Reflections on the Los Angeles Food Bowl with Lady Boss, Jenn Harris

Reflections on the Los Angeles Food Bowl with Lady Boss, Jenn Harris

SoCal Mag loves seeing female entrepreneurs in action, especially when they’re creating experiences for Angelenos that wouldn’t compare to other cities. Jenn Harris gave us a quick reflective interview about this year’s past Food Bowl, and why it had such a significant importance on giving back. Consider this an LA event you no longer want to miss!

Q. Why is Food Bowl such an important culinary event for SoCal residents? Tell us about the mission and charity component.

A. This year we partnered with three really important charities: Midnight Mission, Food Forward, and LA Food Kitchen – all of them are doing really fantastic work in LA. LA Kitchen puts food that would go to waste to people that need it and help create job training programs. Midnight Mission is doing their best to feed the homeless here in LA. So Food Bowl is important because as much as we want to celebrate the great chefs and restaurants we have here in this city, we also want to shed some light on some of the serious issues that people face everyday.

Q. What can fans of this year’s Food Bowl expect next year? Any returning chefs or new highlights not to miss?

A. We had the best chefs in LA this year – and we have even more next year. Josef Centeno was back doing events. Michael Samurusi from Providence headlined a sustainable seafood dinner in Manhattan Beach, which was phenomenal. We also had the brothers from Lasa which is a great Filipino restaurant in Chinatown. They did a huge outstanding in the field long table dinner at Night Market, which is also returning next year. It was our five-night food festival in Grand Park, where we just take over the entire park with food and restaurants. There are food trucks, entertainment, and that’s going to be even bigger and better next year too.

Q. What is your day to day like at LA Times? What do you love the most about this position?

A. I think what I love the most is that I get to eat everyday. I basically get paid to eat, run around, and try new food. I meet new people and hang out with chefs and share that experience with everyone. I pinch myself everyday that I have my job. It’s really fun.

Q. What are your favorite hotspots for dining that you’d recommend to anyone visiting SoCal?  

A. For out-of-towners, I always say you’ve got to go to Cassia in Santa Monica, because Chef Bryant Ng is doing amazing things with fresh produce and his flavors are just always on point. Any of Josef Centeno’s restaurants in Downtown LA… I’d recommend going to the Far East Plaza in Chinatown and basically doing a little eating tour; hit up Howlin’ Rays, hit up Chego, and hit up Lasa. There’s a lot of great food choices here. Also, Langers in DTLA has the best pastrami ever, so I would definitely go there too.

Q. Anything else you want to add about Food Bowl?

A. Just that if you’re someone who likes food and you’re here in LA, then I think it is the perfect time to eat around LA. It really does give people a taste of the great chefs and the restaurants around here. It’s a fun month to eat.

For everything about the LA Food Bowl coming in May of 2019, be sure to bookmark the official website and stay tuned!

The Eyes of Cannabis: Q&A with Cannapreneur, Sarah McDaniel

The Eyes of Cannabis: Q&A with Cannapreneur, Sarah McDaniel

With cannabis now legal in Southern California, there’s no question the industry is booming and a new wave off entrepreneurs are emerging. We sat down with “cannapreneur” Sarah McDaniel to discuss her CBD- based skincare line Walagoot, which was born from from her own struggle with clear skin as a working model and actor. We also spoke to her about her upcoming on camera roles and stop animation projects she is producing. Check out the full Q&A below! 

Q:  You’re a California local, correct? Tell us how you got your start in modeling and acting. 

A: Yes, I was born in Northern California then lived in San Diego and Calabasas and now near Oxnard. I actually got discovered as model through Instagram. When I was seventeen, I began posting modeling type shots to Instagram and this was before “influencers” was really a big thing yet. I started to build a following and caught the attention of photographer and videographer

I’ve always had a passion for filmmaking and recently acted in a psychological thriller, Perfect, alongside Abbie Cornish and Leonardo Nam which premiered at the 2018 SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. The film will also be premiering here in Los Angeles this fall.

