You may well sprout wings and fly at the Raven Spa this Valentine’s Day. Imagine taking to the air with arms outstretched, body relaxed like Icarus in flight. Sun be damned, this traditional Thai massage will have you heading straight to the heavens. Your journey begins at the door—green tendrils, texture and teak welcome you, as you check in and receive a little care package: comfy clothes. As you don your relaxation uniform you literally leave yourself behind and enter the universe of peace and calm. A gentle waterfall compliments the sound of silence. No water buckets and chatting at this joint. You are the center of a still world. A chocolate and champagne greeting awaits you before you embark on your body-journey. Thai massage, also known as “lazy man’s yoga” involves a give-and-take stretch series. You are gently lengthened in a choreographed dance, while still receiving the oft-anticipated regular massage treatment. Foreheads are swept in rhythmic strokes, muscles are coaxed into submission—pressure points are pushed, all is well. Yet this experience on the mat is more meditation than a massage. You notice your breath, you feel the dynamic energy of the massage. This is a conversation of bodies, and that is super sexy. The Raven Spa is the spot that will hit the spot.
The long awaited Silver Lake 365 by Whole Foods is open!
The first of it’s kind – this is a new type of Whole Foods geared towards Millennials.
So what’s different about this Whole Foods?
- Because the prices are lower, there are fewer choices of each product than a regular Whole Foods. On the plus side, there is a huge selection of fruit and vegetables, all beautifully displayed. And the vegetables are in a separated, cordoned-off area that helps reduce the energy needed to keep it cool, part of the 365 commitment to sustainability.
- The Silver Lake store is predominantly about food, meaning they don’t have skin care products or a large vitamin selection.
- There is a coffee/juice/wine/beer bar – and no, this doesn’t mean you can go shopping with a glass of wine in your hand (yes, I asked). Alcoholic beverages must be consumed within the designated area.
- There’s a café attached called CHLOE that is slated to open on Memorial weekend where you can get vegan goodness to eat in or to go.
- The display signs are digital, meaning every sign in the store can be changed through their computer system. Granted on opening day, they were still tweaking this system, but I think it’s a great idea.
- There’s an original artwork mural by a local artist that reads: “Silver Kale”.
- All the beef is purely grass-fed and all the chicken is California-raised.
You’ll find everything organic you desire, even organic Jelly Beans (which don’t really qualify as a food in my book), and all the hip dietary trends – kombucha, paleo-friendly, gluten free, vegan, plant based, kosher, yerba mate, hand pressed juices, organically grown wines, biodynamic alcohols…you get the idea.
365 by Whole Foods Market President, Jeff Turnas says, “It’s Whole Foods quality at really great prices” – and he hopes that soon, this new concept will be everywhere.
365 by Whole Foods is located at 2520 Glendale Blvd in Silver Lake
Open daily from 8AM-10PM
The “Taste of the Eastside” was held on May 1 at the Los Angeles River Center andGardens. The venue was gorgeous with magnificent trees, tiered fountains, Spanish tiled archways, ivy-covered walls, flower-filled terra cotta pots that made for a relaxing and enchanting environment. Vendors where set up in the various courtyards, and the public could sit picnic-style on the grass, hang by the fountains or stand at tables.
First up, Spoke Bicycle Café were set up at the entrance to valet your bicycle and to enter you into a raffle if you rode in. Spoke is a super cool hang on the bike path in the Frogtown area – open Thurs-Sun for bike repairs, rentals and coffee/snacks, please pay them a visit. www.spokebicyclecafe.com
Once inside, it was hard to choose what to try first (at least it was for me) but I managed to calm down and systematically work my way around the grounds, sampling bites of joy. Here’s what I discovered:
Okipoki (507 S. Spring St)– they served up a little boat of heaven – Ahi tuna and seaweed. I love this type of food – tasty and healthy. www.okipokila.com
Madcapra (Grand Central market, DTLA) offered up their specialty, great falafel www.marcapra.com
The Argentine inspired Barcito (12th & Grand, DTLA) had mouthwatering chili garlic shrimp www.barcitola.com
OZU East Kitchen (3224 Glendale Blvd, LA) served grilled tofu that was delicious – more please! www.OZUEastKitchen.com
Wax Paper (2902 Knox Ave) served up a yummy pulled pork sandwiches – you know you want one! Wax Paper is a relatively new little sandwich shop in Frogtown – www.waxpaperco.com
Kitchen Mouse Catering presented vegan and gluten free TLT sandwiches – Tempeh, lettuce and tomatoes – www.kitchemousela.com
The Juice (on Glendale Blvd) had samples of Green Milk made from brazil nuts, spinach, kale, coconut-cream, dates, vanilla and sea salt and another sample of Fuji apple, lemon and triple ginger which had a quite a tang to it – both were ridiculously good.
One of my favorite places, Momed had duck shawarma and avocado hummus available for sampling. And just so you know, Momed has a “no corkage” night every Wednesday (and they make amazing brussel sprouts) www.atmomed.com
And speaking of corkage – on the drink side there were wines by Silver lake wines (who are now in DTLA as well as in Silverlake), and beers from Eagle Rock Brewery, plus various other drink vendors, and a cocktail demonstration by Bon Vivant.
For the sweet tooth, The Donut Farm was a smash with their vegan donuts made with 100% certified organic ingredients, and Jenn’s Splendid Ice Cream made from grass-grazed milk, plus Gigi’s Bakery of Cuban pastries and Mexican breads.
Of interest was Boxed Water, who handed out their product with the promise of planting trees if you post a photo of their boxed water with the hash tag #ReTree the aim being to help them reach their goal of planting one million trees by 2020 – boxedwaterisbetter.com/retree – come on, lets’ help them!
Two of the food vendors had not even opened yet: The San Fernando – will be opening in 2-3 months – www.thesanfernando.com And RBTA – will be opening in Highland Park. RBTA are right near a recently reopened bowling alley, The Highland Park Bowl, which is beautifully refurbished using the old pinsetters as chandeliers and sawed off pins to double as bar lamps. www.highlandparkbowl.com. (SoCal plans to review all these places –please stay tuned)
Besides food, there was the Magnolia Photo Booth www.magbooth.com who caught these adorable young ladies in action.
And Master Vince Cecere was there to offer a $20 private class in American Old School Jujitsu (valued at $150) Master Vince has taught members of the FBI to members of the girl’s scouts – with ages ranging from 5-80. www.aosjijitsu.com
Taste of the Eastside is entirely organized and staffed by volunteers and all proceeds from the event go to support local non-profits. The community beneficiaries of this year’s event were the Pablove Foundation (who fund pediatric cancer research and help children with cancer with music and arts programs) www.pablove.org The Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School www.rosescharlin.com and Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) who envision a swimmable, fishable, boatable, bikeable Los Angeles River – yes, we want that, too!
Guests were free to meander through the Los Angeles River Visitor Center that houses a wall of information on the LA River’s history, its current status, and a vision for the River’s future. The history section displayed fascinating photos of a great flood that happened in 1938, causing millions of dollars worth of damage and killing 85 people. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.
This was a well-planned, well-executed, and well-attended event. So let’s all say – WELL done, TOTE!