both mornings and evenings are recommended.

Building the right skincare routine might require some experimentation and trial and error. You should determine what skin type you have and then find products that are best suited for that type.

2. Drink Enough Water and Eat Well

Hydration during pregnancy is important for many reasons, including healthier skin. While it varies from person to person, most pregnant people should drink 8-12 cups of water a day.

You should also consume foods that are rich in antioxidants, like vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants are known for their anti-aging benefits, including improving skin health and appearance. Avoid sugary and processed foods when possible — they can cause acne breakouts and inflammation.

3. Choose the Right Products

Using the right products is often as important as maintaining a regular skincare routine. Look for products that contain ingredients like vitamin C, retinol and ceramides. Vitamin C encourages collagen production and equalizes uneven skin tone. Retinols can reduce wrinkles, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. Ceramides are lippy acids or fatty acids that keep skin cells firm and hydrated.

4. Practice Stress Management Techniques

Stress can cause breakouts and speed up the aging process that leads to wrinkles and fine lines. It’s essential to manage your stress with breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or other coping techniques that work for you.

Pregnant and Glowing

Taking care of your skin is a powerful act of self-care. Throughout this transition, make sure to appreciate everything your body is doing for you and your baby. You can manage hormonal changes and keep your skin looking clear and beautiful during your pregnancy with these skincare tips.

Cover photo by Lucas Mendes

Insert photo by Pixabay