Q: California is among the first states to legalize marijuana. The cannabis industry has since taken off. Tell us about your interest in Cannabis and your upcoming skincare line. 

A: Growing up, I used to struggle with acne and eczema.It just makes you feel so conscious of your skin. Worrying if people notice I would even lose modeling and acne jobs because of my skin and it took a lot of my confidence away. After trying Accutane, over-the-counter medication and every fad on the market with no results, I knew there had to be something else. At the time, I was aware of cannabis recreationally and knew it had some medical applications. I began doing research and eventually contacted a friend in Colorado who recommended isolate which is CBD in a crystal form. It had some positive affects but I wanted something stronger so I began experimenting with the full spectrum of CBD oils along with coconut, jojoba and other oils. Eventually I found the right blend and my skincare line, Walagoot, was born!

Q: What has been the biggest challenges you face in your business so far? 

A: I’m a young female in the cannabis and entertainment industry which brings a unique set of challenges.  To be able to pose in lingerie or act in a horror film while also having a huge passion for behind the scenes business and creating its hard to command authority in two polar opposite worlds. A lot of what you say gets overlooked and its hard to be heard but theres always a way to find sucess if you’re committed enough.

Q: You also work behind the camera as a content creator. Tell us about your latest projects. 

A: I’ve recently been working in stop-motion animation. I created a rabbit character known as “The Professor” which was produced in partnership with Movie Mountain Studios. We are now working on a cyclops character for our next short. I was originally considering creating the cyclops for a comic book but I’ve found through my work as an influencer that people engage better with video content. Stop motion is a very expensive and time consuming way to make a film but I really love it and hope to continue working in this medium.

I also put out a variety of video and photography content on my Instagram. You can follow me @krotchy.

Q: And what are your long-term goals with your cannabis line? 

A: For my CBD line, I’d eventually like to expand from topicals to more medicinal tinctures for things like bone density, migraines, and eventually herbal chemo. I’d really like to use my knowledge of CBD oil to help people medically, and work toward creating cancer preventatives.

Q: Please share with us your SoCal Must Haves

Fav Restaurant:  FACE restaurant is the best in Ojai 

Fav Spot to Create Content:  Favorite place to create content is in my bathtub
Fav Area of this City:  Favorite area of the city is my friends house in Malibu canyon
     
The SGV Receives A New Level of Luxury at The Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel Hotel

The SGV Receives A New Level of Luxury at The Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel Hotel

Now taking reservations: world-class luxury and state of the art technology can now be found in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley at the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel; featuring unrivaled accommodation, meeting space, catering, restaurants and bar.

Featuring 288 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, EST. Prime Steakhouse, transcending the quintessential steakhouse with top-quality, imported steaks and fresh seafood, the highly anticipated Chinese import, Ba Shu Feng, opening in spring, 24-hour fitness center with yoga space and Sheraton Club Lounge for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) frequent, loyal traveler. Not to mention the in-lobby Starbucks, Afternoon High Tea every Friday through Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m and additional programming to be announced.

This Sheraton will be the first in the US hotel industry to tout eight TUG robots developed by Aethon, the leading provider of autonomous mobile robots. Visitors to the 288-room stylish hotel will be greeted by Aethon’s four-foot high, friendly-looking innovative TUG robots whether looking for directions to elevators or receiving an in-room delivery. More information and photos of the in-house robotic staff will be available after the hotel’s private grand opening event on Thursday.

“Having eight robots is a first for the US hotel industry, and we know our TUG robots will be an approachable, cutting-edge addition to the world-class service guests expect at Sheraton properties,” said Wanda Chan General Manager. “Robots are the next wave of hospitality technology and we believe our overnight guests and those in the local San Gabriel community will find the robots to be intriguing and fun.”

Guests are also invited to experience the hotel’s spa, Beverly Hills New Life Beauty & Wellness, which has four comfortable treatment rooms to enjoy treatments such as Deep Tissue Massages, Ultrasonic Facials and custom health and wellness plans to rejuvenate the senses. Creative cocktails and lightbites are available to enjoy after treatments on the second floor by the atrium.

The Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel is located at 303 East Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA 91776. Reservations can be made at www.SheratonLASanGabriel.com or over the phone at 1-800-325-3535. For corporate packages, meetings and event, please contact Director of Sales and Marketing, Fred Kokash, at 626.607.2006 or email fkokash@sheratonlasangabriel.com.

14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

14 Experience-Worthy Valentine’s Day Gifts

It’s probably one of the corniest holidays in existence, because without fail, February becomes a month filled with heart-shaped balloons and candy, endless amounts of chocolate boxes and bouquets, and stereotypical nods to cheesy eroticism through red silk boxers paired with bow-ties. Seriously, give it a rest. Now, I’m not trying to be completely cynical, but when I think about Valentine’s Day and how commercially warped it is, I quickly lose interest. I want to celebrate Love everyday of the year, but if I’m going to dedicate a specific day to demonstrate it, then I’m going to do it in a very special way.

Typically, Valentine’s Day gifts are more novelty in nature: We’re talking teddy bears, rose bouquets, themed underwear, and dinner at either a too fancy or too crowded restaurant. I think it’s time we step it up and not only think smarter about these gifts but also add the element of an experience that you and your special someone can share together. (Sidebar*, Love doesn’t have to only be celebrated romantically. Your friends and family can share this day with you too.) Here’s a list of 20 experiential Valentine’s Day gifts that will help create memorable moments rather than forgettable, novelty riff-raff.

In no particular order:

1. Atlas Coffee Club

      

Atlas Coffee Club, is a travel-themed coffee club that explores the world of coffee and culture!  From Papua New Guinea to Peru, Burundi to Brazil, each month they highlight a new country! (Retail: Gift Subscriptions starting at $60)


2. Nostalgia Electronics Waterfall

       

The Nostalgia Electrics Chocolate Waterfall creates a steady fountain of edible chocolate. Perfect to dip cakes, fruit and marshmallows. A great addition to your dessert spread for your and your valentine to enjoy together. (Retail: $49.99)


3. LATHER Sweet As Honey Kit & Road Warrior Men’s Survival Kit

      

Indulge in a collection of face, bath, body and gourmet treats, made with nature’s candy – honey – an excellent source of nourishing antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. And for the guys, Lather created a survival kit for men on the go, with travel sizes of their favorite face, body, and hair care essentials. (Retail $48-$58)


4. Feast Laguna

            

Flowers and jewelry are always romantic gestures but what’s more fun, entertaining, and memorable than spending a delightful afternoon or evening with your significant other, enjoying delicious food and being immersed in stunning works of art and beach culture? Feast Laguna is a culinary/food tour operator based in the beautiful beach community of Laguna Beach, CA. They offer tasty and entertaining food tours that are expertly led by knowledgeable and friendly Laguna local guides. (Retail: $75-$79)


5. LOVE Gem Water Bottle by Vitajuwel

For the crystal lover in your life, Vitajuwel has updated their original Love Gem Water Bottle to include garnet and clear quartz. If you’re a deeply romantic soul looking to inspire love, and deepen devotion, this latest incarnation of the Love gem-water blend awaits… (Retail: $98)


6. Basic Outfitters’ Create-a-Drawer

      

As seen on season 8 of Shark Tank – Basic Outfitters‘ Create-a-Drawer allows guys to ditch their worn out attire and replenish their wardrobe with up to 17 pieces of high-quality basics in under two minutes with a collection of high quality and fashionable socks, underwear, tees, and joggers delivered right to their door for only $60 (a $120 value).


7. ISlide

           

ISlides are the only fully customizable, sought-after slide sandal sweeping the world on the feet of athletes and celebrities like Madonna, Dwyane Wade, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Diddy, and many more. Maker of DJ Khaled‘s famous “Bless Up” and “Another One” slide sandals, ISlide fuses fashion with athletics and has partnered with Neiman Marcus, the NBA, and a number of other teams, brands, and organizations for custom designs. ISlides can be designed to match anyone’s personality with pictures, phrases, emojis and more – or choose from hundreds of pre-designed collections from French Montana, Nickelodeon, NCAA colleges and more. (Retail: $49.99)


8. PediPocket

      

As seen on Good Morning America, PediPocket is 6 feet of super soft microfiber fleece that has a clever foot pocket to keep your toes toasty. Use it at home, at the office or take it while traveling. Plus, it’s machine washable and dryer friendly. Perfect for cold winter days spent snuggling up on the couch with your Valentine. (Retail: $39.99)


9.  Tell It Well Cards

      

Among all the texts and tweets, send your Valentine a meaningful handwritten message with the original line of modern photo greeting cards from Tell It Well Cards! Each card is 4 x 4 square (Polaroid size) and is printed on sustainably sourced and recycled paper that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 10% of sales go to provide small business microloans to women in poverty in the US and around the world for the Whole Planet Foundation. (Retail: $4 – $20)


10. Gratitude Glass “Love” Jar

Show your friends and family how much you care with the Gratitude Glass Love Jar. Fill the jar up with love notes that can be enjoyed all year long! Named “the gift that keeps on giving” by Oprah and featured among the 102 gifts of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2017 List, the Gratitude Jar from Gratitude Glass Jars has driven a movement – inspiring others to love themselves and the people around them. (Retail: $45)


11. HelloFresh Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak

      

During Valentine’s Day week (Feb. 10-16) we’ll be offering a special Sweetheart’s New York Strip Steak with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Blood Orange Sauce. The recipe takes only 35 minutes to make and fool-proof for even the most novice home cooks. As one of HelloFresh‘s Premium recipes, this dinner is undeniably special. With strip steak, brown sugar mashed sweet potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts, this dish has tenderness, sweetness, and warmth—just like any solid relationship. It’s topped off with cranberries and a sauce based on blood orange—two fruits that have a romantic red hue. (Retail: $59+ for a 3 meal box for 2 people)


12. BOXFOX

      

Do Valentine’s Day differently this year with BOXFOX and their limited edition 2018 collection of pre-curated themed boxes. Available online until Feb. 18, each box is a thoughtful assortment of gifts that allows you to show you care on the most romantic holiday of the year. If you want to really show your creativity, you can curate your own custom BOXFOX with their BUILD A BOXFOX platform and and select whichever items your heart desires. (Retail: $30 – $200)


13. SouFeel

      

Customized gifts are always a great idea. Soufeel Jewelry’s personalized pieces are your easy solution. For once, you can find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without having to sacrifice meaning or thought! (Retail: $19.95 – $49.95)


14. The Mondrian Staycation

Being in love never felt so good. Celebrate your romance with this package that includes an in-room couple’s massage and dinner at the Doheny Room ($150 sbe gift card provided). Followed by a nightcap for two at Skybar. Then end it all with a turndown service including champagne and rose petals. Price point for the hotel stay plus the package is ($800)


BONUS:  Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose

           

Think Pink this year for Valentine’s Day with Barefoot Wine’s Bubbly Pink Moscato & Brut Rose selections. Everything is better with wine, and Barefoot is trusted and true for this occasion. This is one of SoCal Mag’s favorites!

Hayden @ PLATFORM Introduces Golden Hour and its Specialty Wine Program

Hayden @ PLATFORM Introduces Golden Hour and its Specialty Wine Program

Platform LA seems to have it all going on, and for good reason, with one of its highlight restaurants — Hayden. Hayden, a modern Los Angeles restaurant and wine bar, is helmed by chef and partner, Ari Kolender. Aptly named for the creative community of the Hayden Tract, the restaurant will highlight local California ingredients with European influences set in a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere. Hayden will offer a new wine program and Golden Hour, from 5 pm to 7pm, which will offer $1.50 oysters and $8 glasses of wines with special tastings with Beverage Director Anthony Cailan on Saturdays.

In addition, the exquisite restaurant continues to offer its can’t-miss light morning menu, including Chef Kolender’s signature waffles, Vittoria coffee, plus a menu of tartines, salads, and sandwiches throughout the day. During afternoons and evenings, diners can expect oysters, European canned seafood, and an extensive selection of new California wines, which will also be available throughout the day in Hayden’s wine shop.

About Anthony Cailan

Anthony Cailan, Hayden’s Beverage Director, focuses especially on natural California wines in the shop, and is one of the few sommeliers who chill red wine by the glass. With an extensive culinary background in some of the most popular and successful businesses and events across California and the country, Cailan lends his expertise to Hayden to create a rare and unforgettable experience for diners.

About Ari Kolender

Chef Kolender has cooked in some of the best kitchens in Los Angeles, including Providence and Red Medicine. Before opening Hayden, he worked at The Ordinary and Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop in Charleston, where he was nominated for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award.

The design of the restaurant reflects the spirit of Kolender’s cooking.  This focus on simple high-quality materials can be seen in the custom woodwork, handmade ceramic flatware, and an Italian marble bar.  The Hayden team also collaborated with their neighbor, British designer Tom Dixon, on the lighting and furniture in the space.

Kolender summarized the spirit of the project: “Hayden was inspired by the neighborhood.  From gallery owners to music producers to fashion designers, the Hayden Tract is full of entrepreneurs as well as up and coming artists. I want to create a gathering space for all of these people to come together and enjoy a great meal and an incredible bottle of wine any time of day.  The food we cook at Hayden will be inspired by and reflect the diverse and elegant city in which we live.”

Location:
8820 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Hours: 12 pm – 9 pm daily
Phone: (310) 593-4777

Dine At Osteria Bigoli and Feel Like Chef Claudio Marchesan Is Cooking Just For You

Dine At Osteria Bigoli and Feel Like Chef Claudio Marchesan Is Cooking Just For You

Looking for a more traditional meal that packs a lot of flavor without having to fly to Italy? Look no further than Chef Claudio Marchesan’s Osteria Bigoli on Montana Ave in Santa Monica.

While we’re still dreaming about the tender veal loin chop paired perfectly with the house red, what has me looking forward to my next visit is how Chef Claudio makes sure to greet each guest like family. During our dinner at the cozy restaurant, Chef not only came out and spoke with each party but often knew at least one guest by name and is just opener to the northeast Italian specialities that await you within the menu.

Chef Claudio in his element. Photo Credit: @osteriabigoli

Chef Claudio has been serving Osteria Bigoli “old world new” favorites at such as veal loin chop, chicken parm, and other classic Italian favorites since 2016 and has quickly become the go-to place for a delicious meal in a cozy atmosphere that really does feel you stepped right into Chef’s home.

With option including paleo, roasted meats, sustainable fish, grass-fed Angus Flat Iron steak and marinated vegetables, Chef Claudio’s favorite indigents shine. Veal and pork meatballs are prepared  “old school” with a rich Pomodoro sauce and fresh parmesan. Well worth a drive over to the westside for a proper supper!

More information about the must-try restaurant’s Valentine’s Day offerings, live cooking demonstration classes and more curated by Chef Claudio and loyal 20 year business partner Mark Arreola coming soon.

Osteria Bigoli is located at 714 Montana Ave. Santa Monica, CA and is open Tue – Sat, 5:30 pm – 10 pm; Sun, 5 pm – 9:30 pm. Visit www.bigoliosteria.com for more information. 

Ely Anne Vedar

Food & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills. She is also a regular Editor for SoCal Magazine and other digital publications.

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